Poll: What Was the Best Guitar Album of 1986?

Sammy Hagar assumes David Lee Roth's role as frontman for Van Halen. Alice Cooper relaunches his career after a two-year hiatus -- The Nightmare Returns Tour was one of the best selling tours of 1986. And The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrates its first induction ceremony.

Just a few of the memorable moments from a year equally notable for the imminent demise of punk rock -- Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys and the Clash all disbanded. With exception of a few contemporary blues records, the airwaves had pretty much come to be dominated by guitar-oriented metal.

Metal, indeed, had become such a prominent mainstream force, it required division into sub-genres. In 1986 you had thrash metal, power metal, death metal, and the omnipresent hair metal. Bands on the L.A. strip seemed to appear like hair-brained T.V. pilots: in your face one second, gone the next.

But that's not to say there weren't plenty of good guitar albums to choose from. Critics can say what they will, but real guitarists know, those metal guys (and gals; sorry Vixen) could really play. So check out this week's list of kick-ass guitar albums from 1986 and vote for your favorite.

Editor's Note: Remember, there's nothing wrong with being loyal to your favorite band, but this isn't a popularity contest. Make sure you vote for the album you really think deserves to be number one!

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