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'Rolling Stone' Readers Pick the Best Hair Metal Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone recently asked readers to choose the best hair metal songs of all time. The songs are all "top of mind" tracks -- there isn't anything obscure here. This means that some really great songs are missing but many of the best are fairly represented. The sad part of this list is that it is unfairly heavy with Guns n' Roses, Motley Crue and Def Leppard. There are many other great Glam bands, but you wouldn't know it by seeing this list. So the top ten songs are below. What do you think?

10. Guns N' Roses, 'Sweet Child o' Mine'

9. Whitesnake, 'Here I Go Again'

8. Poison, 'Nothin' but a Good Time'

7. Motley Crue, 'Girls, Girls, Girls'

6. Warrant, 'Cherry Pie'

5. Motley Crue, 'Home Sweet Home'

4. Guns N' Roses, 'Welcome to the Jungle'

3. Guns N' Roses, 'Paradise City'

2. Def Leppard, 'Photograph'

1. Def Leppard, 'Pour Some Sugar on Me'

Reader Comments (29)

So, pretty much this was picked by RS readers who have no broad knowledge of the scene beyond what is most popular - which means this has no relevance at all.

Not to mention there is no such thing as "hair metal" anyway, it's totally a media creation after the scene it supposedly represents was not popular anymore.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Well...They didn't dig very deep, did they?

Rolling Stone readers are very similar to Rolling Stone's executives... A complete bunch of musically clueless f*cktards.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
I was going to weigh in on this,but Ace, my apparent "brother from another", once again covered my thoughts to a tee..... Guitarists apparently tend to think alike my friend. LOL
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Totally agree with my BBG friends. The list is not representative of our genre. Cherry pie would never be on my list.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian L
Who are they effin' kidding? "Pour Some Sugar On Me" as #1?

And I see that the anti-Winger/Firehouse/Queensryche sentiment still continues...

My opinion of RS readers are that they're still stuck in the seventies...
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
As far as this list goes (or duzn't go), it shows most Rolling Stone readers who voted are more than likely pulling their choices from their radio programmed memories.

Still, the fact this list even exists gives creedence that our cause to Bring Back Glam! is working.

Thanks to iTunes, "Rock of Ages", Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Metalmania, Hair Nation, Boneyard, rampant Internet Music Piracy, Sites like this one and Moms and Dads everywhere, Hair Metal (the term has existed since the beginning) is bigger than ever.

Here's what the list might look like if voters were at least culling from their memories of MTV's "Headbanger's Ball" (Oh, and I made the list go to eleven as that only seems appropriate):

The Top 11 Hair Metal Songs of All Time:

1) "Round And Round", Ratt
2) "Photograph", Def Leppard
3) "Come On Feel The Noise", Quiet Riot
4) "Living After Midnight", Judas Priest
5) "Rock You Like A Hurricane", Scorpions
6) "Home Sweet Home", Mötley Crüe
7) "Talk Dirty To Me", Poison
8) "Sweet Child Of Mine", Guns And Roses
9) "Don't Know What You Got ('Til It's Gone), Cinderella
10) "Heaven", Warrant
11) "Don't Close Your Eyes", Kix

Note: This list is hypothetical. It is not based on my personal preferences.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Now check out the rest of Hair Metal on

p.s. Al! Like I've said before, I wish we could refrain from using the word "obscure". I prefer to think of them as "hidden gems". Thanks!
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
'Round and Round' and 'Were not gonna take it' are glaring omissions.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Using the bands on their list and in no praticular order: Out of the 3 G & R songs on there, I'd personally keep "Welcome to the Jungle". "Still Of The Night" from Whitesnake would replace their choice,(and be way up near the top) For Poison I'd go outside the box for "Love On The Rocks" For Warrant it'd be "Uncle Tom's Cabin". For the Crue I'd take "Don't Go Away Mad" (or SOS. it's a toss-up)I'd keep "Photograph" from Def Lep.".It's Not Love" from Dokken would be in my top 3. Round and Round is prolly at the top for me also, as it kind of was there right at the start of the whole MTV explosion, along with "Bang Your Head",which would also make my list. And to make it an even 10 I GOTTA throw in "Crazy Train"....
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Besides "Round and Round" and "Were Not Gonna Take It" being glaring omissions I would add Ouiet Riot's version of "Cum On Feel The Noize" and "Turn Up The Radio" by Autograph.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRock-It
"Cherry Pie" isn't in the Top 10 of Warrant songs!

The main problem with this kind of list is that the term "hair metal" (an idiotic term, as Jack noted above -- I prefer "pop metal") is pretty ill-defined as it frequently incorporates bands that don't really fit into the genre. It seems to encapsulate any vaguely hard rock single released from the early '80s through ~'91-'92. For example, I don't consider GNR to be "hair metal" at all, but they are associated with that era and certainly had big hits. There are also a lot of classic metal/hard rock bands that dabbled in poppier fare and had some hits, but I wouldn't say they are "hair metal" bands in the sense of, say, Pretty Boy Floyd or Trixter. The term gives people an easy way to either completely dismiss all of these bands and albums as a dreadful period of silliness or, if they're a bit more generous, declare some of the radio hits of their youth to be a "guilty pleasure" relegated to the ash heap of nostalgia. There is almost never any actual engagement with or discussion of the music itself.

Plus, some bands had a sound that sort of transitioned from pop metal to somewhat heavier fare. The best example of this is Skid Row's Slave to the Grind, which is pretty much just a straight-ahead metal album (balladry aside) that had them sharing bills with Pantera. The Skid Row debut falls much more into the pop metal category. There are obviously many more examples of this.

My "hidden gem" would be "Scared" by Dangerous Toys.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNiklas
@ Niklas... I also remember the term "bubblegum rock" when referring to bands like trickster, Warrant, Poison, Bon Jovi, etc. I really like the term glam metal or Hair metal. The best would be 80's hard rock music, when classifying our genre. What a fun time in music, and I still cannot get enough of it.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian L
Living On a Prayer? Round and Round? Were Not Gonna Take? Cum On Feel the Noize? Rock You Like a Hurricane? All glaring ommisions with a dozen more or so that left out. Wny not limit one song per band? One of the worst lists I've seen.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarry
this list is exactly why Rolling Stone should get out of music commentary. Rolling Stone is not a music magazine...and never was...or could be
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
Rolling Stone was at one time a great Music Magazine with excellent journalism. Check out #613, the issue dated September 19th, 1991. It's the one with the gorgeous Mark Seliger photo of Sebastian Bach on the cover.

The issue not only has a beautiful portfolio, if you will, of over a dozen black and white Seliger photographs that also bridge two great cover stories, one about Skid Row and the other called "Heavy Metal Nation", a well written study of the U.S. Metal Scene including L.A.

Rolling Stone still, overall, houses great writing, purely journalistically speaking, especially when the subject turns to politics. It's their coverage of real Rock and Roll that lacks consistency.

Founder and Publisher, Jann Wenner, always seems to cast a pretty wide net when it comes to coverage of Rock and Roll but that's just because he needs to sell magazines.
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Rolling Stones political articles are great. But as far as music they cant buy a clue.
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
And that's also reflected in Wenner's selections AND especially ommissions of nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

p.s. And let's not forget how he and his writers and editors all ignored and hated both Led Zeppelin AND the entire Punk Rock movement until the fan buzz could no longer be denied.

p.s.s.t. I don't know how the hell I forgot "We're Not Gonna Take It", Kenny O. I had it on paper but didn't transfer it over, I swear. I'm gonna do a revised list here shortly as I realize many of you have mentioned a few other far more legitimate entries than some of the ones I threw in. To be honest, I hope one of you beats me to he punch. I get a kick out of the lists y'all come up with when on BBG!
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I've also determined the height of a band's hair should also be a determining factor when considering their inclusion in THMHOF (The Hair Metal Hall of Fame).

See ya in an hour or two with a revised list.
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I agree with MB about Rolling Stone. Their political articles (especially those from Matt Taibbi) are 1st class, top notch journalism.And like he also pointed out, they do have to paint with a very broad brush to move product.I just don't like the way they treat our genre (metal) in general (usually veeeerrry condescendingly),while praising overrated hacks like U2 or The White Stripes.....
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Hear! Hear!, Gary! Yeah, with the exception of Hendrix, The Who, and to a certain degree, Aerosnith, ZZ Top and Zappa, Wenner & Co. could not and will never honor any sort of Hard Rock and/or Hair Metal.
June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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