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  • GLAM!

    2. Jan. 2011, 11:32

    Glam metal (also known as hair metal and often used synonymously with pop metal) is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord-based heavy metal musical style.

    The genre rapidly lost mainstream interest from 1991 to 1993 with the rise of grunge and the release of albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind. It experienced a partial resurgence around the turn of the century, due in part to increased interest on the internet, with the successful 'Glam Slam Metal Jam' music festival taking place in summer 2000.

    Characteristics
    Musically, glam metal uses traditional hard rock and heavy metal songs, incorporating elements of punk rock, while adding pop-influenced catchy hooks and guitar riffs. Like other heavy metal songs of the 1980s, they often feature shred guitar solos. Aesthetically glam metal draws heavily on the glam rock or glitter rock of the 1970s, often with very long backcombed hair, use of make-up, gaudy clothing and accessories (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, and headbands). The visual aspects of glam metal appealed to music television producers, particularly MTV, whose establishment coincided with the rise of the genre. Glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles of late-night parties, which were widely covered in the tabloid press.

    Terminology
    The term "pop metal" is routinely used as a synonym to "glam metal" but sometimes refers to a related but separate movement, especially according to Canadian anthropologist Sam Dunn and website Allmusic. Allmusic refers to glam metal as "hair metal", whose characteristics are flashy clothing and heavy makeup (as embodied by Poison, Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe), whereas pop metal refers to the whole pop-tinted hard rock and heavy metal scene of the 1980s (i.e Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Europe…). In the "definitive metal family tree" of his documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, anthropologist Sam Dunn also differentiates glam and pop metal, with glam metal bands including Mötley Crüe, Poison, Twisted Sister and Hanoi Rocks while pop metal bands including Def Leppard, Europe, Lita Ford and Whitesnake.[citation needed]

    Sleaze rock or Sleaze metal is another term coined to designate some hard rock/heavy metal bands of the 1980s, with such bands having a rawer sound and less pop appeal. This term is the most frequently (but not exclusively) applied for Guns N' Roses and especially their début album Appetite for Destruction. Other bands that are likely to fit in this designation include Hollywood Rose, L.A. Guns and The Quireboys.[citation needed]

    Hair metal is a derogatory, derisive umbrella term encompassing the whole 1980s glam metal scene; use of the term started in the early 1990s, as grunge took over the popularity at the expense of 1980s metal. However, the term is used in a non- or semi-derogatory sense by Allmusic to refer to glam metal.

    Origins
    Stephen Davis claims the influences of the style can be traced back to acts like Aerosmith, Kiss, Boston, Cheap Trick, and The New York Dolls. Particularly Kiss, but also the shock rock style of such acts as Alice Cooper, served as a major influence on the genre. Finnish band Hanoi Rocks have been credited with setting a blueprint for the look of hair metal.

    Van Halen has been seen as highly influential on the movement, emerging in 1978 from the Los Angeles music scene on Sunset Strip, with a sound based around the lead guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen. He popularized a playing technique of two‐handed hammer‐ons and pull‐offs called tapping, showcased on the song "Eruption" from the album Van Halen. This sound, and lead singer David Lee Roth's stage antics, would be highly influential on glam metal, although Van Halen would never fully adopt a glam aesthetic.

    Often categorised with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, in 1981 Def Leppard released their second album High 'n' Dry, mixing glam-rock with heavy metal, and helping to define the sound of hard rock for the decade. The follow up Pyromania (1983), reached #2 on the American charts and the singles "Foolin'", "Photograph", and "Rock of Ages", helped by the emergence of MTV, reached the Top 40. It was widely emulated, particularly by the emerging Californian scene.

    Decline (1991–97)
    The 1988 film The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years captured the L.A. scene of successful and aspiring bands. It also highlighted the excesses of glam metal, particularly the scene in which W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes was interviewed while abusing vodka on an inflatable raft in a swimming p]ool as his mother watched. As a result it has been seen as helping to create a backlash against the genre. In the early 1990s glam metal's popularity rapidly declined after nearly a decade of success. Several music writers and musicians began to deride glam metal acts as "hair farmers," hinting at the soon to be popularized term hair metal. Another reason for the decline in popularity of the style may have been the changing popularity of the power ballad, a slow, emotional song that gradually builds to a strong finale. While the use of the power ballad, especially after a hard-rocking anthem, was initially a successful formula, in the late 1980s and early 1990s audiences lost interest in this approach.

    Perhaps the most significant factors in the decline was the rise of grunge music from Seattle, with bands including Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. This was particularly obvious after the success of Nirvana's Nevermind (1991), which combined elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal into a dirty sound that made use of heavy guitar distortion, fuzz and feedback, along with darker lyrical themes, a stripped-down aesthetic and a complete rejection of the glam metal visual style and performance. Many major labels felt they had been caught off-guard by the surprise success of grunge and had begun turning over their personnel in favor of younger staffers more versed in the new scene. As MTV shifted its attention to the new style, glam metal bands found themselves relegated more and more often to and late night airplay, and Headbanger's Ball was cancelled at the end of 1994, while KNAC went over to Spanish programing. Given glam metal's lack of a major format presence on radio, bands were left without a clear way to reach their audience. Other non-grunge bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction also helped further supplant the popularity of the genre.

    In the new commercial climate many glam metal bands like Europe, Ratt, White Lion, Britny Fox, Stryper, Skid Row and Cinderella broke up and while many of these bands would re-unite again in the late 1990s or early 2000s, they never reached the commercial success they saw in the 1980s or early 1990s. Other bands such as Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Slaughter saw personnel changes which impacted their commercial viability. In 1995 Van Halen released Balance, a multi-platinum seller that would be the band's last with Sammy Hagar on vocals. In 1996 David Lee Roth returned briefly and his replacement, former Extreme singer Gary Cherone, was fired soon after the release of the commercially unsuccessful 1998 album Van Halen III and Van Halen would not tour or record again until 2004. Guns N' Roses' original lineup was whittled away throughout the decade. Drummer Steven Adler was fired in 1990, guitarist Izzy Stradlin left in late 1991 after recording Use Your Illusion I and II with the band. Tensions between the other band members and lead singer Axl Rose continued after the release of the 1993 covers album The Spaghetti Incident?. Guitarist Slash left in 1996, followed by bassist Duff McKagan in 1997. Axl Rose, the only original member, worked with a constantly-changing lineup in recording an album that would take over ten years to complete.

    Revival (1998–present)
    During the late 1990s and the 2000s glam metal began to enjoy something of a revival, with some established acts managing to weather the storm, others reforming and new bands emerging to emulate the glam metal style. Bon Jovi were still able to achieve a commercial hit with "It's My Life" (2000). They branched into country music with a version of their 2005 song "Who Says You Can't Go Home", which reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart in 2006 and the rock/country album Lost Highway which reached #1 in 2007. In 2009, Bon Jovi released another #1 album, The Circle, which marked a return to their hard rock sound.

    Mötley Crüe reunited with Vince Neil to record the 1997 album Generation Swine and Poison reunited with guitarist C.C. DeVille in 1999, producing the mostly live Power to the People (2000), both bands began to tour extensively. There were reunions and subsequent tours from Van Halen (with Hagar in 2004 and then Roth in 2007), The long awaited Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy was finally released in 2008, but only went platinum, produced no hit singles, and failed to come close to the success of the band's late 1980s and early 1990s material.

    Europe[artist]'s "Final Countdown" enjoyed a new lease of popularity as the millennium drew to a close and the band reformed.[68] Other acts to reform included Ratt, [artist]White Lion[/atrist], Britny Fox, Night Ranger, Stryper (annually), Skid Row and Cinderella. Beginning in 1999, Monster Ballads, a series of compilation albums that feature popular power ballads, usually from the glam metal genre, capitalised on the nostalgia, with the first volume going platinum. The VH1 sponsored Rock Never Stops Tour, beginning in 1998, has seen many glam metal bands take to the stage again, including on the inaugural tour Warrant, Slaughter, Quiet Riot, Firehouse, and L.A. Guns. Slaughter also took part in the 1999 version with Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, and Quiet Riot. Poison and Cinderella toured together in 2000 and 2002 and in 2005 Cinderella headlined the Rock Never Stops Tour, with support from Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Firehouse. In 2007 the four day long Rocklahoma festival held in Oklahoma and included glam metal bands Poison, Ratt, Faster Pussycat, L.A. Guns, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot and Britny Fox. Warrant and Cinderella co-headlined the festival in 2008. Nostalgia for the genre was evidenced in the production of glam metal themed musical Rock of Ages, which ran for in Los Angeles in 2006 and in New York in 2008.

    By the early 2000s, a handful of new bands began to revive glam metal in one form or another. The Darkness's Permission to Land (2003), described as an "eerily realistic simulation of '80s metal and '70s glam", topped the UK charts, going quintuple platinum. One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back (2005) reached #11, before the band broke up in 2006. Los Angeles band Steel Panther managed to gain a following by sending up 80s glam metal. A more serious attempt to revive glam metal was made by bands of the sleaze metal movement in Sweden, including Vains of Jenna, Hardcore Superstar, H.E.A.T.[artist] and [artist]Crashdïet. Other new acts included Beautiful Creatures and Buckcherry, whose breakthrough album 15 (2006) went platinum and spawned the single "Sorry" (2007), which made the top 10 of the Billboard 100.