Music

The Best '80s Metal Songs  

Ranker Music
15k votes 879 voters 11.9k views 120 items

What are the best metal songs from the decade that brought the genre from the fringe it enjoyed in the 1970s to the mainstream in the '80s? To answer that question, let's rank the best '80s metal songs that truly defined the decade and inspired all of the metal acts that followed in the '90s and beyond.

The 1980s is one of the best decades to feature metal music thanks to the growing popularity of the genre. These were the years that Ozzy Osbourne killed it with solo hits like "Crazy Train" and Iron Maiden hit the airwaves with "Wrathchild." Slayer's "Angel of Death" kicked off the band's opening track of their 1986 album Reign in Blood with an analysis of Dr. Joseph Mengele and his actions during WWII. That level of depth was especially common in '80s metal, which is one of the reasons the genre solidified itself during the decade. Some other incredible tracks from the age of hair bands include Dio's "Holy Diver," Exodus' "Strike of the Beast," and Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."

Vote up your favorite '80s metal songs on this ranked list, and add any tracks that aren't here already.

list ordered by
1
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Metallica
2
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Ozzy Osbourne
3
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mscol2016 added Run to the Hills  Iron Maiden
4
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Metallica
5
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6
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7
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
8
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Metallica
9
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Holy Driver Dio
10
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Metallica
11
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Ozzy Osbourne
12
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Motorhead
13
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Breaking The Law Judas Priest
14
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
15
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Nick McGurk added Mötley Crüe
16
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Clark Benson added Black Sabbath
17
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Iron Maiden
18
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Metallica
19
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Slayer
20
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Nick McGurk added Megadeth
21
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Guns N' Roses
22
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Iron Maiden
23
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Metallica
24
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The Last in Line Dio
25
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Metallica