The Greatest Women-Fronted Rock Songs Of The 80’s
Heart live at the Royal Albert Hall - thebandheart / Youtube
As rock music progressed throughout the years, variety has brought the best out of it. Female rockers became more known and were widely accepted by their peers and contemporaries. These women proved that the dominant presence of males in the rock scene was about to be shattered, and magnificently they did, to say the least. The 80’s were some of the most active years where female artists dominated rock music.Sit back and relax, for some of the best hits of that decade from the certified femme fatales of rock.
“Heaven Is A Place On Earth” – Belinda Carlisle
One of the most recognizable tunes from the 80’s is Belinda Carlisle’s pop rock classic, “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”. The celebratory message of love infused in an infectious arrangement won the hearts of many “rebellious” listeners who are bound to romantic ideals.
“Alone” – Heart
Power duo Ann and Nancy Wilson dished out this ballad for the brokenhearted in 1987, with their own rendition that made it soar even higher than the original. Powerful vocals are prominent in the track, with the thunderous yet melodic arrangement layering with it for that effective formula that resonated with their listeners.
“Total Eclipse Of The Heart” – Bonnie Tyler
Considered as Bonnie Tyler’s biggest hit, with its signature conversational lyricism and emotional delivery getting the best of the emotional masses. Originally seven minutes long, it was cut down to four minutes for radio play, which proved successful considering the amount of requests the song had. It has a total of six million copy sales worldwide, making it one of the most acclaimed rock songs of all time by a female artist.
“If I Could Turn Back Time” – Cher
Initially disliked by Cher after listening to the demo tape sung by Diane Warren, who also wrote it, the song was given another chance when she was convinced to record it. Cher’s powerful vocals carry the song of regret and longing effectively, making it a hell of a comeback for the singer in the 80’s.
“Edge Of Seventeen” – Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks’ solo debut just after her departure from Fleetwood Mac, “Edge Of Seventeen” came from peculiar places of inspiration, with the title taken from her conversation with Tom Petty’s wife, which Nicks misheard “age of seventeen” due to Jane Petty’s strong southern accent. The message of the song was taken from his uncle’s death and John Lennon’s murder, making it some sort of a spiritual affair in a rocking track.
“I Love Rock N’ Roll” – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Joan Jett’s rendition of this original by the Arrows was the most successful, becoming a rock anthem for years to come, with their grittier arrangement and Jett’s powerful and brash vocals.
“Love Is A Battlefield” – Pat Benatar
Originally intended to be a more mellow arrangement with a catchy melody, “Love Is A Battlefield” became a fast-paced track due to further experimentation with drum machines with the backing band. The song is considered as one of the progenitors of modernized pop rock, because of its danceable quality while retaining elements such as drums and guitars.
“We Don’t Need Another Hero” – Tina Turner
The slow rumbling of the song perfectly brings out Tina Turner’s detailed and rich vocals, bringing soul to the mellow rock track. “We Don’t Need Another Hero” fit perfectly with the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a post-apocalyptic steampunk movie, where Turner was a primary character.
“Kiss Me Deadly” – Lita Ford
Ex-Runaway Lita Ford saw much success in her solo career, with “Kiss Me Deadly” as her signature tune. The melodic qualities brought on by synths gently complement the guitars and her husky vocals, making for a classic that stood the test of time.
“How Do I Make You” – Linda Ronstadt
Composer Billy Steinberg says he saw inspiration from the Knack’s “My Sharona”, which became one of Ronstadt’s faster songs compared to others in her catalog. Her energized vocals drive the song easily, while the arrangement is aimed at a fuller sound, with the electric guitar parts’ heavy emphasis on rhythm and shredding.