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Nestor Frontman Tobias Gustavsson Lists His Top 10 Heaviest ’80s Rock Classics

Nestor lead singer Tobias Gustavsson outlines his Top 10 favourite 1980s hard rock classics that were influential to him and the band in the writing of ‘Kids in a Ghost Town’ (Napalm Records).



Debut albums typically are issued months, maybe a year or two after a band’s formation, but things aren’t always so easy. In the best case of better late than never you’ll ever see, hard rockers Nestor released their debut album, Kids in a Ghost Town, 32 years after first forming in 1989. The Swedish outfit reunited to ensure that this album saw the light of day, and Napalm Records stepped in to help facilitate this long-lost record’s release. The record is very much a product of its time, turning back the clock to when there was purity and virtue in hard rock music, which was popularized at the time by acts like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Journey.

Highly regarded in their native Sweden, Nestor has caught the recognition of many gigantic hard rock acts, including Alice Cooper and KISS, for whom they both opened. Nostalgia has become a very significant element to rock n’ roll music lately, and Nestor checks all the boxes of a group that can satisfy that desire while still coming across as fresh and new. You could say that they are newcomers, hungry for more, in the most unusual sense possible.

Today we are joined by Nestor lead singer Tobias Gustavsson who outlines for us his Top 10 favourite 1980s hard rock classics that were influential to him and the band in the writing of Kids in a Ghost Town.

1. Dio – “The Last in Line” (1984, Warner Bros. Records)

Ronnie James Dio, the king of storytelling, mesmerizing us with his awesome vocals. A beautiful soft intro meeting chopping riffs. Excellent example of great ’80s hard rock!”

2. KISS – “Creatures of the Night” (1982, Casablanca)

“The one, the only… KISS! Hard to choose a song from these guys; all of them is a part of history in some way. But this one has loads of sweet ingredients, like heart, heaviness and power, so therefore it’s in the list.”

3. Yes – “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (1983, Atco)

“That riff, creating a time stamp and an ID never to be taken away. Awesome musicians, talented in both performance and songwriting. A great inspiration to our band.”

4. AC/DC – “Back In Black” (1980, Atlantic Records)

“Straight forward like nothing else. No bullshit given, and none taken. ‘True to the core’ rock n’ roll.”

5. Whitesnake – “Love Ain’t No Stranger” (1984, Geffen Records)

“Classic rock n’ roll about love and heartbreak. No one does it better. Great song with an ass-kicking David Coverdale leading the way for this great band!”

6. Van Halen – “Panama” (1984, Warner Bros. Records)

Eddie Van Halen, I’ll say it again… Eddie Van Halen! The things done to and with a guitar on this masterpiece of a song, just amazing! The band is an unstoppable unit on this record, chills to the core, great stuff!”

7. Yngwie Malmsteen – “Rising Force” (1988, Polydor Records)

“One of (guitarist) Jonny’s (Wemmenstedt) greatest inspirations in the aspect of playing a guitar. There is no one like Yngwie, speed, accuracy, innovation. A must-have in every ’80s vinyl collection.”

8. Helloween – “Eagle Fly Free” (1988, RCA Records)

“German rock at its best. One of (keyboardist) Martin’s (Frejinger) favourite bands. Great performers, great musicians, long live that double kick!”

9. Judas Priest – “Freewheel Burning” (1984, Columbia Records)

“This album was spinning hard on (bassist) Marcus’ (Åblad) vinyl player. Rob’s (Halford) vocals together with power riffs, awesomeness. A punch of metal straight to the face!”

10. Ozzy Osbourne – “Shot in the Dark” (1986, Epic Records)

“Beautiful song. Ozzy really finds the magic in the minor chords in this one. His unique style of singing makes a match made in heaven with the build of this song. Again, a beautiful song!”

Artwork for the album ‘Kids In A Ghost Town’ by Nestor

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