80s The Best '80s Metal Songs  

Ranker Music
5.6k votes 305 voters 3.6k views 119 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
116 48
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Metallica
2
106 43
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Ozzy Osbourne
3
95 44
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
4
86 40
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5
91 48
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Metallica
6
84 44
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Metallica
7
55 24
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8
70 37
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Breaking The Law Judas Priest
9
81 47
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Motorhead
10
86 52
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Guns N' Roses
11
76 44
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Metallica
12
69 38
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Slayer
13
56 32
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Clark Benson added Black Sabbath
14
50 27
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
15
71 47
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Iron Maiden
16
46 24
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Holy Driver Dio
17
60 40
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Metallica
18
49 30
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Ozzy Osbourne
19
57 38
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Iron Maiden
20
51 35
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Clark Benson added Balls To The Wall Accept
21
59 45
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Mötley Crüe
22
41 30
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23
48 38
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The Last in Line Dio
24
47 38
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Metallica
25
15 5
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Nick McGurk added Megadeth