While I’m not a fan of genre labels in general, I love the label “heavy metal.” It just makes so much sense. First you had rock, then you had hard rock. What’s harder than hard rock? Metal. Perfect.

As hard rock ascended in the late 1970s, 1980s metal bands took what Zeppelin and Sabbath started and made it noisier, faster, and all-around heavier. From Dio through Metallica, there’s a decent variety that falls under the metal moniker. This mix focuses on early 80s metal—before hair metal took a pure idea and distorted it beyond recognition. These songs stand the test of time. Bang your head, indeed.

Listen to 80s Heavy Metal Mix on Apple Music.