Top 20

Top 20 Hair Metal Albums of All Time: #5-1

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Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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See also:

*The Top 20 Hair Metal Albums Of All Time: #20-16

*The Top 20 Hair Metal Albums of All Time: #15-11

*The Top 20 Hair Metal Albums Of All Time: #10-6

*Chuck Klosterman's Favorite Hair Metal Albums

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5. Motley Crue

Shout At the Devil (1983)

Motley Crue's second record stands as an old fashioned ode to Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and the play-your-records-backwards satanism of the '70s. It's also their hardest album. Though it was initially panned -- Rolling Stone gave it two stars -- it's now seen as the work that defined the band, portraying them as loud, fun absurdists. Of course, one could also argue that they were eerily talented; from the opening chords of "The Beginning" to Mick Mars' slithering shreds throughout, Shout At The Devil established the Crue as the era's band to beat. -Nikki Darling

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4. Skid Row

Skid Row (1989)

Skid Row struck a resonant chord with teens on their self-titled debut. Sebastian Bach looked like the kid you would befriend if you weren't scared of him. His "Youth Gone Wild" wail served as a call to arms for misfits, while "18 And Life" trades in some first-rate working class melodrama. We'll gloss over the part about Bach then going on to rock a t-shirt that said "AIDS Kills Fags Dead." -Phillip Mlynar

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3. Motley Crue

Too Fast For Love (1981)

The hesher-in-leather crotch shot cover almost belies what's inside Too Fast For Love: wistful Cheap Trick-ish power pop that's less about guitar assaults than potent grooves. The work foreshadowed Motley Crue's mainstream accessibility of later years with its dramatic starts and stops, layers of riffs, and Tommy Lee's thunderous drums. Meanwhile, Vince Neil's vocals more than hold their own -- especially on the mid-tempo cuts -- and Nikki Sixx, who did most of the writing, knew what he was creating here: a little pop metal masterpiece with very big balls. -Lina Lecaro

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