42. Diamond Head, 'Lightning to the Nations' (1980)
First issued in a plain white sleeve with no song titles, Diamond Head's debut album rode alongside the tidal wave of landmark New Wave of British Heavy Metal releases in 1980. Unique among peers like Saxon and Def Leppard, Diamond Head cleaned up hard rock's sweat and excess, trimming song lengths and providing a streamlined answer to Led Zeppelin's Page and Plant in the plaintive wails of Sean Harris and the muscular, stadium-ready guitar riffs of Brian Tatler. For Lightning to the Nations, the pair crafted intricate, almost orchestrally structured songs such as "The Prince," "Sucking My Love" and "Am I Evil?" that went through riffs like they were a dime a dozen. Although ill-fated business luck hampered their progress, fans rated them highly. Lars Ulrich has called Lightning's highly memorable collection of straightforward riff-based anthems, "some of the greatest songs of all time." Indeed, Metallica went on to cover five of the album's seven tracks, notably "Helpless" and "Am I Evil?" in the recording studio as well as stadiums worldwide for more than 30 years. I.C.