Who were the best selling bands of the 1980s, and where are they now?

Anyone who grew up in the ’80s remembers its seminal events—the murder of John Lennon, the launch of the Space Shuttle, the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the release of Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller,” and the introduction of the Macintosh computer, are just a few that instantly come to mind.

Understanding the ’80s Through Its Soundtrack

It only makes sense that the music of the decade would mirror the times. To that end, Stacker scoured Billboard charts from the ’80s and chose 25 of the top bands whose music soundtracked the decade. We then researched each of the bands, reporting on their members, flashing back to their top hits, and sharing what they’re up to today.

A quick scan of the bands listed here reveals an eclectic cluster of artists and genres. Whether you like beards and blues, heavy metal, alternative rock or hard rock, you will find some inspiration on this list, which comprises legends who have sold millions of albums, won myriad awards, and earned their place in music history.

READ MORE: The Most Shocking Rock + Metal Moments of the ’80s

See photos of the best-selling bands of the ’80s back then and now, directly below!

Bestselling bands of the ’80s, then and now

Stacker scoured Billboard charts from the ’80s and chose 25 of the top bands whose music became the soundtrack of the decade. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Best New Rock / Metal Band of Each Year of the 1980s

Keeping the rock flowing.

Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire

5047