Hair metal, also known as glam metal, is one of the quintessential genres of the 1980s. It is a subgenre of heavy metal that makes use of pop-like hooks and riffs, while borrowing heavily from the aesthetics of 1970s glam rock. Hair metal bands can be easily distinguished by their style – big hair, denims, headbands, and spandex were mainstays of any hair metal band.
Hair metal musicians were famed for their love of the fast life. Drugs, all-night parties, strippers, and other excesses were the central subjects of a lot of glam metal songs – not to mention huge influences on the lives of the musicians themselves. The lifestyles associated with hair metal were a big draw to music stations such as MTV, who helped to popularize the genre during the 1980s.
Glam metal enjoyed about ten years at the top of the music world. It was not until the mid-1990s that the indulgent and excessive lifestyles began to come into public scrutiny. The craziness of glam metal began to be overtaken by the stripped-down grunge aesthetic, especially with the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind in 1991. Studios and stations scrambled to catch a ride on this new music wave, leaving the glam metal superstars of the 80s in the dust.
Despite the eventual downfall of hair metal, the glory days of this genre produced some of the most legendary songs in rock and roll history. These songs will remain famous for an indefinite period of time – they are unlikely to ever go completely out of style, especially because they are gaining new, younger fans on the Internet. Maybe a few of our readers will join that number – especially after reading this article: The Top Twenty Hair Metal Bands of All Time.