Hard rock music that began in the early 1980's and lost much popularity during the 90's, due to Kurt Kobain and the grunge movement. Hair metal bands are reconisable by their big hair and flashy clothing. They mostly wrote songs about partying, women, and their whole lifestyle.
Popular Hair metal bands: Motley Crue, Poison, Ratt, Cinderella, Warrant
by Flipper March 25, 2005
A band of the hard rock or heavy metal variety associated with the 1980s, even if from the early 90s (as was the case with Damn Yankees, Mr. Big, Nelson) "Hair metal" was a term not coined until well into the 90s, but roughly covers what was known in the 80s as "glam metal".

Self-proclaimed haters of hair metal try to define the genre as music with all focus on image, and contrast it with grunge. Yet in grunge, the lack of aesthetics became a trendy enforced look itself, and the scene never produced any virtuoso "musician's musicians". Many credit Nirvana and grunge with the "death" of hair metal, but this is historically inaccurate, as hair metal's loss of popularity was mainly due to 1) sudden denial by radio stations and Mtv of any airplay or promotion, and 2) unrelated pitfalls of many key bands in a very short time span: Ozzy Osbourne had announced retirement, inner conflict led to Guns n' Roses' break-up, too many years taken off in between some band's albums (Metallica, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Def Leppard), while other bands lost prominent members (Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Poison).

Most hair metal bands in fact continued to put out albums and play small venues throughout the 1990s, finding promotion via the internet, college radio, and the work of loyal fans. Ironically, it then became a much more anti-corporate, "alternative" form of music than the 90s pop music that was still being called "alternative".
"Haha, look at all that hair metal. I hate anything that came out of the 80s."
"Wait a minute, didn't you just buy the latest CDs from Guns n' Roses, Aerosmith, and Metallica?"
"Yeah, but those bands don't count as hair metal because, um, you know. Er, uhhhh...hey what's on TV tonight?"
by Bill M. July 23, 2004
Hair metal is a term that was coined in the 1990s, but in it's heyday in the '80s it was called "glam metal." It emerged in the mid and late '70s with bands like KISS, Van Halen, Def Leppard, etc. However, disco and the singer soundwriter era dominated that era until 1981 when MTV came out and drowned our TVs with New Wave and punk rock. It wasn't until '83 when Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noise" topped the charts, bringing "hair metal" into the mainstream.. Bands like Iron Maiden, Ratt, Motley Crue, etc. At the same time, the bands in the LA scene from the sunset strip would make it big in the mid and late '80s. From the late '80s into the beginning of the '90s, hair metal became saturated with power ballads, alcoholism, and problems within the bands. The hair metal power ballad dominated the charts from 1986 through 1991. Then all of a sudden, an unknown band from an underground scene in Seattle launched this one particular song in late 1991 that changed the rock scene forever... By 1992, hair metal fizzled away....
"Hair Metal=Jack Daniels, parties, women, panties, fame"

"Kick-ass scene in '85, lame-ass power ballads and excessive drinking in '90."
#80s #1990 #hair metal #poison #guns n' roses #power ballads
by nixonisacriminal August 09, 2009
this isn't much of a definition but seriously whoever writes these things about hair metal doesn't have a clue! The term hair metal started out as a derogatory for glam rock or whatever you want to call it. Some people originality called it teeth metal mainly because everyone was seen to be having a good time. which to me is what music is all about.
here is an example of a noob... Success in hair metal was primarily achieved through placing primary importance on the ability to pose for the camera, and comprising your band with simpletons with little or no musical ability, much less creativity.

have you ever listened to any glam rock? some of the guitarists of that era pushed the boundaries of solos. The thing is many solos may be easy to play, but to compose them in the first place takes some serious creative talent.
#hair metal #glam rock #solo #guitar #har metal #haie metl
by 226 August 11, 2007
A genre of music begining in the 1970's, which gained mainstream audience in the 1980's, suffered a decline in the 1990's, and now enjoys a more underground success, despite some hair metal bands still breaking into the mainstream.

The first hair metal band is argued by many, although Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" was the first metal album to reach number one on the bilboard charts, and so is often refered to as the begining of the genre, despite Quiet Riot being active throughout the 1970's.

The genre often involved high pitched vocals. The genre's direction would often differ from band to band or even song to song, some displaying pop characteristics, and other displaying blues characteristics, such as Warrant's "Train Train". Lyrical content would focus on an up-beat look at life, involving parties, drugs (Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood"), sex (Warrant's "Cherry Pie"), relationships (Blue Crystal's "Someone"), as well as other themes in keeping with a comical or "party hard" look on life ("Slick Black Catillac", "We're Not Gonna Take It", "You're The Only Hell Your Momma Ever Raised").

Power Ballads also became large in Hair Metal, and by the end of the 90's became incredibly processed and watered-down. Examples include "Living On A Prayer" and "Home Sweet Home".

Hair Metal has been meaningful. Warrant's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" deals with two innocents witnessing two police officers commiting murder, and Marilyn Manson's "Mechanical Animals" album deals heavily with the negative effects of drugs.

The visual component of Hair Metal is huge. Many hair metal bands had elaborate stage antics, with pyrotechnics and wire-work. Hair Metals also generally wear make-up, fashion their hair, and wear outfits suggesting femininity. One hair metal performer, Blackie Lawless, took this to the extremes by cutting pieces of raw meat up on stage via the buzzsaw attached to his cod-piece.

Hair Metal's decline is usually credited to the rise of Alternate Rock, although it can also be assigned to the genre being considered sexist, the break-up of key bands, many bands changing direction, and also many individuals involved entering rehab, as well as the "dark side" of the genre, which was displayed in "The Decline Of Western Civilisation II: The Metal Years", which showed many Hair Metalers intoxicated. Rather than looking "cool", it simply looked pathetic.

The genre now has an underground following, and has taken on a much edgier attitude, look, and sound. Many hair metal bands continue to tour and release albums, usually heavier and dealing with more extreme situations.

Skid Row


Quiet Riot

Motley Crue

Bon Jovi (Early)

Alice Cooper

Ozzy Osbourne

The Darkness

The Veins Of Jenna (An example of modern underground hair metal, also known as Sleeze Metal)




Twisted Sister


#metal #glam #80's #hairspray #tommy lee #warrant
by TheUglySoldier June 11, 2007
Hair Metal is an ambiguous term applied to almost any metal band from the 80's by hipsters and often - ironically - former fans of these bands. It is not a single musical genre that can be classified by musicologists in terms of keys, modes, writing styles, et cetera. It was a visual image cultivated by the record companies and shared by several bands.

Hair Metal as a whole is not much different than alternative or grunge in the early nineties. A few original bands started the scene and the record companies molded every other band in the "alternative" image until they milked it dry. The music had almost nothing to do with any kind of genre. The RHCP were as much a part of the scene as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, REM, Violent Femmes, and Pearl Jam. The only common thread was they all wore plaid!

I really had to laugh when someone mentioned earlier how Alice in Chains had more substance than any number of hair bands. Apparently there are people who have no idea that Alice in Chains actually started out as a glam metal band complete with lipstick makeup and big cheazy hair. No wonder why he over-dosed..........

Or how bout Weezer. Bet you never knew Rivers Cuomo was in a hair band called zoom.

two words:

metal sludge

lord knows what's hiding in your favourite bands past
Hair Metal, Alice In Chains, Weezer, Glam Metal, Rivers Cuomo
#hair metal #alice in chains #weezer #glam metal #rivers cuomo
by Lee manestro November 16, 2006
great genre, defines 80's hard rock, smome of this bands have great musicians in contrast to crappy grunge and hardcore bands like alica in chains and korn. i know not all the band were good(poison sucks) but the groups generally were excellent. all the stupid people agaisnt this genre usually listen to hardcore and grunge. grunge: crap with no talented musicians
hardcore:decadescense of metal in all ways pure noise, no musianship.
bon jovi, guns n roses, skid row, cinderella, motley crue, europe.
by andrew August 05, 2004
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