Two weeks I wrote about how Ratt’s “Dance” is an excellent stripping song, and jested about trying it out myself. Jokes aside, I’ve always been fascinated by strip clubs and strippers and the whole shebang. It’s just so weird to me. The way it all functions and how lucrative it really is. When I was in college, we affectionately called the street right next to us “Stripper Alley” because of the cluster of clubs situated two steps from the dorms. You’d be hard-pressed to find worse houses of “burlesque” in the country.

Unfortunately, any fantasies or visions of naked grandeur were put to rest when I attended one innocent evening and an enthusiastic and obviously pregnant girl started raving about how much she loved my name. ‘Cause my real name was her stage name. Thanks, mom and dad.

It’s hard to deny that there’s some connection between metal, especially hair metal, and stripping. They go hand in hand like… syphilis and crazy. But I really don’t like the “stripping songs” that everyone always seems to go with. “Pour Some Sugar On Me”… like, really? There are so many underrated bands from that era and even more underrated songs. Some just had bad timing and some were plain ignored. But it got me thinking.

So here are the top underrated bands (note: “underrated” does not necessarily mean “unpopular”) of the 80s and early 90s, along with their corresponding strip songs. Now, these aren’t my choices, mind you — I just think they’d get the job done. I really hope no family members are reading this but if they are: HEY YOU GAVE ME A STRIPPER NAME, THIS WAS INEVITABLE.


10. Shotgun Messiah –  “I Wanna Know”

I fucking love Shotgun Messiah, but I really couldn’t tell you why. They were among the bands that came at the tail end of the 80s, and rather than going the grunge route, they chose industrial. But 1991’s Second Coming is pure (stripper with a heart of) gold.

9. Warrant – “Mr. Rainmaker”

It’s a little dark, but not quite as much as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” “Mr. Rainmaker” has a nice balance between catchy and still not completely cliché. Plus, Mr. Lane does a fair James Hetfield impression with the addition of three extra syllables to the word “sunshine,” adding extra time to wriggle out of those pesky clothes. Though “Cherry Pie” might be the more obvious choice, and the one everyone associates with Warrant, I personally hate that song. Mr. Lane had some amazing vocals and it’s a shame that this fact got glossed over because of all his issues and the assumptions most made concerning Warrant.

8. Billy Idol – “Cradle of Love”

Billy Idol isn’t technically hair metal, but he so wanted to be. You could just tell. This barely missed the 80s, but I’d say 1990 was pretty much still a part of that era. This song has exactly the demure, kind of teasing tone that Demi Moore demonstrated in Striptease. The video for “Cradle” is also really great. Might be fun to reenact it; burst into a stranger’s house and wreck it by dancing around and flinging your clothes off. Try not to get arrested.

7. Vain – “Beat the Bullet”

Any reference, intentional or otherwise, to beating or getting off always gets the message through. That’s what you’re there to do, right, ladies (or gentlemen, no judgments here)? Okay, fine, I just like the song and Vain never get any love. I kind of understand why, but this song makes up for a lot. Though if you ever want to be turned on again, I’d highly advise you NOT to watch the video.

6. The Cult – “Fire Woman”

I came to know The Cult around the same time I stumbled into all these other bands, so in my head they’re all in the same category. They’re goth-y glam. “Fire Woman” has such an excellent intro. It just keeps growing and growing and building up anticipation and pulsing and louder until… shake, shake, shake it.

5. Ratt – “Dance”

Like I said, miles better than “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

4. Enuff Z’Nuff – “Black Rain”

Look at their name. Just look at it. Look how it’s spelled. Look at what it actually is. Man, I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s so damn easy to do so. Enuff Z’Nuff was probably one of the most talented bands ever. Their Beatles-y simple rock n’ roll catchiness was completely overlooked by everyone. Unless you count the saccharine nightmare that was “Fly High Michelle.” This song is off their ’93 album, Animals with Human Intelligence, and is one of my favorites.

3. Faster Pussycat – “Cathouse” (Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Pussy version)

I might be one of the few that listened to, and rather enjoyed, Taime Downe’s foray into industrial with his band, The Newlydeads (with whom Tim Skold performed with a few times… the man loves randomly appearing in my life). He may have crossed the tracks where pussy ain’t no feline, but at least he brought some snazzy electronic hooks with him. [Note: The above version is actually the wrong version, but the correct version doesn’t appear to be on YouTube. Sorry. -Ed.]

2. BulletBoys – “F#9”

“My, my, my said the spider to the fly. I think I’ve got some toys you might want to try.”

I once wrote an in-depth paper (I got a really good grade on it, too) examining the meaning of this song, and it has forever stayed in my brain as the example of lewd, crude, 80s trash. And, thus, perfect for stripping.

1. Tuff – “Tied to the Bells”

In the Tuff vs. Skid Row feud, I have officially picked my side. I’m going with Mr. Stevie Rachelle. This benefits him greatly, because he comes out on top on crucially important lists like the you are currently reading. This could’ve been the best song to come out of that era. Yeah, I said it. Too bad it came out in 1995, but, oh, what the hell. Most of the 90s were just as bad. (Do we remember a certain Cool as Ice individual?) It just works as a stripping song because it tries so hard to be naughty or titillating or whatever:

Sister Mary and discipline, so prim and proper with your pale white skin/Thought school was for learning, boy was I wrong/
I wanna be your choir boy all night long.”

But ends up being just silly fun. It’s all the way to heaven with you, Stevie Rachelle.

What songs do YOU take your clothes off to?


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