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The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal/Hard Rock CDs of All Time

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Friday, April 14, 2006
We've been dodging that bullet here for quite a while now, but after enough badgering in our forums, we finally caved in. The difficulty of such an endeavor was always the same--how do you compare and rank metal of different genres? Sure, you can look at skill, quality, production, influence and any number of factors, but opinion is always going to be a sticking point. Also, can you trust that any judge has a keen critical ear and is fairly free of bias?

After enough debate, we decided to keep it personal and let our staff create their own Top 50 list of favorite CDs no matter what they were.  Points were assigned for each CD: #1=50, #2=49 and so on down to #50=1 point. All the CDs were then put into a Master List to determine the final total per CD. With 12 staffers taking part (and not separating by ties!), here it is :

Maximum Metal's 50 Greatest
Heavy Metal/Hard Rock CDs of All Time

RANK

YOR

POINTS

  BAND--CD
50 1996 61   Marilyn Manson--Antichrist Superstar
49 1979 66   Judas Priest--Hellbent for Leather
48 1987 67   Anthrax--Among the Living
47 2001 67   Summoning--Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
46 1982 67   Venom--Black Metal
45 1974 68   Deep Purple--Burn
44 1987 68   Dokken--Back for the Attack
43 2003 68   Moonsorrow--Kivenkantaja
42 1982 68   Scorpions--Blackout
41 1983 69   KISS--Lick It Up
40 1980 70   Iron Maiden--Iron Maiden
39 1983 70   Motley Crue--Shout at the Devil
38 1983 72   Metallica--Kill 'Em All
37 1996 73   Sepultura--Roots
36 1981 74   AC/DC--For Those About To Rock
35 1981 74   Iron Maiden--Killers
34 1972 78   Deep Purple--Machine Head
33 1978 78   Van Halen--Van Halen
32 1971 80   Led Zeppelin--IV
31 1992 80   Pantera--Vulgar Display of Power
30 1976 81   Rainbow--Rising
29 1986 82   Slayer--Reign In Blood
28 2003 83   Kamelot--Epica
27 1994 83   KORN--Korn
26 1991 83   Metallica--Black Album

View the Top CDs from 25-2

RANK YOR POINTS   BAND--CD
25 1984 84   Dio--Last in Line
24 1988 84   Manowar--Kings of Metal
23 1994 85   Megadeth--Youthanasia
22 1995 94   Iced Earth--Burnt Offerings
21 2001 97   System of a Down--Toxicity
20 1983 99   Iron Maiden--Piece of Mind
19 1988 100   Iron Maiden--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
18 1990 102   Megadeth--Rust in Peace
17 1980 111   Ozzy Osbourne--Blizzard of Ozz
16 1970 112   Black Sabbath--Black Sabbath
15 1990 114   Slayer--Seasons In The Abyss
14 1992 127   Megadeth--Countdown To Extinction
13 2006 130   In Flames--Come Clarity
12 1984 130   Jag Panzer--Ample Destruction
11 1980 131   Motorhead--Ace of Spades
10 1988 138   Queensryche--Operation Mindcrime
9 1979 144   AC/DC--Highway To Hell
8 1984 148   Metallica--Ride The Lightning
7 1980 149   Black Sabbath--Heaven & Hell
6 1987 183   Judas Priest--Painkiller
5 1990 195   Guns N Roses--Appetite for Destruction
4 1986 206   Metallica--Master of Puppets
3 1983 217   Dio--Holy Diver
2 1980 221   AC/DC--Back in Black

And Our #1!!!

#1: IRON MAIDEN
THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
Year of Release: 1982
Total Votes: 285


QUICK STATS
Total CDs: 599 (one repeat removed)
Total Different: 430
Ave/Mean Years (Top 50): 1986.10
Most per Year (Top 50): 1980/83 (5)
Years Range (Top 50): 36 (1970-2006)


TOP CDs with STAFF VOTES (of 12)
8   Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
7    Dio - Holy Diver
7    AC/DC - Back in Black
6    Motorhead - Ace of Spades
5    Metallica - Ride The Lightning
5    Metallica - Master Of Puppets
5    Judas Priest - Painkiller
5    Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction


MOST CDS PER BAND (TOP 50)
5   Iron Maiden
4    Metallica
3    AC\DC
3    Megadeth
2    Dio
2    Black Sabbath
2    Deep Purple
2    Judas Priest
2    Slayer


MOST CDS PER BAND (Overall)
7    Black Sabbath
7    Iron Maiden
6    AC/DC
6    Judas Priest
6    Led Zeppelin
6    Megadeth
6    Metallica
5    In Flames


TOP BANDS BY TOTAL VOTES (at least 200 points)
1   Iron Maiden 666
2   Metallica 573
3   AC\DC 564
4   Black Sabbath 441
5   Judas Priest 402
6   Megadeth 358
7   Led Zeppelin 319
8   Dio 301
9   Ozzy Osbourne 235
10   In Flames 228
11   Slayer 228
12   Queensryche 225
13   Deep Purple 211
14   Pantera 209


IRON MAIDEN CD POINT BREAKDOWN
48    Iron Maiden--Iron Maiden
22    Iron Maiden--Iron Maiden
22    Iron Maiden--Killers
10    Iron Maiden--Killers
42    Iron Maiden--Killers
48    Iron Maiden--Piece of Mind
34    Iron Maiden--Piece of Mind
17    Iron Maiden--Piece of Mind
5      Iron Maiden--Powerslave
29    Iron Maiden--Powerslave
28    Iron Maiden--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
5      Iron Maiden--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
21    Iron Maiden--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
46    Iron Maiden--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
40    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
40    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
46    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
37    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
47    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
9      Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
20    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
46    Iron Maiden--The Number of the Beast
4      Iron Maiden--X Factor

666 Total Points!!!


In conclusion, you could say that of our staff, Iron Maiden rules the metal scene taking honors with the Top CD and the Top Band Points in many categories. The old guns ruled the top slots. Maybe the most amazing stat of them all is the total points of all Maiden CDs scoring an amazing 666 points. We didn't fix any of these stats and you can see the breakdown above. If you would like to know how your favorite CD(s) fared on our poll, just drop us a email. Special thanks goes out to Neekoy and Kristan for the hard work compiling!


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RANDOM ACTS OF METAL
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. Swallow The Sun. Thunderblast
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