The Albums That Created 80s Rock
The decade of the ’80s was perhaps the best for Rock, that’s why it is called the Golden Age of Rock.
No one was immune to the emergence of the new wave at the beginning of the decade, where new and traditional groups began to incorporate new sounds to their creative proposals.
Meanwhile, classic rock and, later, metal began a transformation toward mass acceptance when the edges softened to form stadium rock and hair metal, respectively.
The advent of funk. thrash and the influence of commercial world music kept things interesting along the way.
All of which made selecting the best releases of the era both intriguing and deeply challenging.
This is our particular list of the best bands and their albums of the decade, it can always cause suspicions, but here goes.
Van Halen: Women and Children First
Third album by the American band, released in March 1980. It was the first Van Halen album that didn’t include any cover songs, and was described by critics as «the album in which the group began to become heavier, both in sonorous and in thematic».
The opening theme, «And the Cradle Will Rock…» begins with what looks like a guitar, but is actually a Wurlitzer electric piano.
Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell
When Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osborne in April 1980, the band was reborn from the ashes. Bassist Geoff Nicholls joined for this album, since Geezer Butler had threatened to leave. In the end Butler stayed and Nocholls switched to keyboards.
Heaven and Hell became the band’s best selling album. Our favorite tracks: Walk Away and Children of the Sea.
ELvis Costello: Get Happy!!
A young misfit, that’s how we could describe Elvis Costello. He was not destined to follow the «music Industry Stablishment» and made it notorious when he was defenestrated as a racist. But in the 80’s he returned to success with «Get Happy!!», a totally different approach with Gospel and Jazz influences, abandoning his Punk roots, which is why he earned the name «The Imposter», name of the third track from “Get Happy!!” album.
AC/DC: Black in Black
The post-mortem tribute to charismatic vocalist Bon Scott doubles as a statement of purpose. With new singer Brian Johnson at the helm, the group delivered their best album with a perfect blend of hard rock and blues.
This album is one of the great moments in the history of the Australian group with a sound well smeared with sexuality, energy and joviality. One of the best bands on the world.
Rolling Stones: Tattoo You
1981, Jagger and Richards couldn’t even stand each other, let alone write music. But that year they released «Tatto You», considered their last great album. The way in which the album was released is part of rock and roll legend. The album’s tracks come mainly from discards of recording sessions from the 70s.
Start Me Up, one of the English group’s best songs, was originally called «Never Stop» and was a reggae-influenced song.
King Grimsom: Discipline
In 1981 King Crimson returned after seven years of inactivity with a new-wave style of the era, thanks in large part to the addition of singer and guitarist Adrian Belew, a former David Bowie collaborator. Also joining was bassist Tony Levin, who added new depth.
It wasn’t the prog-redux moment many might have expected with a new supergroup featuring members of Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer and King Crimson. Instead, it was a huge pop hit. So huge, in fact, that Asia almost immediately started splitting apart.
Kiss: Creatures of the Night
With their career in tatters, Kiss finally stopped messing around with disco, pop and concept albums and delivered their heaviest and most sophisticated album ever. Someday we’re going to convince them to play «Saint and Sinner» and «Rock and Roll Hell» live
The Police: Synchronicity
The ultimate lesson on leaving at the top of your game, the Police’s last album is a dark and complex masterpiece that was light-years from the reggae-infused punk of their first few records. But it was tuneful and accessible enough to sell eight million copies and have four smash hit singles.
David Bowie: Scary Monsters
After the critically lauded but commercially less successful Berlin Trilogy, Bowie began blending in more obvious pop sensibilities – and quickly returned to the top of the UK charts. ‘Scary Monsters’ can be seen now as a capstone on his ’70s-era experimentalism.
Billy Joel: Innocent Man
As he was falling in love with supermodel Christie Brinkley, Billy Joel looked back at the rock and soul music of his youth on ‘An Innocent Man.’ It spawned three Top 10 hits and remained on the charts for more than 100 weeks.
Bruce Springsteen: Born in USA
The moment where Springsteen became the biggest rock star on the planet. And he managed it with one of his best set of songs – all rage, sorrow and nostalgia for better days. A landmark record of the ’80s and a timeless classic.