Best Rock Bands Of The 80s And 90s – The following list of the top 30 American classic rock bands of the ’90s reflects a decade of transition and evolution in music. Many groups that reached professional heights in the 80s and continued to ride this wave of success into the next decade feature holdover bands. Still, many more are newcomers, groups that formed in the 90s and quickly rose to national prominence.
After the hair-metal spandex extravaganza of the previous decade, the ’90s ushered in a new brand of rock: grunge. Combining elements of punk and metal with a counterculture approach, the genre brought a flurry of new bands to the forefront of music, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Grunge turned Seattle into a country rock hotbed and influenced all avenues of pop culture.
Best Rock Bands Of The 80s And 90s
However, grunge was not the only sound of the era. Several other subgenres emerged in the 90s, including industrial, pop-punk, and nu-metal. Technological advances brought music into the digital age, with computers becoming a tool in their own right. Meanwhile, hip-hop’s ascension into the mainstream created a ripple effect throughout music, with many rock bands incorporating rap elements into their own distinct styles.
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Our list focuses only on American bands, so artists from the Britpop invasion – such as Radiohead, Oasis and Blur – will not be included. Soloists were also excluded, leaving acts like Bruce Springsteen and Beck out in the cold. Even with these rules in place, narrowing it down to just 30 bands was quite a task, as you can see in the list below of the Top 30 American Classic Rock Bands of the 90s. Much of the best rock music made in the ’80s came from the US, and we’re honoring the best of it with our look at the top 20 American classic rock bands of the ’80s.
The 80s was a period of massive rock dominance, opening the doors to hair metal, glam rock and new wave for new artists, further inspiring established acts. Technology also played a large role in shaping rock as digital synthesizers, programmable drum machines, and sequencers became commonplace in the 70s, when experimentation with electronic keyboards first came to fruition, and guitar-based acts began to look to incorporate them into their sound.
Narrowing our list down to just 20 bands was difficult, especially given the number of worthy nominees. For the purposes of this exercise, the groups were classified only on the work they provided between 1980 and 1989. We see how he worked through the unique artistic and professional challenges he faced in the 80s.
Solo artists were excluded, meaning that Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, Billy Joel and many other vaunted stars were absent from our list, as were bands with multi-national lineups such as Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner (although one group made an exception. An American Single is a continuing member). In the end, we came up with an impressive collection of bands from across the era. Naturally, several big names made the cut, including Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. Read on to see exactly where they landed on our list of the top 80s American classic rock bands. The arrival of the 1980s marked the end of the disco era and the beginning of the dance pop and New Wave styles of music. Traditional rock bands played, but paved the way for some harder rock music like heavy metal or thrash metal. So 80s bands are an eclectic mix of styles, tunes and a lot of hairspray. While some bands have fallen off the radar, many are still touring today (in some cases in different configurations). Let’s take a look at some of our favorite ’80s groups and see what they’re up to today.
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The Los Angeles based band was formed in 1981 – and consisted of bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, lead guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil. The crew is known for big hits like “Dr. Feelgood”, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, “Home Sweet Home” and “Shout at the Devil”. Drummer Tommy Lee was known for some of his over the top stunts such as a drum kit that flips upside down as well as his dating life.
The crew had a tough time in the 90s. They broke up, then got back together, then performed with a different drummer and lead singer. They reunited in 2004, and despite insisting they were retiring from touring in 2015, the band will tour with Def Leppard and Poison in 2022.
Formed in the 70s, the rock band was originally composed of brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen, with Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth as frontmen. In the early 80’s the band had big hits like “Jump”, “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher”. Back in the days when MTV really played music videos, they did a lot of pop covers like “California Girls”, “Just a Gigolo” and “Pretty Woman” with funny videos. But Roth left the band in 1985 and was replaced by Sammy Hagar until 1996.
Don’t ask diehard Van Halen fans if you’ve got at least an hour to kill if they didn’t like Gary Cherone (the former frontman), unless you’ve got at least an hour to kill Hagar or David Lee Roth. Extreme) who stepped in when Hagar left the band. And the tension and drama didn’t stop with the marchers. Bassist Michael Anthony left the band and was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen. The band continued to release new music and toured in 2015, but when Eddie Van Halen died in the fall of 2020, it seemed to signal the official end of Van Halen.
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This hard rock band formed in 1985 with Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. Their debut album “Appetite for Destruction” was a smash hit thanks to Slash’s talent and Axl’s unique voice. After “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’Mine”, GNR continued to make hits with “G N’R Lies” and “Use Your Illusion I and II”. If you’re too young to remember, watch the video for “November Rain” right now.
After a lot of creative disagreements in the late 90s – Slash left, Adler quit and sued the band, and Stradlin left, the long-promised album “Chinese Democracy” was postponed, and several last-minute cancellations of concerts were unhappy or showed up. Starting hours late. It was a tough time, but the band most recently included Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Slash, Druff McKagan, Frank Ferrer and toured again in 2016-2017 and was due to tour in 2020 before the pandemic pushed their dates back. .
Originally consisting of Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres, Alex John Such and Richie Sambora, the Jersey Boys blended rock and pop to create some very popular hits. Their first single “Runaway” became a Top 40 hit and their third album “Slippery When Wet” yielded several hits including “You Give Love a Bad Name” and Livin’ on a Prayer. They followed that with “New Jersey” featuring “I’ll Be There for You” and “Bad Medicine.” And both Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi released solo records in the early ’90s.
Sambora and Such left the band and were replaced by Phil X and Hugh Macdonald, while the band has been touring regularly and producing new music since the 80s. They were supposed to tour in 2020, but canceled their concerts due to the pandemic.
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Formed in the UK in the late 70s, the band hit the States with their hit single “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” and followed it up with the album “Pyromania”. But it was their third album “Hysteria” that was filled with hits like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Love Bites”. The original band members were Pete Willis, Rick Savage, Joe Elliott and Tony Kenning. Although Kenning left before the band hit it big, he was replaced by young drummer Rick Allen, who lost an arm in a car accident in 1984 but quickly found a way to rock with a custom drum kit and play more with his feet. Also early on Willis was replaced by Phil Callan and in 1991, guitarist Clarke died of a drug overdose and was replaced by Vivian Campbell.
Record sales began to decline in the early ’90s, but the band continued to play and tour, and the band stuck together and held a residency in Las Vegas in 2013. Def Leppard was supposed to tour with Poison and Mötley Crüe in 2020, but the tour has been postponed until 2022 due to Covid.
The glam rock band was known for their big hair and their skintight outfits. The Pennsylvania band began as lead singer Brett Michaels, along with Matt Smith, Bobby Dahl and Ricky Rockett. Smith left before the show’s first record deal was signed and was replaced by guitarist C.C. Devil. Their debut album featured songs like “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Me”.