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Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #1

…but first a re-cap of #50-#2…

Remember the rule that each band can only be represented once in the top 50. That’s right, fifty different hair metal bands, putting forth the best song from their respective catalogs. In addition to the best, we also listed other songs by each artist that could be considered as well, though in most cases replacing a song would affect the rankings. The Top 50 Hair Metal Songs of All-Time are…

#50 Night Ranger – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”
#49 Heavy Bones – “4:AM T.M.”
#48 Nitro – “Freight Train”
#47 E-Z-O – “Here It Comes”
#46 Stryper – “Soldiers Under Command”
#45 Autograh – “Turn Up The Radio”
#44 Dokken – “Breaking The Chains”
#43 Trixter – “Give It To Me Good”
#42 King Kobra – “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)”
#41 Vinnie Vincent Invasion – “Love Kills”
#40 Danger Danger – “Naughty Naughty”
#39 Tigertailz – “Love Bomb Baby”
#38 FireHouse “Don’t Treat Me Bad”
#37 Tesla – “Love Song”
#36 Dangerous Toys – “Teas’n, Pleas’n”
#35 Nelson – “After The Rain”
#34 Bang Tango – “Someone Like You”
#33 Enuff Z’Nuff – “Fly High Michelle”
#32 Britny Fox – “Girlschool”
#31 Rough Cutt – “Never Gonna Die”
#30 Great White – “Rock Me”
#29 XYZ – “Inside Out”
#28 Bulletboys – “Smooth Up In Ya”
#27 Faster Pussycat – “Bathroom Wall”
#26 Pretty Boy Floyd – “I Wanna Be With You”
#25 Europe – “The Final Countdown”
#24 Helix – “Rock You”
#23 Kingdom Come – “Get It On”
#22 Steelheart – “I’ll Never Let You Go”
#21 Slaughter – “Up All Night”
#20 Keel – “The Right To Rock”
#19 Jackyl – “Down On Me”
#18 L.A. Guns – “Never Enough”
#17 White Lion – “When The Children Cry”
#16 Extreme – “More Than Words”
#15 Krokus – “Screaming In The Night”
#14 Kix – “Don’t Close Your Eyes”
#13 Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – “If I Close My Eyes Forever”
#12 Winger – “Seventeen”
#11 Warrant – “Cherry Pie”
#10 Skid Row – “I Remember You”
#9 Ratt – “Round And Round”
#8 Cinderella – “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”
#7 Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again”
#6 Bon Jovi – “Wanted Dead or Alive”
#5 Motley Crue – “Dr. Feelgood”
#4 Poison – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
#3 Def Leppard – “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
#2 Twisted Sister – “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

And the #1 Hair Metal Song is…

Quiet Riot paved the way for heavy metal to be accepted by the mainstream with their cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize.” That’s right, a cover song is the best hair metal song of all-time. The song reached #5 on the Billboard charts, and the album Metal Health went all the way to #1, staying on the Billboard charts for 74 weeks. Because of Quiet Riot’s success, other metal acts were seen as commercially viable by record companies and more money was spent on publicity for them, impacting record sales, radio and MTV airplay.

Other songs considered: “Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” “Slick Black Cadillac,” “Party All Night”

Purchase Quiet Riot music.

Purchase “Hair Metal” compilation albums.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #2 – Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

One of the biggest anthems of rebellion in rock history, the video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It” took the medium to a new level. Twisted Sister fought hard for a record deal for years, and still had trouble getting label support after the Stay Hungry album started selling well. Through all the adversity, the band was only able to claim two hits, but their catalog is full of great songs.

Other songs considered: “I Wanna Rock,” “The Price,” “You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll,” “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now”

Purchase Twisted Sister music.

The #1 hair metal song of all-time will be revealed tomorrow…any guesses?

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #3 – Def Leppard “Pour Some Sugar On Me”

Joe Elliott and comapny struck gold with the 1987 Hysteria record, scoring six Top 40 Billboard hits and six songs that reached top ten status on the Mainstream Rock charts. The song that defines the band to this day is “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” but if you stop listening to Def Leppard after that you are doing yourself a disservice. It may be their best, but it’s not their only great song.

Other songs considered: “Photograph,” “Rock Of Ages,” “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak,” “Armageddon It”

Purchase Def Leppard music.

Only two spots remain in the countdown…what will they be???

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #4 – Poison “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

As difficult as choosing a Mötley Crüe song was, Poison was a no-brainer. Sure, they had some up-tempo rockers that would have earned them a lower spot on the countdown, but “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” was hands-down the biggest ballad of the hair metal era, easily earning a spot in the top five.

Other songs considered: “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Ride The Wind,” “Fallen Angel”

Purchase Poison music.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #5 – Mötley Crüe “Dr. Feelgood”

Talk about a hard decision…which Mötley Crüe tune would you pick? I chose the title track from their epic #1 album that went 6x Platinum. “Dr. Feelgood” is the band’s highest charting single ever, peaking at #6. The album is reviled by longtime fans because many thought the band was “selling out,” but the bottom line is the Crüe accomplished what so many long for: commercial success.

Other songs considered: “Kickstart My Heart,” “Shout At The Devil,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Girls, Girls, Girls”

Purchase Mötley Crüe music.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #6 – Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead Or Alive”

On two albums, Bon Jovi had eight top ten songs. Four of those went all the way to #1, but our selection for the sixth best hair metal song only made it to #7 in 1987. The cowboy motif proved to be a little too prophetic, as the band is now making watered-down commercial country music, but in the 1980s when hair metal ruled, it was tough to beat Bon Jovi. Only five bands beat them on our countdown…and you can probably name them by now. If not, come back tomorrow to find out who #5 is.

Other songs considered: “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “Bad Medicine,” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “I’ll Be There For You”

Purchase Bon Jovi music.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #7 – Whitesnake “Here I Go Again”

One of the most epic songs of all time, regardless of genre, Whitesnake made waves in 1987 with a re-recorded “Here I Go Again.” The original version, a bluesy hard rocker on Saints & Sinners in 1982, was reworked and received some very slick production for its re-release five years later. David Coverdale’s voice was in top form, and everything just clicked.

Other songs considered: “Slow An’ Easy,” “Still Of The Night,” “Fool For Your Loving”

Purchase Whitesnake music.

Bonus video:

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #8 – Cinderella “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”

Despite only releasing four studio albums, Cinderella remains one of the most popular bands from the 1980s and draw large crowds when appearing in concert. Several songs could have been picked here without affecting the group’s ranking too negatively, but the ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” is the most recognizable and enduring track Cinderella recorded.

Other songs considered: “Gypsy Road,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Shelter Me,” “Coming Home”

Purchase Cinderella music.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #9 – Ratt “Round And Round”

The band’s highest-charting single, “Round And Round” went all the way to #12 on the charts, helping Out Of The Cellar go 3x Platinum. Is there another Ratt song that could keep this band in the top ten?

Other songs considered: “Back For More,” “Lay It Down,” “Lovin’ You’s a Dirty Job”

Purchase Ratt music.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #10 – Skid Row “I Remember You”

Let the fighting begin (but keep it clean). As great as “18 And Life” is, “I Remember You” carries more sentimental value and universal appeal. Sebastian Bach’s vocals are spot-on and the music itself is very moving. The band recorded a punkish version of the song with singer Johnny Solinger for their 2003 album Thickskin. While “18 And Life” beat this song on the Hot 100 charts (#4 to #6), “I Remember You” reached #2 on the Mainstream Rock charts, one place higher than “18 And Life.”

Other songs considered: “18 And Life,” “Youth Gone Wild,” “Monkey Business,” “Slave To The Grind”

Purchase Skid Row music.

Bonus video:

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