The Very Best of Loudness

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By the early '80s, heavy metal had spread to just about every part of the world. And in Japan, the longhaired, spandex-wearing faction was well represented by Loudness. While they briefly caught the attention of stateside headbangers with a pair of releases -- 1985's Thunder in the East and 1986's Lightning Strikes -- the group had already built a sizeable following back home with several Japanese-only releases. None of these early titles were ever issued in the U.S., which makes a collection like 1997's Very Best of Loudness a pretty handy one. Focusing primarily on their early albums (although some material from Thunder in the East is included), you'll find such early Loudness fan favorites (several of which are sung in Japanese) as "Angel Dust," "Road Racer," "Loudness" (did every single metal band of the era have a song titled after their name?), and probably their best-known track, the anthemic "Crazy Night." While the price tag may be a bit high (Very Best Of is available only as a Japanese import -- what a surprise!), this is the easiest way to get a sampling of Loudness' early favorites.

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