Best Hair Metal Riffs of the Eighties

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 22, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Last week, Gibson.com posted a list of their 10 favorite '80s riffs, which included deserving selections like the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" and the Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" But when we think '80s, it's hair metal that first comes to mind, so here's a list of our favorite hair metal riffs. Don't take it too seriously; after all, doing these sorts of lists really ain't "nothin' but a good time."

11. "Down Boys" Warrant
Jani wanted to go to where the down boys got their Aqua Net! Great pedal riff representative of the era.

10. "Shake Me" Cinderella
Cool AC/DC-like riff from the masters of behind-the-back guitar twirling!

9. "Wait" White Lion
Vito Bratta's inventive style made him the heir apparent to Eddie Van Halen. Mike Tramp's mane made him "hair" apparent to David Lee Roth.

8. "Talk Dirty to Me" Poison
C.C. Deville gets a bad rap in guitar circles, but man could he write great hooks, including this one.

7. "Still of the Night" Whitesnake 
They weren't really hair metal until David Coverdale brought in the glamour crew to do the video for this killer John Sykes riff.

6. "Kick Start My Heart" Motley Crue
Mick Mars may have been the band fuddy-duddy, but his tremendous riffs made the bacon to support the Crue's decadent lifestyle.

5. "Photograph" Def Leppard
Def Leppard were the Beatles of hair metal—and with its ringing opening note, "Photograph" the "I Feel Fine."

4. "Wanted Dead or Alive" Bon Jovi
Greatest 12-string riff in rock history? Gets my vote.

3. "Mr. Scary" Dokken
A legend among his peers, George Lynch cemented his guitar hero status with this driving F# minor riff.

2. "Seventeen" Winger
For my money, second-best riff out of the hair metal movement. Technically challenging yet catchy as hell, Reb Beach lays it down perfectly ... Which brings us to ...

1. "Lay It Down" Ratt
The grand-daddy of drop-D riffs! The power and tone of this DeMartini masterpiece make it one for the ages!

Send to Friend | Back to Blog Home


Comments


Atomic Punk on November 29, 2010 at 8:36 PM

No Van Halen. C'mon, "Panama" has got to be there!

TRNielson on November 24, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Where's Rock You Like A Hurricane by the Scorpions? Other than that, amazing list. And I agree with the #1 pick. That riff is absolutely orgasmic. There is just no other way to describe it.

TRNielson on November 24, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Where's Rock You Like A Hurricane by the Scorpions? Other than that, amazing list. And I agree with the #1 pick. That riff is absolutely orgasmic. There is just no other way to describe it.