Classic Rock Bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s
For multiple decades they were kings of the charts having given fans hit after hit that, in many ways are just as popular today. In some cases, even more so. Classic rock bands didn’t just release hit songs, however. They also personified an era that gave us iconic hairstyles and dazzling outfits.
While they may not be the force they once were, some bands from this era are still producing music today, while others played their last note years ago. From their very first singles to what they’ve been getting up to in their heyday, here are some of the ‘70s and ‘80s best rock bands.
Queen (1971 – Present)
A band that launched itself in the ‘70s, Queen was fronted by singer and legendary showman Freddie Mercury. The band gave us such iconic hits as I Want to Break Free and Bohemian Rhapsody. Despite Mercury’s passing, after they took some time away, the band is back. In 2018, we were treated to the Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which told the story of Queen’s formative years up until their iconic Live Aid performance in 1985. The band opened the 2019 Oscar ceremony with new lead vocalist Adam Lambert at the helm. Queen are touring in 2019 and beyond.
Van Halen (1972 – Present)
Van Halen gets an A+ for understanding what classic rock is all about. After all, they delivered such iconic hits as Panama and Jump. No wonder they were inducted into the Rock and Roll of fame in 2017. The band from California achieved a great deal of its success in the ‘70s and mid-‘80s with lead vocalist David Lee Roth at the helm before he was controversially replaced by Sammy Lee Hagar. The band went on to continue their run of success with four hit albums until Hagar also left, paving the way for Roth’s return in 2007.
Def Leppard (1977 – Present)
Def Leppard’s most famous hit, Pour Some Sugar On Me’ ranked #2 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s”, and it isn’t hard to understand why. The band were also responsible for other iconic hits, such as Animal, Rock of Ages, and Love Bites. Def Leppard are having a busy year in 2019. Along with their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, they held their second Las Vegas residency and launched a world tour.
Journey (1973 – Present)
Journey achieved commercial success with such hit singles as Faithfully and Don’t Stop Believing. Steve Perry was at the helm until he parted ways with the band in 1987 before doing so again in 1999- this time for good. Initially, Perry’s replacement was Steve Augeri before he himself was replaced by Arnel Pineda in 2007. The band from San Francisco released two successful albums with Pineda on vocals. Journey were awarded a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, with Perry joining his ex-bandmates on stage for the acceptance speech. He stopped short of a reunion performance, however.