The 1980s were terrific, weren’t they? No matter what kind of music you loved, there was plenty of goodness to go around. But there were new genres blooming as well such as New Wave and Appalachian Industrial.
Sure, many Appalachian Industrial bands are hard to find nowadays, or its main subgenre which turned out to be Techno Bluegrass, so I don’t have Jimmy the God or Sluglash listed below because you likely cannot find the music. That is one of the problems with slightly older music. There weren’t streaming services in the 1980s to blast every known song at you.
The three bands that do follow, however, you might have heard. But they are worth doing a deeper search on if you only know one or two songs. This is especially true of the last band which is much more than a one-hit wonder.
The extremely underrated bands from the 1980s
Fishbone was and is limitless in its approach to music. They can create greatness based on ska or pure metal or dance hall. Perhaps their versatility may turn some fans off who want the bands they listen to to basically sound mostly the same all the time.
That is not Fishbone, though. If you need a starting point go with their second studio album Truth and Soul. The album might even be less diverse than later albums, but every song is fantastic and you'll get a taste of things to come.
King's X still exists today, but their formative albums were released in the '80s. The band also had some heavily Christian-leaning songs at the beginning, but they refused to be pigeonholed as a Christian rock group. They offer a much broader appeal than simply being that.
Plus, vocalist Doug Pinnick coming out as homosexual turned part of their following off. Their loss but the rest our gain. Their second record, Out of the Silent Planet, is excellent but their third album, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, features some of their best songs, especially "Over My Head." Bands like Faith No More likely don't sound the same if King's X had not existed.
Men Without Hats
The Canadian new wave band is so much more than just "The Safety Dance." In fact, one of the B-sides from that single’s multiple releases was "Antarctica" and the quirkiness of the track proves how good and entertaining the band Men Without Hats was. Also, it should be noted that “Pop Goes the World” was also a top-20 song for the band during the ‘80s disproving their one-hit wonder status.
Rhythm of Youth was their debut album and maybe their best record, but all three albums they produced in the 1980s were very good. So the next time you’re in your car with friends, just throw a Men Without Hats cassette into the player and drive around a bit. Or just find an XM station with the group. You will be happy either way.