T Nation

Top 80's Rock/Hair Bands


I just want to list a bunch of bands that I think kick ass, all from the 80's and all from the era of Hair Bands/Rock, heregoes (in no particular, maybe alphabetical order)!

Alice Cooper
Billy Idol
Bon Jovi
Def Leppard
Guns N Roses
Joan Jett
Kenny Loggins (Danger Zone is Tops... Pun intended!)
Motley Crue
Pat Benetar
Quiet Riot
Sammy Hagar
Skid Row
Twisted Sister
Ugly Kid Joe
Van Halen

Did I leave anyone too important off this list?

Also, what's everyone's top songs from the era of BAMFS?


Billy Idol
Def Leppard
Guns N Roses
Joan Jett
Pat Benetar
Quiet Riot
Sammy Hagar
Van Halen

This just about covers it I think.


That's how I know you guys are yanks. You think AC/DC is from the 80's.


yeah, yeah, they're from the 70's, but didn't hit it big until the late 70's early 80's.


I agree with this I would NEVER lump AC/DC into the plethora of JUNK 80's hair bands. Those guys were (AC/DC) were precurseres and there music will live well longer than any of that disposable JUNK. There best being early albums Like the Dirty Deeds and before.

As for your choices. Honestly, besides early Kiss and Crue they were all junk and only had a place in your playlist due to the fact the chicks loved that crap. Most of it was soft core PC metal.

Left A choice I would opt for (at the time) early Metallica, megadeath, slayer, misfits, agnostic front, Maiden, early Anthrax, etc. Anyone else remember Laaz Rocket??


But hell Id even play or go to a few of the concerts just becuase the sheer volume of half to non dresseed women. God love the clothes of the era as well jeans with more holes than material and TIGHT. Then came the LOOSE baggy non reveiling crap. AHH

Thanks for the trip down memory lane none the less. But you can keep your hair bands. Just my opinion.


Wait, you can't put metal in this. If that was the case, my choices would be different. He wanted opinions on "hair bands" a.k.a glam bands. Not metal. And I agree that AC/DC really shouldn't be grouped in with the likes of Poison and Winger. Neither should Van Halen.


That's a good lad.


Of course. They were a big influence in my childhood years.


Well since we're talking about milquetoast hair bands we can't leave out REO Speedwagon :slight_smile:

AC/DC wasn't a hair band, they were little gods among mere mortals.


I think that you could take ANY member of ANY band you listed...and they would put Joey Ramone as perhaps "the" top influence of the "Sound" of the 80's...

"Quiet Geniuses" are often overlooked...

I think that our "disagreements" are coming from the fact that it was a decade of strong and diverse musical influences: this would include (but is not limited to):

1) "Big Hair" or "Glam" Rock (listed)

2) Female Rock ("Pat Benetar", "Heart" et.al)

3) Pop/Top 40 "80's" Sound (e.g. "The Cars", "Blondie", "Duran/Duran" et.al.)

4) Metal ("Metallica", "Megadeth", "Slayer" et.al)

5) "Blue Eyed" Soul ("Boz Skaggs", "Gino Vinelli", et.al)

6) Funk ("Rick James", "Cameo", "Prince", "GrandMaster Flash/"Run DMC"/Early Rap" et.al)

Every person will have their own "take" on the decade...but it really was an amazing (and diverse) one in music...




"AC/DC" wasn't really a part of the "Glam Rock" phenomenon...



One other point...

Some "Rock Purist" would separate "true" "Glam Rock" from the "Hair Bands" of the 80's...

(I think they overlap...and as Billy Joel said, ..." It's STILL Rock n'Roll to me...!")



In the 80's I was listening to everything Alan Parson's Project to the Violent Femmes with some Quincy Jones and Dead Kennedy's tossed in for good measure, so yeah, there really isn't a 'sound of the 80's' per se.


it's not a real rock song until you actually call out each instrument as the go into a short and largely uninspired solo ala Poison


Some mentionalbles that I didn't see...

Winger (that Kip Winger... he smolders)
Judas Priest
Bon motherfucking Jovi

Quick funny story... I was at a yard-sale about a month ago (saturday early morning ritual, something to do while the missus sleeps in) and had my dog with me. Well the yard-sale hostess, a typical soccer-mom type lady, was gushing over my dog (siberian husky) and started reminiscing about her own husky who had just passed away a year or so ago. I asked her what the dog's name was and she said:

"Dokken... you know, like (throws up the devil horns and a mini-headbang) Dokken?"

I laughed and said, "yep, I know (threw my own devil horns) Dokken..."

I thought it was hilarious, the soccer moms of today used to be the slutty rocker girls of yesterday!



You forgot MANOWAR.


kip winger smolders...that's too fuckin funny...

knight ranger
white lion
lita ford
and europe!

how could y'all forget europe ?!?


I agree and I think we might have to just define what a Hair Band is...Billy Idol AC/DC and Queen are definitely not hair bands.

Whitesnake, Poison, Motley Crue, Danger Danger, Bang Tango, White Lion, all hair bands. Very crappy at that.

Remember Billy Idol came from hard core punk...remember GEN X?


No L.A. Guns?


hahahah i was going to say manowar, but they really fall more into the category of "dungeons & dragons" rock. If you wear a loin cloth or sing about dragons and wizards, chances are i was listening to you while my leve 4 elf was beat up by an ogre. other "d&d" bands include y&t, helloween, hammerfall, blind guardian, and of course, ronnie james dio himself.

as for glam rock, you could always add t.rex. they were pioneers of glam.