6 Hard Rock & Metal Albums From 6 Legendary Artists That Turned 40 In January 2024

1984 – Van Halen : 1984¬†(stylized in¬†Roman numerals¬†as¬†MCMLXXXIV) is the sixth studio album by American¬†rock¬†band¬†Van Halen, released on January 9, 1984. It was the last Van Halen studio album until¬†A Different Kind of Truth¬†(2012) to feature lead singer¬†David Lee Roth, who left the band in 1985 following creative differences. This is the final full-length album to feature all four original members (the Van Halen brothers¬†Eddie¬†and¬†Alex, Roth, and¬†Michael Anthony), although they reunited briefly in 2000 to start work on what would much later become 2012’s¬†A Different Kind of Truth. 1984¬†was well received by music critics.¬†Rolling Stone¬†ranked the album number 81 on its list of the “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s”. It reached number two on the¬†Billboard¬†200¬†and remained there for five weeks, kept off the top spot by¬†Michael Jackson’s¬†Thriller, on which guitarist¬†Eddie Van Halen¬†made a¬†guest performance.¬† 1984¬† produced four singles, including “Jump”, Van Halen’s only number-one single on the¬†Billboard¬†Hot 100; the top-20 hits “Panama” and “I’ll Wait”; and the¬†MTV¬†favorite “Hot for Teacher”.

Defenders of the Faith – Judas Priest : Defenders of the Faith¬†is the ninth studio album by English¬†heavy metal¬†band¬†Judas Priest, released on 13 January 1984 in the US and on 20 January 1984 in the UK. The album was certified platinum by the¬†RIAA, and spawned the singles “Freewheel Burning”, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”, and “Love Bites”.

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi : Bon Jovi¬†is the debut studio album by American¬†rock¬†band¬†Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984, by¬†Mercury Records. Produced by¬†Tony Bongiovi¬†and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song (“She Don’t Know Me”) appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at number 43 on the US¬†Billboard¬†200. Aside from the hit single “Runaway”, songs from the album were rarely performed live after Bon Jovi released¬†Slippery When Wet¬†in 1986.

Slide It In – Whitesnake : Slide It In¬†is the sixth studio album by British¬†hard rock¬†band¬†Whitesnake. Originally released on 30 January 1984 in Europe, by¬†Liberty/EMI, it was remixed for the American market, later issued on 16 April 1984 in North America by¬†Geffen. In Japan, it was issued a “European” Mix release date on 23 March 1984, and an “American” remix on 29 December 1984 by¬†CBS/Sony. Widely regarded as a moderate success, it helped the American market to open up for the band’s sound and breakthrough throughout the later 1980s. Historically, it was the final Whitesnake recording to use the band’s original “snake” logo. The album peaked at number 9, marking their fourth Top 10 appearance in the UK. In the US, it peaked at number 40 at¬†Billboard 200. In 1988, the album re-entered the US charts due to the success of the self-titled¬†Whitesnake¬†album (1987), and would be eventually¬†certified double platinum, among the album with the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart. The album has sold more than six million copies worldwide. The album spawned four singles to promote the album: “Guilty of Love”, “Give Me More Time”, “Standing in the Shadow”, and “Love Ain’t No Stranger”.

Fistfull Of Metal – Anthrax : Fistful of Metal¬†is the debut studio album by American¬†heavy metal¬† band Anthrax, released in January 1984 by¬†Megaforce Records¬†(US only) and¬†Music for Nations¬†internationally. The album includes a cover of¬†Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen”. This is the band’s only album to feature original frontman¬†Neil Turbin¬†and original bassist¬†Dan Lilker, who were replaced by¬†Matt Fallon¬†(and eventually by third vocalist¬†Joey Belladonna) and¬†Frank Bello, respectively. Former original guitarist Greg Walls claims that Anthrax “ripped him off” as he claims he wrote the material on the album

Flex-able – Steve Vai : Flex-Able¬†is the debut studio¬†album¬†by American virtuoso guitarist¬†Steve Vai. This was his first as a solo artist, and was created in Stucco Blue, a shed converted into a studio in Vai’s old back garden. It is very different from many of his other albums, and is largely influenced by¬†Frank Zappa.¬†Flex-Able¬†does not rely as much on massive guitar arrangements and¬†shred¬†moments as the rest of his output from the 1990s onwards, with the exception of¬†Leftovers which is a compilation of bonus tracks and remasters from his sessions at ‘Stucco Blue’. The cover of the May 2009 issue of¬†Guitar World¬†features a photograph of Vai in a pose similar to the album’s cover, including the bending guitar neck.

RIP Carl Weathers

American actor Carl Weathers has died at the age of 76, according to his family. Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films, “died peacefully in his sleep”, according to a statement released by his family. His other film credits include Predator, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. ¬†His roles included boxer¬†Apollo Creed¬†in the first four¬†Rocky¬†films¬†(1976‚Äď1985), Colonel Al Dillon in¬†Predator¬†(1987), and¬†Combat Carl¬†in the¬†Toy Story¬†franchise.

He also portrayed Det. Beaudreaux in the television series¬†Street Justice¬†(1991‚Äď1993) and¬†a fictionalized version of himself¬†in the comedy series¬†Arrested Development¬†(2004, 2013), and voiced Omnitraxus Prime in¬†Star vs. the Forces of Evil¬†(2017‚Äď2019). He had a recurring role as¬†Greef Karga¬†in the¬†Star Wars¬†series¬†The Mandalorian¬†(2019‚Äď2023), for which he was nominated for the¬†Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana as an eighth-grade student, he earned an athletic scholarship to St. Augustine High School, a private school. Weathers played college football for the San Diego State Aztecs. He then transferred and played for San Diego State University, becoming a letterman for the San Diego State Aztecs in 1968 and 1969, helping the Aztecs win the 1969 Pasadena Bowl. He signed with the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) after going undrafted in the 1970 NFL Draft. After being released by the Raiders, he signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Weathers retired from football in 1974, and began pursuing an acting career.

He had his first significant roles in two¬†blaxploitation¬†films directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks:¬†Bucktown¬†(1975) and¬†Friday Foster (1975). ¬†In 1976, he appeared as a loan shark in an episode of the crime-drama¬†Starsky & Hutch, and in the¬†Barnaby Jones episode “The Bounty Hunter” as escaped convict Jack Hopper. While auditioning for the role of¬†Apollo Creed¬†alongside¬†Sylvester Stallone¬†in¬†Rocky, Weathers criticized Stallone’s acting, which led to him getting the role.¬†He reprised the role of Apollo Creed in the next three¬†Rocky¬†films:¬†Rocky II¬†(1979),¬†Rocky III¬†(1982), and¬†Rocky IV (1985). Weathers briefly appears as an Army¬†MP¬†in one of the three released versions of¬†Close Encounters of the Third Kind (originally released in 1977).

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Weathers starred in a number of action films for the small and big screen, including Force 10 from Navarone¬†(1978),¬†Predator¬†(1987),¬†Action Jackson¬†(1988), and¬†Hurricane Smith¬†(1992). He also appeared in¬†Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl” music video and co-starred in the 1996¬†Adam Sandler¬†comedy¬†Happy Gilmore, as Chubbs, a golf legend teaching Happy how to play golf. Another notable television role was Sgt. Adam Beaudreaux on the cop show¬†Street Justice. Afterwards, during the final two seasons of¬†In the Heat of the Night (1992‚Äď1994), his character, Hampton Forbes, replaced Bill Gillespie as the chief of police. In 2004, Weathers received a career revival as a comedic actor beginning with appearances in three episodes of the¬†comedy¬†series¬†Arrested Development¬†as a cheapskate¬†caricature of himself.

In 2019, Weathers appeared as¬†Greef Karga¬†in several episodes of the first season of the¬†Star Wars¬†series,¬†The Mandalorian. He returned for the second season and also directed the episode “Chapter 12: The Siege”. He returned for season 3 and directed the episode “Chapter 20: The Foundling”. His performance earned him an¬†Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor. Weathers and his ex-wife, Mary Ann, had two sons.