The Best 80s Rock Bands
We're ranking the greatest '80s rock bands throughout one of the world's most prolific decades of music. The 1980s spawned numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and Grammy Award-winning supergroups across classic rock, new wave, glam metal, grunge, arena rock, thrash metal, soft rock, shred guitar, and punk music. From powerhouse hard rockers Metallica and Guns N' Roses to trailblazing legends Queen and Blondie, these 80's bands paved an unparalleled path for future rockstars while simultaneously defining this quintessential era of music. Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi set the precedent for hair metal, and pop rock duos Tears For Fears and Hall & Oates dominated the charts with their catchy songwriting and hypnotic vocals. San Francisco supergroup Journey continues to thrive with frontman Arnel Pineda reviving all of Steve Perry's iconic hit singles, and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers remain at the forefront of the industry with major festival headlining gigs and new music.
Which of these rock groups deserve recognition as the greatest bands of the 1980s? Whose legacy should remain at the top? Vote below for your favorite 80s rock bands, and feel free to check out these musicians' discography pages afterwards if you'd like to discover more of their greatest records.
- Journey are an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1973 by former members of Santana, Steve Miller Band, and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band currently consists of guitarist/vocalist Neal ...more
- AC/DC are an Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. Commonly referred to as a ...more
- Guns N' Roses are an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, ...more
- Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals) and John ...more
- Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage ...more
- Van Halen were an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. Credited with "restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene", Van Halen were known for its energetic live ...more