Top 30 Guitar Rock Songs Of The 1980s You Must Learn To Play

Rock as a genre has played a very vital role in music over the years. It was a little more felt at the earlier stage than it is now. In the beginning, it was basically regarded as a rhythm and blues which was mainly done by American musicians. 

Over the years, it gained popularity across the United States and overseas to Europe. Also, because the genre was still pretty new and all rock artists had their own unique definition and style of the genre, watering it down into various subgenres, which are blue rock, hard rock, glam rock, punk rock, heavy metal, soft rock, and pop-rock are. 

In the 1980s, heavy metal took the center stage, the aggressiveness, and loudness of its subgenres such as glam metal, thrash metal, black metal, and death metal made it easy for it to break into the mainstream. 

In addition, alternative rock emerged. It was very different in sound, social context, and even in root from the heavy metal. In the 1980s, it grew more eminently and prominently, attaining a major mainstream recognition.

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine

  • Year: 1987
  • Album: Appetite for Destruction
  • Genres: Heavy metal, Hard Rock, Rock

Guns N’ Roses often also known as GNR is a popular hard rock band. They were formed in California(LA) in 1986. The original band members are vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.

Though the lineup has changed over time. One thing that made this band a standout was their ardent hedonism and rebelliousness, one which was likened to the early Rolling Stones. And this earned them the nickname “The most dangerous band in the world”. The band has sold over 100 million records. They are the 41st best-selling artist of all time.

In 1987, “sweet mine o child”, a single from the band’s debut album, Appetite for Destruction reached the number one spot on the Billboard 200. This song eventually became the band’s only song to be number one. 

The song is 198th on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song reached the 6th position on the 100 greatest guitar tracks, amongst other charts the song appeared on.

The Police – Every Breath You Take

  • Year: 1983
  • Album:  Synchronicity
  • Genres: Rock

The police is a British rock band formed in the late 1970s. The band became popular in the 1980s when they took center stage and achieved mainstream success. The six Grammy awards and the two Brit awards the group received are proof of the success of the band music-wise. 

The band was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 2003. After five years, in 2008, they had a reunion tour and ended up making themselves the world’s highest-earning musicians at that time.

The police released “Every breath you take” in May 1983, four years after the release of their first album. Immediately after the release of the song in 1983, the song became the biggest hit both in the UK and the US.  

The song topped the US Billboard hot 100 for eight weeks and won the band two Grammy awards. The song became one of the songs that started rock and roll and were 25th in the Billboard’s hot 100 all-time. The song also became the band’s signature song and ranked the number one song for the year 1983.

Related Post
If you want to play more of the 80’s rock and metal tunes, this list might just be for you Top 40 Famous&Easy Glam/Hair Metal Songs/Riffs – Tabs Included

Europe – The Final Countdown

  • Year: 1986
  • Album:  The Final Countdown
  • Genres: Glam Metal, Hard Rock

Europe is a Swedish band formed in the late 1970s in Uppland Vasby. The band was formed by Joey Tempest (vocalist), John Norum (guitarist), Peter Olsson (bass guitarist), and Tony Reno (Drummer). 

The band competed for a Swedish rock Championship, which of course they won. It didn’t stop there, they ended up becoming more successful and much more popular than the competition itself. The band has a collection of awards which include Grammys, the best Swedish group, best hard rock/metal, etc’.

The Final Countdown was their first single. Joey Tempest wrote the song and the band released their third album named after the song. The song was first in the UK and in about 24 other countries. It peaked at 8th on the US billboard hot 100

The Final Countdown Guitar Tabs

Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger

  • Year: 1982
  • Album:  Eye of the Tiger
  • Genres: Rock

Survivor is a famous platinum rock band formed in the late 1970s in Chicago. In the 1980s, the band seemed to be unstoppable, and with chart-topping singles and platinum-certified hits, the band was without a doubt successful.

But unfortunately, the band split in 1988 shortly after the release of their too hot to sleep album. This was a result of the tension between the founding members. In 2000, the band reunited, not all of them though, and they managed to release a new album in 2006.

Eye of the Tiger is a double-platinum single. After its release in 1982, the song reached the Billboard hot 100 charts for a whopping six weeks. Eventually, it was named the number two single of 1982. 

The song also won the band a Grammy award for the best rock performance and stayed in the top ten for 15 weeks. In August 1982, the song attained platinum status. It sold over two million copies and sold over 4.1 million digital downloads in the US alone.

Eye Of The Tiger Guitar Tabs

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer

  • Year: 1986
  • Album:  Slippery When Wet
  • Genres: Rock

Bon Jovi is a New Jersey-originated American rock band named after its singer and songwriter Jon Bon Jovi. Other members of the band include David Bryan (Keyboardist), Tico Torres (drummer), Phil X (guitarist), and Hugh McDonald (Bassist). 

The band has released over 13 studio albums and about three live albums, selling over 100 million records. The band has also wrapped up a handful of awards, one of them is American Music Award(AMA). In 2006 and 2018, the band became an inductee of the UK music hall of fame and US rock and roll hall of fame.

Livin’ on a prayer is one of the band’s chart-topping songs. The band released the song in the band’s third album titled slippery when wet. the song found its way to the top of the Billboard mainstream rock chart. The song became the band’s signature song, and with well over 3 million downloads, it got triple platinum certification.

AC/DC – Back In Black

  • Year: 1980
  • Album:  Back in Black
  • Genres: Hard Rock

AC/DC are an Australian hard rock band formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. The band seemed like it was heading to an epic failure even at the start of the musical career. 

It went through a series of line-up changes even before the release of their first album “High Voltage”. After the release of the album, the band’s vocalist and lead singer, Bon Scott died of heavy consumption of alcohol. 

The band bounced back by releasing a new album “Back in Black”, a song dedicated to Scott’s memory, which eventually became their best-seller. The band enjoyed a successful spree thereafter, selling over 200 million records worldwide and wrapping up a few awards while at it.

“Back in Black”  is the band’s song that appeared in their 1980 album which also has the same name as the song. The song was some kind of tribute by the band to their former singer Bon Scott. After the release of the song, it attracts the praise of many, and Metal Hammer magazine mentioned the song as one of the greatest songs ever. 

Shortly after this, the song made its way to 4th place on the VH1’s list of the 40 greatest metal songs. A couple of years later, VH1 went on to name it the second greatest hard rock song of all time. The song peaked at 37th on the Billboard hot 100 and 51st  on the Billboard’s Top Tracks chart.

Back In Black Guitar Tabs

Metallica – One

  • Year: 1988
  • Album:  …And Justice for All
  • Genres: Progressive metal, Metal

Metallica is a rock band formed in October 1981 In L.A. The band released its debut album, “Metal up your ass” in 1983 and has been in the spotlight ever since. What made them special from the rest was their fast tempos and the aggressiveness in their music. 

The band released nine studio albums, four live albums, and made a total of 37 singles. consequently, they have nine Grammy awards to their name and have sold over 128 million records worldwide. 

In 1988, the band released a “And Justice for All” album which without a doubt was a bomb. The album peaked at six on the billboard 200 and was the band’s first to go into the top ten. One is one of the band’s singles originally released on their third album though it was also the last single on their fourth album. 

The song is an anti-war song from the perspective of a wounded soldier, with no arms and legs who couldn’t see, move or speak, Begging God to take his pain away and end his suffering. 

It was the band’s first song to appear on the top 40 hits, taking 35th in the US Billboard Hot 100 and winning them a Grammy. Also, it was voted the greatest rock song of all time. 

One Guitar Tabs

Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69

  • Year: 1984
  • Album:  Reckless
  • Genres: Rock

Bryan Adams is a Canadian musician, songwriter, producer. His 1983 Cuts Likes a Knife album brought him to the limelight in Canada and the United States. But, it was his 1984 Reckless album that turned him into a global icon. 

Adam has about 15 Grammy awards, 20 Juno awards, and about 56 nominations. He has also won the MTV awards, American Music Awards among other notable awards he has wrapped up. He became an inductee of the Hollywood walk of fame, Canadian music hall of fame among other honors.

Summer of 69 is one of Bryan’s songs which was released in 1984 reckless album. Adams co-wrote the song with Jim Vallance in 1984. When the song was initially released, it only managed to reach number 40 on the billboard hot 200. 

But a few months later, the song managed to get to 5th place on the chart, helping to push the album to the top of the chart. The song reached number 4th in the list of the 50 best Canadian singles of all time.

Summer Of 69 Guitar Tabs

Iron Maiden – The Trooper

  • Year: 1983
  • Album: Piece of Mind
  • Genre: New wave of British heavy metal

Iron Maiden is a heavy metal rock band that originated from east London, England. Steve Harris, the bassist, and the main songwriter formed the band. The band has released about thirty-eight albums and is the pioneers of the new British heavy metal. 

The band is also considered one of the most successful to go down in the history of rock music. They often wave a union flag during their live performances. The band has also received its own share of criticism especially from Sharon Osbourne, who accused the band of being disrespectful to the American troops.

The trooper is a song based on the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava 1854 written by Steve Harris. The band released the song as the second single in their fourth studio album. 

The song got much praise and as a result, got much radio play. In addition, it found itself at number 12 in the UK singles chart and number 28 on the US mainstream chart.

The Trooper Guitar Tabs

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again

  • Year: 1982
  • Album:  Saints & Sinners
  • Genres: Hard Rock

Whitesnake is an English hard rock band I find incredibly outstanding. David Coverdale, a former Deep Purple band member who departed the band for personal reasons formed the band. 

At first, the band did the blues-rock material which was oftentimes criticized by critics as the style peculiar to deep purple. But eventually, the band moved towards the more commercially acceptable style for which they are well known today. 

As time went on, the band released outstanding songs and albums that made the top ten in both the UK and the US, and some got certified platinum.

Here I go again is one of the two most successful singles by the band. The song was originally written by David Coverdale and the band’s guitarist, Bernie Marsden, and released in their saint & sinners, the power ballad album, though it was re-recorded on their self-titled album. 

The song went straight to the top of the Billboard hot 100 charts and made the 9th on the UK singles chart. The album also went 8 times platinum and then got the nomination for the Brit Award for the best British group. The song was also 17th on the VH1’s list of 100 greatest songs of the 1980s.

Here I Go Again Guitar Chords

Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock

  • Year: 1984
  • Album:  Stay Hungry
  • Genres: Hard Rock

Twisted sister is a very famous American heavy metal band that was originally New Jersey-based but later moved to New York. The band is best known for two of their major hits “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re not gonna take it”. 

The band reached number 73rd in the VH1’ 100 greatest artists of the hard rock list. In addition, they wrapped up a handful of awards and in October 2006, it became an inductee of the Long Island Hall of fame.

I Wanna Rock is a twisted sister’s song written and composed by Dee Snider. the band released the song on their Stay Hungry album. The song made its way to the 68th spot on the US Billboard hot 100 and 35th on the US Billboard top tracks. 

The song peaked highest in South Africa and Norway, staying at the third and fifth spots respectively. In 2009, VH1 named the song the 17th greatest hard rock song of all time.

I Wanna Rock Guitar Tabs

Van Halen – Jump

  • Year: 1983
  • Album:  1984
  • Genres: Rock

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in 1972 and by Eddie and Alex Van Halen. The band originally consisted of Eddie Van Halen (Guitarist), David Lee Roth (vocalist), Alex Van Halen (drummer), and Michael Anthony (Bassist). They grew from being a little band started by two brothers into the level of a renowned worldwide success as far as rock and music are concerned. 

Van Halen is one of the most successful rock bands of all time. The band has about thirteen songs that peaked at the number 1 spot on the Billboard chart. VH1 was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame and the song peaked at seventh on the top 100 hard rock songs of all time.

Jump is the band’s most successful single of all time. The song was 18th on the VH1’s list of 100 greatest songs of the 1980s. the song was also one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. 

The song was also certified gold in both the US and Italy with over 1 million and 25,000 sales respectively.

Jump Guitar Tabs

Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me

  • Year: 1987
  • Album:  Hysteria
  • Genres: Metal, Rock

This is a Sheffield originated English rock band formed in 1977. As at the inception of the band, it consisted of Joe Elliot, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. 

The band witnessed its highest ups in between the early 80s and the early 90s. in this period, the band had many platinum-certified albums, one of them is pyromania, which also made the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, taking the 384th spot.

Having sold over 100 million records, the band is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. And RIAA certified their two albums Pyromania and Hysteria diamond. The band is 70th in the VH1 Greatest artists of all time.

Pour Some Sugar on Me made it to the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also considered the second on the 2006 version of VH1’s 100 greatest songs of the 1980s. 

The album was also rated 1st on the top of the album chart, it was also the first song used by stripers during their set. One interesting fact about the song and its album Hysteria is that, despite selling over 3 million copies, the album couldn’t and still can’t cover its cost of production, it is arguably the most expensive album in the world.

Pour Some Sugar On Me Guitar Tabs

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – I Love Rock N Roll

  • Year: 1981
  • Album:  I Love Rock ‘n Roll
  • Genres: Rock

Joan is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. She is the frontwoman of her band(Jett & the Blackhearts). She has three gold albums certified by the RIAA. Throughout her career, she has always been a feminist icon. She is often referred to as the queen of rock and roll and the Godmother of Punk.

I Love Rock N Roll was originally written by Alen Merill and released by the band named Arrows. At first, she did the song with Steve Jones and Paul Cook. Later on, she re-recorded the song with the Blackhearts, and that recording went on to become third on the US Billboard hot 100. 

This version of the single has platinum certification by RIAA after it had sold over 200 units to stores. This same version was also ranked 89th on the list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of rolling stones and was as in 2016 inducted into the Grammys Hall of Fame.

I Love Rock N Roll Guitar Tabs

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

  • Year: 1980
  • Album: Blizzard of Ozz
  • Genre: Classic Metal

Ozzy Osbourne is an English vocalist and songwriter who rose to prominence after he departed from the Black Sabbath. After releasing 11 studio albums, of which seven are multi-platinum, he had an arguably successful solo career. 

At some points, he reunited with the band and made about 13 albums with the band, earning himself the nickname “Godfather of Heavy Metal”. Blizzard of Oz was Osbourne’s first album after he departed from the Black Sabbath. 

The album is one of the first 100 best sellers in the 80s. The album achieved a quadruple platinum certification and earned itself the 9th spot on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.

Crazy Train is the first and debut song on Osbourne’s debut solo album. The song was co-written by Osbourne and Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley. The song is one of his best-known and certainly, what made him recognizable as a solo singer. 

It made the 9th position on the US Billboard’s hot 100 charts and the 9th greatest guitar solo ever by VH1’s on the list of the 40 greatest metal songs. The song was eventually certified double platinum and reached the 23rd greatest hard rock song of all time.

Crazy Train Guitar Tabs

Poison – Every Rose Has A Thorn

  • Year: 1988
  • Album:  Open Up and Say… Ahh!
  • Genres: Metal, Hair Metal

Poison is an American rock band that had a firm grip on the music industry from the mid-80s through the mid-90s. The band had well over 45 million sold records worldwide and have ten singles which made it to the top 40 of the US billboard hot 100. 

The band’s second album titled “Open Up and Say… Ahh!”, which eventually turned out to be their most successful album certified 5 times platinum in the U.S. Unfortunately, just like almost all rock bands, the band experience lots of lineup changes, which eventually led to the drop in their popularity but that still didn’t stop them from getting gold in their fourth album or certified double platinum in their first compilation.

“Every rose has its thorn” is a single from the band’s “Open Up and Say… Ahh!” album. The song was a number-one hit song in the US and stayed there for over 2 weeks. It eventually became the band’s signature song. It also reached the 11th spot on the Mainstream Rock Chart and 7th on the MTV and VH1 Top 25 power Ballad. 

The song appeared in a couple of movies and series, some of the most recent ones include Rock of Ages, Cop Out, Run Ronnie Run, The Simpsons, Yes dear, just to mention a view.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

  • Year: 1981
  • Album: Escape
  • Genre: Rock

Journey is an American rock that originally started in San Francisco. The band has a series of top-selling hit songs and “Don’t Stop Believin” is one of them. They have two albums that have attained the gold status and eight albums that also attained multi-platinum status. 

In Addition, six of their songs reached the top of the charts. According to the RIAA, the band has over 45 million record sales in the US alone, pushing their worldwide sales to over 75 million records. The band inductee of the rock and roll hall of fame, they are also 96th on the VH1’s 100 greatest artists of all time.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is a song by the band that was originally released in their seventh album. The song made it to the 9th position on the Billboard hot 100 almost immediately after its release. However, in 2009, about 18 years after the release of the song, it made its way back to the sixth position on the Billboard chart. 

The song is the number 1 most paid for digital download song from the 20th century, having over 7 million digital record downloads in the US alone.

Don’t Stop Believin Guitar Tabs

The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up

  • Year: 1981
  • Album:  Tattoo You
  • Genres: Rock

The Rolling Stones is an English band from London. With a heavily driven sound like no others in that era, they were the pioneers to define what we all know today as the Hard Rock genre. Like many other rock bands, they had their fair share amount of lineup changes over the years, and they had quite a few as they kicked from 1962 until today!

The band released 30 studio albums and 23 live albums and an astonishing number of 120 singles selling over 240 million albums worldwide. Thus becoming the 4th bestselling band of all time. 

“Start Me Up” is the album’s lead single. It appeared in the UK top 10 in 1981 and in Australia, it reached number one, in the U.S it was number two in the Hot 100 for straight three weeks. In addition, the song was mentioned in the Top Tracks chart for 13 weeks which was a record which no other song could bet for at least a decade or so.

Start Me Up Guitar Tabs

Judas Priest – Breaking The Law

  • Year: 1980
  • Album: British Steel
  • Genre: Metal

Judas Priest is an English rock band that originated in West Bromwich. The band has sold over 50 million records. They are the number one greatest metal band of all time. Not until 1980 the band continue to struggle with lack of attention or success due to a constant change in the lineup and indifferent record production. 

But eventually, they got to the rock star status they desired after the release of their British Steel album. The band won a Grammy award for the Best Metal Performance and was later on inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame.

“Breaking The Law” was originally released by the band in their British Steel album, without a doubt the song is one of the band’s most popular singles. The song was the 40th of the VH1’s 40 greatest metal song and was also made the twelfth greatest hard rock song of all time. 

Breaking the law alongside other tracks in the album were shorter and had more mainstream radio hooks compared to the other songs released by the band in their previous albums. As a result, they were more accepted than previously released singles and albums.

Breaking The Law Guitar Tabs

Scorpions – Still Loving You

  • Year: 1984
  • Album: Love At First Sting
  • Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal.

Scorpion is a Hanover originated German rock band. The band was founded by Rudolf Shenker. They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums, and about 74 singles, six of them topped charts in different countries. 

In addition, they have sold over 110 million records worldwide and have albums certified gold, platinum, and even multi-platinum. They are, according to rolling stone “the heroes of heavy metal” and are 46th on the VH1’s greatest artist of rock and roll. They have the prestigious World Music Award have a presence in the permanent exhibition of the rock and roll hall of fame.

Still loving you is a heavy metal ballad released by the band as a single in their ninth studio album. The song made it to 64th place on the Billboard Hot 100. According to Rudolf Schenker who wrote the song is a story of a love affair, which things seem like was over but they can still try again. 

The song made it to the 14th and 3rd place on the chart in Germany and France respectively. Still loving you attained platinum status after having over 1.1 million sales in France.

Still Loving You Guitar Tabs

Ratt – Round And Round

  • Year: 1984
  • Album: out of the cellar
  • Genre: Hair Metal

Ratt is another successful American rock band certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum by the RIAA. Two of the most popular songs of the band are “round and round” and “lay it down”. 

The band played a pivotal role in the creation of the Los Angeles glam metal scene. They are also well known as pop-metal or hair metal genre bands. The band witnessed constant lineup changes leading to a drop in their commercial success. The most recent work of the band is Infestation, a studio album that the band released in 2010.

Round and round is a single released by the band in 1984, the song was co-written by the group members Warren, DeMartini, Stephen Pearcy, and Robbin Cosby. The song was the third track on the band’s debut album out of the cellular. 

It made it to the 51st on the VH1’s 100 greatest songs of the 80s. it was also named the 61st best hard rock song of all time. The song became the biggest hit song in the band’s career and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard hot 100 and helped draw attention to the band.

Round And Round Guitar Tabs

Skid Row – Youth Gone Wild

  • Year: 1989
  • Album: Skid Row
  • Genre: Hair Metal

This is an American rock band formed in the United States. This group that originated from Tom River, New Jersey achieved success in their musical career in the late 80s and early 90s. 

Their first album became a multi-platinum certification while the second album “Slave to the Grind” climbed the number one spot on the US Billboard 200. In 1990, the band was nominated for the American Music Award for the favorite metal/hard rock new artist and album, they won the first and didn’t win the second for the category of the favorite heavy metal /hard rock album.

Youth Gone Wild is the band’s first and debut song from the debut multi-platinum “Skid Rows” album. The song peaked at 99 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and 20th on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. 

The song was re-released in 1992, this version made it to the 22nd spot on the UK singles chart. It appeared on a handful of video games some of them are Guitar heroes and Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore 2.

Youth Gone Wild Guitar Tabs

Slayer – Angel of Death

  • Year: 1986
  • Album: Reign in Blood
  • Genre: Thrash 

Slayer is a thrash metal band that originated from Huntington Park, California. The band primarily consisted of Tom Araya, Kerry King, and Jeff Hanneman. They are well known for their very fast and somewhat aggressive music style to make them different. 

Often they sing about murder, genocide, hate crime, terrorism, religion, anti-religion, war, and a host of others. As a result of this, they often get lawsuits, album bans, and a lot of criticism. But despite all these, the band has to be and remain a source of inspiration and influence to many bands and individuals. 

Slayer released 12 albums have a gold-certified album, a Grammy award, and a handful of nominations to their belt.

Angel of Death appears on all the band’s live albums despite all the controversies it generates (and it generates a lot) and drew a couple of racist accusations. 

Angel of Death did not chart anywhere in the world. It attracted praises from critics though and was eventually regarded as one of the most monumental in the history of metal.

Angel of Death Guitar Tabs

Megadeth – In My Darkest Hour

  • Year: 1988
  • Album:  So Far, So Good… So What!
  • Genres: Trash

Megadeth is a rock L.A. originated American rock band formed by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson. After the dismissal of Dave Mustaine from Metallica, he formed the band. The band went ahead to be one of the four major rock bands responsible for popularizing the American thrash metal genre. 

Though, at first, the band struggled to make any significant impact due to the constant change in the lineup. But after the lineup stabilized, the band recorded a couple of platinum-certified albums, which helped to catapult them into the superstar level Mustaine desired. The band has over 38 million records worldwide, a Grammy award, and 12 Grammy nominations.

In my darkest hour is a song written by Mustaine after the death of his former bandmate Cliff Burton. People often feel the song is a result of the sadness he felt when his former bandmates didn’t contact him after the tragic event that occurred in Europe but Mustaine himself said the lyrics don’t have any connection with Cliff or his former band and neither does the song. 

The song became the band’s fastest-selling song after it sold over 400,000 records barely a month after its release.

In My Darkest Hour Guitar Tabs

Winger – Seventeen

  • Year: 1988
  • Album: Winger
  • Genre: Progressive metal, Hair Metal

Winger is an American Rock band that started in New York City. The band enjoyed commercial success in the late 80s and through the early 90s. At least, until after the change in the music scene. 

Due to the popularity of grunge, the band began to fade away gradually. In 1994, the band disbanded only to reunite in 2001 and then have successful tours thereafter. The band had some commercially successful songs that kept them on the charts and earned them a nomination for the American Music Award for the “Best New Heavy Metal Band”.

Seventeen is the first single of the band. It became the band’s most popular song thereafter. The song made its way to the 26th spot on the Billboard’s hot 100 and 19th on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. 

Also, it was named the 87th best hard rock song of all time according to VH1. Seventeen features on guitar heroes Encore, Saint Row, and Rock Band 4 video games for PlayStation, Xbox, and DLC respectively.

Seventeen Guitar Tabs

Motley Crue – Home Sweet Home

  • Year: 1985
  • Album: Theatre of pain
  • Genre: Metal

Motley Crue is an American rock band formed in L.A. by Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars. The band has over 100 million records sold and is one of the best-selling brands. 

The band began to attain international fame after they had played at the US Festival. Later on, they gained the attention of a heavy metal star Ozzy Osbourne and he gave them the opportunity of being the opening act on his 1984 world tour. 

In 1989, the band released an album, theater of pain and the album stayed at the top of the chart for 114 weeks straight. The band is 10th on MTV’s top 10 heavy metal bands of all time.

Home sweet home is one of the band’s hit songs. VH1 ranked the song as one of the greatest power ballads of all time, sitting at the twelfth position on the chart. The song peaked at 89 on the US billboard hot 100, though the 1991 version which was re-released made it to the 37th spot on the chart.

Home Sweet Home Guitar Tabs

Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel The Noize

  • Year: 1983
  • Album: metal health
  • Genres: Metal, Hair Metal

Quiet Riot is a heavy metal rock band founded by Kell Garni and Randy Rhoads in 1975. The band was originally named March 1, but after a while, they adopted the name “Little Women”, which was finally changed to Quiet Riot. The band barely made the VH1’s list of the 100 greatest artists of all time as they are the last on the list. 

One of the band’s singles “Metal Health” is the soundtrack of the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. The song is also in the game Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s and Rock Band Blitz. The band’s song, cum on feel the noise is the first heavy metal song to reach number 5 position on the Billboard hot 100.

“Cum on feeling the noise” was originally released by Slade. However the song was re-recorded by Quiet Riot, and that version sold over a million records in the US alone. In addition, it reached number 5th position on the Billboard, staying there for 2 straight weeks. 

The song helped catapult their album Metal Health into number one hit status. And, in 2002, the RIAA certified the song gold. The song also made the VH1’s list of the 100 greatest hit-wonders and best rock songs of all time sitting at number 80 and 41 respectively.

Cum On Feel The Noize Guitar Tabs

Autograph – Turn up the Radio

  • Album: Sign In Please
  • Released: 1984
  • Genre: Rock

Autograph is a Pasadena originated American rock band that took the center stage in the 80s. The band was a Steve Plunkett’s experiment. The band started when Steve began playing with some of his friends, most of whom had previously played for a band. 

Though the success of the band is making a big break may be a result of the friendship that existed between Keni Richard, the band drummer, and Van Halen Lead singer David Lee Roth.

Turn up the radio is one of the band’s singles and the band’s only hit to make the top 40, sitting at the number 29th spot. The song ended up being the band’s most popular song, all through their music career. 

In addition, it hit number 93rd in the VH1’s list of the top 100 hard rock songs. Also, it was included in the VH1’s 100 greatest hard rock songs. The song is featured in a couple of movies and a handful of video games, some of the very popular ones are Hot Tub Time Machine (Movie) and Grand Theft Auto Vice City (Video game).

Turn up the Radio Guitar Tabs

Dokken – In My Dreams

  • Year: 1985
  • Album: Under Lock and Key
  • Genre: Hair Metal

Dokken is a metal rock band that was originally founded in 1979 by Don Dokken, the band could not stay together, so it split ten years later. The band later got back together four years after the split. As at this time, the band consisted of George Lynch, Mick Brown, Jeff Pilson, who replaced Juan Croucier, and of course, the founder, Don Dokken. 

The band had just three singles that made it to the Billboard chart, but these three singles alone have over 10 million sales worldwide. Also, one of their live album, Beast from the East was nominated for the inaugural Grammy Award for the Best Metal Performance.

In my dreams is a song written and released by the band in their third album, Under Lock and Key. Shortly after the release of the song, It found its way to the 24th spot on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song was also on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at the 77th spot.

In My Dreams Guitar Tabs

Warrant – Down Boys

  • Year: 1989
  • Album: Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich
  • Genre: Hair Metal

Warrant is an American band formed in California. The band had five albums to their belt and over ten million sales. The band introduced themselves into the music industry with their two times platinum debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Rich, which met a resounding success that took them into the spotlight right away.

After the release of their “Dog Eat Dog” album, the band began to experience a rather frequent change in lineup, and this had an impairing impact on their popularity, dropping it substantially. The band also lost Jani Lane, their lead singer, but that did not cripple them completely, because even thirty years after the loss, they are still doing their music.

Down Boys is one of the songs on the band’s debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. The song is one of the heaviest and toughest songs released by the band. In fact, some even consider it as the hit single of the band. The song peaked at 27 on the Billboard hot 100 and 13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. 

The band got their nickname “Down Boys” after the song and in 1999, they re-visited the song in their Greatest & Latest album.

Down Boys Guitar Tabs


All these songs left definitive moments in 80s heavy metal, while some of them made it to the VH1’s Greatest Hard Rock Songs, some also won their artists and bands a handful of awards. These songs are certainly the best of the best which has stood the test of time. The 80s produced some of the most emotional songs in history. 

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts