Favorite "Hair Metal" Albums

JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
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)
Since you talk about being a Swede - not wanting to wander too far off the subject - I can't help but feel a lot of the northern bands (Nightwish, Sabaton, HammerFall, Korpiklaani, sometimes Stratovarius) are treading quite close to pop, too, yet these are generally much more respected, although they tend to be kind of cheesy as well.
Don't get me wrong, I love all of those mentioned... but still, first of all how come so many people hate "bubblegum ladybender" and praise "bubblegum fairytale" at the same time? Me too, but I don't understand myself quite enough, that's sure.

Second of all - is there any more of a general acceptance in Northern Europe for the glam as well?
 
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Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Since you talk about being a Swede - not wanting to wander too far off the subject - I can't help but feel a lot of the northern bands (Nightwish, Sabaton, HammerFall, Korpiklaani, sometimes Stratovarius) are treading quite close to pop, too, yet these are generally much more respected, although they tend to be kind of cheesy as well.
Don't get me wrong, I love all of those mentioned... but still, first of all how come so many people hate "bubblegum ladybender" and praise "bubblegum fairytale" at the same time? Me too, but I don't understand myself quite enough, that's sure.
I've noticed this with non-metal genres too. Like progressive rock for example, has a tighter focus on hooks and melody than making something really technical or complex.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I have different take on this than a lot of you because I lived through the 80s.
Hair is a label that had nothing to do with music and everything to do with marketing.
It's this weird amalgamation of metal acts squeezed into hairspray and spandex and anthemic choruses sharing the stage, the airwaves and the magazine pages with pop bands shoehorned into leather and flashy guitar solos.
In the mid-80s, I saw Bon Jovi open for Judas Priest and Twisted Sister open for Iron Maiden.
What they all had in common was they were loud, but as far as the mainstream media went, they were all metal.
Some of what is thought of as hair is absolute shit - Poison being a good example - while others, like Van Halen, are excellent. A lot of the material in the opening post list is quite good.
 

JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
I've noticed this with non-metal genres too. Like progressive rock for example, has a tighter focus on hooks and melody than making something really technical or complex.
You mean like Opeth and/or Flower Kings? That's right, I didn't think of that.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Some cool tracks from "hair metal" albums:





 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
You mean like Opeth and/or Flower Kings? That's right, I didn't think of that.
Yea, Flower Kings in particular. But Opeth is a really good example, especially being a death metal band (or they were at one point).

I was thinking Flower Kings, Kaipa, Moon Safari, Beardfish (to a degree). This would actually be interesting as its own thread. :p
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
In the mid-80s, I saw Bon Jovi open for Judas Priest and Twisted Sister open for Iron Maiden.
What they all had in common was they were loud, but as far as the mainstream media went, they were all metal.
Obviously I wasn't around in the 80s, but this is how I felt when I was getting into Metal. My dad's collection was mostly just stuff from the 80s. There was classic metal stuff, thrash, some prog, and hair metal. To him, it's all Metal, the sub genre didn't matter much. And I notice that attitude quite a bit with people from his generation in America. So when I was getting into it, I'd go from Judas Priest to Winger to Dio to Iron Maiden to Van Halen and while I noticed some slight differences between these groups, it was all metal to me so close enough.

When I discovered internet forums, I was pretty shocked when I saw so much hate for hair metal. I remember even on this forum I thought it was bizarre that nobody else shared my love for Extreme. :p Sure they were pretty different from Maiden, but they had heavy guitars/drums and blistering solos.

Now that I've gotten into more different kinds of Metal (and music in general), I understand the attitude a bit better. It's definitely a bit closer to pop than other styles. But I like pop. I like big hooks and melodies. As long as there's not too much hair spray I can probably enjoy it. In small doses at least.

Extreme is still awesome though and totally transcends their peers.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
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)
I am one of the people who might be prejudiced about hair metal or glam metal (when I say glam, I mean hair). I often feel that image (stupid looks: clothes, make-up, haircuts, idiotic album titles, song titles and lyrics) is more important than good music. Or in some (or most!) cases: there is only image and there is no good music (this is a prejudice).

Then what do I find good music? Music that is catchy in my ears is good enough for me. Turbo is a weird album, because lyrically it could fall into glam, and visually (the looks) as well. But the music has such strong melodies that I can overcome these shitty, unnecessary aspects.

@Maturin

- what do you find so intesting in bands from a genre with these typical glam aspects. What in their music can't you find in other (hard)rock or metal music?

Let's see what comes out of this, because it could turn into an insightful discussion. Please do not be too agitated about some of my critics below, but it shows my "problem" with hair and glam metal.

Personally, when I see a bandname Hardcore Superstar, it turns me off immediately. What a stupid bandname.
Crazy Lixx. What a terrible band name. I am not in the least interested in checking out their music. This tracklist of a Crashdiet album is so annoying.

1. "Knokk 'em Down"
2. "Riot in Everyone"
3. Queen Obscene / 69 Shots"
4. "Breakin' the Chainz"
5. "Needle in Your Eye"
6. "Tikket"
7. "Out of Line"
8. "It's a Miracle"
9. "Straight Outta Hell"
10. "Back on Trakk"

As if it's cool to make mistakes on purpose.

- So what is it that attracts you and other people to glam metal? What is better in the music of people who come across so moronic?

This time, I am open for suggestions to try out a band with a shitty album title or lyrics. Suprise me! Which music would you think I like?
Maybe, I should just be blind for the image and realize that there is not difference with other rock and metal? If yes, then

- why are people attracted to this genre so specifically?

Most bands and titles mckindog has mentioned do not fit in that image (I have at least) of glam.

Dokken does not come across as a band where image is more important. No moronic traces.

Here's another question: when is it glam (or hair) and when is it AOR? E.g., FM is portrayed as an AOR band, but what's in essence the difference with glam?
Check it out:
 
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You know, Foro, Buckethead has trashed all my previous pompous attitudes, that I may have held, as to how an artist looks &/or behaves. Nothing to do with Glam or Hair Metal; same principle though. I'd imagine it's the same for Hair Metal for others here too. If the music is good, you can forget about the image. Or, don't forget about the image --& find it funny too. Goofy can be endearingly likeable.
 

JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
You know, Foro, Buckethead has trashed all my previous pompous attitudes, that I may have held, as to how an artist looks &/or behaves. Nothing to do with Glam or Hair Metal; same principle though. I'd imagine it's the same for Hair Metal for others here too. If the music is good, you can forget about the image. Or, don't forget about the image --& find it funny too. Goofy can be endearingly likeable.
I agree that image is and should be secondary... however, there are exceptions.



I honestly find it hard to take this band seriously. And it's not only about the make up. It's about the duck face, too.

On the other hand, I don't like corpse paint (which I've always felt it's closer to this than most people realise; a stupid gimmick anyway) and maybe it's not a coincidence my favourite black metal bands use corpse paint rarely or not at all (Enslaved, Borknagar, Vintersorg, Winterfylleth ... Darkthrone did use it, but then again, not in the past decade or so and I've always felt they're quite meta anyway), but overall it wouldn't probably make me shun a band or enjoy it less.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
While I get what you're saying, I realize you are attracted to an individual (Buckethead), but do not explore a genre in which this particular glam image is a dominant factor, where this particular image functions as a portal. So, I still hope the questions will be answered to delve deeper into this matter, considering this genre specifically.
On the other hand, I don't like corpse paint (which I've always felt it's closer to this than most people realise; a stupid gimmick anyway) and maybe it's not a coincidence my favourite black metal bands use corpse paint rarely or not at all (Enslaved, Borknagar, Vintersorg, Winterfylleth ... Darkthrone did use it, but then again, not in the past decade or so and I've always felt they're quite meta anyway), but overall it wouldn't probably make me shun a band or enjoy it less.
Black metal has unique qualities to its music. I can understand that attraction.
 
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JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
This would actually be interesting as its own thread. :p
I suggest we name it "The North Remembers... THE CHORUS!!! (or Of the Unprecedented Melodicity and Enticing Tunes of the Kingdom of Sweden, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Norway and the Kingdom of Denmark)" :D

While I get what you're saying, I realize you are attracted to an individual, but do not explore this genre in which this particular glam image is a dominant factor, where this particular image functions as a portal. So, I still hope the questions will be answered to delve deeper into this matter, considering this genre specifically.
I agree that the image might be a big part, however you still can usually recognise the genre by the sound alone. I mean, when I first put on Alice Cooper's Trash, I thought "Yep, that's glam alright", however I enjoyed the album. You could say Cooper's glammy and gimmicky (and maybe something else with a "g" and two "m"s) by nature, however I think he's quite a good songwriter and I like him for the albums alone. And except for two or three albums, he doesn't do glam/hair metal. But when he does, you know.

There are bands like Extreme, who sound like a regular glam band, but with riffs and solos by an undeniable virtuoso (Bettencourt). Yet I put them on and hear hair metal. I don't have to see them.
The image is terrible, though, I agree.
 

Jamie Laszlo

Invader
I have different take on this than a lot of you because I lived through the 80s.
Hair is a label that had nothing to do with music and everything to do with marketing.
It's this weird amalgamation of metal acts squeezed into hairspray and spandex and anthemic choruses sharing the stage, the airwaves and the magazine pages with pop bands shoehorned into leather and flashy guitar solos.
In the mid-80s, I saw Bon Jovi open for Judas Priest and Twisted Sister open for Iron Maiden.
What they all had in common was they were loud, but as far as the mainstream media went, they were all metal.
Some of what is thought of as hair is absolute shit - Poison being a good example - while others, like Van Halen, are excellent. A lot of the material in the opening post list is quite good.
I lived through it too. And I get in arguments sometimes when I try to tell people that Bon Jovi was considered metal at one time.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I'm going to have to revisit Extreme, because I don't remember them as 'hair', and yes, I did live through that era.
 

Maturin

Sköldpadda
Since you talk about being a Swede - not wanting to wander too far off the subject - I can't help but feel a lot of the northern bands (Nightwish, Sabaton, HammerFall, Korpiklaani, sometimes Stratovarius) are treading quite close to pop, too, yet these are generally much more respected, although they tend to be kind of cheesy as well.
Don't get me wrong, I love all of those mentioned... but still, first of all how come so many people hate "bubblegum ladybender" and praise "bubblegum fairytale" at the same time? Me too, but I don't understand myself quite enough, that's sure.

Second of all - is there any more of a general acceptance in Northern Europe for the glam as well?
Sabaton and Hammerfall are certainly not the most respected of bands within the metal community, but they're awfully popular with the general public. It doesn't exactly help their credibility that Hammerfall singer Joacim Cans has participated in a TV-show called Körslaget (Clash of the Choirs) which means even grandmas know him. They do seem to have more credibility abroad, though.

Not sure about the general acceptance of glam - none of my friends were into the same music as I was, and they thought the same of glam as I did of death metal, basically.

- what do you find so intesting in bands from a genre with these typical glam aspects. What in their music can't you find in other (hard)rock or metal music?
I like the fashion-aspect of it, with a lot of crazy guitars (take George Lynch's Tiger-guitar for example), make-up and fun, over-the-top stage clothes. It's more extrovert than much of metal that is extremely introvert. Unlike some metal musicians who take their craft 100% seriously, there's actually a very self-aware attitude in general - for me, that's one appeal. It's also aimed and appeal to both genders and not just to male metalheads. When I go to a glam metal show, listen to the bands, I'd say the audience is 50/50, sometimes even more girls. Girls who actually like the music, and weren't just dragged there by a boyfriend. Also younger people, less drunk people, in general just a more refreshing atmosphere.

Lyrical matters may be stupid/tongue-in-cheek - but I see much more appeal in stupid lyrics about sex, drugs & rock n roll than the Dungeons & Dragons of power metal, or some prog metal vocalist who likes to think he's a great poet... At least it knows it's stupid. In comparison, I don't see the same kind of self-awareness/willingness to acknowledge the stupidity in metal dudes who wear leather, studs, jeans jackets and have long hair. And I don't want to go to shows with bands who just look like average people - that, for me, just seems lazy, like they're not fully into it.

About the music itself, it's very direct pop-metal-songs without compromising my love for guitar riffs, guitar solos or good vocals. It's party music like AD/DC, but without the blues flavour, with more variation and more catchy melodies.

This time, I am open for suggestions to try out a band with a shitty album title or lyrics. Suprise me! Which music would you think I like?
Maybe, I should just be blind for the image and realize that there is not difference with other rock and metal? If yes, then
Hardcore Superstar - "Sensitive to the Light", off Dreamin' in a Casket (2007)
"Silence for the Peacefully", same band and album

Stupid bandname - check. Stupid, grammatically incoherent lyrics? Check. Awesome music? You bet.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
I'm going to have to revisit Extreme, because I don't remember them as 'hair', and yes, I did live through that era.
I don't really consider them hair either. Their first album maybe, but got progressively less glam with each album. More Queen/Beatles influence than Poison. A bit of grunge too in the 90s. Had they come out 10 years earlier, they'd be remembered as hard rock greats.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Thanks for your answer Maturin. Will read it better, later. Will definitely check the works, soon.
 

terrell39

Ancient Mariner
Saw Tom Keifer (singer/songwriter/lead guitarist for Cinderella) live last night at the Proof Rooftop Lounge in downtown Houston. Despite the talk through the years about him having medical problems with his voice, I could not tell last night. He sing (and screamed) his ASS off! Still a good lead guitarist too.

Long Cold Winter title track especially is where Tom got to showcase his lead guitar ability. Vocally, the most impressive song of the night was during the chorus of a Beatles cover With a Little Help From My Friends. The rockers Fallin' Apart At the Seams and Somebody Save Me I really enjoyed. I only wish he had played some songs from the Heartbreak Station and Still Climbing cds.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/tom-keifer/2018/the-proof-bar-houston-tx-4bec3bb2.html
 

Sth2112

Nomad
I just like Mötley crue and the first Skid row album when it comes to Glam rock. Also a song here and there from other bands like Ratt, Cinderella, TNT as well.

And I also don’t consider GNR glam either, but they are still one of my favorite bands!
 
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