The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

238k votes 15k voters 1.1M views 712 items tags f p @

List Criteria: This list is all about amazing musical artists of the '80s, so vote up your favorites!

The greatest and most prolific artists of music's most colorful decade are remembered on this list. 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 Sting (okay, maybe not better Sting), in previous or later decades, we will acknowledge each artists for the impact they made in the '80s. What was your favorite 1980s music? Who do you think were the greatest musical artists of 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, including classic albums, as long as they were the best of the best during this fabulous decade. Do you prefer 80s rock bands over top pop from the era? Vote up all of your favorite 80s bands and artists who transformed the music scene during the decade, and add anyone who isn't already on the list.

Just make sure they're were making some of the top 80s music we know and love.
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  1. 1
    + 3,236
    - 3,052

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

    ;
  2. 2
    + 3,175
    - 2,236

    ranked low on reranks
    Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 3,113
    - 2,553


    A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,058
    - 2,484


    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,743
    - 2,313


    The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,969
    - 2,249

    often listed
    Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

    ;
  7. 7
    + 2,554
    - 1,812


    The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your ...

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,735
    - 2,052

    often listed
    Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

    ;
  9. 9
    + 2,307
    - 1,441

    ranked low on reranks
    Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1

    ;
  10. 10
    + 2,044
    - 1,612


    The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, ...

    ;
  11. 11
    + 2,110
    - 2,390

    often listed
    Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,507
    - 1,026


    Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,825
    - 876

    ranked low on reranks
    Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,074
    - 1,483


    Songs From the Big Chair, The Hurting, Everybody Wants to Rule the World ...

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1,279
    - 1,140


    Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,741
    - 1,746


    Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Touch, Be Yourself Tonight

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,636
    - 1,426


    Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,988
    - 978

    ranked low on reranks
    She's So Unusual, True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,124
    - 997


    Disintegration, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Boys Don’t Cry

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,916
    - 1,775


    Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

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  21. 21
    + 1,193
    - 970


    The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,469
    - 1,231


    Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

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  23. 23
    + 1,495
    - 1,277


    Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,178
    - 875


    Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,210
    - 1,029


    Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,462
    - 1,010


    Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

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  27. 27
    + 890
    - 503

    ranked low on reranks
    Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology

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  28. 28
    + 1,059
    - 840

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

    ;
  29. 29
    + 982
    - 719


    Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

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  30. 30
    + 942
    - 364

    ranked low on reranks
    The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here

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  31. 31
    + 857
    - 337

    ranked low on reranks
    Rumours, Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,551
    - 1,305


    Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Culture Club, Colour by Numbers

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,085
    - 865


    Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,203
    - 997


    Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,088
    - 1,076

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,057
    - 651

    ranked low on reranks
    4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,370
    - 1,046


    Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

    ;
  38. 38
    + 774
    - 380

    ranked low on reranks
    The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

    ;
  39. 39
    + 901
    - 799

    often listed
    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

    ;
  40. 40
    + 794
    - 759

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

    ;
  41. 41
    + 862
    - 607


    Hunting High and Low, Minor Earth | Major Sky, Take On Me

    ;
  42. 42
    + 854
    - 625


    Sports, Fore!, Picture This

    ;
  43. 43
    + 834
    - 446


    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

    ;
  44. 44
    + 936
    - 749


    Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

    ;
  45. 45
    + 606
    - 227

    ranked low on reranks
    Hotel California, Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2

    ;
  46. 46
    + 751
    - 649

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    London Calling, The Clash, Black Market Clash

    ;
  47. 47
    + 761
    - 500


    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain ...

    ;
  48. 48
    + 856
    - 606


    H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

    ;
  49. 49
    + 722
    - 562


    Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

    ;
  50. 50
    + 917
    - 714


    Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

    ;
713 +

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