The '80s were known as a real golden age for the world of hard rock. While the pop sphere was going through its own period of huge sounding tracks, the huge riffs of the '70s had exploded with new bands popping up at every corner. Though there were plenty of rock stars to go around, there was something slightly mysterious about the one with the guitar in their hands.
The guitarist is always the coveted spot in a rock act, getting the maximum amount of attention while still being able to shy away from the spotlight when you get the chance. Once the '80s started though, the guitarist became a fully fledged rock god, with some even outshining the spotlight of the singer. Instead of carrying on with long jams or playing poppy songs, you could just as easily be entertained with these guys shredding away for five minutes. However, it's not only what you play but also how you play it.
Aside from just being tremendous musicians, these guitarists also knew how to put just the right amount of emotion into their performances to keep the audience engaged every time they hit the stage. From technicians to steady rhythmic titans, these are the artists that helped shape the finesse of guitarists going forward.