80s The Best '80s Metal Songs  

Ranker Music
4.4k votes 229 voters 2.6k views 121 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
87 37
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Metallica
2
81 34
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Ozzy Osbourne
3
74 36
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
4
66 30
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5
72 35
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Metallica
6
64 33
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Metallica
7
69 40
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Guns N' Roses
8
53 29
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Breaking The Law Judas Priest
9
38 16
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10
60 37
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Motorhead
11
57 36
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Metallica
12
58 38
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Iron Maiden
13
34 16
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Holy Driver Dio
14
42 24
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Clark Benson added Black Sabbath
15
37 20
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
16
49 32
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Slayer
17
46 31
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Iron Maiden
18
46 34
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Metallica
19
48 37
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Mötley Crüe
20
41 30
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The Last in Line Dio
21
37 27
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Clark Benson added Balls To The Wall Accept
22
36 26
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Ozzy Osbourne
23
28 23
Flight of Icarus is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Metal Songs
Iron Maiden
24
35 31
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Metallica
25
28 24
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