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Does 80's metal have any merit?


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I was listening to Van Halen's debut album today while I wrote out bills, and Eddie's work on that cd still astonishes me. Good God, that album is 26 years old.

Eruption was 102 seconds of guitar work that shaped the next decade of guitarists. Nothing had been heard like that before, and it's tremors (haha) were felt into the mid-80's.

So, my question is, goofy clothes and big hair aside, does that 80's metal have anything memorable or redeeming qualities about it?

I know I listened to Ratt's first 2 or 3 albums. I also thought, at the time, Motley Crue's 'Shout at the Devil' and 'Too Fast For Love' albums were pretty good. I can't get through a song of theirs, now. Vince Neil's voice is like an ice pick in my ear.

Maiden kicked a$$, and still does.

I listened to some Scorpions, which were ok. Nothing special, though, IMO. Never cared for Judas Priest.

Ozzy had his string of hired guns on lead guitar to keep him looking good. Jake E. Lee was better than Randy Rhodes, IMO.

I think the one thing that's common among all the 'hair bands' , looking back now, is that they all look pretty silly. Warrent, Skid Row, Cinderella, Ratt, Poison, (huh. Rat poison.), the Crue, Winger etc, none have stood the test of time, to me anyway.

Any other thoughts?

Help me out here, I'm trying to get an actual discussion about music going.

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Van Halen is an easy shoe-in. Theirs is more in the vein of Arena and Classic Rock. Stuff like Priest and Maiden are also a surething since they paved the way for real Metal and took part of the second British Invasion back in the 80s. Now for RATT and Hair Bands like them... it really depends. The music may be fun to those who lived it back then: Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, et al. I like some of it myself, but this is comparable to liking those old bad B-movies (at least to me it looks that way). Those bands are lumped together with real Metal bands like Motorhead, Metallica (back when they used to rule), Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, and such, but come on... Thrash, Speed, and Death Metal stomps the crap outta those teased-haired (edit - please no P-word) :rockon: They all have their place in history, though. Just as Glam Rock used to be awesome, Hair Bands kept on that tradition with their own take on it. Hanoi Rocks was awesome, Def Leppard kicked some ass, RATT made some fun tunes, but as soon as we hit bands like Poison, Motley Crue, Warrant, and Winger... that was pretty much the end of the genre. Music fans blame Nirvana for the end of that trend. I blame Nelson :jester:

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I would have to say no. Though the music did change the sound of rock, it was only a successor to the real titans of metal. There are still those Van Halen, AC/DC & Motley Crue fans who I am sure would argue the point but if we take a look at their predecessors it is easy to recognize the difference between the two. Without the original metal groups of the late 60's and 70's there would have been no 80's heavy metal.

Groups like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Cream and Steppenwolf still have a large following (I would have to think a larger following than those groups of the 80's). Their music is still heard on commercials, in movies and so on only proving the power of early classic metal rock deserves the attention and merit it receives.

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I would have to say no. Though the music did change the sound of rock, it was only a successor to the real titans of metal. There are still those Van Halen, AC/DC & Motley Crue fans who I am sure would argue the point but if we take a look at their predecessors it is easy to recognize the difference between the two. Without the original metal groups of the late 60's and 70's there would have been no 80's heavy metal.

Groups like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Cream and Steppenwolf still have a large following (I would have to think a larger following than those groups of the 80's). Their music is still heard on commercials, in movies and so on only proving the power of early classic metal rock deserves the attention and merit it receives.

Are you kiddin' me? If we're just talking following and fan base here, Bon Jovi pretty much got them all beat. Last time I read, they had sold about 100 million albums total. Not bad for a Hair Band from Joysee. A Van Halen reunion gig would garner about as many or more fans as most of the groups you mentioned with the exception of Motley Crue and smaller bands (although I'm willing to wage that they have the same if not more fans than... pffthehe... Steppenwolf :jester: ). To not have the edgier Metal of the 80s (including pompous junk from Hair Bands) would be to erase half the decade of the 80s (1984-1989). Now that might not mean much to some who didn't grow up listening to those bands or who are loyal to their old groups of Classic Rock, but, much like those guys, the ones who grew up in the 80s could not imagine a time in their lives without that music. It would be like sayin', "Bah. Led Zep and Pink Floyd don't matter much in the scene. Real Rock 'n Roll lies with The Beatles, Elvis, Rockabilly, and The Stones..."

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Well, we could keep jumping back generations, I suppose, but we'd get nowhere. Rock's roots have been traced and retraced umpteen times.

I was just curious about this one genre. It seems there are a few subdivisions that fall under '80's metal'. The big hair, synchronized head banging stuff, clearly, was more flash than substance.

The more serious metal, Maiden, Priest, Motorhead, is still around today, touring, because their music had some substance. These bands, (and others) were more about the music, so they've maintained a certain status. They can still sell out the larger venues.

The hair bands, on the other hand, if they're still together, play clubs. Heck, over at Kahunaville, we get 3 or 4 hair bands playing one show, because that's the only way they can get people to show up.

Anyway, I've got to get to work.

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I guess it has the merit to go on with the basic metal idea, which is also a way of life, dress, etc. Of course, Led Zepp, Deep Purple, etc, begun with it, but just as rock and roll, many very good musicians went on that way for years. Scorpions, Meatloaf or Def Leppard are a good metal proof and nowadays heavy bands still carry on that way. Every nowaday music owes a lot to the 60s, 70s or 80s. It´s style with a mix of long hair, high volume, etc. First time I heard U2 I though they were heavy...

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Van Halens good music stopped IMO after their first album. I dont like their second one much, and I dont like the voice of Sammy or the other guy. Jump is allright, but i really wanted the album 1984, and when I got it it was a bit of a letdown to be honest.

I dont mind Poison, or Scorpion. Motley Crue is ok too, I like their version of Helter Skelter, although the Beatles version is lightyears ahead.

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A couple of these "hair bands" that had lots of talent were Cinderella and Faster Pussycat. But they also fell into the hair band category and died along with collapse of the hair band and the advent of the grunge scene. These two bands were based in the blues but had producers that wanted them to have that 80's big-hair sound, look and attitude. It hurt them, in my opinion. If these bands started in the 70's, they'd probably still be around today. Cinderella had a lot of Aerosmith in them, and Faster Pussycat tried to ape the Stones as much as possible. These guys were good.

And the best band to come out of the 80's....hands down, The Smithereens!! Not really a hair band, but I just thought I'd throw that in. These guys rock!!

:afro: :afro: :afro: :afro:

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and I dont like the voice of Sammy or the other guy. Jump is allright, but i really wanted the album 1984, and when I got it it was a bit of a letdown to be honest.

I dont mind Poison, or Scorpion. Motley Crue is ok too, I like their version of Helter Skelter, although the Beatles version is lightyears ahead.

First of all, I was pretty good when I fronted Van Halen. Sure, I was no David Lee Roth, but who is?! And to mention that guy that followed me is just silly. Eddie gave him the job because "he fit the suit".

And to lump Van Halen and the Scorpions into the 80's hair metal bands is just wrong. Van Halen released three albums before the 1980's, and the Scorpions started in 1965 and released their first album in 1972. It just took the Scorps a little bit longer to mature.

I will admit "1984" is not as good as VH's first few albums, and I never lived up to Diamond Dave's albums, but "I'll Wait", "Panama", and "Hot For Teacher" are three excellent tunes with some wicked guitar licks.

Thanks for listening.

Sammy.

:afro: :afro: :afro: :jester:

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I was in a Van Halen concert some 15 years ago and the sound was so high I couldn´t even stay there. I went to see the sound guys and saw that they were wearing ear-plugs... just as half of the audience. This only happened to me one time. I´ve seen many heavy concerts though...

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I still listen to a lot of my favorite heavy metal type bands from the 80s, including Guns N Roses, Skid Row, Tesla, Sabbath, AC/DC and Def Leppard. Some of their songs are pretty timeless, IMO, and others have more nostalgic value than anything. And they are definitely harder to take seriously when you're looking at their videos versus listening to CDs. ::

Metal bands made their mark on both music and history in the 80s, but I'm not sure if they deserve a merit badge for their contributions. However, I do think they deserve recognition for changing our culture a bit and for influencing the music of today (for what that's worth!)

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I agree, Elvy. The thing about the change in music when hair metal died out, was that it didn't evolve, it completely jumped track.It was anti-hair band.

It went from pretty, sleek, catchy metal, to, well, grunge. A complete 180. That's why none of those metal bands stayed around. Grunge didn't evolve from it, grunge killed it.

Up until then, rock music in general had been a steady evolution since the sixties. The British invasion spawned Aerosmith, Grand Funk, Doobs, Fleetwood Mac,etc, all the bands that arose from the late sixties-early seventies. And those bands, in turn, influenced the likes of Van Halen, Foreigner, and the like, that showed up in the mid-seventies.

Then disco and punk made some waves, but rock, while not in the forefront of the music scene at that time, still sold out arenas.

Let me pause here and say one thing: Rock never went away. It was always enjoyed a huge fan base. Disco and punk had brief, unbeleiveably successful runs, but no staying power.

Anyway, from those bands of the mid to late 70's,the early 80's saw the birth of what would become hair metal, with Motley Crue's 'Shout at the Devil'. Once they hit it big, there was a feeding frenzy of L.A. Bands getting signed. In a matter of maybe, 4-5 years, it was tapped out. Cookie cutter interchangeable bands. I think people were just tired at that point.

The young kids were getting the residue of something that had been played out, and when grunge popped up, they latcthed onto it. Completely abandoned hair metal, and rightly so. There was nothing left there, anyway. If they had had something to say, kids would have listened.

Only recently, these bands have resurfaced, 15 years later, with tours and whatnot. But they aren't selling out anything,even semi-sized clubs, and they're touring in packs to draw crowds. It's merely a nostalgic thing.

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80's metal is what music is all about! There's nothing quite like it. But proper metal. And don't get me wrong, I love them, but does Bon Jovi really classify as metal? I always thought of them as rock. It's all about the Maiden's, the Metallica's (before they sold out), Mercyful Fate's etc.

And to answer the main question... 80's metal's main merit is to remind us how good it used to be when we listen to the churned out rubbish that you get these days.

That's my 2 penneth anyhow :)

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