The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s Bands/Musicians
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21  reranks 24,427 votes 1,116 voters 73,665 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 374
    Down 201

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Michael Jackson

    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 266
    Down 178
    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 209
    Down 194
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave More
    84
  4. 4
    Up 189
    Down 177
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk More
    84
  5. 5
    Up 207
    Down 168
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music More
    84
  6. 6
    Up 194
    Down 194
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    80
  7. 7
    Up 175
    Down 179
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    79
  8. 8
    Up 187
    Down 191
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    76
  9. 9
    Up 175
    Down 156
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    76
  10. 10
    Up 146
    Down 157
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 165
    Down 155
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    72
  12. 12
    Up 148
    Down 160
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    70
  13. 13
    Up 136
    Down 152
    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 146
    Down 149
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music More
    70
  15. 15
    Up 149
    Down 149
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    69
  16. 16
    Up 142
    Down 142
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    69
  17. 17
    Up 132
    Down 133
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    69
  18. 18
    Up 149
    Down 157
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music More
    69
  19. 19
    Up 140
    Down 147
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    68
  20. 20
    Up 113
    Down 115
    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave More
    68
  21. 21
    Up 122
    Down 130
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    68
  22. 22
    Up 108
    Down 128

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Heart

    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 137
    Down 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Cyndi Lauper

    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music More
    68
  24. 24
    Up 136
    Down 130
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 130
    Down 147
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    67
  26. 26
    Up 143
    Down 139
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    67
  27. 27
    Up 119
    Down 114
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    67
  28. 28
    Up 140
    Down 159
    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    67
  29. 29
    Up 117
    Down 111
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    67
  30. 30
    Up 119
    Down 114
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    66
  31. 31
    Up 122
    Down 120
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    66
  32. 32
    Up 100
    Down 124

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop More
    65
  33. 33
    Up 90
    Down 88
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk More
    65
  34. 34
    Up 112
    Down 113
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    65
  35. 35
    Up 132
    Down 109
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    64
  36. 36
    Up 91
    Down 79
    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop More
    64
  37. 37
    Up 90
    Down 78
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    64
  38. 38
    Up 121
    Down 100
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock More
    63
  39. 39
    Up 98
    Down 80
    Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Rock music More
    63
  40. 40
    Up 147
    Down 97

    ranked low on reranks
    A-ha

    Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave More
    63
  41. 41
    Up 100
    Down 98
    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock More
    62
  42. 42
    Up 93
    Down 92
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock More
    62
  43. 43
    Up 90
    Down 88
    Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock More
    62
  44. 44
    Up 102
    Down 93
    Doo-wop, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul More
    61
  45. 45
    Up 108
    Down 100
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave More
    61
  46. 46
    Up 124
    Down 91

    ranked low on reranks
    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
  47. 47
    Up 76
    Down 56
    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock More
    60
  48. 48
    Up 100
    Down 81
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    60
  49. 49
    Up 105
    Down 87
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    60
  50. 50
    Up 79
    Down 59
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave More
    60
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