The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

227k votes 15k voters 1.1M views 515 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
    + 3,130
    - 3,008

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 3,096
    - 2,171

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 3,004
    - 2,516


    A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,968
    - 2,437


    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,682
    - 2,245


    The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,897
    - 2,207


    Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta

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  7. 7
    + 2,511
    - 1,750


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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,667
    - 2,008

    often listed
    Rio, Come Undone, Greatest

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  9. 9
    + 2,030
    - 2,351

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

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  10. 10
    + 1,959
    - 1,576


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

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  11. 11
    + 2,018
    - 1,445


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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 2,229
    - 1,400

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,444
    - 993


    Face Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required

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  14. 14
    + 1,754
    - 846

    ranked low on reranks
    Escape, Frontiers, Evolution

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  15. 15
    + 1,071
    - 966


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

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  16. 16
    + 1,218
    - 1,103


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

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,568
    - 1,404


    Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,926
    - 955

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,687
    - 1,716


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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,855
    - 1,746


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

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  21. 21
    + 1,406
    - 1,206


    Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

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  22. 22
    + 1,453
    - 1,245


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

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  23. 23
    + 1,137
    - 846


    Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie

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  24. 24
    + 1,152
    - 1,005


    Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People

    ;
  25. 25
    + 943
    - 690


    Kick, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

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  26. 26
    + 1,134
    - 946


    The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,399
    - 979


    Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

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  28. 28
    + 886
    - 341

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

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  29. 29
    + 808
    - 318

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

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  30. 30
    + 1,144
    - 970


    Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

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  31. 31
    + 1,514
    - 1,272


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

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  32. 32
    + 1,006
    - 816


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

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  33. 33
    + 1,013
    - 631

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

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  34. 34
    + 1,315
    - 1,024


    Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

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  35. 35
    + 1,038
    - 842


    Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

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  36. 36
    + 1,053
    - 1,045

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 873
    - 778


    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 837
    - 483

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 736
    - 361


    The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot

    ;
  40. 40
    + 830
    - 581


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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 820
    - 606


    Sports, Fore!, Picture This

    ;
  42. 42
    + 802
    - 428


    Crimes of Passion, Greatest Hits, Best Shots

    ;
  43. 43
    + 755
    - 737


    Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book

    ;
  44. 44
    + 901
    - 730


    Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart

    ;
  45. 45
    + 717
    - 626


    London Calling, The Clash, Black Market Clash

    ;
  46. 46
    + 723
    - 479


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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 692
    - 543


    Peter Gabriel, Us, Security

    ;
  48. 48
    + 881
    - 696


    Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

    ;
  49. 49
    + 815
    - 588


    H2O, Maneater, Abandoned Luncheonette

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  50. 50
    + 561
    - 209

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

    ;
516 +

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