I've read/heard it many times: Bro-Country is country music's version of Hair Metal.
Well, a tweet from @FarceTheMusic sent me down a Cinderella (the band, not the book/movie) wormhole that ended with a thorough exploration of the music of my high school years.
The actual tweet: Cinderella's "Heartbreak Station" is one of my favorite alt-country ballads ever.
Of course I went back and listened. He's right. And that's what sent me down the wormhole. There are many Cinderella songs that are very country-tinged. But what other 80's Hard Rock bands were doing the same thing? Not exactly the same thing, but stuff that would be considered a different genre 25-30 years later.
Here is Cinderella's "Heartbreak Station".
Cinderella was always more hard blues rock than Hair Metal anyway. They, along with some of the others I will post just kind of go lumped into the category, fair or not. I could post a few more Cinderella songs here, but I want to diversify.
LA sleaze rockers put out some really good Americana type songs in the 80s. One I really like is Faster Pussycat's "House of Pain".
Another sleaze rock band with this type of song was LA Guns. "Ballad of Jayne" is a great song.
Even the ultimate Hair Metal band had several songs of substance. Here is Poison's "Something to Believe In".
Great White got pegged into the same Hair Metal category, but like Cinderella, they were always more bluesy hard rock. I had a hard time choosing which song of theirs to go with, but I chose "House of Broken Love".
Did I cherry pick? Of course I did. But these songs were all released as singles. I didn't dig deep into album cuts. I just get tired of people dismissing Hair Metal and now referring to it as "Butt Rock". It's 80s hard rock and lot of it stands the test of time. I admit, there was a bunch of crap, especially towards the end, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
And everyone should be reading Farce the Music. Funny, snarky and fantastic.