Three Underrated and (Relatively) Simple Hair Metal Guitar Solos
An article by Kris Kielich
Yes, I am indeed aware of the stigma that hair metal carries in the greater metal and hard rock community. But you have to give it to hair metal, they knew how to use the guitar as a damn weapon of melodic destruction. There are countless hair metal songs full of amazing guitar solos that are brimming with melody and hooks that make you want to bust out the air guitar, but some solos have been a bit forgotten over the years, so let’s take a look at three guitar solos that still melt my face off and make me cry. Well, not really, but close.
1. 18 and Life – Skid Row
This song was a hit at the reason, mostly thanks to the one man army of Sebastian Bach. But guitarists Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill are absolutely killing it on this song. The guitar tone throughout just sings like a bullet through the air, and it cuts through the song like a knife. It’s beautifully clean and accents the entire emotional mood of the song.
The solo on this thing after the bridge fits in absolutely perfect, and the opening is a relatively simple ascending and descending pattern, but it reflects the vocal line of the chorus so well. This definitely has me running over to the guitarist side of the stage and throwing my horns up.
2. When the Children Cry – White Lion
A little corny of a song, choice I know. But if you know me, then you know I wholeheartedly embrace cheesiness. And man oh man if this guitar solo doesn’t sing. It’s a mournful solo that actually has a simple beauty to it when placed over the arpeggio picking of the acoustic guitar.
It soars high and then gradually descends before roaring back up and hitting some really spine tingling high notes. This is a classic case of perfect fit for the song, and props to Vito Bratta for making tears fall from the eyes of many a hair metal/White Lion devotee listening to this song in their car.
3. Alone – Heart
Probably my favorite of the three songs on this list, this song has always remained timeless because of how damn relatable it is. How many of us out there pine to get the object of our affection alone? I see many, many hands raised right now.
Anyway, this isn’t technically an original Heart song, but with the Wilson Sisters absolutely turning this song into straight fire with their amazing voices (as per usual) this song took on a whole new life of its own.
Howard Leese nails this solo as well, and it almost sounds like the guitar is pining and begging as it whines as the loud and boisterous tone fills the song out. It’s got some great little hammer on and pull off parts subtly mixed in, but overall it’s doing quite a lot with just a little.
I am pleased to host a review on underrated hair metal guitar solos by music journalist Kris Kielich. To find out more about our Kris, sneak peek into his music background and bio at:
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