We bring you music from the best rock groups of the 80s.
The 80’s was a pioneer era for music, from the new wave of British heavy metal to the launching of MTV, and the Hollywood Sunset Strip music scene. The 80s was a decade of living life to the extreme, big and loud! Heavy Metal and Glam Rock filled that need for the music that complimented the untamed 80s lifestyle. Some rock radio stations had shows on the weekend that featured new bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Mercyful Fate. (All those bands were formed in 1981.) Headbangers Ball premiered on MTV in 1987, showcasing metal bands to a musically metal deprived audience.
The 80s was an amazing time for music, especially for Rock & Roll and all the sub genres that went with it. I am glad I experienced my teenage years in the 80’s and got to discover the music when it was new. I remember hanging out at the lake with my friends and Keith, who was really into Thrash Metal, said, “hey check out this new band called, Metallica,” as he handed me the cassette tape. In 1986 I saw Van Halen in concert for the first time. When I was 17, I saw Pantera at a small hole in the wall Heavy Metal club in West Fort Worth. Those were some great times, and our music enhanced that experience. This free internet radio station is to commemorate those good times and to show our love for 80s Rock!
The Bon Scott Era (1974 – 1980)
Bon Scott took over lead vocals after an audition promoted him from being the band’s chauffeur to the band’s front man. Bon Scott passed-away on February 19,1980 from
“acute alcohol poisoning.”
On April 1, 1980, Brian Johnson was officially named lead singer.
Aerosmith is America’s band. Since its beginning in 1970, Aerosmith has fused the sounds of hard rock, pop, and rhythm and blues, manufactured on the streets of Boston.
In 1972, they signed with Columbia records, releasing their debut album in January 1973. Aerosmith has one of the best lead singers in all of Rock & Roll, Steven Tyler.
His live performances are like no other, you can feel all the energy and soul he puts into every song.
The album was a huge hit selling over 5 million copies.
Black Sabbath are the founders of
When Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album in 1970, nothing more sinister and diabolical had ever been seen!
In the band’s early days, they went by the name, Earth. The 1963 horror film,
Black Sabbath was showing at the cinema across the street from their rehearsal room.
Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler noticed the long line outside the cinema and how people were willing to pay money and wait in lines to be frighten. The band changed its name to Black Sabbath in August 1969.
Bon Jovi’s self-titled debut album in 1984 released their first single “Runaway” that reached #39 on Billboard’s Hot 100. But their third album Slippery When Wet was their breakthrough! The album sold over 20 million copies and had three Top 10 singles.
“You Give Love a Bad Name” and
“Livin’ on a Prayer” reached #1. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were the duo image of the band in the mid 80’s, and that dynamic of the lead singer and lead guitarist that had worked for so many other bands, was definitely a successful combination for Bon Jovi.
In the mid 80’s, Hair Metal bands ruled the radio airwaves. The mid - 80’s was definitely the “Golden Era” of Hair Metal,and a band from Wayne, Pennsylvania became a huge part of that Hair Metal scene. Formed in 1982, Cinderella was at the top of that wave of Aqua Net hairspray and hardcore guitar riffs! Cinderella’s break-through album came in June of 1986 with their debut album, Night Songs. Cinderella detonated on the rock scene like no other Hair Metal band! Their first single, “Shake Me,”sounded raw as hell with the unmistakable sound of Tom Keifer on lead vocals!
Def Leppard started their band in 1977 in Sheffield, England.
High ‘n’ Dry is arguably one of the most underrated albums of the 80’s. The album was produced by Mutt Lange, (who previously worked on AC/DC albums,) added a noticeable harder rock flare to the record. The LP featured Pete Willis on guitar, who was fired during the recording of Pyromania due to excessive drinking that was interfering with his work. When Pyromania was released in January 1983,
Ronnie James Dio has one of the best voices in the world of heavy metal! After fronting bands like Elf and Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio became the lead singer for Black Sabbath in 1979 after Sabbath fired Ozzy Osbourne. He recorded two albums with Black Sabbath before releasing his solo debut album, Holy Diver in May 1983. The band went on to release nine other albums, spanning their 20-year metal era. Ronnie James Dio passed away in 2010 and will always be remembered as the most influential artist of all-time in the heavy metal genre. Ronnie James Dio is Metal!
Guns ‘N Roses was one of the greatest rock bands of the 80’s with their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, released in 1987. GNR emerged from the L.A. club scene when they signed with Geffen Records in 1986 and released their EP, Live ?!*@Like a Suicide.
Axl Rose and Slash became dual icons of 80’s rock music, they had a chemistry and stage persona that was the epitome of Rock ‘N Roll. Even though the band released five other studio albums, nothing came close to the success of Appetite for Destruction, that became the best-selling rock debut album of all time.
Since 1975 Iron Maiden has created the music that has become the epitome of heavy metal, making them the best heavy metal band of all time!...or at least the top 3 metal bands!
Lead singer Bruce Dickinson has undoubtedly some of the best metal pipes, and was a great replacement after Iron Maiden’s frontman,
Paul Di Anno (singer from 1977 to 1981,) was fired.)
Iron Maiden bandmates, past and present are true masters of their metal craft, totally committed to the band’s success and growth, especially in the beginning. When most folks celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve, these lads were forming bands and recording demos.
Judas Priest is straight out of the pit of the heavy metal birthplace, Birmingham/Black Country. Since 1969, this band has reinvented heavy metal with their raw metal sound and lead singer Rob Halford’s unmistakable voice that shreds like K.K. Downing’s flying v guitar, this band f’in’ rocks!!! Judas Priest’s last album, Firepower was released in 2018 and they are still touring in 2022. Judas Priest will be inspiring artists for generations to come. If you ever introduce rock’n’roll/heavy metal to a newbie, listening to Judas Priest albums is a must!!
Megadeth was formed by bass player David Ellefson and vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine (the original guitarist for Metallica) in Los Angeles back in 1983. Dave Mustaine is the only original band member, after Ellefson was fired in 2021. Megadeth is part of the “Big Four” of American metal bands, the other bands include Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer. Whether you classify Megadeth as a thrash metal or heavy metal band, one thing is for sure, Megadeth f’ing rocks!! Their up-coming 16th studio album, The Sick, the Dying…and the Dead! is set to released later in 2022, and metalheads worldwide can’t wait!
Metallica released their debut album Kill ‘Em All in 1983 and since then, has emerged to become the biggest heavy metal band of all time! Metallica is synonymous with the term heavy metal, but this has not come without criticism, that Metallica sold out after their 1991 “black” album. Instead of the hardcore thrash metal sound from the previous albums, the black album was more palatable to the Pop Culture who started listening to grunge. Metallica is still the leader of “The Big Four” of heavy metal, the American 2nd wave of heavy metal after the Brits (1977-1982.)
Mötley Crüe is in your face, kick your ass, having a killer-time, 80’s rock band! What else can you say about these hardcore rock n’ rollers that got into brawls on the Sunset Strip and partied like no other rock band during the high point of the glam rock/hard rock era of the 1980’s! Hell yeah they wore makeup but they looked like they wanted to cut you too, especially guitarist Mick Mars, I meant wtf! Yet, Motley Crue are the coolest rock stars you will ever meet, I know, I shook Vince Neil’s hand before a concert in Dallas!
Motörhead is a pioneer in heavy metal music as part of the New Wave of British heavy metal, the pinnacle era of British metal from 1975 to 1986. Motörhead was a trio formed in London in 1975. The most popular band lineup in the early to mid-80’s, consisted of guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke, drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and legendary lead singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister. Lemmy and Phil Taylor passed away in 2015 and Eddie Clarke in 2018. Motörhead heavy metal lives forever on our station! Listen to “Just ‘Cos You Got the Power” and crank it up really loud!
Bad publicity can be good publicity if you are a rock star, and Ozzy Osbourneis no stranger to that concept. Ozzy was fired from
Black Sabbath due to drug abuse in 1979. During a concert in January 1982, Ozzy bit the head off a bat and the following month was arrested in San Antonio, Texas for urinating on the Alamo cenotaph. All these incidents became the basis of Ozzy becoming the biggest target for parents and the media who condemned him for his persona and so-called devil worshipping lyrics. But all that aside, Ozzy Osbourne is one of the best Rock & Roll singers of all time! Ozzy has been called “The Prince of Darkness,” but we call him,
“The King of Heavy Metal!”
The best lyrics from 80’s rock songs were about partying, getting laid and occasionally rock music lyrics sang about worshipping the devil, but RUSH is rock-n-roll poetry, it’s philosophical and depending on the listener’s perspective, spiritual. Pair that lyrical quality with the three best instrumentalists from Canada and you have the band, Rush. Their eighth album, Moving Pictures from 1981 is one of the top ten best rock albums of the 80s. Their single, “Tom Sawyer” voted #1 best rock song of the 80’s. One of rock & roll’s best drummers, Neil Peart passed away on January 7, 2020. We honor him by always playing “YYZ” right before “Limelight.”
Germany has always produced the best hard rock and heavy metal bands, but the ultimate Deutschland raw sound belongs to the Scorpions. The band started in 1965, making them the third oldest continuing rock band, after The Rolling Stones (1962) and
The Who (1964.)
“Rock You Like a Hurricane” had become their commercial signature song, but their previous album released in 1982 titled Blackout, was one of the best rock albums of the 80’s. As of 2022, the Scorpions are still making new music with their 19th studio album Rock Believer.
Twisted Sister was originally formed in New Jersey in 1972 by original guitarist Jay Jay French. Soon the band moved their gear to Long Island, New York and took the rock-n-roll world by force! Besides Twisted Sister’s awesome music and their glam metal stage presence, band frontman Dee Snider made headline news in 1985, when Dee testified in front of Congress against Tipper Gore and the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center.) Dee Snider shocked everyone, when he stood up to the Washington D.C. elite and won the world over with his articulate and confidant testimony that not only defended rock and roll, but he also defended the music industry and all artists alike.
Van Halen is the ultimate
80’s rock band!
David Lee Roth (lead vocals)
Eddie Van Halen (guitarist)
Michael Anthony (bassist)
Alex Van Halen (drummer)
Sammy Hagar (lead singer)
Gary Cherone (lead vocals) and Wolfgang Van Halen (bassist) make up the musician alumni of Van Halen since their debut album was released in 1978. Red Rocker Sammy Hagar took over the lead vocal position in 1986 after David Lee Roth went to pursue his solo career. Iconic guitarist Edward Van Halen passed away in January 2020. Van Halen’s music is legendary and will live on forever!
Since it’s beginning in 1978, Whitesnake has had a lot of bandmember changes though out their term as Hair Metal Gods. David Coverdale has been the frontman of Whitesnake since the band formed after Coverdale left Deep Purple in 1976. Some of the most notable band alumni include: Steve Vai, Micky Moody, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, John Sykes, Cozy Powell, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Warren DeMartini, and Dave “Duck” Dowle. Whitesnake’s self-titled 1987 album put the band at the top of the list of Hair Metal Gods of MTV 80’s generation!
Southern Rock is a mixture of blues and rock and if you can hoodoo magic mix that together successfully, you have rustic Texas Rock and ZZ Top is the King of Texas Rock! Just listen to the beginning of their song “La Grange.” ZZ Top has created and re-created their sound from the bluesman grit to something you can dance to at a good ‘ol fashion dirt road joint in Texas. ZZ Top is some bad-ass hombre! Bassman/singer Dusty Hill passed away on July 28, 2021. ZZ Top will live forever!