Well, this is getting less fun as the ’80s goes on, as there seems to have been less albums each year, so I’ve had to dig well beyond my own collection (thank you youtube), but I did make a few fine discoveries. Remember, this is My list – If anything’s missing, leave it in the comments!
White Wolf – Endangered Species
The 2nd album from Edmonton’s White Wolf. An awesome album of AOR/Hard Rock. “Time Waits For No One”, “Run For Your Life”, the single “She”, and a cool cover “Just Like An Arrow” by British band Magnum. A shame it’d be 2 decades before a 3rd album from these guys. Just a great album…and great cover!
Honeymoon Suite – The Big Prize
The follow up to the band’s hugely successful debut from 1984. I actually prefer this album; better production [courtesy of Bruce Fairbairn] and songs, IMO. “Feel It Again”, Released February 4 [according to RPM], The Big Prize featured 4 hits – “What Does It Take”, “Bad Attitude” and “All Along You Knew” [featuring Ian Anderson].
Triumph – The Sport Of Kings
Hot off the excellent Live Stages double album, someone decided Triumph needed to come up with more mainstream pop rockers, more keyboards, and outside penned ballads! Not near their best, but contained the hits “Tears In The Rain” , “Somebody’s Out There”, and favorite “What Rules My Heart”.
Killer Dwarfs – Stand Tall
The Dwarfs 2nd album. Don’t think this [or the debut] made a dent on the charts, but they quickly gained a following with classic hard rockers like “Keep The Spirit Alive” , “Through Animal Eyes” and the title track. Cool guitar sound from Mike Hall [who later played in Carl Dixon’s band] and distinctive vocals from Russ Graham [who would later front Moxy for a few years].
Kick Axe – Rock The World
From Regina, Saskatchewan, this would be Kick Axe’s 3rd album in the ’80s, before a long break. A return to a more ‘metal’ approach than the one before, starting with the fast rockin’ title track (killer intro). It also included favorites “We Still Remember”, “Devachan”, as well as heavy cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”.
Brighton Rock – Young, Wild and Free
The debut album from Niagara’s Brighton Rock, which had followed an EP the previous year. Featured the hits “Can’t Wait For The Night” and “We Came To Rock”, and featured favorites like the title track, “Assault Attack” and “Barricade”. (RIP Gerry McGhee)
Sacred Blade – Of The Sun + Moon
Prog-metal band from Vancouver. Cool stuff, featuring lots of heavy guitars, acoustic guitars, metal rockers like “Salem” and “In The Light Of The Moon”, to some progressive influences on the likes of “Legacy”, “Moon” . Main writer Jeff Ulmer would re-do a number of things on his next project Othyrworld in 2005. (RIP Jeff Ulmer)
Frank Marino – Full Circle
His first studio album since 1982’s excellent Juggernaut. Full Circle saw more use of keyboards, and more lighter tracks, but still some good rockers, and good tracks overall. Favorites include “Hang On”, “Breakin’ Away”, and “Imagine”.
Sword – Metalized
Quebec metal band’s debut album. I think I saw these guys open for Alice Cooper in the ’80s. A pretty solid heavy record, on Aquarius (recorded & mixed by former April Wine guitarist Gary Moffett). Includes the great opener “F.T.W.”, plus “Stoned Again”, “The End Of The Night”, and “Out of Control”. A shame these guys only released 2 studio albums.
Jon-Mikl Thor – Recruits Wild In The Street
A fun album of hard-rock / metal, with rockers and anthems like “Ragnarock”, “Warhammer”, “Who’s To Blame”, and “We Live To Rock” (w/ Aldo Nova contributing to vocals on this one). Produced by Peppi Marchello (The Good Rats), who also wrote album track “Heartbreak Choir”.
Other releases: Kim Mitchell Shakin’ Like A Human Being / Deaf Dealer Keeper Of The Flame / Tom Cochrane & Red Rider s/t