black sabbath - mob rules

Black Sabbath: Mob Rules (1981)

Despite being a massive Black Sabbath AND Dio fan, I’m here to sheepishly admit I rarely if ever listen to the albums the two made together. I usually stick to the first six album for both parties, but when I saw a great condition original pressing of Mob Rules at my shop I couldn’t pass it up and take a chance to dig deeper and see what works, what doesn’t, and how it compares to the discography I tend to stick to. Plus that album art…damn if this isn’t maybe one of the best covers in all of heavy metal.

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dio - sacred heart

Dio: Sacred Heart (1985)

Day 5 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a record from where you grew up. I didn’t want to cheat with all of NY, since that opens up all the city, and I definitely did not grow up there. Nope, I’m an upstate boy through and through, so options were a bit more limited. Thank to whatever was in the water in Cortland, NY back in the day because it turned a young Ronald James Padavona into the King of Rock and Roll himself, Dio. And though there are betters options to talk about, the only album I have on vinyl (I’m not counting his work with Sabbath or Rainbow) is his final outing with Vivian Campbell, 1985’s Sacred Heart.

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mercyful fate - melissa

Mercyful Fate: Melissa (1983)

Day 4 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for multiple records with the same cover theme and uh…I don’t want to shock you but skulls are pretty prominent on heavy metal records. I know! Who would have guessed? I eventually stopped after “S” because I already had over a dozen examples to show off. But if I could only review one for today, it would have to be one of the most iconic metal records of all time, featuring one of the most distinctive vocalists of all time. Let us now make secret confessions about Melissa, the debut album by the one, the only, Mercyful Fate

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fates warning - awaken the guardian

Fates Warning: Awaken the Guardian (1986)

Day 19 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album it took the longest to find. This is for those treasure seekers, and I admit I haven’t reached that level of addict yet. It may also be that the stuff I’m looking for is readily available for the most part, and I’m not that picky when it comes to original or first pressings. So instead let’s talk about the album it took the longest to get to me: Awaken the Guardian, the progressive heavy metal masterpiece from Fates Warning. As one of the earliest vinyl records I ever bought as a 13 year old kid, it was one of the first I wanted to replace when I started collecting again.

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