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50 80s Music Trivia Questions

The 1980s was an iconic era in music history, filled with unforgettable tunes, legendary artists, and groundbreaking genres. 

Whether you lived through the ’80s or you’re just a fan of this fantastic decade, testing your knowledge with some 80s music trivia questions can be a fun and nostalgic way to reminisce about the music that defined the era. 

So, put on your neon leg warmers, tease that hair, and let’s dive into some trivia questions that will transport you back to the ’80s!

80s Music Trivia Questions

  1. The King of Pop’s Landmark Album: Michael Jackson’s 1982 album “Thriller” not only became the best-selling album of all time but also broke down racial barriers in the music industry. Which music video from this album, featuring groundbreaking visual effects and a memorable dance routine, was the first of its kind to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2009?

  2. Queen’s Rock Opera Masterpiece: Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium is often hailed as one of the greatest live performances in rock history. Which song, known for its unique structure, blending rock, ballad, opera, and hard rock, and famous for its “no synthesizers” label, was a key highlight of this performance?

  3. Madonna’s Controversial Hit: In 1989, Madonna released a song that sparked immense controversy for its religious imagery and sexual undertones in both its lyrics and its music video. This song was banned by the Vatican and even led Pepsi to cancel a commercial featuring the pop star. What is the title of this provocative song?

  4. The Rise of Hip Hop: Run-D.M.C.’s groundbreaking 1986 album, “Raising Hell,” played a pivotal role in bringing hip hop to mainstream music listeners. What was the name of the track that famously featured a collaboration with rock band Aerosmith, reinventing their song “Walk This Way” and becoming a hit on MTV?

  5. U2’s Iconic Album and Its Political Message: U2’s 1987 album, “The Joshua Tree,” featured tracks heavily influenced by American and Irish politics. Which song from this album, inspired by an exhibit commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., became an anthem for human rights?

  6. The Birth of MTV and The Buggles: MTV revolutionized the music industry when it launched on August 1, 1981. The first music video aired on this groundbreaking channel was by a British band, marking a new era in how music was consumed. Name the song and the band that had this historic first play.

  7. Prince’s Cinematic Soundtrack: In 1984, Prince released an album that served as a soundtrack to a film in which he also starred. This album, blending funk, rock, R&B, and pop, was a massive success and contained hits like “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” What is the name of both the album and the film?

  8. The Synth-pop Revolution: The Pet Shop Boys achieved worldwide fame with a song that was initially written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe as a critique on certain aspects of life in Southern California. This song became synonymous with the synth-pop sound of the 80s. Can you name this hit?

  9. Bruce Springsteen’s Blue-Collar Anthem: In 1984, Bruce Springsteen released an album that became a symbol of blue-collar America. The title track of this album was both celebrated and misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem, while it actually depicted the challenges faced by Vietnam veterans. What is the name of this album and its title track?

  10. The Power of Charity Singles: In 1984, a supergroup of British and Irish musicians came together to record a charity single to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. This song started a trend of charity singles in the music industry. Name the song and the group that recorded it.

  11. David Bowie’s Innovative Album: In 1983, David Bowie released an album that not only marked a significant shift in his musical style but also produced three top ten singles in the UK. This album showcased a new wave and pop sound, diverging from his earlier styles. What is the name of this album, which includes the hit “Let’s Dance”?

  12. Cyndi Lauper’s Breakthrough Hit: Cyndi Lauper’s debut solo album released in 1983 included a song that became an anthem for female empowerment and won her the Best Female Video award at the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards. What is the title of this iconic song?

  13. Whitney Houston’s Dazzling Debut: Whitney Houston’s debut album in 1985 contained a song that became her first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This ballad established her as a major star in the music industry. Can you name this song?

  14. The Clash’s Political Anthem: The Clash released a song in 1982 that was a strong political statement against the Cold War. This track, blending punk rock with reggae influences, became an emblem of their political activism. What is the name of this song?

  15. Dire Straits’ Satirical Hit: In 1985, Dire Straits released a song that was a commentary on the music television culture of the 1980s. The song’s innovative music video, featuring early computer-animated graphics, won numerous awards and became a staple on MTV. What is the title of this song?

  16. Metallica’s Thrash Metal Milestone: In 1986, Metallica released an album that is often considered a turning point in thrash metal. This album features complex arrangements and extended instrumentals, setting new standards for the genre. What is the name of this influential album?

  17. Phil Collins’ Signature Song: Phil Collins released a song in 1981 that became synonymous with his solo career. Known for its distinctive drum sequence, this song topped charts worldwide and remains one of his most recognized works. What is the title of this song?

  18. Duran Duran’s Exotic Video: Duran Duran’s 1982 hit song was accompanied by an exotic and cinematic music video, shot on location in Sri Lanka. The video was instrumental in their rise to fame and is considered one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s. What is the name of this song?

  19. The Birth of Alternative Rock with R.E.M.: R.E.M.’s 1987 album marked a significant shift towards a more mainstream sound for the band, paving the way for alternative rock’s popularity in the 90s. Which album, featuring the hit “The One I Love,” solidified their status as alternative rock pioneers?

  20. Annie Lennox’s Eurythmics Hit: In 1983, the Eurythmics released a song that became a massive worldwide hit, known for its haunting melody and innovative synthesizer backdrop. Annie Lennox’s powerful vocals and androgynous appearance in the music video made it a memorable 80s classic. What is the title of this song?

  21. Bon Jovi’s Rock Anthem: In 1986, Bon Jovi released a song that became an anthem for many and is widely recognized as one of the band’s signature songs. It embodies the glam metal and hard rock sound of the 80s. What is the title of this power ballad?

  22. The Birth of Goth Rock with The Cure: The Cure’s 1989 album solidified their status as one of the pioneers of the goth rock genre. The album, featuring a mix of gloomy and upbeat tracks, included a song that became one of their biggest hits. Can you name this song known for its iconic opening bassline?

  23. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk Debut: During a television special commemorating Motown’s 25th anniversary in 1983, Michael Jackson performed a dance move that became legendary. This performance, where he debuted the moonwalk, was set to a song from his “Thriller” album. Which song was it?

  24. Def Leppard’s Multi-Platinum Album: Def Leppard’s 1987 album is often cited as one of the best-selling albums of all time and a defining work of the glam metal genre. This album includes hits like “Love Bites” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” What is the name of this album?

  25. George Michael’s Solo Success: After achieving fame with Wham!, George Michael embarked on a successful solo career. His 1987 debut solo album included a song that became his first solo number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. What is the title of this song known for its blend of pop and funk?

  26. Tina Turner’s Comeback Hit: Tina Turner made a remarkable comeback in the 80s with an album that included a song, becoming an anthem for her career revival. This track, a cover of a song originally by Al Green, won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Can you name this song?

  27. AC/DC’s Hard Rock Classic: AC/DC released a song in 1980 that became one of their most famous tracks, featuring a distinctive opening guitar riff and a tribute to their former lead singer, Bon Scott. What is the title of this hard rock anthem?

  28. The Police’s Final Studio Album Hit: The Police released a song in 1983 from their final studio album before disbanding. This song, with its haunting melody and mysterious lyrics, became one of their most famous tracks. What is the title of this song?

  29. Janet Jackson’s Breakthrough Album: Janet Jackson’s 1986 album was a major turning point in her career, showcasing a fusion of pop, rhythm and blues, funk, disco, and modernized soul. This album, produced with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, includes the hit “Nasty.” What is the name of this influential album?

  30. Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.’s Groundbreaking Collaboration: In 1986, Aerosmith collaborated with Run-D.M.C. on a track that became a pioneering moment for the fusion of rock and hip-hop. This collaboration breathed new life into an Aerosmith classic. What is the name of this song?

  31. The Genesis of a Solo Career: Phil Collins, while still a member of Genesis, released a solo album in 1981 that included a top 10 hit inspired by the breakup of his first marriage. This song features a famous drum machine intro. What is the name of this song?

  32. Annie Lennox and The Eurythmics’ Synth-Pop Classic: In 1983, the Eurythmics released a song that became a huge commercial success, defined by its synth-driven style and Annie Lennox’s powerful vocals. The music video featuring Lennox’s androgynous look is iconic. Can you name this song?

  33. Van Halen’s Synthesizer Experimentation: Van Halen’s 1984 album marked a departure from their traditional hard rock style, incorporating synthesizers for the first time. Which song from this album, featuring a memorable synthesizer intro, became one of their most popular hits?

  34. Madonna’s Iconic Wedding Dress Performance: At the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, Madonna performed one of her hit songs while wearing a wedding dress and ‘Boy Toy’ belt. This performance is considered one of the most iconic moments in MTV history. What song did she perform?

  35. U2’s Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.: In their 1984 album “The Unforgettable Fire,” U2 included a song as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. This song has become one of their most enduring tracks. What is the name of this song?

  36. The Rise of Glam Metal with Mötley Crüe: In 1985, Mötley Crüe released an album that epitomized the glam metal scene of the 80s. The title track of this album became one of their signature songs. Can you name this album and its title track?

  37. The B-52’s Party Anthem: The B-52’s released a song in 1989 that became a popular party anthem. Known for its catchy chorus and fun lyrics, this song remains one of their most recognizable hits. What is the title of this song?

  38. Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell: In 1983, Billy Idol released a song that became synonymous with his image as a punk and rock icon. The song features a driving beat and Idol’s distinctive vocals. What is the name of this classic track?

  39. Prince’s Funk and Rock Fusion: Prince released a song in 1986 that perfectly blended funk, rock, and psychedelia. The song’s innovative sound and complex structure showcased his musical genius. What is the name of this hit song?

  40. Depeche Mode’s Dark Synth-Pop Sound: In 1987, Depeche Mode released a song that became one of their biggest hits, featuring dark, moody synthesizers and introspective lyrics. This track is often considered a seminal work in the synth-pop genre. What is the title of this song?

  41. The Transformation of David Bowie: In 1980, David Bowie released an album that showcased a significant change in his musical direction, introducing a new wave and post-punk style. This album features the hit “Ashes to Ashes.” What is the name of this album?

  42. The Go-Go’s Historical Achievement: In 1981, The Go-Go’s became the first all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. Which album, featuring the hit “Our Lips Are Sealed,” achieved this historic feat?

  43. The Iconic Sound of The Smiths: The Smiths released a song in 1986 that became one of their most beloved tracks, showcasing Morrissey’s melancholic lyrics and Johnny Marr’s jangly guitar work. What is the name of this song, often considered a quintessential example of their sound?

  44. Lionel Richie’s Romantic Ballad: In 1984, Lionel Richie released a song that became one of the most popular ballads of the decade, often played at weddings and romantic occasions. What is the title of this song, known for its soothing melody and heartfelt lyrics?

  45. The Political Voice of Midnight Oil: In 1987, Australian band Midnight Oil released a song that became an international hit, known for its political message about the rights of indigenous Australians. What is the name of this song, which remains a powerful political statement?

  46. Duran Duran’s James Bond Theme: In 1985, Duran Duran recorded a song for a James Bond film, becoming the first Bond theme song to reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. What is the title of this song, which is also the title of the movie?

  47. The Breakout of Guns N’ Roses: In 1987, Guns N’ Roses released an album that would become a landmark in rock music. This album includes the hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” What is the name of this influential album?

  48. Culture Club’s Global Hit: In 1983, Culture Club released a song that became a massive international hit, known for its reggae rhythm and Boy George’s soulful vocals. What is the name of this song, which helped define the sound of the early 80s?

  49. The Debut of Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album in 1985 included a song that became her first hit, showcasing her extraordinary vocal range. What is the name of this song, which marked the beginning of her illustrious career?

  50. The Technological Innovation of Kraftwerk: German band Kraftwerk were pioneers in electronic music. In 1981, they released a song that became famous for its use of electronic instruments and futuristic theme. What is the name of this influential track?

Answers

  1. The song is “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.

  2. The song is “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

  3. The song is “Like a Prayer” by Madonna.

  4. The song is “Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith.

  5. The song is “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2.

  6. The song is “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.

  7. The album and film are both named “Purple Rain” by Prince.

  8. The song is “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys.

  9. The album and song are “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen.

  10. The song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid.

  11. The album is “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie.

  12. The song is “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.

  13. The song is “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston.

  14. The song is “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash.

  15. The song is “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits.

  16. The album is “Master of Puppets” by Metallica.

  17. The song is “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

  18. The song is “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran.

  19. The album is “Document” by R.E.M.

  20. The song is “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics.

  21. The song is “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

  22. The song is “Lovesong” by The Cure.

  23. The song is “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.

  24. The album is “Hysteria” by Def Leppard.

  25. The song is “Faith” by George Michael.

  26. The song is “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner.

  27. The song is “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

  28. The song is “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.

  29. The album is “Control” by Janet Jackson.

  30. The song is “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.

  31. The song is “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

  32. The song is “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics.

  33. The song is “Jump” by Van Halen.

  34. The song is “Like a Virgin” by Madonna.

  35. The song is “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2.

  36. The album and song are “Theatre of Pain” by Mötley Crüe.

  37. The song is “Love Shack” by The B-52’s.

  38. The song is “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol.

  39. The song is “Kiss” by Prince.

  40. The song is “Strangelove” by Depeche Mode.

  41. The album is “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” by David Bowie.

  42. The album is “Beauty and the Beat” by The Go-Go’s.

  43. The song is “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths.

  44. The song is “Hello” by Lionel Richie.

  45. The song is “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil.

  46. The song is “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran.

  47. The album is “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns N’ Roses.

  48. The song is “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club.

  49. The song is “You Give Good Love” by Whitney Houston.

  50. The song is “Computer Love” by Kraftwerk.
80s music trivia questions

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