But there was so much solid music that even musical artists that were popular early in the decade might have been mostly forgotten by the end of the 1980s. That is the case with one of the bands that follows. They still produced excellent songs, though.
One of these bands still makes new metal and plays at metal festivals and are still amazing. The other band made a series of albums, though the early '80s ones might be their best. But here are the three groups that deserve more love now.
Three 1980s bands you still still be listening to
Men At Work
Men At Work sold a lot of albums in the 1980s, with debit record Business As Usual selling more than 10 million units. The band had three top-five singles in the United States, five top-ten singles in their native Australia, and "Down Under" hit number one in seven countries. And yet, no one talks much about them now.
The group only put out two albums as a full band and put out a third and final LIP in 1985 that featured just bits of the group and rarely more than two members recording in a studio at the same time. But songs like "Who Can It Be Now?," "Overkill," and "It's a Mistake" are worthy of listening to every week in any year. Men At Work is a bit like Barenaked Ladies in that their music is mostly upbeat but the lyrics deal with some dark demons.
The Gap Band was a group of three brothers from Oklahoma who began singing in church where their father was a pastor. They translated that into some excellent soulful tracks with excellent harmony and unbelievably catchy vocals. But it was their fourth album, Gap Band IV, that was their most brilliant.
The first track on the album, "Early in the Morning," begins with a voice saying, "OK" and then the rest of the album takes off from there. "Outstanding" a classic soul song. But the real winner on the album is "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" that winds up being both a pure 1980s tune but also pure R and B as well.
The Cult started off as a band that preferred mysticism with a dose of heavy rock, transitioned into straight hard rock, and then became more mainstream metal. But they never stopped being something slightly different lyrically and being a bit too melodic to be involved with classic metal. That is not meant as an insult at all. Rather, the Cult remains listenable 40 years after the first record was released.
The band's third album, Electric, is what made them, however. The band recorded an original version of the record that wasn't exactly what they wanted and producer Rick Rubin, who would produce the Beastie Boys' early albums, got involved, re-recorded the album, and stripped the production down to vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, only the kick pedal was amplified four times louder than everything else. The album sounds nothing like the Beastie Boys but Electric is perfection.