The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

210k votes 14k voters 1M views 392 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
    + 2,929
    - 2,858

    the people's #1
    Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,777
    - 2,417


    A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2,938
    - 2,030

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,558
    - 2,110

    most listed
    The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,765
    - 2,111


    Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2,421
    - 1,629


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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,786
    - 2,342

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,534
    - 1,915

    often listed
    Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1,912
    - 2,248

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1,738
    - 1,661

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

    ;
  11. 11
    + 2,129
    - 1,309

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,329
    - 919


    Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,805
    - 1,509


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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1,902
    - 1,371


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

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1,583
    - 1,652

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

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,457
    - 1,341


    Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,638
    - 777

    ranked low on reranks
    Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,837
    - 904

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,397
    - 1,185


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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 974
    - 910


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

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1,109
    - 1,054


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

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,319
    - 1,150


    Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

    ;
  23. 23
    + 866
    - 640


    Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,059
    - 897


    The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,076
    - 960


    Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,297
    - 929


    Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,057
    - 914


    Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,065
    - 811


    Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

    ;
  29. 29
    + 945
    - 776


    Rebel Yell, Happy Holidays, Idol Songs: 11 of the Best

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,217
    - 978


    Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

    ;
  31. 31
    + 945
    - 584


    4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur

    ;
  32. 32
    + 760
    - 447


    Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology

    ;
  33. 33
    + 987
    - 997


    Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising

    ;
  34. 34
    + 977
    - 803


    Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,464
    - 1,219


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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 802
    - 734


    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 836
    - 700


    Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

    ;
  38. 38
    + 714
    - 691


    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

    ;
  39. 39
    + 834
    - 657


    Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

    ;
  40. 40
    + 776
    - 545


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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 763
    - 571


    Sports, Fore!, Picture This

    ;
  42. 42
    + 638
    - 512


    Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

    ;
  43. 43
    + 736
    - 398

    ranked low on reranks
    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

    ;
  44. 44
    + 628
    - 702

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

    ;
  45. 45
    + 831
    - 683


    The Last DJ, Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open

    ;
  46. 46
    + 661
    - 548


    Business as Usual, Cargo, '81 - '85 / Business as Usual

    ;
  47. 47
    + 753
    - 553


    H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

    ;
  48. 48
    + 792
    - 309

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 488
    - 180

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 664
    - 596


    London Calling, The Clash, Black Market Clash

    ;
393 +

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