If 1983 was when the music exploded and 1984 was when I jumped in, 1985 was the year bands had to prove themselves. Before now, I was hearing everything for the first time, but in 1985, I was anticipating releases. More and more new bands were coming out, but the established acts had to do it again. I was at the record store the day Theater of Pain came out (like I would be two years later for Girls, Girls, Girls and two years after that for Dr. Feelgood). But Theater of Pain was the first time I had to wait for an album by my favorite band. I played it non-stop for weeks and, like most people, fell in love with the piano power ballad Home Sweet Home that broke all kinds of records on MTV. Most (seven) of my top ten albums are follow ups, but there were still a few new acts jumping in too. White Lion, like Dokken was another MTV band with another amazing shredder in Vito Bratta on guitar. King Kobra was a creation of journeyman drummer Carmine Appice that put together a solid debut. And Rough Cutt was a band with an incredible singer named Paul Shortino that was discovered by Dio but never quite found an audience. Twisted Sister, Kiss, Dio and W.A.S.P. delivered more albums that made me love them, and Ratt really hit their stride with Invasion of Your Privacy and delivered one of my favorite riffs of the decade in Lay It Down, but Dokken delivered the most consistent album with Under Lock and Key.
1981's TOP 10 GUITARISTS
1981's TOP 10 BASSISTS