Rock music has gone through many changes over the decades, and many people tend to have a favorite era of the genre. It is a type of music that will never die out and can be enjoyed by many generations, young and old.
The 1980s came with many iconic records that are still loved today and influenced a lot of modern music as well.
Keep reading this list to discover the top 10 rock songs from the 80s that have the timeless seal of approval!
1. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses (1987)
With a discography stacked with hits, Guns N’ Roses has delivered many great songs over the years. However, “Welcome to the Jungle” is by far one of their most memorable due to its energy and hard-hitting nature.
As soon as the melodies kick in, the song is quickly recognized by many, and the vocals come with the courage they are known for. Fans would agree that the song is a masterpiece, and it’s still in rotation for many people.
2. The Final Countdown – Europe (1986)
It’s a song that has been immortalized through many different types of media over the years. Its lyrical content and triumphant sound have been used as the backdrop for many TV shows, commercials, movies, and more.
The mix of organic instrumentation and synthetic melodies is addictive to the ear, and its dynamics have no problem getting the crowd moving. Above all, the lyrics bring people together, and the cinematic hook is what everyone expects.
3. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses (1987)
Another Guns N’ Roses record that will go down in history as one of the best rock songs of the 80s, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” sounds wonderful. Each verse brings something unique, but the hook sends shivers down your spine.
It also features plenty of passionate guitar riffs, and the song tells a fantastic story that won’t be soon forgotten. They may have many other great records, but this one sits at the top for many listeners.
4. Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (1986)
If you want to talk about 80s hits, you can’t ignore Bon Jovi’s influence on the decade, as the band had a hold on many music lovers. “Livin’ On a Prayer” not only has an unforgettable melodic progression, but its famous hook is the pinnacle of the song.
It’s another song that’s been used in countless forms of media, and it still carries an infectious energy decades later. The mix of instrumentation and vocals brings a powerful dynamic that people will love for a lifetime.
5. Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen (1986)
Not only would many people consider this a patriotic record, but the heavy synth melodies and pounding percussion are undeniably catchy. Bruce Springsteen also has an excellent voice, and this is just one of many notable records of his career.
“Born in the USA” clearly resonated with many Americans when it was released, and it’s a song that brought everyone together at concerts. I think it’s one of the best rock songs of the 80s because it still has unwavering relevance even today.
6. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey (1981)
Honestly, you can’t discuss 1980s rock music without bringing up Journey and their famous discography. “Don’t Stop Believin'” has one of the standout melodies on this list, and the song has had a lasting impact on everyone who hears it.
It’s a record that’s loved by a wide range of people because it’s not only timeless but the definition of what good music sounds like. It is also still used in countless forms of media due to its influence and relevant lyrical content.
7. Every Breath You Take – The Police (1983)
One of the more laid back songs on this list, “Every Breath You Take” is an easy jam to sink into. The record became a staple of the band’s career and is part of what made their memory so strong with many listeners.
The instrumentation on this track is quite simple, but it delivers an ethereal, introspective sound that holds you back. It may not boast punchy drums and gritty melodies, but it deserves a full listen and has a sound that never gets old.
8. Back in Black – AC/DC (1980)
When it comes to 80s rock songs that bring an energetic sound, AC/DC had the perfect recipe for it. “Back in Black” is just one of their famous hits, but its blistering pace, strong vocals, and punchy guitar melodies give it great replayability.
It offers a few breakdowns that feature pristine guitar solos that draw listeners in even more. Even though the drum pattern rarely changes, it is a song that is thoroughly enjoyed by any rock fan.
9. Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions (1984)
“Rock You Like a Hurricane” is by far one of the best rock songs of the 80s because it has melodies that can’t be forgotten. Right from the start, any rock fan would know exactly what song it is, and it has a strong melody that people can’t expect.
It’s a song that will get listeners moving, and it’s known to be an extremely powerful force in live shows. Scorpions had a lot of great records, but this one isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
10. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (1982)
Another record that has been used in countless movies, TV shows, and events, “Eye of the Tiger” is a song enjoyed by a wide range of people. The production delivers addictive sound and catchy lyrics that will never be forgotten.
It’s a rock song that brings a triumphant sound that gets people moving, and the melodic progressions only add to that feeling. The main melody on the record is what brings you to everything the song has to offer, and the vocals really sell the energy it brings.