The 50 Best 80s Rock Bands – Classics that Still Rock!

The decade of the 1980s was revolutionary in terms of music with several of the greatest rock bands of all period being created. The 80s had rock genres ranging from hard rock, heavy metal to new wave and dance rock with an electrifying vibe. Such an era led to establishment of bands that were both generation defining in their sound and forever impacting on music businesses.

Whether you were headbanging to the thunderous riffs of Metallica or swaying to the melodic rhythms of Duran Duran, the 80s rock bands had something for everyone. In this comprehensive article, we’ll take a nostalgic journey through the 50 best 80s rock bands, reliving their timeless hits, groundbreaking music videos, and unforgettable live performances that continue to rock our world even today.

Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Hard Rock Heavy Metal

In the 80s, hard rock and heavy metal exploded into the mainstream with a blistering, high-octane sound that shook arenas and airwaves alike. These bands took no prisoners with their aggressive riffs, shredding guitar solos, and snarling vocals touching on everything from youth rebellion to the occult.

The undisputed godfathers Black Sabbath birthed an entire dark sludge metal subgenre, as Ozzy Osbourne’s haunting wails powered immortal anthems like “Iron Man.” In their wake came the “big four” thrash metal bands – Metallica’s whirlwind riffs and anti-establishment fury on “Master of Puppets,” Slayer’s sheer heaviness, Anthrax’s unique East Coast groove, and Megadeth’s complex arrangements orchestrated by the masterful Dave Mustaine.

Judas Priest stamped heavy metal’s signature twin-guitar sound and dazzling solos over songs like “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” Iron Maiden raised the bar for soaring vocals and progtastic compositions on epics like “The Trooper.” And the hard-swinging swagger of Van Halen fused with Eddie’s game-changing guitar wizardry.

The raw, raucous, and sometimes even misogynistic lyrics of hair metal icons like Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, and Skid Row provided the raunchy party rock anthems that fueled the Sunset Strip’s decadence. And thrash upstarts like Megadeth and Anthrax matched CBGB’s punk grit with heavy metal’s precision.

By the decade’s end, thrash’s extremes had pushed heavy metal towards more cerebral and progressive realms. But the 80s cemented its place as the era that finally let this thunderous, uncompromising genre stomp its way into the mainstream.

1. Black Sabbath

As the undisputed godfathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath’s dark, sludgy sound was a major influence on the entire genre. Led by Ozzy Osbourne’s haunting vocals, songs like “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid” cemented their legacy with their bone-crushing riffs and lyrical themes delving into the occult.

2. Guns N’ Roses

With a rebellious, punk attitude and a revved-up blend of classic rock bravado and heavy metal, Guns N’ Roses exploded onto the scene with 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction.” Tracks like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and “Paradise City” became radioactive hits, fueled by Slash’s searing guitar solos and Axl Rose’s banshee wails. Their raw energy reinvigorated hard rock.

3. Iron Maiden

The quintessential British heavy metal band, Iron Maiden is renowned for their operatic songwriting, incredible guitar work, and a flair for melodic yet brutally powerful tunes. Steve Harris’ galloping basslines merged with dueling axemen for epics like “Run to the Hills,” “The Trooper,” and “2 Minutes to Midnight” – songs beloved by metalheads worldwide.

4. Judas Priest

If Black Sabbath birthed heavy metal, Judas Priest defined its signature sound with their twin guitar assault of thrash and lightning-fast solos. Rob Halford’s soaring vocals took center stage on anthems like “Breaking the Law,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” and “Living After Midnight” that still get crowds banging their heads.

5. Megadeth

One of the “big four” thrash metal bands, Megadeth emerged from the ashes of Metallica with Dave Mustaine at the helm. With a signature snarling vocal style and complex, frenetic riffage, they released a string of classic albums packed with lightning-fast shredders like “Peace Sells,” “Symphony of Destruction,” and the epic “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.”

6. Metallica

The biggest name in thrash metal and one of the most successful and influential bands ever, Metallica’s blistering intensity on early albums like “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride the Lightning” was groundbreaking. Songs like “Master of Puppets,” “One,” and “Enter Sandman” showcased their incredible musicianship and became era-defining hits.

7. Mötley Crüe

These LA rebels epitomized the decadent, hedonistic impulses of glam metal. Behind a wall of big hair and makeup, Mötley Crüe brought theatrical flair and an unrelenting hard-partying ethos to anthems like “Shout at the Devil,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood,” and the power ballad “Home Sweet Home.”

8. Ozzy Osbourne

After getting fired from Black Sabbath, the Prince of Darkness launched an iconic solo career beginning with 1980’s “Blizzard of Ozz.” His distinctive wail powered hits like “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley,” and the anti-authority classic “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” while his on-stage antics like biting the head off a bat cemented his status as a metal god.

9. Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” is considered the first hugely successful heavy metal album, breaking down barriers for the genre with their cover of “Cum On Feel the Noize” and the definitive 80s metal anthem “Bang Your Head (Metal Health).” Their brash, unpretentious sound brought blue-collar appeal to the LA scene.

10. Scorpions

This German outfit seamlessly blended traditional heavy metal with melodic hard rock, producing quintessential 80s hits like the fist-pumping “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” the anthemic “No One Like You,” and the sentimental power ballad “Still Loving You.” Klaus Meine’s soaring vocals drove their signature guitar hooks home.

11. Skid Row

Skid Row emerged from the ashes of the 80s glam explosion to lean more towards a tough, streetwise vibe with a bluesy hard rock edge. Sebastian Bach’s over-the-top vocals powered youth rebellion anthems like “Youth Gone Wild,” “18 and Life,” and the tongue-in-cheek “I Remember You.”

12. Van Halen

Fueled by Eddie Van Halen’s otherworldly guitar wizardry introducing tapping solos and technical mastery, Van Halen’s high-octane party rock spawned an endless stream of MTV-fueled hits from the comedically lewd “Hot for Teacher” to the synth-tinged “When It’s Love” and the swooning “Why Can’t This Be Love.”

Glam Metal/Hair Metal

Glam MetalHair Metal

With their flamboyant fashion, wild teased hair, and arena-ready anthems packed with sing-along choruses, the glam metal and hair bands of the 80s brought pure spectacle and unapologetic fun to hard rock. This was the era of spandex, makeup, hairspray, and raunchy lyrics celebrating the rock star lifestyle of partying and promiscuity.

Leading the pack were Los Angeles scene heroes like Mötley Crüe, whose decadent hits like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” oozed with hedonism. Similarly, Ratt brought a streetwise, bluesy edge to ragers like “Round and Round,” while W.A.S.P.’s transgressive shock rock antics gave them an infamous reputation.

But these bands backed up their outrageous images with serious rock n’ roll firepower. Hits like Twisted Sister’s defiant “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Quiet Riot’s metal anthem “Bang Your Head,” and Cinderella’s power ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” were designed to unite arenas in raucous singalongs.

The reigning hair metal gods had to be Mötley Crüe’s counterparts Poison, with their MTV-saturating blend of riffs, hooks and flamboyant glam on “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Def Leppard was the complete package, combining a metal backbone with sugary vocals on”Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

More than pure shock value, these bands indulged in guitar pyrotechnics and showmanship worthy of their idols Kiss. The face-painted demons of rock N’ roll themselves returned to arenas on their reunion tour and the anthemic “Lick It Up” album.

For all its occasional sexist posturing, at its core hair metal was about partying, making memorable radio rock anthems, and staging wildly entertaining live shows. Fans simply couldn’t get enough of the big riffs and even bigger hair.

13. Cinderella

With their blue-collar roots and untamed ambition, Cinderella embodied the American rock n’ roll dream on anthems like “Nobody’s Fool,” “Gypsy Road,” and the smash power ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” Their raucous energy and singalong choruses made them arena rock heroes.

14. Def Leppard

The quintessential glam metal band, Def Leppard ruled the airwaves and arenas throughout the 80s with their blend of hard rock muscle and infectious pop melodies. “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” “Photograph,” “Rock of Ages” and the eternal lighters-in-the-air anthem “Pour Some Sugar on Me” solidified their juggernaut status.

15. Kiss

The legendary makeup-sporting, fire-breathing showmen, Kiss pioneered a visual spectacle to accompany their party rock anthems like “Detroit Rock City,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and the 80s smash “Lick It Up.” Gene Simmons’ iconic demon bass playermanship and Paul Stanley’s star charisma made them a must-see live act.

16. Poison

Unapologetically glam with their poofy teased hair, makeup, and skin-tight leather and spandex, Poison epitomized the LA hair metal scene’s over-the-top decadence. Hits like “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Unskinny Bop,” and power ballads like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” made them MTV darlings.

17. Ratt

With a rough, street-edged look and sound inspired by bands like Van Halen and Aerosmith, Ratt was glam metal’s grittier counterpoint. Fueled by the bluesy rasp of Stephen Pearcy’s vocals, they cranked out singalong anthems like “Round and Round,” “Lay It Down,” and the ubiquitous “Way Cool Jr.” Their dirty riffs and hooks made them an arena-filling force.

18. Twisted Sister

Perhaps the most theatrical and rebellious of the hair bands, Twisted Sister combined a shocking visage with tough, defiant street attitude and messaging. Lead screamer Dee Snider became the voice of youth discontent on tracks like the anti-authoritarian classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the glam metal hit “I Wanna Rock.”

19. Whitesnake

Led by blues-rock howler David Coverdale and famed for music videos featuring hot tub vixens, Whitesnake brought a sexy, hard-edged flavor of glam metal to hits like “Here I Go Again,” “Is This Love,” and the unforgettable MTV video for the smash “Still of the Night.” Their bluesy grooves had fans cranking them endlessly.

Classic Rock

Classic Rock

While having deep roots in the 70s, many of rock’s most legendary and influential classic rock bands enjoyed their commercial and creative peak in the 1980s. This was the era that solidified their status as arena-slaying, radio-dominating, cultural icons.

Leading the charge was AC/DC, who rebounded from the tragic death of Bon Scott to release the staggeringly huge album “Back in Black” and anthems like “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” that showcased the band’s signature bluesy riffs and primal power.

Similarly, Aerosmith pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in music history, shedding their 70s excesses to reassert themselves as America’s top rock stars behind the videos for hits like “Crazy,” their remake of “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC, and soulful power ballads like “Angel.”

With Bruce Springsteen’s epic “Born in the U.S.A” album and marathon shows alongside the E Street Band, The Boss became a true working-class hero and rock’s foremost live performer. Bon Jovi took over as the new kings of anthemic singalong hooks on smashes like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

Women rockers also made their mark, with Joan Jett’s gender-bending “I Love Rock N Roll” cover becoming a feminist rallying cry. Heart’s sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson commanded stadiums with their soaring vocals and hard-hitting songs like “Barracuda” and the power ballad “Alone.”

ZZ Top’s bluesy riffs and tongue-in-cheek visuals on “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” became MTV showstoppers. Pat Benatar dominated rock radio with her fiery delivery on “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” And Journey’s Steve Perry sang his way into arenas nationwide on anthems like “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

The classic rock heroes of the 80s ruled the arenas and airwaves with singalong anthems and soulful songwriting that has cemented their multi-platinum, iconic status for all time.

20. AC/DC

Forming in the 70s, AC/DC hit their hard rock zenith in the 80s, releasing the iconic “Back in Black” – one of the best-selling albums ever. Songs like “Hells Bells,” “Shoot to Thrill,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” became festival and stadium staples defined by Angus Young’s chugging riffs and cheeky schoolboy antics.

21. Aerosmith

After a 70s descent into excess derailed their hard rock juggernaut, Aerosmith roared back with a vengeance in the late 80s. With a grittier, more blues-based sound, they churned out smashes like “Angel,” “Rag Doll,” and their iconic rebound hits “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC and the epic power ballads “Cryin'” and “Crazy.” Steven Tyler’s raspy howl and the band’s undeniable chemistry made them arena rock gods once more.

22. Bon Jovi

Blending heavy metal heft with a radio-ready pop/rock sheen, Bon Jovi ruled the airwaves and concert circuits in the 80s. Sing-along anthems like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and the iconic ballad “I’ll Be There For You” showcased Jon Bon Jovi’s impassioned vocals and the band’s knack for infectious hooks.

23. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

The Boss’s storytelling genius and populist appeal catapulted him to superstardom with his E Street Band in the 80s. While born in the 70s, Springsteen hits like “Glory Days,” “I’m On Fire,” “Dancing In The Dark” and the iconic anthem “Born In The U.S.A.” defined the era’s heartland rock. His marathon shows were the stuff of legend.

24. Heart

Led by the Wilson sisters’ soaring vocals and hard rock swagger, Heart seamlessly blended folk, Led Zeppelin-esque epics, and radio-friendly pop/rock. The riff-heavy “Barracuda,” the plaintive “These Dreams,” and the power ballad “Alone” showcased their incredible range and made them one of the most successful female-fronted rock bands ever.

25. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Straddling punk’s rebel spirit and classic riffs, Joan Jett’s snarling vocal delivery powered iconic hits like her cover of “I Love Rock N Roll” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah).” Her streetwise, anti-establishment attitude made her a feminist icon and precursor to the 90s riot grrrl movement.

26. Journey

Combining virtuosic musicianship with soaring melodic hooks, Journey achieved legendary crossover success with heartfelt stadium rockers like the immortal anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Cryin’ Now,” and the tear-jerking ballads “Separate Ways” and “Faithfully.” Steve Perry’s inimitable vocals were a force of nature.

27. Pat Benatar

With her operatic vocal range and fiery stage presence, Pat Benatar brought a feisty, trailblazing feminine energy to 80s rock on hits like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love is a Battlefield,” “We Belong,” and “Heartbreaker.” Her music videos were also cutting-edge, accentuating her rock goddess image.

28. ZZ Top

These sharp-dressed Texan bluesmasters put an amplified spin on gritty Southern boogie with their signature beards, shades, and hot rod energy. Huge 80s hits included “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” and their MTV-buoyed cover of “La Grange” – all powered by Jake E. Lee’s slippery riffs and that inimitable baritone.

New Wave/Dance Rock

New WaveDance Rock

Here’s an in-depth look at the innovative New Wave and Dance Rock bands that defined 80s alternative music:

New Wave/Dance Rock

As punk’s energy was synthesized and electrified, a new wave of forward-thinking, rhythm-driven rock emerged from the underground in the 80s. These bands embraced synthesizers, electronic textures, and an avant-garde aesthetic to craft some of the decade’s most infectiously danceable and artistically daring sounds.

On the cutting edge were bands like Talking Heads, who married David Byrne’s quirky artistic vision with propulsive grooves on classics like “Burning Down the House” and “Once in a Lifetime.” Similarly, The Cars fused robotic riffs with irresistible pop hooks on hits like “You Might Think.”

The British invasion was led by groups like The Cure, whose high-octane gloom and goth makeovers made unlikely megastars of them on “Just Like Heaven” and “Friday I’m Gonna Love.” Contemporaries like Echo & the Bunnymen and The Smiths put a romantic spin on the sound.

Electronic innovators grabbed the spotlight too, as the synth-pop of Depeche Mode and the Violin-driven epics of The Sisters of Mercy brought a Gothic, industrial edge to hits like “Personal Jesus” and “Temple of Love” respectively.

Not to be outdone, Australia’s INXS rode a funkier groove to international stardom behind the blue-eyed soul of Michael Hutchence on “Need You Tonight.” And The Police blended reggae influences into their hugely popular brand of new wave on “Every Breath You Take.”

From upbeat dance/punk crossovers like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds to the multiplatinum cool of Duran Duran’s self-titled hit “Rio,” these new wave hooks injected a much-needed bolt of quirky creativity and showmanship into 80s rock.

29. Billy Idol

Perfectly encapsulating the rebellious sneer of new wave and punk attitude, Billy Idol became the living embodiment of a sneering rock star. Hits like “White Wedding,” “Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” and his cover of “Mony Mony” brought an indelible cool factor to his rock n’ roll revival sound and visuals.

30. The Clash

Leading the punk rock revolution, these rabble-rousers seamlessly expanded their blistering sonic assault into new wave, dance rock, and reggae experimentation in the 80s. Intensely political cuts like “Rock the Casbah” and their final album’s title track “This is England” showed their versatility beyond the 3-chord attack.

31. The Cure

Fusing a gothic, despairing aesthetic with a knack for crafting addictive melodies, The Cure emerged as moody alternative icons. Hits spanning pop/rock (“Just Like Heaven”), new wave (“Why Can’t I Be You?”) and morbid singalongs like “Lovesong” and “Friday I’m in Love” showcased Robert Smith’s brooding genius.

32. The Cars

One of new wave’s most accessible and commercially successful bands, The Cars married sleek robotic riffs with infectious pop smarts on hits like “You Might Think,” “Drive,” the percussive “Magic” and their signature “Just What I Needed.” Ric Ocasek’s deadpan vocals were the perfect counterpoint.

33. Depeche Mode

Pioneers of dark electro and synth-pop, Depeche Mode became unlikely stadium rockers with their blend of industrial dance grooves and Dave Gahan’s baritone croon. Anthems like “People Are People,” “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” made them 80s alternative heroes.

34. Duran Duran

With a fashion-forward aesthetic, melodic songcraft, and a cinematic music video panache, Duran Duran embodied new wave’s cutting-edge style and sound. They scored huge hits and teen idol status with “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Rio,” “The Reflex,” a James Bond theme and “A View to a Kill.”

35. INXS

Dance-rock’s ultimate sexy purveyors, INXS blended funk grooves and Michael Hutchence’s inimitable vocal prowess on iconic tracks like “Need You Tonight,” “Devil Inside,” their timeless hit “Never Tear Us Apart,” and the Dionysian rocker “New Sensation.” Their performances crackled with raw charisma.

36. The Police

Fusing punk, reggae and other global influences, The Police innovated an pioneering brand of new wave on 80s essentials like “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Every Breath You Take” and “Synchronicity.” Sting’s soaring vocal melodies and Andy Summers’ staccato guitars defined their singular sound.

37. Talking Heads

Art-punks turned ambassadors of quirky new wave grooves, Talking Heads’ music reflected David Byrne’s offbeat genius. From the ecstatic “Burning Down the House” to “Once in a Lifetime” and “Road to Nowhere,” their cerebral yet danceable tunes were utterly unique in the best way.

Mixed Rock Genres

Mixed Rock Genres

38. David Bowie

The ultimate chameleon and transformative artist, David Bowie shape-shifted through endless personas and genres while influencing countless others. The spacey “Ashes to Ashes” and otherworldly “Let’s Dance” kept him creatively vital in the 80s. He was an eternal trailblazer.

39. Dire Straits

With a subtle, rootsy blues/rock core, Mark Knopfler’s masterful guitar work and whiskey-soaked vocals made Dire Straits graduates of the “MTV Unplugged” era. Wistful hits like “Money for Nothing,” “Walk of Life,” and “Brothers in Arms” were melodic epics featuring his legendary fretwork.

40. Fleetwood Mac

Melodic songcraft, classic songwriting, and bewitching harmonies by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie fueled Fleetwood Mac’s blockbuster status in the 80s. From the rapturous “Everywhere” to “Little Lies,” “Gypsy,” and “Everywhere,” their polished pop/rock sound was inescapable.

41. Queen

Rock’s reigning drama queens in the 80s, Freddie Mercury and co. seamlessly blended hard rock, vaudeville camp, and progressive influences into a game-raising live spectacle. Anthemic hits like “We Will Rock You,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and their signature “Bohemian Rhapsody” showcased their unparalleled theatricality.

42. R.E.M.

The quintessential US college rock band turned mainstream heroes, R.E.M. brought a jangly, poetic alternative sound to the masses with their breakthrough album “Out of Time.” Hits like “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People,” and “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” fused Michael Stipe’s cryptic lyricism with instant melodies.

43. REO Speedwagon

These Midwestern rockers epitomized the radio-friendly hard rock and power ballad sounds ubiquitous in the 80s. Fist-pumpers like “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” made them arena rock royalty, thanks to soaring vocals from Kevin Cronin and crunchy guitar work.

44. Rush

This Canadian trio deftly blended hard rock, prog, and even heavy metal influences into their highly skilled and cerebral brand of thinking person’s rock. Epics like “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” and the ubiquitous instrumental “YYZ” showcased Neil Peart’s wizardry behind the kit.

45. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Vaughan revived blues rock in the 80s with his jaw-dropping guitar pyrotechnics and scorching Texas vocals that breathed new life into the genre. Songs like “Pride and Joy,” “The House is Rockin’,” and his iconic Hendrix-inspired “Voodoo Child” rendition cemented his guitar hero legacy cut tragically short.

46. The Eagles

Country rock’s preeminent ambassadors took their signature harmonies into the 80s scoring massive hits with “Heartache Tonight” and getting the Hell’s Angels riled up on “Life in the Fast Lane.” But their trademark sound prevailed with the timeless songwriting of “Hotel California” and “New Kid in Town.”

47. The Rolling Stones

The “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” only got bigger and bolder in the 80s, with Mick Jagger’s swaggering rock idol persona amplified on titanic hits like “Start Me Up” and the pop perfection of “Miss You.” Their gritty blues roots powered enduring anthems like “Waiting on a Friend” and “Undercover of the Night.”

48. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Petty’s knack for hooks and unpretentious classic rock songcraft fueled an incredible string of hits in the 80s. “Free Fallin’,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Learning to Fly,” and of course “American Girl,” were all built from his peerless melodic sensibility and straightforward roots rock backbone.

49. Toto

Sporting incredible musical chops, Toto could rock out hard or deliver radio-ready melodies with finesse. The descending keyboard riff of “Africa” became instantly iconic, alongside hits like “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna,” and the power ballad “I’ll Be Over You.” Their versatility set them apart.

50. U2

These Irish rockers evolved into inspirational arena superstars in the 80s, bringing cerebral concepts and righteousness with them. “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and U2’s signature anthem “With or Without You” still raise lighters and fists in unison.

A Treasure Trove of Timeless Hits

Whether you grew up rocking out to the guitar solos of Van Halen, sang your heart out to Bon Jovi’s arena anthems, or danced until you dropped to INXS and The Cure’s new wave hooks, the music of these 50 greatest 80s rock bands provided the soundtrack for a generation.

Their songs, many accompanied by revolutionary music videos on MTV, captured the youthful spirit of rebellion, romance, and revelry. From heartfelt rock ballads to wild guitar riffs perfect for the mosh pit, these iconic bands crafted the most influential and enduring anthems of the decade.

To this day, the opening ringing chords of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” that punchy Duran Duran guitar pop, or David Bowie’s trademark strangeness can whisk us back to the era instantly. The 80s may be gone, but the pioneering, trailblazing rock music that defined it will live forever.

So crank up the volume and get ready to rock out once more – these classics from the 50 greatest 80s rock bands have truly stood the test of time!

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