BANDS

AC/DC

AC/DC's mammoth power chord roar became one of the most influential hard rock sounds of the 70s, and is now one of the defining sounds of rock and metal. In its own way, it was a reaction against the pompous art rock and lumbering arena rock of the early 70s. AC/DC's rock wasminimalist -- no matter how huge and bludgeoning their guitar chords were, there was a clearsense of space and restraint. Combined with Bon Scott's larynx-shredding vocals, the band spawned countless imitators over the next two decades and enjoyed commercial success well into the new millennium, scoring their biggest hits after Brian Johnson replaced the departed Scott, still continuing a string of sold out arena tours throughout the globe. – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

AEROSMITH

Aerosmith were one of the most popular hard rock bands of the 70s, setting the style and sound of hard rock and heavy metal for the next two decades with their raunchy, bluesy swagger. The Boston-based quintet found the middle ground between the menace of the Rolling Stones and the campy, sleazy flamboyance of the New York Dolls, developing a lean, dirty riff-oriented boogie that was loose and swinging and as hard as a diamond. They developed a prototype for power ballads with "Dream On" a piano ballad that was orchestrated with strings and distorted guitars. Aerosmith's ability to pull off both ballads and rock & roll made them extremely popular during the mid-70s, when they had a string of gold and platinum albums. By the early 80s, the group's audience had declined as the band fell prey to drug and alcohol abuse. However, their career was far from over - in the late 80s, Aerosmith pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in rock history, returning to the top of the charts with a group of albums that equaled, if not surpassed, the popularity of their 70s albums, and inspired an entire new generation of rock fans. – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001

ALICE COOPER

Originally, there was a band called Alice Cooper led by a singer named Vincent Damon Furnier. Under his direction, Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood,and huge boa constrictors, all coordinated by the heavily made-up Furnier. By that time, Furnier had adopted the name for his androgynous on-stage personality. While the visuals were extremely important to the group's impact, the band's music was nearly as distinctive. Driven by raw, simple riffs and melodies that derived from 60s guitar pop as well as show tunes, it was rock & roll at its most basic and catchy, even when the band ventured into psychedelia and art rock. After the original group broke up and Furnier began a solo career as Alice Cooper, his stage show retained all of the trademark props that made him the king of shock rock. – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

ANTHRAX

Nearly as much as Metallica or Megadeth, Anthrax were responsible for the emergence of speed and thrash metal. Combining the speed and fury of hardcore punk with the prominent guitars and vocals of heavy metal, they helped create a new subgenre of heavy metal on their early albums.  Original guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz were a formidable pair, spitting out lightning-fast riffs and solos that never seemed masturbatory. Unlike Metallica or Megadeth, they had the good sense totemper their often serious music with a healthy dose of humor and realism. After their first album, Fistful of Metal, singer Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello joined the lineup.  Belladonnahelped take the band farther away from conventional metal clichés, and over the next five albums (with the exception of 1988’s State of Euphoria, where the band sounded like it was in a creative straightjacket), Anthrax arguably became the leaders of speed metal.

BANG TANGO

Although Bang Tango was often lumped in with the whole glam metal movement (perhaps due to their pretty-boy looks and the fact that they hailed from Los Angeles, CA), the hard-rocking quintet was one of the few L.A. glam groups to incorporate funk into its sound -- around the same time as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More made it acceptable to do so. Their lineup consisted of Joe Lesté(vocals), Kyle Stevens (guitar), Mark Knight (guitar), Kyle Kyle (bass), and Tigg Ketler (drums), and gained the interest of Mechanic/MCA shortly after the quintet issued the in-concert recording Live Injection in 1987. Their major-label debut, Psycho Cafe, was issued in 1989, with their worldwide hit single/video “Someone Like You”

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

After falling out with mentor Ozzy Osbourne following the recording sessions for 1995s Ozzmosis, guitarist Zakk Wylde struck out on his own with his first solo album, Book of Shadows, in 1996.  When it failed to score any mainstream success, the six-stringer took an extended break before resurfacing with a new album and band called Black Label Society in 1999, featuring Wylde on vocals, guitar, and bass and drummer Phil Ondich. A number of different musicians would sift through the band’s ranks during the convoluted tour that followed, but Ondich was back on the drum stool by the time Black Label Society recorded 2000s Stronger Than Death album for new label Spitfire Records. The subsequent tour included a slot on the second stage of his old boss’ Ozzfest tour and yielded the Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!! album in 2001. The band returned to Ozzfest the following year (this time on the main stage) in support of the 1919 Eternal LP.Blessed Hellride appeared in 2003 and Hangover Music, Vol. 6 followed a year later. Mafia, Black Label Society’s seventh album, was released in spring 2005. The following October, Spitfire Records issued the Wylde work compilation Kings of Damnation: Era 1998-2004.

BLACK SABBATH

An English hard rock institution whose influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated, Black Sabbath not only pioneered the genre, they helped launch the career of one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Ozzy Osbourne. The band distilled the smoke and strife of its industrial hometown into a punitive blast of doom-laden heavy blues-rock via bass player Geezer Butler’s dystopian lyrics, which leaned heavily on the occult, and guitarist Tony Iommi’s seismic riffing.  When paired with Bill Ward’s economical yet formidable work behind the kit and Osbourne’s primal tenor, the effect was both powerful and accessible -- a blueprint for aspiring decibel pushers of every skill level. – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006

BON JOVI

After ushering in the era of pop-metal with their 1986 blockbuster Slippery When Wet and its hit singles  “You Give Love a Bad Name” “Wanted Dead or Alive” “Living on a Prayer”,  Bon Jovi wound up transcending the big-haired 80s, withstanding changes in style and sound to become one of the biggest American rock bands of their time -- selling over 120 million albums worldwide and sustaining their popularity well into the new millennium. As the times changed, so did the band’s sound. They slowly peeled away the arena rock guitars of the 80s, occasionally scoring on the adult contemporary charts and sometimes singing country music without ever rejecting hard rock, a move that illustrated how they never abandoned their roots and became second only to Bruce Springsteen in defining the sound and spirit of New Jersey rock & roll.

CHEAP TRICK

Combining a love for British guitar pop songcraft with crunching power chords and a flair for the absurd, Cheap Trick provided the necessary links between 60s pop, heavy metal, and punk. Led by guitarist Rick Nielsen, the band’s early albums were filled with highly melodic, well-written songs that drew equally from the crafted pop of the Beatles, the sonic assault of the Who, and the tongue-in-cheek musical eclecticism and humor of the Move. Their sound provided a blueprint for both power pop and arena rock; it also had a surprisingly long-lived effect on both alternative and heavy metal bands of the 80s and 90s, who often relied on the same combination of loud riffs and catchy melodies. – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016

CINDERELLA

Cinderella hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. The band emerged in the mid-1980s with a series of multi-platinum albums and hit singles whose music videos received heavy MTV rotation. They began as a heavy metal band, but shifted towards a more hard rock/blues-rock sound.  The band has sold 15 million albums worldwide, according to Tom Keifer's official website.

DANGEROUS TOYS

Their major label debut, Dangerous Toys, released in May, 1989, featured the singles "Teas'n, Pleas'n" and "Scared". The album was certified as a Gold Record by RIAA in 1994.  In 2006 "Teas'n, Pleas'n" was covered by Shadows Fall (Atlantic Records) on their B-Sides LP Fallout from the War, featuring guest vocals from Toys' vocalist Jason McMaster.

DAVID LEE ROTH

In the eyes of countless hard rock fans, David Lee Roth is the prototypical frontman. With a flamboyant, larger-than- life stage presence and a party-hardy surfer-dude persona (not to mention his acrobatic leaps, long mane of blond hair, and skintight spandex outfits), Roth was an integral part of Van Halen’s meteoric rise to global dominance during the late 70s and early 80s. Born on October 10, 1954 in Bloomington, Indiana, Roth was introduced to music at an early age, via his father’s affinity for Al Jolson, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Prima. By the dawn of his teenage years, his family had relocated to California, and in the early 70s, Roth became a major rock fan (Led Zeppelin, Black Oak Arkansas, Grand Funk, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, etc.). He was soon singing in local bands, including the Red Ball Jets, who played shows along with another up-and-coming rock band from Pasadena, California -- Mammoth.

EXTREME

Extreme is an American rock band, headed by frontmen Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt, that reached the height of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The band was one of the most successful rock acts of the early 1990s, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.  Extreme achieved their greatest success with their 1990 album Pornograffitti, which peaked at  #10 on the Billboard 200, & was certified gold in May 1991 and double platinum in October 1992.  That album featured the acoustic ballad single "More Than Words", which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

GREAT WHITE

Great White formed in Los Angeles in 1977. The band gained popularity during the 1980s and early 1990s. The band released several albums in the late 1980s and gained airplay on MTV with music videos for songs like "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". The band reached their peak popularity with the album ...Twice Shy in 1989.  The band has sold more than 8 million records worldwide.

KISS

KISS formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul StanleyGene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances—which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics.

KIX

In 1988, Kix  released Blow My Fuse, and achieved fame as it went platinum. The power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes"—containing anti-suicide lyrics—led the way (peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100). The album featured the singles "Cold Blood" and "Blow My Fuse"  as Kix finally graduated to arenas, opening for Ratt.​

LITA FORD

Lita Ford was the lead guitarist for The Runaways in the late 1970s before embarking on a solo career in the 1980s.  In 1988, she released her most commercially successful album, the self-produced Lita. The album featured several singles including "Kiss Me Deadly", "Back to the Cave", "Close My Eyes Forever", and "Falling In and Out of Love", a song co-written by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. The ballad "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, remains her most successful song, reaching No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

QUEENSRYCHE

Queensrÿche has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States. The band received worldwide acclaim after the release of their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, which is often considered one of the greatest heavy metal concept albums of all time.   Their follow-up release, Empire, released in 1990, was also very successful and included the hit single "Silent Lucidity". The band has received three Grammy Award nominations for songs off both albums. In 1998, drummer Rockenfield received an individual Grammy nomination.

SCORPIONS

Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker.  Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock  to heavy metal.  The lineup from 1978–92 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass guitar), andHerman Rarebell (drums).

SLAUGHTER

Slaughter is an American hard rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada by lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mark Slaughter and bassistDana Strum. The band reached stardom in 1990 with their first album Stick It to Ya, which spawned several hit singles including "Up All Night", "Spend My Life", "Mad About You" and "Fly to the Angels". The album reached double platinum status in the United States.

SLEEZE BEEZ

Sleeze Beez are a glam metal band formed in 1987  in The Netherlands.

They released four studio albums and one live album over a nine-year career before disbanding in 1996. Their 1989 album Screwed Blued & Tattooed peaked at number 115 on the Billboard 200 album chart.  The song "Stranger Than Paradise" was a big hit onMTV and was taken from the "Screwed Blued & Tattooed" album. In 1992 after a long tour they released the album "Powertool" by Atlantic Records, which contains the ballad "I Don't Want to Live Without You" and was a minor hit.

TESLA

Tesla formed in Sacramento, California in late 1981 by bassist Brian Wheat and guitarist Frank Hannon as City Kidd. Lead vocalist Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta and guitarist Tommy Skeoch joined them by 1984. By 1986, the band had changed its direction under a new name: "Tesla" and went on to sell more than 14 million albums worldwide, including their ground-breaking, all acoustic record "Five Man Acoustical Jam" with the hit cover "Signs."

TRIXTER

In September 1989 the band went to Hollywood to record their debut album with producer Bill Wray. Songs from the 1988 recording session including "Ride the Whip" and "Only Young Once" made it to the new album. Trixter was released in May 1990 with the song "Line of Fire" as the single for rock radio. The song slowly climbed the charts, reaching No. 1 on Z-Rocks Top 100 by July 1990. Along with the release of the album, Trixter also filmed their first video for the song "Give It to Me Good". In September the band headed out on a nationwide tour and after two weeks they landed the opening slot for Stryper. In mid-October Trixter joined Don Dokken for another tour around the USA. It was on this tour that MTV added the video for "Give It to Me Good". Within one week the video was No. 1 on the Dial MTV top ten video countdown. The video stayed No. 1 for five weeks straight.

VIXEN

Vixen are an all-female American rock band. They achieved commercial success during the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of the Los AngelesCalifornia glam metal scene.  In 1988 the band was signed to EMI, and they began recording their debut album Vixen, which was released in September 1988. Singer-songwriter Richard Marx co-wrote withFee Waybill and arranged their signature hit, "Edge of a Broken Heart" and produced the song. Rumor was he was asked to assist the all-female band by EMI to produce their first major hit.

WARRANT

With a pair of double-platinum albums and three Top Ten singles, Warrant were one of the most popular pop-metal bands of the late 80s. Formed in Los Angeles in 1984, the group weathered several lineup changes before solidifying around the talents of vocalist Jani Lane, guitarist Erik Turner, guitarist Joey Allen, bassist Jerry Dixon, and drummer Steven Sweet. The band signed with Columbia Records in January 1988 and released Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich one year later;  by that summer, it had climbed into the Top Ten and launched the hit singles “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries” and “Heaven,” the last of which reached number two on the American charts. Released in the summer of 1990, the follow-up effort Cherry Pie was an even bigger success, climbing into the Top Ten and featuring the high-charting singles “I Saw Red” and “Cherry Pie”

W.A.S.P.

One of the heavier bands to come out of the early 80s L.A. metal scene, W.A.S.P. quickly rose to national infamy thanks to their shock rock image, lyrics, and live concerts. Unfortunately, once the novelty and scandal began to wear off, W.A.S.P. found it difficult to expand, or even maintain, their audience by relying only on their music. Leader Blackie Lawless (bass/vocals) was already a rock & roll veteran when he relocated to the West Coast and founded W.A.S.P. with guitarists Chris Holmes and Randy Piper and drummer Tony Richards. The band soon established a reputation as a ferocious live act, thanks in large part to Lawless’ habits of tying a semi-naked model to a torture rack and throwing raw meat into the audience. And with the release of their self-explanatory independent EP, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), W.A.S.P. became impossible to ignore.

WHITESNAKE

After recording two solo albums, former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale formed Whitesnake around 1977. In the glut of hard rock and heavy metal bands of the late 70s, their first albums got somewhat lost in the shuffle, although they were fairly popular in Europe and Japan. During 1982, Coverdale took some time off so he could take care of his sick daughter. When he re-emerged with a new version of Whitesnake in 1984, the band sounded revitalized and energetic. Slide It In may have relied on Led Zeppelin’s and Deep Purple’s old tricks, but the band had a knack for writing hooks; the record became their first platinum album.  Three years later, Whitesnake released an eponymous album (titled 1987 in Europe) that was even better. Portions of the album were blatantly derivative – “Still of the Night” was a dead ringer for early Zeppelin-- but the group could write powerful, heavy rockers like “Here I Go Again” that were driven as much by melody as riffs, as well as hit power ballads like  “Is This Love.”Whitesnake was an enormous international success, selling over six million copies in the U.S. alone.

WINGER

Winger combined elements of glam metal and progressive metal. Formed in New York City, Winger gained popularity during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band's two platinum albumsWinger and In the Heart of the Young, along with charting singles "Seventeen", "Headed for a Heartbreak" and "Miles Away", put the band on the top of the charts by the early 1990s. In 1990, the band was nominated for an American Music Award for "Best New Heavy Metal Band".

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