Hair metalHair metal is a type of heavy metal music that arose in the mid/late 1970s in the United States and was a strong force in popular music throughout most of the 1980s.
The term is often used derisively, due to the perception that most hair metal bands watered down a combination of metal and glam rock, and were known more for their flashy make-up, clothing, lyrics and stage shows than their music, which tended to be anthemicic pop-metal mixed with the occasional power ballad, and which took much of its musical inspiration from the harder progressive rock bands of the 1970s like Kansas, Boston, and Foreigner. Another derogatory term for this style was poodle rock.
Hair metal bands were also known for their distinctive, teased hair, usually long and/or bushy and large. By the end of the 1980s/early 1990's, hair metal bands were increasingly formulaic one-hit wonders. In 1991, alternative rock led by Alice In Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam overtook hair metal, which quickly died off or adapted their sound. Los Angeles, the city where many hair metalists originated, became replaced by Seattle,where many alternative rock bands were formed, despite the fact that both styles existed in both cities.
In recent years, certain bands associated (perhaps loosely) with punk rock have scored hits with tracks that seem to evoke the anthemic hair-metal sound, such as the Offspring's Gone Away (1997) and AFI's Girl's Not Grey (2003). It is hard to say whether these tracks are intended as sincere homage or as an ironic reference. The current band The Darkness has attempted to revive the hair metal style.
List of hair metal bands: