1981 in heavy metal music

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List of years in heavy metal music (table)

This is a timeline documenting the events of heavy metal in the year 1981.

Newly formed bands

Albums & EPs


  • April: AC/DC's album "For Those About to Rock We Salute You" is finally released in the United States.
  • September: Iron Maiden's lead singer Paul Di'Anno leaves band due to heavy drinking, and is replaced by Bruce Dickinson.
  • Eric Carr joins Kiss on drums and makes his songwriting debut with "Under the Rose".
Preceded by
Heavy Metal Timeline
Succeeded by
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