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MUSIC MASTERCLASS- Hair Metal



The Origins and early days-Hair metal or glam metal is a sub genre of heavy metal that came to popularity in the late 70s and early 80s and has continued to be popular since. This week we're charting the beginning, middle and present incarnation of the genre.
-The genre took influence heavily from 1970s glam rock and heavy metal bands. A few bands had previously experimented with mixing glam rock and heavy metal prior to the 1980s when glam metal emerged as a fully fledged genre, taking influence from the likes of AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, New York Dolls, Iron Maiden, Queen, The Sweet, Van Halen, Slade, Mott the Hoople, T.Rex and others
-In the United States, many fans credited that the movement on the Sunset Strip was kick-started largely by Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx’s former band London after the earliest years when they started as a glam rock band. Others assert that it was kick-started by Quiet Riot's Metal Health album when it reached #1 in the billboard music charts in the early 80s (c.1983). In any event, these bands played a prominent part in the genre’s direction and would go on to influence a lot of the bands who formed from the mid-1980s onwards.

The Sound
-Generally, glam metal has hedonistic lyrics, often focuses on sex, alcohol, and drugs. Musically, glam metal songs often featured distorted guitar riffs, shred guitar solos, anthemic choruses, hard hitting drumming, and complementary bass. Glam metal is often frowned upon by fans of other genres of metal as being too pop influenced, involving more pop melodies than aggression, as heard in other types of metal.
-Many glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles, long teased hair (hence the name) and use of make-up, gaudy clothing (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, leather and headbands), and accessories—traits somewhat reminiscent of glam rock, a music genre which first emerged in the United Kingdom during the early 1970s.

The second wave and diversification
-By the mid-1980s, glam metal could be defined by two major divisions. On the mainstream side were bands such as Bon Jovi, whose 1986 album Slippery When Wet was a huge success at Top 40 radio and MTV, as well as the band Europe, whose single "The Final Countdown" hit number one in 26 countries; the bands in this style were and still are described as pop metal.
-Los Angeles fostered a more insular scene around the Sunset Strip, starting in 1984-1985. This movement eventually spawned bands such as Poison, Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns. Other bands were associated with that scene’s style but actually came from outside of Hollywood; Cinderella and Britny Fox, both Philadelphia bands, are prime examples.

Sleaze Metal
-Guns N' Roses completely changed the direction of glam metal in 1987. They incorporated the sounds of blues and punk into the music, while retaining some of the imagery of glam metal. Guns N’ Roses became a mega-success in 1988 thanks to singles such as "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child o' Mine," and went on to sell millions of albums. Other bands which arose around this time with similar musical styles are Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, L.A. Guns, Roxx Gang, and Dangerous Toys. This offshoot of glam metal is dubbed "sleaze glam", "sleaze rock", and more recently "sleaze metal"

The Revival-In the early 1990s glam metal’s popularity rapidly declined after nearly a decade of success. Several music writers and musicians began to deride glam metal acts as "hair farmers, hinting at the soon to be popularized term hair metal. Several factors played a role in the decline; blame is often placed squarely at the door of grunge music from Seattle (see grunge masterclass on the Rising homepage for more info!)
-During the late 1990s, however, several glam metal bands of the first and second eras began to assert themselves again, releasing new material. New glam metal bands have also formed. Starting in 2006, glam metal has been becoming more and more prominent, even more than they were in the early 2000's.
-The successful British band, The Darkness, was one example, albeit in a more tongue-in-cheek manner that’s somewhat reminiscent of early Queen

We Played...Mott the Hoople- All the Young Dudes
 Bon Jovi- Livin on a Prayer 
Europe- The Final Countdown
Guns n' Roses-Paradise City
The Darkness- I Belive in a Thing Called Love



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