Looking for some great instrumental 80’s music to listen to? Check out our list of the best of the best! From classics like Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, to more obscure gems, we’ve got you covered.
For many, the 1980’s were a decade of excess – big hair, big shoulder pads and big voices. But while the pop charts of the day were dominated by chart-topping vocalists, some of the greatest musicians of the 80’s were instrumentalists. These virtuosos combined technical mastery with a style and flair that made them true superstars of their instrument. Here are just a few of the best instrumentalists of the 1980’s.
The Best of Instrumental 80’s Music
The 80’s were a great decade for music. Many new genres and sub-genres were born and many artists found their niche. One of the most popular genres of the 80’s was instrumental music. This type of music was popular because it was easy to dance to and it didn’t have any lyrics that could be offensive.
A-ha – “Take On Me”
A-ha is a Norwegian band formed in Oslo in 1982. The group’s original line-up consisted of lead vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen. The band rose to fame during the mid-1980s after releasing their debut album Hunting High and Low in 1985. “Take On Me” was released as the lead single from their second album, Scoundrel Days (1986).
Europe – “The Final Countdown”
Europe is a Swedish rock band formed in Upplands Väsby, Stockholm in 1979 under the name Force by vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson and drummer Tony Reno. Since its formation, Europe has released ten studio albums, three live albums, three compilations and nineteen videos.
Michael Jackson – “Beat It”
Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is one of the most popular and well-known instrumental hits of the 1980s. The song was released in 1982 as part of Jackson’s Thriller album, and it quickly rose to the top of the charts. “Beat It” features a mix of rock and pop instrumentation, including electric guitars, keyboards, and percussion. The song’s catchy melody and Jackson’s signature dance moves make it an enduring classic.
Bonnie Tyler – “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. It was written and produced by Jim Steinman, and released on Tyler’s fifth studio album, Faster Than the Speed of Night (1983). The song was released as a single by CBS Records in the United Kingdom in April 1983 and in the United States in May 1983. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.
The song was succeeded to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 by “Maniac” sung by Michael Sembello. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” peaked at number six on the Adult Contemporary chart in October 1983. Globally, the single had great success. In Austraila it peaked at number one on both ARIA Singles Chart and New Zealand Singles Chart. In mainland Europe, it topped the charts in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland; and peaked at number two France and United Kingdom.”Total Eclipse of the Heart” became Tyler’s biggest hit single worldwide and remains one of her best-known songs. Its sales were estimated at more than six million copies globally.
Toto – “Africa”
“Africa” is a song by the American rock band Toto. It was included on their 1982 album Toto IV, and released as a single in late 1982. It reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1983 and number three on the UK Singles Chart the same month. The song was written by band members David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, and produced by the band.
The song is about a young man’s love for a continent, rather than a specific woman. The music video features model Wendy Fitzpatrick as the African queen who comes to life from a painting. Since its release, “Africa” has become one of Toto’s most popular songs and has been covered by numerous artists.
Instrumental 80’s music was some of the best music ever made. It was creative, catchy, and enjoyable to listen to. There were many great instrumentalists during this time, and the genre has continued to be popular even today. If you’re a fan of 80’s music, then you should definitely check out some of the best instrumentalists of that era.
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