The Best (and Worst) 80s Hair Metal Bands

Hair metal bands ruled the music airwaves in the 1980’s and early 90’s. Their slick, pretty, and pop-oriented heavy metal and hard-rock riffs reigned supreme in an era of pure excess. Shredding was cool. Big hair was cool. Style that was more distinctive than the music was also way cool. But make no mistake about it, the musicianship was top notch.

Musically, it was derived from classic glam rock, heavy metal and hard blues rock. Throw in a power ballad, screaming guitar solos, big hair spray, and you got glam hair metal- filling the radio airwaves and MTV’s Headbangers Ball. It’s an important part of music history, bridging the gap between classic rock and grunge. Today, the fondness for guitar hooks and melodies has not faded away. Some of these bands still rock on, continuously cranking out albums and tours. As Dee Snider would say, “I Wanna Rock…”

Best Hair Metal Bands

1. Guns N’ Roses

2. Motley Crue

3. Def Leppard

4. Bon Jovi

5. Tesla

6. Cinderella

7. Poison

8. Skid Row

9. Lita Ford

10. Whitesnake

View hair bands list >

Worst Hair Metal Bands

1. W.A.S.P.

2. Nelson

3. Nitro

4. Smashed Gladys

5. Child’s Play

From Rolling Stone
50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time >
Decade of Decadence: A Timeline of the Eighties Sunset Strip – Mötley Crüe, Poison, Guns N’ Roses and the street behind rock’s most excessive scene >

VH1 When Metal Ruled The World – 80’s LA Sunset Strip Story

Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle