Music in the 1980s was mainly formed from bands rising to fame from the 1970s – The Police, Genesis and Queen probably being three of the biggest bands at the time. Interestingly, neither of those fell into the new synthesiser sound of music that was sweeping the world, instead relying on their own unique styles which ensured they did and still have very much a cult-like following.
It’s perhaps worthwhile mentioning the influence of MTV on the music scene in the 80s, with both Michael Jackson and Duran Duran seeing the launchpad that MTV could give them, to reach out to a bigger audience. Soon their music videos were being played throughout the modern world. Other bands and artists also rose to fame through the 80s with Bruce Springsteen, Prince and U2 all seeing huge success although their particular careers had also started in the previous decade.
The metal genre can’t be forgotten – some will say that it was British metal bands (for example Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath) that paved the way for metalheads and other bands to realise there was another way to create music, almost in a way to release energy in a more aggressive fashion. Although metal bands attracted a certain type of fan, their music was and is very much misconstrued as angry or aggressive, when it is simply a different way of expression. For the most part, you’ll find metal band members to be highly intellectual, arguably more so than the more conservative musicians.
It seemed like pop, rock and metal bands were almost playing off each other during the 80s with offshoots of metal and rock such as thrash metal and glam rock battling it out for airtime, and then the surge of pop metal bands Bon Jovi, Poison, Ratt and Europe onto the scene at the end of the decade, strengthening the already-solid music of the 1980s. There’s something definitely to be said for the quality of music in the 80s – all the successful bands of that era are still popular to this day.