Lee Aaron never made it as big as some of her ’80s contemporaries, but even if her time in the spotlight fizzled out long before it should have done, the Canadian singer and self-proclaimed Metal Queen has still gifted us with some sensational songs over the years. Whether we’re talking the hard-rocking pleasures of Metal Queen, the seductive delights of Hands On, or the spine-tingling beauty of Barely Holdin’ On, Aaron’s ability to leap between genres while still retaining her essential uniqueness has resulted in countless hours of listening pleasure for fans. Here are ten of the best Lee Aaron songs of all time.
10. Tell Me Something Good
Tackling a Stevie Wonder classic isn’t something to be taken lightly. Then again, if anyone has the cojones to do it, it’s the self-proclaimed Metal Queen. The fact that Wonder has never recorded Tell Me Something Good might have helped avoid the comparisons (despite its obvious hit potential, he gave it to Rufus and Chaka Khan to perform instead, who claimed the top spot on the Cash Box Top 100 with their version in 1974), but Aaron’s hard-rocking, attitude-laden cut stands on its own merits.
9. Rock Candy
Another cover song next, this time the phenomenal Rock Candy from Aaron’s 1989 album, Bodyrock. The song was written by all four members of hard rock band Montrose and first released on their 1973 debut album. Since then, former frontman Sammy Hagar has continued to perform it as a regular part of his solo tours. Ronnie Montrose, meanwhile, claims it’s become “a standard for bands like Def Leppard or The Cult. Over the years, anybody who wants to jam with me wants to jam ‘Rock Candy’ – Chad Smith, Joe Satriani, Matt Sorum, Slash.” It’s been covered by numerous artists, including L.A. Guns, Lita Ford and Felix Hanemann, but Aaron’s high energy, exuberant performance is easily a match for any of them.
8. If You Don’t Love Me Anymore
Aaron intended If You Don’t Love Me Anymore to serve as a reminder that the true test of love is time. Most fans didn’t take it that way, and the song ended up being embraced as a breakup anthem. Although it never got released as a single, it’s become a firm fan favorite since its inclusion on the 2016 album, Fire and Gasoline.
7. Only Human
Aaron’s self-titled fourth studio album gave the singer her first top 40 hit, peaking at number 39 on the Canadian albums charts over a 17-week stay. It also became her first international chart success, reaching the top 60 in Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany. Critically, it ranks as one of her best-received albums, with All Music describing it as a showcase for the “best songwriting and strongest music of [Aaron’s] career.” One of its highlights is Only Human, which reached number 44 on the Canadian Singles Chart on its release as a single.
6. Goin’ Off the Deep End
Another diamond from Aaron’s excellent self-titled album next, this time the sensational Goin’ Off the Deep End, a song that explores the secret pleasures of letting go and losing control. It may be a softer, poppier affair than many fans had come to expect of Aaron, but it still rocks. Released as the third single from the album, it reached number 93 on the Canadian Singles Chart in 1987.
5. Sex With Love
Aaron’s sixth studio album, Some Girls Do, became the singer’s second-highest charting album in her native Canada after Bodyrock, charting at number 38 on the RPM Canadian Albums Chart in November 1991. It also managed to pick up a Juno Award nomination for Rock Album of the Year, but missed out to Rush’s Roll the Bones on the day. It only produced one single – Sex with Love – but fortunately, it’s a scorcher, with a saucy narrative, a thudding beat, and a barnstorming performance from Aaron. Released in October 1991, the song reached number 55 on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart.
4. Hands On
The second single released from the multi-platinum-selling Bodyrock was Hands On, a powerful, deeply seductive rocker blessed with a typically fine performance from the Metal Queen. Like the rest of the album, it rocks hard, but with enough of a commercial, pop angle to appeal to the mainstream. The album became Aaron’s biggest chart success, and Hands On became one of her most successful singles, reaching number 38 on the Canadian Singles Chart.
3. Barely Holdin’ On
Call of the Wild, Aaron’s third studio album, didn’t exactly set the charts on fire, but it still managed to reach a respectable number 86 on the RPM Canadian Albums Chart over the course of a 12-week stay in 1985. Strangely enough, the title track wasn’t included on the original album – it was, however, included as the B-side to the single Barely Holdin’ On, a hauntingly lovely power ballad with a roof-raising, spine-tingling performance from Aaron that easily ranks among the best of her career.
2. Metal Queen
No one’s going to claim that Aaron’s second studio album, Metal Queen, sounds as fresh today as it did in 1984. From the overblown production to the frankly bizarre cover art, it’s very much a product of its time. But there’s one aspect of the album that’s absolutely timeless, and that’s Aaron herself, whose giant vocals refuse to be dwarfed no matter how much big the arrangements get. Declaring yourself a Metal Queen just two albums into your career might be a bold statement, but on the album in general and the title track in particular, she proves it.
1. Whatcha Do to My Body
In at number one on our list of the 10 best Lee Aaron songs of all time is Whatcha Do to My Body. Recorded for the album Bodyrock, the song quickly became one of the best known and most popular in Aaron’s repertoire – considering the strength of the jaw-dropping vocal performance, it’s not hard to see why. Released as a single in 1989, Whatcha Do to My Body reached number 25 on the Canadian Singles Chart (the highest-charting song of Aaron’s career) and picked up a Video of the Year at the 1990 Juno Awards.