Favorite "Hair Metal" Albums

Jamie Laszlo

I was never a big fan of hair metal. (Back in the 80s “hair metal” wasn’t a term yet. We just used to say “pussy metal”.) But it’s hard to decide what is and what isn’t considered hair metal. Is Van Halen hair metal? Their’ first few albums may not be, but 1984 might be. 1980’s Scorpions kinda is…but 1970’s Scorpions is not. Post 1988 Bon Jovi is not…but pre 1988 might be.

So I created the best list I could while making my own judgement on what is and what isn’t hair metal.

30 Favorite “Hair Metal” Albums:

  1. Dokken- Under Lock and Key2
  2. Krokus- Headhunter
  3. Dokken- Tooth and Nail
  4. Cinderella- Long Cold Winter
  5. Junkyard- Junkyard
  6. Def Leppard- High ‘N’ Dry
  7. Guns N’ Roses- Appetite for Destruction
  8. Scorpions- Love at First Sting
  9. D.A.D.- No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims
  10. Def Leppard- Pyromania
  11. Van Halen- 1984
  12. Junkyard- Sixes, Sevens & Nines
  13. Mötley Crüe- Shout at the Devil
  14. Guns ‘N’ Roses- G ‘N’ R Lies
  15. Dokken- Back for the Attack
  16. David Lee Roth- Eat ‘Em and Smile
  17. Dangerous Toys- Dangerous Toys
  18. Cinderella- Night Songs
  19. Scorpions- Blackout
  20. Y&T- Ten
  21. Great White- …Twice Shy
  22. Krokus- The Blitz
  23. Great White- Once Bitten…
  24. Mötley Crüe- Dr. Feelgood
  25. Giuffria- Silk + Steel
  26. House of Lords- House of Lords
  27. Tangier- Four Winds
  28. Whitesnake- Whitesnake
  29. Y&T- In Rock We Trust
  30. Bon Jovi- 7800° Fahrenheit


Ancient Mariner
Not a fan...but I'll admit it's fun. And I'll also admit that some of the bands actually had talent....

But I can dig the idea about just partying and having fun - seems like a cool idea for metal!



The very model of a modern Major-General
I remember I used to like Skid Row - Slave to the Grind, though I haven't heard it in a long time.

Also this thread definitely need some Extreme, if only for the uncanny talent of Nuno Bettencourt. So le it be Pornografitti. ;)


The very model of a modern Major-General
Skid Row - Slave To The Grind is a fantastic album...BUT! I don't think I would ever call it hair metal. Their first album yes...But Slave To The Grind was much heavier!

Probably my mistake - I have always considered them "hair", though heavier and less silly than the norm.

I too think Extreme are hair metal, but I don't think that's in any way offensive to them - inexact, maybe, as they've always tried to include some funk-metal elements as well - but I don't think any genre is bad in itself. And I honestly believe Extreme are the best. When I first heard Flight/He-Man Woman Hater, I was searching for my jaw in the basement for quite a while.

Jamie Laszlo

I am not a huge fan of this genre as well. You won’t find any Winger, Warrant, White Lion, Slaughter, Poison or Bullet Boys on my list. So I am kinda picky when it comes to “hair bands”. I guess I could have included Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry. That's not a terrible album.


Ancient Mariner
Well, it's a fine line of course. Sebastian Bach as a person was a poster boy for this genre back then in Kerrang etc....But I feel that as a band, Skid Row, very quickly turned their attention to the hard rock genre.....


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Extreme - Pornograffitti

Not their best album overall, but I wouldn't classify their later work as hair metal. Even Pornograffitti has a bit more to offer than what you'd expect from the genre. Nuno Bettencourt is also in my top 5 guitarists, huge talent.

I also like the first Winger and Enuff Z'Nuff albums. Used to be really into hair metal, not so much anymore but those are three that have stuck with me.

Jamie Laszlo

@Jamie Laszlo

You want to start a hair metal thread without Warrant? Are you kidding me???

Warrant is classic...

I wasn't a fan. And I would even go as far to say that Cherry Pie is the worst hair band single ever released. Good video...but awful, awful, lazily-written song. And I mean the melody is lazy...not the lyrics. Dumb lyrics are fine in a party song. But that melody...ugh.


I am a big of the whole 'pop metal' side of things, but the funny thing about the "hair metal" label is that there's always someone saying "Dokken wasn't hair metal", and "Europe wasn't hair metal" just because those bands we're actually good and "hair metal" is sort of looked down upon. The two bands mentioned here have something in common - they started out somewhere else, did the image for a while when it was popular, and then continued on with other things. Does that make them "true" hair metal bands, or were they just 'faking it' as those opposed to the image but love the bands like to tell you? Personally, I don't care - it's ridiculous!

Anyway, being a Swede, I grew up and started listening to music right when the glam metal revival wave here peaked. A lot of bands took the Mötley Crüe-thing straight off, others tried to interpret it in new ways. Some of my first concerts was with bands like Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar, and it is only afterwards that I've discovered the bands that started the whole thing. The only thing that can be said for both waves is that quality varied, but there were some super-great stuff in both.

Here are some great albums:

Dokken - Under Lock and Key (1985)
Dokken - Back for the Attack (1987)
Dokken - Tooth and Nail (1984)
Hardcore Superstar - Dreamin' in a Casket (2007)
Hardcore Superstar - Hardcore Superstar (2005)
Europe - The Final Countdown (1986)
Europe - Out of this World (1988)
Crazy Lixx - Loud Minority (2007)
Crazy Lixx - New Religion (2009)
Crashdiet - Rest in Sleaze (2005)
Crashdiet - The Unattractive Revolution (2007)