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Glam metal (also known as hair metal) is a subgenre of heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and briefly in the early 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord based hard rock musical style.

Musically, glam metal songs are traditional heavy metal songs with pop-influenced catchy hooks and guitar riffs. Like other heavy metal songs of the 1980s, they often feature shred guitar solos. Glam metal performers became infamous for their debauched lifestyles of late-night parties (widely covered in the tabloid press), very long backcombed hair, use of make-up, gaudy clothing and accessories (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, and headbands). Many of these traits were reminiscent of glam rock.


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MÖTLEY CRÜE Shout At The Devil Album Cover Shout At The Devil
4.13 | 40 ratings
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WINGER Winger Album Cover Winger
4.15 | 18 ratings
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JOHN NORUM Total Control Album Cover Total Control
4.50 | 4 ratings
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DOKKEN Under Lock And Key Album Cover Under Lock And Key
3.96 | 23 ratings
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RATT Out Of The Cellar Album Cover Out Of The Cellar
3.97 | 21 ratings
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RATT Invasion Of Your Privacy Album Cover Invasion Of Your Privacy
4.02 | 14 ratings
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DEF LEPPARD Pyromania Album Cover Pyromania
3.88 | 46 ratings
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SKID ROW Skid Row Album Cover Skid Row
3.89 | 39 ratings
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QUIET RIOT Condition Critical Album Cover Condition Critical
3.99 | 10 ratings
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KIX Hot Wire Album Cover Hot Wire
4.25 | 4 ratings
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RATT Infestation Album Cover Infestation
3.90 | 11 ratings
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MÖTLEY CRÜE Dr. Feelgood Album Cover Dr. Feelgood
3.78 | 34 ratings
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Once Upon A Time
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A Fistful of Guns - Anthology 1985-2012
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Lower the Bar
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glam metal Music Reviews


Album · 1984 · Glam Metal
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If it weren't for the fact that Great White emerged from the United States, I would certainly confuse this release to be a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement of the early-1980's. This is because it's clear from their first record that Great White not only synthesized sounds from contemporary glam acts like Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot, but also from emerging European groups such as Accept and Iron Maiden. This could be because the history of glam metal and the NWoBHM are very similar and happened at similar times, though on different continents.

But what differs Great White's 1984 breakout from albums like Killers or Breaker is the more pronounced hair metal nature of the record; from Jack Russel's catchy vocal hooks to punkish melodies, Great White channels the fabulosity of glam enough to differentiate them from their "darker"-in-tone European cousins. This also goes for lyrical value which, while not seemingly as brash and promiscuous as something Crüe might come out with, is still beautifully cheesy like on songs like 'Bad Boys'.

When it comes time to get heavy though, Great White certainly deliver. 'Substitute''s rollicking drum interlude interspersed with a chugging dissonant riff, the slowly rumbling and oddly dark 'Streetkiller"- these are just a few examples of how Great White uses the glam tradition of being able to please a stadium to bring an enjoyable (and often surprisingly intimidating) performance throughout. Though I will confess that Great White are prone to breaking the great atmosphere they create with awkward segues into uninspired cheesecake sections of pretty-boy rock, admittedly similar to what most glam-style bands do, which are presented seemingly as more of obligations than for sake of actual substance.

Great White's debut is much like a sore thumb compared to the rest of their discography. It's much more heavy, pugnacious, and raunchy than the more commercial style that they would go on to adapt. It remains a rather obscure and underappreciated piece of the sprawling puzzle that is 80's metal.

WEDNESDAY 13 Condolences

Album · 2017 · Glam Metal
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Kev Rowland
Wednesday 13 released five albums with Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, but it was when he joined forces with Joey Jordison from Slipknot in the latter’s side project Murderdolls that most people became aware of him. Their 2002 debut album, ‘Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls’ redefined the horror punk genre, and when they went on hiatus in 2004 he started his solo career, releasing albums that saw him hailed as the bastard son of Alice Cooper and The Misfits. He even found time for an outlaw country project, Bourbon Crow, and a one-off glam metal act, Gunfire 76, before Murderdolls reconvened in 2010. After the ‘Women And Children Last’ album and tour, they again went on hiatus and he revived his solo career, and his latest album ‘Condolences’ is now on the player.

He has moved away from punk, and now this is much more straight forward heavy metal, although still with huge swathes of Alice Cooper influences. Part of that is down to his vocal style, as Wednesday 13 sounds as if he has been gargling whisky before laying down the tracks, providing a rough rawness that works well with the music which also owes a great deal to early W.A.S.P.. He says that he feels that there are no longer any boundaries for him, and that he can perform whatever style he now wishes to, but to be honest there isn’t a tremendous deal of variety among the songs on offer. This is a basic album, with little to lift it to anything special, with the result being that while I may not walk across the room to take it off the player as it’s okay, I may not actually have put it on in the first place. He’s good at what he does, but just not what I want to hear.


Album · 2017 · Glam Metal
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Vim Fuego
So… Four albums in, and if you don’t get the Steel Panther joke by now, you’re never going to.

The formula is quite simple. Steel Panther have the sound, look and attitude of so many of the hairspray abusing bands of the past, but instead of beating around the bush singing songs about cherry pies, roses with their thorns, and white snakes going off again, Steel Panther deal in genuine, unadorned pornographic filth. It is the perfect piss take revenge for teenagers of the 80s (yes, you’re probably in your 40s by now) who got sick of sitting through those endless lame hair metal videos to possibly catch a rare-as-hens-teeth Megadeth or Iron Maiden or Motörhead video. If those pussies were going to whine about their girlfriends, while often wearing exactly the same hair and make-up AS their girlfriends, they could have at least described what it was like to have sex WITH a girl! It would have gone some way to making up for the limp, derivative music.

So that is what Steel Panther delivers. ‘Lower The Bar’ lowers the bar on common decency right from the first track. “Goin’ in The Backdoor” is a none-too-subtle ode to anal sex. Michael Starr asks very politely “Hey baby, do you mind if I dip my nuts in your chocolate?” “Anything Goes” lists a number of highly unlikely, uncomfortable, and possibly illegal sexual acts including “Steal a Saturn 5 and fuck an astronaut/Zero G anal and weightless cumshots”. “Poontang Boomerang” examines the societal difficulties of short term sexual relationships, and the unintended infatuations resulting from such liaisons.

“That’s When You Came In” is the compulsory power ballad, replete with strings, acoustic guitars, and finds Starr lamenting “After all the critics said, our debut record was our peak/Now I couldn't hit the high notes/Sometimes I couldn't even speak” and life was starting to seem futile and pointless, until he once again met the girl of his dreams, who “…came in and blew me… You blew me away”.

The rest of the albums continues in a similar grubby style. It is childish schoolboy humour. It is full of dick jokes, treats women as sex objects put on this planet only to please men, and panders to every teenage boy’s most unrealistic masturbatory fantasy. Steel Panther differs from hair metal of the 80s only in it being completely honest. The band don’t pretend to be doing it for any reason other than to have a good time and get laid. The parody is pitch perfect. Anyone who finds it offensive is getting exactly what they deserve. The godfathers of 80s glam Cheap Trick showed they appreciate the sideways tribute, with singer Robin Zander contributing back-up vocals, and a transvestite appearance in the video, to the cover of “She’s Tight”.

As an album, this isn’t earth shatteringly brilliant. Sure, the song writing and execution are infinitely better than many of the hair metal pretenders it is extracting the urine from, but if you know anything about Steel Panther, you already knew that would be the case. Fans will love it. The humourless won’t. Critics will be divided. Some people will say the joke is wearing thin. Steel Panther won’t give a flying fuck.


Album · 2017 · Glam Metal
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Kev Rowland
Black Diamonds came together in 2004, and are a hard rock band based in the Rhine Valley in eastern Switzerland. They released their debut, self-produced album ‘First Strike’ in 2008, containing ten original songs plus a cover version of Chuck Berry's classic “Rock n’ Roll Music”. That album is no longer available, but they reworked some of the songs for this release. Their second album, ‘Perfect Sin’ was released in 2013, and now four yearls later they are back with their third. As soon as this hit the player I found I had a smile on my face, and the reason for that is this a good-time Eighties melodic rock album that any fan of classic Def Leppard will appreciate.

It is as if grunge, downtuning and extreme metal never took place, and intead we have a party band that are playing great riffs, with loads of melodies and harmony vocals. It hasn’t been sanitised out of existence, and so can even be a guilty pleasuer for those who enjoy hard rock, but sometimes want something a little more melodic. Hey, Nickelback do pretty well for themselves and I don’t know anyone who will admit to owning any of their albums, right? (I have just one, but it was sent to me by a label, honest).

It is uplifiting, it is punchy, it has balls and melodies, but more than anything else this is good plain fun, and I still smile whenever I play it. These guys are definietly worth investigating, so go onto their site and see what I mean


Album · 1989 · Glam Metal
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"Skid Row" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal act Skid Row. The album was released through Atlantic Records in January 1989 and it is produced by prolific German producer Michael Wagener (Dokken, Mötley Crüe, White Lion...etc.). It´s the band´s most commercially successful album. It charted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and it spawned three top 10 singles. They were relatively late to the glam/heavy rock/metal party of the 80s, but they made their entrance with a bang and enjoyed great success until the mid-90s.

The music on the 11 track, 39:41 minutes long album is attitude filled heavy rock/metal with nods toward glam. While it´s Mötley Crüe I´m instantly reminded of when listening to the music, Skid Row are generally heavier and more edgy and a comparison to early Guns N' Roses is probably more valid. The vocals are raw yet melodic, the guitar riffs blues based, the solos well played (and quite flamboyant and technically impressive at times), and the rhythm section offers up an energetic infectious drive.

The material are well composed and basically vers/chorus structured rock´n´roll played with a bit more distortion and attitude than usual. That relatively simple approach to writing and playing music works wonders here though because the tracks are as memorable and well played/sung as they are. Big fat choruses with backing choirs will have you humming the melodies long after the album has ended. This is instantly memorable music. The sound production by Michael Wagener is not surprisingly detailed and professional. The music could have prospered from a more organic sound, but considering that this was recorded and released in the 80s, it´s in the better end of sound productions from the decade.

The three top 10 singles from the album, "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild", are all great tracks, but there are other highlights on the album too like "Big Guns", "Sweet Little Sister", and "Rattlesnake Shake". In fact there´s not a single bad track on the album and with a relatively formulaic style of music like this, that´s quite the achievement. Overall it´s a great debut album by Skid Row, who didn´t have to work their way up before they became big in the mainstream. They started at the top of the world. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

glam metal movie reviews

NELSON After The Rain (VHS)

Movie · 1991 · Glam Metal
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1967/ 1976
A simple promotional VHS is this with 3 songs from their debut album, one previously unreleased and interview and various footages. Not bad at all.

The music is a melodic Glam Metal without surprises but good. The writing is correct.

The interview and various footages (between the songs) are good as a TV special and for promotional use, because for the rest, in my opinion, nothing of special are contained.

In definitive view: Nelson is a great band with a great songs, if you love melodic Glam Metal. This VHS is a promotional issue and nothing more. But in a Metal discography not disfigure.

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