Four albums by hair metal bands that were shockingly good

These four albums are still surprisingly listenable.

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Skid Row - Skid Row (1989)

Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach has managed to keep himself somewhere in the recesses of pop culture. If he produces new music, no one is likely aware of it. But he appears in interviews or commercials or just some other random place and most of us say, "Oh, there is Sebastian Bach." But why? Skid Row was like a much less talented Guns 'N Roses and they should have been a blip on the cultural radar. Maybe Bach is simply a publicity genius.

Also, you may have noticed I do not have any Guns 'N Roses albums listed here. Nor do I have Def Leppard. The reason is that neither of those bands is really a hair metal group. They are simply bands of musicians with long hair. Their music is sonically different from the hair metal subgenre.

But getting back to Skid Row, they never meant to be a hair metal group either. Bach would later say in interviews that the band simply wanted to create music where they played their instruments well and sang on key. The group did not care about the pretense of being on magazine covers and simply always had long hair.

The band's debut album was a banger, though. Three singles were released with two of them still quite listenable. "18 and Life" and "I Remember You" definitely sound like classic hair metal pop, but they also do feature some strong vocals from Bach while the rest of the band does not supply some overwrought cheesiness that much of the hair metal would. It's not Elvis Costello, but it's not Insane Clown Posse either.