100 Greatest Glam Metal Bands and Hair Metal Bands of the 80s and 90s

When the talk is about glam metal, long haired rockers in colorful attire belting out melodic power ballads come to mind. This article showcases a list of the best glam metal bands and hair metal bands from the 80s and 90s.

When the talk is about glam metal, long haired rockers in colorful attire belting out melodic power ballads come to mind. This article showcases a list of the best glam metal bands and hair metal bands from the 80s and 90s.

The glam rock scene came into limelight in the 70s and spawned an explosion of glam acts in the 80s and early 90s. Memorable anthems of several glam metal bands evoke special memories of the past. Shrill voices accompanied with thunderous drums, bass, keyboards and guitar mesmerized crowds. The hair metal era peaked in the 80s and early 90s. Acoustic rock ballads and power ballads ruled supreme.

As grunge and alternative bands burst onto the scene, the focus shifted. The overwhelming response grunge got led to a decline in glam bands with only a few able to stand ground. It’s only recently that one has witnessed a revival with a few hair metal bands from the heydays reuniting to relive the mayhem and nostalgia of the past.   

History of Glam

The term ‘glam’ that gained popularity in the 60s and 70s is relatively broad based and was used in context with individuals sporting different styles of clothing, hairstyles and make up as a part of a stage act, or performance. Emerging from different streams of psychedelic and art rock, glam came into its own. Varied styles and designs of clothing formed an integral part of glam acts. Here’s a list of the pioneering glam bands and artists that led to a surge in glam metal, hair bands and sleaze bands in the 80s and 90s.

Pioneers of Glam

  • Marc Bolan
  • T Rex
  • Sweet
  • Brian Eno
  • Roxy Music
  • Mud
  • David Bowie
  • New York Dolls
  • Iron Virgin
  • Iggy Pop
  • Hello
  • Alvin Stardust
  • The Glitter Band
  • Gary Glitter
  • Wizzard
  • Jobriath
  • Slade
  • Mott the Hoople
  • Iggy Pop
  • The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • Kenny

Arrival of Glam Metal/Hair Metal

With the 80s came bands with a heavier sound. Hard Rock established its roots firmly. The long hair grew longer, the make-up got brighter, and the audiences larger. Glam metal had arrived. Flamboyant lifestyle and visually appealing attire formed the core of glam acts. Make up, leather trousers, spandex trousers, ripped denim jeans, jewelry and headbands ruled. There were innumerable bands dishing out their own brand of metal that appealed to the world. Each band had a unique sound and a loyal fan base. Balladry infused with heavy metal riffs and rock n roll gave glam metal bands their unique sound. Hair metal bands from the 80s gave new identity to power ballads and acoustic rock ballads. The AOR scene that catapulted in the 70s evolved greatly in the 80s and early 90s. The raw power of music unleashed with an amalgamation of harmonies in choruses earned the respect of rock critics globally. A striking feature of hair metal bands was the melodic aspect embedded in the roots of each band. Beautiful high pitched voices set to the back drop of an acoustic guitar gave the world some of the best hair ballads. Here’s a list of glam metal bands and hair metal bands from the 80s and 90s that have enthralled listeners and audiences with their trademark style.

100 Greatest Glam Metal Bands and Hair Metal Bands

  1. Quiet Riot
  2. Skid Row
  3. Cinderella
  4. Warrant
  5. Firehouse
  6. Trixter
  7. Nelson
  8. Steelheart
  9. Motley Crue
  10. Poison
  11. Dokken
  12. Loudness
  13. Aerosmith
  14. Ratt
  15. Kiss
  16. Guns N’ Roses
  17. Stryper
  18. EZO
  19. Scorpions
  20. Tesla
  21. Giant
  22. Lizzy Borden
  23. Damn Yankees
  24. W.A.S.P
  25. Hanoi Rocks
  26. Twisted Sister
  27. Lita Ford
  28. Faster Pussycat
  29. Enuff Z’ Nuff
  30. L.A. Guns
  31. Slaughter
  32. Blue Murder
  33. Britny Fox
  34. Def Leppard
  35. Salty Dog
  36. David Lee Roth
  37. Junkyard
  38. Mr. Big
  39. Great White
  40. Dangerous Toys
  41. Bonfire
  42. T.N.T
  43. Europe
  44. Jetboy
  45. Shotgun Messiah
  46. Winger
  47. Danger Danger
  48. White Lion
  49. Extreme
  50. Aldo Nova
  51. Whitesnake
  52. Bang Tango
  53. The Quireboys
  54. Vixen
  55. Tora Tora
  56. Steeler
  57. Jackyl
  58. Alice Cooper
  59. Keel
  60. Whitecross
  61. Pretty Boy Floyd
  62. Tesla
  63. Kix
  64. Y&T
  65. Bon Jovi
  66. Roxx Gang
  67. Saraya
  68. Nitro
  69. Wildside
  70. Thunder
  71. Babylon A.D.
  72. Dogs D’Amour
  73. Roxy Blue
  74. Helix
  75. Tyketto
  76. XYZ
  77. Diamond Rexx
  78. Wrathchild
  79. Vain
  80. Candy Harlots
  81. Lynch Mob
  82. Tuff
  83. The Darkness
  84. King Cobra
  85. House of Lords
  86. Vandenberg
  87. Wild Boyz
  88. Love/Hate
  89. Killer Dwarfs
  90. Southgang
  91. Angel
  92. Tigertailz
  93. Vinnie Vincent Invasion
  94. Badlands
  95. Sleeze Beez
  96. Autograph
  97. Pure Rubbish
  98. Saints and Sinners
  99. Kick Axe
  100. Dirty Penny

Other Unforgettable Glam Metal Bands/Hair Metal Bands of the 80s and 90s


  • Private Line


  • Black ‘n Blue


  • Hawk


  • Cold Sweat


  • Shark Island


  • Shameless


  • Jackviper


  • Kik Tracee


  • Lordi


  • Steel Panther


  • Child’s Play


  • Beggars & Thieves


  • Smashed Gladys


  • Hardcore Superstar


  • Hardline


  • Sweet Pain


  • Rough Cutt


  • The Throbs


  • White Tiger


  • Sweet F.A.


  • Gorky Park


  • Femme Fatale


  • Lillian Axe


  • Stage Dolls


  • Bangalore Choir


  • Arcade


  • Big Bang Babies


  • Hericane Alice


  • Peppermint Creeps


  • Sea Hags


  • Blue Tears


  • Icon


  • Cry Wolf


  • Griva


  • The 69 Eyes


  • Shy


  • Alleycat Scratch


  • Brighton Rock


  • Masque

This list is not an attempt at ranking bands. It’s a celebration of the magical glam era that gave us some of the best anthems. If you’re an aficionado of hair metal you will have an opinion. Voice that opinion. Feel free to mention glam metal bands that deserve to be on the list and help it grow. This is the beginning. Keep Rocking.  

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