1989 might have been the apex of hair metal. Motley Crue and Def Leppard paved the path early in the decade, and a couple of years later Bon Jovi, Poison and Whitesnake completely knocked down the door, making hard rocking commercially viable. As such, a new wave of bands finally got their shot in 1989 with labels looking to capitalize on the trend and a few of those acts are represented in this list.

However, 1989 was also a good year for laying the groundwork for the next decade. That's why you'll find a few acts that dominated the grunge era as well as a few who highly influenced what was to come. There's also the industrial angst of Nine Inch Nails' debut that definitely left an impression, and even punk had a bit of a presence during this time period.

Head to the gallery below and check out our listing of the 15 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1989.

15 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1989