Over time, ‘80s hair metal became justifiably maligned by metal fans for not being... well, for not being all that heavy.

But this wasn’t always a misnomer; not until well into the decade, anyway, when bands like Poison and Bon Jovi decided to capitalize on the hair metal visuals and presentation with increasingly anemic guitars, sappy choruses, and synths galore, effectively nullifying the music’s “heavy” qualifications -- and its “metal,” for that matter.

Until then – 1986, or thereabouts – hair metal had consistently fielded truly heavy-sounding bands; they certainly were nowhere near as fast, loud and un-commercial as the thrash metal of the era. But at least they didn’t embarrass diehard fans or undermine heavy metal’s core anti-establishment values by selling out.

It’s these bands and their most powerful songs we will be championing today, by focusing on the music more so than the mascara (as well we should), and praising their power instead of their posing. Here, then, are the heaviest hair metal songs — scroll through the gallery below and follow this list on Spotify.

Hair Metal's Heaviest Songs

Hair Metal's Heaviest Songs Spotify Playlist

More From Loudwire