VOTE! "A" Group - Round 1

The Voting is Here!

We're kicking off the full bracket voting with the "A" Group! Below, you'll be able to vote for each of the matchups. You'll also find detailed information about each artist's 80s music, so if you need your memory jogged on these artists, we've given you summaries of their 80s accomplishments, and a YouTube video to boot. 

(1) Madonna vs. (16) Luther Vandross


The case for Madonna: Do we really need to make a case for Madonna? The Material Girl owned the 80s.

The 80s albums:
Madonna - 5x Platinum
Like a Virgin - Diamond (10x Platinum)
True Blue - 7x Platinum
Like a Prayer - 4x Platinum
Who’s That Girl? (soundtrack) - Platinum

The 80s singles: “Holiday,” “Lucky Star,” “Borderline,” “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Crazy for You,” “Into the Groove,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Open Your Heart,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Like a Prayer,” “Express Yourself,” “Cherish” and a bunch more!

Luther Vandross

Nobody is more R&B than Luther. The guy churned out platinum record after platinum record, and he had the smoothest voice out there. 

The 80s albums:
Never Too Much - 2x Platinum
Forever, for Always, for Love - Platinum 
Busy Body - Platinum
The Night I Fell in Love - 2x Platinum
Give Me the Reason - 2x Platinum
Any Love - Platinum
This is Christmas - Platinum

The 80s singles: “Never Too Much,” “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye,” “‘Til My Baby Comes Home,” “Stop to Love,” “Here and Now,” and a bunch more.

(8) Culture Club vs. (9) Pat Benatar

Culture Club

Boy George and the band didn't just create an iconic sound, they created an iconic brand. From the hair to the clothes to the tunes, very few bands embody the 80s like Culture Club.

The 80s albums:
Kissing to Be Clever - Platinum
Colour by Numbers - 3x Platinum
Waking Up With the House on Fire - Platinum
From Luxury to Heartache

The 80s singles: “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “Time (Clock of the Heart),” “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya,” “Church of the Poisoned Mind,” “Karma Chameleon,” “Miss Me Blind,” “The War Song,” “Move Away,” and more.

Pat Benatar

While most of the 80s starlets were blaring out how sweet love was, Pat Benatar told us that “Love is a Battlefield.” Nobody sounded like her… nobody ever has.

The 80s albums:
Crimes of Passion - 4x Platinum
Precious Time - 2x Platinum
Get Nervous  - Platinum
Live from Earth - Platinum
Tropico - Platinum
Seven the Hard Way - Gold
Wide Awake in Dreamland - Gold

The 80s singles:  “I Need a Lover,” “You Better Run,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Fire and Ice,” “Shadows of the Night,” “Love is a Battlefield,” “We Belong,” “Invincible,” “All Fired Up,” and more.

(5) The Cars vs. (12) N.W.A.

The Cars

Ric Ocasek and The Cars took synth-pop and perfected it. They also perfected the music video game, doing things that MTV had never seen before. 

The 80s albums:
Panorama - Platinum
Shake it Up - 2x Platinum
Heartbeat City - 4x Platinum
Door to Door - Gold
Greatest Hits - 6x Platinum

The 80s singles:  ”Shake it Up,” “You Might Think,” “Magic,” “Drive,” “Heartbeat City,” and a bunch more.


They may not have had the biggest 80s catalogue, but N.W.A. was unquestionably one of the most influential groups of all time. Launching the careers of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and more, these legends created gangsta rap. 

The 80s albums:
Straight Outta Compton - 3x Platinum

The 80s singles:  “Straight Outta Compton” and a few others.

(4) Talking Heads vs. (13) George Strait

Talking Heads

Born in an art school in Rhode Island, this critically acclaimed band carved a niche with quirky, smart lyrics and diverse instrumentation. Byrne and co. are so much more than big suits and funky rhythms. 

The 80s albums:
Remain in Light - Gold
The Name of This Band is Talking Heads
Speaking in Tongues - Platinum
Stop Making Sense - Platinum
Little Creatures - 2x Platinum
True Stories- Gold
Naked- Gold

The 80s singles:  “Burning Down the House,” “Road to Nowhere,” “And She Was,” “Wild Wild Life,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “(Nothing But) Flowers,” and more.

George Strait

A workin’ man’s hero. They call him “The King of Country,” and it’s not for nothin.’ 

The 80s albums:
Strait Country - Platinum
Strait from the Heart - Platinum
Right or Wrong - Platinum
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind - Platinum
Something Special - Platinum
#7 - Platinum
Ocean Front Property - 2x Platinum
If You Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’ - Platinum
Beyond the Blue Neon - Platinum

The 80s singles:  “A Fire I Can’t Put Out,” “You Look So Good in Love,” “Right or Wrong,” “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together,” “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” “The Chair,” “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,” “All My Exes Live in Texas,” “Am I Blue,” “Baby Blue,” “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’),” and a bunch more.

(6) Cyndi Lauper vs. (11) the Cure

Cyndi Lauper

She was definitely so unusual. From the hair to the voice, Cyndi Lapuer captured our hearts and our imaginations. ‘Cause, hey… she just wanted to have fun! 

The 80s albums:
She’s So Unusual - 6x Platinum
True Colors - 2x Platinum
A Night to Remember - Gold

The 80s singles:  “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” “All Through the Night,” “The Goonies R Good Enough,” “True Colors,” “Change of Heart,” “I Drove All Night,” and lots more.

The Cure

The band that epitomized the gloomiest of answers to punk. But don’t be fooled; The Cure was hiding a surprising breadth and depth behind Robert Smith’s eyeliner.

The 80s albums:
Boys Don’t Cry
Seventeen Seconds
The Top
Concert: The Cure Live
The Head on the Door - Gold
Standing on a Beach - 2x Platinum
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me - Platinum
Disintegration - 2x Platinum

The 80s singles:  “Lovesong,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Close to Me,” “The Love Cats,” “Lullaby,” “Pictures of You,” “Fascination Street,” and more.

(3) Genesis/Phil Collins vs. (14) Steve Winwood

Genesis/Phil Collins

Phil Collins led Genesis from the drums, and he led them to the pop Promised Land. Then, when he went solo, he only got better, becoming one of the biggest acts of the 80s (seriously… look through those singles).

The 80s albums (Genesis):
Duke - Platinum
Abacab - 2x Platinum
Genesis - 4x Platinum
Invisible Touch - 6x Platinum
Three Sides Live - Gold

The 80s albums (Collins):
Face Value - 5x Platinum
Hello, I Must Be Going - 3x Platinum
No Jacket Required - Diamond (12x Platinum)
…. But Seriously - 4x Platinum

The singles (Genesis): “No Reply At All,” “Mama,” “That’s All,” “Invisible Touch,” “In Too Deep,” “Land of Confusion,” and many more.

The singles (Phil Collins): “In the Air Tonight,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Against All Odds,” “Easy Lover,” “Sussudio,” “One More Night,” “Don’t Lose My Number,” “Take Me Home,” “Separate Lives,” “A Groovy Kind of Love,” “Two Hearts,” “Another Day in Paradise,” “I Wish it Would Rain Down,” and lots more.

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood was a radio darling in the 80s. The guy knew exactly how to craft a pop masterpiece. Even though his voice was a little unusual, you sang along with every word.

The 80s albums:
Arc of a Diver - Platinum
Talking Back to the Night 
Back in the High Life -  3x Platinum
Roll With It - 2x Platinum

The 80s singles:  "Valerie," "Higher Love," "The Finer Things," "Back in the High Life Again," "Roll with It," Don't You Know What the Night Can Do?," "Holding On," and more.

(7) Aerosmith vs. (10) Dire Straits


Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and the boys made a living off of pushing boundaries. Flamboyant, ridiculous, and always fun, Aerosmith revolutionized rock and roll (and they had awesome videos, too).

The 80s albums:
Rock in a Hard Place - Gold
Greatest Hits - Diamond (11x Platinum)
Done With Mirrors - Gold
Permanent Vacation - 5x Platinum
Pump - 7x Platinum
Classics Live! - Platinum

The 80s singles:  “Let the Music Do the Talking,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Angel,” “Rag Doll,” “Love in an Elevator,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” and lots more.

Dire Straits

People remember Mark Knoplfer and co. mostly for fun songs like “Money for Nothing,” but it’s the melancholy cuts from their catalogue that stick with you. It’s no wonder that Brothers in Arms went on to be such a huge seller.

The 80s albums:
Making Movies - Platinum
Love Over Gold - Gold
Brothers in Arms - 9x Platinum

The 80s singles:  “Romeo and Juliet,” “So Far Away,” “Money for Nothing,” “Brothers in Arms,” “Walk of Life,” and more.

(2) Bruce Springsteen vs. (15) Men at Work

Bruce Springsteen

The case for Springsteen - He’s THE BOSS for cryin’ out loud. Is there a more iconic voice? A more iconic sound? A more iconic image than the cover of Born in the USA?

The 80s albums:
The River - 5x Platinum
Nebraska - Platinum
Born in the USA - Diamond (15x Platinum)
Tunnel of Love - 3x Platinum
Live/1975–85 - 13x Platinum

The 80s singles:  “Hungry Heart,” “The River,” “Cadillac Ranch,” “Atlantic City,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Cover Me,” “Born in the USA,” “I’m on Fire,” “Glory Days,” “Brilliant Disguise,” and a bunch more.

Men at Work

So much more than the Australians that sang about a Vegemite sandwich. These guys were a hit factory. Incredible songwriters, with hooks that stop you in your tracks.

The 80s albums:
Business as Usual - 6x Platinum
Cargo - 3x Platinum
Two Hearts - Gold

The 80s singles:  “Who Can it Be Now?,” “Down Under,” “Be Good Johnny,” “Overkill,” and more.


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