The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a particularly exciting period in music history, thanks to a brief burst of creative euphoria that wrested heavy metal from the cold, not-quite-dead hands of many ailing ‘70s pioneers, injected punk rock’s D.I.Y. attitude, and gave birth to a new generation of head-bangers.

Virtually every branch that sprouted out of heavy metal’s sub-genre tree in the ensuing decades can be traced back to this exhilarating movement, and yet the number of long-term, mainstream NWOBHM success stories is surprisingly small, its list of best-selling LPs astonishingly short.

Just a few dozen releases from the era automatically roll off the tongues of most heavy metal fans, while scores more albums slowly drift into forgetfulness, but we intend to put a stop to all that! How, you ask? Why, with this gallery of the Top 10 NWOBHM albums you may not own yet … but should!

Meaning that we’ll ignore albums we assume you already posses (and if you don’t, go get them!) – namely every Iron Maiden album (yep!) as well as all the early Def Leppard records that (On Through the Night, High ‘n’ Dry); both of Venom’s first long-players (Welcome to Hell and Black Metal) as well as Saxon’s essential triplets (Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and Denim and Leather); and, finally, Diamond Head's seminal Lightning to the Nations.

Beyond these relatively universally known NWOBHM essentials, there are countless other albums we feel are as worthy as they were highly influential, so without further ado, flick through the gallery above to view the Top 10 NWOBHM Albums You May Not Own Yet … But Should, in alphabetical order.

You Think You Know Iron Maiden?