True metal lovers might cringe when they read this list of the top 10 heavy metal songs of the 80s. For those who are really into heavy metal many of the songs I will present on this top 10 list will seem almost fluffy in comparison to what they are used to. But, then again, the 80s were a fluffy decade. Big hair, makeup, and flashy outfits often overshadowed the music. Still, there were a few bands who were rocking hard in the 80s, and hopefully even diehard metal fans can find a song or two they enjoy on this list. Here are my choices for the best metal songs of the 80s:
10 – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
After Bon Scott died many metal heads were worried that ACDC might never be the same. Well, Brian Johnson came in and quickly laid those fears to rest. The album Back in Black is one of the greatest metal albums of all time, and You Shook Me All Night Long still gets regular play on both radio stations and in night clubs to this day.
9 – Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head
A true anthem for those into heavy metal if I’ve ever heard one, and an easy choice for a spot on the list of the top 10 metal songs of the 80s. Quiet Riot only had two hits before quickly fading into obscurity, and Bang Your Head was the best of the two. Heavy metal fans do their best to forget that this song was featured in the dance movie Footloose.
8 – Def Leppard – Rock Of Ages
We all got a little dose of nostalgia when Offspring released their smash hit Pretty Fly (For A White Guy). The intro was the same as Def Leppard’s 80s metal classic, Rock Of Ages. Def Leppard is another one of those bands that is somewhere in between hard rock and metal, but this particular track falls on the side of metal, so I figured it should have a deserving spot on this top 10 list.
7 – Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Speaking of big hair and makeup, nobody had as much of both as Twisted Sister in the 80s. This is yet another band that quickly came and went, but We’re Not Gonna Take It along with I Wanna Rock are two of the most memorable metal songs of the 80s.
6 – Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane – This one had to be included on the list of the top 10 metal songs of the 80s. The Scorpions are perhaps more famous for their power ballad Winds Of Change, but Rock You Like A Hurricane will always be their signature song in my opinion.
5 – Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood
After Nikki Sixx overdosed on heroin, spent two minutes officially dead and was brought back by a pair of adrenaline shots to the heart the band Motley Crue took Sixx’s experience with heroin and turned it into the smash hit album, Dr. Feelgood. Kickstart My Heart is actually the song that details Sixx’s two minutes of death, but the biggest song off the album was no doubt the title track, Dr. Feelgood. Squeaking on to the list of the top 10 metal songs of the 80s by virtue of its late 1989 release date, this is the legendary bad boy band’s signature track.
4 – Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Metal fans are probably thinking, okay this is more like it. Unfortunately there weren’t that many pure metal tracks that were that great in the 80s, but Judas Priest’s You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ definitely fit the bill.
3 – Guns ‘n’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
One of the rare instances in music history when the taste of pop music fans and metal heads aligned was the release of the album Appetite For Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses. Welcome To The Jungle was just one of many smash hits off the album, and singer Axel Rose, along with lead guitar man Slash rose to legendary status as fast as any musicians in history.
2 – AC/DC – Back In Black
The title track from ACDC’s 42 million album selling record remains today one of metal’s all time anthems, and is instantly recognizable even by those who weren’t alive when it was released. Brian Johnson’s incredible vocals and Angus Young’s mastery on guitar make this one of the best metal songs of all time, and an easy choice for a high spot on the list of the top 10 metal songs of the 80s.
1 – Metallica – Master Of Puppets
Only second to ACDC as the biggest metal band on the planet, Metallica’s very name gives away their style of music. Metallica had metal fans banging their heads throughout the 80s, and Master Of Puppets is considered by most in the music business to be the band’s greatest achievement. A classic song, and a true rock anthem for metal fans worldwide.