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Friday
Dec142007

You Wanted the Best...Number Six

bon_jovi_group.jpgOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:


10) Badlands
09) Winger
08) Twisted Sister
07) L.A. Guns


In the sixth spot…Bon Jovi.


Bon Jovi is currently going through a small-scale identity crisis, but in the 1980s they were 100% glam.


Formed in New Jersey in the early part of the 80s, Bon Jovi is one of the most successful bands of the era. Their success and widespread appeal have carried them a long way and they are still able to play arenas some 23 years after releasing their self-titled debut.

Slippery When Wet (1986) made Bon Jovi both rich and famous. That album includes the mega-singles “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Millions of records later, the band toured the world and found time to record New Jersey (1988). That album includes the song “Bad Medicine” which was my favorite 45 when I was a kid.

Sheer volume of records sold doesn’t equal success, but it’s pretty hard to argue with sales of more than 100 million records worldwide.

Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi also helped other glam bands. He discovered Cinderella while they played in a Philadelphia bar, and offered Skid Row an opening slot on the successful New Jersey Syndicate Tour.

Bon Jovi’s cultural impact is nearly unmatched. They can jump genre and seemingly do no wrong. From glam to pop to country, people line-up in droves to buy their albums. Last season of American Idol featured a “Bon Jovi” theme week, and Jon Bon Jovi recently hosted Saturday Night Live where he played up his 80s rocker image. Whatever your thoughts on modern Bon Jovi, there’s no denying their importance – and place – in 1980s glam Metal.

Here’s Bon Jovi performing an unplugged version of “Lay Your Hands On Me.” The music sounds good, but there’s something fishy going on with Jon Bon Jovi’s hair.



Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number five on the ten best glam bands of all time list.


Thursday
Dec132007

Congrats Crazy Lixx!

Crazy Lixx is one of my favorite Swedish bands. Their debut Loud Minority is phenomenal...and now it's landed in the second spot on the Swedish rock charts! I salute these boys who bring back glam!

Here's the video for "Want It" from Loud Minority.



www.myspace.com/crazylixxmusic

 

 

Thursday
Dec132007

You Wanted the Best...Number Seven

biglaguns.jpgOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:


10) Badlands
09) Winger
08) Twisted Sister

In the seventh spot…L.A. Guns.


Today there are two touring versions of L.A. Guns – one featuring famed singer Phil Lewis and the other featuring guitar genius Tracii Guns.

While Phil Lewis was making phenomenal Glam with the British band Girl, Tracii Guns was working the Sunset Strip circuit, creating the first incarnation of the band. Yes, Axl Rose sang vocals in a very young L.A. Guns that would eventually turn into Hollywood Rose.

That didn’t last too long, and Tracii reformed L.A. Guns with Paul Black on vocals, bassist Mick Cripps, drummer Nickey Alexander and guitarist Robert Stoddard.

The band is best known for their second album Cocked and Loaded, released in 1989. That albums features Tracii on lead guitar, Phil Lewis on vocals, Mick Cripps on rhythm guitar, Kelly Nickels on bass and Steve Riley on drums.

While L.A. Guns have not enjoyed the same level of commercial success as many of their counterparts - including Guns n’ Roses - their importance to glam is immense for many reasons. First, the band helped lay the framework for Guns n’ Roses. Second, Tracii Guns was a huge figure on the Sunset Strip scene, jamming with nearly every glam musician at one time or another. Third, L.A. Guns were able to create commercial rock with a street –sounding edge. That’s thanks to great songwriting and Tracii’s amazing technical ability. For whatever reason, he’s remained completely underrated despite having some of the best chops of any guitarist in any 80s Metal band.

These days, you’ve got twice as many chances to hear your favorite L.A. Guns tune live. Paul Black and Tracii are back together, along with bassist Jeremy Guns and drummer Chad Stewart. Phil Lewis fronts his own version, featuring guitarist Stacey Blades, bassist Scott Griffin and drummer Steve Riley. I continue to defend the Black/Guns version of the band, despite your incessant criticism. Yesterday, I said Twisted Sister gave the best performance at Rocklahoma 2007. L.A. Guns (Black/Guns version) comes in a close second.

In the spirit of fair and balanced reporting, today you get two videos. Here’s Tracii’s version of the band performing “LAPD” on the Sunset Strip sometime in 2006.



Now here’s the Phil Lewis version performing “No Mercy” in 1988.



Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number six on the ten best glam bands of all time list.


 

Wednesday
Dec122007

You Wanted the Best...Number Eight

scarydee_wm.JPGOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:


10) Badlands 09) Winger

In the eighth spot…Twisted Sister.

One glance at lead singer Dee Snider with his long blond hair and crazy make-up and you know Twisted Sister is a glam band. Despite the make-up and hairspray, the New York based quintet has a much harder edge than many of their Sunset Strip counterparts.

Besides some radio friendly hits – especially “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – the band produced more traditional Metal sounding tunes, all while having a good time. While Dee Snider demands his audience “Burn In Hell” guitarists Eddie Ojeda and Jay Jay French bop around on stage like skipping through a field of poppies.

Twisted Sister formed during the mid-seventies but enjoyed their biggest commercial success with 1984’s Stay Hungry. Their unique take on Metal influenced a slew of musicians that would swarm the Sunset Strip just a few short years later. The band made shock rock melodic and catchy.


Twisted Sister continued to tour and record throughout the eighties and Dee Snider even took on lawmakers during the PMRC hearings. Now, Snider hosts his own syndicated radio show The House of Hair. The band also headlined Rocklahoma 2007 and gave the best performance of the entire weekend. It seems Dee likes to insult his fans. Slapstick comedy adds an extra dimension to a rock show and Twisted Sister is just the band to provide the delicate mix of over-the-top antics and awesome guitar licks.

Here’s Twisted Sister performing “Burn In Hell” at Wacken Open Air in 2003. Warning: this performance will kick your ass. On a personal note, I have big plans of learning the bass riff to this song.



Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number seven on the ten best glam bands of all time list.


Tuesday
Dec112007

You Wanted the Best...Number Nine

kipatrocklahoma_wm.JPGOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Yesterday, Badlands landed at number ten.


In the ninth spot…Winger.


Openly chided, Winger is constantly the butt of jokes. Of course, the critics are forgetting an important fact: Kip Winger and his band are monstrously talented and consistently release top notch music.

While Beavis and Butt-Head laughed at Winger’s songs and videos, millions of people worldwide rushed to buy the self titled debut in 1988 (it reached #21 on the Billboard chart). While you probably know Winger by “Headed For A Heartbreak” and “Seventeen” some of their later albums provide more complex riffs and lyrics.

Like Badlands, Winger also features a hot shot guitarist: Reb Beach. Like most in-demand guitarists, Beach has played in a lot of big name bands, most notably Whitesnake. Still, his vocal harmonies with Kip Winger are unmatched and together they make a powerful recording duo.

There are a lot of great voices in rock: Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Sebastian Bach…and Kip Winger. I’ve seen Winger in a traditional concert setting and I’ve seen Kip solo and acoustic. Either way, his musical ability is awe inspiring.

Winger released Pull in 1993, and it’s one of the best albums of that year. Actually, it’s one of the best album’s of the decade. Yes, it’s better than Nirvana’s Nevermind and it’s certainly better than The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails.

Even better, the members of Winger actually look like they are having fun on stage. That goes a long way in my book.

Here’s a clip of Winger performing “Headed For A Heartbreak” live on MTV. I’m not sure of the date, but I’m guessing sometime in 1989.



Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number eight on the ten best glam bands of all time list.


Monday
Dec102007

L.A. Guns at Rocklahoma?

gunsfamily_wm.JPGDid Tracii Guns version of L.A. Guns inadvertantly confirm their apperance at Rocklahoma 2008?

My favorite version of the band is having a rough go of a tour. First, they had stuff stolen while performing in Dayton, Ohio (please see "Breaking News: L.A. Guns Ripped Off") now, their van is stuck in Tennessee. Tracii Guns, Paul Black, Jeremy Guns, and Chad Stewart are asking for your help. Here's a Myspace bulletin. Note the Rocklahoma portion:

"We are having some troubles on the road. Our van is stuck in Memphis, Tennessee. It threw a rod in the engine. We need to find anyone in that area who can help us with getting it fixed.

So here’s the deal. If any of you can get our van from Memphis and fix it for us, or if there’s anyone that can tow it to Oklahoma City for us (we have a mechanic that can fix it there) please, reply to this message as soon as possible.

We’ll give you VIP passes to next years Rocklahoma.

Please, this is not a joke. We really need help… write only if you can do anything.

We look forward to hearing from you soon."

Incidentally, if you want to help one of my favorite bands, message them at http://www.myspace.com/losangelesguns

  

 

Monday
Dec102007

You Wanted the Best...Number Ten

badlands.jpgIt’s time to start the countdown of the ten best glam bands.


In the tenth spot…Badlands.

Badlands didn’t last very long, but in their short time together they created more than memorable music.

Founded by guitar virtuoso Jake E. Lee, singer Ray Gillen, bassist Greg Chaisson and drummer Eric Singer, the band signed to Atlantic relatively quickly and got to work on a debut. That self-titled release hit stores in June of 1989.

Despite reaching #57 on the Billboard chart, much of Badlands musical ability is forgotten today. The member’s volatile personalities didn’t help, and fighting eventually destroyed Badlands. After the fighting, it didn’t take long for the line-up changes to commence. First, Eric Singer left the band to drum for KISS and Lee and Gillen continued to battle over artistic control.

Ray Gillen had an amazing voice -- match it with Jake E. Lee’s amazing axe work and you’ve got a recipe for glam goodness. Badlands was one of those rare bands that combined passion and musical ability to create distinct, blues based rock. Bands with such chemistry don’t come along everyday. Unfortunately, great musical chemistry doesn’t equal great personal relationships.

If you saw Badlands live, count yourself lucky. Here's a clip of the band performing live in California in 1989.


Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number nine on the ten best glam bands of all time list.