Before I move on to 1981 – I would like to give some final thoughts on 1980, and mention some things that I may have skipped.
Clearly the UK was the metal home in 1980 with 24 of the top 40 records hailing from the UK, including all of the top 11.
Also, 1980 was the year of the debut, with 21 of the top 40 being debuts and 2 more debut solo albums from otherwise experienced artists.
My favorite live album was Black Sabbath – Live at Last. Not really a great live album, but not bad either. There were a few noteworthy EP releases, but the only one that really stands out is Hellanbach. They hail from the UK and their 1980 debut EP; Out to Get You, was a real scorcher. If it were full length, it would have easily cracked the top 20.
My rookie of the year award goes to Randy Rhoads. I could have given this to any number of rookies this year, but Rhoads performance on Blizzard of Ozz was legendary.
My MVP is Biff Byford. Saxon had two albums in the top six, and his strong lead vocals have always been the driver for Saxon.
Finally, my biggest disappointment of the year was actually included in the top 40. Clocking in at number 31 was the second album from Witchfynde. It was very disappointing that they caved to the record executives so quickly and became so bland.
So that’s it for the year. Thanks to my regular readers. Even though you seem to disagree with me sometimes, your comments are always welcome.