Hard Rock Music Archives
Glam metal (a.k.a. 'hair metal' and often used incorrectly as 'pop metal') is a sub-genre of heavy metal that combines heavy metal with pop music by adding catchy hooks and guitar riffs like pop music, with flashy clothing and performances from 1970s 'glam rock'.
Glam got its birth predominantly in Los Angeles, USA during the late 1970s and early 1980s by bands like: Hanoi Rocks, Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, and later boasting Poison, Cinderella and Bon Jovi amongst its ranks by the mid 1980s, the height of its popularity.
Musically, glam metal uses traditional hard rock and heavy metal songs, incorporating elements of punk rock, while adding pop styled guitar riffs and keeping heavy metal styled guitar solos. Glam was most notable for it's party like song atmosphere, and so-called "power ballads" (songs boasting a strong finale using slow pace and emotional lyrics). Glam's sonic standard was always harmony. The "Power ballads" were among the most commercially successful songs in the genre and opened it up to an audience who would not have been interested in heavy metal (specifically women) due to the lyrical themes of love and lust.
The key influences of the style have been credited to: Aerosmith, Kiss, Boston, Cheap Trick and The New York Dolls. Finnish band Hanoi Rocks have been credited with setting a blueprint for the look of 'hair metal'.
The general look of glam metal draws heavily on the glam/glitter rock of the 1970s. The common traits of long backcombed hair, use of make-up, bright colored and wild clothing, and accessories (usually tight spandex, denim, headbands). Glam's rise is directly attributed to the arrival of music videos and MTV, where the visual style complimented the television production desires of the era. Likewise, the performers became infamous for their wild lifestyles involving orgies, love affairs and late-night parties that fed the rumor mills of the tabloid papers.
In the early 1990s the genre quickly lost favor, to the point that it was considered 'dead'. The decline coincided with the economic downturn of the time where the excesses of 1980s 'money' and 'wild behaviors' were no longer looked upon in favor and, sadly, that's exactly what glam was trying to sell in its style. The genre was further demoralized by the stripped down approach of grunge that was rapidly rising up the record charts, most especially Nirvana. Glam, however, has enjoyed a small revival as of late since the beginning of the new millennium with reunions of many popular acts from the genre's 1980s heyday, as well as new bands performing retro-styles, and many look-alike cover bands packing bars.
Glam is considered a 'dead' genre, despite attempts at resurgence. Diskery has no plans at this time, however, to remove it (or artists listed under it) from the database, nor add any new artists claiming to be a part of it (they will be classified elsewhere).
File record #: 6