Best Hair Band ballads from the 1980s

One of the perquisites to being a great Eighties hair band was to mix in a power ballad between all the upbeat rock anthems.
Vince Neil lead singer for Motley Crue
Vince Neil lead singer for Motley Crue / Don Arnold/GettyImages
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No. 2: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - Poison

While "Alone Again" may surprise some, "Every Rose..." should shock no one. Few bands embraced the excesses of the Eighties more than Poison, but they also had a string of incredible ballads mixed in with all of the glamour, pop metal that was so popular late in the decade.

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was a major departure for a band that embraced the big hair and spandex like Poison did early on. When Look What the Cat Drug In was released in 1986, they were completely into the make-up and the hairspray. Some, like Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, thought they were copycats.

He said as much in an interview with Kerrang in 2019: "I have to say that I don’t think that Nirvana and Pearl Jam killed the bands you mention, I think that they killed themselves. They were making copycat music."

This is a pretty unfair statement by Sixx in that Poison and Warrant did a lot of good music themselves, although by the end of the decade, there was a lot of copying of bands in general and that led to the desire for something different.

"Every Rose...," however, was a well-marketed song, via the video. Lead singer Bret Michaels is featured sans the make-up, in blue jeans and a cowboy hat, on a stool playing an acoustic guitar for most of the video. Like a lot of ballads, it portrays love, loss, regret, and loneliness. It reached the pinnacle, staying number one on Billboard for three weeks, and made stars out of Poison.

Poison has as many fantastic songs as just about any other band of the era, and had four top six songs. They became more than a copycat band.