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Rock Bands From The 80s
On The Acoustic

rock bands from the 80s

Welcome to this rock bands from the 80s page hosting bands that had some great classic rock songs you can learn on the acoustic for your next party.

Help yourself to the free demos and chord sheets. If you need a full tutorial lesson, they are available for a very small fee. See the prices above.

Artists on this page:
A-Ha - Bananarama
Crowded House - Cutting Crew
Depeche Mode - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Duran Duran - English Beat
Haircut 100 - Hoodoo Guru's
Hootie & The Blowfish - Jethro Tull
Roxette - Simple Minds
Simply Red - Sniff N Tears
Tears For Fears - The Church
The Clash - The Cranberries
The Cult - The Eurythmics
The Human League - UB40
WHAM & GM - When In Rome

Click drop down menu to quickly access to the artists on this page.


Rock Bands From The 80s
Chords, Lyrics, Demos, Tutorials

1. Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House

1980 rock bands

Better Be Home Soon was the bands 2nd single from the 1988 album Temple Of Low Men.

The song reached #2 in both Australia and New Zealand and hit #7 in Canada and #42 in the US.

Chords & Lyrics

 

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2. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners

80 rock bands

Come On Eileen hit #1 in both the UK and the US when it was released back in the summer of 1982.

The song hails from the bands album "Too-Rye-Ay".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down down up  and repeat and later  downstrokes
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: C, F, Bb, Bbm, G, Em, A, D, Gbm
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3. Cruel Summer - Bananarama

80s classic rock bands

Cruel Summer hit the airwaves back in 1983. The song was a single with no album attachment.

The band put the track on their 2nd album in 1994 called "Bananarama". The song hit #8 in the UK and #9 in the US.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo:4th fret
  • Rhythm: a steady down down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: a few riffs in the rhythm
  • Chords: Am, F, G
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4. Distant Sun - Crowded House

80s rock and roll bands

Distant Sun was the 1st single from the Crowded House 1993 album entitled Together Along. the original release never charted in the US but eventually did the following year after a remix.

In the UK the song reached #19 as well as peaking at #4 in Canada, #5 in New Zealand and #23 in Australia.

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5. Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House

80's rock bands

Don't Dream It's Over hit the airwaves back in 1986 and was the 4th single from the Crowded House album Crowded House.

The song was a huge international hit reaching #1 in new Zealand, number #2 in the US and a top 10 in several other countries. Paul Carrick joined Paul Young who covered the song in 1991.

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6. Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds

80s british rock bands

Don't You (Forget About Me) is a single by the group Simple Minds and has appeared in two films. The Breakfast Club in 1985 and the film Easy A in 2010.

Artists Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry both turned down an offer to record the song. The song was written by two fans of Simple Minds and the band was skeptical about recording a song they themselves had not written.

But they had not broken into the US market as yet. The song hit #1 in both Canada and the US in 1985.

Chords & Lyrics

 

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7. Don't You Want Me - The Human League

80s rock and roll bands

Don't You Want Me is a track by The Human League and hails from their 1981 album Dare.

It reached #1 in the UK that year and #1 in the US the following year.

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8. Drivers Seat - Sniff N Tears

80s soft rock bands

Drivers Seat is technically not an 80s song but came out as a single in 1978.

The song reached #15 in the US in the fall of 1979 and reached #4 in the Netherlands in 1980. The band is considered a one hit wonder band as this was their only big hit.

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9. Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears

80s alternative rock

Everybody Wants To Rule The World is a Tears For Fears 1985 single from the bands album Songs From The Big Chair.

The song did very well internationally reaching #1 in the US, Canada and New Zealand and #2 in Ireland, the UK and Australia. If the title sound familiar

it's a line in the song Charlie Don't Surf by The Clash from a 1980 album of theirs.

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10. Faith - George Michael / WHAM

top all time rock bands

Faith hails from George Michaels debut album and was not originally going to be released as a single mainly because the original recording had no guitar solo and was too short.

So once George Michael realized the song would likely do well as a single, a guitar solo was added to the track.

The song reached #1 in the US, Canada, Australia and #2 in the UK.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = 2nd fret
  • Rhythm = a chop rhythm using a shuffle 
  • Picking = Yes with rhythm
  • Chords = A, D, Gbm, Bm, E  
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11. Fallen On Hard Times - Jethro Tull

rock bands popular

Fallen On Hard Times was single by Jethro Tull back in 1982 from the album The Broadsword And The Beast.

The single reached #20 on the US Main chart.

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12. Fire Woman - The Cult

80s best rock bands

Fire Woman is off of the 1989 album by The Cult entitled Sonic Temple.

The song reached #1 in new Zealand, 32 in the US and #15 in the UK.

Chords & Lyrics Unavailable

 

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13. For Your Babies - Simply Red

80s classic rock bands

For Your Babies is from the 1991 album by Simply Red called Stars.

The track peaked at #9 in the UK and was a top 20 in several other countries.

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14. Hannah Jane - Hootie & The Blowfish

united stated rock bands

Hannah Jane was one of three singles from the debut album by Hootie And The Blowfish in 1994 called Cracked Rear View.

This track only peaked on a track in Iceland at #23.

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15. Here Comes The Rain Again - The Eurythmics

80s hair rock bands

Here Comes The Rain Again is a 1983 songs from the duo The Eurythmics and can be found on their album Touch.

The song was a #4 hit in the US and a #8 in the UK.

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16. Hold My Hand - Hootie & The Blowfish

rock bands of the 80s

Hold My Hand was a single from 1994 from the debut album by Hootie And The Blowfish called Cracked Rear View.

The single was a #2 on the US Pop charts and #4 on the US Rock charts. In Canada the song peaked at #36.

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17. I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight - Cutting Crew

80s hard rock bands

I Just Died In Your Arms was the debut single for the group Cutting Crew back in 1986 and hails from their album "Broadcast".

The song was a monster hit reaching #1 in Canada, US, Norway and Finland and hitting the top 10 in several other countries.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: downstrokes .. then a down up down up down down up in the middle of the song
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: Bm, Em, A, Gbm, G, Gb
Chords & Lyrics

 

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18. I Want Your Sex - George Michael / WHAM

soft rock bands

I Want Your Sex is also from the debut "Faith" album and was part of the Beverly Hills Cop II movie and peaked at #2 in the US and UK but did hit #1 in Ireland and The Netherlands.

There were three versions of this song recorded.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = 3rd fret
  • Rhythm = a steady up and down using a bit of chop ... and with a bit of bass walking that can be added
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = G, F, C, D7
Chords & Lyrics

 

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19. Laurel Canyon - The Church

australian rock bands

Laurel Canyon is a track off of a 2014 album from The Church called Further/Deeper. 

This track was never released as a single.

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20. Linger - The Cranberries

80s punk rock bands

Linger was the bands second major hit when it was released back in 1993 from the album Everyone Else Is Doing It So Can't We? Dreams was released a year earlier and was a top 10 in Ireland.

The band scored a #3 in their native country of Ireland, a #4 in Canada, a #8 in the US and a #14 in the UK.


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21. Love Plus One - Haircut 100

swedish rock bands

Love Plus One is a track from the British band Haircut 100 off of their Pelican West album from 1981.

This single was released in 1982 and reached #3 in the UK and #37 in the US, making it their only hit in the United States.


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22. Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie & The Blowfish

rock bands in the 1980s

Only Wanna Be With You was a huge single for Hootie And The Blowfish in 1995 when it was released as a single.

The song was a #1 in both Canada and the US and is from their debut album Cracked Rear View.

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23. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode

80s rock and roll bands

Personal Jesus was the lead single from this bands 7th album called "Violator" when it was released back in 1990.


The song peaked at #13 in the UK and reached #28 in the US.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: down -1-2-3 down up (1-2-3 are notes) and a steady up and down shuffle
  • Picking: just a few riffs
  • Chords: Em, A, G, Gb, A, Am, F
Chords & Lyrics

 

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24. Place Your Love - Roxette

rock bands of the 1980s

Place Your Love is a track off of Roxette's Crash Boom Bang album from 1994.

The song was never released as a single however.

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25. Red Red Wine - UB40

80s soft rock bands

Red Red Wine is actually a Neil Diamond song which he first released back in 1967. UB40 decided to cover this number and included it as a track on their 1983 album Labour Of Love.

The song topped the charts in the UK and made it to #34 in the US. Neil Diamond liked the Reggae so much that he now performs that version in his concerts instead of the acoustic ballad version he originally recorded.

Chords & Lyrics

 

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  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords: Dsus2, A/E, G, D, A

26. Save It for Later - English Beat

english 80s rock bands

Save It For Later was released as a single back in 1982. The band was known as "The Beat" in the UK and "The English Beat" in Canada and the US.

The was the bands last album called "Special Beat Service". The song reached #47 in the UK and #58 in the US.

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27. Say A Prayer - Duran Duran

top classic rock 80s bands

Say A Prayer was first released in the UK as a single in 1982 from their album "Rio". It hit #2 on the charts.

Three years later in 1985 they released the song in the US where it peaked at #16.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: Dm, F, A#, G, Bm, D, Gbm
Chords & Lyrics

 

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28. Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash

rock bands of the 1980s

Should I Stay Or Should I Go was first released in 1981 and did OK on the charts but did not reach the top 40 in the US. The track is from the album Combat Rock.

Years later in 1991 when the song was used in a TV commercial about blue jeans, the song was re-released and hit #1 in the UK and was a top 10 in a few other countries.

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29. Skating Away - Jethro Tull

top 100 rock bands

Skating Away (On The Thin Ice Of A New Day) is from the 1975 album War Child from Jethro Tull.

The song failed to chart.

Chords & Lyrics Unavailable

 

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30. Sweet Dreams - The Eurythmics

top 80s rock bands

Sweet Dreams was a 1983 single from The Eurythmics off of their album of the same name.

There were five singles from this album but this song was their biggest hit, hitting #1 in Canada and the US and making it into the top 10 in several other countries.


Chords & Lyrics

 

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31. Take On Me - A-Ha

best 80s rock bands

Take On Me was first recorded in 1984 for the bands debut album "Hunting High And Low". The song was then remixed with some additional music added.

The first release failed to chart in the UK but with that second release, the song went to #2. In the US, with the help of MTV, the song reached #1.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: down up stop up down up stop up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes a riff in the rhythm
  • Chords: Am, D, G, C, G6, Em, D/Gb, Bm, F, D7
Chords & Lyrics

 

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32. The King And Queen Of America - The Eurythmics

rock english bands

The King And Queen Of America is a single from the 1989 album by The Eurythmics called We Too Are One.

The once reached #23 in Ireland and #29 in the UK but failed to chart in the US.

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33. The Look - Roxette

best rock bands 80s

The Look hails from the Swedish duo Roxette and can be found on their 1989 album Look Sharp.

The song was a monster hit and topped the charts in 25 countries. The music video was filmed in a studio in NYC.

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34. The Promise - When In Rome

forgotten 80s rock bands

The Promise was the debut single from the group When In Rome and was released in 1987 in the UK and 1988 in the US.

It was the bands only big commercial hit, peaking at #11 in the US.

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35. Under The Milky Way - The Church

heavy metal 80s rock bands

Under The Milky Way was released back in 1988 as a single from their album Starfish.

The band managed a top 30 in the US, Australia and New Zealand with this song. It did reach #2 in the US on their Mainstream Rock Chart.

Chords & Lyrics

 

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36. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - George Michael / WHAM

top classic rock bands

Wake Me Uo Before You Go Go peaked at #1 in both the US and the UK and hails from their 1984 album "Make It Big".

The song was also a #1 and top 10 in several other countries.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = a down up stop up down up stop up works here with some bass blended in
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = C, Dm7, Em, F, Gsus, G
Chords & Lyrics

 

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37. What's My Scene - Hoodoo Guru's

80s rock

What's My Scene is a track from the 1987 by Hoodoo Gurus called Blow Your Cool.

The song only charted in Australia but reached #3 on the charts there.

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38. When You're Gone - The Cranberries

iconic 80s rock bands

When You're Gone from The Cranberries was one of three singles released from their 1996 album To The Faithful Departed.

The song was a top 20 in Canada and reached the top 30 in a few countries.

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39. Zombie - The Cranberries

list of 80s rock bands

Zombie is by the far The Cranberries most successful single and can be found on their 1994 album No Need To Argue.

The song was a #1 in France, Australia and Germany as well as one chart in the US and a top 20 in several other countries.

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