Raven‘s John Gallagher is the first willing victim to take our Record Collection Dilemmas challenge!

Welcome back, Mr Gallagher – it’s been a while! Thanks for getting involved in our new series Record Collection Dilemmas, for which the premise is simple – Ten bands, thirty albums… and for reasons that haven’t been made clear you can only keep one from each band definitively, trade one for another from the band’s canon, and sell the third. Here are the bands and the albums – tell us which you’ll keep, trade or sell and the reasoning behind your decision…

First up is Black Sabbath, and the albums are Heaven and Hell, Born Again and Headless Cross
Heaven and Hell: Keep! Great album and a rebirth for the band… some classic songs and Geezer (Butler, bass) is on fire!
Born Again: Trade… although I’m tempted to keep as it’s just… so… HEAVY!!!
Headless Cross: Sell… to me it’s Heaven and Hell part nine!”

I can already tell I’m going to be in a minority over the course of this series as far as Headless Cross is concerned! The next band for your consideration is Rush, and the albums are Caress Of Steel, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire.
Caress of Steel: Keep… not my fave Rush album but a very important transitional one…
Power Windows: Trade – again, not my fave but I’d tape a few tunes off it first!
Hold Your Fire: Sell! definitely my least fave Rush album… an incredibly thin and tinny sound…”

Oh Dear – Hold Your Fire is my favourite Rush album! Oh well, moving on… Next is Iron Maiden, and the albums are Killers, Powerslave and Virtual XI
Killers: Trade after taping a few tunes like Wrathchild and Murders In The Rue Morgue (laughs at thought of taping an album).
Powerslave: Keep… other than a few clunkers it’s full of cool songs and Rime of the Ancient Mariner is their best ‘epic’ song hands down.
Virtual XI: Sell! Listened once and no thanks!”

Full agreement at last! Next up… Metallica, and their classic first three records Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master of Puppets.
Kill ‘Em All: Sell… cool album but they upped their game right after.
Ride The Lightning: Keep. It’s probably my fave… swamped in reverb and has an endless/pointless instrumental, but otherwise it kills.
Master of Puppets: Trade… heard it too many times. It’s a great album for me other than a few songs”.

Next in line for the chop/salvation are three albums from Alice Cooper in the shape of Goes To Hell, Special Forces and Trash.
“Sell! I’m sticking with the early seventies Alice!”

Fair enough! We’ll move on to something else then. What about Judas Priest? The albums you have to choose between are Sad Wings of Destiny, Ram It Down and Nostradamus
Sad Wings of Destiny: Keep! Absolutely brilliant album hands down! Bought it when it came out in ‘76 and converted all my mates to this crazy new band!
Ram It Down: Trade… A couple of OK songs and Rob (Halford) sings brilliantly… but swamped in reverb and chorus… and that drum machine – ugh!
Nostradamus: Sell… I appreciate they tried something different but those cheesy keyboards? Nope!”

Something slightly less metal now – Queen. And the albums I’d like you to think about are Queen II, The Game and Innuendo.
Queen II: Keep! Utterly brilliant and showed what they were capable of. A one of a kind band!
The Game: Sell. A couple of decent songs but not their best…
Innuendo: Trade.. some brilliant tracks on here and some of Freddie’s best vocals for sure…”

I must admit I only threw in The Game as it features my own fave Queen track, Dragon Attack! Let’s have a chat about Brit rockers UFO next, and specifically their albums Force It, No Place To Run and Sharks
Force It: Keep! SCHENKER! Say no more!
No Place To Run: Trade… A couple of good ones on here but too many baffling ones.
Sharks: Sell .. not familiar with it unfortunately”.

I’m a Paul Chapman fan so it’s NPTR all day long for me – Sharks was a 2002 album that featured Michael Schenker during his ill-starred return to the band. You’d probably enjoy it! The penultimate band for you to deliberate on is Thin Lizzy – and the albums are Jailbreak, Chinatown and Thunder and Lightning
Jailbreak: Keep! The band finds its feet! Brilliant album!
Chinatown: Sell. The Snowy (White, guitars) albums lose some fire for sure..’
Thunder and Lightning: Trade – Still great though and  (guitarist John) Sykes brings that fire back for sure”.

More agreement! Okay, we’ve reached the end – the final band is Queensrÿche, with the albums Rage For Order, Hear in the Now Frontier and The Verdict
“Sell ‘em all! Boring!”

Haha OK – Always better to realise something’s cash value if you’re not satisfied with the product I guess – thanks , as ever, for taking part!