Well we’re getting deeper into the countdown and the bands in the list are getting more interesting. In fact there’s likely more bands on this list we’d enjoy listening to than we’d care to admit, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be here. So let’s take a look at 30 through 21 as we approach the answer everyone wants to know, who is We Talk Music’s most generic Hair Metal band ever!
30 – Spread Eagle
Mo – As the 1980’s draw to an end the record industry is making money hand over fist. Albums were flying off the shelves at an amazing pace for several years. The average price for a 45 minute 10 song disc was $17, or the equivalent of $33 by today’s prices. Think about that for a second and compare it to now when people are used to paying a buck a song at most, and bitching about that.
Music was so hot and every genre could produce a major hit but heavy metal was especially profitable as legions of fans snapped up the music based just on the style. While everyone knows bands like Bon Jovi , Whitesnake and Def Leppard were selling 8 to 10 million copies of a CD, you didn’t have to have that kind of mainstream success to get rich. Artists who never generated a top 40 song, and sometimes without a top 100 song, could go gold or even platinum.
But the biggest splash made towards the end of the decade was by Guns n’ Roses, whose sleaze and punk inspired version of metal had taken the world by storm.
G n’ R were viewed as a hair metal band largely thanks to Axl’s stylish cut in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video, and the music executives of the era were making so much money so quickly and they seemed to believe that the gravy train was never going to end. Therefore they were now snapping up bands left and right that a few years ago they would never have considered.
That’s how Spread Eagle came to be. Right place, right sound, right time, and signed while still rehearsing for their first show by a desperate MCA Records who somehow were in danger of failing to properly capitalise on the scene that had grown out of the Sunset Strip over the last several years. The fact that they produced some quality music despite all this is a testament to the potential they may have had but instead they were a fast cash grab that actually failed to grab any cash.
But what would you expect from a hair metal band that copied a hair metal band that wasn’t a hair metal band and still became a hair metal band…
Brett – Any band that would write the lyric “hot sex… good” deserves to be on this list, plain and simple. Spread Eagle was a band that was willing to go further than most of the bands of their generation, and that’s why I think they are great. They were a lot more G n’ R than Poison, which helped set them apart. I would love to see the alternate reality where Spread Eagle becomes a big-time band… what a world that would be. But ultimately, they are just “Spread Eagle”.
29 – Thunder
Brett – Thunder is a band that had way more success in their native Britain than they ever did over here in North America. They have that bluesy sound that was a trademark of the day, and a song like “Dirty Love” was a pretty generic offering from them. I am a huge fan of the album “Laughing on Judgment Day”, and Thunder is still a band I appreciate to this day. But have a look at the video and you get why they have to be here.
Mo – Thunder is a really good band, and honestly they’re not even very “metal”, hair or otherwise. But the fact is that perception is reality and first impressions mean an awful lot, so I present to you the video below. That is all; you may now go on with your day.
28 – Roxy Blue
Brett – What happens if a hair metal band is produced to sound like Guns n’ Roses? You get Roxy Blue. Mike Clink produced both bands, but the difference is that Axl and co. had way more to offer than Roxy Blue. Their big claim to fame was that the song “Rob the Cradle” is “the one-take track, recorded live to tape with no edits, no dubs, no breaks, no shit”.
Mo – Formed in Memphis too late in the game to make any real impact on the scene doing this type of music Roxy Blue was a blues based party pop metal band who seemed to desire to never be more than a blues based party pop metal band… And I’m OK with that. Fun music from the era is always fine with me, just don’t expect to not be placed this high on a list of generic Hair Metal bands doing that.
27 – Autograph
Brett – “Turn Up the Radio” is one of the best songs of the genre. Autograph is exactly the reason we did this list, big hair, big sound, and hilarious videos. An arena rock dream, Autograph continues to play to this day, though they are doing it without their original lead singer, Steve Plunkett because he found a career writing and producing music for relevant stars right now and probably makes more money than the rest of Autograph combined.
Mo – When I’m driving in my car listening to Hair Nation on Sirius XM and Autograph comes on I do what I’m told, and I Turn Up the Damned Radio! And if someone else is with me I make sure and tell them what a great song it is, then I turn it up some more. And if they somehow don’t know the song I tell them it’s a great song and then turn it up even louder!!!
Love that song.
So Brett asks me “When’s the last time I saw the video for Turn Up the Radio”?
I’m like, ” I don’t know, maybe 25 years”.
So he sends it to me.
And I’m like “Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha “!!!
“Haw haw haw haw haw haw haw haw haw haw haw”!!!
And it wasn’t the only winner of a video in their catalogue either. Still, I get a kick out of the band, and not just that song.
Generic though they may be.
Brett – This is what all music videos should be like. For the rest of time.
26 – Cats In Boots
Brett – Cats in Boots is a sleaze metal outfit, that didn’t find a lot of success. They didn’t create a lot to differentiate them from the competition either. Their lead singer Joel Ellis formed Heavy Bones once Cats In Boots broke up… Heavy Bones was the group he should have done first.
Mo – Brett is implying Heavy Bones is better than Cats In Boots. I know personally I’d rather have some Cats In Boots than some Heavy Bones. One sounds like a bunch of strippers and the other a terminal disease. Other than that both were hard rocking sleaze blues acts that sing about sex and not much more.
Heavy Bones is a cooler sounding name though. But half of Cats in Boots members came from Japan, so that’s different.
Heavy Bones named their only album the very original Heavy Bones. Cats in Boots called their album Kicked and Klawed, which is borderline moronic.
Your winner then, by default, Heavy Bones.
Brett – Whoa, that’s heavy dude.
Mo – Totally man, Totally.
25 – Hurricane
Mo – Quiet Riot was one of the first real breakout metal acts to hit the mainstream and the “Metal Health” album had Carlos Cavazo on guitar, and Rudy Sarzo on base.
Well Carlos had himself a little brother, Tony, who played base. And Rudy also had a little brother, and coincidently Robert was a guitarist.
So they formed a band. But how do you distinguish yourself from the large looming shadows of your older brothers?
I don’t know, and neither did they apparently, because they had a similar look and style, landing them # 25 on this list.
Brett – Hurricane sounded like a lot of other bands, they just did it a fair bit better. I will never argue with how good Hurricane is, they just weren’t that memorable. Kelly Hansen could sure sing though, and that’s exactly what he does after replacing Lou Gramm in Foreigner. This is another band on the list that Doug Aldrich had a stint in.
24 – Babylon A.D.
Brett – Babylon A.D. is one of my favourite bands from the era. I love the hooks from the first album especially. They wound up on the soundtrack for Robocop 2 (probably the best thing about the movie), and joined a shocking number of bands from this list who were on movie soundtracks. They have reformed and still play to this day, which makes me happy.
Mo – Maybe the music just sounded better in comparison to how bad Robocop 2 was?
Actually, how much can you blame a band for just doing their job, which for Babylon A.D. was to create radio friendly pop metal songs, which they did. Still, there’s also a reason they, like so many, never broke out of the pack. Where’s that special video, great song, or memorable concert that has people talking. Being liked by fans of the genre is fine, but if you’re one of the bands that comes on the radio and neither excites people nor turns them off you deserve to be here, and that’s what Babylon A.D. are.
Brett – But they had Sam Kinison on one of their albums. He adds a certain cool factor (or sleaze factor) to the band.
23 – Heaven’s Edge
Brett – According to guitarist Reggie Wu, Heaven’s Edge would have been the next big thing were it not for a crazy guy with a shotgun that forced them to release their first album later than they wanted. I can’t speak for whether or not they would have become big, as I still don’t think they had enough originality, but they could sure play. Reunited and playing live again, Heaven’s Edge may never get the success they hoped for, but I’m sure they’ll make some fans happy.
Mo – Some of these band’s you have to wonder what they could have been if the circumstances were different? Heaven’s Edge falls in this category. I like their chemistry, energy, and they had seriously one of the best names for a band. I think they could have evolved out of being a typical Hair Metal band if they had stayed together but instead their self titled first album in 1990 was, for all intents and purposes, their only one, as the 1998 follow up was unfinished material from earlier and came and went without a notice. It’s a shame really.
22 – Slik Toxik
Brett – Another Canadian entry to the list. They went from being called Virgin Angel to Portrait to finally settle on Slik Toxik… they probably could have done better if they kept searching. They had a few hits in Canada, but they were never like their first single, a “Big Fuckin’ Deal”.
Mo – Ever meet someone and they just rub you the wrong way? Or you may just see them and take an instant dislike to someone, and you’re not even sure why? That’s me with this band. They should have been everything I liked but somehow I just couldn’t shake the fact that they seemed like posers. Nothing seemed genuine to me about Slik Toxik. It didn’t help also that living in Canada they were pushed down my throat by the Canadian video music station MuchMusic, our version of MTV. They were from Toronto, and the station was located there and while they were a popular local club act there was much better acts from other parts of the country ignored by our so called national music channel. There’s a reason the rest of Canada sarcastically dubs Toronto “The Centre of the Universe”.
So yeah, they pretty much sucked.
21 – Pretty Boy Floyd
Brett – The “Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz” are on this list because they revel in the glam lifestyle. They can cover Motley Crue and you would never know the difference. Probably the only band on this list that has no issue being termed hair metal, and I appreciate them for it.
Mo – My friend Brett is way, waaaaaay under selling the band taking #20 on our list, so now let me do it properly.
NEXT WE COME TO THE MOST AMAZING HAIR METAL BAND OF ALL TIME!!!!
Now hear me out on this.
The band name?
Pretty Boy Floyd.
They named their albums?
What are the names of some of the members of the band?
Steve “Sex” Summers – vocals
Kristy “Krash” Majors – guitar
Vikki Foxx – drums
Mikki Twist – bass
Kari Kane – drums
What kind of typical Sunset Strip Hollywood drama did they have?
Guitarist Ariel Stiles wrote all but one song on their debut album (and that one was a Motley Crue song) but left the band during rehearsals because he felt they didn’t have the drive to go anywhere. Shortly after they recorded the album and he got no song writing credits, so he sued. Then they settled and he rejoined the band.
Their singer Steve Summers and Kristy Majors have had major public disputes over social media with each other.
Majors has been accused of ripping off songs from friends like Keri Kelli, friends of friends like Jani Lane, Swedish rock band Backyard Babies, and even an entire album word for word from the 90’s band Suckerpunch for his group Kristy Majors & the Thrill Kills.
Majors has had major public disputes with the man who started the Metal Sludge website and used to sing for Tuff, Stevie Rachelle, over his behaviour.
What else about them makers you say WTF?
They posed for pictures like THIS.
That last one is perhaps only topped by this picture of Manowar
Look, here it is in a nutshell. The last Blackberry ever produced will be the greatest Blackberry ever produced, but it will still be a Blackberry, an item that had its time and its end is inevitable. That really explains Pretty Boy Floyd, the perfect bookend for this page of the countdown to what I wrote about Spread Eagle.
MCA signed them after they had performed only 8 shows. And they were so convinced they had signed the next biggest band in the world they gave them 250K for the album production, 400K for videos and 250K in cash. Of course they blew all that immediately so MCA gave them another million dollars… Which of course they also blew immediately.
Instead of becoming the next big thing they really were the straw that broke the camel’s back. People saw them and said “That’s it, too much of a good thing, I’m out” and this attitude led to people seeking an alternative, and Nirvana couldn’t have been any more opposite of what PBF was.
I’m not saying they were the sole tipping point, but they certainly were a key. Still in many ways they were the perfect glam band. Everything was just done up so ridiculous that they were an unconscious parody. They did everything so perfect, from the look to the music to the attitude, that it was the peak; there was nowhere to go but either conscious parody or completely opposite from there.
That’s why they weren’t the biggest, best, or most influential Hair Metal band of all time, but don’t discount them. The fact they only fit as number #20 on this list is a little misleading, but it’s because they so perfectly fit everything that was good and bad about Hair Metal that they’re actually less generic than some of the other generic hair metal bands.
And it’s why they are, indeed, the most amazing hair metal band of all time.
Brett – I know it’s hard to believe that there are 20 bands that are more generic than PBF, but you’ll see… Oh yes, you’ll see…