Yahoo published a list of the top 25 hair metal bands. There was zero chance that I would let this pass without comment.
25. Winger - Best of and Winger should never be used in context together.
4. LA Guns - I would probably put them higher on the list. They were under appreciated and did hair metal much better than many more commercially successful bands.
23. Queensryche - They simply were not hair metal. They were progressive metal. The music and attitude never matched up with the hair metal norm.
22) Enuff Z'Nuff - Was never really a fan, but they might belong on the list.
21) Hanoi Rocks - If Vince Neil hadn't killed their drummer in a drunk driving car accident they may have ended up bigger than Motley Crue. They wrote some seriously catchy pop metal tunes.
20) Angel - An early 70s band by definition can not be hair metal. It's not possible.
19) Loverboy - Wasn't hair metal, wasn't pop metal, wasn't any genre of metal at all.
18) Faster Pussycat - Should have been more famous.
17) Bon Jovi - I'd put them top 5 at worst.
16) Ratt - Peaked with their debut album, but they probably belong on the list.
15) Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel The Noize sort of started the whole hair metal on MTV craze, so that alone gets them on the list. Metal Health was the best song on that album though.
14) Kix - Sort of got screwed by having a power ballad break them big. Their real sound was much better, AC/DC with a bit of melody.
13) Vixen - No fracking way. If you have to put a token chick band in the list Lita Ford is way superior.
12) Scorpions - They kicked ass prior to the hair metal thing, but definitely belong on the list.
11) Cinderella - They actually were a very average hair metal band. Their later blues rock stuff is far superior.
10) Twisted Sister - The ultimate one hit wonder. But oh what a hit is was. The album before Stay Hungry (You Can't Stop Rock and Roll) is a much better metal album IMHO.
9) Spinal Tap - I would have put them at #11.
8 ) Motley Crue - Should be #1 IMHO. No band better exhibited the excesses of the hair metal lifestyle while still selling 10s of millions of albums.
7) Ozzy Osbourne- Not hair metal. Bark at the Moon did certainly stray into hair metal territory, but dude, it's Ozzy.
6) Kiss - They didn't do enough in the hair metal era to justify this ranking. I'd put them at the bottom of the top 25 for their 80s hair metal contributions, even though their overall contribution to rock is hall of fame worthy.
5) Aerosmith - I much prefer classic Aerosmith to hair metal Aerosmith, but they did make the transition successfully.
4) Def Leppard - I might put them at #2 behind the Crue. A dead guitarist, a one armed drummer, 2 seperate albums that sold over 7 or 8 million copies, and girls throwing their underwear on stage during concerts. What's not to love?
3) New York Dolls - WTF? That they inspired the look of hair metal in no way makes them hair metal. Glam rock or glam punk maybe. And there is that decade issue too.
2) Van Halen - Yeah, DLR was hair metal before hair metal was cool. And they certainly churned out some damn good records in the hair metal era. 70s rock purists may argue the hair metal designation with DLR era VH, and I sympathize. However, Van Hagar would never be #2 on its own merits.
1) Guns n' Roses - Personally, I see GnR as the band that killed hair metal. They brought a ferocity and seriousness to their music that was the opposite of the happy go lucky lets get drunk and screw while playing 3 chords attitude that defined hair metal. Music got more angry after GnR and eventually we ended up with Nirvana.