I’ve decided that since I’ve been listening to so much of it recently, but that I don’t feel ready to be writing full-length detailed reviews yet, I’m going to write a post about Glam/Hair Metal. So the following is a list of my current collection at time of writing, a piece on each, and a list of my very favourite and my disliked tracks from each.
When I first got into music, this stuff was the enemy, it was the devil. It was everything wrong with music. It was the worst excess, the lamest sell-outs, the biggest compromise, the lowest common denominator, all of that. My generation was endlessly informed to hate it and warned against it. Many people wanted to write it out of history. Heck you can see in the documentary Metal Evolution that presenter Sam Dunne can’t even do his job and be objective about it and present it fairly, he just throws in tonnes of personal anti-Glam bias. It was actually just how annoyed with Sam’s lack of objectivity that I became whilst watching the show which first got me interested in trying this music out. I was very much of a mind that, this guy is being a dick and I’m not going to write it all off so easily as he does anymore. That, and Metal Hammer Podcast presenter James Gill quite often gave glam bands really kind words, and I trusted his opinion a lot… I miss that show.
For me, even after accepting that Glam can yield good music my go-to position is to love the stuff, the early stuff that’s still very Metallic and hard to distinguish from a spare Saxon or Judas Priest song, and to fear and dislike the Ballad, the keyboard, or the songs about beautiful girls.Its not just glam however, it pervades everything… I had to first hear blistering tracks like ‘On Fire’ and ‘Atomic Punk’ before I let myself enjoy Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ …quite embarrassing really. All these years into my twenties and I’m still influenced by some preteen rules about being true that I never even conformed to anyway with all the Green Day albums in my collection. I’ve worked hard to get over that in the past five years. In saying that however, I am who I am and I like what I like, so it still sometimes shines through.
Also before a flurry of genre-misfile comments come in; I know there’s people who will say that Bon Jovi or Guns N Roses aren’t Hair Metal, and either that its just Rock Music or just Pop Music or its not from LA so it doesn’t count. Whatever; my mind always lumps them in, so for the purposes of this blog they’re Hair Metal. Hey, if I’ve had to spend the last decade and a half hearing that Linkin Park and Slipknot are supposedly the same sub-genre, we’ll just put all ‘this doesn’t fulfill the criteria’ arguments to one side.
Here we go…
Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi.
This album came before the band’s big commercial breakthrough, its a lot less polished, arguably harder and has much less sugary ballads. In that way, it has more credibility among a certain section of fans but on the other hand it is also a bit of a yawn-fest for others. I remember Gill from the Metal Hammer podcast a few years back extolling its virtues and lamenting that the band didn’t play more from it live.
For me, I like it. Its a bit samey, and its not my go-to album, but I pretty much only have positive things to say about it.
Favourite Songs: ‘Runnaway’ & ‘Come Back’
Not For Me: Nothing really, its pretty consistent.
Bon Jovi – 7800 Fahrenheit.
This one is a bit of a weird one, partly because of the over-reliance on keys and synths, partially because of the track order. I mean there’s plenty of good songs here, plenty of fast songs and a few hard songs, but it doesn’t feel that way when you listen to it in the correct order. I have it in a custom order that goes from heaviest to lightest. Not that heavy is necessarily equal to good. ‘King Of The Mountain’ isn’t heavy at all but its great fun.
Favourite Songs: ‘King Of The Mountain’ & ‘Tokyo Road’ and hey, closer ‘Secret Dreams’ is pretty heavy for Bon Jovi, arguably one of their heaviest. I’ love to hear this one with good production and a confident performance. It reminds me a bit of Dokken in the chorus and ‘Girls era Crue in the verses.
Not For Me: ‘(I Don’t Wanna Fall) To The Fire’ – y’know I actually like it objectively, it’d be good on Roger Waters’ Radio Kaos, but it just doesn’t sound like what I want from Bon Jovi. ‘Silent Night’ is a bit too drippy for me, I’m not anti-ballad per sae, if Hammerfall or someone covered it would float my boat, but this is a bit too far for me especially with the production and specific synth tones.
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet.
Well how do you even argue with this? Multi-platinum, some of the most famous singles ever. With the exception of the nauseating too-far ballad, its pretty perfect. A nice mix of fast and slow, powerful and sweet. I’ll admit that I like the hits more than the deep cuts, but I’m very partial to things like ‘Social Disease’ too.
Favourite Songs: ‘I’d Die For You’ ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ & ‘Living On A Prayer’
Not For Me: ‘Without Love’ – Yuck!
Bon Jovi – New Jersey.
Bigger than Slippery’ but a bit more uneven, its a mixed bag but mostly all hit and little miss. The fun acoustic stuff feels more like bonus tracks, but is still some of the best stuff on the album. The guitar solos on this album are amazing too. I didn’t get why Ritchie was so famous until I heard this.
I don’t listen to this one so often as its too big, too eclectic and too far from what I bought it for, but will totally acknowledge that on its own merits its good… but I’m not as often in the mood to listen to as it was intended. I like hearing the best songs on shuffle though, or cracking through it in a get-my-money’s worth kind of way. Funny story, I bought all four of these Bon Jovi albums about thirty minutes after sitting a really difficult exam, and was so brain dead by the end of it I bolted up to the city centre to get something colourful and distracting after all that studying for weeks then the actual explosive test. Aced it… But unfortunately Bon Jovi usually reminds me of revision stress.
Favourite Songs: ‘Bad Medicine’ & ‘Born To Be My Baby’
Not For Me: ‘Living In Sin’ …but again its not a ballad thing, because the chorus of ‘I’ll Be There For You’ has me pumping fists in the air every time.
Dokken – Breaking The Chains.
Around the time of the aforementioned Exam (well Exam, there was like five of them, because the Uni I chose seemed to do about twice as many assessments as any of our neighbours did for no clear purpose I can see, at least that’s what future colleagues always informed me afterwards) I decided to get some boxsets. I like boxsets. One day I was just in the mood for boxsets and got a Dream Theater one, which I knew I’d like after being won over by Images And Words, and beside it for a good price was Dokken’s first four albums plus a live album. Sold.
Their debut sounds like a mixture between early Priest and early MSG (Who I also got into around the same time through such a boxset. I work in patterns and phases, you see). Its not too overproduced, its not too slick and its not all pompous or overblown. Its just a kick ass hard-rock or soft Metal album. The guitar work is awesome, I think Lynch is one of the best players in the whole scene. If you like guitar solos, this album is for you.
Favourite Songs: ‘Live To Rock (Rock To Live)’ & ‘Paris Is Burning’
Not For Me: Nothing. Some songs are a bit lame on first listen, like ‘I Can’t See You’ or ‘Seven Thunders’ and the lyrics to ‘Young Girls’ may be a bit peado-y nowadays (just like Motorhead and Saxon each have one) but I love it all. No duds. All good.
Dokken – Tooth And Nail.
Everything about the debut, but doubled. Its the best Dokken album in my opinion and one of the best I’ve heard for the genre. I don’t see why any fan of Iron Maiden or Anthrax couldn’t like this. Apart from the single ‘Just Got Lucky’ there’s nothing even remotely wimpy or light about it. These songs just flat out work, and this is a good album to play to any Judas Priest/Saxon fan who is afraid of Glam. I think that this, along with You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll and Shout At The Devil should be mandatory listening for anyone who doesn’t yet see the link between Metal and Glam.
Favourite Songs: ‘Tooth And Nail’ & ‘Dont Close Your Eyes’
Not For Me: None – Its Awesome. Although it took me quite a while to get used to ‘Just Got Lucky’ which felt overtly commercial, but once it sinks in, man, its unavoidably entertaining. The first time I heard it I was all like ‘Yuuuuuk’ but nowadays I’m singing and dancing away like an ’80s housewife, and loving it.
Dokken – Under Lock And Key.
Another very good Dokken album. The artwork, production on the ballads and length put me off on first listen and I thought this mightn’t have been so good. Time has been kind however, and the more I hear it the more I like it. The tracks ‘Til The Living End’ & ‘Lightning Strikes Again’ are arguably my two favourite Dokken tracks period. I think this might be the best album for Don’s vocals ever.
Favourite Songs: ‘Til The Living End’ & ‘Lightning Strikes Again’
Not For Me: ‘Slipping Away’ – Sequenced too early in the album, less catchy than the other ballads on the record, and a bit too saccharine for me.
Dokken – Back For The Attack.
I think there’s a certain sameyness to this one. Everything is good. Nothing is skippable, but all in a big line it blurs a little. Only a little though, its still better than many band’s best albums. I tend to think of this as one of the better Dokken albums, but its sort of a journey, start to finish. You gotta either just listen to the out of place heavy-as-balls instrumental, or else you’ve gotta strap in for the full duration. Its ironic, but the album might work better with a few less good tracks, because its just all so uniformly good that its all a bit, well, uniform.
Favourite Songs: ‘Mr Scary’ & ‘Kiss Of Death’
Not For Me: Nothing.
Europe – The Final Countdown.
So yeah, Glam in terms of big hair, keyboards and that reverby drum sound, but its not from LA. A lot of people would argue against its inclusion here but I’m stuck in my ways unfortunately and if I think Twisted Sister or Ratt I then also think Final Countdown. I haven’t ever heard another Europe album so I dunno how it fits for them, but to me, as this one-off singular entity this is a pretty great piece of rock. Danger On The Tracks, Ninja, On The Loose. What’s not to like? As long as the title track hasn’t been overplayed to you recently (y’know the Smells Like Teen Spirit and Ace Of Spades problem) then its one of the best songs of all time. Too high praise? Maybe, but its the mood I’m in right now.
Favourite Songs: ‘The Final Countdown’ & ‘Rock The Night’
Not For Me: ‘Carrie’
Extreme – Pornograffitti.
Over-cooked prog Glam. Its intersting, this album sounds like if early Dream Theater tried to re-create Doctor Feelgood’s success. The production, the big-ness. All feelgood. The weird intros, the length, the musicianship …early Dream Theater. I find the horns offputting, but I hate them in any music usually, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns N Roses and Motley Crue don’t get away with it either for me.
The album is quite hard work and takes a lot of listening to get in to, and it feels like a real tonal mismatch, the verses of ‘Money (In God We Trust)’ and its choruses sound like two different bands.
Favourite Songs: ‘He-Man Woman Hater’ & ‘(Its A) Monster’
Not For Me: ‘When I First Kissed You’ – Yuck! So offputting. Not the sentiment, just the music. Its so offputting. I quite like ‘More Than Words’ so its not just an anti-ballad snobbery, but, wow, yuck… I hate this song.
Guns N Roses
Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction.
One of the best albums of all time, that’s what we’re told every day. We’re told it so often we get jaded and almost forget its actually true. I could happily pass a law forbidding Sweet Child Of Mine from ever being played on radio again, but when it hits me fresh, it actually really sets me off. There’s not a bad second on this album. Who doesn’t like You’re Crazy? Paradise City might be overplayed but when it speeds up towards the end, you forget and get carried away all over again. There’s no point in doing a detailed write up because there’s just been so much written about this already, but my two cents: The deep cuts here are better than every other glam band’s biggest hits combined. The first time I ever heard Mr Brownstone was on a bus home from school and it made me sit up and completely re-evaluate my years of pre-teen hatred for this band. Even if I sometimes disagree with hype, no one’s ever telling me Mr Brownstone or My Michelle aren’t amazing songs.
Favourite Songs: ‘Think About You’ & ‘My Michelle’ & ‘Night-train’ & ‘Out Ta Get Me’
Not For Me: None. When I was younger I didn’t care for ‘Rocket Queen’ but that’s since passed. I may have been too young and maybe it was a bit obscene?
Guns N Roses – Lies.
I don’t listen to this often, but I have nothing against it. Just an OK EP. I like how much energy the live stuff has, I wish they’d added ‘Shaddow Of Your Love’ to it so it wasn’t so rare but that’s not really an issue with Lies. Just random thoughts. Also, I know the title is GNR Lies but to me its title is Lies. Just Lies. I can’t ever get used to saying GNR Lies.
Favourite Songs: ‘Nice Boys’ & ‘Reckless Life’
Not For Me: ‘Patience’ – never ever liked this one; I’ve soften hugely to it in recent years and especially this year after getting Live Era; but still, I’ll keep it here for historical reasons.
Guns N Roses – Use Your Illusion 1.
Sometimes I think I don’t like this, sometimes I think its my favourite one. Guns N Roses profile gets in the way of the music. All the million dollar music videos and the cover songs and the behind the scenes stuff can occasionally make you forget the awesome fast and heavy material on the UYI albums. The best songs on this rival anything any classic band have ever written. Just a shame the bloat can distract you at times. I used to dislike Coma for a few years, but I’ve since re-evaluated that.
Favourite Songs: ‘Right Next Door To Hell’ ‘Back Off Bitch & ‘Double Talkin Jive’
Not For Me: ‘Live And Let Die’ – If I never hear it again I’ll be pleased, and it doubly rankles that it takes up space in live sets that could be used for originals. Also ‘Dont Cry’ is awesome but we don’t need two almost identical versions, coulda saved the alternative version for a B Side of a single, and left one version of UYI2.
Guns N Roses – Use Your Illusion 2.
Well, what I said for the previous one applies to this one too. They’re kinda the one album aren’t they. Does anyone really own one and not the other, how weird would that be?
This one has better ballads and epics; and ‘Estranged’ is an ultimate show-stopping masterpiece. If I’m in the right mood this can be one of my favourite albums…14 Years!? Locomotive!?
Sometimes I think its a bit to thin or wimpy… the rant in Get In The Ring puts me off sometimes. So childish. But overall, good stuff.
Favourite Songs: ‘You Could Be Mine’ & ‘Civil War’
Not For Me: ”Knockin On Heavens Door’ – Yuck, easily the worst thing in the band’s whole discography… I wish they’d stop playing this live too. ‘My World’ – not really a real song, but its a jarring end to the album, what’s the point?
Guns N Roses – The Spaghetti Incident?
Well it’s not really a studio album is it, covers albums are more like compilations in my mental-filing. This album doesn’t really do it for me, I like some of the fastr funner punkier tunes, but the main problem is it just isn’t as good as Guns N Roses own meterial is in now?
Favourite Songs: ‘Attitude’ & ‘New Rose’
Not For Me: ‘Since I Don’t Have You’ – My feelings for this rival what I said about that Extreme ballad.
LA Guns – LA Guns.
One of the most recent additions to this list. I got it as a Christmas gift from my brother and also bought it for myself by mistake so I have two copies. Its one flaw is that it is overlong, so it gets a bit of the same problem as Dokken’s Back For The Attack. Every second of it is golden, but you can get tired of it or stop appreciating it towards the end. But take any one song from it and put it in a compilation and its one of the best songs in that compilation.
Favourite Songs: ‘Electric Gypsy’ & ‘No Mercy’
Not For Me: None, but its a bit overlong and samey at times so something should be trimmed.
Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love.
First time I heard this I hated it. I also heard it when I was reading The Dirt and the band’s horrible sexist, selfish, thieving, ungrateful, disrespectful personalities put me off even more. How can I like the songs when the guys screwed their landlady out of rent, or caused actual bodily harm to innocent Japanese commuters who were just minding their own business?
Anyway, after about a year, I cooled down and separated the music from the book. ‘Live Wire’ is such a cut above the rest of the album it puts everything else at a real disadvantage. It is an all time classic. It is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Its like, the best Saxon or Grim Reaper song never released, but its randomly here among bublegum powerpop with weak-tea production and half-hearted performances.
After a further time of only liking Live Wire, I got to like the album itself on its own level for what it is, with its sort of pop-punk feel and demo-charm. I wish there were a few more speed metal moments and a bit more bite to the performances, but its pretty good overall.
Favourite Songs: ‘Live Wire’ & ‘Take Me To The Top’
Not For Me: ‘Merry Go Round’
Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil.
I think this is arguably the best Glam album of all time. The thing is that it has balls and umph. Just listen to the kick-drum during the title track, it hits you in the chest.
I think there’s some flaws in the sequencing of the album, like I’d skip the intro and make the acoustic guitar solo that’s sat halfway through the record into the intro instead. I’d also have the Beatles cover as a bonus track at the end, because these songs stand on their own without needing novelty to boost them.
Otherwise I just love the balls on this album. Bastard and Red Hot? Just greasy speed-metal umph you don’t expect. Ten Seocnds To Love and Looks That Kill? So catchy. I think its an unstoppable record, and one to win over anyone like myself who hate the band beforehand.
Favourite Songs: ‘Shout At The Devil’ ‘Bastard’ & ‘Red Hot’
Not For Me: ‘Helter Skelter’ ..although I like it. I just wish there wasn’t a Beatles cover on such a beast of an album.
Motley Crue – Theater Of Pain.
Almost as good as Shout’ and very overrated. The album, I’ve said a thousand times already, has a massive sequencing problem. The ballad and the cover should be at the end. The fast songs should be at the front and the actual opening track is such a deep-in-side-two type of track that no other band ever would be so daft as to open with it. When I listen to it its always with a custom track order where the thunderous duo of the catchy speed-metal number ‘Use It Or Loose It’ and then
‘Louder Than Hell’ which is the second best ever Motley Crue song in my opinion, open it up. Comedy and Tragedy, Entertainment Or Death. I wish they’d stuck with the original title, I wish they hadn’t badmouthed it in their book and put their own fans off it.
Anyway, for me, this is one of the best Crue albums and no one is telling me otherwise.
Favourite Songs: ‘Use It Or Loose It’ & ‘Louder Than Hell’
Not For Me: ‘Smoking In The Boys Room’ – very fun in and of itself but doesn’t belong here, should’ve been on a non-album soundtrack or b side or compilation. Also, ‘Home Sweet Home’ should absolutely be the last song and the conclusion and fitting closer. Having a show stopper so early is a bit of a waste. I can think of a phrase to describe it that involves the word ‘wad.’
Motley Crue – Girls Girls Girls.
This album is a lot of fun. I know some people don’t like the more comercial direction and think there’s too much filler but not me. This is a pretty great record. I wish they played more deep cuts from it live. Who wants to hear more Sex Pistols covers and guitar solos when you could hear ‘All In The Name Of’ or ‘Dancing On Glass’ or ‘Five Years Dead’ instead?
Favourite Songs: ‘Wild Side’ & ‘Girls Girls Girls’
Not For Me: ‘Youre All I Need’ & ‘Nona’ – not bad in and of themselves, but I’m never in the mood for them after the pounding fun of ‘Dancing On Glass’ or ‘All In The Name’ …also if a band didn’t even release the ballad as a single or show it off live for the next two decades, then that really is suspicious.
Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood.
Too many ballads, too many horns and whistles and studio nonsense. Pointless intro. Not enough fast music. Awful lyrics. BUT… the two big songs ‘Dr Feelgood’ & ‘Kickstart My Heart’ are so good you almost forgive it all. I feel like the band saw what Kiss and Areosmith got in the 80s and wanted some. It works for most people, but not so much for me. I don’t hate this album, but I don’t like it anywhere near as much as the previous ones.
One thing, I always forget Don’t Go Away mad isn’t a ballad. Its just a Kiss-esque rock song but when I go to count the ballads I always add one for this, wrongly for some reason, but I still can’t learn my lesson.
Favourite Songs: ‘Dr Feelgood’ & ‘Kickstart My Heart’ …also in my head cannon, ‘Primal Scream’ is here, and is a favourite.
Not For Me: ‘Time For Change’ & ‘Without You’ …also I could lose the horns from ‘Rattlesnake Shake.’
Poison – Look What The Cat Dragged In.
Maybe the most embarrassing Glam band to admit to liking, but this is just some nice breezy fun. So what if its a bit vacuous, its just silly fun. The band do lack the heaviness I prefer, but the songs are enjoyable enough here to still enjoy it.
Favourite Songs: ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ & ‘Let Me Go To The Show’
Not For Me: ‘I Wont Forget You’ – but really its just the sequencing, if all the light songs were towards the back and the heavy to the front, it’d be more up my street.
Poison – Open Up And Say …Ahh!.
Its a slightly less metallic version of the previous one, with the Kiss influences dialed up. As such, very fun. The songs aren’t just as good, but its pretty similar. My version has very bad production, but I think that’s just a bad transfer rather than the record itself’s fault.
I have a very strong memory of a drunk peer playing ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ at a few open mike nights when I was a teenager, during the whole Limp Bizkit era. It seemed pretty out of place.
Favourite Songs: ‘Look But You Cant Touch’ & ‘Nuthin But A Good Time’
Not For Me: None, but some of it like ‘Fallen Angel,’ ‘Love On The Rocks’ and ‘Good Love’ are a bit forgettable.
Poison – Flesh & Blood.
Diminishing returns, its really not as good as either of the previous two. Its 100% removed from any metal at all now and while that’s not bad in and of itself, its not what I want or am in the mood for, There are good moments here, but not as many as before.
Interestingly, just in case you think I hate ballads altogether, I think ‘Something To Believe In’ is a banger!
Favourite Songs: ‘Valley Of Lost Souls’ & ‘Don’t Give Up An Inch’
Not For Me: ‘Life Goes On’
Poison – Native Tongue.
I’m not sold on this yet. I get that its a different think with more gospel and soul and I’m excited by that, but it hasn’t yet sank in and won me over completely. I’ve only gotten it recently so maybe a few more listens are required to turn the tide. Who knows? I’ll keep you updated.
Favourite Songs: ‘Seven Days Over You’ & ‘Strike Up The Band’ …also the intro is bad ass!
Not For Me: I don’t know yet, its still too new to me.
Quiet Riot – Metal Health.
I have a vinyl copy of this up on my wall as decoration. Its one of my favourite of all the albums on this list. Its a pretty flawless album. One of the only ones that benefits from the cover song. One that benefits from its ballads. Its got a great mix of tempos and moods. Its very varied, and constantly great. I highly, highly recommend this to every human that likes rock music.
Favourite Songs: ‘Metal Health’ & ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’
Not For Me: ‘Battle Axe’
Quiet Riot – Condition Critical.
A prettymuch straight up copy of Metal Health, and for that I love it. There’s also a few more fast and heavy moments, so that’s an extra cherry on top for me and my sensibilities. Also that gigantic drum fill during scream and shout just gets me every time, I’d love to see em in concert and air drum along. Not technical but just so effective. Sometimes I like this even more than Metal Health, but Metal Health is just that bit extra special. Its a Burn My Eyes/More Things Change or Court Of The Crimson King/Wake Of Poesidon relationship.
Favourite Songs: ‘We Were Born To Rock’ & ‘Scream & Shout’
Not For Me: ‘Mama All Weer Crazee Now’ – the cover is just a novelty this time and doesn’t work as well at all. Also covering THE SAME BAND, is just shameless.
Quiet Riot – Terrified.
I really like this one. It took ages to track down and eventually I gave up on cds and had to get a weird version from iTunes with generic, non-artwork with like a photo of guitar and the work ROCK MASTERS on it. Its even called Cold Day In Hell instead of Terrified, but its the same album just weirdly marketed. It looks like a Father’s Day CD in a gas station.
Anyway, this album is a little slower, with a bit of a Physical Grafffiti meets Heaven And Hell vibe at times but still very much in the Metal Health mode. The faster moments are rarer, and its all a bit moody and serious and there’s less silly fun and more searching for credibility. In saying that, when you’re not analysizing motivations its just a plain good album.
Favourite Songs: ‘Little Angel’ & ‘Rude Crude Mood’
Not For Me: ‘Itchichoo Park’ – more bloody novelty covers!
Ratt – Out Of The Cellar.
Pretty flawelss. Majorly catchy. Such good guitars. Vocals reminiscent of Dave Mustaine. Ratt’s debut is a sleeper hit for me. I thought on first listen it was dull and samey and lacked any power but ever time I listen to it it proves me wrong all over again. Its one of the better glam albums and the chorus of ‘Round And Round’ is the same as Dokken’s ‘Just Got Lucky’ in that while a Metal fan might snort in derision the first few times, it’ll be stuck in your head all year once you get over yourself.
Favourite Songs: ‘Im Insane’ & ‘Wanted Man’
Not For Me: Nothing, its flawless.
Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy.
Similar to their previous album and almost as good. It’s difficult to really write anything about it, it just goes along nicely fulfilling all my expectations. It might take a few listens to realize it isn’t bland, but its totally worth it.
I have a really clear memory of my hometown music store having a guitar tab book of this album in it, which was also the first time I’ve ever heard of Ratt or Anthrax, they also had a tabbook of not Among The Living, but Fistful Of Metal…of all things. What kind of 2003 music shop has a tabbook of only Invasion Of Your Privacy and Fistful Of Metal?…and not Back In Black or Led Zeppelin 4 or something!?
Favourite Songs: ‘Got Me On The Line’ & ”You Should Know By Now
Not For Me: None.
Ratt – Dancing Undercover.
Wow, painted myself into a corner here, I don’t have much to say about this. I don’t get why documentaries try and say this is a weak one, why do glam band’s hate their third albums? Like Theater Of Pain I wholeheartedly reject any suggestion of lower quality.
Songs like ‘Dance’ and ‘Looking For Love’ easily rival anything off of the last two albums. I don’t know what kind of stone-hearted monster couldn’t be moved to dance by those choruses. Am I missing something here?
Favourite Songs: ‘Slip Of The Lip’ & ‘Drive Me Crazy’
Not For Me: None.
Ratt – Reach For The Sky.
Of the first five, this is my least favourite. Its functional. But doesn’t hit the same high water mark. I think, if you slagged it off I’d defend it. But when I make Ratt playlists, there aren’t many songs from this that make me go ‘I’ve got to stick that one in there’ as for the other albums.
Favourite Songs: ‘Chain Reaction’ & ‘I Want To Love You Tonight’
Not For Me: ‘Way Cool Junior’ – Although it’d be awesome if it was a different album. I like it objectively but I want more Priest-esqe stuff. You see, horns again? Trumpets don’t suit glam to my ears. I can get with a bit off Less Than Jake, but I don’t want it in my Ratt.
Ratt – Detonator.
The best Ratt album? I think so. This has that sort of Dr. Feelgood feel of bigger bigger bigger, but with the twist that its actually all excellent. Save for one misfire, there isn’t a song on here wouldn’t make it into a list of best ever Ratt songs in my book. Its so catchy, so larger than life and so much fun. I can sing lines from Top Secret or Shame’ for days. I think this is everything great about the subgenre.
Favourite Songs: ‘Shame Shame Shame’ ‘Hard Time’ ‘Scratch That Itch’ & ‘Top Secret’
Not For Me: ‘One Step Away’ – Although its way better when Bon Jovi do this sorta stuff.
Skid Row – Skid Row.
Flawless, fun, catchy. Again, one of the best examples of the subgenre and what it has to offer. I can’t tell you how big a smile Sweet Little Sister puts on my face. There’s an energy and an attitude to this album that just elevates it. This puts most of what Twisted Sister or Poison did in a shadow. You’re good, but you’re not Skid Row good!
Sebastian Bach may be a bit of a weird tv celebrity now like Ozzy has become, but nobody can deny the sheer Rock Star glory of his vocal on this album.
Favourite Songs: ‘Sweet Little Sister’ & ‘Big Guns’
Not For Me: None, its pretty perfect.
Skid Row – Slave To The Grind.
A kind of weird mix of their previous album with Pantera. A weird mix that works. Heavier than 90% of Glam and with that sort of GnR lack of frills. This is sort of more than just another Glam album, its sort of something different.
Favourite Songs: ‘Get The Fuck Out,’ ‘The Threat’ & ‘Slave To The Grind’
Not For Me: ‘Wasted Time’ but on the other hand, ‘Quicksand Jesus’ is awesome.
Twisted Sister – Under The Blade.
This is more like a NWOBHM album than any other Glam album I’ve heard. Is anyone seriously able to draw an unbreakable barrier between ‘Tear It Loose’ and ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ or ‘Damage Case’?
The new york thing makes me think Overkill too. Its not thrash, but I can hear similarities to Feel The Fire at times. Destroyer for example, its got this weird almost Doom Metal vibe that makes you think of SkullKrusher.
The version I’ve got comes with a live DVD which I haven’t watched yet but may report back to you on in the future.
Favourite Songs: ‘Sin After Sin’ ‘Shoot Em Down,’ ‘Tear It Loose’ & ‘What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)’
Not For Me: None, but sometimes the line ‘how bad can a bad boy be if it sets you free’ makes my eyes roll. Also if I’m not in the mood, ‘Day Of The Rocker’ is too ploddy.
Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll.
This is probably my favourite Twisted Sister album. Again, its most NWOBHM, I think more of Die With Your Boots On than Girls Girls Girls when I hear it. Also, its one of the more consistent and less uneven records in the band’s repertoire. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it flawless but its as close as the band get.
This is another good one to show people who are afraid of Glam just how Metallic it actually is.
Favourite Songs: ‘The Power And The Glory’ & ‘You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll’
Not For Me: ‘Youre Not Alone’
Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry.
Its an ok album, with very great singles. Its weird, the singles are so different than the deep cuts. Its like they could’ve written the best sell-out ever and didn’t go for it. Bucking my usual trend, the comercial singles here are way better than the honest, NWOBHMy deep cuts. ‘Stay Hungry’ feels like a less good version of a track from the last album, whereas ‘I Wanna Track’ sounds like a generation defining classic.
Favourite Songs: ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ & ‘I Wanna Rock’
Not For Me: ‘Captain Howdy’ …but not ‘Street Justice.’
Twisted Sister – Come Out And Play.
The logical next album only without the mega-hits. Very solid. Very professional. Only a few misteps. Arguably lacking a certain charm or magic but undeniably OK.
I feel like if You Cant Stop Rock N Roll had this album’s production, that mix would be an all-time classic.
Favourite Songs: ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ & ‘I Believe In Rock N Roll’
Not For Me: ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and ‘Be Crool To Your Skool.’ …and I hate the intro to the title track even though the song is good, but its hard to edit out the intro due to how it overlaps with the song.
Twisted Sister – Love Is For Suckers.
Very mixed, varied and almost experimental. I know it was meant to be a solo album and not a Twisted Sister album. I know a lot of people don’t like it. I know I don’t listen to it as much as the others. But still… I think its decent.
If you told me you didn’t like this one, I’d totally understand why though. Not like the third Ratt or WASP albums for example.At least the reason is clear.
Favourite Songs: ‘Love Is For Suckers’ & ‘Tonight’
Not For Me: ‘One Bad Habit’
W.A.S.P – W.A.S.P.
One of my favourite albums, one of the ones I listen to the most, one of the ones I’ll defend the most passionately. If you don’t like this, I don’t understand why. I feel like I’ve written ‘possibly the best ever’ or ‘possibly my favourite ever’ a lot, but this time I really, really mean it. This towers overs the competition.
Favourite Songs: ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ & ‘The Torture Never Stops’
Not For Me: Nothing it perfect. Also, my in head-cannon, ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ is part of the album. I can’t imagine the album without it.
W.A.S.P – The Last Command.
More of the same, but not as tight. Songs are often about a minute or two longer. It lacks the urgency but is more fleshed out. A fair trade-off. A lot of people like this more than the debut, not me, but I can sure see why. A very strong album.
Is it just me or is the drawing on the front cover very weird?
Favourite Songs: ‘Ball Crusher’ & ‘The Last Command’
Not For Me: None, but sometimes I skip ‘Widowmaker’ and ‘Blind In Texas’ if I’m in a funny mood.
W.A.S.P – Inside The Electric Circus.
Tight again. Some people call this unispired. Some people say its music by numbers or on autopilot. I don’t see that. Third album Glam criticism syndrome at its finest right there. This album is a rager. Some seriosuly catchy and instantly loveable tunes here. I listen to this fairly regularly and have practically nothing bad to say about it. Even the goofy bonus of ‘DB Blues’ is ok in its own silly way. If you don’t like ‘Mantronic’ or ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ but like WASP you’ll really have to explain that one to me in detail, because to me this is among the best of their output, and I doubt I’d be able to comprehend why without some thorough analysis.
Favourite Songs: ‘Inside The Electric Circus’ & ‘Shoot From The Hip’
Not For Me: ‘Flesh And Fire’
W.A.S.P – The Headless Children.
Of the early stuff, my least favourite. They were heading towards maturity, and heading towards progginess but they didn’t quite nail it yet. The songs are longer but for no reason. The songs are less heavy and less fast, but without anything interesting to repleace that. Its just WASP, but not as good, for longer. That said, its not a poor record by any stretch, just in comparison to the other four around it.. kind of like Deep Purple’s Who Do We Think We Are. It aint Fireball, no, but its still got Black Satin Dancer on it.
Favourite Songs: ‘Mean Man’ & ‘Rebel In The FDG’
Not For Me: ‘Mephisto Waltz’
W.A.S.P – The Crimson Idol.
Masterpiece. Enough said really. Also, those drums! Its like the 80s version of Brann Dailor. Absolutely off the wall, unhinged drumming. I can’t believe how good this came out after the slightly disappointing Headless Children. So what if the story is similar to Streets?
Favourite Songs: ‘Chainsaw Charlie’ & ‘The Invisible Boy’ …also ‘Hold On To My Heart’ …one of the best ballads in the whole genre I’ve heard so far.
Not For Me: Nothing, but the bonus tracks ‘Phantoms In The Mirror’ and ‘The Eulogy’ don’t do it for me. Main album though, pretty perfect.
Warrant – Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin Ritch.
Its pretty new to me so I don’t know it all that well, but nowadays, work colleagues are constantly exposed to Warrant via my humming, whether they know it or not. They’re a very hummable band. I’ve lost count of the amount of days I’ve spent humming Cold Sweat for 12 hours a day.
Its weird that in the liner notes they even admit the guitar solos had to be played be a session muscian becuase they weren’t good enough to solo yet… and got signed anyway.
Favourite Songs: ‘So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law)’ ‘Cold Sweat’ & ‘D.R.F.S.R. ‘
Not For Me: ’32 Pennies’
Warrant – Cherry Pie.
I can’t tell if I like this album more or less than the debut. I got em in a two-pack and listen to them together a lot and to be honest, to me, they’re essentially the one album. Its hard for me to seperate any thoughts about one from the other.
I’ll also say that if I’d seen the music video for Cherry Pie when I was 14, I’d have never, ever, ever, eeeeeever liked this band. When I was full on into Nuclear Assault and Exodus and super quick to dismiss stuff, that would’ve got lifetime blacklisted. Luckily, I get to listen to this silly manufactured but nonetheless enjoyable guff today without any teenage rules.
Ok maybe a little, I wouldn’t tell anyone in a Behemonth t shirt that I like Warrant. But, I’m only human.
Favourite Songs: ‘Love In Stereo’ & ‘Sure Feels Good To Me’
Not For Me: ‘Ode To Tipper Gore’ – its not a song, but its not really necessary.
And there you go. There’s some thoughts on all the glam records I legally own. Now that I’ve finally caved in and got Spotify, I’ve tried some more stuff, like from White Lion, or Quiet Riot 3… the weird one I was warned never to try, but for the actual owned-by-me ones, that’s a wrap folks.