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The Norseman

Hits of the 80s

Rock legends create decade of musical superiority

Ah, the 80s. A time of musical aristocracy. The royalty of pop: Queen and Prince. The past 35 years of music don’t even compare to what was written by the superstars of the 80s. Whether you prefer the rock and roll of the eighties (like me) with Led Zeppelin and Van Halen or the smooth lyrics of George Michael and Elton John, this is the perfect decade to jam out to some of the most well-crafted music in history.

Don’t get me wrong, I love today’s jams. My playlist includes some modern artists such as Bad Bunny, Bruno Mars, and Brendon Urie, but Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen still reign supreme in my heart. 

The number of chart-topping songs that developed in the 1980s include cover hits like “Thriller by Michael Jackson, Remain In Light” by Talking Heads, and “London Callingby Clash. The sheer quantity of albums superstar artists released during this period is enough to impress anyone. 

However, one of the main reasons the 80s were so popular is because several significant music genres popped up during that time. Electro, techno, and hip hop all made their chief debuts, and glam metal began its ascent to the top of the Billboard Charts late in the decade. 

Even types of music that had topped the charts over the previous two decades stepped up their pace, with pop creating new sensations like MJ, Whitney Houston, and Madonna. Rock’ n’ roll kept pace, with household name bands like Queen, Europe, Mötley Crüe, and Twisted Sister making significant strides in music. 

Rock and roll is far and away my favorite type of music from those years, as it can be anything from heavy metal like Iron Maiden and Megadeth to some smoother alternative rock like R.E.M. and Culture Club. 

The best subgenre of rock is definitely arena rock. The number of artists and bands that are primarily arena rock makes up about half of my 7-hour-long playlist. Notable dignitaries in the industry include Boston, Toto, Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Def Leppard. Some lesser-known groups on my playlist that transition between disco, electro-funk, and rock are Electric Light Orchestra, The Bee Gees, Diana Ross, and ABBA. 

This decade was also a ‘final stand’ for some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time. Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, and Steely Dan released their last albums early in the decade. These bands and artists empowered musicians for decades but finally called it quits during the best decade of music the world had ever seen.

There is one single type of music I can’t stand from the 80s: country. Sure, there were some decent songs, but I mostly prefer the older versions of country (hello, 60s!). George Strait and Willie Nelson are honestly the only country singers from the 80s I can listen to on a regular basis.

The 80s was one of the most pivotal times in music history and absolutely deserves to be known as the music industry’s best decade. The number of phenomenal and unforgettable songs from those esteemed years is significant and enshrined in every type of music.

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