80s Music Sitemap - Page 3 2016-09-26
Top '80s Songs Featuring Multiple Guitar Interplay
The concept of dual/twin guitar probably reached its peak during the rock excess of the '70s, but the performance-based combination of complementary musicianship certainly had its moments as well in the wealth of hard rock available during the '80s. Here's a short list of memorable '80s songs from bands featuring multiple guitarists.
Top 10 Most Tragic & Untimely Deaths of '80s Musical Artists Since 1990
Since the end of the '80s nearly two decades ago, many of its musical artists have aged and matured in typical ways, either in or out of the business. Some, of course, dealt with that constant evolution better than others, while another group was silenced by sudden, accidental deaths.
Top 10 Metallica Songs of the 1980s
Despite releasing only four full-length studio albums during the band's most relevant decade, 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica delivered a strikingly high percentage of quality tunes during the '80s. Here's a look at the group's finest tracks, culled mainly from the crunching yet intricate thrash of Metallica's latter '80s work.
'80s Number Ones - Longest-Running U.S. Number One Mainstream Rock Hit of the '80s
Enjoy here another feature in a series focused on essential '80s music trivia, as this time we examine the single that enjoyed the longest run of the decade at number one on the U.S. Billboard mainstream rock singles chart.
What is Steve Perry's primary European heritage?
A brief discussion about Steve Perry's heritage.
Best Elvis Costello Songs of the Eighties List
Although Elvis Costello made his biggest splash in the late '70s as a pub rock/punk/new wave singer-songwriter, the decade in which he demonstrably proved his eclecticism and broad range of talents was undoubtedly the '80s. As a songwriter and performer of brilliance and distinction, Costello deepened his catalogue of great pop/rock songs throughout the decade, without the benefit of hit singles or mainstream commercial appeal. Here are some of his best songs from that period.
Best 1988 Eighties Songs (Top 10 List)
Here's a look at 10 of the most striking, singular tunes from 1988, a year dominated by some pretty lame pop hits and hair metal posturing but somehow still rich with delightful musical surprises.
Best ZZ Top Songs of the Eighties List
As one of the decade's most iconic bands in terms of visual image and sound, Texas blues-rock legends ZZ Top made the transition to full-tilt mainstream pop/rock with flair, conviction, and, most importantly, some pretty solid songs.
Best Bob Seger Songs of the Eighties (Top List)
Heartland rock mainstay Bob Seger delivered some of the finest, quietly moving mainstream rock songs of the '80s and did so with a greater consistency than almost any of his peers. Despite only three studio albums, his impact on the decade's musical landscape was significant enough to put him on the short list of important rock artists for both the '70s and '80s. Here are a few reasons why.
The Top Eddie Money Songs of the '80s
Mainstream rock singer for the masses Eddie Money amassed a total of 23 charting singles during the first, more commercially relevant half of his career, which stretched roughly a decade and a half from 1977 to 1992. The clear majority of those songs were released during the '80s, a decade in which Money produced five solo albums and posted his highest level of success. In chronological order, here's a look at Eddie Money's strongest songs from this period, all solid pop/rock efforts.
Number One Country Hits of the 80s (Longest Running)
Unlike some of Billboard's other niche categories, the '80s country music charts displayed a remarkably egalitarian record when it comes to the duration of its number one hits. In fact, only four songs enjoyed as many as three weeks atop the chart, in contrast to the multiple-week high marks of most other singles charts. More than two dozen songs more spent two weeks at number one, while the remaining tunes had only single weeks of chart supremacy. Here's a detailed look at the four top songs.
Top 10 Songs of 1989 - R&B to Grunge
Here's a musical look at the last calendar year of the '80s, a time during which much pop music was already in the process of saying goodbye to the previous decade.
The Top 10 Rock and Pop Songs of 1982
As MTV continued to extend its influence, artists began to emerge and thrive almost on image alone. Even so, much quality music was released in 1982, ranging from straight-ahead rock to synth pop to guitar-based new wave.
Top Weird Al Yankovic Songs of the '80s
Emerging during the '70s as a nerdy wildman partial to the accordion,
Top Warren Zevon Songs of the '80s
Though certainly best-known for his modest late-'70s pop hits and his first two critically acclaimed albums of darkly humorous, cerebral story songs, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Warren Zevon also produced four albums of original material during the '80s. Ultimately, this artist always had a tendency to be somewhat sporadic in his output over nearly four decades of activity, and the middle period of his second decade was particularly fallow. Nevertheless, Zevon produced many worthy songs during this era that support his reputation as one of rock's most independent and iconoclastic artists of all time.
Top Adam Ant Songs of the '80s
In his early years as a punk rock-influenced, stylish pop music figure, Adam Ant received critical acclaim and commercial adoration for his special take on new wave and post-punk. And although his career depended heavily on his photogenic appeal and his flamboyant image, Ant fully engaged U.S. and U.K. audiences as an important crossover pop music figure. Even if he turned increasingly to acting work and pursuits beyond music as the '80s wore on, Ant remains an important symbol of the array of singular elements that characterized the '80s music scene, both for better and worse. Here's a chronological look at the best '80s songs from Adam Ant as both a ragged bandleader and glossy pop artist.
Top '80s Songs of The Call
In any discussion of driving, energetic rock music, American band The Call should probably come up almost immediately. Unfortunately, this California-based band remains not only one of the most underrated bands of the '80s but probably one of the best unsung artists of the entire rock era. Fueled by the rousing, earnest vocal style and emotional, spiritually exploratory lyrics of frontman Michael Been, The Call certainly qualifies as one of the hardest-working bands of the '80s. Here's a look at the best songs from The Call's consistently high-quality '80s catalogue.
Top BoDeans Songs of the '80s
Wisconsin roots rock band BoDeans arrived on the early alternative music scene during the mid '80s as a welcome throwback group featuring the songwriting tandem of leaders Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas. Despite significant critical acclaim, the band couldn't quite break into the mainstream, which probably pleased ardent fans as much as it disappointed them. The band incorporated folk rock and Americana music elements into what eventually became a versatile melodic rock approach. Here's a look at the best '80s songs from the first three BoDeans albums.
Top Jackson Browne Songs of the '80s
Veteran singer-songwriter Jackson Browne continued his deliberate, thoughtful solo career during the '80s, mixing literate, romantic subject matter with an increasing social conscience.
Top Richard Thompson Songs of the '80s
British singer-songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson has enjoyed a dynamic music career spanning more than four decades. Although the '80s was a highly transitional period for him as an artist, Thompson remained quite active and creative during the period, producing these exemplary tunes.
Top Scorpions Songs of the '80s
Germany's Scorpions are one of the longest-lived and consistently productive hard rock bands on the planet, having forged well beyond a 40-year career as major representatives of that genre. The group traversed most of the '70s in understated but workmanlike fashion, emerging ultimately in the '80s as pop/rock superstars as well as fine purveyors of heavy metal. Here's a look at the group's finest songs of that decade, a list rich in well-known tracks as well as underrated album cuts.
Top Billy Squier Songs of the '80s
Seasoned mainstream rock artist Billy Squier may have seemed like a new face when he emerged with his debut album in 1980, but actually he had been plying his trade for years in Piper, a band that never quite made it big in '70s rock. That experience helped Squier hit the ground running, and he perfected a certain brand of big rock through six full-length '80s album releases. Here's a look at the best songs from this peak period of Squier's workmanlike career.
Top Roxy Music Songs of the '80s
Despite a highly limited output during the '80s that consisted of only two studio albums featuring about 16 full-length original tracks, '70s art rock band Roxy Music made a significant mark during the latter decade. Having reformed and reinvented the group as a lush pop vehicle for his songwriting, frontman Bryan Ferry was accused at times of casting his long-term bandmates Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay as merely backing players. However, the three albums released during Roxy Music's second, more commercial phase bear the stamp of a unique, impressive ensemble.
Top Randy Travis Songs of the '80s
Country music legend Randy Travis began his career somewhat abortively in the late '70s, but when he re-emerged in 1986 with a proper debut album, his consistently excellent style of new traditionalist country started a small revolution. Armed with a deeply affecting voice and a fine sense for songcraft, Travis would dominate the country charts for close to a decade before settling into an easy, earned status as legend. His career has continued in the years since, but the songs from his initial, peak period of the late '80s remain Travis' most revered contributions to country and the overall essential pop music landscape.
Top Spandau Ballet Songs of the '80s
Though known primarily among many audiences for its one great blockbuster single, the bona fide '80s classic
Top J. Geils Band Songs of the '80s
Though as a consistent, full-fledged six-piece powerhouse rock ensemble its best work was already in the past, the J. Geils Band made a vital contribution to the pop and mainstream rock landscape of the early '80s. With its two albums before frontman Peter Wolf left for a solo career, the group produced eclectic, bluesy music that also embraced the keyboards and synthesizers so in vogue at the time. Some of the band's biggest hits and best compositions came out of this brief period. Here's a chronological look at the band's '80s finest.
Top Judas Priest Songs of the '80s
As one of the undisputed greatest heavy metal bands of all time, England's Judas Priest built a particularly steady career during the '80s in both the U.K. and U.S. Anchored by aggressive, distinctively metallic guitar parts and the legendarily powerful pipes of frontman Rob Halford, the band released six studio albums throughout the '80s, including its four most well-received ones over a five-year period to start the decade. Here's a look at the best Judas Priest songs of this period, culled from a deep catalogue of molten metal masterpieces.
Top '80s Songs of The Feelies
Underground American rock band The Feelies released three albums during the '80s, all filled with dense, mesmerizing guitar parts and precise, melodic exploration. Here's a look at the best Feelies songs of this era.
Top '80s Solo Songs by Members of The Eagles
Following the break-up of The Eagles, one of '70s rock's most popular and critically revered bands, the group's members had talent to burn outside the confines of a band structure. All in all, six of the band's total of seven members released at least two records during the '80s as solo artists. While only a small proportion of these artists enjoyed major pop hits for their efforts, all produced a considerable array of mainstream pop/rock. Here's a chronological look at the best songs culled from several ex-Eagle solo careers.
Top Split Enz Songs of the '80s
New Zealand's Split Enz held aloft a resiliently original flag for New Zealand music during the '70s and '80s, producing some of the latter decade's most interesting and complex pop/rock. Here are some of the finest Split Enz songs of the '80s.
Top Rosanne Cash Songs of the '80s
Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash bridged the era's transition from country pop to New Traditionalist country music. Her emotionally resonant compositions met with plenty of critical and commercial acclaim during the '80s, and she has sustained a career that is still going strong after more than three decades.
Top Peter Criss Solo Songs of the '80s
Original and former KISS drummer Peter Criss has not enjoyed a particularly lengthy or prolific solo career, but he did produce two generally overlooked solo albums during the '80s that contain some memorable mainstream rock songs.
Top 9 Genesis Songs of the '80s
Few bands have displayed a capacity for reinvention as dramatic or successful as Genesis, a band that embraced weirdness under the direction of Peter Gabriel but pure pop melodicism when drummer Phil Collins took the helm. Here's a look at some of that band's finest tunes in the latter category, pop confections that house far more musical substance than they're ever given credit for.
Cyndi Lauper – Profile of '80s Icon Cyndi Lauper
Exploding onto the scene in 1983 as a palatable, feminized version of punk and new wave, Cyndi Lauper successfully rode the MTV wave to multi-platinum status and a permanent spot as a central icon of the decade. She evolved into a serious songwriter and well-rounded pop performer and has since continued to advance an eclecticism as both an actor and recording artist.
'80s Number Ones - Longest-Running U.S. Number One Hit of the '80s
Here's a look at some essential '80s music trivia, as we examine the single that enjoyed the longest run of the decade at number one on the American pop charts.
Motley Crue Artist Profile - Profile of Pioneering Glam Metal Band Motley Crue
As one of pop metal's most prominent and trashiest prototypes, L.A.'s Motley Crue consistently lived up to a fearsome reputation for self-destructiveness and rock and roll excess. However, at the same time the band also somehow became one of the few truly reliable hard rock acts of the '80s, remaining active and successful throughout the decade.
Billy Idol - Profile of Original Punker Turned Mainstream Rock Star Billy Idol
One of the most recognizable icons of '80s pop culture, former punk rocker Billy Idol made quite a mark on the decade's music. Along the way, he proved that adjustments to promote commercial success don't always prevent an artist from following his own rebellious path.
Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits Album Review
While far from a perfect collection of the seminal British hard rock band's best material, this compilation accomplishes something any one of the band's prime '80s albums cannot. It assembles a high-quality, balanced blend of Def Leppard's finest power ballads and rockers on one CD, give or take a few. In this sense, it is the best choice for the many listeners who probably only want to own one disc from this important but far from album-consistent pop metal band.
The Cars - Profile of the Cars, '80s New Wave Hitmakers
One of new wave's biggest stars, the Cars boasted a sound that encompassed several styles, including pure pop, power pop, classic rock and punk. Above all, the band produced an extremely consistent catalogue of music, resting squarely on the always solid songwriting of frontman Ric Ocasek.
ABC Artist Profile - Profile of English Synth Pop Group ABC
One of the most unique and versatile groups to emerge from England's New Romantic synth pop movement of the early '80s, ABC stands out as a major and consistent artist of the decade's pop/rock tapestry. Employing American music styles from Motown to soul to funk, the central duo of Martin Fry and Mark White injected a new wrinkle of style and elegance to synth pop.
Rick Springfield - Profile of '80s Pop Rocker Rick Springfield
Just in time for the '80s, longtime musician Rick Springfield emerged as a matinee idol both on daytime TV and on the pop charts. Following a stint as Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera 'General Hospital,' Aussie Springfield hit it big with his 1981 album, 'Working Class Dog,' which featured his biggest and most well-known hit,
Basic '80s Music Timeline - Signature Events from Each Year of the Decade
Who knew Loverboy's legendary working man's anthem
Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA" Album Review
This longtime legend's 1984 landmark offering is a record of the ages that transcends time and genre with its consistent excellence.
'80s Kansas Songs - Top Kansas Songs of the '80s
The American rock band Kansas experienced an onslaught of change during the '80s, ranging from personnel shifts, a rise in spiritual and even outright Christian lyrical themes, and a steady move away from its original heartland take on progressive rock. Most critics saw these changes in an almost exclusively negative light, but the various '80s incarnations of the band also managed to generate compelling melodic guitar rock that has held up quite well. Here's a look at some prime '80s Kansas.
Men at Work Artist Profile – Profile of Australian Bar Band & Surprise New Wave Stars Men at Work
Here's a look at the brief but concentrated success of Australian bar band and new wave stars Men at Work. The group ruled America in 1982 and 1983 before fading away quietly by 1985. Even so, the band left behind some classic '80s hits and strong album cuts that rank among the decade's strongest pop/rock offerings.
'80s Instrument Spotlight - the Saxophone
Among the instruments linked inextricably to '80s music, the saxophone stands out on any short list, though sometimes in dubious ways. Even so, its significance throughout the breadth of pop music history is undeniable and impressive. Here's a closer look at this unique instrument.
Guns N' Roses - 'Appetite for Destruction' Album Review
This album is an important one on multiple levels, but its greatest strengths are its sheer versatility and breadth as a document of hard rock across the decades. The skillful melding of punk, heavy metal, classic rock and blues turned the L.A. rockers into immediate superstars.
George Michael Artist Profile - Profile of '80s Pop Master Craftsman George Michael
Both as the primary creative force in the hitmaking duo Wham! and as a wildly successful solo artist, George Michael ruled the '80s like few artists could dream of. Though a highly capable singer in various pop styles, Michael particularly distinguished himself as a songwriter of great talent and versatility.
'The Wedding Singer' Soundtracks Review - Two-Volume Soundtrack Review of 'The Wedding Singer'
As a summation of the music featured in the 1998 music-themed film, this two-volume soundtrack works very well. As a versatile, comprehensive compilation of the varied tapestry that was '80s music, it's even better. Somehow, even though this collection of music was not expressly intended to summarize the music of a decade (or perhaps because of that fact), it does that job far better than a myriad of compilations with far greater ambitions.
The Cure - Profile of Post-Punk Legends the Cure
British alternative rockers the Cure, who emerged more than a decade before the term was in vogue, were one of the most prolific underground bands of the '80s. Led by frontman Robert Smith's stylish leadership, the group soldiered through many personnel changes to emerge at the end of the decade as a threat on the pop music charts as well as an influential alternative to the mainstream.
Whitney Houston Artist Profile
Here's a look at the career of one of pop music's most enduring talents, who burst onto the music scene during the mid '80s with hit single after hit single and became one of the most successful female pop singers in rock history.
Sheena Easton - Profile of Brunette Bombshell & Pop Singer Sheena Easton
Scottish pop singer Sheena Easton emerged at the very beginning of the '80s and remained a major chart player throughout the decade as an adult contemporary pop balladeer and later a sexy dance-pop diva. Her versatility helped maintain a successful career through years of constant change, and Easton blazed a path for many of the female pop stars who ruled the charts during the '90s.
Journey '80s Albums - Discography/Capsule Reviews of Journey's '80s Album Releases
Though more active during the '70s - releasing an album per year in its formative years - Journey truly came into its own as an arena rock force and commercial threat in pop music during the '80s. The group's four releases during that decade by far became its most successful, all going many times platinum. Here's a capsule look at each record, from hits and familiar tracks to deep but worthy cuts and the filler selections to avoid.
The Go-Go's Artist Profile – Profile of All-Female New Wave Band the Go-Go's
The Go-Go's became one of the most pleasantly surprising success stories of the early '80s, transforming from an L.A. punk band into new wave pop superstars. Along the way, the group forged a significant path for female musicians by attaining its success through the preservation of independent artistic control. Here's a look at the impressive if brief career of one of the most defining artists of the '80s.
Michael Jackson - Profile of '80s Superstar & King of Pop Michael Jackson
Although already a major star in the music business, Michael Jackson became a pop superstar beyond measure during the '80s, taking popularity to never-before seen heights. As a result of his massive singles and especially Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time, Jackson cemented his title as the undisputed King of Pop during that decade.
Profile of American Synth Pop Band Berlin
Though probably known most for alluring lead singer Terri Nunn and its more pop-oriented hits from later in the decade, Berlin actually began as a genuine synth pop/new wave outfit led by bass player and primary songwriter John Crawford. During the band's early years, the group produced some excellent keyboard-based pop music, even if a major chart presence didn't occur until after Crawford had become somewhat disenchanted. Still, before breaking up in 1987, Berlin had made a definite mark on the pop music landscape of the '80s.
Duran Duran - Profile of '80s Pop Superstars Duran Duran
For better or worse, few bands are as emblematic of the '80s as Britain's Fab Five pop superstars, Duran Duran. But whereas many other acts screamed '80s through their impermanence and disastrous fashion choices, Duran Duran was stylish, well-versed in pop songcraft and generally deserving of a considerable blend of commercial and critical acclaim. And while superstardom was short-lived, the band has maintained a steady, workmanlike career for three decades with no end in sight.
Joe Jackson - Profile of Adventurous '80s Singer-Songwriter Joe Jackson
Singer-songwriter and master musician Joe Jackson was one of the most talented artists of the '80s, a composer and performer able to jump from rock and roll to pop to jazz with ease and fluidity. His output constantly challenged expectations and helped enrich the music of a decade already teeming with unacknowledged variety.
Joan Jett - Profile of Female Rock Icon & '80s Solo Artist Joan Jett
Already a partial legend by the end of the '70s as a member of the seminal all-female rock band the Runaways, Joan Jett quickly established a successful '80s solo career that made her an icon. As a fiercely independent songwriter, producer and performer, Jett blazed a trail for women in rock and roll that's still revealing itself today, more than 35 years after she first burst on the scene.
Dokken - Profile of Hard-Rocking Glam Metal Band Dokken
Despite sometimes looking the part of full-tilt hair band during its mid-'80s peak, this L.A. group rarely sounded like it. Upon the thunderously powerful foundation of George Lynch's distinct guitars, Dokken found a niche as a melodic hard rock band that deserved inclusion in the category of heavy metal as well as melodic pop/rock.
Genres & Styles
The array of '80s musical styles may be exhaustive, but the ones most closely tied to the era include new wave, college rock, synth pop, hair metal and early hip-hop. Explore the original styles introduced during the decade as well as the unique spin '80s artists gave to existing genres.
Top 10 '80s Lead Singers Who Also Played an Instrument Most of the Time
Since at least the '60s, rock music has often shone its spotlight on lead singers, frontmen and frontwomen who drew primary attention from audiences through their charisma or image as much as their singing ability. While this has produced some interesting musical moments, I've always preferred lead singers who also stake a strong claim to being actual musicians. And luckily the '80s had its share of memorable lead singers who also demonstrated talent on a musical instrument. Imagine that.
Profile of English Mainstream Guitar Rock Band The Outfield
Audiences may not have been aware of it at the time based on the highly accessible mainstream rock sound of The Outfield, but the impossibly melodic trio actually hailed from London, England. Operating outside of the post-punk, new wave and arena rock comfort zones of the early and mid '80s, the band failed to make an immediate impact during its early years. However, by the release of its 1985 debut album, The Outfield had perfected a guitar-based sound that captivated American listeners.
Profile of '80s New Wave/Roots Rock Band The Hooters
Philadelphia-based pop/rock band The Hooters emerged during the early '80s at the latter edge of the new wave era, distinguishing themselves through a rootsy rock sound and the unique instrument for which they were named. Armed with melodic and broadly appealing songwriting skills, the group dominated the mid '80s with its upbeat hit songs. Even after major success faded in the U.S., the band continued to record and perform for exuberant fans well into the '90s.
Profile of '80s Mainstream Rock Solo Artist Jim Capaldi
Though best known as a founding member of legendary '60s rock band Traffic, drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jim Capaldi also engineered a remarkably consistent if criminally underrated solo career throughout the '70s and '80s. As a lead vocalist, Capaldi never got the chance to shine as a member of Traffic, but his soulful style and hard-hitting lyrics worked well across a variety of genres. Here's a look at one of the most neglected but worthy solo rock artists of the '80s.
Profile of '80s Rockabilly New Wave Band Stray Cats
Although the spread of new wave during the early '80s marginally included the music and throwback image of Long Island's Stray Cats, the group was committed to its celebration of early rock and roll styles and rockabilly. Here's a look at the group's successful and daring career.
Though the commercial side of music can be frustrating for fans and artists alike, there's no denying the power record labels have over what gets heard. The '80s were no exception to this, as several labels rose to prominence in either mainstream or indie circles. Some labels today continue to release music from '80s artists alive and kicking.
To help you add to your '80s music collection, stop by here for reviews and top picks of the best the decade had to offer. Descriptions and analysis of the best and most important albums and songs of the period help separate the wheat from the chaff.
In many cases, we can best understand the aims, goals and philosophies of artists by hearing straight from them what they intended with their music, what they gained from their careers and just what their experiences in the '80s were like. Look here for interviews, quotes and other forms of insight directly from the minds of '80s icons.
Here you'll find bits of trivia and other interesting information about this legendary arena rock band.
Foreigner - Profile of Foreigner, '80s Arena Rock Balladeers
Many music fans probably think of Foreigner as just another '70s rock band. However, the group enjoyed its greatest successes during the '80s, after changing its sound from guitar-based hard rock to keyboard-heavy soft rock balladeers. Never critical favorites, the band always enjoyed a solid and loyal fan base. Here's a look at the history of Foreigner within its relatively brief commercially viable stage.
'80s Number Ones - Longest-Running U.S. Number One Adult Contemporary Hit of the '80s
Here's another feature in a series focused on essential '80s music trivia, as this time we examine the single that enjoyed the longest run of the decade at number one on the U.S. Billboard adult contemporary singles chart.
Artists & Styles
Think of this as your online '80s music encyclopedia, the place to learn about or delve more deeply into the wide array of bands, singers, performers and genres that left the most distinct marks on the decade's musical landscape.
Forgotten Gems of the '80s
Here's a look at some of the greatest songs of the '80s that may have become a little bit lost in the thick fabric of passing time. We're all pretty familiar with many classic tunes of the era, but when's the last time you heard these on the radio?
As one of the decade's most iconic bands in terms of visual image and sound, Texas blues-rock legends ZZ Top made the transition to full-tilt mainstream pop/rock with flair, conviction, and, most importantly, some pretty solid songs.