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Fair Warning by Van Halen
Released: Apr 1981
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
Van Halen never sounded meaner than on this 1981 release, perhaps because they all hated each other by the time they recorded it (so the story goes). "Mean Streets" and "Unchained" are as close to heavy metal as the group ever came, and Eddie goes bananas at every opportunity, piling screeching effects on top of his already unearthly playing.
Mike McGuirk