METALLICA!!!! No one will disagree,will they? This band just never stops getting better.Load,Re-load all classics.The B.O.C.cover of Astronomy off of Garage for sure one of the meanest,heaviest songs EVER! Metallica RULES!!!
I never saw Blue Murder, but I remember that they opened for Bon Jovi for a while. Skid Row opened for them when I saw Jovi. I wish I would have seen Quiet Riot back then. Night Ranger was a good band, and also Damn Yankees (with Shaw, Blades, Nugent). I saw Ted Nugent again a few weeks ago, he opened for KISS. He's crazy, guys...and almost funny. Now that was the loudest concert I've ever been to. Had my earplugs in for all but 3 songs! What godawful sound it was.....Def Leppard is my favorite band, and they're as good live as ANY I've seen, including the Stones (excepting all the extra stuff that goes along with the Stones).
I saw the Stones live at the Superdome in about 1979(give or take a year) A little known band that had just put out their first album opened and completely stole the show. These guys made Mick and the boys look old even then. This was before David Lee became a legend in his own mind but that night Van Halen was the show. Eddie was really something to see and hear in his prime. And like Carl I always liked Ted Nugent. For a man that claims to not do hard drugs that boy is way out there. The pairing with Tommy Shaw was a good one too.
I'll ditto on Slayer. Also, all Scorpions up to Love Drive album (w/M.Schenker) and all Judas Priest through Hell Bent For Leather for older metal. I regularly request Dissident Aggressor by Priest on our local radio station, but always get the answer "Not a chance!" What a bunch of weenies... I consider Zep & Deep Purple more hard rock than metal, in my mind anyway, and could not do without Deep Purple. And then there is UFO, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Riot ... Oh hell, they are ALL the best!
In the 90's I vote for PANTARA & WHITE ZOMBIE. Other so called "heavy metal" bands fall way behind IMHO.