... And Justice For All/Metallica (1988)
Before listening to the number called "One" by Metallica streamed on MTV, I had hated so-called "thrash metal" music. Because I've come to like this song and by chance I loved the same titled film featuring Al Pacino, I happened to buy this album. And, this album made me feel that a definite line can be drawn between Metallica and other thrash metal bands. Profound meanings their lyrics have, their perfectly and solemnly structured and fully polished-up music, really cool tones of thrashing guitars. They all made them different from other thrasher. I believe this album paved their way to be a big band as what they are now. But unfortunately, my wife still defines this album as devil music. I do not expect her to know the difference.
Alcatrazz ("No Parole From Rock'n' Roll")/Alcatrazz (1983)
When I first heard the news that Graham Bonnet, my favorite vocalist, formed a new band after his truly sad departure from Michael Schenker Group, I was really excited about his comeback to the hard rock scene. He rose again like a phoenix, this time with a new guitar hero, Yngwie Malmsteen. What a career Graham has as to his guitar partners: Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow), Michael Schenker (Michael Schenker Group), Yngwie and Steve Vai (Alcatrazz), and Chris Impellitteri (Impellitteri). Graham's high-tone shouting voice in this album is absolutely hot as always, especially in "Hiroshima Mon Amour". I believe his ability has been unreasonably underestimated. This album also can be called an epoch making album in a sense of the emergence of the new young guitar king. Yngwie's fastest-ever picking guitar play with classical flavor was a revolution in the rock guitar world, which was reflected in the fact that a flock of Yngwie followers came out soon after. I'm not following him anymore, but I remember I tried really hard to copy this album.
Operation : Mindcrime /Queensryche (1988)
In the current rock music scene, Queensryche is one of the very few bands that make me feel like buying their new albums when they are released. Queensryche has continued to evolved and never stayed where they had been. Every time they released new albums, they were all beyond my expectation. However, this album can definitely be said to be their masterpiece, which is a perfectly organized concept album. Its flawless stream of high quality songs could not be enhanced by anyone in any way. Moreover, it contains a great number of cool and intellectual lyrics, which gave a revolutionary shock to me. The following is one of my favorite ones: "Religion and sex are powerplays. Manipulate the people for the money they pay. Selling skin, selling God. The numbers look the same on their credit card. Politicians say no to drugs while we pay for wars in South America. Fighting fire with empty words while the banks get fat, and the poor stay poor, and the rich get rich, the cops get paid. To look away as the one percent rules America."