Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind - Iron Maiden sweeps me off my feet and takes me on a roller coaster ride of sound in every song. I find it impossible not to tap my feet to this band. If you're going to die, die with your boots on.
Ozzy Osbourne: Bark at the Moon - While there are some great songs on this third solo album from Ozzy, like the title track, it feels like Ozzy is starting to lose steam on this disc. Ozzy is about to take a couple years off... he'll be back in 1986 with The Ultimate Sin. Hopefully the time away will do him good.
Pantera: Metal Magic - I have to skip this one. Pantera as we know it didn't really start until 1990 with Cowboys From Hell (which I have). According to Wikipedia, the first few albums were more of a glam rock sound, like Van Halen. Now, I like Van Halen, but I don't necessarily like everything in that genre. I can't find any samples of Metal Magic out there, and since the lowest price I can find for it is about $25, I'll hold this for some other time.
ZZ Top: Eliminator - This is the golden age of ZZ Top. This album has timeless hits like Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, and Got Me Under Pressure. I have to admit I often skip ZZ Top when it comes up in the shuffle list, but I won't be skipping this album.
Accept: Balls to the Wall - How did I never hear of this band? This album rocks, and not just the hit title song, either. Whereas the previous album examined the speed of light via the electric guitar, this one slows it down to a middle-of-the-sidewalk swagger, daring you not to step aside. Great stuff.
Motorhead: Another Perfect Day - I'm not thrilled about jumping around in time on Motorhead; only last month I picked up their debut album from 1977, and now here it is 6 years and 5 (or is it 4?) albums later. But I also like to listen to a year's music in the context of its contemporaries. Since I brought Motorhead into the band list late, I can't satisfy both goals at once.
Dio: Holy Diver - I have this one already, but I put it on the list because it is the only Dio album I have. I bought it shortly after Ronnie James Dio's death in May, 2010, knowing very little about his solo works. In many ways, listening to and loving this album is what made me start thinking about doing this project. What other great bands have I been missing out on all these years, I asked. By now, I have at least a partial answer.