Okay, it’s time for my picks of the top four glam metal bands. How did I come up with this list? I definitely considered the image. Glam bands have the big hair, the makeup (dark eyeliner must have been at a premium in the 1980’s!) and the tight denim jeans, leather pants, or spandex. Oh, and you can’t forget the headbands to hold back all that teased hair! Also part of the image was the partying hard all night. True glam metal bands had tattoos, partied all night with any number of willing women and may even have spent some time in jail. The look was almost feminine, but they were the epitome of bad boys. The combination drove us girls crazy!
Okay, okay, now about the music. They had hard guitar riffs and there was often a guitar solo in the songs. There was a hook that was almost pop, but just had a harder edge to it. The choruses could be easily memorized and belted out by fans. The genre emerged in a big way off the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California in the 1980’s.
More after the warp:
The image of glam metal bands had many rock acts as inspiration, including KISS, the New York Dolls and Aerosmith. Twisted Sister formed in 1972 and some consider them the first glam metal band who achieved success. Van Halen emerged in 1978 on the Sunset Strip. They wrote songs that highlighted the guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen. David Lee Roth was the lead vocalist, and his image was certainly glam. Van Halen was one of the originators of glam metal. Def Leppard’s album HIGH AND DRY in 1981 also had a huge impact on glam metal.
My number four pick of the top four glam metal bands of all time is QUIET RIOT. This group paved the way for glam metal to be considered by mainstream media. Their song CUM ON FEEL THE NOISE was the first heavy metal song to make the top 5 on the Hot 100 Singles Chart. The album METAL HEALTH was the first heavy metal debut album to reach number one in the United States. They were truly pioneers of glam metal and others enjoyed the benefits of their success.
My number three pick is BON JOVI with their SLIPPERY WHEN WET album in 1986. Now, I know this one will be controversial because of what they have become since that album. However, remember the songs YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME, LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER, and WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE. SLIPPERY sold over 12 million copies worldwide and this album is credited with opening the genre to women. In fact, this was the first glam metal album I ever bought, and I have never looked back! This album was a gate to commercial success in the mainstream media with the constant promotion of the videos on MTV.
My number two pick is POISON. What is there to say? BRET MICHAELS was glam metal image at its best. He and his band have sold over 30 million albums worldwide and have had six songs in the top 10 singles list. Between FALLEN ANGEL, LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN, and TALK DIRTY TO ME they are definitely one of the top selling glam bands from the Sunset Strip.
My number one pick is my absolute favourite glam metal band of all time: MOTLEY CRUE. They certainly have the party image down! They have sold over 80 million albums worldwide. They continue to write and perform. Their newest album SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES was one of my favourites they have done. They continue to tour and continue to inspire newer acts.
A few honourable mentions who were on my list of considerations and are also trendsetters in this genre of music: W.A.S.P., Lita Ford, Cinderella, Stryper, Winger, Whitesnake, Warrant, Skid Row, RATT and Guns N Roses (who would have been in my list except that they refuse to be considered glam metal). That’s my list. Feel free to disagree and continue the debate!
What a motley crue,
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