The Ultimate ’80s Hits – Not Actually From The ’80s

Ahh, the irresistible eighties. Several decades later, we still talk about them as a magical time we would love to experience, even if only for a moment. However, we still haven’t invented a time machine, so we’re left to reminisce and talk about the ’80s through movies, books, stories, and of course, music. ’80s nostalgia is still significant, considering that bands from that decade are still alive and well. But alongside them, there is a plethora of young groups that have no connection to that era except for interpreting it and singing about it in their songs.

In that spirit, we bring you a list of songs by newer bands that sing about the legendary ’80s and have an ’80s reference directly in their song titles.

However, as always with such lists, we have to set certain limitations. There are many bands whose lyrics mention this decade, but as said, for this occasion we’re only focusing on those who have explicitly referenced the ’80s in the titles of their songs. Another criterion is that the band is not from the 80s (if yo know what we mean) and that the songs are newer, meaning anything after 2011 is acceptable.


Ladies first, of course! Diamante is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 2014. Her music has mostly been categorized as modern rock. She has released two albums so far, along with a bunch of great singles, but one of them really stands out. And yes, that’s exactly the one we’re talking about in this list. “1987” was released late in 2023, but despite that, it could easily be voted as the best single rock song of that year. Period. Moving on from modern hard rock, Diamante and her team chose a different approach, combining ’80s sparkle music with cyberpunk guitar riffs. The result was flawless. They almost invented a whole new genre of music. And that’s not all. In one of her Facebook Q&As, we asked, and she confirmed: there is going to be an album full of songs like this one! In the end, the girl just wants to dance and rock and roll like it’s 1987. Nothing wrong with that!

Steel Panther – 1987

In their latest release, “On The Prowl” from 2023, Steel Panther take us back to the iconic year of 1987. Who better to sing about the ’80s than these guys, right? In this tune, they remind us how things were better back then, glorifying the time and the trends of that era in their unique style, of course. By the way, if people still think that this band is just doing a parody of the ’80s, then they need to listen to this song again. And again!

Crazy Lixx – Girls From The 80’s

Swedish glam rockers Crazy Lixx are all about the ’80s. Led by charismatic frontman Danny Rexon, they are one of the biggest bands of the new wave of Scandinavian glam/sleaze metal that emerged during the 2000s. Of course, many of their songs contain references to the beloved decade, but only one song actually bears the decade in its title. The track comes from their 2014 self-titled release and serves as an ode to the girls from that era. If you’re a fan of ’80s music, there’s a big chance you’ll love more of their songs right away, if not all of them. Crazy Lixx is a powerhouse band, and their music is flawless, featuring big choruses, melodies, killer riffs, and solos. P.S. They released a compilation album with several new songs a few months ago called “Two Shots At Glory.

Nestor – 1989

Staying in Sweden, we have the Nestor’s “1989” song that was released as a single in 2021 and as a part of the band’s first album, “Kids In The Ghost Town,” from the same year. But did you know that this band was actually formed in the same year that this song is talking about? Wait, so that means they don’t qualify for this list? Junkyard is cheating? Actually, not at all. That’s the weird part here. The band was indeed formed in 1989, but they released their first album, as mentioned before, 32 years later – in 2021! By the way, their second album “Teenage Rebel” is due to be released this year on May 31st.

Cruzh – FL89

Another band from Sweden on this list is Cruzh. They also have a freshly released album called “The Jungle Revolution.” And yes, there is a song from that release, which is the third in the band’s discography, that fits our list. It’s an ode to 1989 and how things would be much, much better between two lovebirds if only it were 1989 again. But, as the band mentioned before, “the lyrics of FL89 might seem like a typical, nostalgic story about broken hearts, but there’s a much cooler twist to it if you listen carefully.” Cruzh can be described as a more melodic, AOR-ish type of hard rock band emerging from that never-ending pool of cool bands from Scandinavia.

Reckless Love – Sparkle ’89

Finnish rockers Reckless Love, fronted by Olli Herman—who was also once a singer for sleaze metal legends Crashdiet—released five albums in their career before declaring a hiatus in January 2024. Olli Herman became the singer of the Finnish band Popeda, and it seems that was the reason for this decision. Nevertheless, on their latest release, “Turborider,” from 2022, there is a song called “Sparkle ’89” that totally fits our crazy list. The song is a tad bit more pop and synthwave-oriented, which wasn’t exactly the sound that made this band famous, although the whole “Turborider” album was drenched in that sparkly synthwave kind of sound.

Green Day – 1981

Let’s rewind back to the beginning of the 80s with Green Day’s “1981” from their 2024 album “Saviors.” The album is undoubtedly a big hit this year (how could it not be, being from legendary punk rockers?), and the song “1981” fits perfectly here. It’s about banging your head like it’s 1981, but it’s the Cold War era, people are watching cable TV, and MTV is lurking from the shadows, you know? Nevertheless, the song itself is a real hit, and we’re glad to have it on this list!

Stone Sour – ’82

Stone Sour released a massive double album, “The House Of Gold And Bones Part I,” in 2012 and Part II in 2013. It was a concept album with a really deep and developed story. The protagonist of that story was a character named Human, who is roaming the mysterious world trying to find the crimson Red City… The story is so deep and big that it would take a lot of time to describe it to you. Just shortly, in September 1982, when Human was only 10 (Corey Taylor was almost 10 back then, by the way), something really dark and sinister was happening, and Human was having flashbacks about it…. Despite the music being only a part of the medium on these two albums, from this time distance, we can only agree that it was probably one of the best Stone Sour release in their career. It was the last one with guitarist Jim Root, and it featured Rachel Bolan from Skid Row on bass. The last time they made an album was back in 2017 with “Hydrograd” (which, by the way, was voted the best album of 2017 here on Junkyard). Anyway, we really miss you, Stone Sour… It’s been a while, Corey!

We could have included more, but it looks like this is just the right amount of songs for this already weird list that fits the vibe here on Junkyard Rock Stories. Now it is up to you! You know what to do! Crank up these tunes, add them on your playlists, lay back, and enjoy the best from the ’80s in this unique modern style!

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