Greatest Rock Bands of the '80s

The Top Ten
1 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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 ...read more.

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.

Queen was an influential and very talented band that knew how to appeal to popular tastes of many listeners. The theatrics of Freddie Mercury and the melding of the instruments from the band members always left listeners yearning to hear more of what these guys were doing musically.

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.

2 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.

Guns and Roses debuted in 1987 to 1990 and never had a number one selling album.But Appetite for Destruction did come in number 2 and we have to give it credit for going up against the best selling album of the 80s hysteria which was number one that year Axel you did a good job.

The original band were something special! Had not been seen before an unfortunately for music probably not again. Iv never heard anyone like axl back in his day (86-93) and slash!?!?!? Man or beast I don't know but he rocks and that's all that matters!

Guns and roses should be #1. They were so damn sexy and talented. I saw them live in Memphis TN. In the 90's and Axl's voice was mesmerizing and Slash's guitar playing was absolutely amazing. What I would not give to meet Axl Rose in person.

You can't argue that Appetite for Destruction isn't one of the greatest albums/lineups of all time. Almost 30 million records sold, not one song on that album sucked. Basically revived hard rock and killed glam metal

3 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.

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.

There are a few songs that I frown upon, like "Hey God", "Damned" (I'm starting to like that one. I will admit that.), "If I Was Your Mother" and "That's What The Water Made Me", but overall, this group is as timeless as (insert timeless thing here), and they know how to adapt their music style (like in This Left Feels Right) so they can guarantee success with the new generation, without losing fans who have been fans since Runaway. (Another good example is the album "Lost Highway". Everything is pop, and the albums before and after Lost Highway were both more rock.) That's playing with the strings (quite literally for the guitarists) and seeing what appeals to the new generation. Also, everyone in this band is alive, unlike a few others.

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!

4 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.

Are you kidding me AC/DC should be the the first on this list there the best band ever queen is number 1 right now they should be moved too number 10 AC/DC FOREVER!

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!

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!

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

5 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.

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.

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.

With Eddie's raw talent for shredding the guitar, and David's stage antics, they made for an amazing live show. Hagar helped with strong vocals in the late 80's, but true Van Halen fans flock to the sound of Roth. They were the god fathers of party boys, extreme outfits and just being boys. Long Live Van Halen.

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.

6 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.

Definitely Leppard is the best band ever! They have have been making great music since 1977 and have continued throughout every decade. They are one of only a few bands to have TWO major selling albums, Pyromania and Hysteria. They make great music that will live on forever. They continue to tour the world to sold out arenas. Their new album is selling like hot cakes, definitely Leppard style!

By far the best 80s rock band. I've listened to it since I was 7 and I was born in 2000. Their Hysteria album could be the greatest album of all time with 6 hits on it. My favorite band ever and it needs to be at least top 3. the newer generation doesn't know what music is.

Def Leppard has only gotten better with time. They were great as a young band, but today they can still rock the house down! In my opinion they are the number one 80's rock band. They perform their songs the way they recorded them...LOVE IT!

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.

7 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.

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

Hands down best band of the 80s...Inspiration for a lot new bands with many hits being played on MTV and a number 1 album...Long live Motley Crue

Favorite band of all time! #1. don't know when they'll get into The Rock and Roll hall of fame. Should already be in.

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

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.

Countless classics that rocked hard and ballads that would soar...They had it all! Amazing Vocals,sizzling guitar leads, strong talented rhythm section..No wonder they are still such a hit with Baby bombers, millennials and all in between!

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.

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!

9 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.

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 by far was the best and most technical band from the 80s. There music was wrote better and very detailed compared to anyone. Them being 9th is about napster not the music period. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves

Best rock band of the 80s!
Best concert band ever!
Incredible complicated arrangements. Talent with raw attitude.

10 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.

Ozzy along with great guitarist like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Zakk Wylde worked together make some of the the most unforgettable songs of the 80's.

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

Should be number 1! No way queen is better than ozzy.

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

The Contenders
11 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal 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 guitarist Adrian ...read more.

Maiden has stayed true to their winning formula for 30+ years, and have maintained their star power and popularity throughout. They outlasted Priest and Scorpions, blew away definitely during the NWOBHM years, never sold out to the record companies like Metallica. Their rabid fan base without the benefit of consistent radio play is a testament to quality of their product.

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.

Promoting satanism in the rocking way!

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

I understand that their greatest success was in the 70's but they were the pave stone and one of the very first hard rock bands! their music was so ahead of its time and Steven Tyler range is one of the most amazing things in rock history. No matter what those boy stuck through through creating great music! If it weren't for these guys G'N'R would not be the band they are! also AC-DC are completely overrated there songs sound the same and to be honest there is no originality. Every album of Aerosmiths' was new exciting yet still had that something (probably amazing solos from Perry and Tom) that made them have their sound! come on people!

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.

Dream On was on Aerosmiths first album and was later re released as a single. They were abandoned by their record label so they could promote Bruce Springsteens Born to Run. They promoted themselves by massive touring and winning their fans over. by the way how is the boss not in top 5. Wasn't Born in the USA the best selling record in the 80's.

Steven Tyler still has the voice that is unmatched by anyone for a rock band. Just wish he would have not gone country although Love is Your Name is a great song. Just rock Steven

13 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.

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

Are you kidding me? The Scorpions should be top 5, not way down here. What in the world is X Japan? Why are they ahead of anybody on this list?

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.

This is our favorite band of all time, love listening to it on the record player. Love all the songs!

14 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.

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.

Best solo guitar of the 80's virtuoso!

In my opinion, they should be number 1.

15 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.

I really don't get why more people don't like this band. Probably one of the cleaner bands on this list. Definitely beats Queen

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.

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

Definitely in the top ten no doubt in my book.
Mick and Lou like oil and water, but song writing as a team.
Untouchable.
And Lou gramms vocals...

16 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.

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

Really journey above U2? U2 should be top 5 no doubt, the Joshua tree was the best album of the 80's.

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

They are absolutely the best band I have ever seen. This hurts they aren't #1

17 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.

The police is a great band with great classic melodies, intelligent lyrics filled with feeling and a unique sound. Brillliant singer/songwriter (sting), one of the best drummers of all time (stewart copeland), and great guitar riffs by andy summers.The best 80's band, really Should be much higher on the list

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

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

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

18 The Cure The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978. 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!

Love their songs

19 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.

How is this so far down

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

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

As good as Queen, if not better.

21 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.

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)

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

21? You're kidding. Well, it's better than what they were before. Let's see, they've had their music in all those movies and for a couple of seconds Eye of the Tiger was played on big hero 6. Mike Huckabee played eye of the tiger for when Kim Davis was freed from jail. Eye of the Tiger was played at a Hillary Clinton rally. Eye of the Tiger is one of the most motivational songs (Neck and Neck with Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust"). Survivor has plenty of love songs, too. Survivor is probably one of, if not THE most underrated 80's rock band with GREAT songs like "Whole Town's Talking' "; "Heart's a Lonely Hunter"; "Santa Ana Winds"; "I'm Not That Man Anymore"; "Popular Girl"; "Backstreet Love Affair"; "I Can't Let You Go" and "Hungry Years" Survivor should at least be in top 10 or 15

Oh, please! EUROPE? "The Final Countdown" doesn't get you anywhere as pumped as "Eye of the Tiger"! Plus, Europe's lead vocals looks too feminine. Even Jon Bon Jovi is more masculine than Europe's lead vocals. Also, there's a comparison online, that says 61% people take Eye of the Tiger over the final Countdown. Not to mention that Europe is almost a 1 hit wonder- almost. The final countdown has only been used in a Geico commercial, whereas all of those movies have had at least one Survivor song.

22 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!

Listened since young

Best rock band ever!

These guys aren't 80s

23 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!

My moms favourite band.

24 Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.
25 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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