50 iconic 80s bands you have probably never heard of (but should)

50 iconic 80s bands you have probably never heard of (but should)

Are you a lover of great music, and creators of excellent tunes? Well, you may love the 80s bands as they seemed to have a raw feel to them. Music must have been a great deal at the time since 80s music artists seemed to prefer forming bands as opposed to pursuing solo careers as it is today.

80s hair bands
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While there were numerous bands that created great music, it appears as though anyone who could sing wanted to join forces and form a band. This may have resulted in so many bands that some got forgotten in the process.

80s bands that got forgotten over time

What 80s band was most popular? You can count groups like Metallica and Tears for Fears. This would cover a number of 80s metal bands too. You may also want to remember one of the 80s hair bands, Bon Jovi.

Besides these, consider the following 80s rock bands and other bands that may not be as popular, and could be forgotten. They include:

50. Trouble Funk

80s rock bands
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They grew more popular after their 1982 track ‘Pump Me Up,’ which still lives on to date. The song has been sampled by M/A/R/R/S, Public Enemy, George Clinton, EPMD, Kurtis Blow, Squarepusher, Run-DMC, Will Smith, and even Vanilla Ice. If this does not prove that they were worth checking out, then nothing else would.

49. The Woodentops

The Woodentops were named after a 1950s TV puppet series, The Woodentops. They were and probably still are London's ramshackle rock band whose potential was evident but unfortunately did not get a chance to live to their full potential. Even though this was not one of the best 80s hair bands, it had the potential to grow to one of the best music bands.

48. The Replacements

Although they are not forgotten, they do not seem to enjoy the same position they had among their American fans. They were semi-huge in America, as they always popped up in Rolling Stone polls. Even though they are back on the scene after being sidelined by competitors, they are still pretty unknown.

47. The Trash Can Sinatras

Who were popular singers and musicians during the 1980s? You may think of a couple of names, including Whitney Huston, Michael Jackson, and even Stevie Wonder, as some of the biggest singers in the 80s. Even so, there are a few bands of the 80s that should not have been forgotten. This list includes the Sinatras.

The Trash Can Sinatras from Scotland were forgotten in both the 80s and the 90s. Even so, that did not stop them from being around even today. Even though they did not become a huge success, their passion for music makes them worth checking out.

46. James Taylor Quartet

Another of the 80's bands is the James Taylor Quartet. They may have had an idea of how to make it as a successful band but unfortunately did not get to live their dream. For some reason, they remained hidden and unknown.

45. The Men They Couldn’t Hang

The Men They Couldn’t Hang may be from decades back, but they are still here. They were most popular in 1985 when their raucous folk-punk went all the way to No.3 in John Peel’s Festive 50 with their first single ‘The Green Fields Of France.’ Sean O’Hagan, in NME, described them as “blissfully anarchic.”

44. Rip Rig + Panic

The band was a huge deal in 1982. However, the Bristol post-punk-fun-jazzateers had to contend with just being one of those bands that made it to the scene but did not get far. Even so, one of their singers, Neneh Cherry, survived to forge a decent career.

43. The Sound

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Popular 80s boy bands like the Boyz 11 Men-inspired many groups. The Sound, which was fronted by the “brilliant, troubled” Adrian Borland, emerged from South London in 1979 with rock music resembling mainstream contemporaries like U2 and Echo and The Bunnymen. However, they never got the recognition they deserved.

42. Tackhead

This is one of the bands from the 80s that is not entirely defunct. Tackhead’s fame was still pretty much confined to the 80s when US rhythm kings Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, and Keith

41. Smith & Mighty

Rob Smith and Ray Mighty are rarely mentioned catalysts of the Bristol trip-hop scene that wormed its tendrils everywhere in the 90s. They started early enough after releasing ‘Anyone,’ which was a cover of Dionne Warwick’s ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ in 1988. They then went on to producing Massive Attack’s first single ‘Any Love.

40. Spear Of Destiny

This was where former Blitz kid and member of Theatre Of Hate, Kirk Brandon, found his own vehicle, but he never quite got to flourish in his pop thing. Even so, the chest-beating ‘Never Take Me Alive’ was a bonafide hit in 1987.

39. The Pale Fountains

This brilliant group of brothers, Mick and John Head, have been dragged into the doyens of unjust obscurity. They were able to hone their skills with the Fountains’ soulful, weathered pop as well as with producer Ian Broudie.

38. Martin Stephenson & The Daintees

80s rock bands
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This group is best remembered for peddling a pure but sophisticated folk-rock on treasured albums like ‘Boat To Bolivia’ and ‘Gladsome, Humour & Blue.’ Stephenson still releases some of the hits while on the road today.

37. Lisa Lisa, Cult Jam & Full Force

This is the all familiar 80s hipsters group that managed to nudge the freestyle/hip-hop amalgam of a band into the charts. They were a huge deal in the States as they released actual No.1 singles and platinum albums. It is still surprising that most people still don't remember them.

36. Win

It was formed from the embers of DIY legends The Fire Engines and later to morph into T. Rex/Television fanboys. The Nectarine No.9, Scotland’s Win, released two lurid but wonderful bubblegum pop albums, ‘Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon)’ and ‘Freaky Trigger.’ They also punted out unspeakably catchy single ‘You’ve Got The Power’ about a dozen times despite having little to no effect.

35. Skidoo

If anyone is thinking about industrial funk crew, then this is. This is because their ‘Coup’ was sampled by The Chemical Brothers for 1997 No.1 ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’. Even that is ancient now since it would be hard to come up with something commercially feasible.

34. Gene Loves Jezebel

If you picked up any of the inkies around 1986, you would have been guaranteed to see luscious, pouting twin brothers Jay and Michael Aston staring back at you. The two were best known for their song ‘Sweetest Thing’ made No.75, but unfortunately, they were not able to make it to the list of the greatest.

33. Front 242

Sometimes you can influence everyone under the sun, change the course of a continent’s music, and still, no one even knows who you are. Such was the case with the Front 242. The Belgian electro-industrialists have been working in this music niche since 1981, but for some reason, they are not leading in the genre.

32. We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It!!

We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It! It’s OK; they shortened their name to Fuzzbox when commercial success came beckoning. Yet another 80s band that’s reappeared recently to milk those nostalgia quids, the Brummie ladies were a (vaguely) slick precursor to Riot Grrrl and enjoyed four whole top 40 hits.

31. Les Negresses Vertes

80s hair bands
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This is a French pop group from the 1980s. They are what you would describe as crazy baroque rockers Les Negresses Vertes, one of the few Gallic exports. Their debut album ‘Mlah’ flirted with the top 100 before people lost interest with them again.

30. The Frank Chickens

These were the music press and John Peel Festive 50 mainstays in the mid-80s. The Japanese duo The Frank Chickens, who are Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi, got some level of the mainstream breakthrough at the end of the decade when they hosted short-lived karaoke show Kazuko’s Karaoke Klub on Channel 4. Most people would remember this.

29. Diesel Park West

This is another band that has somehow contrived to carry on in the face of nigh-on zero interest. They are from Leicester and can still be pegged to 1989 when their debut album ‘Shakespeare Alabama’ was released. A robust collection of heartfelt Big Music that also drew heavily on The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, it disappeared beneath the Madchester wave.

28. Linx

The immortal David Grant – who now spends his time trying to teach everyone to sing on the BB. He first cropped up as frontman of Brit funk duo Linx, taking a pioneering sound right into the UK top 10 with ‘Intuition’ back in 1981. The effect of a drab solo career turned Grant’s head, but before then, he was at the fearless vanguard of British black music.

27. Colourbox

The electro bros Martyn and Steve Young were better known when they went off-piste. There was ‘The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme’ – the totally unofficial theme to Mexico ’86 –, as well as, ‘Pump Up The Volume.’

26. Dolly Mixture

80's bands
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The Cambridge indie-poppers Dolly Mixture had big ambitions. They had a dream of writing classic songs, but no one knows if this is what they eventually did.

25. The Blue Aeroplanes

They are Bristol’s answer to REM. The Blue Aeroplanes, who were led by Gerard Langley, made a robust rock that resembled the 60s group, The Velvet Underground but were attuned like their Atlanta peers to the late 80s. The Blue Aeroplanes are still around, although differently.

24. Wee Papa Girl Rappers

They were London’s answer to the Cookie Crew. The twin sisters Sandra and Samantha Lawrence, started out as backing singers to ex-Undertones warbler (and the future UK live music tsar) Feargal Sharkey before they shaped a short, but appealing career with hip-pop gems like ‘Wee Rule’ in 1988.

23. The Railway Children

The group reached for the moon when they started off as a sweet jangly proposition on Factory before going for the Virgin Records big bucks. They enjoyed brief success with ‘Every Beat Of The Heart’ before they were dropped.

22. The Sandkings

80s rock bands
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You may not be familiar with the Wolverhampton grebo-psychers, but you will have indelible memories of lead singer Jas Mann who left in the early 90s to pull stupid acid casualty faces as Babylon Zoo. This group was great and the loss was painful.

21. Working Week

The Working Week made things in the 80s seem easy and fabulous. They had an easy approach to their music.

20. The Shop Assistants

The Edinburgh’s Shop Assistants were one of this publication’s C86 bands with a less than representative track. Their ‘It’s Up To You’ did not quite capture their shambling semi-aesthetic.

19. The Three Johns

They were a huge hit as no indie chart of the mid-80s was complete without a track from left-wing Leeds icons. Jon Langford, John Hyatt, and Phillip “John” Brennan were “probably the best band at the time. It is sad that they eventually got forgotten.

18. The Nightingales

These post-punk purists were formed from the wreckage of The Prefects at the fag-end of the 70s. Robert Lloyd was the group's lead man and main constant over a stop-start 35-year career. It is good to know that the group is back.

17. The Jeremy Days

Their self-titled 1988 debut album was actually produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. They are the men in the chair for the Commotions 1985 set ‘Easy Pieces.’ It is here that they picked up coverage.

16. The Brilliant Corners

The Brilliant Corners got their name from a Thelonious Monk album and put in respectable hours in the indie charts without taking their off-kilter pop to the big time. They may be what you would consider a hopeful team of success, but these hopes were trashed when they split in 1993.

15. The Adventures

The team could have been contenders of some of the best, or at least make it to the list of the best bands at the time. The Belfast’s Adventures were known to specialize in grand, sweeping pop, with their 1988 single ‘Broken Land’ becoming a hit all over the world. Unfortunately, it did not make them a hit.

14. Stump

Stump Microdisney founder members Rob McKahey and Mick Lynch slipped off when the band moved to London and formed Stump. This was an opportunity to release some great records. ‘Quirk Out’ is the indie chart legend, but ‘Charlton Heston’ featured the line “Charlton Heston put his vest on,” which is inspired pop gold.

13. Roman Holiday

80s boy bands
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The group was spurred by a minor trad rock’n’roll revival in the early 80s. Roman Holiday went all the way and brought back the swing.

12. Pale Saints

They may have sneaked in at the tail end of the decade, Leeds’ Pale Saints lit up the indie charts with 1989 EP ‘Barging Into The Presence Of God.

11. The Monochrome Set

They existed in the heady days when they were part of the ubiquitous indie faves. The Monochrome Set climbed to the dizzy heights of No.62 in the album chart with their debut ‘Strange Boutique.’ They have rebranded in different formations to help them stay around that long.

10. Microdisney

80s bands
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The cruelly undersung brainchild of Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan make up this group. They called out South African “bastards” and Russian despots to the sound of sweet rhythm ‘n’ blues and ended up brilliantly wasting thousands of Virgin Records pounds.

9. Hipsway

The Hipsway never quite got to the point of consistent success. Still, ‘The Honeythief ’ one of their clipped slice of Scots disco-funk – made it to the UK top 20. If you are to ask, what pop groups were around in the 80s? This would be a good example.

8. Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie

As one of the 80's rock bands, The Scots rockers Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie are “famous” for two things. The first is the minor hit ‘The Rattler’ that sounds so much bigger than it ever was. The second one was the launchpad for Garbage singer Shirley Manson. They have never reformed since their 1995 split.

7. Crazyhead

This Leicester band made the No.65 position in the singles chart. Their own wallowed in classic names like Vom, Fast Dick and Porkbeast but unfortunately had to watch as The Wonder Stuff claimed all the “glory.”

6. Eyeless In Gaza

The Eyeless In Gaza was named after an Aldous Huxley novel. They may have had a few great shows, but in the end, they never made it big.

5. Floy Joy

80s bands
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Everyone knows Floy Joy. Unfortunately, some of their songs were not a big hit until other singers redid them.

4. Close Lobsters

The Paisley shamblers, Close Lobsters, never quite dominated the mid-80s chart lead. However, it appears as though people enjoyed their crisp psychedelia at the time. They seem to have a good spot as they reunited 25 years later.

3. Chakk

Chakk got together in Sheffield, and were attracted there by The Human League and Cabaret Voltaire. They managed to ground themselves, and they made an album for MCA.

2. Band Of Susans

The band had always intended to be unique and different from the beginning. They have managed to wow fans with this, which could be why they have lasted that long.

1. Age Of Chance

Two years before Tom Jones bellowed all over the top of it, the Leeds agit-poppers Age Of Chance were putting their own electro spin on Prince’s ‘Kiss.

The 80s bands were diverse and came with different appeals. It is a pity that most never made it to the expected glory.

Source: Legit.ng

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