Metal Essentials II: Leather and Bell Bottoms (1976 - 1979) - Highway to Hell vs Strangers in the Night

vote for your FAVORITE songs

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  • Total voters
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Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
I'll probably relisten to those Rush albums soon. Spectres is probably my second favorite BOC album next to Imaginos. Golden Age and Death Valley Nights are so, so close to being 10/10 songs. Golden Age is like 9.9/10 for me. And Nosferatu is one of the most emotional things BOC has ever recorded! An easy hidden gem. And that Buck Dharma solo in there over those keys? Kills me everytime. Phenomenal. Not voting as I'm rusty on my Rush but as a huge BOC fan just wanted to give a shoutout to a very underrated album.
 

Whooten

Ancient Mariner
I'll probably relisten to those Rush albums soon. Spectres is probably my second favorite BOC album next to Imaginos. Golden Age and Death Valley Nights are so, so close to being 10/10 songs. Golden Age is like 9.9/10 for me. And Nosferatu is one of the most emotional things BOC has ever recorded! An easy hidden gem. And that Buck Dharma solo in there over those keys? Kills me everytime. Phenomenal. Not voting as I'm rusty on my Rush but as a huge BOC fan just wanted to give a shoutout to a very underrated album.

And those 3 songs you mention are up against arguably the 2 best songs in Rush's entire catalog (Xanadu and La Villa Strangiato) and one of their most enjoyable--especially as a live sing-a-long (Closer to the Heart). Rush is going to win this round in an easy sweep and they are probably the favorite in the whole bracket.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Yup.

In fairness, a lot of these BOC songs are decent. But the Rush songs here are just too strong. For example, "Golden Age of Leather" is a lot of fun, but, I mean...it's matched up against freakin' XANADU(!), which, as I recall, won the Rush survivor some years ago. I'll be surprised if even a BOC truther like @mckindog can honestly vote for more than a couple songs from Spectres here.

Unfortunately for BOC, I am even more of a Rush truther
Hope I can find the time to review an outstanding round of music and I also hope that it can turn some new fans on to both the world’s 2nd greatest band, and to what may be it’s most underrated.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Not voting as I'm rusty on my Rush but as a huge BOC fan just wanted to give a shoutout to a very underrated album.
This has come up a few times. If you're more familiar with one band or not familiar with either, don't let that be a reason not to participate! Part of the game is discovery and maybe learning more about certain bands. Contrary to what some might think on here, everyone has biases that are going to affect their voting decisions. I think it's more reasonable to just expect that people give the competition a fair chance.

In other words, I would be more happy if people came out of these rounds with a newfound appreciation for the material being presented. The competition is almost secondary to that.
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
I haven't heard this Blue Öyster Cult album before (or much of anything by the band), so this will be first impressions versus new impressions of songs I know well but haven't played in a long time.

"Godzilla" vs. "A Farewell to Kings". So "Godzilla" is essentially a novelty song, but it is fun (at least the first time you hear it), which is more than you can say about this Rush song.

"Golden Age of Leather" vs. "Xanadu". Another fun song from BÖC, but it can't compare to Rush's second best prog rock number.

"Death Valley Nights" vs. "Closer to the Heart".

"Searchin' for Celine" vs. "Cinderella Man". First real keeper on Spectres. Love the piano riff.

"Fireworks" vs. "Madrigal". "Madrigal" is so slight that it's barely even there. "Fireworks" is not exactly fireworks but it's something.

"R. U. Ready 2 Rock" vs. "Cygnus X-1". Rush forget everything they had learned on "Xanadu" and revert to the sort of shapeless murk they had previously bored us with on Caress of Steel.

"Celestial Queen" vs. "Hemispheres". The sequel is much better.

"Goin' Through the Motions" vs. "Circumstances". The only song on Spectres I had heard before. Decent 70s radio rock.

"I Love the Night" vs. "The Trees".

"Nosferatu" vs. "La Villa Strangiato". Rush's best prog rock number.

So we have a 5-5 tie. As a tiebreaker, I award Rush an extra point for not naming themselves Rüsh.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
As expected, Rush destroys BOC. With that we now go to our Elite Eight phase of the game. In this round, Highway to Hell squares off with Stained Class. One is a classic rock staple, the other is an underground Metal classic. It's almost the perfect matchup. Which will Maidenfans prefer?
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
8-1 to ACDC

Before voting I listened to each pair back to back. The production really stood out, DC being loud and vibrant and Priest being dull and turgid. Highway To Hell absolutely pisses all over Stained Glass in this head-to-head. I have heard Stained Glass a couple times before and even gave it a 'like' on Spotify but in a direct, song-for-song comparison it just seems so flat compared to Highway To Hell. I'll admit that I'm probably biased as I'm much more familiar with Highway To Hell but outside of that, I just think DC are a far superior band to Priest. I rarely get through a Priest album without wanting to strangle Rob Halford and although I probably get bored before the end of any DC album, I know that I will still be listening to DC in 20 years time.
There is a real gulf in class here; ACDC are one of the greatest Hard Rock acts of all time and Priest are a mediocre Metal band.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Highway to Hell
Girl's got Rhythm
Better by you Better than me
Touch too Much
Invader
Shot down in flames
If you want blood
Beyond the Realms of Death
Night Prowler

None of the match ups were close except Touch too Much and Stained Class. I like Stained Class, but as Niall suggests the production dates it, whereas AC/DC's classic sound is timeless. Best track is Beyond the Realms of Death though.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Stained Class has always been a cult classic but I'm pretty shocked to see it win only three matches in this round. Also interesting that Invader, an oft forgotten song, is one of those three (how does the excellent title track lose against meh AC/DC?). Even on a metal forum, the hard rock classic is a juggernaut. Depending on how this next round goes though, AC/DC may be matched against a more popular Judas Priest album very soon.

Our next round pits Sin After Sin against Strangers in the Night. This will be another interesting one. Strangers In the Night won handily against Kiss, although it is now against a stronger opponent. That being said, when being trimmed down to the highest performing 8 songs, Strangers has an extremely strong list. Some Priest cult classics and less popular tunes are paired against UFO behemoths which will really work in UFO's favor. I might even predict that, at this point, if Judas Priest can win this round they will win the whole thing. However, for them to not make the finals with either of their albums would be quite the twist.

Selection of Strangers in the Night songs were selected based on performance in the last round and popularity. There was a four way tie between Too Hot, Rock Bottom, Mother Mary, and This Kid. In that case, I went with Too Hot and Rock Bottom since those are the more well known songs.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
Though I prefer Judas Priest, there is no match here: all UFO except for "Dissident Aggressor" ("Diamonds and Rusts" might have won if it hadn't been a cover).
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
These are all fairly easy except Love To Love vs. Diamonds and Rust, which is going to make me change my mind over and over if I let it. That's a toughie as I am a huge fan of both tracks. Depending on how that goes, it'll be 5-3 for UFO or tied 4-4.

Listening to them back-to-back, I went with Diamonds and Rust. It's just awesome. The fact that they heard a Joan Baez folk song and realized they could turn it into a driving metal beast is impressive -- no points deducted because it's a cover. It's one of the all-time BEST covers. Brutal choice, though, because Love To Love might be my favorite UFO track.
 
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srfc

Ancient Mariner
Sinner
Love to Love
Out in the Street
Only you can rock me
Doctor doctor
Lights out
Rock Bottom
Dissident Agressor

Unfair match up, UFO's hits versus Priest deep cuts
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
We have a tie! Vote for your favorite album.
 
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