New Wave of British Heavy Metal Decline

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal suffered the same decline as many other musical movements. Many of the movement's leaders were unable to follow up on their initial successes. In addition, many bands moved further away from the era towards mainstream hard rock, with Def Leppard in particular targeting the American market with a more refined sound despite having major success.
By the mid 1980s, young rock fans found a more commercial metal scene emanating from Los Angeles led by bands such as Mötley Crüe and Poison. Record companies also latched onto the Los Angeles artists over the more underground NWOBHM bands. In addition, thrash metal, another new but much less mainstream metal scene, emerged around the same time, and attracted many rock fans for being even faster and even heavier than NWOBHM, despite originating from the movement.

Some of the more popular bands of the movement, however, went on to considerable, lasting success. Iron Maiden and Motörhead stayed with a more traditional heavy metal style, allowing them to retain a large and loyal fanbase even after bands with a similar sound had lost record company support. Iron Maiden has since then become one of the most commercially successful and influential heavy metal bands of all time. Def Leppard, despite discarding their earlier, heavier sound, became even more successful when they used MTV to play their promotional music videos, and thus commercializing their hard rock sound in order to help sales of their albums on strengths of singles.
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