37 Best 80s Hair Bands

14. Faster Pussycat

Faster Pussycat

Faster Pussycat is another Los Angeles-based hair band formed in 1985. Their first album came out in 1987 with Elektra Records, but their 1989 release Wake Me When It’s Over solidified their popularity. They toured with KISS and Mötley Crüe before going through several lineup changes in the early 90s. The band reunited in 2001 and toured again in 2008.

15. Skid Row

Skid Row

Skid Row formed in 1986 but didn’t release their debut album until 1989. The band started in New Jersey, and the members were friendly with fellow hair band Bon Jovi, who helped them get their first record deal. Their most successful singles featured Sebastian Bach on lead vocals, but he left the band in 1996. The band continues to perform with new singers.

16. L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns started in Los Angeles in 1983, getting its name from the lead guitarist Tracii Guns. Guns, however, was only in the band until 1985. The new lineup helped the band make a name for themselves, but there have never been consistent members in L.A. Guns. Members from other hair bands, like W.A.S.P. and Faster Pussycat, have played in the band over the years.

17. Hollywood Rose

Hollywood Rose

Axl Rose formed Hollywood Rose in 1983 and recorded a demo in 1984. The band went through many lineup changes in a short period, so the band stopped playing for a while. They reunited for a New Year’s Eve show in 1985 and later hired a new singer for an album recorded in 1989 that was never released.

18. Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses

While the previous two bands enjoyed success on their own merit, they’re best known for forming one of the biggest hair bands in history, Guns N’ Roses. Tracii Guns and Axl Rose combined their names and musical talents, along with Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. The lineup has changed over the years due to arguments and addictions.

At the peak of their popularity, Guns N’ Roses opened for bands like Aerosmith, The Cult, and Alice Cooper. Though the band hasn’t released a new album since 2008, they continue to tour.

19. Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Hair bands were a male-dominated genre, but Lita Ford was a woman who demanded attention in the 80s. She played guitar for the Runaways in the 70s, along with rocker Joan Jett. Her solo career took off in 1982, and she had several Top 10 hits on the Billboard charts. She played songs with rock stars like Nikki Sixx, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tony Iommi.

20. W.A.S.P.

W A S P

W.A.S.P. was initially a heavy metal band in the Los Angeles area, but they changed directions in the early 80s to achieve mainstream popularity. Their third album, released in 1986, brought them to the attention of the hair band audience. They released four albums in the 80s before shifting back to a general rock genre to continue making music into the 2010s.

21. KISS

KISS

KISS is a rock band ahead of its time. They formed in 1973 and wore face paint, elaborate stage costumes, and teased black hair. They started as a rock band, but in the early 80s, they took off the face paint and started an unmasked period, keeping their wild hair. While going without makeup was a change for the band, the new KISS style fit in with hair bands perfectly.

22. Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks stand out from the hair band crowd because they’re not from Los Angeles, New Jersey, or England. The band formed in Finland and became popular in the United Kingdom and Japan before touring the United States. Their Los Angeles shows sold out in 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the drummer died in a wreck when Mötley Crüe’s singer Vince Neil drove drunk.

The band formed with a new lineup in the 2000s, billing themselves as Hanoi Revisited. They recorded new music but still played the hits from their five 80s albums during live performances.

23. Night Ranger

Night Ranger

Night Ranger started in 1979 and had several popular albums in the 80s. Their ballad, “Sister Christian,” reached the number five spot on the Billboard charts, but they have many hits reaching the Top 40.

The band split in 1989 but reformed in the late 90s with a new lineup. Their five albums released in the 80s remain their most popular, though they’ve recorded eight more since then.

24. Great White

Great White

Great White formed in 1977 in Los Angeles but gained popularity in 1987. Singles from their two 80s albums hit the Top 40 charts, and the videos got frequent MTV airplay. The band opened for Guns N’ Roses, Whitesnake, and Twisted Sister during their peak.

Though they didn’t remain in the mainstream, the band continued to release new music in the 90s. In 2003, the band was playing at a small club, and their pyrotechnics show ignited the soundproofing material. The guitarist and 99 other people died in the fire, and over 100 were badly burned in the accident. The band continued touring and releasing new music.

25. Europe

Europe

Like Hanoi Rocks, Europe stands out for starting in a foreign country. The band is from Sweden and won a 1982 musical competition. Their 1986 album that skyrocketed them into hair band fame was actually their third release. After they achieved popularity, the guitarist left because he thought their sound was more pop than rock.

Europe disbanded in the early 90s but, like many other hair bands, reunited in the 2000s for nostalgia tours and to record new music. However, no other song has reached the success of “The Final Countdown.”

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