Meme: Greatest 80's Rock Songs

Whether you're a professional Air Guitarist or you just can't put those leather pants and pink scarves in the closet, ther's no letting go of rock from the 1980's. Long permed hair, heavy make-up, spandex...and that was just what the guys wore!

It's okay to admit it: you know who the real guitar heros in history are. Did you save that denim jacket with all the band patches on it, or all those pairs of ripped jeans? Whether you dressed the part or not, the hard rock of the late 80's showed us how to rock out and look good at the same time. I don't care what anyone says, hair bands will always have a special place in my heart.

No power ballads on this list; we're here to bang our heads and rock all night. Let's take a look back at my 10 favorite rock songs of the late 1980's.
  1. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White - Awesome song by a great band. It's unfortunate that the only thing they'll be remembered by is the pyrotechnic fire in Rhode Island.
  2. Kickstart My Heart by Mötley Crüe - Interesting thing about this song: when I play it in the car while driving on the freeway, the spedometer mysteriously creeps up to 95+ MPH! It wasn't till they laid off all the drugs that their music got really good.
  3. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard - One of the cornerstones of 80's hard rock, this song alone catapulted the sales of the Hysteria album to over 4 million copies. And it is one of the greatest strip club songs of all time (so I've been told).
  4. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi - It might not be cool to like Jon Bon Jovi, but he's proven his worth by not wasting his fame and money on boose, drugs, and loose women. A staunch Democrat, it almost seems ironic how the song reflects his stance on social justice and charitable works. 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans might be wrong, but how many rock stars own an arena football league like Jon?
  5. Paradise City by Guns n' Roses - Admit it: the first time you saw Slash playing guitar and wearing that top hat, you wanted one as well. The last two minutes or so of this song make you wanna go crazy. FYI: head-banging requires practice...use caution when rocking out.~
  6. Still Of The Night by Whitesnake - The video to this song always stuck in my mind, because during the interlude, Vivian Campbell was using a violin bow to play the guitar, reminiscent of Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. If you were a guitar player like me, you'll remember that Whitesnake went through a handful of great guitarists, including Steve Vai, John Sykes, Adrian Vendeburg, and most recently Reb Beach.
  7. Youth Gone Wild by Skid Row - Before their career was destined to the memory of their Power Ballad I Remember You, Skid Row was slated to be one of the harder bands to come out in 1989. Sometimes our success is also our downfall.
  8. Cold Blood by Kix - You have to be an aficianato to remember this one. Here's a hint: its the band that wrote the anti-suicide song: Don't Close Your Eyes. This was their second good hit before being lost to obscurity. I found it wonderful how I sang along to the music video, remembering all the words.
  9. Talk Dirty To Me by Poison - The beginning of it all: the hair, the make-up, the jewelry. Before we'd ever think of calling it glam rock, Poison represented the guy parents never wanted their daughter to bring home. Yesterday I saw a guy with pink/blue hair, eyeliner, black fingernails, and several piercing. If I had a daughter and she brought him home, I'd throw him head-first out of the house. Funny how time catches up with us.
  10. One by Metallica - Before any fans get upset, I realize Metallica had a different sound and persona than the other nine bands I listed. Kirk Hammet never wore make-up that I saw. However Metallica's And Justice For All album broke them into the mainstream with this track. Most people have heard this song at least once, exposing an entire new audience to their intense sound.
Almost all of these songs can be found at, the site where I pull all my music for my weekly song blog. If you've not heard a song on my list, stop and visit. Warning: excessive listening may cause spontaneous headbanging!
Consider thineselves tagged.

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3 Response to Meme: Greatest 80's Rock Songs

December 23, 2007 at 8:34 AM

I realize the spacing is jacked on my list...please deal with it. It's too late (early) for me to fix it at this point. Good night/morning.

December 23, 2007 at 10:02 PM

I can't believe you didn't list Dokken Metallica!

OK, this is very impromptu, but here goes:

* KISS : I'll Fight Hell to Hold You

* Cinderella - Gypsy Road and Nobody's Fool

* Dokken: Dream Warriors, Breakin the Chains

* Metallica...oh, never mind. The Unforgiven and Nothing Else Matters are power ballads. Although I do have a weird connection to "Wherever I may Roam" and that is most certainly NOT a ballad!

* Scorpions - Rock me like a Hurricane

* I second "Talk Dirty to Me" by Poison

* I also second Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild"

and I raise you

* Warrant - Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Cherry Pie (although the lyrics of the latter make me cringe now)

* Twisted Sister "We're not Gonna Take it"

* Judas Priest "Breaking the Law" (Was that Judas Priest?)

* Tesla - Modern Day Cowboy

I know there are Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, and some others....

December 24, 2007 at 9:13 AM

Um...just wanted to make a correction to my post. You DID mention Metallica and I had meant to edit but there it is, posted. Sorry.