The 1980s were a decade of classic rock and roll. It was an era when musicians could produce songs that would stand the test of time, with catchy melodies and lyrics that are still loved today. The pop music industry changed during this decade as well, to include more electronic instruments and synthesized sounds. This article will explore all aspects of 80s pop music: artists, albums, singles, videos for TV shows like Miami Vice or Dynasty; there is something here for everyone who loves this great era in musical history!
What is 80s pop music?
Some would define 80s music as post-disco music, which brought about synthesized sounds into mainstream hits. However, some might say that it is simply popular music during that time period (the 1960s was not known for the disco-type of music and yet that era had some very famous and catchy tunes). There is definitely a difference between 80s pop and the pop music of today, but it can be hard to define.
80s Pop Music: A Decade of Classic Rock and Roll
Pop albums in the 80s were often multi-platinum sellers. The most popular 80s Rock and Roll pop artists include Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Police, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. Some of these musicians are still releasing music for today’s generation while others have gone on to other things outside of the industry (such as Cyndi Lauper who has written an autobiography).
There were several different genres that were popular during the 80s, including hair metal and synthpop. Several notable singers and musicians came from other countries to make it big in American pop music as well: Bonnie Tyler and REO Speedwagon are just a few examples of this phenomenon. If you love 80s music, you will enjoy learning more about all of these musicians, bands, and albums!
Why was it so popular?
80s pop music is still enjoyed today because it was all about the melodies and the lyrics. The musicians that produced 80s pop songs had to write catchy tunes that would appeal to everyone, not just die-hard fans.
They also needed lyrics that could be sung along with – even if you didn’t know what they were saying (which is why some bands are still enjoying success in countries where English is not the first language).
Some of these songs have become so popular that they were featured in movies and television shows. Most 80s pop music artists have one or more songs in these media, which has cemented their status in history.
For example, the Miami Vice theme song was by Jan Hammer and the theme song to Dynasty was sung by Frank Stallone (Sylvester Stallone’s brother). The music of this time period is still very popular and will be remembered for decades to come.
1980s Hair Metal
1980s Hair Metal was the popular style of rock music in the 1980s, mixing elements of pop and punk music to create a louder sound. There were several different hair metal bands that became famous during this era – Poison is one of the most well-known examples including their big hit “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”.
Other notable hair metal bands include Ratt, Twisted Sister, and Quiet Riot. Hair metal bands were known for their wild stage shows which often included heavy makeup and big hairstyles (not to mention the musicians showing plenty of skin).
If you love 80s Pop 1980s music, you will love these great hits! The Miami Vice theme song is just one example of the many popular songs that were released during this decade. You might also enjoy modern movies and TV shows that include the music of the 1980s, including the hit Netflix original series Stranger Things.
What are some of the most popular songs from this era?
There are so many hit 80s rock and roll songs. It is difficult to name them all, but some of the most popular songs from this era include:
- Jump – Van Halen
- Another One
- Bites the Dust – Queen
- Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
- Miami Vice Theme Song (In the Air Tonight) – Phil Collins
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
- Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
- Goodbye Stranger – Supertramp
- Beat It – Michael Jackson
Livin On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
80s Pop Music Artists and albums created during the 1980s that were successful in their own right :
We Are the World – USA For Africa
This song was a massive success for a multitude of reasons, including its catchy beat and meaningful lyrics. It features several accomplished musicians from the 80s, including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan.
Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson
Another popular 80s Pop song by Michael Jackson, which this was one of the songs that cemented his position as a star. It didn’t do as well as some of his other singles, but it remains an important and memorable song for both him and fans.
Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott
This is a great example of 80s pop music; simple lyrics and a catchy beat will always stand the test of time. The song became a hit and was heard everywhere for several months after its release.
What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner
This is another example of 80s pop music, as well as one of the most famous songs from this decade. Tina Turner is talented in her own right and enjoyed a successful solo career following her departure from the group, Ike and Tina Turner.
I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner
This song gained fame for its powerful lyrics and melodies that will continue to stand out long after this era of music has passed. It is another example of 80s pop music and has been covered by a variety of artists.
Love Bites – Def Leppard
One of the most popular songs from this decade, this is another example of 80s pop music. It received a great deal of airtime and remains memorable for its catchy beat as well as lyrics that were sung by lead vocalist, Joe Elliott.
At This Moment – Billy Vera and The Beaters
This song was very popular in the late 1980s; it is still heard on oldies stations today. It showcases the talent of its writing, vocals, and instrumentation. Other songs by Billy Vera include “Storybook Lovers” (1987) and “Through The Years” (1989).
I’m Not the One – The Cars
This song reached number 7 on the Billboard charts and has maintained a strong cult following since its release. This is an example of 80s pop music and is worth listening to if you enjoy this scene.
Heaven – Bryan Adams
Another great song from the 80s, this track came out in 1984 and was performed by Canadian artist, Bryan Adams. It quickly became a number one hit on the Billboard Top 100 list and is still considered one of his most popular songs. Other popular songs from Bryan Adams include “Two Hearts”, “Straight From the Heart” and “Summer of ’69”.
The Tide is High – Blondie
This song was released in 1980 but remains popular today due to its simple yet catchy melody. Debbie Harry’s voice is a recognizable feature of the 1980s and she has a dozen top 40 hits from the 80s alone.
The 80s Pop Music Industry
There was more to the 1980s pop music industry than just the artists; it was also important to learn about the record companies that produced their music.
For example, Apple Records is most well known for signing The Beatles, which was formed in 1968 by John Lennon (1940–1980), Paul McCartney (1942-), and George Harrison (1943–2001) (one of the most famous singers/songwriter groups of all time).
This single record label produced some of the most well-known songs of all time; their best-selling albums include Abbey Road (1969), Let it Be (1970) and Please Please Me (1963). Apple Records also produced albums for Solo artists, including George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” in 1970.
There were also smaller recording studios such as Jive, RCA, and Arista.
Arista was owned by Clive Davis, who helped produce music for many popular 80s pop artists. He is the current owner of Columbia Records, but during the 1980s he discovered some of the most well-known names in rock and roll.
Some of these include Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Patti Smith, and Whitney Houston. Other well-known names that Clive Davis was involved with include John Mellencamp, Barry Manilow, and Huey Lewis and the News.
RCA was known for producing music by popular 80s pop artists such as The Gap Band and Whitney Houston. They also produced songs by Prince (“When Doves Cry”) and Madonna (“Like a Virgin”).
Universal Music Group is the largest record label in the world and was bought out by Vivendi at the start of 2000. It operates under 4 main divisions: Universal Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, and Motown Records. These are all very well-known names that still produce music for today’s current artists.
More examples of record labels include A&M, Atlantic, Capitol, Geffen, Motown, and Polydor. Each has produced top-charting singles that are still enjoyed today and helped to keep the 80s music industry alive.
The 80s pop music industry was a success and it is still enjoyed today. The artists, the singles, and albums all contributed to this decade of classic rock and roll. Record labels such as Apple Records helped produce some of the most well-known songs in history. You can find these tracks on any free online music source or purchase them from iTunes for your personal collection!