Greatest Rock Bands of the '80s

The Top Ten

Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury ...read more.

Love all the bands mentioned in the Top 10, however Queen definitely deserves the #1 spot! Combine Freddie's voice (4 octaves) along with Brian, Roger and John, there is not another band to this day that can perform perfection like they did.

Queen, Just Amazing. They wrote classic and virtuoso hits from early 1970s - the 1980s and early 1990s which included different styles of music though always in the essence of Rock. However they wrote so many classic hits, their early albums are some of the greatest of all time including Queen, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera but Queen II to me is the most musically brilliant albums of the past 40 years.

Queen were exceptional musicians in their own right. Together they were a kind of magic bringing out the best in each other. Freddie Mercury's 4 octave vocal range and masterful command of huge audiences was spectacular. Queen crossed every musical boundary. Every single band member had number one hits. No other band in history has done that. They deserve the number one spot.

Major 70's bands, such as Queen, Journey, Duran Duran, definitely Leppard, AC/DC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, U2, Black Sabbath, Twisted Sister, KISS, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Police and plenty more are holding up spots for the REAL 80's bands

Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also ...read more.

Lyrics, vocals, stage presence, guitars, ballads, drums, great covers (often better than the originals), down and dirty rock'n'roll, Izzy Stradlin. They had it all.

I agree 1 million percent Guns N Roses are the best and Axl is an excellent singer I do not like it when people call him a bad singer because he is not and the best guitarist in the world Slash ROCK ON!

How can this be 2nd. Axl Rose is one of the greatest singers ever and I am completely spellbound by SLASH the god of guitar.

Best. Band ever. Their music was and still is the best. Growing up 80s. And listening to axel rose. And slash. On guitar. I will never forget. They are the better band

Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's ...read more.

Between Jon's individual work and the Band's songs, it's hard to NOT like Bon Jovi

The year 2000 brought two things: The album "Crush" and me. Crush brought with it songs like Two Story Town, I've Got the Girl, and one of Bon Jovi's greatest hits: It's My Life. So, yes, I wasn't around for Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep the Faith, These Days (or Crossroads), in fact, the first album that I got really into was This House Is Not For Sale, but once I went to the concert in Dallas, I haven't stopped listening since, and I actually ordered Keep the Faith about three days ago. (I love that song, Bed of Roses). My point is, the man, and the band alike are timeless legends, whereas, AC/DC is only known for Highway to Hell.

No doubt this band is the best of the 80s. Livin On A Prayer is like the biggest hit of the 80s! By the way Livin On a Prayer topped more charts than Sweet Child O Mine. Guns n Roses only has one number one! Bon Jovi has four! How is Bon Jovi not number one! I went to vacation in a different country and even heard You Give Love a Bad Name, Bad Medicine, Always (90s), and Blaze Of Glory(90s). Shot through the heart! And you're to blame, You give love a Bad Name!

Most amazing classic 80's rock band EVER! Bon Jovi truly embraced the spirit of classic rock and the elements incorporated are priceless. Listening to him now. Literally. Love his song Livin' On A Prayer, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Blaze Of Glory and You Give Love A Bad Name. Bon Jovi forever!

AC/DC AC/DC are a 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 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson ...read more.

Hands down the best 80s rock band. Give me any song from another artist and I will match it with a better one from AC/DC

R you kidding? Move it up! These people are the root of hard rock! No other music has the kind of power that acdc has, from their crazy riffs, to screaming solos. Long live bon scott!

This is simply the best band ever! Check sales. Three or more generations of rock fans. They still sell out every venue around the world. I miss Bon!

Talk about Showmanship Talent and Determination, These guys Are one of the main ingredients that make Rock and Roll taste so good!

Van Halen Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.

It's amazing how little credit this band get's sometimes. This is the band that changed the way a guitar is played. It virtually created the category hairbands, but there not considered a hairband because they are a 70's band. It basically saved heavy metal. This is the band that made it okay for radio stations to play heavy metal hard rock. The critics couldn't say that hard rock was Un talented musicians that just made a lot of noise, due to the virtuoso musicians the band had in it.

The 50s had Chuck Berry, the 60s had Jimi Hendrix, the 70s had Jimmy Page, and the 80s had Eddie Van Halen. Eddie re-defined the way guitar is played and he will forever be a guitar god. David Lee Roth is one of the most iconic frontmen of all time and he had such swagger in his voice. Alex and Michael made an awesome rhythm section.

Ok come on... Guns n roses?!?! Most overrated band of all time. Van Halen was the cream of the crop! Those riffs Eddie made were amazing. Everything about this band deserves it to be number one! Who the hell is Joy Division or X Japan?! Nothing!

Eddie is the guitar god. Diamond Dave is confidently eccentric, and Alex is freaky good. Queen (or more appropriately, bohemian rhapsody lovers, which wasn't even written in the 80s) lovers go away and don't come back. Nobody likes you anyway. Guns and roses? More like severely and overrated. AC DC is ok, if you like listening to the same song over and over again. No need shoo away Bon jovi lovers, they left their sanity in the 70s. Def leppard is actually my second favorite band, nothing bad to say other than Van Halen is better. Motley crue has like, 3 good songs, so probably just people who have no idea what they are talking about. All of this and I still haven't gotten to why Van Halen is the best. Just take my word for it and vote Van Halen.

Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

Def Leppard's music transcends time. Definitely better than the rest of these bands on this list.

The definitive band of the 80s. Their sound ruled the decade and every other rock band copied their sound. Two words: Pyromania & Hysteria

They hit their stride in the 80s. Definitely Top 3. Several bands listed above didn't really hit their strides until the end of the decade and into the 90s. This is an 80s list. Def Leppard should be higher up.

Should be higher on the list for sure
They have a lot of great songs

Motley Crue Mötley Crüe was an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead vocalist Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars.

From 81' to 89' Five albums with 15 hits! Motley crue is the best and most influential band of the 80's!

Brought much excitement to rock in the eighties. Distinct sound. Love the music, videos, the whole package.

They should have been #1. They are the best 80's band ever. Sad to see them go. But enjoyed it while they are still together. Thank God for you tube so we can hear these songs forever.

I agree they should have been number one! Guns N' Roses didn't gain popularly until the late 80s, come on people! Motley and also Van Halen were king of the 80s! Period

Journey Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch.

Most of their works are overshadowed by Don't Stop Believin', Faithfully, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Wheel In the Sky, Who's Crying Now and Open Arms, but Journey is seriously underrated.

When you listen to Journey, you feel like everything's gonna be awesome!

Freddie Mercury couldn't hold a candle to Steve Perry's voice or his range. Journey should absolutely be #1 on this list. Steve Perry MADE Journey!

Journey was the best, Steven Perry had the best vocals, he did it effortlessly.. Queen was not near the top in my book. Queen was rated #1 because of its Satanic affiliation.

Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath ...read more.

Why is he on here if he's not a band?

Best singer/song writer of the time. We love OZZY!

Greatest rocker ever! For almost 50 years now. By far should be #1.

He is cool should be in the top 5 he is a badass

Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". ...read more.

Metallica... 9?! below Van Halen and Def Leppard with their fake American accents!?

Every Album they make goes #1. Proved in the 80's that they can play fast AND technically difficult songs at the same time. Proved in the 90's that they don't even have to try hard to put out quality music. Proved in the 00's that they can withstand they drama and B.S. that destroys other bands. And finally with "Hardwired... to self Destruct" they proved that they can still be in there 50's and shred your face off.

Went multi platinum when barely played, if at all, on the radio! Didn't just fill football stadiums, they played on airports runways and tarmacs to crowds of 100's of thousands of fans!

Metallica should definitely be top 5 for sure... I like the other picks though.

The Contenders

Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal / Hard Rock band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm ...read more.

Not the best band of the 80's and maybe slightly too high, however they are an amazing band and I'm glad they have a place in the top 10, Bruce is an amazing singer who can even compare to Freddie Mercury, Adrian, Dave and even Janis are have amazing riffs and solos that are both heavy and melodlodic, Nicko the drummer plays it all with a single bass drum, as a drummer I know that this is very hard and finally Steve has three talents, first his "galloping" style of bass playing gives such energy and heavy melody and rhythm, also his song writing skills can be marched by only a few song writers and he's also a pretty good footballer ;) in summery a great band that has a song for every occasion, my favorite, thank you

My preference:

1. Iron Maiden
2. Metallica
3. Megadeth
4. Queen
5. Bon Jovi
6. Slayer
7. Motley Crue
8. Guns n Roses
9. AC/DC
10. Van Halen
11. Def Leppard

Deserves Top 10, should be number 1. Their music tells many stories. They spark imagination and inspire the listener to learn of history and what has happened in this world. Greatest band of the 80 hands down!

So, who put this list together? My list of the best of is COMPLETELY different... The 80's was more "metal" than this one indicates.

Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

AC DC Guns and Roses should be the top three in any order. Aerosmith was the greatest turn around band of all time. No one will ever match the transformation they accomplished being they released their first record in 1974. They still rock like no other. Best live concert band of all time. 32 tractor trailers just to set there show up. Tyler still can sing unlike any other band on this list. Aerosmith can be either number 1 2 or 3. Their record Rocks influenced Guns and Roses according to Slash.

By far best rock band from 1985 into the early nineties. Also one of the best rock band of seventies. Also top rock song of all time, Sweet Emotion.

There's a top ten for that and last time I checked, thriller and Eye of the Tiger were the best. (they don't filter out regular artist and bands into their own top 10) Sorry. - dwf4258

Dream on did not make Aerosmith. Whoever posted that knows nothing about Aerosmith. Not even a top ten song of theirs. By far best American rock band of all time

They should be so much higher. 2nd behind queen

Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.

I only heard Rock You Like a Hurricane, Wind of Change and The Zoo (which I basically forgot,) but for not knowing English, the Scorpions did at LEAST as good as the rest of these guys.

The scorpions released a string of fantastic albums from the 1970's but from 1979 to 1984 they released 4 masterpiece albums, Lovedrive, Animal Magnetism, Blackout and the commercial masterpiece Love at first sting. Over their career they released masterpieces such as; In Trance We'll burn the sky; Another Piece of Meat; Rock you like a Hurricane; The Zoo; Blackout; Dynamite; Wind of Change; Send me an Angel; Catch Your Train; Dynamite; Always Somewhere; and the beautiful ballad Still Loving You

They ran with the best and beat many of them. Beautiful guitars and drums and beautiful vocals. Just beautiful

Rock You Like a Hurricane, Still Lovin' You, The Zoo Lovedrive, Loving You Sunday Morning, Send Me an Angel. I think I made my point.

Dire Straits Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler, his younger brother David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers.

Best solo guitar of the 80's virtuoso!

Another great underrated band. Mark Knopfler was a great guitarist.

One of the few on this list who don't sing about sex, drugs and partying.

In my opinion, they should be number 1.

Foreigner Foreigner is a British-American hard rock band, originally formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran English musician Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist Lou Gramm.

Without Lou Gramm vocals, Foreigner would have been just another rock band screaming over loud guitar riffs.

Lou Gramm: No one could sing better. Beautiful voice.

One of the most underrated rock bands of our time. DEFINITELY belong in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

A great band even today. I Want To Know What Love Is. His voice, the words, and the music make this one of my all time favorites.

U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have ...read more.

Surprised there not top 5!

I can't believe they aren't number one considering Rolling Stone magazine called the band of the 80's.

This band has got to be the number 1! The Joshua Tree is a classic album.

Why are they not #1?

The Cure The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

These guys are awesome!

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.

Love their songs

the best

The Police The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. They are most known for their songs "Message In A Bottle", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Roxanne", ...read more.

I only know Roxanne and Every Breath You Take, and both of those are pretty good (even though Sting thinks one of them is too generic.)

Along with The Cars, The Police are arguably the best 1980's band.

The Police are one of the greatest rock bands of all time. They should at least be in the top 15.

The Police should be in the top 10. Really good band.

Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters ...read more.

Pink Floyd rules the universe. That is all.

Pink Floyd deserves much better than #22.

Simply the best lead solos of all time

Simply the greatest band ever

X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.

As good as Queen, if not better.

X Japan had some of the best music I never heard.

I love x Japan!

Survivor Survivor is an American rock band formed in Chicago in 1978 by Jim Peterik. The band achieved its greatest success in the 1980s, garnering many charting singles, especially in the United States.

Five years ago I knew almost everything about Survivor. Now...not so much. Their hits are pretty cool. And some of the songs that weren't hits, too.

Elvis was "the King of Rock and Roll" during his time (though if you ask me, a lot of his songs were more the blues or love songs, not Rock and Roll). Twenty or thirty years later we had all these eighties rock bands, like Europe, Asia (no lie), Journey, Bon Jovi, Survivor and a lot more. (Some of these bands were actually just seventies rock bands that continued into the eighties, like the Beatles continued into the seventies.) But if you know Survivor, you know they've had songs in Rocky III, Rocky IV, the Karate Kid, and Paul Blart Mall Cop. I probably would be voting for Bon Jovi or something and calling Survivor Chumps. But Sylvester Stallone came along with the need for a theme song and he kind of got two: Eye of the Tiger and Burning Heart. That made Survivor more successful, because they didn't do enough touring. Anyways, if it weren't for Stallone, the Moment of Truth would never be in the Karate Kid, and I Can't Hold Back wouldn't be in Paul Blart Mall Cop. Those two songs ...more

I don't think that 1: Queen should be #1 because Freddy Mercury was either gay or bisexual, #2 the guy complaining about Journey should be so upset. They got bumped to the top 10, #3 a 70's rock band should hog the spot for best 80's rock band, or #4 the band that sang "Eye of the Tiger", "Burning Heart", "I Can't Hold Back" or the "Moment of Truth" which are all used in movies, should be in 86th place. Stallone's intellect is much more than the character of Rocky Balboa. Sure, he originally wanted Another One Bites the Dust" from Queen, but he didn't get that, so I guess he went on a search for the best guys to do it- If he wanted Bon Jovi to do a motivational song for him, then we'd probably be hearing "Wanted Dead or Alive" as "Eye of the Tiger", "The Boys Are Back In Town" as "Burning Heart", "Livin' On a Prayer" as "I Can't Hold Back" and "You Give Love a Bad Name" as "The Moment of Truth". But none of that happened, so Stallone must've been more impressed by Survivor than ...more

First of all, these guys never looked like girls like Bon Jovi or Europe, (okay, a couple of times Frankie Sullivan had rather long hair but the majority of the members had fairly normal hairdos for their time), second of all, unlike Queen, when Survivor became popular, it was the 80s. (If you search 70s Rock bands, Queen is one of the results). Also, if you search "Another One Bites The Dust" on YouTube, in the spot where they've got all the related songs, Eye of the Tiger is there. Finally the lead vocalist for Queen is (or was) a homosexual. Neither Jimi Jamison nor Dave Bickler is that way. Thus, making Survivor a more appropriate band. (Not to mention that they didn't paint their faces like Kiss did (or stick out their tongues like Kiss did. I think Kiss had an influence on Miley Cyrus)

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition ...read more.

Top 3 band of all time, period. Page is 1 of the greatest guitar players to live, Plant had extreme range and swagger and Bonham is up there with the drum gods!

These guys aren't 80s

You should know more about them. Their last album was released in 80s. - zxm

Listened since young

Best rock band ever!

Duran Duran Duran Duran are an English new wave/synthpop band formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the US.

I don't listen to a lot of Duran Duran songs, but the ones I DO listen to (Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, the Wild Boys and Girls on Film) are pretty good.

They have been my favorite band since 1981!

MTV helped blow this band up in the early 80's

My moms favourite band.

Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.

These girls are a great group

Emerson, Lake & Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson, singer, bassist, and producer Greg Lake, and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer.
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