Looking back at the 80s I am sure I am not alone in my laughter. So many different aspects of the culture at the time inspires us to wonder, what were we thinking? Fashion and music are right at the top of the list when it comes to the things we wish we could take back when looking back at the 80s, and the fusion of the two that resulted in the 80s hair band certainly has me scratching my head, wondering how I could have enjoy it so much at the time. So read on for this amusing trip back to the decade of bad decisions. Here are the top 10 hair band songs of the 80s:
10 – Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
The girls swooned and the guys rocked out when Bon Jovi burst on the scene with Slippery When Wet back in 1986. They had released a couple of albums before that, but none of the singles quite caught on. With hits like You Give Love a Bad Name, and Wanted Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi established themselves as superstars, and Livin’ on a Prayer was the anthem for this memorable hair band.
9 – Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
British glam rockers Def Leppard had enjoyed some success in the early 80s, but it wasn’t until Hysteria was released that the group finally hit the big time. After drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident in 1984 the band went into a long hiatus, but in 1987 they reemerged in a huge way, with Allen back on the drums, despite the loss of his arm. Pour Some Sugar on Me was the mega-hit on this album of hits, and is still in steady rotation on many stations today.
8 – Warrant – Cherry Pie
Warrant wasn’t one of the major bands of the 80s, but their song Cherry Pie certainly deserves to be included in this list. Do yourself a favor and Google the lyrics to this song. If you are in a melancholy mood they will be sure to cheer you up. Ah, sweet cherry pie.
7 – Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood
Motley Crue was the epitome of hair metal in the 80s. With bad boy drummer Tommy Lee as the poster child for a generation of rocker wannabes, Motley Crue certainly is well deserving of a spot in the hair band hall of fame. So many of their songs could fit in this top ten list, but I chose this one, cause they just rocked it so hard.
6 – Van Halen – Hot For Teacher
This video was one of the best of the decade. “I don’t feel tardy,” is still a line I use today. Van Halen is another band that had so many great hits in the 80s that would not be out of place on this list: California Girls, Pretty Woman, Just a Gigolo, Panama the list of classics goes on and on. Though the relationship between Eddie Van Halen and front man David Lee Roth was dysfunctional and even combative at times they still managed to crank out some good tunes. Hot for Teacher made every teenage boy wish his teacher moonlighted as a stripper.
5 – Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
Look at the band’s name: Whitesnake. Nuff said. Glam metal never looked so good as it did on these guys. Though they started out as a blues band, they quickly figured out the meal ticket in the 80s revolved around big hair and tight pants. From power ballads to full on screeching rock these guys sold out and were rewarded with the adoration of thousands of women with questionable moral standards.
4 – Great White – Once Bitten Twice Shy
This band was truly a one hit wonder, but oh what a hit it was. Seriously, has anyone heard a peep from these guys in the past twenty years? Still, during their brief time in the spotlight they managed to bless us with one of the best sing-along hair band songs in a decade of great sing-along songs.
3 – Extreme – More Than Words
Though each and every one of the bands on this list could make your ears bleed with their squealing guitar solos, and their shrieking vocals, they all had within them a softer side. Power Ballad was a buzz phrase of the 80s and no one said “Okay, we’re gonna slow it down now” better than the boys from Extreme. Lots of sweaty groping took place in parked cars and at high school dances to this hair band ballad.
2 – Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Maybe the greatest video of all time, We’re Not Gonna Take It became an anthem to wannabe glam rockers everywhere. Dee Snider’s magnificent mane of curly hair, skin tight jumpsuit, and garish make-up had teenagers everywhere showing the devil horns and banging their heads until they suffered whiplash. Though Twisted Sister enjoyed only a brief period of success this song and accompanying music video holds a sacred place in the hearts and minds of those who took Twisted Sister’s message to heart, refusing to “take it” in the 80s.
1 – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn
If More Than Words is the crown prince of the power ballads, but Every Rose Has Its Thorn is the king. Long live the king! Bret Michaels single-handedly personifies not only glam metal and hair bands, but the 80s themselves. When making a list of the top 10 hair band songs of the 80s the number one slot was a given. All that remained was finding nine worthy contenders. Talk Dirty to Me or Unskinny Bop could certainly have made this list, but Every Rose Has Its Thorn might just be the number one make-out song of all time, so it has to get the nod.
There you have it. The top 10 hair band songs of all time. Some of these you may have forgotten, or at least wish you did, but however much you might try to deny it, you have to admit you really dug these tunes in the 80s.