Don’t Call It Hair Metal
Art in the Excess of the ’80s Rock
by Sean Kelly
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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date 03 May 2023
A love letter to the hard-rocking, but often snubbed, music of the era of excess: the 1980s
There may be no more joyous iteration in all of music than 1980s hard rock. It was an era where the musical and cultural ideals of rebellion and freedom of the great rock ’n’ roll of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s were taken to dizzying heights of neon excess. Attention to songcraft, showmanship, and musical virtuosity (especially in the realm of the electric guitar) were at an all-time high, and radio and MTV were delivering the goods en masse to the corn-fed children of America and beyond.
Time hasn’t always been kind to artists of that gold and platinum era, but Don’t Call It Hair Metal analyzes the sonic evolution, musical diversity, and artistic intention of ’80s commercial hard rock through interviews with members of such hard rock luminaries as Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, Poison, Whitesnake, Ratt, Skid Row, Quiet Riot, Guns N’ Roses, Dokken, Mr. Big, and others.