Popoff's NWOBHM books are written in chronological order, documenting the scene as it started rolling in the late 70's, and following it through the early 80's heyday. So to start my journey, I fired up my 1977 playlist, and started reading the chapter chronicling that same year. It was a little early for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene in '77, but it was cool to get into the mindset of that time, and see how things started rolling...plus you had some solid albums from AC/DC and Judas Priest, and the first Motorhead album, so things were already starting to pop up and make some noise.
In addition to those bands, there was some stuff that Popoff's book put on my radar, and one of the big albums was the debut from Quartz.
Truth be told, I'd heard this album before, but it never clicked with me, and I was toying with the idea of actually just deleting the songs off my iPod, and forgetting about them. I really didn't find it to be that interesting, and it had been a couple of years since I'd given it a spin. Somehow, this time was different. I listened to it once, and kind of got hooked on the lead off track, Mainline Riders, so I gave it a second listen...and then another and another. This album consumed me for a solid month. I don't know if it counts as one of the first NWOBHM albums, but damn, I'm putting it on my list.
Since I was obsessed with the album, of course I needed to buy the vinyl...original UK Jet pressing only obviously. The problem was, this thing seemed to not come cheap, as Discogs sellers were listing them up over the $60 range. I felt confident that I could get a better deal than that, and after a few weeks, I found an auction on eBay. The starting bid was around $25, and as the only person to pay it any attention, I walked away a winner.