The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s Bands/Musicians
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21  reranks 24,136 votes 1,094 voters 70,027 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 369
    Down 195

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Michael Jackson

    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 261
    Down 171
    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 208
    Down 186
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    85
  4. 4
    Up 187
    Down 170
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk More
    84
  5. 5
    Up 200
    Down 167
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music More
    82
  6. 6
    Up 192
    Down 187
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    81
  7. 7
    Up 172
    Down 171
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    79
  8. 8
    Up 173
    Down 149
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    76
  9. 9
    Up 184
    Down 185
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    76
  10. 10
    Up 146
    Down 151
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 165
    Down 148
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    73
  12. 12
    Up 148
    Down 153
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    71
  13. 13
    Up 149
    Down 143
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 145
    Down 143
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music More
    70
  15. 15
    Up 129
    Down 126
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    70
  16. 16
    Up 138
    Down 136
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    70
  17. 17
    Up 148
    Down 151
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music More
    69
  18. 18
    Up 131
    Down 151
    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    69
  19. 19
    Up 121
    Down 124
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    68
  20. 20
    Up 136
    Down 140
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    68
  21. 21
    Up 130
    Down 141
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    68
  22. 22
    Up 106
    Down 124

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Heart

    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 135
    Down 127
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues More
    67
  24. 24
    Up 109
    Down 113
    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 142
    Down 135
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    67
  26. 26
    Up 116
    Down 107
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    67
  27. 27
    Up 139
    Down 155
    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 117
    Down 111
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    67
  29. 29
    Up 122
    Down 117
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    67
  30. 30
    Up 117
    Down 111
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    66
  31. 31
    Up 100
    Down 121

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop More
    66
  32. 32
    Up 89
    Down 86
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk More
    65
  33. 33
    Up 128
    Down 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Cyndi Lauper

    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music More
    65
  34. 34
    Up 111
    Down 110
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    65
  35. 35
    Up 132
    Down 107
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    64
  36. 36
    Up 90
    Down 76
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    64
  37. 37
    Up 121
    Down 98
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    63
  38. 38
    Up 96
    Down 79
    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Rock music More
    63
  39. 39
    Up 146
    Down 96

    ranked low on reranks
    A-ha

    Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave More
    62
  40. 40
    Up 93
    Down 91
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    62
  41. 41
    Up 99
    Down 97
    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock More
    62
  42. 42
    Up 85
    Down 79
    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop More
    62
  43. 43
    Up 90
    Down 87
    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock More
    62
  44. 44
    Up 101
    Down 93
    Doo-wop, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul More
    61
  45. 45
    Up 107
    Down 100
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    61
  46. 46
    Up 123
    Down 91

    ranked low on reranks
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    60
  47. 47
    Up 105
    Down 87
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    60
  48. 48
    Up 79
    Down 59
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave More
    60
  49. 49
    Up 99
    Down 81
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    60
  50. 50
    Up 74
    Down 56
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock More
    60
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