Steel Panther gives us their best snarly/pouty hair metal faces
HAIR BANDS. It's funny that an entire genre, beginning the early 80's, was described by a certain look instead of a certain sound but I guess that's a testament to how much image goes hand-in-hand with musical success (just ask Simon Cowell). This year, VH1 has declared 11/11/11 (today!) National Metal Day and we just wouldn't feel right if we didn't dedicate our weekly Top 10 list to the occasion. Metal may bring to mind some pretty heavy, dark characters but hair metal is a little bit of a hybrid: it's a cross between glamming it up and rocking out. So grab your hairspray and your axe, it's time for our Top 10 Hair Metal Bands!
"We are, we are the saints, we signed our life away / Doesn't matter what you think, we're gonna do it anyway / We are, we are the saints, one day you will confess / And pray to the saints of Los Angeles"
One of the most hardcore hair metal bands of all time, Motley Crue ruled the rock world as well as the radio waves in the 1980s. They really lived up to their bad-boy image: all of the band members were heavily involved in drugs & alcohol, and bassist Nikki Sixx was actually declared dead from an overdose (the song "Kickstart My Heart" was inspired by the incident). Their comeback album Saints of Los Angeles, released in 2008, showed that the band had staying power and are still rockin' around the world today.
"Her hair reminds me of a warm, safe place / Where as a child I'd hide / And pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by / Whoa, oh, oh, sweet child o' mine"
Another iconic band in the world of hair metal is none other than Guns N' Roses. Although the GNR is known for Axl Rose's wailing vocals and Slash's impressive guitar work, their image was also a major part of their success: Axl's long hair and bandana + Slash's poofy locks and top hat = one of the most recognizable groups of the 80s/90s!
"Turn it down you say / Well, all I got to say to you is time and time again I say / "No, no, no, no, no, no, no" / Tell me not to play"
When you think of hair metal, it's kind of hard not to picture Dee Snider's snarling face complete with caked on blush and lipstick, topped off with the curliest blond mop of hair imaginable. The members of Twisted Sister pretty much defined the look of hair metal: looking like women and not giving a care about it at all. Their song "I Wanna Rock" is also another staple in the glammed-up world of hair metal, because that's what all your rockers wanna do, right? ROCK!
"Every rose has its thorn / Just like every night has its dawn / Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song / Every rose has its thorn"
Perhaps best known today for his addictively trashy reality show Rock Of Love, Bret Michaels was once a young dude in a little band called Poison. This song is one of the best known rock power ballads out there and was penned by Michaels after he called his girlfriend from a payphone and realized she was cheating on him. The only woman he could every bring himself to trust again was Miley Cyrus — he let her cover this song in 2010.
"We've got each other and that's a lot, for love, just give it a shot / Woah, we're half way there, woah, livin' on a prayer / Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear / Woah, livin' on a prayer, livin' on a prayer"
Bon Jovi is one of the ultimate hair bands (have you SEEN Richie Sambora's hair, even to this day?!) with a glam 'tude. Jon Bon Jovi is rock's resident pretty-boy who can still rock out. It's been said that he plays this song when he does his hair in the morning, that way if his arms start to get tired from teasing it, all he has to do is remember "We're half way there".
"I'm no fool / Nobody's fool, nobody's fool / Never again, no, no / Nobody's fool, nobody's fool"
Here's a hair metal band that REALLY emphasizes the "hair" in metal: Cinderella!In typical hair metal fashion, the band name is entirely feminine, while their music and lyrics are hard rock n' roll. It's kind of hard to take them seriously with those poofy 'dos and pouts, though!
"Get up / Everybody's gonna move their feet / Get down / Everybody's gonna leave their seat / You gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City"
The make-up. The big hair. The leather jumpsuits. The platform boots. Is there anything about KISS that doesn't scream hair metal? We think not. Although their image is a little, er, feminine, bassist Gene Simmons spat blood, breathed fire, and clomped around spreading out his batwings from under his arms. Freaky. KISS was one of the founding fathers of glam rock with their signature catchphrase they stated before each show: "You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS"!
"Come on! Take a bottle, shake it up / Break the bubble, break it up / Pour some sugar on me, ooh, in the name of love / Pour some sugar on me, c'mon fire me up"
I'm sorry, but is this not the most singable hair metal song of all time? Def Leppard were always the kings of anthemic choruses, and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is their biggest and best. Mad props to drummer Rick Allen who lost his arm in a car crash but continues to drum! Amazing!
"I get up, and nothin' gets me down / You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around / And I know, baby, just how you feel / You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real"
The most goofy and fun-loving band on the hair metal list, Van Halen are known for lead singer David Lee Roth's colorful jumpsuits, big blonde hair, and stage leaps and kicks. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen is also one of the best guitar players in the music biz. Their biggest song, "Jump", shows off the group's silly personality and really stands the test of time: that synth hook is instantly recognizable!
"She's got the eyes of a panther / She said / 'Don't be afraid of heavy metal! / Don't be afraid to rock! To rock! To rock!'"
Hair metal is kept alive today by Steel Panther, penning lyrics that poke fun at the glam-rock world and exaggerating their hair and makeup for their live shows. They have a devoted fan following, from those who want to relive their 80s metal days to kids who just wanna rock out. Check out Streetdate's review on Steel Panther's new album, and even a sneak peek of the band in the studio!
What do you think of our ROCKIN' song choices? Let us know in the comments!
-AH & SJ