Forgotten Bands of the 1980s
Bon Jovi, Poison and Motley Crue are just a few of the 80s hair bands everyone has heard of. There were many other bands that maybe weren't as popular but were good, really good actually. For those of you over thirty, this will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. As for the younger generation who enjoys listening to hair bands, you may want to add some of these to your playlist.
Frontman Dee Snider was quite a sight with big blonde crimped hair and make-up so heavy that it would make Tammy Fae Bakker shiver. Twisted Sister was very popular with hits like We're Not Gonna Take it and Burn in Hell. Dee Snider took on the PMRC in the late 1980s and, shockingly to some, came out as a devout Christian (which may explain the rocking cover to the Christmas hymm "O Come All Ye Faithful"). What kid of the 1980s can forget Twisted Sister's cameo in the classic Tim Burton movie, PeeWee's Big Adventure?
Whitesnake was an English rock band that was founded by frontman David Coverdale, after leaving his popular 60s band Deep Purple. Whitesnake was very popular with more than a handful of popular hit songs. Whitesnake's most memorable music video, Here I Go Again, features Tawny Kitaen in white lingerie dancing on husband David Coverdale's jaguar. Other popular songs include rock ballad Is This Love and Still of the Night.
Rock music in the 1980s was male dominated but there were some really cool all-girl bands. The best of the bunch, hands down, is Vixen. These girls rocked and blew a lot of male bands away. They've admitted that they faced a lot of sexism. Some people assumed they were groupies and a lot of male musicians thought they were not really playing. Being tough as nails, they handled the criticism like the badass women they were. Cryin' and Edge of a Broken Heart were just a few of their biggest hits.
Great White was formed in the late 1970s in Los Angeles but gained popularity in the late 1980s. Their album, Once Bitten, went platinum in 1987. Their second album, titled Twice Shy featured the hit song, Once Bitten, Twice Shy. Other good songs by Great White are Stick It, Save Your Love and Rock Me.
Tom Keifer was the frontman, guitarist and songwriter for Cinderella. It's an unusual name for a hard rocking 80s band but it worked. Cinderella was a success. Their music was glam metal but they had a lot of blues-rock songs, especially in later recordings. They had quite a few multi-platinum records. Hits like Don't Know What You Got Til It's Gone, Coming Home, Nobody's Fool and Gypsy Road were played constantly on radio stations and MTV.
Europe was a very popular and successful Sweedish band. They formed in 1979 and their sound was heavier than most glam bands. Europe reached international fame in the mid 1980s with the album Final Countdown. Hit songs include Carrie, Final Countdown, Cherokee and Superstious.
Tesla formed in Sacramento as the band City Kidd. When they hit it big their manager wanted them to change their name, so Tesla they became. Like Cinderella, Tesla's music can be classified as blues-rock. They had many hits and became quite famous in the late 1980s. Their first hit is the power ballad Love Song. Other hits include their version of the classic 70s song Signs, What You Give, Changes and Modern Day Cowboy.
Damn Yankees was formed in 1989 by rock n' roll greats Tommy Shaw of Styx, Ted Nugent of The Amboy Dukes, Jack Blades of Night Ranger and singer/solo artist Michael Cartellone. Ted Nugent explained that the name came to be because when anyone asked him how they sounded when they played together, Nugent would respond that they sounded like 'a bunch of Damn Yankees,' Their first album went double-platinum with hit songs like High Enough and Coming of Age.
Lita Ford got her start as the guitarist for the teenage all-girl punk band The Runaways. In the 1980s she re-invented herself as a sexy, rough and tough rock-n-roll goddess. Boys lusted after her while girls wanted to be like her. She rocked the guitar while singing hit songs like Kiss Me Deadly. In 1989 she teamed up with fellow rocker Ozzy Osbourne and topped the charts with their hard rock ballad Close My Eyes Forever.
Danish vocalist Mike Tramp formed White Lion with the other band members in New York back in 1983. Their first single, Wait, was released in 1987. It didn't become a hit until MTV started airing the video months later. White Lion touched on many social issues with songs like When the Children Cry, Little Fighter and Cry for Freedom. All these songs also became big hits for White Lion.
Am I missing anything? Please feel free to share your favorite 80s rock bands and songs.
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