Well well well – it looks like hair metal is back! With the news that The Darkness have reformed and are going to be undertaking a world tour, Van Halen with Diamond David Lee Roth on vocals set to headline the upcoming Soundwave Festival along with Alice Cooper, and a heavily rumoured tour by Motley Crue later this year with Brett Michaesl of Poison supporting, it looks like hair metal is having its biggest resurgence in 20 years since Nirvana’s Nevermind effectively killed the genre. We take a look over our favourite 10 hair metal bands.
Fronted by Sebastian Bach, who eventually left the band to go solo, the band are fondly remembered for their ultimate overblown hair metal ballad ‘I Remember You.’
The ultimate LA Sunset Strip show ponies, their music has stood up reasonably well, with ‘Fallen Angel’ and ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ all commercial radio staples. ‘Unskinny Bop’ was, and shall always remain entirely shit, however.
Germany’s token success story in the hair metal scene, the band were already ridiculously old when they first sampled success in the 1980s, with the band having existed in one form or another since 1965. However, it was the cringeworthy ballad ‘Wind of Change’ that propelled them to world stardom.
Sheffield, England’s best performer in the hair metal stakes, Def Leppard managed to combine a one armed drummer with stadium friendly, if entirely disposable hair metal and a knack for a catchy chorus.
Few artists ever embraced shlock horror stage theatrics quite like Alice Cooper. While he had been around since the late 1960s, Cooper managed to perfect the hair metal sound in the 1980s with songs like ‘Poison’.
Three words sum up the highlights of Van Halen’s career – ERUPTION! PANAMA! JUMP! If you don’t know these songs off by heart you’re not a real music fan!
The Dee Snyder fronted Twisted Sister were one of the ultimate clichéd hair metal bands – big dumb guitar licks and lyrics, and a front man who took hair metal’s fondness for eye make up to the extreme – looked like a cheaply dressed drag queen.
They might have started off with a hair metal image and Axl Rose’s coiffured hear teased in to a massive bouffant, but Guns n’ Roses would ultimately be the most successful of all the hair metal bands, their blues and rock edge propelling them to the role of the biggest band in the world until Axl Rose went mad and the band as fans loved them turned in to Axl and a revolving door of session musos.
New Jersey’s finest, Bon Jovi were probably single handedly responsible for any holes in the ozone layer above that US state, such was their fondness for hairspray. Nonetheless, don’t tell us you can’t hear ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ when you’ve had a few and not want to play air guitar along to it.
The ultimate hair metal band, that combined one of the most debauched reputations in rock n’ roll, along with a penchant for strippers, hookers and hard drugs, as well as for writing catchy big dumb stadium rockers such as ‘Shout At The Devil’, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and ‘Kickstart My Heart’.