Last month I warned you that I'd be delving into hard rock territory ... there's still time (barely) to click away, avert your eyes, or power down your machine. I'm going to focus on hair/glam/metal rock from the 1980s.
I grew up listening to a wide variety of music courtesy of my parents, but when I started making my own choices, there was no contest. I chose rock. Hard rock. Why? Back in that day, rock was still about solid musicianship. I loved scorching axe work, driving bass and rhythm guitars, and I'd air-drum with the best of 'em -- I loved it all, in other words. It wasn't just good music that kept me coming back, though; I loved vocals I could understand, and that were delivered with feeling by guys who could really sing. The songs often touched on themes important to me, or that I enjoyed -- themes of being true to yourself, enjoying life, and pushing aside anyone who unjustly gets in your way. I could not only relate to the music, it was often inspirational to me.
I didn't realize until recently how much I've missed 80s rock. I enjoy a lot of current music, but I can only handle so much depressing content, even when I'm depressed. When I rock, I want to "feel the noize", to enjoy the testosterone surge that flows through many of the songs ... I want to feel alive and energized. There's little of that in the new stuff I hear. So this month, instead of digging through individual artists, I'm going to present an all-too-short list of my favorite 80s hair metal rock. Some are inspirational, some turn me on (still), some are just flat-out kickass songs that I never tire of hearing -- all epitomize what I consider one of the best eras of rock music. Our library is sadly lacking in this area, so obvious absences are most likely oversights or forgetfulness. If you think I've truly screwed up, email me; I could easily be persuaded to revisit -- and expand on -- this subject.
Sunni's Top 20 Head-Banging Tunes
- Get Up, Van Halen 
- You've Got another Thing Comin', Judas Priest [Screaming for Vengeance; Metalogy]
- Ride the Wind, Poison [Flesh & Blood; Greatest Hits 1986-1996]
- I Can't Drive 55, Sammy Hagar [VOA; The Essential Red Collection]
- We're Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister [Stay Hungry; Big Hits and Nasty Cuts]
- Here I Go Again, Whitesnake [Whitesnake; Greatest Hits]
- Freedom Fighter, Rainbow [Difficult to Cure; Very Best of Rainbow]
- Lack of Communication, Ratt [Out of the Cellar; Ratt & Roll 81-91]
- Back in Black, AC DC [Back in Black Original Recording; Bonfire]
- Private Property, Judas Priest [Turbo; Metalogy]
- Black and Blue, Van Halen [OU812; The Best of Both Worlds]
- Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard [Hysteria; Vault]
- Feel Your Love Tonight, Van Halen [Van Halen]
- Man on the Silver Mountain, Rainbow [Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow; Very Best of Rainbow]
- You're In Love, Ratt [Invasion of Your Privacy; Ratt & Roll 81-91]
- Have a Drink on Me, AC DC [Back in Black Original Recording; Bonfire]
- Talk Dirty to Me, Poison [Look What the Cat Dragged In; Greatest Hits 1986-1996]
- I Remember You, Skid Row [Skid Row; 40 Seasons (best of)]
- Livin' on a Prayer, Bon Jovi [Slippery When Wet; This Left Feels Right]
- Paradise City, Guns N Roses [Appetite for Destruction; Greatest Hits]