In case you've forgotten, there's more to hair metal than meets the eye shadow. Hair Metal made the genre of metal spectacular for MTV, paving the way for grunge and nu-metal. The melange of genderbending lead singers, pyrotechnics, and hypermasculine guitar heroics turned hard rock into the competitive and profitable art form that it is today. Instead of the previous era of "serious" metal of the 70s, the hair metal genre was gratuitous self-parody through flamboyent excess. This is Spinal Tap writ large.

Hair metal reached its unofficial zenith in 1987 with Whitesnake's Is This Love? video clip. Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale reveals his salary, his sexual and drinking proclivities, and his home phone number should readers have a complaint, whilst his groupie-wife Tawny Kitaen copulates with a Porsche. What more could one want from a rock band?

Sadly the decade long circus of hair metal was killed by grunge in the early nineties. The gravity-snubbing coifs, fluorescent flying V guitars and tight, studded spandex looked out of place amongst the DIY grunge set. Bon Jovi was forced to cut his hair, and relearn his first name. Sebastian Bach from Skid Row turned his hand to pantomime and musicals, a shadow of his former self.

see also Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crue, Dokken, Ratt, Skid Row, Stryper

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