Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for October 15, 2010

[Hair Metal] -- The 80s spawned a very strange creature: The Hair Metal genre. Possibly the result of controlled efforts to crossbreed Heavy Metal (for its energy and intensity) with Pop Rock (for its relative safety and accessibility), Hair Metal was responsible for a boat load of record sales. Of course, not nearly as noteworthy is the fact that this genre also drove up the sales figures for hairspray, spandex, and bandannas. Most bands in this category are considered one-and-done deals, and many of them certainly qualify. But a majority of Hair bands actually got started in the mid to late 70s before finding some measure of success in the 80s. And some of those guys continued to release albums far after their glory days had passed in the haze of spent smoke machines. Read and hear more after the jump.

Flashback #1: Ah, the perennial question on the mind of every prepubescent boy (and most post-pubescent teens, too, if we're to be honest here) was and always shall be: "Does She or Doesn't She?" Well, in 1986, much to the dismay of many parents I'm sure, Black 'N Blue put that question to music. This song can be found on the appropriately titled release, Nasty Nasty. Interesting note: KISS bassist Gene Simmons produced this album. In 2002 he asked Tommy Thayer, guitarist for Black 'N Blue as well as Cold Gin (a KISS cover band), to take over Ace Frehley's place in the KISS lineup.

Flashback #2
: Canadian rockers Helix finally achieved commercial success with their1984 single, "Rock You" (10 years to overnight success!). But I've always found their followup, 1985's Long Way to Heaven, to be much more fun. For your consideration, I submit the bouncy "Bangin' Off-A-The Bricks" which was never a single, but certainly should have been.

Flashback #3
: I thought about going with another under-the-radar band for the third flashback, but decided instead to wrap up with a heavy weight: "Photograph" by British rockers Def Leppard. In 1983, this tune all but leaped off Pyromania, their third full-length release, and entered into nearly constant rotation on radio stations and in kids' cassette decks (remember cassettes?). "Photograph" reached #1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart and #12 on the Pop Singles chart. In 2009, it was named the 13th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. Not bad for a bunch of poor blokes from Sheffield, eh?

As always, three shall be the recounting of Flashbacks, and the number of Flashbacks shall be three. See you 80s-philes next week!


Nielle said...

only metal I was allowed to listen to in the 80s was Stryper. Remember them?

Brainwise said...

Oh, you mean the Sweet brothers' band that took their name from Isaiah 53:5? Never heard of them. ;)