80er Band
The most famous bands of the 80s

The most famous bands of the 80s

Once again we look back at the 80s, the colourful decade of music that will never be surpassed in terms of variety. Which were the most famous bands of the 80s? Depending on your scene and taste in music, your answer to this question could be completely different. Here’s our selection, which is of course entirely subjective and can never be complete.

Queen – reinvented in the 80s

The British band Queen had a split career. Founded in 1970 by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, the line-up remained unchanged until the untimely death of charismatic singer Freddie Mercury. In the 70s, the band celebrated worldwide success with songs such as Bohemian RhapsodyWe Are the Champions and We Will Rock You. 1980 not only saw another mega hit with Another One Bites the Dust, but also marked a turning point for Queen. From now on, the band increasingly began to explore disco and funk influences, which not all fans were enthusiastic about. With songs such as Radio Ga GaA Kind of Magic and I Want to Break Free, Queen eventually arrived in pop music and played in sold-out arenas around the world.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

 

U2 – the Irish mega band

U2 are not only one of the most famous bands of the 80s, they still are. Even though they were founded in the 70s, their rise to fame began in the 80s. The 1983 single Sunday, Bloody Sunday, which deals with the Northern Ireland conflict, catapulted them to stardom. And the album The Joshua Tree, released in 1987, is still one of the best-selling albums of all time in many countries. Their career is still going strong today – everyone knows them!

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

 

Genesis – progressive becomes mainstream

Genesis also underwent a major transformation over the years. Founded as early as 1967, the band celebrated great success outside of the mainstream in the 70s. However, it was only Peter Gabriel’s departure in the mid-70s and the band’s reorientation towards radio-friendly pop rock that they became one of the most commercially successful bands of the 80s, completing one stadium tour after the other. While singer Phil Collins was also extremely successful as a solo artist, the band released the album Invisible Touch in 1986. The following year, they became the first band ever to sell out Wembley Stadium four nights in a row.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

 

Depeche Mode – Synth-pop legends

The first single by Vince Clarke, Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore, and Dave Gahan, Dreaming of Me, was released in February 1981, followed by the first album Speak & Spell in October. This laid the foundation for a global career that continues to this day. While Vince Clarke left the band after the first album to found Yazoo and later Erasure, Alan Wilder joined, Martin Gore took over the songwriting duties, and hit after hit ensued. With songs such as People Are People or Master and Servant, Depeche Mode shaped the sound of the 80s. From the 90s onwards, they turned to more acoustic sounds, but that’s another story.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

 

Guns N’ Roses – American rock icons of the late 80s

Guns N’ Roses, led by singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash, formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. With the 1987 album Appetite for Destruction and the hit single Sweet Child o’ Mine, they had their breakthrough in the summer of 1988 and enjoyed a career that lasted until 1993. Various arguments, exits, and line-up changes followed. However, Axl Rose and Slash have been playing together again since 2016, and bassist Duff McKagan is also back on board.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

 

There was more in the 80s

So far, we’ve focused on the biggest, stadium-filling bands that nobody could ignore. But depending on your taste in music, there were many other famous bands in the 80s, some of which deserve to be mentioned.

Take Level 42, for example, who enjoyed great success in the mid-1980s with the albums World Machine and Running in the Family, as well as singles such as Something About You, Leaving Me Now, and the worldwide smash hit Lessons in Love. The band is still known for its excellent live performances today.

No single hit outside the UK and yet totally famous everywhere? Yes, that’s possible: The Smiths were very popular between 1982 and 87, mainly due to the charismatic singer Morrissey and the unusual chord progressions of guitarist Johnny Mar.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

At the beginning of the 80s, new styles such as Synth Pop and New Romantic began to emerge and leave their mark on pop music. Bands like the Eurythmics with the brilliant Dave Stewart and the charismatic Annie Lennox, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, OMD, Tears for Fears, or Bronski Beat with singer Jimmy Somerville filled the charts.

And whether you like it or not, nobody has been able to avoid Last Christmas by Wham! since 1984. And yet the band had so many other great songs in the 80s …

Let’s move on to the producers who forged the chart-topping sounds of the most famous bands of the 80s: Stock Aitken Waterman was one such producer trio who not only worked with Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue, but also provided bands such as Dead or Alive (You Spin Me Round), Mel and Kim (Respectable) and Bananarama (Venus) with hits.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

Another marvellous example is Trevor Horn, whose band Buggles kicked off the MTV era in 1981 with Video Killed the Radio Star. He churned out hit after hit in the 80s with bands such as ABC, The Art of Noise, Propaganda, Heaven 17, and, above all, Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The Pet Shop Boys, who have been in pursuit of the perfect pop song since 1985’s West End Girls, also worked with him.

We mustn’t forget New Order either. The band, who emerged from Joy Division in 1980, not only delivered great songs such as True Faith or Touched by the Hand of God, but also the best-selling maxi single of all time to date: Blue Monday from 1983.

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

The film The Secret of My Success with Michael J. Fox featured a song that nobody could avoid in 1987: Oh Yeah by the Swiss duo Yello. In Germany, Yello were mainly known for their song The Race, which served as the theme music for the German TV show “Formel Eins”, comparable to the British “Top of the Pops”. But with six albums in the 80s alone and plenty of gold and platinum awards, the band was also very successful beyond that – and still is today!

A quick question for the editors of this blog: How many more pages do I have left? What about AC/DC, for example, who had to reinvent themselves in 1980 following the death of singer Bon Scott and did so with the seminal album Back in Black? Or Metallica, who were founded in L.A. in 1981 and of course deserve to be mentioned here. Or Kraftwerk, who were also founded in the 70s, but were already miles into the future in the 80s with Computerwelt and Electric Café?

You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information


80s bands: Which one is your favorite?

As you can see, we could go on with this list for hours. So here’s our suggestion: write us a comment and tell us which band should definitely be on this list! We’ll start with The Bangles, The Cure and Culture Club.

Author’s gravatar
Lawrence started playing the electric guitar because of his passion for rock music. Back in the day he played in a metal band, but now plays more for himself.

5 comments

    Depeche Mode forever

    Most famous bands of the 80s: Modern Talking and others

Leave a Reply

ADVERTISEMENT