The best 80’s metal album covers came from the band Manowar. They might even get my vote for “best album cover ever.”
Known for their epic tales of sorcery, sword fights, wizards and fantasy, these themes were reflected in the Auburn, New York band’s music and album art.
The most “hardcore” of all of their albums was Blow Your Speakers. Not only do the band members look like some type of Norse Gods, but they also seem to be protecting the barely clothed women at their feet from some weird, quickly approaching zombie creatures.
The title Blow Your Speakers is also very appropriate as the band holds the record for the loudest concert this side of My Bloody Valentine.
The only band that could possibly compete with Manowar in all around “bad-assness” would be Dio. In a fight between Dio and Manowar, my money would be on the former. Dio was a three foot little sword wielding elf, and would have easily had his ass kicked by the tough, manly, full-sized studs in Manowar.
If they were worried as coming off as wimps alongside other hair metal bands, they just “toughened up” by posing with swords in dungeons. And let’s face it, it takes balls to appear nearly naked on your record’s cover.
Ben Allen, in addition to being a long-time NadaMucho.com contributor, is the music editor for Savage Henry, a music and culture magazine in Northern California.