Pop metal

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Pop metal (sometimes conflated with or used interchangeably with glam metal) is an umbrella term for commercial heavy metal and hard rock styles which feature prominent pop music elements such as catchy hooks and anthemic choruses. It became popular in the 1980s among acts such as Bon Jovi, Europe, Def Leppard, Poison, Mötley Crüe, and Ratt.

The term is also applied to some bands and artists that have formed since the 1990s that mix aspects of pop and heavy metal into their sound.


Pop metal is a variation of heavy metal which emphasizes catchy pop-influenced hooks and guitar riffs.[1] It was influenced by the anthemic choruses of arena rock.[1] While pop metal recordings were often loud, they also featured "slick," radio-friendly production sheen.[1] Bands from the Los Angeles metal scene also borrowed visual elements from 1970s glam rock, leading to the glam metal variation of the late 1980s.[1]

The alternate term "metal pop" was coined by critic Philip Bashe in 1983 to describe bands such as Van Halen and Def Leppard.[2] In the "definitive metal family tree" of his documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, anthropologist Sam Dunn differentiates pop metal, which includes bands like Def Leppard, Europe, and Whitesnake, from glam metal bands that include Mötley Crüe and Poison.[3]


The catchy hard rock of Kiss and Van Halen in the 1970s helped spawn the genre,[1] along with acts such as Thin Lizzy and AC/DC.[4] Van Halen's 1978 debut album marked a turning point in the style, making that sound "flashier, more creative, and more energetic than ever before."[4] The first wave of pop metal, which was not as pop-oriented as later developments, included bands such as Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Ratt, and Twisted Sister.[1]

More melodic acts such as Def Leppard and Bon Jovi saw further success in the 1980s with albums like Pyromania (1983) and Slippery When Wet (1986), while the hair metal variation became dominant.[1] The genre's popularity was at its peak between 1982 and 1991.[4] The arrival of grunge in 1991 largely turned audiences away from pop metal.[1]

Despite the decline in popularity, the term "pop metal" is also sometimes applied to a number of rock and heavy metal bands and artists that are usually not associated with glam metal, and have formed since the 1990s, including Amaranthe,[5] Andrew W.K.,[6][7] Architects,[8] Bring Me the Horizon,[9][10] Coheed and Cambria,[11][12] Dead by April,[13] Evanescence,[14] Halestorm,[15][16] Ghost,[17] In Flames,[18][19] In This Moment,[20][21] Issues,[22][23] Lacuna Coil,[24] Poppy,[25][26] Shinedown,[27] the Pretty Reckless,[28] We Are the Fallen,[29] and Weezer.[30][31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pop Metal". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012.
  2. ^ D. Weinstein, Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2000), ISBN 0-306-80970-2, pp. 45–47.
  3. ^ Metal – A Headbanger's Journey, DVD, ASIN B000FS9OZY (2005).
  4. ^ a b c "36 Essential '80s Pop Metal Tracks". Stereogum. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  5. ^ "AMARANTHE - Massive Addictive". bravewords.com. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Andrew W.K. Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  7. ^ Valentine, Simon (5 September 2021). "Andrew W.K. – God Is Partying (Album Review)". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  8. ^ "THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases From SERJ TANKIAN, BRUTUS & More Out Today 10/21". Metal Injection. 21 October 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  9. ^ "Bring Me the Horizon review – clearly the UK's greatest rock band right now". the Guardian. 22 September 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  10. ^ Scarlettpublished, Elizabeth (22 September 2021). "Tom Morello teams up with Bring Me The Horizon for huge new single Let's Get The Party Started". loudersound. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  11. ^ Reed, Ryan (8 July 2015). "Coheed and Cambria Pause Sci-Fi Concept for New LP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  12. ^ Cole, Matthew (12 April 2010). "Review: Coheed and Cambria, Year of the Black Rainbow". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  13. ^ "DEAD BY APRIL Parts Ways With Singer, Announces Replacement". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Preview: Evanescence enjoys stability on Carnival of Madness Tour". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  15. ^ Stephen Dalton (25 July 2018). "Halestorm - Vicious album review". loudersound. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  16. ^ "RVA Grammy Nominees: How Will They Fare? - RVA Mag". rvamag.com. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  17. ^ DiVita, Joe. "5 Other Bands Ghost's Tobias Forge Has Been In". Loudwire. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Siren Charms - IN FLAMES". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  19. ^ Everleypublished, Dave (16 December 2020). ""I'd been preparing for this my whole life": the tragedy and triumph behind the birth of Ghost". loudersound. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  20. ^ "In This Moment: The Dream, PopMatters". 19 October 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  21. ^ "In This Moment Officially Announce New Album, Stream First Single". MetalSucks. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  22. ^ "Meet Issues, the Metalcore Band Inspired by Katy Perry | MTV UK".
  23. ^ "Album Review: Issues - 'Beautiful Oblivion'".
  24. ^ "Album Review: Lacuna Coil's Delirium is a Strong Contender for Best Pop Metal Album of 2016". MetalSucks. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  25. ^ DiVita, Joe (4 October 2019). "Poppy's Pop Metal Rebirth Continues on New Song 'I Disagree'". Loudwire. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  26. ^ "Poppy on Her Transformation From 'Internet Project' to Pop-Metal Changeling". SPIN. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  27. ^ "Shinedown to headline Carnival of Madness". Arkansas Online. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  28. ^ "The Pretty Reckless". Time Out New York. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  29. ^ "We Are the Fallen covers U2". Entertainment Weekly. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  30. ^ Amorosi, A. D. (27 October 2014). "Old partners reunite to polish Weezer". www.inquirer.com. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  31. ^ Pareles, Jon; Caramanica, Jon; Russonello, Giovanni (23 April 2021). "Weezer's Rock 'n' Roll Nostalgia Trip, and 10 More New Songs". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2022.