My top five rock albums of all time

To celebrate the launch of my Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock tees tomorrow, here are my top five rock albums of all time.

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5: Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden

I saw Iron Maiden on their first headline tour on 17th June 1980. This tour line-up included Paul Di’Anno who sang lead vocals on their first two albums, Iron Maiden and Killers. I love the rawness of this first Iron Maiden album, Charlotte the Harlot, Phantom of the Opera, and of course, Running Free.

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4: Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous

Live and Dangerous was Thin Lizzy’s first live album and still one of the greatest live albums. Thin Lizzy recorded Live and Dangerous in 1978, but I didn’t see them play live until their Renegade tour in 1981. It’s a double album so there’s plenty to rock out to between Phil Lynott’s banter with the crowd. Stand-out tracks include Emerald, Rosalie by Bob Seger, Don’t Believe a Word, and The Boys Are Back in Town.

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3: Judas Priest: British Steel

I walked into De Montfort Hall, Leicester to see Judas Priest on their British Steel tour on 13th March 1980. They played tracks for what has become one of my favourite NWOBHM albums. There are several re-release and anniversary editions of British Steel, but nothing beats the original cut. Rapid Fire kicks things off, running seamlessly into Metal Gods, and then the classic Breaking the Law.

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2: Motörhead: Ace of Spades

I saw Motörhead play live countless times and when my son was old enough to have his own ear drums damaged, we went to see them together. I first saw the classic line up of Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil at De Montfort Hall, Leicester on their Iron Fist tour on November 17th, 1980. At the end of the gig, Phil through his sticks into the crowd and I caught one. Ace of Spades is definitive early Motörhead. Stand-out tracks include Love Me Like a Reptile, and of course Ace of Spades.

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1: AC/DC: If You Want Blood You've Got It (Live)

If You Want Blood You’ve Got It isn’t just my favourite AC/DC album or even my favourite live album. It’s my favourite album of all time. After Bon Scott’s death, I was worried AC/DC wouldn’t tour again, but on 20th October 1980 I saw them play at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, with their new vocalist Brian Johnson. Recorded in 1978, If You Want Blood You’ve Got It is the perfect memorial to Bon. There are no bad tracks, but three of my favourites are Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be, The Jack, and who can forget Whole Lotta Rosie.

Five notable mentions

  1. AC/DC: Back in Black
  2. Girlschool: Hit and Run
  3. Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast
  4. Motorhead: Ace of Spades
  5. Rainbow: Down to Earth

Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock

Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock are classic rock and code inspired shirts. The site will launch Tuesday 19th at 2pm UK time.


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