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4.21 | 56 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1983

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Balls to the Wall (5:43)
2. London Leatherboys (3:57)
3. Fight It Back (3:33)
4. Head Over Heels (4:24)
5. Losing More Than You've Ever Had (5:07)
6. Love Child (3:34)
7. Turn Me On (5:11)
8. Losers and Winners (4:19)
9. Guardian of the Night (4:24)
10. Winter Dreams (4:53)
11. Up to the Limit (live)* (5:02)
12. Head Over Heels (live)* (5:57)

Total Time: 56:11


- Udo Dirkschneider / vocals
- Herman Frank / guitars, backing vocals
- Wolf Hoffmann / guitars, backing vocals
- Peter Baltes / bass, backing vocals
- Stefan Kaufmann / drums

About this release

Released December 5, 1983
Label: RCA (Germany) Portrait (US)

There are two different remasters of "Balls to the Wall". Sony issued a remastered version in 2001 as part of their 'The Metal Masters' series, which contains live versions of "Head over Heals" and "Love Child" as bonus tracks. In 2002, another remastered version was released as part of the 'BMG Remastered Edition' series. The 2002 remaster contains two live bonus tracks which are noted with an * in the track listing.

Thanks to Time Signature, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Balls to the Wall finds Accept pulling off a masterpiece of what I like to think of as "anthem metal" - metal with strong, punchy lyrics that seem to be crafted for crowds to chant along to. Accept's major influence on this front is Judas Priest, but here they match Priest at their own game, and at the same time aren't afraid to tackle subject matter which at the time was decidedly risky by presenting sympathetic takes on oft-overlooked subcultures. London Leatherboys is supposedly not so much about the gay scene as bikers - Love Child, however, is about sexuality and gender questioning and all that, topics which some quarters of metal still seem reluctant to address (and some in the scene are actively hostile to) to this day.

Despite taking on subjects that the conventional wisdom at the time might have thought were commercial suicide, Accept instead made this one of their biggest successes, and it's not hard to see why - where the material isn't quite as fast as aggressive as the previous two albums, it makes up for it by being infectiously catchy. It isn't quite as much to my taste, since the whole "anthem metal" approach tends to leave me a little cold and I feel like it suffers after repeated listens a bit more than Restless & Wild or Breaker do, but I respect what they're doing here.
It was "Balls To The Wall" that etched Accept's name to the stone as one of the reigning heavy metal act from Germany. Empowered by a prominent guitarist, Herman Frank, which later joined Victory and Sinner, the band's fifth album was their most successful album ever, selling 2 million copies worldwide and attained Gold certification in America. Their musical style here is a straight forward heavy metal with a mix of chugging riffs from AC/DC and the British metal god, Judas Priest, but somehow they incorporated a lot of melodic value to the arrangement.

The title track, is a midtempo classic with a huge gangshout chorus, widely regarded as a classic metal anthem and their concert regular. Udo's voice is as rough as Brian Johnson and if you're a big AC/DC follower, would be an obvious lie if you don't like this track. "Fight It Back" has a great chorus and check out the thrilling solos, one of my fave, together with "Love Child", bursting a furious riffage accompanied with a fast-paced rhythm. "Losing More Than You've Ever Had" is a decent commercial attempt but failed on my ears. I pick "Losers and Winners" and "Guardian of The Night" instead, which are better in my opinion.

"Balls To The Wall" is a nice introduction to the band if you're trying to get to know them. It has a balance proportion of heavy metal, melodic touch, and hard rock, and most of the songs here are highly enjoyable with only couple of passable tracks. Four stars is clearly deserved!
Time Signature
Solingen leather boys...

Genre: heavy metal

"Balls to the Wall" is a legendary metal album which is liked and respected by many metal fans and metal musicians. And that's not a coincidence. In many ways, it represents all the good things about 80s metal, and I think that's why it remains a classic to this day.

There's a tendency today to deride 80s metal for its general silliness, but "Balls to the Wall" is one of those albums that debunk this sort of criticism. Musically, every song is rock solid, and every song contains at least one guitar riff with balls (to the wall). The title track is no less than perfect, I think - it has everything: the riffs, the lyrics, the vocals, the chorus, the over-the-top solo; it's an instant headbanger. "Love Child" is musically a en epitome of good 80s metal with driving riffs, kick-ass guitar solos and a great chorus. On top of that it's a song about homosexuality and identity, a topic which was probably controversial for its time, and which is yet another example of how metal lyrics deals with lyrics that mainstream society is scared of. On top of the music, Udo Dirkschneider's vocals are absolutely wonderful. He has a distinct and unusual voice, and it is, in part, his voice that defines Accept's sound.

It's quite simple, the, any metal collection would be incomplete without this album.

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