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The MTV Music Television Generation

From the first lyrics of "Video Killed the Radio Star", the advent of 80s music videos on MTV radically changed the music industry forever. Early eighties groups such as DEVO and Haircut 100 were early adopters of the medium, but pop stars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson later transformed the format into a huge business.

The familiar 80's pop sound is characterized by sparse lyrics and the new technologies of the decade. Synthesizers, electronic keyboards and drum machines formed the "New Wave" pop sound that was popular in the music of the early 80's. Songs like DEVO's "Whip It' and "Cars" by Gary Numan showcase this electronic sound.

80's Heavy Metal Music

In the mid to late 80's Heavy Metal became the popular music genre. Artists such as Van Halen, Poison, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and Guns and Roses got extensive 1980's radio airplay. "Hair Metal Bands", as they are affectionately called, scored top charting hits with the "power ballad" song formula. Nothing represents the decadence of the 80s more than the heavy metal bands signed from the LA Strip during that time. The song lyrics mostly embodied the "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll" mentality of the 80's.

80's Heavy Metal lyrics became controversial on Capitol Hill as legislators and parent groups fought to post warning labels on records deemed to contain offensive lyrical content. 80's metal artists like Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne were hauled into court to defend allegations that their song lyrics drove several teens to commit suicide.

Thrash Metal becomes a hit in the underground scene in the 80's. Originating in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, 80's bands such as Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax and Slayer become popular heavy alternatives to the pop "Hair" metal acts of the decade. Darker lyrics and  themes were covered in this genre of metal.

Hip Hop and House Roots In 80s Music

The Hip Hop scene has it's roots in the 1980's and becomes a powerful musical and dance influence. Hip hop artists like Grandmaster Flash Kurtis Blow and N.W.A. bring Hip Hop to the forefront.

The post-disco influenced House music was a new development in dance music in the mid 80's. House music later developed into the heavier Acid House in the later part of the 80s decade.

80's Hardcore Punk Movement

Out of opposition to the pop 80s music evolved the Hardcore Punk movement. This angry, politically charged genre included more social awareness in it's lyrics. The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and Reagan Youth are popular bands of the 80s Harcore Punk scene.

Indie Rock is also born in the 80's. Bands like The Smiths, Pixies and Sonic Youth invented this new genre.

Random 80's Band Bios

80s Music Artist Bio

Falco -

Falco released his first album in 1982, Einzelhaft. For the duration of his career, Falco found most of his success in Germany and Austria. A single off the album, “Auf Der Flucht” was released in the US and in France. His most famous single was “Der Kommissar” which was a top five hit in the US....
80s Music Artist Bio

Bobby McFerrin -

Bobby McFerrin’s first album was self-titled and released in 1982. He also released The Voice in 1984 and Spontaneous Inventions in 1985. McFerrin released one more album before his big success; Elephant’s Child came in 1987. During 1987 he also sang the theme to the Cosby Show....
80s Music Artist Bio

Devo -

Devo’s first album of the 1980s was Freedom of Choice. This album bore their most famous single, “Whip It,” which was only a number 8 single. That same year they released, New Traditionalists. That album contained the moderately successful single, “Workin in the Coal Mine.”...

80s Music Band Bios

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