The Greatest Women-Fronted Rock Songs Of The 80’s

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For women in rock music, the 1980s were a decade of major transformation. Women were taking center stage and leaving their imprint; they were no longer merely supporting singers or pretty faces. Female-led bands like The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, and Heart helped open the door for women to work in a largely male-dominated field.

They wrote on issues that appealed to women, and their music was a fusion of punk, new wave, and pop. In the 1980s, female rockers also questioned conventional ideas of femininity and served as role models for young girls. They paved the way for the next generations of female performers by demonstrating that women could succeed in the rock music industry.

Female rockers gained popularity and were well-liked by their contemporaries and peers. The 1980s were perhaps the most active decades for female rock musicians.

Here are some of the greatest Women-Fronted Rock Songs of the 80s.

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

The title of the Stevie Nicks song “Edge of Seventeen” comes from Tom Petty’s spouse. Because of her accent, when Nicks asked her when they first met, she misheard his wife say “the edge of seventeen.” Stevie Nicks was inspired by the discussion and gave this song, which is about the deaths of her uncle and John Lennon, the phrase she adored.

His uncle’s passing and John Lennon’s murder served as the inspiration for the song’s message, turning it into a rollicking tune with a spiritual undertone.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle

The pop-rock anthem “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle is among the most well-known songs from the 1980s. Many “rebellious” listeners who are attached to romantic notions were won over by the joyous message of love woven into an exciting arrangement.

The song has an instantly familiar, lively tune that is simple to sing along to. Carlisle’s strong vocals, which communicate both passion and strength, are highlighted by the song. Together, these factors have helped “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” become a timeless classic that fans still adore today.

Alone – Heart

This lament for the brokenhearted was released in 1987 by the dynamic duet Ann and Nancy Wilson, whose version took it to new heights. The music has strong vocals that are prominently layered with a thundering but melodic orchestration for an impactful formula that connected with its audience.

I Love Rock’ n’ Roll – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

With its grittier arrangement and Jett’s strong and loud vocals, Joan Jett’s cover of this original by the Arrows was the most popular, becoming a rock anthem for years to come.

While on tour with her first band, The Runaways, Jett heard it and immediately knew she wanted to record it. Since the song wasn’t well received by her bandmates, she teamed up with the Sex Pistols to record it with her new group, The Blackhearts and created one of the greatest rock songs ever.

Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles

While sailing a tiny boat over stormy waters and witnessing people struggling to get their sea legs, Liam Sternberg came up with the idea for this global success. The pressure was on once The Bangles released it and the track went viral. The Bangles called it quits in the late 1980s, during the height of The Bangles frenzy, while continuing to release singles.

Love Is A Battlefield – Pat Benatar

The backing band continued to play with drum machines, and “Love Is A Battlefield” evolved into a fast-paced track from what was originally supposed to be a more peaceful arrangement with an appealing melody. The song’s ability to be danceable while preserving instruments like drums and guitars makes it one of the forerunners of modernized pop rock.

The song is a timeless classic that still has an audience today because of its strong and catchy tune and Benatar’s passionate voice. The words of the song also touch on universal topics like love, heartbreak, and the quest for identity that a lot of people can identify with.

Total Eclipse of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler

The song is a timeless classic that still has an audience today because of its strong and catchy tune and Benatar’s passionate voice. The words of the song also touch on universal topics like love, heartbreak, and the quest for identity that a lot of people can identify with.

Additionally, the song’s memorable music video, which features Tyler performing in a Gothic mansion, has become a classic of the MTV era. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a timeless ballad that continues to captivate listeners more than three decades after its release.

Kiss Me Deadly – Lita Ford

Ex-Runaway With “Kiss Me Deadly” as her hallmark song, Lita Ford enjoyed great success in her solo career. This timeless classic is created by the musical characteristics added by synthesizers that subtly complement the guitars and her velvety vocals.

Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) – Kate Bush

In the 1980s, musician Kate Bush was a trailblazing figure in the music business. She produced all of her music in addition to writing all of it herself, which was something that almost any other musician at the time, male or female, did. She turns the traditional story of striking a pact with the devil on its head in “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”. The song re-topped the charts in 2022 as a result of several appearances in the smash Netflix series Stranger Things.

How Do I Make You – Linda Ronstadt

The Knack’s “My Sharona,” which became one of Linda Ronstadt’s speedier songs compared to other songs in her career, served as an inspiration, according to composer Billy Steinberg. The song is readily driven by her enthusiastic vocals, while the arrangement aims for a larger sound by placing a strong focus on rhythm and shredding in the electric guitar passages.

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