80s The Best '80s Metal Songs  

Ranker Music
1.9k votes 107 voters 1.1k views 111 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
44 14
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Metallica
2
42 13
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
3
42 17
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Ozzy Osbourne
4
32 14
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Metallica
5
35 19
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Metallica
6
30 16
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Motorhead
7
26 14
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Iron Maiden
8
29 17
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Metallica
9
25 14
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Metallica
10
28 17
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11
27 17
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Iron Maiden
12
31 22
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Guns N' Roses
13
9 2
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14
12 5
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The Number of the Beast Iron Maiden
15
14 7
Flight of Icarus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Metal Songs
Iron Maiden
16
18 11
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Ozzy Osbourne
17
20 13
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Slayer
18
16 10
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Clark Benson added Black Sabbath
19
19 13
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Metallica
20
19 13
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The Last in Line Dio
21
20 15
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Breaking The Law Judas Priest
22
13 8
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Metallica
23
24 20
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Mötley Crüe
24
8 4
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Holy Driver Dio
25
12 9
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Clark Benson added Cinderella