Anyone who grew up in the ’80s remembers its seminal events—the murder of John Lennon, the launch of the Space Shuttle, the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and the introduction of the Macintosh computer, are just a few that instantly come to mind.
It only makes sense that the music of the decade would mirror the times. To that end, Stacker scoured Billboard charts from the ’80s and chose 25 of the top bands whose music soundtracked the decade. We then researched each of the bands, reporting on their members, flashing back to their top hits, and sharing what they’re up to today.
A quick scan of the bands listed here reveals an eclectic cluster of artists and genres. Whether you like beards and blues, heavy metal, alternative rock, or hard rock, you will find some inspiration on this list, which comprises legends who have sold millions of albums, won myriad awards, and earned their place in music history.
Keep reading to get a taste of what it felt like to grow up with the music of the ’80s.