Steve Black

Steve Black

‘Master of Puppets’ is one of Metallica's greatest albums, and the record comes to a screeching halt with the fiery "Damage, Inc." With five-and-a-half minutes of pure rigor and hard-charging heavy metal, the song is aggressive, fast and imaginative-- the perfect way to cap off such a legendary record. (AE)

In honor of WRIF’s 52nd anniversary (we were born on February 14th of 1971) I challenged myself to select only 1 album from each year.
These selections are my personal favorites from that calendar year and should you choose to compile a similar list, please note that it is equal parts fun and painful to pick an absolute favorite.

  • The Who (barley edges out Led Zeppelin IV)

    Who's Next

  • Honorable mention to the other Deep Purple album in '72 "Made In Japan"

    Machine Haed

  • There is no dark side of the moon really, as a matter of fact it's all dark.

    Pink Floyd

  • It's a Zappa thing.

    Frank Zappa

  • one of the albums that changed my young (quite young at the time) life.

    Alice Cooper

  • maybe...the greatest year for rock & roll. (I vote yes).


  • My favorite Queen album and all-time favorite album cover.


  • perhaps the best debut album of all time? (again, I vote yes).

    Van Halen

  • Another Bob Ezrin produced album had had a huge impact on me.

    Pink Floyd

  • None more black indeed.

    AC DC

  • Triumph were my first concert, first band I ever met, and my favorite during my middle school years.


  • ah yes, the high school era for me.

    Judas Priest

  • I may have been into metal at the time, but I was never too far from my prog/art-rock roots


  • Up the Irons!

    Iron Maiden

  • Excuse the curve ball...but, I do enjoy the simplesity of The Cure.

    The Cure

  • '86 was my first time seeing Metallica (I've seen them 15 far).


  • 1987 was the single most inspirational, directional-shifting year of my life, so this was a very difficult selection.

    Joe Satriani

  • Are you noticing there are a few concept albums, and a few with strong underlying themes?


  • '89 was the start of my "musician" years, and no band had a greater influence on my band at the time Surreal.

    King's X

  • The year his Royal Vainess reinvented what was possible on guitar.

    Steve Vai

  • 1991, my first year doing radio as a full-time job (I started as a part-timer in 1989), and nobody played more Metallica at the time.


  • probably my favorite album of the 90s

    Dream Theater

  • One of dozens of bands I helped to break in the 90s.


  • An under-rated album from the most under-rated band of them all.

    King's X

  • The best album of 1995, and the launching point of TSO.


  • I was still a musician in 1996, and King's X were still my guide on how to do things right.

    King's X

  • This was the start of my love for the mighty Foos!

    Foo Fighters

  • This would be my pick for the best produced/mixed album in my entire collection.


  • I've joked for years that my middle name is weird, but if I were to collect ya go.


  • My personal favorite of the TSO collection.

    Trans-Siberian Orchestra

  • The early 2000's were very difficult years for me personally and Savatage helped me get through it all.


  • The early 2000's were very difficult years for my wife at the time Sabrina, and Audioslave gave her another reason to keep up the fight.


  • A key album and band for my radio career as I was just launching my new syndicated venture, The Chop Shop Guitar Show.


  • An album you've never heard of from a band you probably don't know, but easily my favorite of 2004.


  • More Foos please.

    Foo Fighters

  • Tool's best album to date.


  • It took me a while to acquire a taste for The White Strips, who know I would some day end up at Jack's wedding. What? you were there too?

    White Stripes

  • I like all things Shinedown, but this is by far my favorite from the band.


  • the definition of the word SUPER-Group.


  • The best twin guitar band album of the era as well I think.

    Avenged Sevenfold

  • Did I say more Foos? - Why yes I did.


  • I know it's 2 separate albums, but conformity and I don't play well together.

    Stone Sour

  • Another band I helped to break, as I was among the first to play the band dating back to their Guitar Gangsters record.


  • They were the best live band of 2014 as well.

    Nothing More

  • I still only get certain songs from Muse, but his effort captured my attention front to back...yes I still listen to full albums. (I told you my middle name is weird).


  • Seal the Deal and Let's favorite album and album title of 2016.


  • Saw them at The Shelter, then St. Andrews, then Pine Knob and then the Fox.

    Royal Blood

  • There also one of my favorite bands to hang with. Good people and funny as hell.


  • It's a moody record, but the musicianship is just so solid.


  • It was also one of the more over-looked albums of that year.

    The Struts

  • Just a little more Foo for thought.

    Foo Fighters

  • Shinedown's most ambitious project to date.


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