No Substitutes

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Looking back at '80s-era heavy metal, Germany's Accept are oft-times overlooked. This can be attributed to the fact that they didn't have a pretty-boy lead singer (in fact, Udo Dirkschneider was the virtual antipretty boy) and, despite a few flirtations, never truly crossed over to the MTV masses. But it's not to say that they didn't have their share of metal anthems (albeit in a somewhat derivative Judas Priest style), most of which are included on the budget-priced, ten-track compilation, No Substitutes. Since most of the group's albums are getting increasingly hard to find on CD (and that they arguably only issued three "classic" metal albums: 1983's Restless & Wild, 1984's Balls to the Wall, and 1985's Metal Heart), a short but sweet overview such as No Substitutes comes in handy. Tops include one of the first ever thrash metal tracks to sweep the metal underground, "Fast as a Shark," the dark "Balls to the Wall," as well as such head-banging anthems as "Metal Heart" and "London Leatherboys." Granted, No Substitutes is by far not a definitive Accept comp (too many strong album cuts go unnoticed in favor of such subpar selections as "Russian Roulette" and "Shake Your Heads"), but it does serve as an adequate primer.

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