The '80s were a magical time for rock music. It was a decade of big hair, big hooks, and big rockers.
Some of the biggest hits of the '80s came from rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard. These bands defined an era with their anthemic songs about love, loss, and redemption.
Here are some of the biggest rock songs of the '80s to check your musical knowledge:
1. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
Released in 1981, "Don't Stop Believin'" is one of the most iconic rock songs of the '80s. It's a power ballad about following your dreams, no matter how difficult they may seem.
The song became even more popular after it was featured in the hit TV show "Glee." In musical terms, the track is driven by a catchy guitar riff and soaring vocals from lead singer Steve Perry.
2. "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
1986's "Livin' on a Prayer" is an ode to the working class. It's a song about struggling to make ends meet and never giving up hope.
The track features some of Bon Jovi's most iconic riffs and one of the most recognizable sing-along choruses of all time. It's no wonder that the song remains one of the band's most popular live tracks to this day.
3. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard
This 1988 track from Def Leppard's "Hysteria" album is a pure adrenaline rush. It's a song about sex, drugs, and rock & roll - everything that made the '80s so exciting.
The song features one of the most iconic guitar riffs of the decade, along with a catchy sing-along chorus. It's no wonder that the track has become one of the band's most enduring hits.
4. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne
The 1980 Ozzy Osbourne's classic "Crazy Train" comes from "Blizzard of Oz," an album offering a dark and foreboding look at the world. It's a song about mental illness, violence, and the end of the world.
Despite its dark subject matter, the song is driven by a catchy guitar riff and Osbourne's distinctive vocals. It's a track that has stood the test of time, becoming one of the metal legend's most iconic songs.
5. "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses released this classic in 1987, and it quickly became one of the band's most iconic tracks. It's a song about the dark and seedy side of life in the big city.
The track features one of the most recognizable guitar riffs of all time, along with Axl Rose's signature wail. It's a raw and unapologetic look at the dark side of human nature, and it remains one of Guns N' Roses' most popular songs.
6. "The Final Countdown" by Europe
This 1986 track from Europe is a song about the end of the world. It's a power ballad with a catchy keyboard riff and soaring vocals from lead singer Joey Tempest.
The song was a massive hit in Europe, reaching number one on the charts in several countries. It remains one of the band's most popular tracks, and it has been used in a number of movies and TV shows over the years.
7. "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister
This 1984 track from Twisted Sister is a heavy metal anthem for the underdog. It's a song about standing up to authority and refusing to take crap from anyone.
The track features a catchy sing-along chorus and some of the heaviest guitar riffs of the '80s. It's a song that still resonates with people today, and it remains one of Twisted Sister's most popular tracks.
8. "(Dude) Looks Like a Lady" by Aerosmith
The 1987 staple Aerosmith tune is a song about mistaken identity. It's about a man who is mistaken for a woman, and it's sung from the perspective of the man in question.
The song features some of Aerosmith's signature riffs and vocals, and it remains one of the band's most popular tracks. It's a light-hearted look at gender roles, and it's sure to get you singing along.
9. "Jump" by Van Halen
This 1984 track from Van Halen is a song about taking a leap of faith. It's about following your dreams, no matter how difficult they may seem.
The song became even more popular after it was featured in the hit TV show "Glee." In musical terms, the track is driven by a catchy guitar riff and some of the most memorable solos of the '80s.
10. "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake
The iconic Whitesnake tune "Here I Go Again" is a song about second chances. It's about picking yourself up after you've been knocked down and starting over again.
The song features some of the most iconic guitar work of the '80s, along with David Coverdale's signature vocals. It's a track that has stood the test of time, that's for sure.
What Made '80s Rock So Awesome?
There are plenty of reasons why the '80s rock music scene was so great. For starters, the music itself was incredibly varied and interesting.
There were new genres and subgenres appearing all the time, and bands were constantly experimenting with new sounds and styles. This helped to create an extremely exciting and vibrant musical environment that encouraged creativity and innovation.
In addition, the '80s saw the rise of some of the most iconic and influential rock bands of all time. These bands helped to shape the sound and direction of rock music for years to come, and their influence is still felt today.
Finally, the '80s were also a time when rock music became more mainstream and accessible to a wider audience. This was thanks in part to the advent of music television and the rise of popular music videos.
As a result, more people were exposed to rock music than ever before, and this helped to increase its popularity even further.
All of these factors combined to make the '80s an incredible decade for rock music. If you're a fan of rock music, then there's no doubt that the '80s were a golden age for the genre.