Top 10 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 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 were 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, just amazing. They wrote classic and virtuoso hits from the early 1970s to 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, and A Night at the Opera. But Queen II, to me, is one of the most musically brilliant albums of the past 40 years.

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

The original band was something special! They had not been seen before, and unfortunately for music, probably not again. I've 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!

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. They basically revived hard rock and killed glam metal.

Guns N' Roses was like the Sex Pistols of the late '70s. They both had one masterpiece album, but other than that, they didn't have a big enough body of work to crack the top 10 in either decade.

3 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock/pop 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... 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. 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."

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 first on this list. They're the best band ever. Queen is number 1 right now. They should be moved to number 10. AC/DC forever!

This is simply the best band ever! Check the 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!

5 Van Halen Van Halen was 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 freakishly 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 N' Roses? More like severely overrated. AC/DC is okay if you like listening to the same song over and over again.

No need to 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 three 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.

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

Def Leppard is the best band ever! They 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 hotcakes, Def Leppard style!

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

7 Motley Crue Mötley Crüe is 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 number 1. They are the best '80s band ever. Sad to see them go, but I enjoyed it while they were still together. Thank God for YouTube so we can hear these songs forever.

I agree they should have been number one! Guns N' Roses didn't gain popularity until the late '80s. Come on, people! Motley and Van Halen were kings of the '80s. Period.

Favorite band of all time. Number 1. I don't know when they'll get into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They should already be in.

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

Journey was the best. Steve Perry had the best vocals. He did it effortlessly. Queen was not near the top in my book. Queen was rated number 1 because of its Satanic affiliation.

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 number 1 on this list. Steve Perry MADE Journey!

9 Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy/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. They proved in the '80s that they can play fast and technically difficult songs at the same time. They proved in the '90s that they don't even have to try hard to put out quality music. They proved in the '00s that they can withstand the drama and B.S. that destroys other bands. And finally, with "Hardwired... to Self-Destruct," they proved that they can still be in their 50s and shred your face off.

They went multi-platinum when barely played, if at all, on the radio! They didn't just fill football stadiums. They played on airport runways and tarmacs to crowds of hundreds of thousands of fans!

10 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 has maintained their star power and popularity throughout. They outlasted Priest and Scorpions, blew away Def Leppard during the NWOBHM years, and never sold out to the record companies like Metallica. Their rabid fan base, without the benefit of consistent radio play, is a testament to the quality of their product.

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

The Contenders
11 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 N' Roses, and Aerosmith should be the top three in any order. Aerosmith was the greatest turnaround band of all time. No one will ever match the transformation they accomplished, being that they released their first record in 1974. They still rock like no other. Best live concert band of all time. Thirty-two tractor trailers just to set their 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 N' Roses, according to Slash.

I understand that their greatest success was in the '70s, but they were the cornerstone and one of the very first hard rock bands. Their music was so ahead of its time, and Steven Tyler's range is one of the most amazing things in rock history. No matter what, those boys stuck through, creating great music. If it weren't for these guys, Guns N' Roses would not be the band they are.

Also, AC/DC is completely overrated. Their songs sound the same, and to be honest, there is no originality. Every album of Aerosmith's was new and exciting, yet still had that something (probably amazing solos from Perry and Tom) that made them have their sound. Come on, people!

12 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 1970s, but from 1979 to 1984, they released four 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, 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?

13 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 '80s. Virtuoso!

14 Foreigner Foreigner is a British-American arena 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.

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's vocals, Foreigner would have been just another rock band screaming over loud guitar riffs.

Lou Gramm could sing the phone book and make it work. Phrasing, vocal riffs, amazing. Potential opera tenor.

15 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 them the band of the '80s.

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

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

16 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 classic melodies, intelligent lyrics filled with feeling, and a unique sound. Brilliant singer/songwriter Sting, one of the best drummers of all time, Stewart Copeland, and great guitar riffs by Andy Summers. The best '80s band, really. They 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 1980s band.

17 The Cure The Cure are an English post-punk/gothic 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.
18 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are 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.

19 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.

20 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted... read more

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

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, unlike Queen, when Survivor became popular, it was the '80s. If you search for '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.

22 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!

23 Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.
24 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.
25 Whitesnake Whitesnake are a rock band formed in England in 1978 by singer David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple.

Whitesnake is the band that got me into the awesome world of hard rock and glam metal. They are definitely supposed to be in the top 3.

The late '70s and early '80s Whitesnake was awesome.

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