Poll: Hair Metal during/after "Grunge" takeover - who still carried the flame?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mattright, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    Eh, I guess it boils down to how we define terms like "instant" vs "gradual". I mean, did the moment that Nirvana's "Teen Spirit" break big all sales of all Hair albums instantly drop to zero? No, of course not. So in that sense the impact wasn't instantaneous. But my recollection was that it happened pretty quick, quick enough for pretty much everyone to describe it as such at the time. My recollection is that after Nirvana almost overnight it became very uncool to like bands like Motley Crue, Poison, and Warrant. And not just from the perspective of "alternative" fans that always despised Hair acts. Their own fan bases, which had numbered in the millions, largely evaporated. And this wasn't just reflected in the charts, it washed over the entire rock music scene culturally as well, it was publicly commented on. IOW's, the notion that Nirvana and grunge wiped out Hair isn't a retrospective thing, it's how it was felt at the time, in 1991-1992.

    And apparently it wasn't felt just in the rock world. Here's Jay-Z, recalling how the emergence of Nirvana impacted Hip-Hop's sense of itself as a rising cultural force in the early 90s (from a SPIN magazine article, 10/5/12):

    “First we got to go back to before grunge and why grunge happened,” reasons Jay. “‘Hair bands’ dominated the airwaves and rock became more about looks than about actual substance and what it stood for—the rebellious spirit of youth….That’s why ‘Teen Spirit’ rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt, you know what I’m saying?”

    Jay-Z then goes on to say that grunge actually stalled the rise of hip-hop in popular culture. “It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know?” he says. “Those ‘hair bands’ were too easy for us to take out; when Kurt Cobain came with that statement it was like, ‘We got to wait awhile.'”

    You sound like you were around for the shift as well, so perhaps it's just a case where we have different perspectives.
    Diamond Star Halo likes this.
  2. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    Ugly Kid Joe wasn't hair metal but was popular at the same time grunge was big. As Ugly As They Wanna Be EP (1991) and America's Least Wanted (1992) both went 2 x Platinum. They were popular into 1993 when Cat's In The Cradle was a hit single.
  3. theshape

    theshape Forum Resident

    Saint Joseph, MO
    I wonder if the part of the world we were in at the time has anything to do with how we perceive it?? Cuz, I remember many people around me then still loving the same bands they had for a while, but were just getting into these new bands that were coming along as well. No one was dropping bands they had long standing fandom with.... Hell, I still viewed Nirvana as a new band when they found Kurt dead! I remember thinking to myself when it was announced, "That's it??" Cuz, it had only really been three albums and a compilation up to then. In my mind at the time, they were just getting started. I didn't really notice people turning on 80's bands until closer to '94/'95.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback and not talking to me like I'm a *****. Which sometimes happens around these parts. ;)
    Stephen J likes this.
  4. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    Totally agree. Myself, I was done with this type of music by this period as it became non-music to my ears. "The Day The Music Died".
    Purple likes this.
  5. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Firehouse had an oddball hit with I Live My Life For You in 1995. I can't think of another "hair band" that had a real Top 100 hit after 1992 thru 99 aside from them and Bon Jovi - "This Ain't A Love Song" which I don't really categorize them as hair metal.

    firehouse i live my life for you - YouTube
    driverdrummer likes this.
  6. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    Bon Jovi has had a Top 30 hit as recently as 2006.
  7. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Thru the 1993-1999 dead period I mentioned in my post. I don't really put Bon Jovi in the same bucket as Warrant and Firehouse either. Plus Bon Jovi is like a country band now and would scoff at the mention of metal to their band. They have turned their nose up being categorized as such. They just make music as to what is considered trendy and current now.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  8. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    Bom Jovi weathered the Grunge takeover quite well. As others have mentioned though, Bon Jovi downplayed the metalish elements of its earlier albums and went for a more AC radio friendly direction.
  9. EricF

    EricF Well-Known Member

    You are correct, it didn't change overnight. I actually lived in Seattle at the time and both genres coexisted for quite awhile. In my opinion, while there may have been some good music created as a result, the "Seattle grunge" scene should not be looked backed to through rose colored glasses. It was dark, depressed, dangerous and killed a lot of people.
  10. Zombie

    Zombie Well-Known Member

    Montreal, QC
    None of those bands carried the flame after the grunge infestation. However, there were several new younger bands from the 2000's that captured that era quite remarkably.
  11. Cake

    Cake Forum Resident

    Reseda, CA, USA
    None, in my opinion and I was there before and after the "grunge years" and was an avid participant.

    All most of those bands cared about was getting laid by putting pickles in their pants. The music didn't really matter. So lame.
  12. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    In other parts of the world, like the UK, yes, but after 1991, their studio album sales fell off a cliff compared to what they were in the late 80s.

    Put it this way: In the USA, their last 9 studio albums, starting with 1992's Keep the Faith, have collectively sold about as many copies as New Jersey did. Not Slippery, New Jersey.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  13. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    In Canada also. Keep The Faith was HUGE (5 x Platinum). The Crossroads Greatest Hits from 1994 went 10 x Platinum and These Days from 1995 went 2 x Platinun.
  14. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    No choice for none of the above. :hide:
  15. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    I disagree with Jay-Z about heavy metal. Heavy metal bands never dominated the pop airwaves. That was especially true in 1991. There were only nine metal bands to make an impact on the 1991 Year End Billboard 100. They were Damn Yankees (one song: #14), Scorpions (one song #39), Poison (one song: #78), Warrant (one song: #96), Tesla (one song: #73), Firehouse (one song: #43), Queensryche (one song: #82), Warrant (one song: #96), and Extreme (two songs: #7 and #46). Only three heavy metal bands had a song in the top 50 songs of the year. That's a far cry from dominating the airwaves.

    Compare that to R&B/dance/rap in 1991: around forty different artists with seven of the top ten songs of the year. Those were the artists, in genres pretty far removed from heavy metal, which dominated the pop airwaves.

    On another note, Driver8 has made a good case on this forum that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was far less revolutionary than people give it credit for. He noted the similarities between it and other material from Motley Crue and emphasized how Nirvana utilized Slayer's mixing engineer for Nevermind. I agree with him that people often overlook the musical similarities and technical element connections between Nirvana's popularity and the heavy metal which preceded it.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    Malcolm Crowne likes this.
  16. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    Saigon Kick - The Lizard went gold in the U.S. in 1992. Love Is On The Way was a popular song. Their next album Water from 1993 sold only 70,000.
    jfbar167 likes this.
  17. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    It still doesn't change the fact that Keep The Faith was still a huge album that spawned some big hits. The Crossroads compilation was also a huge success, and Always was one of their biggest hits ever. "Falling off a cliff" is a huge exaggeration. They were still one of the biggest bands in the world in the early 90s.
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  18. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Richmond, Virginia

    which is weird because saigon kick was similar to alternative rock bands
    ModernDayWarrior likes this.
  19. blueslover99

    blueslover99 Forum Resident

    Hair Metal is such a strange "genre" designation to me. Many of the bands that are associated with the term don't really fit the bill, aside from blending into the fashion cues of the 80s Mtv era. For me, it seems like the LA/Sunset Strip scene is what Hair Metal is all about, and very few of the bands listed emerged from that scene. Check out Decline of Western Civilization Part 2 to get a snapshot of that time. Sure, a lot of 70s rockers tried to blend in to the scene fashion wise...but they did it again in the 90s going "alternative", like Ozzy, Kiss or Def Leppard's looks in the 80s vs the 90s.
  20. Haggis Wampovich

    Haggis Wampovich Professor of Dead Languages

    Three Rivers, USA
    You know- they were an oddball band, but I saw them open for Tesla in 90-91 and they were pretty good. The crowd was way into it.
  21. WhoDaresWins

    WhoDaresWins Forum Resident

    The Motley Crüe '94 album is an overlooked gem with John Corabi on vocals. Corabi was a very good vocalist who joined MC at the wrong time. After Corabi was let go from MC, he and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick formed a band named Union (which feature also featured Brent Fitz, current drummer with Slash) and release their S/T album debut album. Anyone fans of Corabi should check out the S/T Union album which was also a solid underated gem in 90's.
    Matthew Tate and Brenald79 like this.
  22. Purple

    Purple Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    This is a great post.

    It reminds me of a long back and forth about whether GNR was glam here. In summary:

    "GNR is not glam
    1. They do not sound like any other glam act - far more like the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith
    2. They do not look like many other glam acts - the vestiges of the makeup were mostly or entirely gone by Appetite; it was mostly jeans
    3. They were so much more successful than most (or all) other glam acts
    4. They are much more talented than any other glam acts - necessarily pushing them beyond the boundaries of glam
    5. They were so much heavier than most other glam acts (c.f., Paradise City)
    6. They were edgier, lyrically, than other glam acts (c.f., My Michelle) and went into far more challenging areas on their next releases"

    "GNR is glam
    1. They originated on the Sunset Strip - home of most glam metal acts - and founded by another glam metal star (Tracii Guns of LA Guns)
    2. They sound similar to other glam acts - especially Motley Crue and LA Guns
    3. They had a similar look/vibe - some makeup, poodle hair, some over-the-top outfits, nicknames - during their most popular period (Appetite)
    4. They had sleaze rock lyrics similar to other glam acts (Ratt, in particular)
    5. They were marketed at the time primarily as glam metal (metal rags, mtv, etc.)
    6. They had a big "power ballad" that garnered them massive success (Sweet Child o' Mine), much like other glam acts before and after them
    7. Following the success of Appetite glam metal became even more popular"

    When the thread started I thought they were "sort of" glam, but I'm probably more convicted in that belief after the thread. While most at SHF don't think they're glam, literally 90% of the general public do. As you say, much of this is due to "I like the band so it can't be glam" mindset.

    By contrast, Def Leppard was not glam, but was definitely pop metal - they basically defined what it meant to be a pop metal or hair act.
  23. Purple

    Purple Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    I have their debut, Firehouse, which is a pretty good album. They were a bit of big deal then.
  24. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    Firehouse won lots of magazine awards in Hit Parader and Circus from what I remember.
    Purple and blueslover99 like this.
  25. Haggis Wampovich

    Haggis Wampovich Professor of Dead Languages

    Three Rivers, USA
    According to wiki, they had 3 songs chart in US top 20 and sold over 7 million albums.
    I would have never guessed?!
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    Matthew Tate and blueslover99 like this.

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