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5 Hair-Metal Albums That Don't Suck

The genre may have a bad rap, but good music is still good music.

Everyone loves to hate Winger. Reasons include: The lead singer is named Kip Winger, he was a ballet dancer, Beavis and Butthead (remember them?) made fun of them, etc. However, Winger (the band) was full of some brilliant musicians, such as Reb Beach and Rod Morgenstein, who made some pretty damn good metal with a pronounced progressive edge. Kip Winger also has a damn good set of pipes and a flair for composition. Winger (the band) truly was the Dream Theater of the Hair Metal world and Winger (the album) is one of the best when it came to pushing the limits of the genre's boundaries, aside from the godawful cover of Purple Haze. Also, Kip Winger had some sweeeet facial hair.
2Saigon Kick
Saigon Kick

Saigon Kick was perhaps the quintessential early 90's pop-metal band. Equally influenced by both the dying hair scene and the burgeoning alt scene, they just never found their niche, ended up being too alternative for hair fans and too poppy for alterna-fans and never made an impression on the general public. However, if you're a fan of metal bands that aren't afraid to experiment this album should be right up your alley. Plus, they have the added benefit of being able to write good lyrics.
3Mr. Big
Lean Into It

Look, in a battle of pure technical ability, Mr. Big is probably the best band of all time. Heck, they're probably better than the average band when they're not playing their primary instrument (youtube live performances of Smoke on the Water). However, instead of focusing on melting faces, as is the MO of the genre, they actually tone down the flash and write songs that aren't just excuses for instrumental wankery. Oh they'll still melt your face, but they'll do it in the most tuneful manner possible. This album gets the nod over their other albums because of 'Green Tinted Sixties Mind' which may just be the best damn pop-metal song ever written.
The Great Radio Controversy

Aerosmith v2.0. A great bluesy hard rock band that got stuck with the pop- metal label and never managed to shake it despite being the anti-glam pop-metal band singing (generally) about the working class man. This album exemplifies their bluesy twin-guitar sound.
5 Enuff Z'nuff

Enuff Z'nuff probably have no one to blame for being hated but themselves. They jumped on the sinking hair-metal ship with their abomination of a video for 'New Thing' which set a new high(low?) for glammy self-parody. Plus, just look at that name. However, the sophomore album focused on what the band was good at, hard-edged and rarely cliched power pop that was like Cheap Trick on steroids. It may have been too little and too late, but this is still a great album.
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