No, this man is not dead if you thought so. He is alive and well. Some of you might ask, Who is Beau Hill?
Beau Hill is one of the most famous producers of the mid 80s, and my personal favorite. He was once a member of the AOR/Pomp Rock band Airborne, who released an album back in 1979, which is considered a cult classic nowadays. After that he was involved in another AOR band called Shanghai, fronted by Amanda Blue, who also released only one album back in 1982. After Shanghai’s break-up he made his first effort into producing, by producing Ratt’s debut album Out Of The Cellar, which was his most successful work up to this date.
(Albums in alphabetical order)
1) Shaft Of Light by Airrace (1984)
This is one of the first albums produced by Beau Hill, and it just came after Ratt’s Out Of The Cellar, which is considered his biggest success and also the first album that he produced and helped him make a name as a producer, as I said above. Shaft Of Light is different than Out Of The Cellar though. More Hi-Tech, but still with sharp guitars and drums. It stands out as one of the few AOR classic albums coming from a British band.
2) Crimes In Mind by Streets (1985)
Streets were a band featuring ex-members of Kansas (Steve Walsh) and City Boy (Mike Slammer). If you expect something that sounds like Kansas then you lost. This album is very “1985”. This album might didn’t produce any hits, but it’s highly praised among AOR fans. Another cult classic!
3) Invasion Of Your Privacy by Ratt (1985)
Sure, Out Of The Cellar is considered Ratt’s most successful album, but Invasion Of Your Privacy would be my favorite. It was also their second most successful too. The album is more “Glam” than its predecessor, and produced the hit Lay It Down which helped them make it in the UK charts apart from the US charts. Beau Hill also produced their two next albums, Dancing Undercover and Reach For The Sky.
4) Midnite Dynamite by KIX (1985)
Although KIX found success in 1988, with the song Don’t Close Your Eyes, they started way back in 1977. They climbed the ladder of success step by step you could say. Midnite Dynamite didn’t produce any hit singles, but it was the first album of theirs charting at the US Top 100, bringing them one step closer to success.
5) Run For Cover by Gary Moore (1985)
Gary Moore, might sticks out on this list, because his style was entirely different, but Run For Cover is pretty much in the mid 80s mood. Actually, Beau Hill wasn’t the sole producer here, but the songs Nothing To Lose and Out Of My System were produced by him!
6) Constrictor by Alice Cooper (1986)
Trash (from 1989) may be regarded as his true comeback album, but it was Constrictor where the seeds of comeback were sown, and it was also the first album of his Glam Metal era (1986-1991) After a streak of disappointing albums in the first half of the 80s, Constrictor made it into the US Top 100 (#59) and almost made it in the UK Top 40 (#41). One of the songs lifted from there, He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) was the theme song of the movie Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Its music video received considerable airplay from MTV.
7) Love Is For Suckers by Twisted Sister (1987)
Ah this. The most disliked album of Twisted Sister’s catalogue. And the album that finished their career, literally. But on second thought, was it really that bad? I don’t think so. It had a bunch of catchy songs, with the title track being the icing on the cake. It might wasn’t another Stay Hungry or Come Out And Play, but it has its own charm.
8. Winger by Winger (1988)
Winger may always remain in history, as the Poor Man’s Bon Jovi. The problem here is, that this album was released just about the same time New Jersey from Bon Jovi was released. Particularly only a month earlier, which means the bigger push was given to Bon Jovi and Winger were overshadowed. Of course, they had their share of success with the song Headed For A Heartbreak making it into the US Top 20 (#19) and also Seventeen which was a moderate hit (US #26).
9) Atomic Playboys by Steve Stevens (1989)
Mostly known as Billy Idol’s guitarist, this album isn’t what you’d call a typical Billy Idol record, although influences are not hard to be recognized. Let’s say it’s a Glam Metal with some dose of Punk and New Wave. One of the most interesting cuts here is the Run Across Desert Sands. Very atmospheric, and you can imagine yourself…Run Across Desert Sands, indeed.
10) Heart Like A Gun by Fiona (1989)
Fiona had a minor hit with Talk To Me back in 1985, which peaked at #64 in the US charts. This album gave her the biggest hit of her career, Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me) –a duo with Kip Winger from Winger- which peaked at #52. Although she was moderately successful both as a singer and an actress, she never became a superstar. Anyway this album was perhaps her tightest work, including other strong cuts like Victoria Cross or Look At Me Now. Her previous album Beyond The Pale was also been produced by Beau Hill.
11) Bad Reputation by Dirty White Boy (1990)
Dirty White Boy, were what we would call a “mini super group”, featuring members from Giuffria (David Glen Eisley), Autograph (Keni Richards), and the popular session guitarist Earl Slick. David Glen Eisley’s voice is much similar to Steve Perry’s from Journey, and I’d assume it was the latter singing, if I didn’t look up for it. Sound-wise, although it’s labeled as Glam Metal, it’s not your typical Glam Metal sound. But more like a crossover between U2 and Giant.
12) Cherry Pie by Warrant (1990)
The title track is one of the most recognizable tunes in Glam Metal history. And it’s also known as a stripper's anthem, still played up to this day. But beyond that, Warrant had other classic cuts, which were also hits. I Saw Red was also a Top 10 hit, reaching #10 just like Cherry Pie and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Blind Faith were minor hits, peaking at #78 and #88 respectively. Their previous album (their debut), Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich was also been produced by Beau Hill, and it went also Double-Platinum.
13) Prisoners In Paradise by Europe (1991)
The last album of Europe before their first hiatus, and the last among their classic streak (Europe (Self-Titled), Wings Of Tomorrow, The Final Countdown, Out Of This World and Prisoners In Paradise), but the album that put them back to just regional success than international superstardom. Perhaps the songs might have been a little bit weaker than their two previous efforts, and there weren’t any dynamic sing-along ballads included here, like Carrie or Open Your Heart from The Final Countdown and Out Of This World respectively, to give the album a kick. Still the album is decent if we compare it with other releases from that year.
14) The Storm by The Storm (1991)
The Storm might be easily called The Other Bad English. Although not as successful as the latter, they had one thing in common. Both bands were supergroups, formed by former members from Journey. Particularly, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory and Steve Smith. Their only hit was I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love, peaking at #26.
15) Unruly Child by Unruly Child (1992)
Glam Metal was dead in 1992 for good. This doesn’t mean of course, that there weren’t any more Glam Metal releases, but as a genre it was dead in a commercial level. Anyway, this is an album labeled as Glam Metal (mostly because it features Mark Free from the Glam Metal band King Kobra on vocals), but still there’s an Alternative Rock feeling in the air.