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1986's best hard rock and heavy metal list

When I graduated from San Diego State in 1986, I was ready to conquer the world. After being turned down for employment by some of the best newspapers in the country, I lowered my sights and started pitching myself to the weeklies. When that didn't work out either, I was back flipping burgers for a paycheck.

There was this long-hair down in the Spring Valley area of San Diego publishing his own heavy metal magazine out of his mom's garage – kid name of Tom Farrell. Tom was not only cool and about the most knowledgeable person I ever met about metal and hard rock, he was also the only person who would publish me then – and besides, I got free LPs out of the deal.

Not so much into metal nowadays as in my 20s, but I'll still slide some AC/DC into the stereo every so often ...

Best of 1986
Best Band of 1986 1. Van Halen
2. Great White
3. Aerosmith
4. Deep Purple
5. Dokken
Best New Band of 1986 1. David Lee Roth
2. GTR
3. Cinderella
4. Poison
5. Megadeth
Best Album of 1986 1. Shot in the Dark (Great White)
2. Classics Live (Aerosmith)
3. Hear 'n' Aid (various artists)
4. Third Stage (Boston) Can I take this one back?
5. Dancing Undercover (Ratt)
Best Single of 1986 1. You Give Love a Bad Name (Bon Jovi) And this one?
2. Face the Day (Great White)
3. One Hit to the Body (Rolling Stones)
4. Dance (Ratt)
5. Who Made Who (AC/DC)
Best Vocalist of 1986 1. Don Dokken (Dokken)
2. Alice Cooper
3. Stephen Pearcy (Ratt)
4. Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot)
5. Gary Barden (Michael Schenker Group)
Best Guitarist of 1986 1. Steve Vai (David Lee Roth)
2. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
3. Mark Kendall (Great White)
4. Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
5. Robert Cray
Best Bassist of 1986 1. Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones)
2. Geddy Lee (Rush)
3. Roger Glover (Deep Purple)
4. Jeff Pilson (Dokken)
5. Pete Way (Waysted)
Best Drummer of 1986 1. Cozy Powell (ELP)
2. Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth)
3. Herman Rarebell (Scorpions)
4. Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
5. Frank Banali (Quiet Riot)