Heavy metal may have been born in the ‘70s, but that doesn’t mean that the music’s practitioners and its fans alike weren’t happy to see that decade end.

Recent years had not been kind to Black Sabbath’s evil spawn, which had first come in for a critical beating by the agents of punk rock, before becoming ensnared in disco’s velvet rope stranglehold -- all while enduring a widespread shift towards hard rock, led by more commercially viable bands like Aerosmith and KISS.

So, the top heavy albums of 1979 inevitably blurred the lines between metal and hard rock, whether in the hands of ‘70s veterans like Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Scorpions and Thin Lizzy, or younger champions like Van Halen, Motorhead and AC/DC.

Luckily, a massive, genre-saving reinvigorating of unprecedented (and never again equaled proportions) lurked just around the decade’s corner, in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but for now, don’t you sleep on the 10 Best Hard Rock + Metal Albums of 1979, which naturally helped make it all possible.

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