The first I heard of what would come to be Hair Metal was 1981 or so when Tommy Vance played songs from an album called Too Fast For Love by some American band called Motley Crue on his Friday Rock Show. They had been getting mentions for a while in Kerrang! and this must have been one of the first times they were played on the radio in the UK. God almighty, I thought to myself, this’ll never catch on.
The thing is, I should have liked Hair Metal. After all, I was a fan of most of the genre’s major influences. I loved the 70s Alice Cooper and Kiss records (still do). I also liked Van Halen and Aerosmith. So I suppose I should have been a fan really. So why did I end up hating the bloody thing?
I think the main reason was the sound. Hair Metal records sounded really terrible with all that compression. Those dull, thudding snares. Those squawking lead guitars. Perhaps the records were mastered to sound effective on FM radio (or on MTV), but there’s something cold and shrill about them. And they don’t sound any better thirty years on either. I’ve become » Continue Reading.