4 of the Best British Rock Bands From the 1980s

The British Invasion was long over by the 1980s. However, that doesn’t mean that some seriously killer rock bands from across the pond didn’t launch incredible careers (or, otherwise, peaked) in the 1980s. These are just four of the biggest British bands to gain global attention for their music in that era, and they’re worth revisiting if you haven’t listened to them in a while. Let’s take a look at four of the best British rock bands from the 1980s!

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Note: This isn’t an exclusive list! There are an insane number of talented British rock bands from this era.

1. Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is one of the best British rock bands from the 1980s, but they definitely didn’t start in that decade. The band launched in 1975 in London, and they didn’t gain serious global attention and fandom until the early 1980s. Iron Maiden is known for its members’ impeccable guitar work, anthemic vocals, and powerful live performances. They influenced a lot of today’s rock and metal bands, from Metallica to Slipknot to even Lady Gaga.

[See Iron Maiden Live On Tour In 2024]

2. New Order

Formed in Manchester, England at the turn of the decade, New Order was the natural successor to Joy Division after the latter’s lead singer Ian Curtis tragically passed away. The band had mastered the art of blending post-punk rock music with interestingly danceable electronic music. “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” are essential listening.

3. The Cure

The Cure started back in 1976 in Sussex, England, and they started to gain international acclaim as heralds of gothic rock and new wave in the 1980s. They’re known for hits like “Just Like Heaven” and “Lovesong”. The Cure is also known for majorly influencing a whole generation of goths aesthetically and culturally, particularly on the part of the band’s frontman Robert Smith.

4. Queen

We simply couldn’t leave Queen out of any list of the best British rock bands of the 1980s. They started out in 1970, but critical international fame didn’t come until the mid-1970s through the 1980s. Everyone knows “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but the band’s 1980s hits included “Another One Bites The Dust” and “I Want To Break Free”.

Photo by Vinnie Zuffante

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