Great Metal Albums of 1985: Loudness- Thunder in the East


“Thunder in the East” was the big breakthrough album for Loudness in 1985. In fact, it marked the first time a Japanese band broke into the top 100 charts in the US where it would remain for 23 weeks peaking at 74. Therefore, it was a major achievement for Loudness being both Japanese and a heavy metal band. Even more so because except for bands like Ratt, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi, there was very little heavy metal on the radio at this time.

“Crazy Nights,” the big single from the album, was one reason why it was such a major success. Hell, I remember seeing the video for the song played on MTV on one occasion. It is a great song with some great riffs, a catchy chorus- “Rock and roll crazy nights, you are the heroes tonight,” and a cool guitar solo but as I have said 4,217,901 times, one song does not a great album make. Naturally, their are some other amazing tracks on “Thunder in the East.”

Third song in on the album is my vote for hidden gem, the track, “Heavy Chains.” I love how it starts out as if it’s going to be a ballad before the power chords come blasting in. Beneath the power chords, there is a blues feel to it with Akira Takasaki showing why the Western world should take him seriously as a guitarist. Singer Minoru Nihara adds a further dimension to the song with the way he can change the tempo of his voice. Switching from ballad voice to power voice was not a hard chore for him on the track.

The metal continues on after as well. Whether it’s the fast paced “Get Away” where there’s amusing lyrics like “With my switchblade you will die,” to “We Can Be Together” which sounds a little similar to “Crazy Nights” but has enough uniqueness to stand out. The Black Sabbath influence manifests itself on the track “Run For Your Life” with it’s slow blues sounding power chords. Then the speed increases by several hundred miles an hour on “Clockwork Toy” only to even out a fraction on “No Way Out.” A middle ground between the previous two tracks, “No Way Out” is more a solid metal tune with all the ingredients in place. That carries on through the penultimate track to the power ballad closer “Never Change Your Mind.” An interesting but effective way to close out the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Crazy Nights
  2. Like Hell
  3. Heavy Chains
  4. Get Away
  5. We Can Be Together
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. Clockwork Toy
  8. No Way Out
  9. The Lines Are Down
  10. Never Change Your Mind


Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

The best thing about Loudness’s breakthrough into the US was it proved that heavy metal did not recognize nationalities or borders. “Thunder in the East” was magnificent proof that if the metal is good, people will listen to it, no matter where it comes from.

Next post: Bon Jovi- 7800 Farenheit

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: 












9 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Loudness- Thunder in the East”

  1. I have wanted this one for 35 years. Why have I not bought it yet? Time to go look at Discogs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You know, I’ve always wanted to but never listened to this one. I even have it in my streaming queue but just haven’t gotten to it yet. This write-up will be the push!

    Liked by 1 person

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