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Label Spotlight

Label Spotlight: Megaforce Records

by Chuck Eddy

Label Spotlight: Megaforce Records

About this playlist

Way back in the early '80s, East Brunswick, N.J., flea market record retailers Jon and Marsha Zazula saw the future of metal, and it was heavier, speedier and more obnoxious than it had been in quite some time. The Rock N Roll Heaven entrepreneurs started a little label in New York, largely revolving around a band whose drummer answered to Lars and which will otherwise remain nameless here. But even beyond that metallic elephant in the room, the Zazulas managed to make their independent imprint too loud and scary for the '80s hair-glam masses: Mercyful Fate and Manowar albums in 1983; Anthrax, Exciter, Grave Digger and T.T. Quick (not to mention the mysteriously hooded Lone Rager's long-disappeared and sadly forgotten "Metal Rap," and a likewise long-gone Blue Cheer comeback) in 1984; Overkill in 1985.

Atlantic Records picked up Megaforce's distribution duties for four years starting in 1987, the same year the Zazulas put out their first Testament and (Ace) Frehley's Comet vinyl; Island had already helped get Anthrax LPs into stores for two years by then. King's X boarded in 1988, and other notables (Ministry, Living Colour, Revolting Cocks, pro wrestler Chris Jericho's band Fozzy) eventually put out stuff on Megaforce, too. This playlist has a whole raging bunch of it.

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