It may seem like a distant memory now, but at the time 1984 was a very foreboding year. Whether in the dystopian George Orwell novel of the same name or the punk rock exploitation thriller Class of 1984, it had ominous connotations and the reality of it wasn’t much better. The threat of nuclear war between The United State and The Soviet Union hovered in the air, especially that summer when U.S. President Ronald Reagan glibly joked “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was the perfect And the soundtrack to such a bleak year, from Zurich, Switzerland to California’s San Fernando Valley, was heavy f**king metal.
1984 was an important year for heavy metal music which had been gaining commercial ground and going from artistic strength to strength since the late 1970s. Well-established acts like Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden were at peak popularity and releasing the last of their classic albums. Seminal metal bands Motorhead and Deep Purple returned from sojourns, both brief and extended, to remind the faithful of their enduring greatness. The genre made significant inroads in the charts as well as glam-metal bands like Ratt and Twisted Sister released their biggest albums, supported by widely seen music videos on the upstart cable channel MTV.