My Top 10 Favourite Hair Metal Bands: Part 1

Most people when you mention the words Hair Metal in the same sentence think of boys that look like girls, long hair, lip gloss, spandex and lots of leather…The defining criteria for being a Hair Metal Band is that the lead vocalist is prettier than your sister.

Call them Hair Bands, Glam Rock, Hair Metal or anything you want, it doesn’t change the fact that some of the best bands of the 80’s and 90’s were overlooked because of their image or unfairly being lumped into this category by the type of music they played. The onset of the grunge era in the mid 90’s saw the end of the heyday of most of these bands, and yet their talent was undeniable…well for me anyway and I may be biased as I grew up in this era surrounded by spandex and hair spray and loud guitars and pounding drums with the wailing 6 octave range of most of these bands vocalists. After all Axl Rose has a wider vocal range than Mariah Carey…let that sink in for a moment.

So here are my FAVOURITE hair metal bands…please note…I said FAVOURITE. I did not say THE BEST or THE MOST TALENTED or MADE THE MOST MONEY. I said these are my FAVOURITE. So this is my list and if you disagree feel free to add your list to the comments.


The Band: Eric Martin (Vocals), Billy Sheehan (Bass), Paul Gilbert (Guitar), Pat Torpey (Drums)

The Album: Lean Into It  (1991)

The Song: To Be With You (the obvious choice and most well known song however my favourite on the album is the video below of Green Tinted Sixties Mind)

Mr. Big – Green Tinted Sixties Mind

Most well known for the song To Be With You, but if that’s the only song you know then you probably think that this is a soft rock band specialising in ballads and you’d be absolutely wrong and completely surprised when you listen to the whole album. The only other band that comes close to  Mr. Big when being defined by a ballad was Extreme…


The Band: Joe Elliott (Vocals), Rick Savage (Bass), Rick Allen (Drums), Phil Collen (Guitar), Steve “Steamin'” Clark (Guitar)

The Album: Hysteria (1987)

The Song: Pour Some Sugar On Me

Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me

One of the songs that was the soundtrack to my high school years! This album rocked and was one of the first albums I stole from my brother…shhh…after their drummer lost his arm after Pyromania in a car accident he learnt to play one handed and had a drum kit made especially to accommodate his new playing style. After this album their guitarist Steve Clark died of an overdose so for me this was the best of all their albums. Tesla later did a song on their album Psycotic Supper called Song and Emotion as tribute to Steve who was a friend of the band.


The Band: Tom Kieffer (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards), Eric Brittingham (Bass), Jeff LaBar (guitar), Fred Coury (Drums)

The Album: Long Cold Winter (1988)

The Song: Don’t Know What You’ve Got ’til It’s Gone

Cinderella – Don’t Know What You Got ’til it’s Gone

Tom Kieffer’s voice is so easily identifiable…One of the great thing about hair metal bands at the time was the incredible amount of vocal talent and Tom was right in front of the pack for me…although he did manage to blow his vocal chords out and put the band in hiatus for a number of years. They still rate as one of my favourite bands of all time.


The Band: Jeff Keith (Vocals), Brian Wheat (Bass), Frank Hannon (Guitar), Tommy Skeoch (Guitar), Troy Luccketta (Drums)

The Album: Psychotic Supper (1991)

The Song: Call it What You Want

Tesla – Call It What You Want

The bluesy sounds of this album with the supremely talented Frank Hannon on guitar and Jeff Keith’s wail made this one of my all time favourite albums and I still rate them as one of the most underrated bands of this era. I think they arrived too late and by the time they were noticed the grunge era had started to take over.


The Band: Gary Cherone (Vocals), Nuno Bettencourt (Guitar), Pat Badger (Bass), Paul Geary (Drums)

The Album: Pornograffiti (1990)

The Song: More Than Words…yes yes. We all know it so instead I will say my favourite from the album is Get The Funk Out…

Extreme – Get The Funk Out

Pigeon-holed after the huge success of the ballad More Than Words most people were completely horrified when they bought the album and discovered they were a hard rock outfit. So much so, I was told by the cashier at the music shop where I bought my CD in 1990 that they wouldn’t accept any returns. I just sniggered and told him not to worry about it. I may be a girl but I know my music. They were also my first real rock concert at Wembley Arena in 1992.

Gary as you know went on to front Van Halen for a while (rather unsuccessfully) and Nuno is currently part of Rihanna’s band…although they have regrouped and are currently touring…

Part 2 coming soon to a blog near you…!



About sammid72

extroverted introvert; lover of books, music, food, people and my couch. not necessarily in that order. exploring life unshackled

Posted on 23/11/2015, in Lists, Music Musings, My Top 10 Everything, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Brad Pearsall

    All of those are awesome Bands , didnt know about Tesla and Cinderella though


  1. Pingback: My Top 10 Favourite Hair Metal Bands: Part 2 | Sammi Dee

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