The '80s honored us with the presence of the glam metal scene. The first occurrence was in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, especially on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. Everybody went crazy about it! Glam metal performers became famous for their wild lifestyles, strippers, late-night parties while filling all tabloids' pages back then. This subgenre of heavy metal has another recognizable name - hair metal, based on glam metal band members' look.
The long hair was a must-have! Besides, the fashion was so outrageous. Firstly, heavy make-up was present on both women's and men's faces. Secondly, the outfit included the skinniest clothes. We're talking about spandex and lace, and the colors were as flashy as possible. Anyway, prepare yourself because you're about to discover some of the most famous guitar riffs in our top ten list of best glam metal songs of the '80s. So, volume up, hand-horns in the air, and press play. Enjoy. Nevertheless, if you maybe feel like dancing, you can also check our list of Top 10 Dancing Songs That Sends You Back to the '80s.
10. White Lion – When The Children Cry
The band White Lion is a typical example of a glam metal '80s band. Their music style successfully proved that hairy bands are not just about noise and loud screaming but also about something different.
When they released the power metal ballad, "When the Children Cry," White Lion's reputation went so high that they fastly jumped to 3rd place on the Billboard Hot 100. This one quickly brings tears because of the lyrics filled with sadness and cruel truth. The song keeps getting more and more relevant today with a guitar melody that will touch your soul.
9. SKID ROW – "18 And Life"
Many of us fell in love with Skid Row only because of its frontman's magnificent vocal performances. The girls back in the '80s were drooling over Sebastian Bach's gorgeous look.
Nevertheless, we must admit that he has a talent for acting too, as he made appearances in the TV Shows Gilmore Girls and Trailer Park Boys. The "18 and Life" was released as a single and was Skid Row's "career-turn" song, becoming their greatest hit and reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Van Halen - "Jump"
If someone invents the time-machine, we would be more than happy to go back to the '80s and stand in the first rows in many memorable concerts. One of them would be Van Halen's live show. The tune from the "Jump" makes us literally start jumping and moving our bodies in the rhythm of that catchy keyboard line.
The fun fact is that Eddie Van Halen wrote a famous synth line in 1981, but it surprisingly wasn't good enough for the rest of the band members to accept it. Still, the right melody will always find its way to the audience, and that's what happened with this one. "Jump" was the lead single from their album "1984", and it became so popular that it reached number one on Billboard.
7. Warrant - "Heaven"
Even the hardest metalheads know that there must be a ballad to attract and melt the hearts of girls in the middle of drinking and partying songs. Slow, mighty guitar melody, and the divine vocal part is the winning combination for the successful song, as it happened with "Heaven," who took 2nd place on the Billboard Hot 100.
You'll wish you are back in the '80s the same moment this song starts on the radio. Many hair-metal fans say that the '80s were critical as they gave us the bands such as Warrant.
6. Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train"
After quitting Black Sabbath, who the hell could think that Ozzy Osbourne will manage to survive the loss of popularity? No one, because it never happened. Miraculously, soon after the release of "Crazy Train," the song became enormously popular and his most recognizable as a solo performer.
The song's highlight happened in the Blizzard of Ozz tour, Ozzy's impressive comeback tour. The guitar riffs continued to live their own life, as they are so popular even today. You could identify it the moment you hear it.
5. Whitesnake - "Here I Go Again On My Own"
We all know the feeling of having goosebumps listening to a favorite song. In other words, that's the exact description of how we feel when the powerful opening line "I don't know where I'm goin', but I sure know where I've been" starts playing. Somewhere between light juvenile lyrics and noisy non-articulated tunes swam out the precious jewel of a song called "Here I Go Again On My Own."
The first release of this song came in 1982, but Whitesnake re-recorded it in 1987. The fun fact is that part of the lyrics is different in those two versions. It firstly was: "Like a hobo, I was born to walk alone," but in the second version, Coverdale changed it from hobo to drifter, as he didn't want people to think he was singing homo instead of a hobo. Anyway, the song remained a timeless hit.
4. Guns n' Roses - "Sweet Child o' Mine"
Everybody on this planet Earth knows the legendary guitar riff at the beginning of "Sweet Child o' Mine." The less familiar fact about the famous intro is that it's created accidentally, while the bands' guitarist Slash did a guitar exercise during the casual house jam session.
Also, listening to the fabulous song's creation, the bands' frontman Axl Rose got a rush of inspiration and finished the lyrics by the end of the same day. It was the third single from their fantastic rock debut album "Appetite for Destruction," which led them to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
3. Bon Jovi - "Runaway"
The "Runaway" successfully achieved widespread fame when released to radio in 1983. Anyway, the less known fact is that Jon Bon Jovi originally recorded it with the studio musicians, and soon after, he formed the band, Bon Jovi. Their debut single, this anthemic song, remains to be fan- favorite and the bands' as well.
All the girls back in the '80s went crazy about the glam metal icon and frontman Jon. His blond hair and pretty face attracted many ladies' sighs around the world, as he fulfills all of the criteria to be a rock star. Netflix proved that they have fantastic taste in picking songs for their TV shows by featuring a part of the "Runaway" in one of "Stranger Things" episodes.
2. Scorpions - "Rock You Like A Hurricane"
"Rock You Like A Hurricane" is a great song that will outlive all of the time boundaries. It represents the Scorpions' famous signature song. Precisely as the song title says, this hit brought them some stormy, hurricane popularity back in the '80s. It represents the real glam metal hymn.
If you pay attention to its lyrics, you'll realize that the song is about attitude and sexuality. The great popularity led this one to 25th place on the Billboard Hot 100. In light of that, MTV put their video on constant repeat.
1. Cinderella - "Nobody's Fool"
Cinderella represents a perfect example of one glam-metal wave band. Anyhow, they remain to be one of the most musically gifted. Their debut album "Night Songs," from 1986, gained triple platinum status by selling three million copies.
The power glam-metal ballad "Nobody's Fool" achieved a huge success, as it made the 13th place on the Billboard Hot 100. It doesn' really matter how old this song is because it will always sound damn good.
Sliding through this top ten list, we remembered one of the timeless music hits. Hair-metal still represents the most fabulous rock movement, as it gifted us with many incredible songs.
So, how do you like our list? What other glam-metal pieces would you add? Let us know your suggestions in the comment section.
Cover photo: Alexandre St-Louis/Unsplash