I was just on the road for a month, and no matter how many times I shower I still feel like I’m covered in a layer of film. Who do I turn to when I don’t feel pretty? The bands that glammed it up so well, sometimes we thought they were women - and good-looking women, at that! In honor of glam, and to make myself feel a little less like what the cat dragged in (out, in, out...), here are four albums from bands that weren’t afraid to tease their hair and knew their way around the cosmetics aisle. Even the vinyl I chose is glammed up!
POISON OPEN UP AND SAY… AHH
Look what the cat dragged back from hell! Poison went from being the hottest women I wanted to know on their first album cover, to gracing their second platter of multi-platinum goodness with this lovely feline from the underworld. I never quite understood the artwork, and I still question whether it was really banned or just a well-conceived marketing scheme to get rubes like me to buy multiple versions of the same record. That said, I still have my unopened original issue of this uncensored LP. The collector in me plans on keeping it that way, so the gold vinyl we have in stock in the Metal Edge store is like a gift from our cover model Bambi. This is unadulterated Poison at the apex of their spandex and hair spray celebration, with production turned up a notch from their debut and songs that take us back to a time when it wasn’t politically incorrect to wonder what Bambi could do with that tongue. “Love On The Rocks,” “Good Love” and “Look But You Can’t Touch” are the perfect soundtrack for such suppositions, and those aren’t even the hits. Add “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” “Fallen Angel” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” to the mix, and a cold shower might be in order.
TWISTED SISTER GREATEST HITS – TEAR IT LOOSE
Nobody will ever call Twisted Sister the prettiest girls in the room, but that was never their goal. Listening to the songs on Greatest Hits – Tear It Loose, you are instantly reminded that their image – however trendsetting and revolutionary it may have been – was a distant second to the music. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” remain timeless anthems, but “The Price” and “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n' Roll” were always my two favorites. Tear It Loose sports the same cover as the previously released Big Hits And Nasty Cuts compilation, but this double-vinyl indulgence also contains studio versions of their “Leader of the Pack” cover, “Fire Still Burns,” “Hot Love” and “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant),” as well as ten live tracks on disc two. As I type this, we have a handful of copies on red vinyl in stock, and one copy on gold vinyl. That’s right, one copy. If getting Twisted live is your thing, we’ve also got one copy of Twisted Sister: Live at the Marquee 1983, pressed on red vinyl. You can’t stop rock 'n' roll – and when it’s done this well, you also can’t keep it on the shelves!
DEF LEPPARD PYROMANIA
I know Def Leppard weren’t glam visually, but they were influenced by glam musically. Maybe not on Pyromania, but I’m giving them a pass and including them here because they were one of the bands that started it all for me. This was the album. It was the album for a lot of us. I still have notebooks from 8th grade that have Def Leppard scrawled across the cover in their pointy font, complete with crosshairs. They’d start to transform with Hysteria an album later, but on Pyromania they were denim-clad rock gods on the rise, “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop),” “Photograph,” “Foolin’ ” and “Rock of Ages” primed the pump with platinum and prepared the New Wave of British Heavy Metal breakouts for arena stardom, while album cuts like “Stagefright,” “Die Hard the Hunter” and “Billy’s Got a Gun” leaned on the subtlety of their guitar-driven, Brit-rock roots. They rocked, and they rocked hard. And they were still a quarter-century away from embracing their inner glam on Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, and 40 years removed from their upcoming new album, the T. Rex-inspired Diamond Star Halos.
FASTER PUSSYCAT GREATEST HITS
Faster Pussycat are my favorite band of this bunch – and this hits collection will either make you agree or, well, we can’t be friends. Their catalog plays like a night at your favorite salty bar. From the precocious and coy “Poison Ivy” and the all-time great double-entendre “Slip of the Tongue,” to the morning-after malaise of “Nonstop to Nowhere” and the unlikely hit “House of Pain,” they’re a band rooted equally in piss, vinegar, lipstick and hairspray. Their image has remained as hyper-kinetic as their music, mutating from unapologetic glam to full-on goth as they scrawled their names on every “Bathroom Wall” in every “Cathouse” along the way, pausing just long enough to cover Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” in true Faster fashion. While I really wish someone would have redone the terribly uninspired album cover when they commissioned this latest repress, I do give major props for reprinting the album on both purple and pink vinyl. Metal Edge has both colors in stock. Order one of each and meet me at the bar – the first round’s on me.