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    Best and Worst Hair Metal Songs

    The Best[edit | edit source]

    "Bang Your Head" by Quiet Riot[edit | edit source]

    Quiet Riot is known by metal fans as their own breed. Like nu-metal, hair metal tried hard to escape the "metal" tag and become "glam rock" or "arena rock". But Quiet Riot was always ready to embrace their chosen genre, titling their third and fourth albums Metal Health (1983) and Critical Condition (1984). Their record sleeves also featured an asylum inmate in a steel mask. Even on those records that came after the massive success of “Cum On Feel the Noize”, the band maintained a level of heaviness via singles like “The Wild and The Young” that many of their peers abandoned in favor of pinker pastures.

    They did manage to have a few crappy albums like QR III (1986), QR IV (1988), and Road Rage (2017), the latter two of which don't even have Kevin DuBrow.

    "I Wanna Rock" by Twisted Sister[edit | edit source]

    A song for which the music video involves a bunch of students transforming into Dee Snider and crew. Twisted Sister themselves seem to have actually paid attention to tunes like this and recognized the awesome sonic power of tracks like "Under The Blade", "The Kids Are Back", and "I Am (I'm Me)". Dudes from outer-borough New York dressing in barbarian drag and singing about strutting down alleyways — who could ask for anything more?

    "Hellion" by W.A.S.P.[edit | edit source]

    In many ways, W.A.S.P. felt like a parody metal band; the fact that they weren’t and that their early material seems honestly invested in the depravity it promotes makes them one of the cooler hair metal acts in history. With blood-spitting, chainsaw-crotched frontman Blackie Lawless singing about f***ing like a beast and guitarist Chris Holmes drinking enough vodka to make Lemmy gag, W.A.S.P. existed solely to excite degenerates and horrify parents. Unfortunately, the band is no longer what it was.

    "Slave to the Grind" by Skid Row[edit | edit source]

    "Slave the Grind" and the band's overall style are more cheesy, funky thrash than glam. But because tracks like "I Remember You" and "In a Darkened Room" blew up on MTV, they probably alienated a lot of fans who would’ve loved them. A track like “Money Business” and the title track of 1989’s Youth Gone Wild were more akin to a band like Accept or even Megadeth, standing taller and angrier than the hits of their peers. One needs only watch frontman Sebastian Bach partying with Slayer at the end of the Live Intrusion video to know these dudes had more steel to them than most.

    "Kickstart My Heart" by Mötley Crüe[edit | edit source]

    The most aggressive Mötley Crüe song (probably even to thrash levels) since Too Fast for Love (1981) and Shout at the Devil (1983), with Nikki Sixx's roaring guitars and talk box abuse.

    That being said, the band has sucked since Theatre of Pain (1985) and the other songs on Dr. Feelgood (1989) are crap. These guys are probably the worst hair metal flash-in-the-pans next to Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and Poison. This song, however, really stuck when they threw it at the wall.

    "Hurricane Eyes" by Loudness[edit | edit source]

    As hair metal blew up, every country threw a band into the ring; for Japan, that band was Loudness. Rather than simply ape the more sparkly acts of the States and Europe, Loudness took their metal seriously, bringing the fist-pumping chops and battle-cry vocals of the NWOBHM to the mix.

    This song and their deeper cuts like "Strike of the Sword" and "Soldier of Fortune" just sank Loudness' hooks into fans of faster bands like Raven and Judas Priest, thus making them one of the greatest hair metal bands ever.

    "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen[edit | edit source]

    A glam/heavy/thrash/speed metal combo that's one of the best songs on the 1984 album. There are no synths, and Edward's tap solos are still insanely fast. It's also not cheesy, unlike the keyboard-driven 1984 tracks like "Jump" or the band's Hagar-era fare. Once David Lee Roth left, however, Van Halen just sucked and became reliant on synth-pop crap like "Dreams".

    "Signs" by Tesla[edit | edit source]

    Known as the "man's thinking band", Tesla's music (like this song, for instance) has very intellectual subject matter. This is also a sign that not every hair metal song is an anthem, a party song, or a sentimental ballad.

    The Worst[edit | edit source]

    "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard[edit | edit source]

    This is one of Def Leppard's worst recordings and exactly the kind of gushy tripe that has turned people against glam metal over the years. Coming from the 1987 album Hysteria, this song is all-but impossible to sit through without cringing. It just makes you want to stare despondently out of a window, watching the raindrops bounce on the glass as you wonder why you didn't just put on a Judas Priest or Twisted Sister album instead.

    If the miserable nature of the song isn't enough to convince you, then the cringe-worthy songwriting will certainly do the job. It's best just to chalk this one up as a sickly mistake by already one of the worst hair bands.

    "Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford[edit | edit source]

    This song just smacks of over-processed cheese like the rest of Lita's '80s output. And why is it that when hard rockers finally team up with other hard rockers, it’s for a ballad (in Ford's case, "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Ozzy Osbourne)? If you’re going to duet on a ballad, call Barry Manilow!

    "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi[edit | edit source]

    Yes, Richie Sambora's use of talk-box is great like Peter Frampton's, but that doesn't make this song any less cheesy or horrible.

    "Round and Round" by RATT[edit | edit source]

    What might've we all learned after hearing this song? To never sell out for cash. RATT somehow betrayed their heavy metal roots just to make more money. I bet people respect Iron Maiden or Judas Priest a hell of a lot more than they do RATT.

    "To Be With You" by Mr. Big[edit | edit source]

    Mr. Big can't even categorize themselves as “metal”. This song proves that they're just terrible coffee shop acoustic musicians with big hair. They harmonize like a barbershop quartet and the drummer sits in the back clapping his hands. Mr. Big basically existed so that we’d better appreciate modestly talented bands like Tesla.

    "Carrie" by Europe[edit | edit source]

    You're kidding, right? Europe had more hits from their infamous hair metal era than "The Final Countdown"? Their original guitar player was basically inspired to leave because millions were buying the album, radio and MTV were playing this song and "The Final Countdown", and Europe themselves were basically questioning what they'd done.

    "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger[edit | edit source]

    This song basically makes Night Ranger the “Air Supply of heavy metal", despite Brad Gillis proving himself as Randy Rhoads’ successor in Ozzy Osbourne’s band. Not only is it hammy, but it leans way more towards soft rock and AOR than metal. Jack Blades would also later form Damn Yankees with Tommy DeShaw of Styx and Ted Nugent, an even worse hair band than these guys.

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