So last week I went out on a date with someone who turns out to be the ex-girlfriend of a famous “Hair Metal” bands drummer. The conversation really took me back to a time when the hair was big, the music was raunchy, and the excess had no end in sight. I began to dig through my old albums, yes albums, and found what I consider to be the ten best records to come out of a time when Aqua Net was just as important as keeping your instrument tuned up. Here we go, in no particular order.
1. Appetite For Destruction – Guns n’ Roses – Clearly the all time best record of the genre, it was so well put together that it sounds just as good today as it did the first time I put on a pair of leather lace up pants back in 87.It’s the Zeppelin IV of hair metal. Hair Factor:7
2. Bang Tango – Psycho Café – Like Guns N’ Roses crossed with Prince, these guys took the raw rock sound of the time and mixed in some funk. An absolute stunning piece of work that is still today terribly underrated. Hair Factor:6
3. Dangerous Toys – Self Titled – Texas answer to hair metal featured one of the best vocalist of the time Jason McMaster and the modern classics “Take Me Drunk I’m Home”, and “Sportin’ A Woody”. Genius! Hair Factor: 5
4. Skid Row – Slave To The Grind – Many will say the debut is the better album, and they may have left the big hair behind, but this was a modern masterpiece as the band traded in the spandex for a set of balls. Hair Factor:3
5. Saigon Kick – The Lizard – Cursed with the epic ballad “Love Is On The Way” overshadowing what the band is really about, this album is a game changer. Tribal beats infused with soaring harmonies and gut wrenching riffs. Hair Factor: 5
6. Cinderella – Night Songs – The bands finest hour; heavy and dark with the harshest vocals of the hair metal era. Only issue I have is with the cover where the band looks as if they are only one operation away from becoming transgendered. Hair Factor: Off the Chart.
7. Faster Pussycat – Self Titled – One of my all time favorites. These guys defined Sunset Strip sleaze rock all while looking like a bunch of drug addicted prostitutes. Hair Factor: 9
8. Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime – One of the few times a rock opera actually works. From start to finish a stunning piece of work. Hair Factor: 7
9. LA Guns – Self Titled – A sleaze rock classic. A Molotov cocktail of bikes, babes, booze and leather. These are the guys who would kick Poison’s ass if they ran into them on the Strip. It’s the Sex Pistols of hair metal. Hair Factor:9
10. Kix – Blow My Fuse – If AC/DC were a hair band this is the record they would have made. Also the only band I have ever seen use a lit stick of dynamite as a microphone. Hair Factor:6