10 Best Glam Metal Songs

Best tunes from the age of hair metal.

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10 Best Glam Metal Songs

Welcome to the 80's!

Let's remember some of the most acclaimed songs of the glam metal aka hair metal.

10. Dokken - Alone Again

In this song Don Dokken sings about a man feeling lonely and depressed after a breakup. He said: "This is a thing I wrote when I was very young, very naïve. Everybody says, 'Who'd you write about?' 'I don't know.' 'What was the girl's name?' 'I don't know.' I must have been in love - it's a very sad song - but I don't remember who I wrote it about. I don't know. It was just a song that came out, I always say, from here [points up above his head] - whatever that higher power is."

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9. Warrant - Cherry Pie

The lyrics and video in this one are quite comical because they are so obviously about sex. Warrant got away with it because the sexual imagery had double meanings: there was no way to prove they weren't singing about an actual pie.

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8. Skid Row - Youth Gone Wild

This was the anthem of Skid Row's first album. It's about being true to yourself and not having to do what other people tell you or expect you to do.

Sebastian Bach told Guitar World that he latched onto the anthemic impact of the song before anybody else did. He explained: "When Skid Row wanted me to join the band, they sent me a cassette with a bunch of songs on it and that song was probably my favorite. When I joined the band, I got the tattoo of 'Youth Gone Wild' on my arm before we had a record deal, before we had a manager. I got 'Youth Gone Wild' tattooed on my arm when we were a club band."

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7. Quiet Riot - Cum On Feel The Noise

This is a Glam Rock classic. Slade performed loud, anthemic songs in flamboyant costumes, often with lots of makeup and plenty of energy. Glam Rock was big in the UK in the mid-'70s, and this was one of the genré's first hits. Slade also hit #1 with similarly misspelled songs "Coz I Luv You" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now."

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6. White Lion - When the Children Cry 

This was the biggest American hit for White Lion, a Brooklyn-based band that fit every criteria for the emerging "Hair Metal" genre when they released their first album, Fight to Survive, in 1984. Akin to Bon Jovi and Skid Row, many of their songs took on social issues and were softer ballads. "When The Children Cry" and "Wait" were huge radio hits, but didn't fill arenas the way Motley Crue could with their swaggering stadium rockers. "Singing about big cocks is alright if you write it in one song, but it's always the same thing," their lead singer Mike Tramp once said.

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5. Poison - Talk Dirty To Me

In his VH1 reality show Rock Of Love, Poison lead singer Brett Michaels made it clear that he prefers girls who are rather adventurous. This was Poison's first hit, and he's singing about just this kind of girl: one who will make love just about anywhere, and talk dirty while doing it. Probably not the girl you'll marry, but a good time nonetheless.

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4. Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It

A mighty anthem for anyone lashing out at an authority figure and ready to put up a fight. The song is short on specifics, so it can apply to just about any situation where "we" are battling "the powers that be." This all-purpose approach was intentional and gave the song a timeless quality.

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3. Ratt - Round And Round

"Round and Round" was Ratt's biggest hit, and one of only two Top 40 hits for the group in the US (the other was "Lay It Down," which reached #40 in 1985). The song was written by the group's lead singer Stephen Pearcy and their guitarists Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini. It finds Pearcy singing about a woman who broke his heart. The singer believes, however, that things will work out in the end, as what comes around goes around.

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2. Cinderella - Nobody's Fool

Tom Keifer wrote this and all of Cinderella's other hits. He had a knack for writing power-ballads that he delivered with a sincerity rarely found in the Hair Bands of the '80s and early '90s. In this song, he feels used and mistreated by a girl, and is determined to leave her behind. He hints that she may have been a groupie or someone attracted to his wealth: "I scream my heart out, just to make a dime, and with that dime I bought your love but now I've changed my mind."

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1. Mötley Crüe - Kickstart My Heart

Bassist Nikki Sixx told Rolling Stone: "That was a song I had written very quickly and had brought into rehearsal. I thought it was a throwaway, something that would belong on Too Fast For Love. It just really took on a life of its own and fit on the album a lot better than it should." This song is actually about Nikki Sixx' revival. One day Sixx literally died and when paramedics arrived they shot him with Adrenaline as a last ditch effort to save him, so the Adrenaline "kickstarted" his heart!

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Know any better Glam Metal songs? Share your entries in the comment section below!

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Still of the Night - Whitesnake.     That rhythm and layout of that song is so damn musical.  John Sykes  
    Better songs by some of these artists: Warrant - Uncle Tom's Cabin Skid Row - Wasted Time White Lion - Wait Twisted Sister - Don't Let Me Down Cinderella - Shake Me They nailed Ratt and Motley Crue.
    Yes Yes meh, but better than When the children cry anything by TS is better than We're not gonna take it and I love TS yes
    If not "Wait", I'd rather listen to their cover of "Radar Love" over that Children Cry song.
    Yes, thank you! I love their cover of Radar Love. I've said several time here in these forums that I prefer that version to the original, and I know that it's sacrilege, but, to me, it's just so much more fleshed-out and better produced than Golden Earring's version.
    I don't like glam metal at all, but def leppard's photography is awesome, and the cover of pyromania is AMAZING
    where the fuck is "livin' on a prayer", or "you give love a bad name"? "Pour some sugar on me"? Like, come on -.-
    Always been partial to Dr. Feelgood myself.
    Yeah, Wild Side and Dr. Feelgood are both great songs, but they're both about gritty street life, and no so much partying and getting laid. When I think of hair metal, I don't think of drug dealing and gang banging. For that reason, I'd have left the White Lion track off the list, and put 'Wait' on there (if you had to have a White Lion track in the list).
    Vito Bratta is IMO the best guitarist that came from the glam rock era. Way too underrated. Talking about the White Lion guitarist here. So sad he's not more recognized.
    Shows picture of David Coverdale at top. No Whitesnake. GTFO, Still of the Night destroys every song on here.
    Not really glam metal. Whitesnake are manic, switching between legit heavy blues rock and synth pop as needed. They'd have probably used "Here I Go Again".
    This is more like a "Top 10 greatest glam metal HITS" rather than the 10 best...
    No one into the "S"-bands? Spread Eagle, Saigon Kick, Sleeze Beez ... or the countless other glam metal pros that unfotunately never reached any higher success?
    Another cool "S"-band: Salty Dog.  'Come Along' is a good one of theirs. Cheezy, sleazy, ...and 1 of my favorites of the genre. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="
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    Glam is pretty much my main music. I fucking love 80s metal glam or other wise but this really sucks. Title should be 10 most over played glam songs. I also  dont' care how much radio play Cherry pie got it's a shit song compared to the other stuff Warrent did. 
    Motley went real glam for Theater of Pain. (look at their garb!)  So it should be Home sweet Home or Smokin in the boys room!   
    Where's Def Leppard? Photograph or Foolin'? No Van Halen? Glad Dokken made the list, though. They don't seem to get as much love as a lot of other hair metal bands did (Outside of guitarist/musician circles, at least).
    Skid Row- almost anything of "Slave to the Grind" or "Subhuman Race". "Here I Go Again on MY Own"
    So is this just Niass's personal opinion? I don't understand how Cherry Pie or Talk Dirty To Me can be considered the greatest anything.
    Ugh, I hated Cherry Pie when it came out and I still hate that song. A few good artists but I don't think they picked their best songs for sure.  I would also say no to Poison and White Lion too though. 
    Jani Lane hated it too, he wrote it as a joke/filler.
    If I recall correctly he was pressured into writing last minute for a radio single, and then everyone ignored the album he cared about for the one cheap single on it.
    Not a single Bon Jovi song?
    Yes, Bon Jovi had some good songs, but they were kind of a joke back in the 80's.  I know that's hard to believe when they put Cherry Pie in the list.
    Too young to fall in love! And something from whitesnake!
    Ive never considered Twisted Sister "hair metal" since they basically invented the look, the moniker should not appy.....Skid Row was more regular metal than Hair - Monkey Business is not a "Hair metal" - Hair metal leans towards Chicks like the songs....chicks don't like Monkey Business nor Under the Blade by Twisted Sister.  
    I've never seen these bands as "metal" in the definition, they're more close to hard rock if anything to me. But that's just my opinion
    1. Whitesnake - Still of the Night 2. Extreme - Get the Funk Out 3. Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls 4. Bon Jovi - You Give Love a Bad Name 5. Aerosmith - Love in an Elevator 6. Def Leppard - Hysteria If you count Glam Metal, Hair Metal, 80's Hard Rock or whatever you wanna call it all.
    Who came up with the above list? Those are like cheezy hairband ballads that the artists were forced to write and sing because of the trend at the time. Like Kiss's " I was made for loving you" to compete with disco.