Maybe today it is acceptable for metalheads to admit they liked some of these songs. Chances are the people you work with aren't likely to call you a poser. My co-workers down at the 'We Buy Gold' mall kiosk don't even have an opinion about this stuff. But had I been a big fan of "Jump" back in the day I would've found my underwear hiked somewhere over my head by a well-intentioned Slayer fan looking to set me straight.
I'm not sure if they want this said, but again John Chernack and Joey Leshko helped add a few choices, suggesting a few spots I missed, and overall seemed amused at the idea of being involved with something clearly not as heavy as they have grown accustomed. (At this rate, maybe I can get them to join my Joni Mitchell Tea Club!)
OK, so I dream.
I allowed only one entry per group and then wrestled with the idea of what that one tune would be. The general rule was the song should be catchy as hell, likely something you've heard repeatedly, and that retains some heavy metal flavor. Keep in mind, there is also a 'Top 25 Power Ballads' coming your way soon, so some tunes you may expect here will be on there.
24) "Wild Child" -- W.A.S.P.: It's a sign of just how tame things are today that W.A.S.P. (now stands for We Are Street People) look not in the least bit corny, but like guys who were having a great time doing what they loved. Remember when punk bands would make fun of bands like this? Uh, dudes, I think these guys were in on the joke.
22) "Look What The Cat Dragged In" -- Poison: I admit at the time I didn't much care for these guys, and I still haven't kept up with the exploits of Bret Michaels, but Mechanicsburg, PA's finest group sound like so much more fun than, say, Radiohead, that I can almost forgive them for their cover of "You Mama Don't Dance."
20) "We're Not Gonna Take It" -- Twisted Sister: The video is hilarious. From their earliest recordings, Twisted Sister were always a catchy band. They didn't play many devil guitar riffs, sticking with powerchords and anthem-like choruses. Yet, there is a turn to pop here. It's slight, but noticeable. The band were a little disappointed with the album's production, so in 2004 they released Still Hungry, a re-recording of the original Stay Hungry album, where they made it heavier. But people prefer their memories.
18) "Round and Round" -- Ratt: This was one of those songs that leaped out of the speakers the first time I heard it. They followed up with "Back For More," but that was about all the "more" they had in them. But isn't it best to light a candle for one brief moment than to spend eternity cursing the darkness?
16) "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" -- Aerosmith: Aerosmith looked dead. By the beginning of the 1980s, both guitarists had left and, well, the 1970s were over. So, they reunited, cleaned up and cleaned up. They might not have been super-pleased to be writing songs with Desmond Child, whose name was on Kiss' "disco" hit "I Was Made For Loving You" and those Bon Jovi tunes everyone knows by heart, but someone had to keep these guys in the game.
14) "Girlschool" -- Britny Fox: These gents were considered to be pretty crap at the time. Hilarious when you consider that they're not discernibly different from the rest of the bands of the era. They even did a Catholic girls school video that the other "Britney" would ride to even greater fame. I know the 1980s look like a lot of fun, but as someone who was there, school was just as boring back then as it is today.
12) "Crazy Train" -- Ozzy Osbourne: This track could even be considered a pure pre-thrash metal tune. In some parts of the early 1980s, heavy metal was still considered to be over-amplified blues-based rock 'n' roll -- or Alice Cooper. So, the definition keeps shifting and by fans who consider Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Goatlord to be true metal, "Crazy Train" is going to sound like Carole King by comparison. Just dig the guitar solo.
10) "Rock You Like A Hurricane" -- Scorpions: While heavy metal kids surely like power and speed and loudness, they occasionally just like a good tune. For years these good Germans were an underground phenom, but they just as quickly got their hooks together and landed a string of hits that peaked with this little ditty about Klaus and Brunhilde.
8) "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" -- The Darkness: Were these guys kidding or were they really trying to kickstart glam metal for the new century? Does it matter? The video is great fun and the riff is one to own. Considering how down and out and old rock 'n' roll has become, don't you think we should be glad for anything we can get? I like the guitars.
6) "Youth Gone Wild" -- Skid Row: Before Savage Animal, ahem, I mean Damnocracy, Sebastian Bach led the last wave of heavy metal before the grunge movement switched things up. Amazing to think that youth who were going wild would soon be licking their wounds because daddy didn't give enough attention.
4) "Gypsy Road" -- Cinderella: With a name like Cinderella, these guys were really pushing what metal could withstand. How they made it out of Philly without a name change is beyond me. I don't imagine Sebastian Bach ever pushing for anything this troubled. Sure enough, 'Rella eventually tried a roots move, but they were never more convincing than right here.
2) "Sweet Child O' Mine" -- Guns N' Roses: The greatest folk-rock band of the 1980s ("Patience," "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," Lies), even better than R.E.M., really nailed it with "Sweet Child O' Mine," which features an opening guitar riff that even grandmothers can identify on first listen. I'm still waiting for Bob Dylan to cover.
- Arts & Entertainment/Media/Music
- Arts & Entertainment
- heavy metal