Hair Bands – What is the Definition


Remember Hair Bands?

Bands like:

  • Slaughter
  • Poison
  • Great White
  • Warrant
  • Y&T
  • Britny Fox
  • Bullet Boys

Now, I found a website that lists the Top 100 Hair Bands and I have to disagree with a lot of them.  The author of the site said, “Frankly, we had a hard enough time coming up with a hundred bands worthy of our list…much less put them in any kind of order that doesn’t tick anybody off.”  So I really feel like whoever wrote this up really wanted to list 100 hair bands and didn’t care that they listed anyone that clearly was not hair metal.  AC/DC? Really?

This page is a little more accurate in terms of Hair Metal ( you know, in case you decide to do a fifty page dissertation on Hair Metal).

Mötley Crüe is on this list, I disagree vehemently that they were ever a hair band.  If they were a hair band, then they must have started the era when they first came on the scene in 1981.  Did they become a hair band?  Is that even possible? They started as a glam band in 1981.

Are glam metal and hair metal the same thing?

Can a band morph into a hair band and then back out?

Who else is on this list that clearly is and never will be hair metal not even if you threatened their lives.

Slayer. Metallica. Megadeth.  Iron Maiden.  Queensrÿche.  Alice Cooper.

When the hell was Slayer EVER Hair Metal?

And for the record, Guns ‘N’ Roses was NEVER hair metal.

Def Leppard started out as a plain old rock band from England and turned into Hair Metal?  Or did they juts put out a few wishy wahsy songs?

As you can see, I am extremely frustrated by this and have many questions pertaining to the subject.  I grew up smack in the middle of the Hair Band Era and according to my calculations, besides having a big heaping head of hair, there was a certain type of music that went along with the “image.” A lot of the songs were about partying, girls, girls that partied and girls that ripped a guys heart out and set it on fire.

Check this list out above of the “Top 100 Hair Bands.”  Do you agree with it?  Who are some of your favorite hair metal bands?

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Epic Music That Plays In My Background


A moment ago I was on Facebook (aka the ultimate slacker tool) and as I clicked on different pages I liked… “using your cellphone as a flashlight” and “don’t’ talk to me before my coffee” I clicked on one I really liked.

I wish background music played during epic moments of my life (and not just in movies).

And let’s think about that for a moment.  Sometimes I really do pretend there is background music playing during certain moments in my day.  Ok, maybe not epic per say, but they are definitely moments that have significance.  Honestly?  None of the moments are epic.  But pretending there is background music during these moments, makes them almost epic.

Almost.

For example.. when I drive to work I listen to my ipod via my car stereo.  Sometimes really cool 80’s tunes come on.  And as I drive (or sit in traffic – which is more often the case) the song “In The Air Tonight” comes on and I chill back in my seat a tad as my hand drapes over the steering wheel.  I am “uber cool” in that moment. Dark sunglasses and a white blazer are the only things that would cement my coolness.

Even better? Driving a car that isn’t a ’99 Pontiac that no longer has working heat.  But I digress.

And then… I am walking down the cereal aisle of the supermarket, about to decide between Apple Jacks and Lucky Charms for my daughter.  I suddenly go into to slow motion as my head turns (in a most sexy way) and bam! “Still of the Night” bellows.

You get the gist.  Non-epic moments in my life made epic just by adding a killer background track.

Maybe you have a song or two that plays (or you wish played) during some moments in your life.  Care to share?

 

The Cowbell: Propelling Music Forward in the 80’s


Christopher Walken: “I got a fever… for cowbell.”

The cowbell.  Even on cows it sounds good.  Who would have thought… somewhere along the winding road of music an artist would say, “This song is great.  But… it needs something.  How about… some cowbell?”

In the Cowbell Skit on Saturday Night Live featuring Christopher Walken and Will Farrell (which is hilarious), Will Farrell and crew are covering Blue Oyster Cults “Don’t Fear The Reaper” for Walken.  There is a lot of cowbell in Don’t Fear The Reaper.  Perfect Cowbell.

My first memory of cowbell in a song is Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend.  The cowbell hits me in the face:  doink! doink! doink! smash!  And the music begins.  When I listen to this song.. the lyrics do not make much sense to me.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Everybody’s working for the weekend

Everyone’s looking to see if it was you

Everyone’s trying to get it right.

You wanna piece of the show, c’mon baby let’s go!

But the song is so damn catchy.  I don’t think many care that the lyrics are so random.  I don’t.. that’s for sure.  “Everybody’s Working For The Weekend.”  That is the only part that matters.

In 1987  Guns ‘N’ Roses broke ground with their album Appetite for Destruction.  I was fourteen years old, looking to rebel and there was Guns ‘N’ Roses blowing hair metal over the cliff like a tree in a windstorm.  Their epic tune “Night Train features a perfect mix of cowbell, screaming guitar and a still screaming Axl Rose.  The song is about getting wasted (I think?).

Random Lyrics From The Song

Wake up late honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card to the liquor store
That’s one for you and two for me by tonight
I’ll be loaded like a freight train

Guns ‘N’ Roses helped artists of the 80’s put down the hairspray and get a little more serious about the music.  There is a picture of Axl Rose on the AFD sleeve with cautiously poofy hair.  He has it there and a few moments in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video… never saw it again.  He probably figured there was cowbell on the album, so poofy hair was redundant.  Probably not.

Mötley Crüe, or Nikki Sixx rather (bassist for Crüe) wrote “Live Wire” in 1981.  I recently read The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (which is an awesome, disturbing read) and he talked about this song.   I got the impression that he was basically warning the world that a bunch of bad asses were coming and no one.. NO ONE would stop them.

This song became one of their classics and is in my top five Crüe songs of all time.  There are two instances of cow bell in this song at just the right moments.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Take my fist to break down walls
I’ll top tonight, no, no
Better turn me loose
Better set me free
‘Cause I’m hot, I’m young, running free – little bit better than it used to be

These are my cowbell song mentions.  Do you know any others?  Do you think the songs I listed need more or less cowbell?

\m/

Mötley Crüe/Poison/Dolls


I have loved Mötley Crüe since I first discovered them in 1986 when I bought the “Shout at the Devil” cassette tape solely based on the album cover and name.  I had no idea who they were and no idea that they would change my world of music forever.

Poison was awesome when they stepped into the limelight in 1986 with their debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In.  The radio hit off of the album was “Talk Dirty to Me.”

Don't Need Nothing.. But A Good Time!

I went to see these two bands perform live at the Susquehanna Bank center in Camden on July 16, 2011.  Now, I saw Mötley Crüe before, but never Poison.

Neither band disappointed.

Before I go any further, I think it is fair to mention that the New York Dolls were the opening band, but my friends wanted to tailgate in the parking lot, so we missed them.  I heard they were great though.  My pal Katie was upset that she missed The Dolls… we were hanging in the parking lot and taking pictures.  Katie took two pictures of me in front of Nikki Sixx’s Sixx Sense tour bus.

Brett Michaels sounded awesome as he hopped around on stage belting out lyrics to “Fallen Angel” and “Ride the Wind”.  The band also did “Something to Believe In” and the very popular “Unskinny Bop.”  My friend Katie hates that song!  But she managed through it.  They did “Nothing but a Good Time” which I still seem to know every word to, surprisingly!

Ooh, and they did “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” – a total classic 80’s ballad!  Lighters unite!  Well, these days it is cell phones… but I saw a few people getting old school with lighters, and yes, I was one of the old schoolers!

Poison wrapped it up.  I was definitely impressed with their performance.  Could Mötley Crüe really top them?

They could… and they would.

They opened with Kings of Los Angeles, which we missed.  Grr.  Katie, was upset.  Again.  Poor gal.

They played a bunch of other spectacular songs like “Shout at the Devil” and then…

Tommy Lee did an amazing drum feat.  There was a giant ring at the back of the stage that Lee’s drum kit seemed to be centered in.  Well, all of a sudden there is a light show of sorts on the back drop behind the drum kit and them Lee’s drum kit starts swinging from side to side.  Wicked!  As if that wasn’t spectacular in itself, the damn thing starts spinning and then stops upside down!!

Then they called this guy upon the stage to go on the drum kit with Tommy.  I thought that Tommy just picked a random dude named Tony, turns out the guy won the contest on WMMR.

Saw-weet!

There were fireworks and I have to say the weather was so perfect.  It was definitely worth the traffic and the $20.00 parking!

Let The Light Shine!

In the end, Mötley Crüe rocked so hard they blew the sound system.  My guess is that they didn’t do an encore for that reason.

Oh!  One of the best parts!  Katie took a picture of me in front of the Sixx Sense tour bus (Nikki’s Sixx’s bus) and I must say, I looked pretty alright.   We got inside and saw an email address to send fan photos too, and Katie did just that.

Oh yeah.. me and the Sixx Machine!

While the band played “Home Sweet Home”  they flashed the photos up on the screen in the back I was one of the fans!

A truly epic evening.

The Holy Trinity of 80’s Pop


Michael Jackson, cropped from Image:Michael Ja...

Michael Jackson

My favorite part of the 80’s was the music.  Not just one specific genre, either.  All of it.  I loved the Top 40, the rap, and especially The Metal… (we’ll be covering The Metal Scene soon!)

In a recent blog post, I asked you to name the top three 80’s movies that popped in your head.   We’ve also covered some of the gooiest 80’s ballads (oozing onto the floor as I type).

There is so much music to cover in the 80’s, that we’ll be doing it in digestible chunks.  And… I’m not sure if anyone noticed lately, but there are a couple new bands that have an 80’s sound to them.  The first one that comes to mind is The Airborne Toxic Event.  Now, I don’t know if that was intentional or accidentally intentional, but I really like TATE.  My guess is because it takes me back to a simpler time.

Today we’re going to cover some of the biggest pop/rock artists of the 80’s  and how they blew the doors wide open for later artists to show their stuff.

The top three on the list are Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna.  The interesting thing about these three artists is that they all put on a show when they sang.  And no, I don’t mean ‘no stinking puppet show’.  They all danced.  Well, Prince kind of danced; he did a lot of grinding on the stage.

Seriously, Michael Jackson was the first of the Ushers, today.  When Jackson released the Thriller album in 1982, quite a few kids showed up at my grade school in a red studded jacket similar to Jackson’s.  I was like, “no waaay!”

Prince wrote and performed one of the dirtiest songs to date with “Darling Nikki” off of Purple Rain.  Outraged, Tipper Gore founded the PMRC.  Prince had a lot of sexual innuendo in his music, but at 13, I didn’t get it!  Perhaps I was just a typical, naive thirteen year old girl, but I loved his song “Little Red Corvette.”  My love for that song had nothing to do with the underlying meaning about one night stands.

Madonna? Well, if you can’t figure out all by yourself she was the first singing/dancing female pop sensation you should probably get out from under that rock.  Kidding.

Madonna paved the way for Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.  It’s funny (to me) how Madonna was so taboo to parents in the 80’s.  I remember my mother freaking out when I told her I wanted a “Boy Toy” belt buckle.  Honestly?  At 13, I had no idea what it meant.  I just thought it was totally cool and was dang sure I’d be the bees knees in school.  In fact, there is a classic Madonna poster where she is kind of looking up in the air and I used to do that in the mirror all the time and really (really) thought I sort of.. kind of.. a tiny bit resembled Madonna.  Man, I was a total dork.

Mom said no to the “Boy Toy” belt.  Looking back? As a parent, I don’t blame her.

Who are some 80’s artists you feel influenced today’s music?

The Ten Squishiest 80’s Ballads


There have been love songs and ballads as far back as the ear can remember.  Some are full of nothing but love, others nothing but heartbreak.  There are more than a hundred 80’s ballads that spanned a decade of tears and charred thumbs from holding the lighter lit a little too long.  I had a hard time picking ten, but I did it with some coffee and a fistful of aspirin.

They are in no particular order because they are all squishy in their own way:

A white lighter showing a flame against a blac...

Lighters Show Love!

** Save Your Love – Great White

** Waiting, For a Girl Like You – Foreigner

** Fly To The Angels – Slaughter

** Heaven – Warrant

** House Of Pain – Faster Pussycat

** Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

** I Remember You – Skid Row

** Beth – Kiss

** Don’t Close Your Eyes – Kix

** Open Arms – Journey

Open Arms is quite possibly the most famous of the ballads.  It was out before hair bands were an icon.  It was every teen couple’s anthem in the early 80’s.  It was the song played at the school dance where boys got the nerve to ask pretty girls leaning up against the wall to dance.

Do you have any favorite 80’s ballads?  When you hear one, are you transported back in time?