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Hard Rock & AOR

Glam Metal, AOR, Hard Rock and Sleaze

Musically, hard rock uses traditional heavy metal influences, while adding pop-influenced catchy hooks, guitar riffs and shred guitar solos. They also include extensive use of harmonies, particularly in the characteristic power ballads, slow, emotional songs that gradually build to a strong finale

In 1981 Def Leppard released their second album High 'n' Dry, mixing glam-rock with heavy metal, and helping to define the sound of hard rock for the decade. This was followed by US acts like Mötley Crüe, and, as the style grew, the arrival of bands such as Ratt, White Lion, Twisted Sister and Quiet Riot.  Van Halen reached their commercial pinnacle with 1984.  This era also saw more glam-infused American hard rock bands come to the forefront, with both Poison and Cinderella releasing their multi-platinum albums in 1986. Others found renewed success in the singles charts with power ballads, including REO Speedwagon, Journey, Foreigner, Scorpions, Heart and Boston. By the second half of the decade, hard rock had become the most reliable form of commercial popular music in the United States. Established acts such as Whitesnake, Aerosmith and Kiss benefited from the new commercial climate as well. Guns N' Roses released the best-selling début of all time, Appetite for Destruction (1987) with a "grittier" and "rawer" sound than most glam metal. A final wave of glam rock bands arrived in the late 1980s, and experienced success with multi-platinum albums and hit singles from 1989 until the early 1990s, among them Extreme,Warrant, Slaughter and FireHouse. Skid Row also released their début in 1989, but they were to be one of the last major bands that emerged in the glam rock era.

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