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Monday Metal Madness: The 80’s

Last week’s gaming poll revealed that most people would prefer to play RTS games for action packed multiplayer fun.  Thank you to those that voted.

Lately, I have been on some kind of Steel Panther kick which, of course, has heightened my desire to go back to the 80’s (not physically) and listen to some cool “Hair metal.”  This poll is about those bands that I thought were better than average due to their song composition or quality musicians.  In other words, this poll isn’t about one-hit-wonders from that decade.  My opinion probably differs from most on what I perceive to be good 80’s metal, but probably not that far off the mark.  I am going to leave out the obvious stars of the decade – Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Aerosmith, etc.  This poll is about the other ones that didn’t quite make it that big or unfortunately didn’t last.  Here are my choices.

Dokken was probably one of my all time favorites back then.  I had a few I liked, but Dokken was a bit different from the rest of the pack.  George Lynch is  a great guitarist and it’s too bad that interpersonal relationships within the band ended their reign.  Here is the video for The Hunter off the album Under Lock and Key.

Extreme was never really one of my favorites back in the day, but when they had a good song it was really good and catchy.  They are probably best known for the song More Than Words, unfortunately because it was sappy and chicks dug it.  They had more substance to their music than that particular ballad.  For a brief moment, they had Mike Mangini in the band who recorded this particular song (below), Hip Today, back around 1995.  Although this song was not recorded in the 80’s, the band formed in the 80’s and reached the pinnacle of their career at the tail end of the 80’s into the early 90’s.  This one is a bit of a grey area for the poll, but I believe still qualifies for this post based on the style of music they played.

This Sacramento, CA band was a bit more stripped down than most other bands of the 80’s.  Though forming in the mid 80’s, they also took their career into the 90’s before virtually disappearing for a while.  Tesla had a hard rock edge to them; less glam and more emphasis on rock n’ roll and that is what I liked about them. Here is the video for Love Song.

Of the bands listed so far, Ratt is probably more glam than the rest.  They formed in the early 80’s and lasted quite a while for disappearing and then recently releasing an album in 2011.  I actually had Out of the Cellar on vinyl; I think that was the last record I ever owned before switching to cassette…just dated myself.  They may have been more glam, but weren’t so over-the-top-cheesy.

Believe it or not, this 80’s band featured two members that both played in Megadeth.  While Lion, another band with a killer ballad, couldn’t quite reach a status to that of some of their counterparts.  I think it might have had something to do with their Extreme-like ballad When The Children Cry which was way over played.  Other than that popular tune, these guys did know how to rock out.  They tried to reunite and tour in the last several years, but interpersonal problems and threats of lawsuits prevented that from happening.

I could probably go on for quite a while, but these bands were probably the ones I listened to most in addition to the über popular bands listed above that are not on this list.  Do you have any favorites from those days – Trixter, Bang Tango, Skid Row?  Feel free to write in your vote.


Theme Thursday – The 1980s

For those of us that remember the decade known as the 80s, it was a fun decade.  There were no major wars, no economic crisis that I knew of, and gases prices were lower than we will ever see again.  Metal (or rock in general) was on MTV all day and was also on the radio.  When I say metal I really mean the long-haired dudes that slightly resembled chicks (See photo  to the right and below if you can’t imagine what I am talking about).

I was a tween and a teenager for most of the decade.  When I reflected on the 80s I realized that the music (mostly in metal) revolved around three main topics; having a good time; hooking up and/or angst-ridden love; and the third topic was a general state of being heartbroken.  The latter of the three usually came in the form of the popular 80s power ballad.  Every band at the time had at last one or two.  This Thursday’s theme is about a genre of music known affectionately as hair metal or hair bands.

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