What I mean is: why do I love Blow Up Your Video and think Powerage is distinctly average?
Why is my favourite Metallica album …And Justice For All when ‘true’ fans would pick an earlier release? And why do I happen to agree with the masses when picking Def Leppard’s Hysteria as the Sheffield band’s finest hour?
It’s all about when you started buying, borrowing or begging the music which shaped your teenage years. I’ll always love Blow Up Your Video as it was the first ‘DC album I ever invested my McDonald’s Saturday job money in.
I can still remember the first time I saw the video for Heatseeker light up ITV’s Pepsi Chart Show and I knew right then that this was a band for me. I bought the album they had out at the time and thought it was the best thing AC/DC had ever done.
I loved Alice Cooper’s Raise Your Fist And Yell, Van Halen’s OU812 and Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. To this day they’re among my most listened to rock releases as they remind me of an era when metal was fresh, exciting and a just a little bit frightening.
But ask fans of any of the above to select their top three records by each band and I doubt my personal faves would make the cut. In Coop’s case RYFAY wouldn’t even make the top 20!
It just so happens that my first Leppard and Whitesnake records were Hysteria and 1987. And I remember bagging Appetite For Destruction on the first day of release. All three are widely recognised as definitive works and you won’t find me disagreeing.
I own the debut albums by Thunder, Little Angels, Terrorvision and The Quireboys and I don’t think they’ve been bettered to this day. But they were the bands of my time releasing the records of my time and as such they’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Ask anyone 10 years older than me to name the best records by AC/DC, Maiden, Cooper or Van Halen and none would refer to the late 80s for a starting point. But that’s all about what means most to you on the day you first discovered rock.
Over the years I’ve built up huge back catalogues and come to appreciate the finer moments from the 1970s and early 1980s. But I will always pick something from 1987-1990 when asked to select the greatest records in rock because that’s when rock was at its greatest.