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.

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