Growing up in the ’80s was one of the best experiences a kid could ever go through. Forget what those who never experienced it have to say. Let them slag off the ’80s as much as they want and praise the ’90s. Let them deal with the reality that their so-called great era was responsible for: commercialising punk rock, forcing us to deal with the horrors of rap metal / nu-metal, and not to mention the whole Nirvana deal and the grunge explosion. I hope you’re happy with that you ungrateful brats. But for those of us who grew up then with glam rock by our side, teased hair and an appetite for destruction, we knew what was up. We got to experience MTV when it played music, we know who Punky Brewster was, and we sure as hell remember when Bon Jovi was all about hair metal debauchery and not about Captain Crash having a nice day.
For those who don’t remember, or for those new kids on the block who due to the slackness of their parents doing the horizontal bop just weren’t conceived early enough and therefore unable to experience such a great era of music, I have come up with this guide to take you on a journey through 10 of the greatest music videos by ’80s metal / rock bands. Strap yourselves in because for the next 40 minutes, you are going to be re-programmed into something a little more respectful than your hippity hop jump metal that you hold so dear. Throw away your Adidas tracksuits that your bought because Korn told you it was cool, grab a drink and start watching because this is what it’s all about, my friends.
10. MOTLEY CRUE – “Wild Side”
Ok, this would have gone further up the list if it had more pyro, alas, it sits at number 10. Still though, it does have a bitchin’ spinning drum kit which was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen when I was a kid. I mean, who wouldn’t want a spinning drum kit? Besides, the proof is right here in this video that spinning drum kits = females in skin tight leather singing backing vocals which = epic amounts of awesomeness.
9. WHITESNAKE – “Here I Go Again”
Not only is this a bitchin’ tune but the video is cool cos it stars the infamous Tawny Kitaen who ended up becoming David Coverdale’s mistress for Christmas. Proof that you too can marry the girl who stars in your music videos and if you’re lucky, possibly get her to do the splits on your crappy car. Apparently there’s a nipple slip in this video but I have never really payed enough attention to notice it because I’m more impressed with Coverdale’s hair and how when she pulls him into the backseat they don’t crash and blood flies everywhere and Tawny goes through the windscreen and her body flies through the air like Rose McGowan’s does in Death Proof and then Coverdale needs to have surgery because he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and then the cops fine him for that and he loses his licence for six months and then they release Still Of The Night and the whole world is perfect again.
8. TWISTED SISTER – “I Wanna Rock”
What better way to fight for your right to party at school than with the help of Twisted Sister. Stickin’ it to the man as these rockstars come to your school and cause chaos and havoc all because some fat kid defaced a defenceless textbook. If heavy metal music means I am destroying my life then so be it, let me destroy the fuck out of it, grenades and all. Twisted Sister were the one band that kids could feel good about. They stuck up for us, regardless of the fact they looked like clowns. This video is a classic example of awesomeness and the obvious basis for which Steel Panther’s ‘Death To All But Metal’ was founded on.
7. MANOWAR – “Blow Your Speakers”
There isn’t much that is more metal and bitchin’ than a MANOWAR music video. This one is especially fab. We got four guys who are sitting around in mum’s basement, bored with TV when a mate suggests they listen to metal’s chosen warriors. Once playing, it’s too much for their turntable to handle and they immediately become possessed by the defenders of black wind, fire and steel and they mime their way through the next three and half minutes of pure power and heavy metal might. Drummer Scott Columbus even shows that drum sticks just aren’t enough for the brutal force of MANOWAR and decides to break them in half and use his fists instead. Nothing screams ’80s metal like that feat of strength does. My favourite part is when the kids go into some video store armed with a record and a VHS tape and gather round a TV and crank it up. Blow your speakers indeed! This video has all the cliche’s and more. Also, I wanna sword fight with guitars when I play my next gig.
6. RATT – “Body Talk”
I have included this for two reasons: 1) This song was in the movie The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy and that ass-kickin’ babe, Charlotte Lewis, and 2) I want to perfect every single stage move that guitarist Robin Crosby (the blonde one) does so awesomely. Seriously, if I can do those, who knows what else I could achieve?! Oh, this song is awesome and much better than Round & Round (which you probably only know because of its inclusion in the movie ‘The Wrestler’ starring Mickey Rourke. Yeah, I’m onto you!)
5. MOTLEY CRUE – “Same Ol Situation”
Their second appearance in this list and rightly so. Hell, you could probably fill all 10 spots with Motley videos and it would be totally acceptable but I am trying to be diplomatic here. This video is everything you want at your rock concerts; Pyro, hot babes in red tank-tops, the nasty habits, Vince Neil singing, and a drum kit that comes out over the audience. Although what the fuck is up with Tommy Lee in his underwear? Surprised he’s not hitting the drums the same way he beeps horns on boats. Great song and a classic video with some bitchin’ mullets in the crowd.
4. POISON – “I Won’t Forget You”
Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like CC Deville sitting on a bed confessing how much he misses his girlfriend while footage of the band surrounded by hot ’80s babes with big hair lust after them for some unskinny bop. Yeah, it’s lonely at the top. Life must have been really hard for CC and his buddies. All that money, all those girls, all that hair. It sure looks like touring in Poison back then would have been the worst experience for any red blooded male to have put themselves through. Ever. I sympathise with you Mr Deville, I really do.
3. W.A.S.P. – “LOVE Machine”
The classic tale of nerd girl turns sexpot because of W.A.S.P.’s love machines in nurses outfits and heavy metal music. These days a video like this would be quickly dismissed unless it was for a hip hop group or some R&B shit, but in the glorious ’80s (years before the internet and Google), this was as close to porn as our adolescent underage minds were able to go. Unless your parents kept a stash of porn in the house that you accidentally discovered whilst searching for birthday / Christmas presents then this would have been PG by your standards. I still haven’t worked out why singer Blackie Lawless walks like a crab or why that dude has tubes of flowing water around his legs.
2. GUNS N ROSES – “Paradise City”
This video shows everything that was awesome about Guns N Roses and gives you an indication of everything that’s wrong about the line-up these days. Mainly the fact that none of the original band are on stage with Axl anymore. Regardless, this video depicts GNR at the boom of their popularity and is packed full of stadium rock footage and other candid moments. A great video for one of 1987’s best songs. Fact.
1. BON JOVI – “Lay Your Hands On Me”
Nothing screams ROCK! like this video does. The opening drum beats sound all tribal n shit and it builds up to the climax. Just watch as Jon Bon Jovi comes up through the floor and that pyro goes off. Have a look at all those girls with big hair! Why aren’t all music videos this awesome? Pyro is the key. When in doubt, add more pyro. If I ever get to play an arena, my goal in life is to hold my mic out to the audience 15 metres above them so it makes no difference if the mic picks up the audiences screams or not and sing “Just a little bit louder now!”
Of course there are plenty more but this is where you come into it. I gave you 10 of the best. From here, you can ride like the wind. Fight proud, my son. You are the defender god has sent. Ok, I may be taking my Fighting The World lyrics a little too far but trust me, the ’80s was bitchin’. Growing up with the ’90s as your soundtrack would have really sucked. Watching punk rock become a commercial mainstream commodity was just weird. In the ’80s, punk rock was still considered dangerous and uncool. Rock N Roll was about partying and having a good time. Then grunge happened and ruined everything. Except Mudhoney. They were awesome. So were Green River and Mother Love Bone but that’s kinda where it ended.
Long live rock n roll!