Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “ GREATEST ONE-HIT WONDERS OF THE HAIR METAL ERA,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Mötley Crüe. Ratt. Poison. Bon Jovi. Def Leppard. Quiet Riot. Cinderella. Skid Row. The so-called “hair metal” era of hard rock, which lasted from about 1983 to 1990, produced more than its fair share of bands with deep catalogs of hits that dominated the decade and have stood the test of time. But for plenty of other bands with that outrageous look and bombastic sound, their MTV moment in the sun was considerably shorter-lived.
Actually, very few glam-metal bands were true “one-hit wonders.” Thanks to the common record label strategy back then of releasing one “rocker” single and one “ballad” single, many bands outside the genre’s top tier, including Enuff Z’Nuff, White Lion, L.A. Guns and BulletBoys, became “two-hit wonders” instead.
Still, there are some groups from that era that gave us one notable, arena-worthy track, even if the rest of their material never quite achieved the same level of commercial success. (Often through no fault of their own — many of the bands on this list were victims of the early-’90s grunge explosion that virtually wiped out glam-metal overnight.
Kix, “Don’t Close Your Eyes” (1988)
Anti-suicide ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” builds tension like a good teen-horror flick. Kix singer Steve Whiteman emotes over piano-drums pulse before the band’s nickname-brandishing guitarists Ronnie “10/10” Younkins and Brian “Damage” Forsythe burst through. The guitar solo evokes Joe Perry’s “Dream On” curlicues. As the track’s volume rises, Whiteman’s icy wail hints that The Song Remains the Same must have screened somewhere near Kix’s Hagerstown, Maryland, hometown. Among eyes-closed-themed 1988 power ballads, Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Close My Eyes Forever” overshadows “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” But Kix’s hit kicks, too.