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80s Popular Hair Bands

by Julie

Hair metal was a style of music that was popular in the 1980s. It began as a “punk rock-inspired” form of hard rock, and though it evolved into other styles over time, it started off as punk inspired.

Hair metal bands were known for their long hair, tight pants and flashy makeup, though many of these elements came from the glam rock scene rather than punk.

Though these bands have been criticized for being simplistic and not incorporating enough originality into their music to be considered great musicians, they are still remembered for being very influential to pop culture in general. Some of the most popular hair metal bands include:

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi was formed in 1983 in New Jersey and is one of the most popular hard rock bands of all time, even now. They have sold over 120 million records worldwide and have been described as the “Beatles of hard rock.” They were able to get to Top 40 just after releasing two albums. Their sound influenced many other artists, especially other bands in the hard rock and pop rock genre. Some of their most well known songs include “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive.”

80s Popular Hair Bands

Mötley Crüe

This band was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981 by drummer Tommy Lee, bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil. They have been described as one of the best hard rock bands of all time, with over 100 million albums sold throughout the world. They are best known for songs such as “Dr. Feelgood,” “Home Sweet Home,” and “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room.”

Def Leppard

Formed in 1977, Def Leppard was one of the most popular hair metal bands during the 80s and early 90s. They are known for having a very wide range of hits, with one of their most popular albums, Hysteria (1987), managing to sell copies at the amount of over 25 million not just in the US, but worldwide. They are known for songs such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Hysteria” and “Foolin’.”

Van Halen

Van Halen was formed in 1972 in Pasadena, consisting of Eddie Van Halen, a guitarist known for his immense talent; his brother, Alex Van Halen, who was the drummer; along with David Lee Roth as the lead singer and Michael Anthony as a combination of singer and bassist. With Roth’s departure in 1985, they were joined by Sammy Hagar as their new vocalist. Some describe their sound as hard rock, some prefer glam metal.l. They are best known for songs like “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love,” “Jump” and “Right Now.”


Poison was formed in Pennsylvania, specifically Mechanicsburg, in 1983. The band is known for their unique sound that was influenced by glam rock and punk rock, and have sold around 60 million copies of their albums worldwide. They are most famous for songs such as “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Unskinny Bop” and “Talk Dirty To Me.”

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