The Golden Age Of 80’s Rock We’ll Never Likely Hear Again! – 86-89

The Golden Age Of 80's Rock We'll Never Hear Again

Before the Seattle grunge movement nailed the coffin firmly shut on the bloated corpse of ‘Hair Metal/Cock Rock’, there was a golden era that came to pass, never to be repeated. This narrow niche in time between 86 & 89 produced some of the best 80’s rock we’ll never likely see, nor hear again.

Thankfully though, we still have some survivors of this era and we can be grateful for that. The reformation of GNR,  new records from Alice Cooper, Def Leppard & Bon Jovi. But although going strong, neither of these bands are likely to capture that ‘lightning in a bottle’ moment like they did between the golden age of 86/89.

Back then it was a time when Motley Crue, Skid Row, GNR  & Alice Cooper t-shirts were legion. Black printed tees often seen in abundance down the school corridors, & right before the Nirvana and Pearl Jam t-shirts replaced them. I can remember so clearly like it was only yesterday.

Then along came the upcoming trends of the age time which heralded in a new breed of Alt Rock and Nu Metal. These new sonic rumblings were quick to dispense with the dead wood & start a wild scramble for survival. Only the biggest arena rockers managed to adapt to newest trends & make it out of the 90’s intact.

So now in act of tribute, I’ll open up my old cassettes that haven’t been spun in a long, long time. I’ll slacken up the tape, unfold the inlay card & take a Nostalgic trip back to that glorious age to see what is was about ’em?

Heres 7 heavenly Hard Rock albums that we’ll never likely hear again.

  1. Bon Jovi – New Jersey.
  2. Skid Row – Skid Row.
  3. Alice Cooper – Trash.
  4. Def Leppard – Hysteria.
  5. Motley Crue – DR Feelgood.
  6. Aerosmith – Pump.
  7. Guns n Roses  – Appetite For Destruction.


Bon Jovi – New Jersey. 

Bon Jovi New Jersey Cassette

Already massively popular from its predecessor Slippery When Wet, when the New Jersey album came out it sounded massive. The production had that slick yet powerfully raw appeal that made the guitars sound amazingly abrasive.

First track ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’ with its stadium reverb and wailing guitar set the tone for a good ole fist-pumping album that we’ll never likely hear again. Bon Jovi’s New Jersey closed the lid & captured the spirit of 80’s rock before the stripped down affair of their next album ‘Keep The Faith’.

Skid Row – Skid Row.

Skid Row - Skid Row Cassette Tape

Favored by Bon Jovi who had given them a helping hand in early their career, this debut album was all killer and no filler. The vocal talents of Seb Bach and the gritty stories like  ’18 & Life’ and ‘Youth Gone Wild’ made these accessible hard rocking earworms.

Highly commendable was the fact that their next move was to shed away the formula and come back with a darker, heavier and more complex album ‘Slave To The Grind’. I loved it, however, many fans must’ve been disappointed who bought into their previous rock radio friendly anthems.

Alice Cooper – Trash.

Alice Cooper Trash Cassette Tape

Tracks like ‘Poison’, ‘Trash’, ‘Bed Of Nails’, ‘House Of Fire’, ‘Spark In The Dark’, & ‘This Maniac’s In Love With You’ made this a rip-roaring rocker from beginning to end. There’s also the obligatory subtle 80’s ballad moments like ‘Only My Heart Talkin’ & ‘Hell Is Living Without You’.

Now primed ready to go on to the release of his excellent ‘Hey Stoopid’, Trash was my gateway album to A.C’s shock rock theatrics, and looking back it was a good place to start.  Good to see the old Vincent Furnier is still around touring with his band, hosting a radio show and not away too busy playing golf.

Def Leppard – Hysteria.

Def Leppard Hysteria Cassette Tape

The most closest to me this side of the Atlantic & hailing from Sheffield 25 miles north of my town, the Leps were a bygone favorite . I remember many repeated spins of ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ & ‘Armeggedon it’ . Just like GNR’s ‘Nightrain’ crossed over onto the raging ‘Out Ta Get Me’, it was a perfect coupling & a well-spun combo on my battery eating personal stereo.

This was a time when the steel city boys retained their darker, rockier moments like the excellent ‘Gods Of War’ & ‘Run Riot’. I think a large part of Def Leppard died along with the riffs of the late Steve Clark.

Motley Crue – DR Feelgood.

Motley Crue DR Feelgood Cassette Tape

From the admittance to the hospital Emergency Room intro, but keeping their lyrical content set on the sexier, sleazy side of life, DR Feelgood was a sure fire hit. That Bob Rock production made every track stand well above, or at least rub shoulders with their peers. ‘Kick Start My Heart’ still sounds exciting and fresh as it did years ago. ‘Same Old Situation’, ‘She Goes Down’ never bettered.

This was prior to the ensuing break ups and the grungey self-titled ‘Motley Crue’ album with John Corabi. Now dearly departed after coming back together to say their goodbyes on the farewell tour, this record is firmly cemented in the golden years.

Aerosmith – Pump.

Aerosmith Pump Cassette

The oldest, the wisest and more seasoned band on the block, Aerosmith’s ‘Pump’ was the first alIum I got into. Copies of this cassette were passed around school and labeled as sounding like GNR. Ironically it was in fact, the other way round, since Aerosmith were a major influence on guitarist slash, who described the band in his biography as, ‘There was no cooler band than Aerosmith’.

It took me a while to get into ‘Pump’ with its bluesier feel and blaring horns in their material, but this was close to GNR & the album duly got its hooks into me.

Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction.

Guns N Roses Appetite For Destruction Cassette

This album always reminds me of  clear blue summer skies as I’d get off the school bus, head home & switch the cassette from Walkman & Hi-Fi. Then I would just CRANK this album! I just loved the segue of ‘Nightrain’ to the ‘Out Ta Get Me’ riff. Just like Los Angeles, this record sounded dangerous.

Listening to it was like being privy to those 18 certified videos your dad used to bring home from the rental shop & let you watch. A.F.D was the soundtrack to the pissed stained back alleys out of sight from a roving cop patrol prowler looking for Axl.

Well rockers, there we have it, my 7 Favorite records from the 80’s. I reckon every one of us must have that perfect moment in time when the music was firing on all cylinders, how about you?Rock n Metal 90x90 Logo

So, got a ‘Golden Era’ in your Rock n Metal collection? Then hell fire, let me know in the comment box below o.k? Cheers!





  • jschicanha says:

    I love the cassette tape pics that you shared with us. I like such 80’s metal music and my family too. We enjoyed rocking out to these bands at night and loved it so much. I will try to order some of them that i’ve seen from the list you posted! Hope you will update me with more things to read about.



    • Pete says:

      Thanks Jose for coming over to Rock N Metal Collectables & joining the Golden Age Of 80’s Rock post.

      Sure thing bro’ we all like the same thing right? And what could be better than living through those times when it really meant something. If nothing else comes along I know I can sure as hell get my fix on these babies!



  • James W D says:

    I certainly remember the music from this time period as I was well on my way to being a teenager and my older brother also played a role in me listening to these bands.

    I think GNR turned out to be my favorite of the bunch and I would continue to follow them until well, you know they disappeared from the scene.

    It was these albums specifically that really kick started me into music for the rest of my life. I had found my niche in the music world and just loved it all.

    While times and tastes changed over the years I will always be thankful for this time frame as the one that started it all for me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks James for heading over here and leaving your story about the golden age of rock. The post was a vanity project for me just to think about the old times and say a few words on the subject. I’m glad it also brought about some reflection on your part and you enjoyed looking back to those times.

      Just like you these bands built the foundations of everything I listen to and keep branching out on. The roots are solid and they will always be a dewy eyed moment of nostalgia when I rustle around my old tape collection.

      It’s quite tragic that these times cannot be repeated and most of these bands have ‘had their day’. Just lately the closest thing we get to these classic 80’s rock are the bands who make a parody of it like Steel Panther or British band The Darkness.

      But then again it’s better to have loved and lost than never experiencing what I define as the golden age of 80’s rock were never likely to hear again.

      Thanks again James, nice one.

      All the very best,


  • Al says:

    What a great article – an awesome trip down memory lane.

    I have every single one of these albums in my own collection and this has prompted so many memories, I’m gonna put them on when I get home tonight and relive my university dayys!

    In my opinion, New Jersey is by far the best Bon Jovi Album, and Hysteria was a killer album only bettered by Pyromania…

    Whilst I own the album, for some reason I can never explain, I never really liked Guns ‘n Roses…

    One of my other favourite eras for rock was the later 70’s – whilst the disco and punk things were going on, there was some awesome rock and prog rock being made the has stood the test of time far better than those other styles.

    Another favourite period for me, was when bands like Queensryche and King’s X started out – bands |I still listen to a great deal. Would you call that grunge or something different? I think there was something different about those bands to the usual grunge examples – any thoughts?

    • Pete says:

      Hey Al, thanks for joining this discussion here at Rock n Metal Collectables.

      Thanks good news to me that you share the same records in your collection and enjoyed that ‘Golden Era’ i pointed out.

      Yeah, Bon Jovi’s ‘New Jersey’ is for me their best, I think every band reaches its pinnacle and finds it difficult to outshine their previous efforts. Same with Def Leppard, I loved and was a massive fan of their first 4 albums but they fail to entertain me ever since. B.J & D. L had just became too commercial after these amazing records.

      It’s a head scratcher why you never liked Guns n Roses. ‘Appetite For Destruction’ for me, was one of the last great, honest Hard Rock Albums. Nothing has ever bettered this so far in my opinion. I actually think the world needs a band like GNR right now to finish up touring & make another classic record here in this decade.

      Queensryche & Kings X are of the same ilk as Dream Theater, Symphony X & Tool. it is still, like 70’s canadians Rush, still dubbed Prog Rock or progressive metal as these bands have odd musical time signatures. They songs can be grand and epic in scale and mostly these bands are rooted in the 80’s. Newer bands like Mastodon, Opeth & Periphery take the heaviness to a whole new level.

      Grunge and Prog Rock are 2 entirely different styles. Prog is more technically challenging for the musicians to compose, whereas the punk etho’s of Grunge was more basic with elements of vintage ‘Sabbath’ rock added in.

      Nice talkin’ to ya. Come back soon!

      Very best,


  • Igor says:

    Hi Pete!

    Your site is another great site I was commenting on today.
    Great topic, design, and info.

    I remember all the groups (all of them the “big boys” of the rock scene) of that time you have mentioned in your post. This is the “Rock era” of my youth time.

    I am. and I was not that much in hard rock, but sometimes, I liked to listen to it.
    Somehow, I think ( or this could be just my opinion about it because I am not following
    such music), that today the instrumental and “digital music” is taking over to the traditional musicians which were all the “musical virtuosos” of that time, and they would probably be today as well.

    Anyway, great “refreshment” post!

    Thanks for sharing!

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