Pop Music in the 1970’s and 1980’s

Pop music has been around since the 1950’s and is still going very strong today. There is no end in sight for pop music and let’s look at a couple of bigger decades when it comes to that music genre of the 1970’s and 1980’s and how they impacted the generations that lived and breathed the sounds and soul the artists infused into their lives.

The 1970s


There are various genres of pop music that emerged from the late 1960’s and when the 1970’s roiled around they seemed to get a little harder. There was the new power-pop, which was a blend of punk and harder rock and roll with pop and just a couple of groups that embodied that sound were the Cars and Cheap Trick. In the 1970’s came country pop as well where country artists wanted a more mainstream audience. Pop and melodies from pop music with a slower drawl of country music were popular in the decade just like they are now.

The biggest pop music of the 1970’s has to the emergence of the pop-rock sound with the likes of Queen, Elton John, and the Jackson 5 to name just a few. It was at this time Elton John was the king of the pop-rock sound and with his many hits in the decade, such as Bennie and the Jets and Rocket man, made him one of the biggest pop stars of all time. No matter what the genre of music was in the 1970’s it was blended with pop to make it more radio friendly. There was arena rock of the 70’s and Styx and Rush were big in that venue and big in the decade as well with their many arena pop hits that are still classics today.

The 1980s


Can you really think of 1980’s music and not think of pop? There were more synthesizers and electronic sounds in the music and dance pop was born. Some of the biggest artists of all time were HUGE in the 80’s such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna. In the 80’s you had to dance to pop and can you think of better music to dance to than the artists named? Techno came from this time as well with bands such as Depeche Mode using the sound and funk was also big later in the decade with Prince being at the forefront of that adding it to a pop sound.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop and with good reason since his Thriller album is still the best-selling album of all time. The 80’s saw a resurgence of pop in a big way and many consider it the best pop decade of all time. The emergence of women in pop was also very prevalent in the decade with artists such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Cindi Lauper. Pop was so big in the 80’s that there was a ton of music out there to fill the genre, which is why there are so many one-hit wonders in the decade such as Take on Me from Ah Ha and Relax from Frankie Goes to Hollywood.