This list is one man’s thoughts on 80’s rock and roll bands. This does not include single artists or any other types of music. I am not a big fan of the big hair music genre but some really good music came out of the 80s, just ask my wife. That being said, I am a child of the 70’s music, that list will be up next week and we will keep going back to bring you the best music, my opinion, from each decade. Enjoy the list, leave a comment on your thoughts but most of all enjoy.
NUMBER 10. — Dire Straits
The first band to grasp the MTV age with hits like Money For Nothing and Walk of Life coming from 1985’s Brothers In Arms, Dire Straits took advantage of the video craze and for anyone who grew up in the 80s, I don’t think you can get the Money For Nothing video out of your head.
NUMBER 9 — Motley Crue
Their best album of the decade came at the very end, Dr. Feelgood. With hits like Kickstart My Heart, Without You, and the title track, Dr. Feelgood, the album quickly rose the charts. The album is by far the Band’s best and proof is in the 6x Platinum it hit. My favorite song from this album should have been from the 70s, Don’t Go Away Mad, (Just Go Away).
NUMBER 8 — Rush
Rush spanned 4 decades of hits but the band pumped out 8 albums in the 80s. Their second album of the decade came out in 1981, Moving Puctures, and turned into my favorite. Tom Sawyer and Red Barchetta kick it off followed by the instrumental YYZ. The album was close to the 70s and had some left over “high” notes and this is one of them.
NUMBER 7 — ZZ Top
Another band to take advantage of the new MTV, back when they played music. The “Little Ole Band from Texas” had some great hits in the 70s but the album Eliminator scored multiple hits with male youth of the country, with Sharp Dressed Man, Gimme All Your Lovin, and Legs. These three songs alone brought more awareness to the band and made MTV a success. On another note, if you haven’t seen the band live, you missed one of the best concerts that I can think of.
NUMBER 6 — Journey
One of the 80s Rock ballad bands, Journey started the decade off with a bang with the album E5C4P3 OR Escape. With hits like Who’s Crying Now, Don’t Stop Believin, and Open Arms, the band set the bar pretty high for themselves going forward. Journey would go on and gave more hits but never as many as Escape has. The album has hit 9x Platinum and sold over 12 million copies world wide.
NUMBER 5 — Bon Jovi
When you hear the name Bon Jovi, you think of the New Jersey accent but more you think of his hit songs, many of them on his best selling album, Slippery When Wet. The best of the best include, You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Wanted Dead or Alive. The energy that Bon Jovi puts into his songs in concert is astounding. His next album New Jersey has my personal favorite, I’ll Be There For You.
NUMBER 4 — Metallica
While not a fan of Hard or Thrash Rock, I did purchase their second album, Ride the Lightning. I was more curious of how the band tied the music to Stephen King’s The Stand, from where the name of the album comes. Fade to Black and Creeping Death are 2 outstanding singles from the album. Their deep body of work should put them on anyone’s greatest groups lists.
NUMBER 3 — Aerosmith
Although the band had some great albums in the 70s, the band had a rough patch and the Album Permanent Vacation was a revival for the group in the late 80s. The album includes 3 big hits for the band, Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Rag doll, and Angel. Another MTv influence helped the band reach the come back they were looking for when the video for Walk This Way was aired as dueling bands on opposite sides of a wall with Run DMC. This quickly brought Aerosmith back as a band people were talking about again.
NUMBER 2 — Guns N Roses.
To say Guns N Roses made a big spash in the music world when they debuted would be an understatement. The album sold 18 million copies in the U.S. making it the countries best selling initial album at the time. The album also produced 3 top 10 hits with, Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, and Sweet Child o’Mine. Axl Rose and band mates put their mark on Rock music. Not many can say their first album jumped off the charts but GnR certainly can.
NUMBER 1 — Van Halen
Their body of work speaks for itself but 1984, their last album with all the original members and some great songs including, Jump, Panama, and Hot for Teacher really showed what this band could do. 2 of the lesser known but still fabulous music are Drop Dead Legs and Girl Gone Bad. This album makes you wonder what could have happened if Eddie and David could have worked things out.
This is my list and my opinion. Feel free to comment with your ideas. Remember just the 80s and a good deal of the Bands work has to be in the 80s, not before or after. I hope you enjoyed my musings. Next week 70s Rock Bands.