Friday Five: My Love Affair with Hair Metal

The first time I ever got attached to something remotely like eighties hair metal was when my first boyfriend introduced me to the Darkness. Although a millennium band, I’m positive the lead singer of the Darkness wanted nothing more than to have been born twenty years sooner so he could have been part of the eighties glam rock movement. And I was addicted.
I love eighties hair because it’s just so damned fun. It’s what I listen to when I’m speeding down the highway with my shades on and my windows down, singing at the top of my lungs. How can I not? I can’t be unhappy while listening to these songs, there’s just no way. When I’m stressed out, I kick back with some Van Halen and let my worries fly out the window.
That being said, here’s my list of my top five songs from this wildly eccentric era. Enjoy!

5) “You Give Love a Bad Name”
Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet) (1986)

“Bon Jovi?” “Bon Jovi rocks! On occasion.” – Supernatural (2008)
Okay, so this isn’t the song Sam and Dean were talking about, but in my opinion it’s one of the three on which Bon Jovi really hit the hair metal mark. Sure, I like “Wanted” and “Living on a Prayer,” but this one is so angry and so sexy that I can’t help but claim it as my favorite Bon Jovi song. 

4) “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
Def Leppard (Hysteria) (1987)

This is one of the few eighties songs that made it in my parents’ music collection, so I’ve known it since I was little but I only truly enjoyed it after my eighties renaissance in high school. Is it sad that I know every single word? This song always makes me feel like a BAMF, like I’m that crazy little woman and I can take on the world.

3) “Beautiful Girls”
Van Halen (Van Halen II) (1979)

Awesome, awesome Halen song. “Beautiful Girls” is a great representative of their typical sound that does, admittedly, lean more towards classic than glam rock, but it still qualifies as hair metal because it’s David Lee Roth and have you seen that man’s hair?

2) “Talk Dirty to Me”
Poison (Look What the Cat Dragged In) (1987)

Forget Katy Perry, this is the anthem of teenage flings everywhere; it’s certainly been the theme song of several of mine! It’s super catchy, super sexy and, like Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar,” after almost 25 years it’s still considered pop culture.

1) “Jump”
Van Halen (1984) (1984)

This is the quintessential eighties song. Van Halen added a synth and oh-my-god the result changed music forever. One of my friends believes hardcore that they could have done so much more with the synth, but I think that it’s important that this song was a departure from their typical style because it’s taken on a life all its own. This song doesn’t just belong to Van Halen, it belongs to the whole group of hair metal artists. The message, the tune, the synthesizer, everything is all eighties and all spectacular and by far, my favorite song of the entire genre.


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