10 Perfect Rock Albums Of The 1980s

Era of Musical Giants.

U2 The Joshua Tree

Once the flabbiness of '70s rock faded, the next decade was about to be a whole lot more fun. While it might seem beyond cheesy now, there's still a lot more quality in the '80s that we don't need the rose colored glasses as much. But what exactly made this decade glorious to begin with?

If you had to place blame, a little station called MTV was probably your prime candidate for making the '80s happen the way they did. Now that we got to actually see the artists perform these songs, it almost felt like there was more flesh and blood to everything that you heard on the radio. When you strip away the gimmicks, these were the kind of songs that felt like more than just your average party jam that you could blast out of the back of your car.

No, these were songs that felt like they could last long after you're gone, with messages the spoke more to your soul than to any casual rock fan. As much as some genres like hair metal may have come off as campy, these are the songs that became the soundtrack of the future. Compared to the normal fare you would find in the '90s and beyond, these are the anthems that had the power to shake the world.

10. Permanent Waves - Rush

Once the era of MTV kicked into high gear, the world of prog rock was dealt a significant blow. Though bands like Yes and Genesis did manage to transition into the music video era pretty well, the age of mile long solos and Emerson Lake and Palmer had long since faded from view. Even when people were pairing things down and making everything simpler, Rush kept their complexity and managed to hit the charts anyway.

Coming at the very start of the '80s, Permanent Waves is the sound of this Canadian three piece finally finding out what works best for the Rush mold, incorporating everything from reggae music to multi part songs without batting an eye. Though some of these tracks are a bit on the long side for rock radio standards, it would take a strong listener to hear the opening lick of Spirit of Radio and decide to turn the dial.

When breaking down the lyrics, this is also one of the more emotional albums that Rush would ever make, with Neil Peart dealing with the idea of freedom of choice on Freewill and the harsh realities that come with trying to find human connection on Entre Nous. The subject matter might seem dour as all hell on the first listen, but the actual music is some of the most fun that you will have while listening to prog rock.

In this post: 
First Posted On: 

I'm just a junkie for all things media. Whether it's music, movies, TV, or just other reviews, I absolutely adore this stuff. But music was my first love, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you good people. Follow Me On Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/timcoffman97