Music of the 1980s

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  • Alternative Rock: Otherwise known as college or modern rock back in the early days, alternative in this era was more a conglomeration of disparate left field styles (i. e. jangle pop, synthpop, post-punk, noise rock, hardcore, early alternative metal, etc.), all of which nonetheless served as an alternative to the homogeny of mainstream rock and top 40 radio. Steadily became more popular as more bands scored major airplay and started joining major labels as the decade came to a close, helping set the stage for the genre's mainstream success the following decade..
  • MTV debuted and had a huge influence on the popularity of acts during this decade.
  • Hair Metal
  • Italo Disco
  • Thrash Metal
  • The rise of New Wave Music and its offshoot sub-genres like New Romanticism.
  • Hip Hop's golden age starts late in this decade (circa 88).
  • There was a huge wave of synth heavy R&B acts during the early to mid 80's. Usually called Synth Funk, Post-Disco, Electro Funk (or Boogie), or "New Wave R&B". Most of the time R&B would overlap with those aforementioned genres. Especially artists from The Seventies who were trying to stay relevant in the early 80's like The Whispers, and Cameo who all started out as either Funk, or Soul.