Say what you will about the '80s, and especially hair metal, but there's no denying that the decade of decadence was loud, colorful and absolutely 100% about having fun. We wanted nothing but a good time, and to have someone pour sugar on us – repeatedly.
If you weren't there to experience it firsthand, the upcoming Rock of Ages looks to transport you back to that totally rad era of awesomeness. And if you were there, prepare to raise a fist and bang thy head once more. Or if you can't wait til the movie's June 15 release date, here's a primer with all the original video classics – in no particular order - from 20 of the most head banging-est of the hair metal/glam metal/hard rock genre. Rock on, rockers, rock on!
Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
While none of the Crue's tunes actually appear in Rock of Ages, no list of hair metal classics would be complete without them. Also, essential reading: their bio The Dirt. Read it and crank Dr. Feelgood to 11.
Guns N' Roses – Paradise City
Once upon a time, Slash and Axl Rose not only got along, but produced timeless tunes that will continue to kick our asses 717 years from now.
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
Grunge, sponge. How many folks do you know who are still rocking out regularly to "Smells Like Teen Spirit?" Now how many are still cranking Def Lep deep in the heartland? Yes, exactly.
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
David Coverdale and co. knew their way around the hair products back in the '80s. But more importantly, they knew how to write and perform killer songs with big guitars and even bigger hooks.
Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive
Give Jon Bon Jovi credit. He knew how to rock in the '80s. But he was also savvy enough to fashion his music for the intervening eras. With or without hair, Bon Jovi earns a toast from our mighty rock goblet.
Ratt – Round and Round
Listen to Warren DeMartini's crushing guitar riff and behold hard rock majesty. Add in a classic video featuring a cameo from Uncle "Milty" and you're ready to ratt and roll over and over again.
Dokken – It's Not Love
It may not be love, but it sure sounds sweet – especially when cranked at full volume. George Lynch's guitars and Don Dokken's vocals were a perfect '80s match (onstage at least) for hard rock heroics.
Poison – Nothin' But a Good Time
Ok, they weren't the best musicians. And they did wear more eyeliner than your sister. But who doesn't have fun rocking out to this anthem? If not, then you either don't have a pulse or you think too much.
Skid Row – I Remember You
Girls loved him. Guys wanted to be him because girls loved him. Sebastian Bach knew how to scream with the best of rock vocalists, and he could also croon a ballad without seeming too wimpy.
David Lee Roth – Just Like Paradise
The original circus showman of rock, Diamond Dave inspired legions of wannabes with his charismatic stage presence. Here, post VH, he came up with a pop metal gem alongside 7-string wizard Steve Vai.
Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock
Although he didn't skimp on the mascara, singer Dee Snider was more punky than pretty. Twisted Sister equaled ugly, in-your-face, absolutey awesome, anthemic hard rock. Plus, their videos ruled.
Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head
The first metal band to have a #1 album, Quiet Riot has the distinction of being co-founded in the '70s by guitar god Randy Rhoads. "Bang Your Head" kicked down the door for all hair metal to come.
Cinderella – Shake Me
The boys in Cinderella sported the spandex and some awesome poodle cuts, and they cranked out some classic hair metal riffage. Shake Me is equal parts Poison and AC/DC - party metal that rocks.
Extreme – More Than Words
Hair metal wouldn't be hair metal without power ballads, and when it comes to acoustic power ballads, it's hard to top this tune from Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone.
The Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane
The title tells all. Straight from Germany, Klaus Meine and the boys in Scorpions are here to do three things: kick ass, chew bubblegum and rock you like a you know what. And they're all out of bubblegum.
Night Ranger – Sister Christian
At the advent of hair metal, Night Ranger led the way with their brand of AOR and hooks, capped off by fine musicianship, two good singers and a power ballad that set the mold.
White Lion – Wait
At first, the thing that stands out in this clip is the beautiful model , and singer Mike Tramp's hair. But what's more lasting is the actual melody from this underrated tune. And Vitto Bratta's awesome licks.
Warrant – Heaven
Warrant gets a bad rap. Sure, they released "Cherry Pie." But Jani Lane (RIP) also wrote great tunes like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "I Saw Red." And admit it – you know the lyrics of this one.
Van Halen – Jump
While some may argue that Van Halen isn't hair metal, we'll beg to differ and point to this classic song and video. The outfits, the hair, the pop, the metal – it's all there in hard-rocking, fun-loving '80s glory!