Glam metal  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Glam metal (also known as hair metal and often used synonymously with pop metal) is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord-based heavy metal musical style.

The genre rapidly lost mainstream interest from 1991 to 1993 with the rise of grunge and the release of albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind. It experienced a partial resurgence around the turn of the century, due in part to increased interest on the internet, with the successful 'Glam Slam Metal Jam' music festival taking place in summer 2000.

Origins (1970s)

The glam metal visual style was influence heavily by 1970s glam rock acts with the music style of most bands sounding like 1970s/1980s hard rock bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, New York Dolls, Sweet, Van Halen, Slade, Mott the Hoople, T.Rex, Gary Glitter and others.

The first band of the 1980s to truly travel down the make-up and gaudy clothing route was Finnish group Hanoi Rocks. Credited as influences by countless bands, Hanoi Rocks followed the template laid down by hard rock bands of the 1970s and stuck to the make up and garishness of the New York Dolls. In the United States, many fans credited that the movement on the Sunset Strip was kick-started largely by Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx's former band London after the earliest years when they started as a glam rock band. Others assert that it was kick-started by Quiet Riot's Metal Health album when it reached #1 in the Billboard music charts in the early 80s (c.1983). These bands played a prominent part in the overall look and would go on to influence a lot of the bands who formed from the mid-1980s onwards.

During 1980 in England, one year prior to Mötley Crüe's formation, Wrathchild, fronted by Rocky Shades, also emerged. This band was known for having a similar image; they also used pyro similar to that of shock rock and would eventually tour with W.A.S.P. in 1984. However, Wrathchild did not gain the same level of fame as their Los Angeles contemporaries.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Glam metal" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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