There was an influx of British rock bands during the 80s and the world of music was revolutionized. This is a decade where we suddenly had everything from punk and New Romantic to pop and classic rock.

When it comes to British rock bands of the 80s, some incredible ones were churning out hit after hit in this decade. This was an incredible time for rock music, with bands from both sides of the Atlantic gaining huge success.

British rock bands of the 80s made a huge impact on the rock genre and were destined to go down in history as classic rock bands that were at the helm of a new generation of rock music.

In this article, we will look at some of the top British rock bands of the 80s decade along with some of the top hits they released.

Dire Straits – one of the best British 80s rock bands

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The music of Dire Straits has spanned many decades, and they were extremely popular. This British rock band of the 80s notched up many hits, some of which made it into the top ten.

With their distinctive sound, great guitar playing, and diverse array of music, this is a band that managed to gain a huge fan base and attract people of all ages.

Some of the top hits that Dire Straits released in the 1980s included Walk of Life, private Investigations, Romeo and Juliet, Twisting by the Pool, and Your Latest Trick.

Status Quo – one of the fun British rock bands of the 80s

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Status Quo are considered legends in the world of British Rock, and their music has been enjoyed by people around the globe for decades. As one of the popular British rock bands of the 80s, the group notched up an impressive 21 hits. Nine of these made it into the top ten.

This is a band that captured the attention of people from a wide range of backgrounds and of many ages. Some of the top hits the band released included In the Army Now, Burning Bridges, The Wanderer, Marguerita Time, and What You’re Proposing.

Genesis – leading British rock bands of the 80s

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Until 1975, Genesis was fronted by Peter Gabriel, who went on to become a successful solo artist. During this decade and beyond Genesis enjoyed tremendous success with Phil Collins at the helm.

This British rock band of the 80s racked up 15 hits and gained a huge following. Collins’ distinctive voice seemed to be just what the band needed to catapult them to success. Some of the top hits from the band included Mama, Turn it on Again, Land of Confusion, Invisible Touch, and In Too Deep.


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With their long locks, cool image, and classic rock sound, Whitesnake was always destined for success. When people think of British 80’s rock bands, this is one of the first to spring to mind.

Whitesnake became part of a core group of British and American rock bands that dominated the rock scene, with others including Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and Def Leppard.

This British rock band of the 80s released a total of 13 hits, some of which went on to become rock classics. This included Here I Go Again, Is This Love, Fool for Loving You, and Still of the Night.

Def Leppard – popular British 80s rock bands

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One of the best-known British rock bands of the 80s was Def Leppard. Formed in 1977, the band was fronted by Joe Elliott, who had a very distinctive voice – something quite different from the typical rock voice.

The band became hugely successful in the 1980s, bringing out songs that went on to become rock anthems and are now considered classics. Some of their big hits included Pour Some Sugar on Me, Love Bites, and Animal.

Siouxsie and the Banshees

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Formed in the late 1970s, this alternative rock bank had a huge influence on the Goth scene. The band lineup did go through various changes, but past members included Robert Smith and John Simon Ritchie aka Sid Vicious.

With a cult following, extremely unique appearance, and rebellious edge, this band gained a cult following. Led by Siouxie Sioux the group was one of the few with a female lead singer.

This alternative British rock band of the 80s released 20 hits, the most popular of which was Dear Prudence. Other hits included Peek a Boo, Happy House, and This Wheels on Fire.

The Cure

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In addition to being the lead guitarist for Siouxsie and the Banshees for several years, Robert Smith formed The Cure in the 1970s.

As an alternate British rock band of the 80s, the group enjoyed success with their music. Releasing 17 hits during the decade, two of which were top ten hits. Like Siouxsie and the Banshees, this band had a big influence on the Goth movement and gained a cult following.

Some of the hits released included Lullaby, Love Cats, The Caterpillar, and The Walk.

Queen – legendary British rock band

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A band that needs no introduction, Queen has churned out hits for decades. This legendary British rock band of the 80s spanned several decades. The group was headed by the legend that was Freddie Mercury, who sadly passed away in the early 1990s.

With Brian May rocking the guitars, the band was destined for success. The band was hugely popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s, notching up one hit single after another.

Freddie’s style and voice, May’s guitar, and the band’s talent made this a band that would go down in history. They are possibly the most recognized British rock bands of the 80s and beyond.

The British rock band of the 80s had more than 20 hits, and this included an impressive ten singles that made the top ten. Under Pressure, Radio Ga-Ga, I Want it All, A Kind of Magic, I Want to Break Free, and It’s a Hard Life.

Bands that became ‘Rock Royalty’

There is no doubt that British rock bands of the 80s brought out some incredible music. They made a huge contribution to rock music as we know it today.

Some of these bands that have made rock royalty, and will be remembered in the hall of fame for British music history.