Van Halen’s ‘Fair Warning’ is among the ten most iconic heavy albums released in 1981, according to Ultimate Guitar.
Ultimate Guitar‘s The Phoenician wrote, “All in all, 1981 seemed relatively tame at the time, but in reality, some of the albums released that year would go on to define the main players of the following decade and establish a couple of very exciting metal subgenres along the way.”
Here’s what he had to say about ‘Fair Warning’:
If one were to sum up everything that happened in heavy music during 1981 from today’s point of view, one would probably say that it was a year full of great albums that somehow got severely underrated upon their release, and Van Halen’s “Fair Warning” was no exception. Okay, both David Lee Roth as well as the Van Halens much more amazing stuff than “Fair Warning” (both together and separately), but to say that the album is bad or even mediocre would simply be not telling the truth.
It’s true that things were bad between Roth and the rest of the band at the time, but it’s also true that “Fair Warning” is one of the most ferocious albums in the Van Halen discography. Tracks like “Unchained” and “Sinner’s Swing!” are almost completely all teeth and rage (in a very good way), and it’s safe to say that you’ll have a lot of trouble finding grittier Van Halen tracks than these.
Here’s a look at all ten albums that made Ultimate Guitar‘s list:
Tygers of Pan Tang — Spellbound
Def Leppard — High ‘N’ Dry
Saxon — Denim and Leather
Mötley Crüe — Too Fast For Love
AC/DC — For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
Van Halen — Fair Warning
Venom — Welcome to Hell
Ozzy Osbourne — Diary of a Madman
Iron Maiden — Killers
Black Sabbath — Mob Rules
The 40th anniversary of ‘Fair Warning’ is coming up next month. The album was released on April 29th, 1981.