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Top Ten Rock/Heavy Metal Songs of the 80's

Updated on January 19, 2012

Remember the eighties? The music was beginning to evolve and rock and heavy metal were both becoming popular among many of those listening. Many bands arose in this decade, and others were veterans continuing to please audiences everywhere. I look back into the past and decided to composite a list of what I think are the eighties best rock/heavy metal songs. The decade was full of many from this genre, but I do believe we can consolidate it down to ten amazing, hard and rocking songs that still please fans today.


Artist: Nine Inch Nails

Song: Head like a Hole

Album: Pretty Hate Machine (1989)


Artist: Bon Jovi

Song: You Give Love a Bad Name

Album: Slippery When Wet (1986)


Artist: Van Halen

Song: Panama

Album: 1984 (1984)


Artist: Beastie Boys

Song: (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)(1986)


Artist: Motorhead

Song: Ace of Spades

Album: Ace of Spades (1980)


Artist: Def Leppard

Song: Pour Some Sugar on Me

Album: Hysteria (1987)


Artist: Motley Crue

Song: Dr. Feelgood

Album: Dr. Feelgood (1989)


Artist: Guns N’ Roses

Song: Welcome to the Jungle

Album: Appetite for Destruction (1987)


Artist: AC/DC

Song: Hells Bells

Album: Back in Black (1980)


Artist: Metallica

Song: One

Album: …And Justice for All (1989)

I’m sure some would agree, some would disagree and some might add to this list. These songs are very influential to me and feel that these songs are great songs that stand out in the years of the eighties. This decade has blessed us with music that is still played across the world. And if you are curious, I am planning on doing the same type of list for the nineties and the two thousands. Should be a challenge for those as well.


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    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 

      5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Funny NIN feels so 90s to me. Gotta add Somebody Shake Me and Talk Dirty to Me. 80s hair bands unite! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      GNR ftw... really miss the days when there was a GNR vs Metallica, i think it was in Pasadena

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      I agree with you. One is not Metallica's best song. i am a huge fan of fade to black. but i have to admit, when i think about songs that stand out in the eighties, i think of one. just because it was metallicas biggest hit.

    • TheHeavyReview profile image


      6 years ago

      If we're saying hard rock, Dr. Feelgood and Welcome to the Jungle are my top two. The rest of your rock songs are really well placed, as well. If we're talking about metal I have a harder time deciding. I agree with the others saying that One is not Metallica's best song. My personal favorite is The Four Horsemen, but Fade to Black or Creeping Death would be appropriate as well. Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Death, and Judas Priest would be good additions to your list as well. Great hub!

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      yeah music always does bring back those great memories. thanks for dropping in tammy.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great list. Approved by a fellow Metal Head. I love 9 Inch Nails. They are in my metal list too. When I got my first car, Motley Crue just released their first album. I thought I was really special blasting that music. Brings back great memories!

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Back in highschool many people would call me by my last name which is Fuller. And everytime we'd jam that song instead of foolin, my friends would say fuller. so that song has a special place in my heart.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      well, too eacyh his own. To me, there's nothing more 80;'s then the fa-fa-fa-foolin or the harmonies on Photograph :-)

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Yeah, i will admit its not their best song. But its one that stands out for 80s rock. thanks for stopping by pdx

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      these are all great, though, for def leppard you gotta go foolin' or photograph. sugar is a distant third

    • Brian Baird profile image

      Brian Baird 

      6 years ago from Woodstock Georgia

      Fade to black is awesome especially the way cliff played the intro live its way better than the studio version.

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      yeah, fade to black is my all time favortie. Cliff was the man. Its was a tough decesion, but when I think about the success of that song, i felt it had to make the list.

    • Brian Baird profile image

      Brian Baird 

      6 years ago from Woodstock Georgia

      Well any list like this is gonna be different for everbody I think you've selected some amazing songs from that era. As a Metallica fan I dont think one wasnt thier best song of the 80's mainly cause cliff didnt play bass on it, but It may be thier most known song to the general puplic fron that era. Great List


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