The 80s were an absolute paradise for great music of all genres. Whether it was pop, rock or even new wave, the music was advancing by leaps and bounds in terms of new sounds and general hook. Although many musicians would need a Casio synthesizer to stream their songs, these bands have stuck to their guns with perfect rock and roll.
Although many of these songs fall into the realm of rock by name, none of them seem to fit neatly into a single category. While many artists still followed the bluesy tradition of bands like Led Zeppelin, other artists were making bold new innovations for the genre whose presence is still felt to this day. Even if you weren’t sure what you thought of them on first listen, these songs have become modern marvels of the rock pantheon that deserve to be celebrated as such.
From hair metal to progressive rock to regular rock and roll, nothing is out of place when it comes to picking the cream of the rock scene. There may have been a Technicolor haze dotted throughout the decade, but these songs don’t need any trending to warp your brain.
If you wanted to be a rock star in the 80s, chances were you needed some kind of gimmick. Whether it’s hairspray, spandex, or just shock value, it’s always been important to you to be more than just a guitar-playing dude. While many bands had to settle for their pin-up looks, Dire Straits showed that it was possible to reach the top with just pure music.
The incredible synth opener “Money For Nothing” draws you in before giving way to an incredible guitar part ripped off by Mark Knopfler, who has played without a pick for most of his career. The initial guitar riff draws you in, but the cheekiness of the track comes during the opening lines of the song. Since MTV had only just hit the airwaves, Knopfler’s lyrics are the tale of a supply salesman he met who was bitter watching all those supposed “talentless” musicians making millions just by looking good on TV.
The song was already a great track, but the addition of Sting for the famous line of “I want my MTV” sent the song over the top, while the accompanying animated music video gave the track its own. uniqueness. Where many bands still reeked of 70s indulgence, “Money For Nothing” had the futuristic sound that heralded the arrival of the 80s.