Five pop artists from the 1980s who deserve more attention

These musical artists should be on high rotation in your collection.

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The Go-Gos

The Go-Gos were groundbreaking artists. They were the first all-female band to write their own songs, play their own instruments, and have a debut record top the Billboard album charts. The record was called Beauty and the Beat and was worthy of the honor. "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed" were the first two songs released from the album and both sound as vibrant today as they did in 1981.

The band formed in the Los Angeles punk scene in the late 1970s and while their sound is not classic punk, there are clear elements of it. The group played with speed and confidence. But few groups could equal the consistent hooks that brought the band fame at the time. Part of the issue might be that lead vocalist Belinda Carlisle became a fairly successful solo artist but her sound was much more saccharine pop and that might overshadow what the Go-Gos' early records were like.


This New Jersey band was most popular beginning in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, but they still perform live today, although without original lead singer Pat DiNizio who unfortunately passed away in 2017. The group's early records had a heavy garage band sound but without unbelievably catchy hooks. Songs such as "Blood and Roses," "Only a Memory," and "A Girl Like You." But the band's entire catalog is worth exploring because listing all their bangers would take up three articles.

In a connection to Belinda Carlisle, the Smithereens did a single with her called "Blue Period." Don't start with this song, however. This is not a reflection of the best of the Smithereens. Start with their debut album, Especially For You, and go from there.