Pandora Plays Hair Bands


My first full week of the Pandora challenge hasn’t gone exactly as I had hoped. The thought behind this was that I’d be able to listen to some songs I had heard before (which has been the case is some of the playlists) and find enjoyment in listening to new music while my podcast takes its summer vacation (this has been hit or miss).

Part of the problem could be that I’m staying in my comfort zone too much with the music. 2000s, 90s and today’s music are what I’m gone up with, so I know what is offered and more or less what I’m going to get. So maybe I should get out of that zone and go for some music I never listen to and that I don’t have on my iPod.

With that in mind, I tried my hand at a music style I turn off 90 percent of the time it comes on the radio — Hair Bands. When I think of hair band music, I associate Twisted Sister, Poison and Kiss, three bands whose music I enjoying making fun of rather than listening to.

But, on this 4-mile run, I thought why the hell not? It can’t be worse than a lot of the other music I thought I’d enjoy. And surprisingly, it was a lot better…

(P.S. Watch all the music videos. They’re FANTASTIC!)


Motley Crue — “Same Ol Situation”

Just like that, my hair band prejudices started to crack a little bit. I like Motley Crue. Not all of their songs, but enough not to warrant hating them, which is a small step in the right direction. I especially enjoyed their song “Saints of Los Angeles,” which came out a few years ago, and their outstanding work in Kia commercials.

This song, though, I really got into during the run. I had never heard it before — Goal 1 check — and I found it pretty enjoyable to listen to — Goal 2 check.

The lyrics are still hair band awful — Now I used to call her Cindy/She changed her name to sin/I guess that’s the name of her game — but the energy is there, especially for a run in the hot summer temps. Once again, Pandora comes sprinting out of the gate. Now, can it hold on for the win?

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Hairspray Hold: 6/10
Overall: B+


Guns N’ Roses — “Paradise City”

Sigh. I really want to hear songs I haven’t heard before. That’s why I started this challenge, but so many times I get stuck with songs that, while I like them, I’ve heard them over and over again.

I own Appetite for Destruction. My brother played GNR all through his — and subsequently my — childhood, forcing me to memorize every lyric Axl sang and note Slash played.

When I think of GNR, I recall those days in the late ’80s, early ’90s listening to Appetite for Destruction, GNR Lies and Use Your Illusion, not Axl’s insanity and what they’ve become today. As for the song, “Welcome to the Jungle” clearly is the hands-down running song off this album, and “November Rain” would have gotten some juices flowing, but I’ll still take it — to the end of the line.

Song Energy: 6/10

Run Motivation: 6/10

Hairspray Hold: 8/10

Overall: B


Bon Jovi — “Livin’ on a Prayer”

I’ve heard this way too much to ever want to hear it again.


Poison — “Talk Dirty to Me”

Remember when I said I despise Poison? Know why? Two words — “Unskinny Bop.”

Released in 1990, this God-awful atrocity is somehow a favorite of Sirius Radio’s 90s on 9 station, and I get blind sided with this song time and time again. It sucks, Sirius. Stop playing it.

“Unskinny Bop” aside, this band also has the craptastic “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Something to Believe In.” It does have two songs I enjoy, though — “Nothin’ But a Good Time” and “Talk Dirty to Me.”

I was actually ambivalent to this song, but my opinion of it changed with an episode of Scrubs. You know the one where the coma patient’s last wish is to hear “Talk Dirty to Me” in his hospital bed, but Dr. Kelso won’t allow it because he’s Dr. Kelso but Carla gets it done? That’s what pushed it over the edge.

***A pause for readers to make fun of me for loving Scrubs that much***

Anyway, as dumb as that reason is for liking a song, that’s my reason. Thank you, Pandora, for not playing “Unskinny Bop” and thank you, Carla Espinosa, for letting that patient listen to his music.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Hairspray Hold: 9/10
Overall: A-


Guns N Roses — “Don’t Cry”

Two GNR songs. Sadly, this one not as good.


Def Leppard — “Rocket”

The run is starting to come to a close, so clearly Pandora needs to bring the energy level down with a slower song.


Scorpions — “No One Like You”

So let’s recap a bit. In the “Hair Band” music category, Pandora has played Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Poison, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard and now Scorpions. I mean, I don’t think you could get a better sampling of a music category than these six bands are to the hair band genre.

More importantly, though, this song rocked. I’ve heard it once or twice before, but nothing to make an impression with me. After a week of poorly timed final songs, though, Pandora sets the stage on fire with this one.

High energy, high motivation, awesomely bad 80s hair band lyrics — this song has it all! It is everything I could have wished for in a hair band ending.

Song Energy: 8/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Hairspray Hold: 9/10
Overall: A


So what did I learn on the run? Maybe hair band music isn’t so bad after all. Maybe I’ve been making fun of it for so long because I simply did not understand its power and emotion. Maybe I was so busy laughing at the terrible lyrics on the outside that I couldn’t see the songs’ meaning and beauty on the inside.

I salute you, hair bands around the ’80s. Buy me some spandex and pass the ultra-hold, volume maximizing hairspray. It’s time to party.

1 Comment

Filed under Pandora, Running

One response to “Pandora Plays Hair Bands

  1. Pingback: Pandora Plays Judas Priest | Briantology

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