2016-12-07T11:01:06ZWithout arena rock, '80s music would have been a far different creature, and despite common attitudes to the contrary, probably not for the better. Despite its commercial nature, the '80s blend of progressive rock, radio-friendly pop/rock with huge hooks, and hard rock became a deserved staple of the decade's musical menu.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZBased on bright, memorable melodies as well as minimal menace, arena rock has never been accused of being edgy or critically beloved. Where it has found great success, however, is in selling lots and lots of records. Here's a list of the genre's most essential artists.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZHere's a capsule view of some of the most important and prominent genres of '80s music, an era full of surprises, twists, and turns.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZAs 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZThe '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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZContrary to popular belief, the prominent '80s genre labeled hair metal, pop metal or glam metal (depending on who is doing the classifying) contained far more than merely power ballads. Mid-tempo rock songs may have been plentiful during the decade, but the strain of music that blended pop so skillfully with at least elements of heavy metal produced the most notable music of its kind. Here's a look at some of the best songs of hair metal and pop metal, if not necessarily the biggest hits.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZHere's a list of best the '80s had to offer musically, broken down by the most memorable songs each year.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZPop-oriented Genesis frontman Phil Collins hasn't always received a lot of respect as a rock artist, but his solo work during the '80s reached many ears. Here are some of his finest tunes from that era.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZWhen 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZAs 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06Z'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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZL.A. punk band X used eclectic influences to create the earliest form of alternative rock and guide it into its '90s explosion of popularity.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZHere's a look at my picks for the most memorable pop/rock holiday tunes of the '80s, from U2 to the Eagles and more.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZSinger-songwriter Dan Fogelberg was a major pop star through the '70s and '80s, presenting some of the latter decade's most melodic music. Here's a look at some of the singer's best songs of the latter period.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZThese songs allow the listener to wallow so completely in self-involved sorrow that the world outside ceases to exist.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZCulling 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZOne of pop music's best opportunities to explore its theatrical side reveals itself quite often in duets featuring aptly paired male and female performers. Here's a look, in no particular order, at some of the finest such duets of the '80s.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZAs arguably pop metal's finest and most accessible band of the '80s, Bon Jovi churned out a number of arena rock classics, combining a straightforward, almost heartland rock sound with a glossy image to rule the latter half of the decade. Some were hits without being great songs, but this New Jersey band's best work stands confidently with the best mainstream rock the '80s had to offer.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZThe 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZArtists from continental Europe made a definite impact on '80s music in Britain and America, and although they were generally able only to do so when they sang in English, sprinklings of European culture found their way into heavy metal and synth pop alike.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZThe '80s rebirth of Ozzy Osbourne after his 1979 firing from heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath was the first of several occasions in which the singer endured and overcame hardships to continue his success. Beginning the decade with a couple of groundbreaking albums featuring guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads, Osbourne weathered the loss of his friend and collaborator to become one of the biggest hard rock stars of the decade. These songs provide a strong overview of what made Osbourne so successful.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZHere's a look at the most essential songs from the extraordinarily varied '80s catalogue of fiercely original, iconic American singer-songwriter Prince.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZPeople tend to think of the '70s first when they consider the genre of soft rock music, but a great deal of the finest examples of this ballad-heavy form actually saw the light of day during the first half of the '80s.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZFrom 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZSongs about work have always been a staple of popular music, but modern music has placed a special spin on the topic. The '80s in particular were blessed with plenty of fodder for meditations on the changing landscape of the workplace.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZFew 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZHere's a look at 10 of the best '80s songs from U2, a band that produced some of the highest-quality, most intriguing music of the rock era.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZDespite 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZVersatile, 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.
2016-12-07T11:01:06ZFemale 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.