4 Eternal Classic Rock Songs from the 1980s

When most people think of the genre of classic rock, it’s the 1970s that come to mind. And rightfully so, in many ways. That’s when you had bands like Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles rising to the top of the ranks. But there is another decade that boasts some terrific offerings in the loud, muscular genre and that’s the decade that followed—the 1980s.

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Whether you want songs that offer passion or power, the 1980s is an era with many a great rock track. Here below, we will dive into four such examples—songs that not only rocked their time in the world but continue to through the decades. Indeed, these are four eternal classic rock songs from the decade of the 1980s.

[RELATED: 4 Eternal Classic Rock Songs from the 1970s]

“Purple Rain” by Prince

Released in 1984 on the album of the same name, this song not only defined an LP but it defined its writer. Prince became a deified artist thanks to this song, record and even the movie named after it. Each live on in colorful fame today. Amazing, the song was first written to feature Stevie Nicks, but the singer says she felt overwhelmed by the proposition. So, Prince took it on himself. Today, it seems impossible that anyone else could have performed on the track. It’s as synonymous with him as any song is with any other artist, complete with epic guitar solo. On the song, Prince sings,

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted, one time, to see you laughing

I only want to see you laughing
In the purple rain

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only want to see you bathing
In the purple rain

“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Released on the 1983 album She’s So Unusual, this song from iconic artist Cyndi Lauper is both catchy and memorable and nostalgia incarnate. That’s why it’s lasted so long over the years. It’s the soundtrack for the yearning heart. Of growing up, of growing old. Of trying not to forget. It’s a song that tells you to remember, even though it’s not always possible. It’s messages like this that subsist and this song has certainly done that. Lauper sings,

Lyin’ in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of you
Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights almost left behind
Suitcase of memories
Time after

Sometimes you picture me, I’m walkin’ too far ahead
You’re callin’ to me, I can’t hear what you’ve said
Then you say, “Go slow”, I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

“Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses

When this song came out 1987 as the opening song to Guns N’ Roses’ album Appetite for Destruction, there’s no way anyone thought it would last forever. But so far it has. It’s the ultimate party song and that means human beings will love it for as long as it plays. People, of course, love to get down. And this song might be the No. 1 option when kicking off a party. Sings frontman Axl Rose,

Welcome to the jungle
We got fun and games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names

We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got no money, honey
We got your disease

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees, knees
Ooh-ah, I wanna watch you bleed

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

While this song was originally performed in 1975 by the band Arrows, it’s the 1981 cover by the imitable Joan Jett and her band the Blackhearts that has stood the test of time. Why? Because a) people love rock ‘n’ roll music and b) it’s abundantly clear that Jett is at the front of the line when it comes to that passion. It’s the perfect song for a rowdy bar. Throw a quarter in the jukebox, baby, and get the place rocking. For as long as people get together around the hearth that is the electric guitar, this song will be on the playlist. Sings Jett,

I saw him dancin’ there by the record machine
I knew he must’ve been about 17
The beat was goin’ strong
Playin’ my favorite song

And I could tell it wouldn’t be long
‘Til he was with me, yeah, me
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long
‘Til he was with me, yeah, me, singin’

“I love rock ‘n roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock ‘n roll
So come and take your time and dance with me”

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