What is “old school” exactly? I have no idea, other than to say this was the metal that I cut my teeth — and of course banged my head — on, and I think for the most part it still holds up today. As far as chronology is concerned, I’d say that most metal bands that started from the dawn of the genre (the late ’60s) up until around the early ’90s qualify. I left out groups like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy as I’ve always considered them to be more hard rock, but I know that line is pretty blurry.

But hey, let’s not quibble over who got left out and revel over who is here instead!


“Highway Star” by Deep Purple, from Machine Head (1972)

“Symptom of the Universe” by Black Sabbath, from Sabotage (1975)

“Sinner” by Judas Priest, from Sin After Sin (1977)

“Ace of Spades” by Motörhead, from Ace of Spades (1980)

“Diary of a Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne, from Diary of a Madman (1981)

“Another Life” by Iron Maiden, from Killers (1981)

“Balls to the Wall” by Accept, from Balls to the Wall (1983)

“Too Young to Fall in Love” by Mötley Crüe, from Shout at the Devil (1983)

“NM 156” by Queensrÿche, from The Warning (1984)

“I’ll See the Light, Tonight” by Yngwie Malmsteen, from Marching Out (1985)

“Lay It Down” by Ratt, from Invasion of Your Privacy (1985)

“Wake Up Dead” by Megadeth, from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (1986)

“The Thing That Should Not Be” by Metallica, from Master of Puppets (1986)

“A Skeleton in the Closet” by Anthrax, from Among the Living (1987)

“Trial By Fire” by Testament, from The New Order (1988)

“Nothingface” by Voivod, from Nothingface (1989)

“Imperiled Eyes” by Annihilator, from Never, Neverland (1990)

“Seasons in the Abyss” by Slayer, from Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

Enhanced by Zemanta

About the Author

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes joined the Popdose writing staff only after enduring a humiliating series of hazing rituals. One day he'll write a tell-all book, and then they'll all pay. Until then, you can also catch him at his regular home, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, or you can follow him on Twitter.

View All Articles