The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s Bands/Musicians
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21  reranks 27,707 votes 1,355 voters 105,705 views more info

The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

List Criteria: Best musicians who were active in the 1980s, judged on the quality of their '80s projects.

The greatest and most prolific artist of music's most colorful decade are remembered on this list. As I did with the greatest albums and artists of the '90s, I decided to do the same for the artist that broke ground and expanded and influenced generations to come. Keep in mind, this list is based solely on the artists' work in the 1980s. Though, there may be better George [Michael], better RHCP, better Sade, or better...okay, maybe not better Sting, in previous or future decades, we will acknowledge each artists for the impact they made in the 80s. From synth pop, to hair metal, to the rise of punk rock, to the fall of disco, to the birth of hip-hop. All genres are recognized, and classic albums, equally classic singles should also play a hand in how people vote on the countdown of legends.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 21 ReRanks
    • Age
    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 411
    Down 300

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Michael Jackson

    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    95
  2. 2
    Up 302
    Down 270
    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    86
  3. 3
    Up 282
    Down 219
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music More
    86
  4. 4
    Up 255
    Down 264
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    82
  5. 5
    Up 217
    Down 185
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    81
  6. 6
    Up 230
    Down 250
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk More
    80
  7. 7
    Up 184
    Down 136

    ranked low on reranks
    Culture Club

    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave More
    76
  8. 8
    Up 217
    Down 277

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Guns N' Roses

    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    74
  9. 9
    Up 192
    Down 193
    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    73
  10. 10
    Up 194
    Down 265

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Duran Duran

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    72
  11. 11
    Up 209
    Down 270
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    70
  12. 12
    Up 194
    Down 135

    ranked low on reranks
    Cyndi Lauper

    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music More
    69
  13. 13
    Up 208
    Down 222
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    69
  14. 14
    Up 189
    Down 194
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    69
  15. 15
    Up 197
    Down 235

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Van Halen

    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    69
  16. 16
    Up 183
    Down 198
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music More
    68
  17. 17
    Up 152
    Down 138
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    68
  18. 18
    Up 164
    Down 119

    ranked low on reranks
    Tears for Fears

    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    67
  19. 19
    Up 138
    Down 110

    ranked low on reranks
    George Michael

    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop More
    67
  20. 20
    Up 180
    Down 203
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music More
    67
  21. 21
    Up 145
    Down 138
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  22. 22
    Up 108
    Down 98
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk More
    67
  23. 23
    Up 162
    Down 158
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    67
  24. 24
    Up 164
    Down 182
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 162
    Down 180
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  26. 26
    Up 163
    Down 203
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    67
  27. 27
    Up 145
    Down 169
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 135
    Down 151
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    67
  29. 29
    Up 134
    Down 128
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    67
  30. 30
    Up 146
    Down 165
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    67
  31. 31
    Up 120
    Down 150

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Heart

    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock More
    67
  32. 32
    Up 129
    Down 123
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    66
  33. 33
    Up 148
    Down 146
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues More
    66
  34. 34
    Up 152
    Down 177
    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    66
  35. 35
    Up 130
    Down 129
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    66
  36. 36
    Up 111
    Down 141

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop More
    65
  37. 37
    Up 168
    Down 100

    ranked low on reranks
    A-ha

    Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave More
    65
  38. 38
    Up 101
    Down 85
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    64
  39. 39
    Up 108
    Down 84
    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Rock music More
    64
  40. 40
    Up 104
    Down 96
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    64
  41. 41
    Up 134
    Down 108
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    64
  42. 42
    Up 102
    Down 93
    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock More
    63
  43. 43
    Up 143
    Down 95

    ranked low on reranks
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
  44. 44
    Up 114
    Down 98
    Doo-wop, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul More
    63
  45. 45
    Up 120
    Down 104
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    63
  46. 46
    Up 107
    Down 107

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Iron Maiden

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock More
    62
  47. 47
    Up 89
    Down 62
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock More
    62
  48. 48
    Up 116
    Down 90
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
  49. 49
    Up 95
    Down 50

    ranked low on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    61
  50. 50
    Up 87
    Down 64
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave More
    60
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