Formed in 1989 in Connecticut, the band quickly moved to L.A. where they were signed almost immediately and had their debut album out in 1990. The timing was perfect as record companies were over-saturating the market with the next big Glam Band or Hair Band as it has been so horrendously called over the years. Steelheart it that bill nicely as lead singer Miljenko Matijevic had the pipes and the looks. The band exploded on to the scene with their self-titled debut and saw the album go to #40. They quickly released their follow-up, ‘Tangled in the Reins’, in 1992 and it was dead on impact.
Then tragedy struck while on tour for the 2nd record. An unsecured light truss fell on to the stage, crushing Miljenko and breaking his nose, cheekbone, jaw and twisting his spine up severely. It took him years to recover and eventually in 1996 he made a comeback with ‘Wait”. The album didn’t do anything. Years went by and there was nothing from the band. Then in 2006, he re-emerged with a new band, same name, and released their fourth album, ‘Good 2B Alive’ in 2008. Again not much notice then thanks to Frontiers, 2017 saw them return once more with “Through Worlds of Stardust”. And here we are a few years later and finally ranking all five of their albums from Worst to First.
If you haven’t heard them before, they are worth checking out, and yes, even the worst has some great stuff. I hope you enjoy!
THE WORST – ‘WAIT’ (1996):
The band’s 1996 comeback had high hopes. After Miljenko’s accident, he was hoping to revitalize his career with a new Steelheart album. They changed their sound like every Glam rock band did in the mid-90’s to a much darker and heavier album. The opening track, “We All Die Young”, would actually go on to be featured in the movie “Rock Star” in 2001 giving new life to the song. But that was 5 years after this album release so this album stalled out and did nothing at the time. The album did have some solid tracks including the songs “Live 2 Die” and the “Ahh Song” which were promising. Then the album went in to a lull and the middle batch of songs were not all that exciting. It did end on a high note with “Shangrila”. But all-in-all, it was a dull album with too much filler and not much killer.
#4 – ‘THROUGH WORLDS OF STARDUST (2017):
Now, here is the thing. These next two albums are both really good and I could easily switch them between either slot depending on my mood. Right now, this one lands at #4. Their most recent release, “Through Worlds of Stardust”, came to us thanks for Frontiers Records who likes to bring back a lot of those 80/90’s Glam bands and thank them for that if you get the chance. The band goes back to that early 90’s sound and Miljenko hasn’t lost much on those vocals. The opening track “Stream Line Savings” proves they still have it. You also get “You Got Me Twisted”, “Lips of Rain” and the final track “I’m So In Love With You” and you have a solid album with only a couple lulls. If you want to be taken back to their early time and not listen to their early albums, then this is where you want to go.
#3 – ‘GOOD 2B ALIVE’ (2008):
I remember when this came out as I was so excited to know they were back, I missed their 1996 album, but rectified that right after I got this. This wasn’t what I was expecting as it was modern rock and not the old glam, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t care. “Samurai” was a killer opening track and the band didn’t let up much on this one. You also get “LOL”, “I Breathe” and the title track “Good 2B Alive”. This album excited me for that fact they were able to adapt to a new sounded and make it believable…at least to me. The album didn’t do all that hot and that is a shame. If you want to rock out, then you need to grab this one.
#2 – ‘STEELHEART’ (1990):
Coming in at #2, is the debut album and it is nothing short of amazing. Again, like with my ability to switch #3 and #4 at any given moment, I can do the same with this one and the #1. It depends on my mood I guess, but this time around the debut fell to #2. Only because I really felt ‘Tangled in the Reins” was slightlymore consistent. There is not denying the hit on this one as “I’ll Never Let You Go” is a beast of a track. Those high notes Miljenko can hit are freaking insane. But this album was more than that hit. You can’t go wrong with “Can’t Stop Me Lovin’ You”, “Everbody Loves Eileen” and “Love Ain’t Easy” and the ballad “She’s Gone”. If you like that era, this is a must have and must listened to album. Get on that and remedy it if you missed it originally.
#1 – ‘TANGLED IN THE REINS’ (1992):
The follow-up to the debut, ‘Tangled in the Reins’ delivered the goods in spades but sadly the genre was dying at the time and quick and painful death thanks to grunge and the over-saturation of bands. This album is a celebration of that era and it has everything you could want. Heavy rockers, “Loaded Mutha” and “Steelheart”, and the classic power ballads, “Mama Don’t You Cry” as well as “All Your Love”. They even have a little sleazy with “Sticky Side Up” and even a little funkiness to “Electric Love Child”. From front to back, this is a solid album with little to no missteps. Do yourself a favor and grab these first two if nothing else, you won’t be disappointed.
And there you have it, the Steelheart studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!