Our top 10 Pretty Maids songs list digs deep into the music of a Danish outfit renowned for its hard rock and heavy metal sound. Established in 1981, Pretty Maids started its musical pursuits following the influence of bands including Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Slade, and Deep Purple. Pretty Maids started out as a cover band playing songs, especially by Thin Lizzy.
However, the band would embark on writing its own material in 1982. Over the years, Pretty Maids has maintained its hard rock and heavy metal sounds while mildly exploring glam metal influences. Unique about the band is its incorporation and emphasis on melody despite issuing hard-hitting ballads. With a career spanning over four decades, Pretty Maids remains one of the most popular Danish hard rock ensembles.
While Pretty Maids have been successful, the band never had quite the desired breakthrough in the US juxtaposed to other Danish artists like Volbeat and King Diamond (associated with Mercyful Fate). The failure to achieve mainstream success in the US saw some of Pretty Maids members leave the band. Lead guitarist Ken Hammer and vocalist Ronnie Atkins are the only members to have remained throughout all of the band’s incarnations.
Pretty Maids’ Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
In 1982, Pretty Maids started writing its own songs and in the next year the band issued its eponymous EP after which its members hit the for a UK tour. The band also played as a supporting act on Black Sabbath’s Scandinavia tour the same year. Pretty Maids were signed by CBS Records following the band’s rising fame in Europe. The band went on to issue its debut studio album, Red Hot and Heavy through CBS Records in 1984.
Red Hot and Heavy marked Pretty Maids’ rise to stardom with the album heavily sought-after by the fans the band had already made. The album was a pretty fair hard rock/heavy metal record despite never making it to any mainstream chart. “Back to Back,” “A Place in the Night,” “Waitin’ for the Time,” “Red Hot and Heavy,” and “Queen of Dreams” are the best Pretty Maids songs from the album. Red Hot and Heavy is also home to Pretty Maids’ cover of the 1974 hit “Little Darling” by Thin Lizzy.
Pretty Maids’ Album Releases over the Years
After a successful debut studio album, Pretty Maids returned with Future World, the band’s second studio album in 1987. Future World saw the band take on heavy metal with glam metal sound inflections. The album has part of the production work handled by Eddie Kramer who is best known for his successful work with Kiss, The Beatles, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.
Flemming Rasmussen, known for his work with Rainbow, Morbid Angel, and Metallica was also featured on Future World’s mixing duties. Future World is the band’s only album to ever make it to the Billboard 200, peaking at number one hundred and sixty-five. “Love Games,” “Future World,” “We Came to Rock,” and “Rodeo” are the best Pretty Maids songs from the album. Future World achieved mild commercial success, selling over three hundred thousand album copies globally.
Pretty Maids returned in 1990 with its third studio album, Jump the Gun. Jump the Gun’s underwhelming sales saw the band lose some of its members with the band dropped by CBS Records. The album’s production work was handled by Roger Glover, a former member of Deep Purple and Rainbow. “Savage Heart,” “Young Blood,” “Lethal Heroes,” and “Attention” are the top musical gems by Pretty Maids from this album.
The band signed a recording contract with Columbia Records where it issued its next two albums, Sin-Decade in 1992 and Stripped in 1993. Sin-Decade saw the band push its hard rock/heavy metal limits. The most definitive record by the band on Sin-Decade is the band’s cover of the 1982 hit “Please Don’t Leave Me” by John Sykes. With Stripped, Pretty Maids attempted to blend its signature hard rock sound with acoustic rock. While songs such as “If It Ain’t Gonna Change,” “In the Minds of the Young,” and a cover of Queen’s hit “39” stood out, Stripped was considered a flop.
In 1994, Pretty Maids issued its sixth studio album, Scream. Scream is the band’s only recording issued through Epic Records. The band once more sought Flemming Rasmussen for the production of this album. Scream is home to notable hits including “Walk Away,” “Anytime Anywhere,” and “In a World of Your Own.” After being dropped by Epic Records, Pretty Maids signed a recording contract with Scandinavian Records where it released four studio albums. Sadly, none of the four albums was a strong commercial or mainstream successful release.
Pretty Maids’ 2006 album, Wake Up to the Real World marked the band’s first album issued through Frontiers Records. The band has issued six more albums through Frontiers Records with the most recent being Undress Your Madness, released in 2019. All the albums issued through Frontiers Records have seen the band rekindle its mainstream impact.
Pretty Maids’ Legacy
With a career spanning over four decades, Pretty Maids remains one of the hard rock/heavy metal bands that has endured the test of time. Despite lineup changes, the band has managed to maintain its signature sound thanks to its mainstay members lead guitarist Ken Hammer and vocalist Ronnie Atkins. Over the years, Pretty Maids has toured with outstanding artists including Black Sabbath, Saxon, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and Whitesnake among others. Here we present the ten best Pretty Maids songs of all time.
#10 – Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You in Heaven)
Ushering us to the top ten Pretty Maids songs list is the electrifying hit “Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You in Heaven).” The song is among the top hits off the band’s most recent studio album, Undress Your Madness. It is pure ecstasy listening to this song that showcases the endured impact of Pretty Maids’ career in the heavy metal/hard rock scene.
“Will You Still Kiss Me (If I See You in Heaven)” oozes pure heavy metal/hard rock vibes evocative of the band’s prime years. Invigorating! — That’s the one word that fully describes Ronnie Atkins’s vocals on this hit. Seeing him croon so great in his fifties is just glamorous! Jacob Hansen, renowned for his remarkable input in albums by Volbeat, does quite some exemplary work in the production of this work.
#9 – Pandemonium
After a fair 2006 album under Frontiers Records, Pretty Maids returned with a massive record in 2010 entitled Pandemonium. Ronnie Atkins himself felt nothing but the quality oozing from this album, citing it to be the best album by Pretty Maids for over two decades. Proof of his claim is the ninth pick on our ten best Pretty Maids songs list, “Pandemonium.” This album title track brings back the band’s hard-hitting signature sound giving Pretty Maids a chance to rekindle its dimming light in the hard rock/heavy metal scene.
“Pandemonium” starts off with a recorded speech by former US president Barack Obama citing the human race as the problem and solution to much that ail the world. The song is proof that despite the rather passive early 2000s, the band still holds its ground! “Pandemonium” has its keyboard-driven tune deliver an infectious tune which makes the band’s sound on this record quite unique.
#8 – Another Shot of Your Love
Coming in at number eight on our ten best Pretty Maids songs list is the gorgeous hit “Another Shot of Your Love.” The song is featured on Wake Up to the Real World, the band’s first album issued through Frontiers Records. Thanks to songs like “Another Shot of Love” Pretty Maids was able to rise back in the hard rock/heavy metal seen in 2006 after ‘almost passive’ years since the late 90s.
“Another Shot of Love” adds to the band’s catalog of impressive romantic ballads! You ought to love Ronnie Atkins’ vocal delivery which seems to get mellower in romantic ballads. Other songs that bring the best out of Ronnie’s vocals from this album include “Where True Beauty Lies” and the band cover of the 1984 hit “Perfect Strangers” by Deep Purple.
#7 – Hell on High Heels
Pretty Maids’ stint under Scandinavian Records was quite passive, with fans of the bands being the only ones keeping close tabs on its musical pursuits. However, we cannot write off these records having them play an impactful role in the continued endurance of Pretty Maids’ musical pursuits in the hard rock/heavy metal scene.
“Hell on High Heels” is one of the outstanding hits off the band’s 1999 album, Anything Worth Doing is Worth Overdoing. While it might not have been as hard-hitting as “Scent of My Prey” and “Snakes in Eden,” “Hell on High Heels” proves to be a worthwhile ballad thanks to its impressive tune and inspirational vocal delivery by Ronnie.
#6 – Face the World
Number six on our ten best Pretty Maids songs list is the striking hit “Face the World.” The song is among the musical gems featured on the band’s 2016 album, Kingmaker. We can all agree that Pretty Maids seems to be aging like fine wine with the band issuing magical releases once more, since its ‘official rebirth’ in 2010 with the impressive album Pandemonium.
“Face the World” finds the band giving us its taste of heavy/thick-sounding riffs. The song showcases Ronnie’s vocal dexterity making him one of the finest and most diverse vocalists in the hard rock/heavy metal scene. His vocal abilities tell of a man who might go strong singing even in his seventies like Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, or former Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne.
#5 – Mother of All Lies
After their highly acclaimed 2010 album, Pandemonium, Pretty Maids came back strong with their thirteenth studio album, Motherland. Motherland revived the band’s melodic yet heavy approach seen in the albums Future World and Red Hot and Heavy. Among the refreshing hits off Motherland is the hit “Mother of All Lies,” the album’s lead track.
“Mother of All Lies” finds Pretty Maids thriving once more with their signature melodic heavy metal/hard rock sound. The song’s pounding rhythm section is a killer! Morten’s keyboard riffs add glamour to this ballad. Ronnie’s vocals soar above the impressive instrumentation on this hit, helping him make his mark as the pillar on which the band’s success has been built.
#4 – Back to Back
“Back to Back” introduces us to the top four list of the best Pretty Maids songs. The song is featured on the band’s debut studio album, Red Hot and Heavy. We feel indebted not to have featured more songs from Red Hot and Heavy including the album title track. However, with sixteen studio albums of pure heaviness, not every hit would fit on our top ten list.
“Back to Back” is a song emblematic of Pretty Maids’ melodic heaviness. Ronnie’s vocals on this hit are quite ferocious in this hit telling more of his potential as a straightforward heavy metal singer! You ought to love the guitar solo on this hit which is tinged with some melodic inflections. “Back to Back” was an impressive hit drawing the attention of other bands including Arch Enemy and HammerFall.
#3 – Little Drops of Heaven
The third pick of our top ten Pretty Maids songs is the ravishing hit “Little Drops of Heaven.”’ “Little Drops of Heaven” is the best offering off Pretty Maids’ album, Pandemonium. The song adds to the catalog of hits that helped Pretty Maids rejuvenate its hard rock/heavy metal influence in 2010. “Little Drops of Heaven” is a more refined continuation of the band’s melodic riff-oriented hard rock/heavy metal career. This song only brought more attention to Pretty Maids’ musical pursuits almost thirty years after its career establishment.
#2 – Please Don’t Leave Me
After being dropped by CBS Records, Pretty Maids went on to strike a recording deal with Columbia Records where the band issued its fourth LP, Sin-Decade. While Sin-Decade wasn’t as definitive juxtaposed to the band’s debut and sophomore albums, it was warmly received in the heavy metal/hard rock scene. However, if we are being honest, the hit “Please Don’t Leave Me” was the album’s saving grace.
Amazingly, “Please Don’t Leave Me” was not even Pretty Maids’ hit. The song was initially issued in 1982 by John Sykes, former guitarist of Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. Pretty Maids’ version of this song was a huge hit rising to become one of the band’s signature hits.
#1 – Future World
Number one on our ten best Pretty Maids songs list is the anthemic hit “Future World.” The song serves as the album title track to the band’s sophomore studio album. “Future World” rose to become Pretty Maids’ signature hit status almost imminently after its release. The song is emblematic of the band’s melodic hard rock/heavy metal sound.
Unfortunately, the song’s prodigious quality and impressive promotional video that made regular rotation on MTV were never enough to help Pretty Maids break into the US mainstream market. The song is solid proof that Pretty Maids should have gotten more attention in the hard rock/heavy metal scene. “Future World” has been covered by other bands including Manticora, Manigance, and Withering Surface.
Top 10 Pretty Maids Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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