2016-10-23T11:01:16ZWhen people consider the variety of music genres that peaked during the '80s, new wave often comes up as one of the first topics of discussion. Once a term used somewhat interchangeably with punk rock, new wave eventually expanded to include almost any quirky yet still mainstream pop/rock form of the first half of the decade.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZThe '80s were a particularly kind decade to Canadian pop/rock music artists, as the U.S. mainstream rock and pop charts often embraced their frequently straight-ahead, melodic sound.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZThe glorious '80s brought keyboards into a more prominent position than they had probably ever held, as synthesizer parts frequently became dominant instrumental markers in our favorite '80s tunes. Here's a list of the most recognizable and memorable keyboard riffs of the '80s.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZHere's a look at the cream of the crop from the band Chicago's distinctive if somewhat disappointing '80s phase, a list of songs far shorter than the Billboard charts back then might suggest.
2016-10-23T11:01:16Z'80s R&B held plenty of variety and quality beyond the decade's biggest stars. Here's a look at the finest unsung urban contemporary artists of the '80s.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZOne of hair metal's most popular and simultaneously most vilified bands of the '80s, Poison made some of the era's most defining music. Here's a chronological look at the band's best songs - culled from two commercially successful late-'80s album releases.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAside from having a curious and mysterious band name and settling on an ingenious blend of pop and rock impulses, England's Psychedelic Furs simply had no shortage of great songs. That's what transforms the band's '80s consistency into something far better: a legendary legacy.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZThe massive popularity of hard rock, arena rock and heavy metal during the '80s culminated in a form that came to symbolize the decade's decadence and glitz. Alternately called hair metal, pop metal or glam metal, this subgenre specialized in lighter-worthy power ballads about the travails of heartache or at least matters of the flesh. Here's a look at 10 of the best '80s songs of this type, and the abundance of tunes to choose from makes for some tough choices.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZThere is certainly no shortage of hard rock frontmen from the '80s that were significant, memorable and highly visible during the era. The most prominent of these tended to operate out of the pop metal subgenre, but other styles also have plenty of representatives. Here's a look at some of the most popular, flamboyant and even sometimes talented lead singers of '80s hard rock. Just for fun, let's start with the blond ones, both natural and peroxide-assisted. It is called hair metal, after all.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZCulling the best English artists from any era of pop music quickly becomes an overwhelming task. As for the '80s specifically, England remained just as fertile as ever in producing popular, interesting and innovative musicians, especially in the burgeoning genre of alternative music.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZHard rock during the '80s was a lucrative style of music that brimmed with multitudes of bands representing various genres. Here's a look at 10 tracks that stand out as would-be, should-be or set-in-stone classics from this fruitful era of hard rock.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZHere's a list of best the '80s had to offer musically, broken down by the most memorable songs each year.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZThe soft rock and adult contemporary genres had plenty of room to accommodate '80s stars, many of whom saw an opportunity to maximize commercial appeal by trying many different styles. Here's a look at some of the decade's artists most able to string together hits that ranged from guitar rock all the way to orchestrated ballads. Most sustained long careers that previously found success in far different genres, but they found the bridge between soft rock and adult contemporary quite comfortable.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAs one of the most recognizable if short-lived superstar acts of the early '80s, Culture Club released several remarkably consistent soul-inflected pop songs that have stood the test of time.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZPat Benatar became one of the most identifiable icons of the '80s, but she also contributed some of the most memorable pop/rock music of the decade. Over the course of the early '80s, she shone as one of pop music's most consistent artists, and in subsequent years Benatar's reputation has only risen and broadened.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZFrom her early years as a full-tilt rocker to her quick evolution into a pop/rock singer with wide appeal, Pat Benatar always remained an important and skilled representative of '80s music at its finest. Here's a look at a collection of her most signature tracks of the period.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZDespite the popularity of crossover country pop, '80s country music also harbored more than a few talented, visionary artists who made their greatest contributions during the decade.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZOwing to a string of classic hit songs throughout the decade, few acts are more strongly linked to '80s music than the long-running duo Hall & Oates.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAs in perhaps every art form, there is always a teeming subculture just beneath the mainstream, usually populated by unruly mavericks unconcerned about the typical trappings of success. Here's a look at 10 of the most notable '80s artists of the underground.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAlthough always a vehicle for charismatic frontwoman Chrissie Hynde's songwriting, The Pretenders initially emerged as a highly eclectic, talented quartet of musicians capable of producing various rock and pop styles. The best of the band's '80s tunes employ a fierce, ragged rock and roll approach.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAmong the instruments linked inextricably to '80s music, the saxophone stands out on any short list, though sometimes in dubious ways. Even so, its significance throughout the breadth of pop music history is undeniable and impressive. Here's a closer look at this unique instrument.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZFew bands have displayed a capacity for reinvention as dramatic or successful as Genesis, a band that embraced weirdness under the direction of Peter Gabriel but pure pop melodicism when drummer Phil Collins took the helm. Here's a look at some of that band's finest tunes in the latter category, pop confections that house far more musical substance than they're ever given credit for.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZFew would argue whether or not the '80s represented Madonna's peak of influence, but choosing the artist's top songs from that era is a challenging enterprise indeed.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZVersatile, charismatic American rock singer Patty Smyth should have been a huge '80s star, but as frontwoman of Scandal and as a solo artist she made a solid mark.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZCertainly no shortage of great music has come out of all corners of the globe, but in terms of the '80s music that has stood the test of time through reputation or influence, certain American cities seemed to harbor the most staying power. Here's a look at a few of those scenes that made their presence felt the most back in the day.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZFemale pop stars of the era generally got most of the press and media attention, but here's a list of the most influential women of '80s rock.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZFor better or worse, few things scream '80s quite like the songs of Lionel Richie. Even for listeners who fancied themselves sophisticated music fans, Richie's biggest hits formed a semi-permanent soundtrack inside their brains. Here's a look at a few of the smooth singer's best, the ones you might not have to be ashamed of enjoying.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZAs one of the strongest pure pop/rock performers of the '80s - dependent equally on accessible songwriting, a propensity toward love ballads, and powerful injections of rock guitar - music veteran Kenny Loggins found a niche in soft rock and uplifting film soundtracks for his work. Here's a look at not only his most popular hits as a solo artist but his finest compositions and performances of the period.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZWith one of the most varied and challenging catalogues in all of '80s music, The Cure offers many candidates for a celebration of its finest songs. Here's a look at some of the band's best work produced during a prolific decade.
2016-10-23T11:01:16ZDespite an unfortunately brief three-year run on the pop music landscape, the Australian former bar band Men at Work made an indelible mark on '80s music by making great, eclectic rock music - like these fine tunes.