Metallica: Ride the Lightning. I loved metal before I'd ever heard
Metallica, but once I picked this one up, I haven't been the same. I know that
everybody loves Master of Puppets, but this album is one of the best things
Metallica ever did. Just listen to "Fight Fire with Fire," "The Call of Ktulhu"
and the title track and you'll be hooked. I won't comment on what's become of
Metallica; I'll probably always been listening to this one anyway.
Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell. There are a lot of people who were not quite old enough to follow
Sabbath when Ozzy was still in the band. I'm one of them. To me, Ronnie James
Dio-era Sabbath is the band I love. Don't get me wrong, I love the Ozzy stuff,
but when I hear "Neon Knights" or "Heaven and Hell" I'm taken back to my early
teenage years. Dio raised the bar on an already classic act.
One Beat. I don't know if our readers know Sleater-Kinney. They're a riot
grrrl band out of Washington State and their blend of feminism and post-punk
revival is about as good as it gets. One Beat is their finest hour. In my
opinion, it is also the best album responding to the politics of War in Iraq and
the Bush years.
Iron Maiden: Killers. I'm a big fan of Bruce
Dickinson's work with Maiden, but there's just something nearly perfect about
Paul Di'Anno's second album with the band. I have spent weeks on end listening
to this album and I never get tired of it. I always tell people who ask that
Maiden is my favorite band. It's true--and this is my favorite album by them.