Greatest Bands from the '80s

RHCPfan

July 6, 2015 - Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Duran Duran
Let's vote because all we need is DD in the first place in this competition. Share on your page and spread the word! #DDNUMBER1
There is a contest running about the best 10 bands of the 80s. Which one I have voted on the first place? :-)
Easy to guess! :-) Duran Duran!
What is needed to be said? They were the best in the 80's and still are up to this day! Fantastic music!
[Newest]Very under-rated band, excellent songwriters and solid musicians. Catchy melodies.
More comments about Duran Duran

2Queen
Great to see a list without Heart on it! Great band!

idolangelx13

With classic and timeless songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions, We Will Rock You, and Another One Bites the Dust, Astounding live performances, (Their Performance at Live Aid was seen by approximately 2 billion people) coupled with their influence on later bands and singers, (Lady Gaga took her name from the Queen song Radio Gaga) Queen is simply unbeatable and in my opinion is the greatest band to ever exist.
Queen is a 70's band. Their best work is from the 70's. So being put up this high in a 80's topic is rather generous. Other than Another One Bites The Dust and some live shows. They did nothing in the 80's to be this high.
queen rock no question about it

rockit(primejive)

[Newest]They were the best band ever to have walked the earth!
More comments about Queen

3Bon Jovi
Best band ever! I grew up on these guys, and I wasn't even born in the 80s! I know good music when I hear it, and they definitely create good music! I still listen to them, my favorite song of theirs is 'Living on a Prayer'
They are just Awesome so don't forget to listen to them 'cause they ROCK! I listen to them along with Van Halen all the time! Definitely THE BEST EVER! I can't believe they came 7th 7th!?!? Come on!
Their music does not only touch people's ears, but also their hearts. They have everything needed to be the best band from the 80s, and are still together as a band and the original members are there unlike most of the bands. People these days still listen to Bon Jovi, and go to their concerts and sing their hearts out with them. They are the very best.
[Newest]Is Best band ever! What more can be said --But! - ""Awesome ""! <3 <3 <3 Bon Jovi
More comments about Bon Jovi

4U2
Some albums that are produced, you like one song here and there. U2 reminds me of Journey. Every song on the album is great... So there is no skipping, you just let it play on through from start to finish..
U2 is in a class of their own. No timeframe, no competition, their only competition is their ability to reinvent themselves, and their own imagination. The music keep getting better. Their respect for fans is unparalleled and their worldwide efforts unmatched.
It's bono... How could this not be the greatest 80s band? Let alone the greatest band of all time!
[Newest]Best band in the world...

5Guns N Roses
One of the bands who ruled the world

ronluna

Duran Duran? Really? Guns N' Roses Rocked the world. Up until Axl had his mental breakdown (s). However, they were a ten times greater band in their prime than Duran Duran. Guns N' Roses was SO talented not only did they make THEIR songs great, they made OTHER bands song even GREATER; Sympathy for the devil, Knockin' on heavens door, Altitude, Black leather, the list goes on and on. I mean if a band can make the Stones, Bob Dylan, the Misfits, and the Sex pistols sound better than they originally were, that's extreme talent. Just listen to the album "The spaghetti incident? " and you'll see. So in summary: Guns n' Roses has more talent in any one member (Axl, Slash, Tracy, Steven) than Duran Duran could ever imagine to have.
Guns N' Roses was a joke. How they are this high just shows the lack of intelligent life we have on this planet. A so called bad ass band has a keyboardist? These guys are as real as Dr. Dre. Now if you can understand. That this is about what these bands did in the 80's You will come to grips that the rage post holds no substance. Guns N' Roses produced 1 album that you can hang your hat on in the 80's. The rest of your ramble consist of songs from the 90's. When they had to start doing cover songs from greater bands.
Why is duran duran ont the top Guns N' Roses change my life and duran made take a nap this band is iconic and duran duran is used in lame shows like glle
[Newest]Yeah my favorite rock band was guns N roses in high school and it still is!

6Metallica
Metallica of the 80's was a great band. If not the greatest band of that era. The 4 albums during that era are elite from start to finish. They had some of the best musicians that have ever graced this earth. Burton and Mustaine prior to they're leave. Drove this band into greatness. Burton had much more influence than Dave, but his impact is not overlooked by me. Sadly when the real artist disappeared so did the great music. Chump fans never were around until Metallica went soft in the 90's with the commercially accepted music that they started spewing.
Metallica Has had multiple great songs and albums such as Fade to Black, Master of Puppets, and One to name some of my favorite. When I typed greatest bands from the 80's I thought that Metallica would be in the top 3. But it's 5? And AC/DC at 7th? What the hell
Metallica is the single most amazing band of all time specially with the album master of puppets that rocked the whole world plus the black album metallica for ever m/
[Newest]They still are the greatest band in history of rock

7AC/DC
acdc were briliant in the 80s especialy with back in black which went on to become the fourth most bought album in the u. s.

lezakattack

This world has no taste in music, I swear. The 80s weren't really the best years for ac dc other than back in balck it was more of the late 70s early to mid 90s were there year but ether way the #1 is a band I never even heard of, my generation sucks.
How is Duran Duran better than the raw power and energy that is post Bon Scott AC/DC? Case and point: For Those about to Rock or Thunderstruck vs Hungry Like the Wolf. The cannons of AC/DC blow the wolf to bits!
[Newest]Still love them I'm 46

8Van Halen
How in god's name is Van Halen not in the top 3? There is no way that any of A-Ha's songs, no matter how inspiring, can top the raw force and sound of songs of Van Halen like Panama, Jump, Hot For Teacher, and so, so, so, many other greats! The combination of Eddie Van Halen's guitar, Alex Van Halen's and Michael Anthony's low and thudding drum beats and bass chords topped of with David Lee Roth's loud, energetic, excited, and forceful singing style absolutely kills every single song! Van Halen are a force and sensation of nature that is not to be reckoned with!
Agreed. There were a lot of different and interesting things going on with rock in the 80's (The Police, U2, etc. ) but Van Halen was to 80s metal what Nirvana was to Grunge--except Van Helen was even more influential. The entire decade, MTV--everything would have different if there were no Van Halen. They set a template that was emulated for most of a decade and a half. Even today, there plenty of young guitar players finding inspiration from Eddie Van Halen and he is still considered a highly sought after endorser of music gear.
Eddie van halen is my favorite and one of the top ten greatest guitarist. Van Halen put out albums all throughout the 80s and sold out stadiums (and still do). Guns n roses were good too. Metallica's best albums were from the 80s but they weren't really popular until the 90s. A-ha seems to be more popular now looking back.
Van Halen is a top 3 band without question. Chart topping albums, sold out concerts, best guitarist ever, two great eras with two great front men and not to mention Michael Anthony's backing vocals. I like the 80's one hit wonders but there is absolutely no way they should be ahead of the great Van Halen. One Hit wonder bands shouldn't be on the list because they don't have the long standing history of bands like Van Halen.
[Newest]Van Halen is absolutely fantastic, great fun loving band, but not in the top 5 because without David lee Roth they were not as good, but now that he is back they will rise again. By the way Sammy Hagar is terrible.

9Journey
Journey is a classic... They were great back then and I still love their music! Timeless classic if you ask me
My favorite band of the 80's - Classic songs and Steve Perry's voice! !
In my humble opinion, Journey is the best band of all time, and Steve Perry's voice is the best voice I have ever heard. They have written so many classics, beautiful love songs such as Patiently and Sweet And Simple, and rock songs such as Mother Father, Line Of Fire and Edge Of The Blade. The vocals are always incredible impressive, and unlike most rock singers, Perry can sing in a rock style while still making the music beautiful. This is something I enjoy immensely, since the point of music is beauty.
[Newest]Wow wow wow - even with different lead singers still brill

10Tears for Fears
Tears for Fears should be on top... They want to rule the world :D
Tears for Fears are perhaps the greatest british import band in the known universe. Curt and Roland work hard to make sure that their fans are kept happy.
Last time they were in Manila (Aug 10 and 11), we were visited by a big typhoon which devastated the land. A lot of lives were lost, and property to damage was high. TFF then donated all the proceeds of their shirts and merchandise from their 2 day concert here to red cross to help the people out.
It just goes to prove that TFF is not only a band that performs for their fans, but cares for them as well ^_^
[Newest]Awesome band and big influence of the early 80's.
More comments about Tears for Fears

The Contenders

11The Police
The whole band were special as musicians, but Sting was truly gifted as a songwriter and arranger! He had to emerge from the Police as a solo artist because of this incredible talent... All of their albums were great, but Ghosts and Synchronicity were two of finest records EVER released!
Quality of songwriting matched with excellent playing by all... I saw them live at the Cow Palace and despite the terrible acoustics... They were stellar.
Every breath you take gives me chills... I know its actually not a love song and is full of hate... but its just amazing, perhaps even more for portraying such contempt so beautifully. Love the breathy vocals and nice bass line!
[Newest]I like them because most of the songs have a LOT of hidden meaning.

12Motley Crue
Motley Crue is absolutely the best back in the 80's. From the punk early 80's with Too Fast for Love (which they originally produced themselves)thru Shout at the Devil. On to more commercial Theatre of Pain and sinfully Girls, Girls Girls till Dr. Feelgood. They kicked ASS and maintained their debauchery with booze, drugs, women and have the tattoos to prove it!
Motley is the best representation of that "Glam Metal" Era in which many bands like Poison formed part of it, but Motley In my opinion takes the prize, mainly because it has the best drummer (Tommy Lee), a great guitar player that plays with powerful harmonics (Mick Mars), the best bass player (Nikki Six) and an awesome lead voice (Vince Neil).
Can't believe it ain't way up there kinda sad! But it's still my favorite band.. I'm a fourteen year old girl who loves old rock music..
[Newest]How does Tears For Fears beat Motley Crue?!?!

13The Cure
By FAR the greatest band of the 80's. Robert Smith is an absolute legend.
This band is the best and will remain the best no vote can tell me other wise, the cure is a band of heart and they play their music with their souls, no one can out beat them, they are the best of the best and nor this website or anyone else can tell me other wise
The Cure don't sound like they belong in any decade. Their music is unique and timeless and constantly altetnative from what is happening in the music scene and for this reason its hard to describe them as an 80's band, they just happened to be the best band that existed in the 80's. Robert Smith has more genius in his crows nest bonnet than any of his so-called contemporaries.

14R.E.M.
Lists are crap, sure, but REM was certainly one of the most important bands from the eighties. This list seems to have been voted on by fans of hair metal and the most mainstream of the new-wave. Of course saying this band was better than that band or this group was more important than that group is a fool's errand, but it is fun.
I have heard every REM album, from chronic town to Collapse Into now, almost every song, from Wolves, Lower, to Oh My Heart. Every song is different, but they all are great (besides Lightning Hopkins. ) they are one of my favorite bands, easily in my top three. In fact, my top three from best to worst is U2, REM, and The Police. Anyway, great band, great songs.
Brilliant... It took some time for Michael Stipe to find his confidence as a vocalist and a lyricist (although he was always "good"), but when he did no one could touch this band. Again, they were TRUTH TELLERS both musically and lyrically... Stipe exposed the Matrix as a prison and revealed our own power from within! Just an incredible band, one of the finest ever!

15Iron Maiden
For me iron maiden is number one. People think iron maiden are heavy and hardcore but they wrong from all metal bands that ever existed in this planet iron maiden is the most melodic with a lot guitar harmonys and of course operatic vocals from Bruce Dickinson (he and Geoff Tate from queensryche are very underrated vocalist) except iron maiden I like bands like Bon jovi, van halen, definitely Leppard, dio ozzy black sabbath, Aerosmith, judas priest, motley Crüe, scorpions, survivor, led zeppelin, deep purple, ac/dc, pink Floyd, Foreigner, Phil Collins genesis, kiss, a-ha, Michael Jackson(only 80s), Guns n roses, Jimi Hendrix, queensryche, prince, Journey, Queen, REO speedwagon, Rod Stewart, Saxon, dire straits, Skid row, sting the police, Toto and more...
I see no good reason why Iron Maiden is not in the top ten. I could see how some would view this group as "too heavy" for their liking, but (unlike most metal bands then and now) you can actually understand Bruce Dickinson. He is a very high quality vocalist. The guitarists (Adrian Smith and Dave Murray) are also high quality and properly complement Dickinson's vocals to make a heavy, yet pure and complete sound. Just listen to "Run to the Hills" "The Trooper" or "Number of the Beast" and you will find my words do not do it justice.
Come on guys?! This is one of the best bands of all times. I don't know why they are not in top 10?! They are Awesome!
[Newest]Gaining so much popularity with virtually no radio time should show they deserve top ten status.

16Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
What can you say about BRUCE? While Born to Run and Darkness were two of the finest records ever released, he has continued to come close through EVERY DECADE since... The River was breathtaking, as were The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, Nebraska and Magic! One of the finest songwriters ever, and such a great band to play with!
Wow just wow 4 albums in the 80's including Born in the USA and perhaps one of America's best singer/songwriters ever not on this list? Unreal.
He stinks! Can't sing! Struggles! Screeches! 😵 😖. But as usual, there are always people out there that like no matter what.

17Dire Straits
The absolutely gifted Mark Knopfler was not only one of the finest guitar players ever, but one of the best songwriters music has ever witnessed! Their first album, Making Movies, Love Over Gold and Brothers In Arms represent four of the finest albums ever recorded! Absolutely brilliant band... Love Over Gold is the pathway to our own personal FREEDOM! Go back and re-read the lyrics to this song!
Dire Straits is a band who's music is timeless! Every one of there songs can be appropriately played anytime from the 80's (BEST ERA EVER) through the 90's, and on through modern musical times. And it will never get old. In the 2080's it will still be some of the coolest music ever! I just wish I could be around for the 2080's
Definitely the best of a all, why isn't this number one? Vote Dire Straits!
[Newest]My favourite Group ever

18INXS
Looking back now and seeing such similarities that Michael Hutchence had in common with Jim Morrison and how also the keyboard player also wrote most the melody. Musically both really far apart from each other. You have to recognize that they made a impact and for the time when the 80's Alternative wave of music from overseas to the United States. I have to put them at number 3 behind U2 and Duran Duran!
I'm absolutely stunned that INXS didn't even crack the top 5. They were a phenomenon is there own way. Creating a 'new wave' sound that worked to impress people is an incredible feat. Michael being the superstar that he was teaming up with Andrew to create incredible songs. One of the greatest and most underestimated bands the world has ever seen. My top band.
It is absolutely ridiculous that this band is listed at 28 on this list. Was the person who made this list alive and a teenager in the 80s? If not, that explains it. If so, I'm not sure what rock they were living under. It didn't get much bigger than INXS during their "Kick" phase. And Michael Hutchence... Go back and watch his performances. One of the best front men of all time then and always. Any list that doesn't have them AT LEAST in the top ten is a joke...

19Poison
Poison has many great songs. They were number one band played on mtv right along with Motley Crue and and Bon Jovi. Every rose has its thorn was one of their best songs and it really macks me feel good to here that song. They may not be as much up there as like Motley Crue but I think with all of there great songs and how quite a bit made it on the charts they should have a higher rating then this and I am not saying it because they are my favorite band I mean it.
Poison has made amazing songs, has millions of fans all over the world. A great inspiring guitar player for those who play. Good drummer. Cool bass player. Great lead singer. They are all an inspiration for those who want to be in a band or create a band. They treat each other almost as if they are family which can help inspire other bands that are falling apart. I AM ONE OF THEIR # 1 FANS AND THEY INSPIRE ME!
Poison has GREAT songs! At least they made the top 20!

20Hall & Oates
BEST OF THE BEST CLASSICAL DUO AT PAR WITH SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
Brilliant songwriters and along with Todd Rundgren, the best representation of the Philly sound! Their songs were perfect R&B tracks, even if they were "white"...
So many great songs by Hall & Oates! Why aren't they in the top 10 at least? Sara Smile, Rich Girl, You Make MY Dreams Come True, and Maneater! All great songs!

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

aq1127

SPH

18bobby

lexusboy14

Stranger

see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 6 years, 307 days ago and has been voted on over 13,000 times. This top ten list contains 263 items, has been remixed 65 times.

Updated Monday, July 06, 2015


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.