WTMusic Blog: The 50 Most Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown (10-1)

Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown Part 1 (50-41)
Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown Part 2 (40-31)
Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown Part 3 (30-21)
Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown Part 4 (20-11)

Well folks… The votes have been counted, and the results are in on what has been described as “The Most Significant Blog in the History of Pop Culture and Music”. OK we may just be making that up. But for those of you following along on this journey (the blog not the band, we decided they were more AOR than Hair Metal) here it finally is, the last few in the definitive list of the most Generic Hair Metal Bands Of All Time… At least according to us!

10 – Tryx

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Brett – The Purple, Red, Pink and Blue crew are here! Tryx is a relatively late addition to the list, but they have it all… A band name with fun spelling (Tryx!), an album with fun spelling (Dayz Gone By), and a look that would make Pretty Boy Floyd jealous. A Sunset Strip attraction between 1987 and 1989, it wasn’t until recently that they even packaged up their one and only album, Dayz Gone By.

Tryx doesn’t have a hard-edged bone in their body and their glam sound was obviously emulated by Pretty Boy Floyd, but despite the fact that Tryx never got a recording contract they still managed to put enough together to get on this list. The sound may be nothing special, but the look proves that Tryx aren’t for kids…

Mo – Honestly I don’t think these Tryx are for anyone.

You probably never heard of Tryx until now for which we’d like to say… You’re Welcome. We don’t really need to defend them as a choice for being so high on this list though because, well, look at them. Then listen to them. Annnnnd… we’re done. Tryx is the 10th most generic Hair Metal band ever.

But honestly I’m being a little hard on them but in a joking way, because I kind of dig them. And they really are an interesting case study. What makes a band successful, and why does a record label decide to sign some one and some one else never gets a sniff? What gets PBF and Bang Gang signed but leaves bands like Tryx or Roxx out in the cold? It can be hard to say. While Tryx’s look was way over the top, so were many bands that record labels produced, and by all accounts they legit had one of the largest followings on the strip in the late 80’s, if not THE LARGEST!

Maybe it was their sound that the studios couldn’t figure out how to market, since they had a real late 70’s glam sound compared to most other bands rocking the Sunset Strip back in the day. Still, there has to be reason these guys endured and were so highly sought after by tape traders looking for their music for so long.

A couple of notes if you do try their Dayz Gone By CD from Demon Doll Records. First, the opening 7 tracks are remastered demos they have cleaned up, so they’re not perfect but not bad. It is said that better versions than the ones on the record are out there among the tape traders though. 2nd, despite what Demon Doll Records is promoting in that the CD contains the only songs the band ever recorded there is some dispute about that and the apparent existence of an EP called High Stakes should you want to try and track it down.

Or maybe they’re just too generic for you.

9 – Danger Danger

Danger Danger Rock America

Mo – I’m grateful for Danger Danger. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very willing to accept them for being exactly what they are, a party band you could listen to and enjoy then put aside.

Danger Danger opened for a lot of more popular acts. Acts with just a little better songs, a little more musical talent, a little more charisma, leaving them a band that just bubbled underneath but never broke out.

But in their case it just seems right. They opened for a lot of huge bands, but it’s because that’s where they were meant to be, and they excelled at it. I have always thought of Tesla as the best opening act band for Hair Metal, but I’m changing that to Danger Danger, because Tesla is a great, original band that they never were 100% sure how to market, but Danger Danger was what they were, and represented why you’d go see a band live doing that type of music in that era, just not with them as the headliners.

Being an opening act led to one of the greatest stories I’ve ever heard though, which you can read in more detail HERE, but the short version is Danger Danger was opening for Kiss and lead singer Ted Poley was so excited by how well the first night went he tossed 3 towels into the audience.

Backstage he ran into Gene Simmons who first complimented him on the show then asked him for $18 to cover the expenses of the towels, and that he wanted it from Ted personally. When he got the money Gene said he could keep tossing out towels as long as he could afford to keep paying for them.

Tremendous.

Brett – Danger Danger performs “Naughty Naughty” and then follows it up with “Bang Bang”… Are you seeing a pattern here? I know I am.

We saw Danger Danger in the early days when they opened for Warrant on a club date, and while they weren’t as good as Warrant, they were still a lot of fun. They are at their best when they just do light, fun songs, which is exactly what puts them so high on the list. Their darker work is passable, but anything that is recorded with Ted Poley (their first, and current lead singer), is pretty generic stuff. I will give them bonus points for having an album recorded two times, each with a different singer. Cockroach was originally done with Ted Poley, but then they fired him and due to litigation, they were unable to release that version of the album, so they hired (Canadian) Paul Laine and recorded and released it with him. Now, you can listen to both versions, and the one with Paul Laine has a bit more to offer the sonic landscape, but still not enough to keep them off the list.

Mo – I got to say how happy I am we did this list, because it’s why I’ve listened to “Bang Bang” so many times recently, and I love that song. It may epitomize what I enjoy about Hair Metal more than any other tune. 

8 – Vince Neil

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Mo – Alright, I know Vince Neil is not a band, but saying Five Guys From Van Nuys didn’t make sense.

When we were throwing the list around I mentioned Vince Neil not only should be on it but he should be very high and Brett balked a bit, but when I asked him to create an argument as to why he shouldn’t he struggled, and rightly so.

Hey, Motley Crue are legends. Yes, I have to admit, I personally don’t like them. I don’t like the people they are or the way they’ve treated their fans. And while I think most of their music is overrated they still do have some terrific songs and together are much greater than the sum of their parts. The attitude and image they present is key, and obviously I love Hair Metal and without them influencing so many acts I am fond of the genre would not be the same.

But as a solo act they all get somewhat exposed, though in different ways, so it’s fitting that’s the name of Vince’s first album after leaving Crue.

And Exposed is a really good album, with one great song (The Edge) on it. Still, it’s really just a Motley Crue rip off sound wise, seeming to ape the vibe of his former band, albeit with better musicianship thanks to Warner Bros insistence that the brilliant Steve Stevens be hired for the band just before recording, and he plays both guitar and bass on the CD.

Of course why wouldn’t it sound the same? Is that so bad, or wrong? After all, John Fogerty famously sounded the same as a solo act as he did for CCR. Of course that’s because he wrote the music for CCR, Vince Neil, with very few exceptions, didn’t write the music for Motley Crue.

For his next album, Carved in Stone, he does a 180 degree turn to an industrial metal sound far more popular for the era. I have no problem with a new sound, but if it isn’t an artist gradually evolving I get skeptical as to how authentic an artistic pursuit it is. Follow up his solo stuff with the obligatory covers album Tattoos & Tequila and a concert album with horrible production values Live at the Whisky: One Night Only and you are some how left with the image that away from Motley Crue, and likely even more so if at home alone and sober (which I doubt has ever happened much), this is just a man with no true sense of self.

Brett – After Vince was fired from Motley Crue, he was given a big signing bonus to record some solo albums. He got together with Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw (who have written some pretty generic songs in their careers, listen to Night Ranger and Damn Yankees), and according to Neil, within 20 minutes they had written “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come), which is quite possibly the most generic song ever written by anyone… ever. I assume it was used in the movie Encino Man because Vince Neil was (at the time) a big star. This song was put onto his first solo album “Exposed”, which featured 10 other similar songs, only given a slight boost due to the appearance of Steve Stevens on guitar.

In 1995, he recorded the album Carved In Stone, which was produced by the Dust Brothers (who are awesome). It is an industrial sounding album that is a complete 180 from “Exposed”, and I think it is by far the best work that Vince Neil has ever done… But I am in the vast minority on that.

Ultimately Vince Neil winds up on the list for giving us a thoroughly generic album, Exposed, and chasing trends to give us an album that really isn’t Vince Neil, Carved In Stone. Probably for the best that he is back with Motley Crue threatening to eventually have a final show. Though it would potentially mean that he would resurrect his solo career, which I would hope is more Tattoos and Tequila than Exposed.

Actually, I’ll just keep listening to Carved In Stone and forget the rest.

7 – Harem Scarem

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Mo – Yeah, we know there’s a lot of Canadian bands on this list. Guess why? Because we’re Canadian obviously! And if we were scarred by listening to this crap, well, misery loves company.

Which brings us to Harem Scarem.

So here’s a band we’re heavily punishing for their first album, because it’s the worst of the worst. Crap music, crap singing, crap videos, crap everything.

So I didn’t like it much.

;

Now the band had stemmed originally from a band called Blind Vengeance, which looked like any other Hair Metal band, but actually sounded more like Iron Maiden, so the fact they went a little harder on the 1993 album Mood Swings makes sense, but that just made it a some what harder edged generic album than their self titled debut. For some reason I can’t understand they went in and re-recorded Mood Swings as Mood Swings II 20 years after the first release. Was anyone clamoring for this, and is there really any difference between the 2, because I can barely tell listening to them.

The shame is by the time Voice of Reason came out in 1995 the band’s reputation had been completely ruined by that first album, meaning Voice was barely heard by anyone despite it being a quality album, if obviously heavily influenced by the 90’s grunge sound.

But going from the worst Hair Metal generic sound to a grunge wanna be in the 90’s does nothing to change their spot at #7, it just cements it, and that’s made even more obvious with the continued change of sounds as they continued on through the years.

But damn it, that first album was utter crap.

Brett – Harem Scarem makes the list because they are Canada’s best answer to generic hair metal. A generally bland sound, with a hefty helping of power ballads helped propel them to popularity in Canada and Japan, but not so much in the United States.

They were heavily featured in Degrassi Junior High, so I’m a little surprised they never found their way onto a Kevin Smith movie soundtrack.

They later changed their name to Rubber (only in Canada, they were still Harem Scarem in Japan) to try and avoid the negative connotations of the name Harem Scarem. It didn’t work, and Rubber had even less success. Eventually they realized that Harem Scarem is what it is and they are still performing to this day.

Mo – So the video quality is bad, but check out what they made for the song “Sunshine” of the 2000 Rubber album, including the clever Jay and Silent Bob characters featured in the video, which may be why Kevin Smith never put them in a soundtrack.

Brett – As an aside, back in the day Harry Hess may have had the biggest hair in hair metal, which is really saying something. And I can’t believe Mo listened to both Mood Swings albums… That’s dedication.

Harry Hess Harem Scarem Hair

The appropriately titled Harry Hess, the King of Hair Metal hair?

6 – Tuff

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Brett – Tuff is the band that would put themselves on this list, and while I respect that, they still earned their reputation.

I’m not even sure where to start with Tuff, their first album “What Comes Around Goes Around” would be enough to get them on the list by itself… You combine that with the fact that they have a Bret Michaels lookalike (sometimes soundalike) singer in Stevie Rachelle (founder of the Metal Sludge website), and the fact that they have had more past members than most bands have groupies, and they make the top 10.

Stevie and Bret

One of these is Bret Michaels, one isn’t. Any guesses?

Stevie Rachelle is a master of self-promotion, and he has kept Tuff going through thick and thin, primarily as a good time rock band dedicated to taking the piss out of hair metal. In that way, he is the inspiration for this list.

Mo – I picture it going down something like this…

Inside a record executive’s office, some where around late 1990.

Executive – “Damn, that damned Capitol records is making a shitload of money on that Poison band. We got anybody who sounds like them?”

Sheepishly the executive’s assistant murmurs.

Assistant – “Well, there’s this band, named Tuff. They’re not that good, but they do sound a little like Poison, especially on a couple of songs, which are the ones we could release”

Executive – “Tough? What a shitty name, but maybe if we call them Tuff it’ll work”

Assistant – “… Uh yeah, good idea”

The executive takes a bump of cocaine.

Executive – “God damn, sign em up. Not you know what we really need, a fucking band that looks just like Poison. Maybe we can fool the stupid little piss ants into buying a shitty album that way.”

Assistant – “Actually, I know just the band”

Executive ” Well, what are they called? Actually who cares. Go sign them for fuck’s sake you little piece of shit, then we’ll put both album’s out at the same time and send them on tour together. It’ll be perfect”

Assistant – “Actually sir, it’s even better than that. You see, it’s the same band”

Another cocaine bump, the executive looks up, a crazed money look in his eyes while he stumbles a bit.

Executive – “What? This Tongue band…”

Assistant – “Tuff”

Executive – “Whatever. This Tuff band is both the Poison look and sound alike”?

Assistant – “Yes sir”

Executive – “Well god damn, get the damned contract signed already! And good job, when we go to the strippers next time I won’t make you pay for my first lap dance”

Assistant – “Does that mean you’re buying me one”? 

Executive – “Fuck no, now get the fuck out of here”!

Brett – It’s practically like you were a fly on the wall isn’t it Mo? Course, nobody has ever paid for your lapdances either.

5 – Trixter

Trixter

Brett – Trixter was originally formed in 1983, and they didn’t have their first album released until 1990. And despite all of that, they still look like the youngest band on the list. If the album had been released in 1988, then they probably would have been able to sustain the success of the album and maintain their career… Unfortunately, by the time Hear (1992) was released, Trixter’s time was pretty much over.

It’s easy to tell that Trixter was released later because the band wears flannel shirts and jeans as opposed to the typical flamboyant outfits favoured by bands that were on labels earlier.

Trixter reunited in 2008 and recently released a new album called Human Era. Pete Loran’s voice sounds a bit more mature, but the subject matter of their songs still isn’t… But they do seem like they are a fun band.

Mo – Trixter was a very popular band around 1990, and yet I have to admit they pretty much were always off my radar and I don’t know an awful lot about them. Honestly though, that’s likely a bigger testament to the fact that whatever I was exposed to of them, in no way stuck for me, a sure sign that they are as generic sounding as they come. They were never Trixter to me, they were J.A.B. (Just Another Band).

In fact where I got to know them best was from watching Warrant with them on a PPV you can now see on YouTube filmed in Louisiana in 1991 on the Blood, Sweat and Beers tour. A little foreshadowing for later, Firehouse is also on this video, but it’s pretty great.

4 – Nelson

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Brett – Nelson is one of the bands that everyone will be expecting to see on the list. Matthew and Gunnar Nelson are practically the poster children for generic hair metal given the sound of “After the Rain” and their long platinum blonde hair. Apparently they struggled with Geffen not wanting them to release harder edged music, so they wound up following up After the Rain with the mostly acoustic “Because They Can”, which didn’t help their image in the eyes of metal fans worldwide.

They released other albums through their own label, but my biggest problem with them is that I can’t help but feel that generic hard rock is just what they are good at. Their voices don’t fit the heavier stuff, and the lyrical content of the songs is often typical of their other work. It isn’t that they are bad, they are just born to be generic.

They just release “Peace Out” which is supposed to be the last Nelson album. I’ll believe it when I see it… But I suppose it would let them keep going with their more successful tribute to their famous father, The Ricky Nelson Remembered band.

And that surely must be one of the worst music videos of all-time…

Mo – Is it just me or when you hear Nelson’s music, or see a picture, or even think about them, doesn’t a certain unexplained emotion just well up that makes you want to commit an irrational act of violence on them?

I mean you shouldn’t, they actually seem like nice guys, and even if they weren’t no one should get hit. It’s not really their fault that if a marketing team was to put together a Hair Metal act they would look and sound like that. They were born looking that way, and really were still learning how to play coming into that first album,  particularly Gunner who had just switched from drums to guitar. The music from their debut was crafted with a lot of help for them from the legendary John Kalodner (which came with a catch down the road) and producer Marc Tanner. Leading to all sorts of hit songs of that first CD, and the video below, which I think is even worse than the After The Rain one.

In fact, the music they’re known and remembered for isn’t really Hair Metal, but that is where they’ve been placed. a lot of that is their fault though because they really, really, came across like they wanted to be seen as Hair Metal.

So I can’t deny their place on this list. Nor can I really hear this song and think they deserved to chart with it off their 2nd album Because They Can, though I can’t deny how badly they got screwed in that whole deal. They do get some bonus points for that hilarious album cover though.

But what I can say is that the concept album, Imaginator, that led to their issues with Geffen and a near shocking sudden disappearance from the charts, is interesting, from what I’ve been able to hear. And it did contain a pretty great version of The Sweet’s classic song Action.

And if you’re interested in what Nelson looks and sounds like now in 2015 check out the video “Rockstar” from the new album Peace Out. And hey, even if you don’t happen to groove to it, but like Hair Metal (why else would you be reading this?) check out the label that released it, Frontier Music SRL. Along with Cleopatra Records no one is keeping this type of music alive more than them with acts like Stryper, Lynch Mob, Kelly Keeling, and more. Free plug, we got no affiliation with them.

Brett While we’re at plugging things, if you like the song “Action”, then listen to Steve Steven’s Atomic Playboys version. I like it. I also like Steve Stevens.

3 – Giuffria

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Brett – I had the cassette for Silk + Steel when I was young. I thought it was great. It seemed so cool that a band would do half an album of ballads and the other have of rockers. At the time, I usually only listened to the Silk side because it was the side I liked… Now, when I listen to it, I wonder how they even got away with calling it a Steel side, as most of their rockers sound like ballads as well.

Giuffria is another band with plenty of ties in this list. Craig Goldy who played guitar on their first album also played with Rough Cutt. And Gregg Giuffria played with House of Lords who were in consideration for this list. Singer David Glen Eisley gets some bonus points for me for having one of his songs feature on the Spongebob Squarepants tv show.

Oddly enough, Giuffria recently got back together to do some shows, but Gregg isn’t a part of the band anymore. Nice of him to let them keep using his last name…

Mo – You know you’re in trouble when the opening of Giuffria’s debut album starts with a keyboard solo. After that it changes up though. Not to guitars mind you, just to a different keyboard melody, but hey what did you expect? The band was formed by keyboardist Greg Giuffria, formerly of the influential if not commercially successful 70’s Glam Rock band Angel. So if you like your Hair Metal with keyboards… a hell of a lot of keyboards, this is the band for you.

Not for me though.

The self titled debut album does have a pretty great hard rocking song in “Turn Me On”, except for those damned keyboards, And it ends with the super weird “The Awakening” before closing strong with “Out of the Blue”, where the keyboards actually enhance the mood instead of over power it. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t picture anyone who in the mid-eighties that has a decent record collection going “What should I listen to? Van Halen – 1984? Def Leppard – Pyromania? Nah, I’m gonna go with Giuffria”. I just don’t believe that could have happened. Ever. But at least the album ends leaving you thinking there may be some interesting work done by the band in the future.

Then comes Silk + Steel. I love how so many of the bands on the list blame a lack of promotion from the label on an album not taking off. How about this possibility?

It’s just not that good.

As Brett mentioned, he owned Silk + Steel (which if you do decide to make fun of him for on his twitter, @Brett_WeTalk, keep in mind there’s plenty of other things to make fun of him for too), and he used to play it an awful lot. In fact I remember one Halloween driving around looking for where Brett’s guitar teacher was playing a gig and not being able to find it, and that damned album played over and over. I never really got the appeal for Brett, except for “Girl”, which is a pretty good tune.

I’m just glad the 3rd album, which you can hear on YouTube, never got officially released, because it sounds at times like Van Hagar, without the cool, or Whitesnake, without the quality.

Eventually Gene Simmons signed the band once their last label dropped them, and he Simmonises () them into House of Lords. Simmons though insisted they get a new singer and that they change their name because no one knows how to pronounce Giuffria (it’s joo-FREE-ah), which he was right about.

Eventually Greg Giuffria left the music industry and entered the world of business, pursuing such projects as building the world’s biggest ferris wheel. But he left quite a legacy behind him.

And in one of the most ironic stories ever, the band performed 3 songs for the soundtrack to the 1985 Anthony Edwards movie Gotcha! Mind you, one of the songs was credited to them as a band called Camelflage. The reason for the change? The band was worried the song “What’s Your Name?” would be considered too poppy, and hurt their reputation.

Ha!

2 – FireHouse

Firehouse Super Hits

Mo – Man, just look at the hair in that album cover, it’s like a poster for a horror movie called Attack of the Perm. Seeing that and listening to the debut album makes me glad the 80’s are over. Sure their debut dropped in 1990, but they honed the music from it in the 80’s (members of the band played then under the name White Heat).

Firehouse is the greatest example I can think of that it was time for Hair Metal to go away for a while by the time the 90’s started, even if as a fan of the genre I didn’t understand that so much at the time. The irony of that is that while most of their peers did disappear, struggling to maintain relevance after musical tastes changed, Firehouse managed to continue to chart into 1995, becoming the last band of the genre to make hits through signature ballads. It was also interesting to note that when the Grunge Movement took hold and most other Hair Metal bands got harder and seemed to emulate that sound, largely failing, Firehouse’s 3rd album in 1995, cleverly titled “3“, went SOFTER than their previous two albums.

Look, I’m not going to hate on someone for being a Firehouse fan, big or small. I get it. For a lot of people they provided a fun escape, and were the last band of the type to hold onto, and that’s cool. And they did good music, for what it was, while doing it. There must have been something they had to endure in both the 90’s and to their loyal fans to this day. It’s just that it was nothing new, and Firehouse represents the saturation point, lacking true innovation or originality.

But hey, that’s fine, just because you weren’t innovative or original doesn’t label you as bad. It does, though, label you at #2 on our most Generic Hair Metal list.

Brett – At the 1992 American Music Awards, FireHouse won the award for Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist. They were chosen over Nirvana and Alice In Chains. Let that sink in for a moment… I can see a couple of things from that information, 1) that music awards don’t mean diddly-squat, and 2) that they managed to break out at the last possible moment for a band of their kind.

The vast majority of their songs are about love, or rock n’ roll, or love of rock n’ roll… And unlike AC/DC they lack the panache to properly execute that limited song-writing skill set.

Technically, they are a fine band, and they are together to this day still playing the songs from their early albums. I’m glad that vocalist CJ Snare (which is a better name for a drummer) decided to cut his hair, because he had one of the biggest hairdo’s in all of hair metal. Between him and Harry Hess (from Harem Scarem), I don’t know who would win…

1 – Black ‘N Blue

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Brett – When we decided to create this list, the impetus came from one band… Black ‘N Blue. We originally had FireHouse at the top of the list, but given another listen, Black n’ Blue arrived right where they belong, in position number one.

Gene Simmons took the band under his wing and produced (AKA Simmonises) a couple of their albums. And like most bands that Gene Simmons touched, they were over-produced and designed toward selling albums. Gene liked their guitarist Tommy Thayer so much that he let him paint his house and become his personal gofer. In the end it paid off for Tommy though since he now dresses up like Ace Frehley all the time and plays for larger crowds than his former mates in Black n’ Blue do.

Their album “Hell Yeah!” was released in 2011 despite being recorded in 2003. It actually sounds like it would be perfectly at home in 1993…

They have some fine songs, but when it comes down to the purist, most generic hair metal possible, I can’t think of anyone who fits the bill more than Black n’ Blue.

Mo – I can’t believe Brett didn’t comment about the size of Jaime St. James‘s hair. Maybe it was because he thoughts Jamie St. James was actually Sammy Hagar.

There’s something terribly fitting about the fact that a band with such heavy ties to Gene Simmons ended up in the #1 in this list. I don’t know that anyone over the course of this epic 50 band journey through Hair Metal has actually been written about more, and Kiss isn’t even in the list itself.

But it’s a testament to who he is and what he stands for, far more businessman than artist. And Black ‘N Blue is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

Coming out of Portland in 1981, Black ‘N Blue was known as “Movie Star” and then “Loved By Millions” before settling on “Black ‘N Blue” because it fit their leather and denim image. They moved to L.A. about a year later and eventually signed with Geffen Records. In fact they were the first Heavy Metal act signed by the iconic John Kalodner, who you may remember we wrote about during the Nelson portion of of the blog. In fact, only Motley Crue and Quiet Riot were signed before them, from Warner Bros Elektra label and Colombia’s Pasha respectfully.

So how does a band so early out there in front of the burgeoning scene end up so far in front of the rest of the groups on this list to be placed at the very top?

Well, much of this is because they did the virtually inconceivable, putting out 4 albums in 5 years, each actually WORSE than the album before it, a truly remarkable feat.

Much of the lack of success for their self titled debut is blamed on them wanting The Scorpions producer Dieter Dierks, and the wait meant that bands like Van Halen, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, and Quiet Riot got the head start on them, with others soon to follow. Truthfully, even acts like Night Ranger, Loverboy, Scandal; The Cult, Pat Benatar, Billy Squier and Billy Idol, who weren’t their direct contemporaries, still provided a hard rock alternative into an already increasingly crowded market. My feeling is more that the first Black ‘N Blue album was more of a fine listening experience as a whole, but lacked a true radio friendly single despite being very. very solid throughout.

They did their best to fix that though with the 2nd album Without Love, and they quickly became a bland act. Like all of their albums it’s got a few songs that strike you as very good, but is wildly inconsistent, and is definitely geared to a much greater, radio friendly, sound.

Still, there are those fans out there who swear by them as one of the great acts of the genre who never got the success and credit they deserved. I don’t really understand why though. And by the time Gene simmons came aboard to produce the 3rd album “Nasty Nasty“, and 4th “In Heat” they were struggling with their identity and quality, putting out so many albums so quickly. Certainly Simmons involvement didn’t help with that. As a producer he is highly involved. I’m doubting he would like anyone pushing their vision on him when creating a Kiss record, but he’s fine to do it for others. After all, as you may have heard, Gene Simmons is rumoured to have a bit of an ego, and a producer certainly pushes an “I know best” attitude.

So all of this leaves Black ‘N Blue as what they are, a disappointment. Geffen held up their end of the bargain, putting out all 4 of the albums they signed them to. They had a chance to show their stuff on tour, opening for Aerosmith, and of course Kiss, giving them major exposure.  As was mentioned, Dieter Dierks, already a major figure in the music industry, produced their first album. And the 2nd album was produced by an upcoming Bruce Fairbairn and engineered by Bob Rock, leading to Bon Jovi requesting them for his Slippery When Wet album, currently rumored to have sold 25 million copies. Fairbairn and Rock never looked back. And of course they had Gene Simmons, perhaps a double edged sword, but a sword nonetheless, on their side after that.

Yet despite that, they never had an album even certified gold, despite the fact the 80’s had a hard rock audience snapping up albums left and right. Their peak chart position for an album was for 1987’s “Nasty Nasty”, at #110. That’s right, they never even broke the top #100. The “Black ‘N Blue” album reached #129, and “In Heat” #133. And “Without Love” isn’t even listed in the top 200.

Album sales aren’t the be all and end all of quality obviously, but all the evidence added up proves there’s something here folks. Something very, terribly, generic.

Now go listen to the first album in it’s entirety. Taken that way, you’ll find it good. But maybe not special enough to come back to.

Bonus Time

In doing this list we came across something we had to save for the end, because if we had put it in where the band was there would have been no point in continuing, since nothing could top it. Yes, not only is this video the greatest thing we’ve ever seen, it is likely mankind’s top achievement ever. 

We think it goes

3. The Internet

2. The Lightbulb

1. “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)” by King Kobra

Enjoy!

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One thought on “WTMusic Blog: The 50 Most Generic Hair Metal Bands Countdown (10-1)

  1. I don’t want to be a butthurted fan but this list doesn’t make any sense… I totally agree on some choices but there are three things that are enough to let me understand that you can like Hair Metal (a term that’s really too generic and that I despise) but you’re just uninformed and unprepared listeners. I read all the countdown but the 3 things are in this page.
    1. I love the first album by Tuff, as first album is great but the best were yet to come, just listen to all the demos and you can understand me, then came Grunge and Alternative and ruined it all and we’ll never listen to the real follow-up of the that album (as far as I am concerned Religious Fix is too disheartened to be a Tuff album except for the song I Like What I See).
    So you can’t judge a band that was killed when it was growin’ up.
    2. Tryx aren’t generic at all! They are the first band to melt the Glam Metal with a ’60s bubblegum sound, somethin’ that Motley Crue tried with the Rasberry cover “Tonight” but it was just an experiment.
    3. Black N’ Blue on the first place. As one of the first band of the movement and they are from Portland, they aren’t influenced by the local scene so they can’t be the most generic band. They created their own sound. You can dislike ’em but you can’t say that they are generic.

    So please before throwin’ manure or diminish some bands try to prepare yourself (I laugh really hard when I read the Pretty Boy Floyd discography).

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