Chris Hawkey Proudly Endorses:
I know...I know. This is a very controversial choice as #1. But Warrant truly had it all. The look, an outstanding live show, and a songwriter in Jani Lane that took the best bits from all those that had come before him and used the knowledge to produce Perfect hairband style music. He was so good at writing 80s style songs that he wrote a perfect one...Cherry Pie...a song so generically on the money that it destroyed his credibility and, perhaps, his life.
2. MOTLEY CRUE
#2 because the record Theatre of Pain made the "look" cool and the song Home Sweet Home made the Power Ballad necessary. This was their only "hair" record, but I believe it started the fire that would lead to the signing of a thousand copy cat bands.
This band pushed the hairband brand to its absolute limits without going over. I truly thought Rikki Rockett was a one-eyed girl when I bought their first cassette. Neither the sobgs nor the band were Great, but they were each Perfect for the 80s. Plus, Poison might have out-worked every other band of the decade.
4. BON JOVI
I put BJ this low on the list only because I consider them to be much More than a hairband. Their longevity is astounding and, outside of The album "Slippery When Wet", they never had to go as far into the Glam look as others of the genre. BJ was instead able to rely on Very Strong songwriting from the dynamic duo of JBJ/Richie Sambora.
5. DEF LEPPARD
I put DL on this list for two reasons: Women Freaking Loved Them and the album "Hysteria" may be the most perfect pop metal album ever created.
Hair? Check. Make-up? Check. Huge guitar solos? Check. But here's the thing about Ratt. Their songs were freaking Great! This was a band that I think would have made it without the "look".
7. TWISTED SISTER
Dee Snider was an absolute atrocity. And I mean that as a compliment. The videos for "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" are burned into my mind like childhood memories as is Mr. Snider's appearance on Capital Hill in which he verbally bitch slapped the PMRC. If all that weren't enough, TS appeared in the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". How 80's is that?
Huge Hair and Thick make up Almost drew all the attention away from the fact that Tim Keifer was a great songwriter. I can remember the exact spot in which I was standing when I saw the "Shake Me" video for the first time. I bought the cassette the next day and quickly realized that that song may have been the worst on the album.
9. SKID ROW
Quite simply, Sebastian Bach was The Most Perfect Frontman of the Entire Decade. 8 feet tall, rail thin, hair like a native american warrior, and a flat out Spectacular voice. Plus every song on that first album...Every Single Song...was a deep jam.
This was the hardest choice on the list, because putting Dokken here meant leaving a Lot of others bands off. But I chose D based on their total body of work. Lots of great songs. Rockers and Ballads (Alone Again, Burning Like a Flame , etc.). The number one reason I picked them though? Tooth and Nail was the first cassette I ever bought with my very own money. A moment like that is something that those of us from the 80s will never forget.