the 2018 march shredness bracket will be released in july 2017

The Selection Committee is currently in a deep dive into some sweet hair metal action and expects to release the bracket in July 2017. It will feature a number of play-in games featuring some of the less central acts of the era to be decided upon by you, our readers and listeners. 

Inclusion methodology: songs must be in the style and genre of hair metal, meaning that they were released from roughly 1983-1991, which is about when grunge and the 90s ended the era, at least in terms of most mainstream listeners. Songs feature shreddy and sometimes ostentatious guitar solos, big hair, and flashy outfits. The Committee is typically excluding Serious Metal outfits like Metallica or Iron Maiden unless they really took part in the tropes of the genre. Ditto straight-up hard rock acts like AC/DC or Judas Priest. We're less interested in artists' careers than in individual songs that play all the right notes, so you might see a song by a band with a longer and more distinguished career in there. Suggestions? Hit us up on twitter or email


Thanks for playing last year's tournament. Though the tournament itself has concluded in real time, you may continue to play it off on your own by listening to each song and reading each essay and voting, beginning with the first round games (oldest ones at the bottom) under "Past Games" above, and working your way through difficult (or not-so-) choice after difficult choice until a winner is revealed. That is, the medium of March Shredness, Fadness, and Sadness is you, the listener, the viewer.


in the meantime
here is the final bracket
from last year's march fadness:


or here is a blank one for you to fill out by yourself or with someone you love.


Songs for the tourney proper (not play-ins) are by artists who have one and only one US Top 40 hit. Songs are seeded according to highest chart position (so the top seeds hit #1, whereas the lower seeds may have just charted). 

However, since some songs that The Committee deemed essential didn't quite qualify on these merits but it felt should be included (Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" topped out at #41, incredibly, whereas Snow had another "hit" beyond "Informer"—"Girl I've Been Hurt" hit #19; you remember that? Neither do we), The Committee added play-in games for these essential songs to have the potential to make the tournament if you, the listener/viewer/reader, deem them worthy.

The Committee also typically tried to omit songs not really in the spirit of the tournament. So, for instance, though Concrete Blonde's "Joey" hit #19, Faith No More's "Epic" hit #9, and The Cardigans' "Lovefool" hit #2, they're omitted by virtue of their impressive careers/bodies of work (also all three of these songs are great). They should not, in The Committee's view, be considered proper one-hit-wonders. Ditto Sinead O'Connor, who apparently only had one US Top 40 hit ("Nothing Compares 2 U"). The Committee supposes, though, that hardcore fans of nearly any one of these bands could argue that their long careers make them not real one-hit-wonders. Well, we shall see how the games go.

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