Quiz: Name these huge ’80s bands


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Ah, the ’80s — the decade that gave us the Rubik’s Cube, the Los Angeles Olympics, E.T., and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Of course, it also gave us plenty of good music — techno and electro, hip-hop and rap, synthpop, heavy metal, and more.

While most bands on this list started off small (and hardly able to pay rent), very few could imagine the fame and fortune they would eventually receive. 

In this quiz, put your knowledge of ’80s music to the test and see if you can guess each band correctly!

Q: This band formed in Los Angeles in 1985 and released their debut album, “Appetite for Destruction,” in 1987, which featured songs like “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Paradise City.” Who are they?

Guns 'n' Roses

A: Guns ‘n’ Roses

 This band got off to a wild start, getting in a serious car accident in a small Toyota Celica just after their first tour in Los Angeles. (Hopefully they had good insurance!) On the flip side, after they were signed, they sold 500,000 copies of their very first album. Down the road, one of their most famous songs, “Paradise City,” was written in the back of a van… and “Sweet Child of Mine,” another fan favorite, was written in just five minutes!

Q: In 1983, this band formed in New Jersey and proceeded to produce albums that include the likes of “7800° Fahrenheit” (1985) and “Slippery When Wet” (1986). Can you identify them?

Bon Jovi
Tony Gonzalez/Everett Collection / DepositPhotos.com

A: Bon Jovi

This band, front-manned by John Francis Bongiovi (a.k.a. “Jon Bon Jovi”) has played over 2,700 concerts in 50 countries across the world. Jon Bon Jovi technically owns the band, employing the other members as employees. Known for his philanthropic work, Bon Jovi was named by Barack Obama to The White House Council for Community Solutions in 2010. 

Q: Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, this band’s albums include the likes of “All Over the Place” (1984) and “Different Light” (1986). Identify them if you can.

The Bangles
tabercil / Wikimedia Commons

A: The Bangles

After two of the founding members separately took out ads looking to form a band, they found each other — and a common obsession with The Beatles that sparked the formation of the group. Another odd fact: The Bangles didn’t write most of their hits — in fact, “Manic Monday,” one of their all-time greatest hits, was written by Prince!

Q: This band came together in Georgia in 1980 and went on to produce such albums as “Murmur” (1983) and “Green” (1988). Do you remember what they called themselves?

R.E.M. on final tour, 2008
Shimelle Laine / Wikimedia Commons

A: R.E.M.

Named after the dream-state known as rapid eye movement, this Georgia-based band made waves in the 80s when they jumped from their indie label I.R.S. to Warner Bros, in one of the biggest record deals of all time for $80 million. Long before reaching millionaire status, their food budget during tours was a measly $2 per day!

Q: This San Francisco-based band produced two number one albums in the 1980s, including “Sports” (1983) and “Fore!” (1986). Can you name them?

Huey Lewis and the News
PaulHamaker / Wikimedia Commons

A: Huey Lewis and the News

Originally born Hugh Anthony Cregg, Huey Lewis was intelligent as a kid, scoring a perfect 800 on the math section of his SAT exam. Huey Lewis went on to attend Cornell University but eventually dropped out to pursue music. He loved music a lot, claiming that the best part of being a musician was getting to hang out with his idols — like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, and Willie Nelson.

Q: This heavy metal band came out of New Jersey in the 1970s and started releasing studio albums in the 1980s that include, “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1983) and “Stay Hungry” (1984). Any idea who they might be?

Dee Snider of Twisted Sister
Jørund F Pedersen / Wikimedia Commons

A: Twisted Sister

Considered not just a heavy metal band but also a glam rock band, Twisted Sister was known for their wild clothes and gaudy makeup in addition to their rebellious sound. According to guitarist Jay Jay French, if you look at their rejection letters before they were signed in 1982, many discussed how the band was “too pink, too red, too yellow, too loud, too soft, too much hair, not enough hair, too much spandex, not enough spandex,” and more. 

Q: Although this band found its greatest commercial success in the 1990s, they actually formed in 1983 and produced four albums in that decade including “Freaky Styley” (1985) and “Mother’s Milk” (1989). Any guesses as to who they are?

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sven Mandel / Wikimedia Commons

A: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Notorious for having trouble keeping members in the band in their early years (especially their guitarists), Red Hot Chili Peppers had their first album reach the Billboard 200 in 1987. And here’s a spooky fact: Their breakthrough album, “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik,” was recorded in 1991 in a mansion once owned by none other than magician Harry Houdini. 

Q: Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, this band’s discography includes albums such as “Ride the “Lightning” (1984) and “Master of Puppets” (1986). Do you know who they are?


A: Metallica

Lead vocalist of Metallica, James Hetfield, met drummer Lars Ulrich after he responded to his ads in The Recycler. After their first jam session, James was unimpressed with Lars’ drumming. Eventually, Lars got a spot on the album “Metal Massacre” by Brian Slagel, which piqued James’ interest and led to the formation of the band. Amazingly, Lars Ulrich is one of the world’s richest metal drummers. The first three Metallica albums catapulted him into the millionaire life, netting him over $12 million (his net worth is estimated at around $300 million). 

Q: This heavy metal band came out of Los Angeles in 1981 and produced albums “Too Fast for Love” (1981) and “Girls, Girls, Girls” (1987). Does this ring any bells?

Motley Crue

A: Mötley Crüe

Before they became famous, this band was hardly able to pay rent for their Sunset Strip apartment, and couldn’t even afford pesticide to kill the cockroaches infesting their life. That’s not the only trouble they got in — KISS fired them as their supporting act in the 80s for partying too hard!

Q: This band was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 and put out its debut album, “Beauty and the Beat,” in 1981, which they followed with “Vacation” in 1982. Do you know which band this describes?

Belinda Carlisle and Kathy Valentine
Ron Baker (Kingsnake) / Wikimedia Commons

A: The Go-Go’s

These rockin’ ladies knew a thing or two about success as musicians and made some smart moves in their early years. They were the very first all-girl band to both write the music and play the instruments on a number one album in the United States — virtually unheard of at the time. In 2011, they received a Hollywood Star of Fame in the spot where old L.A. punk haunt, The Masque, used to be. It was one of the first venues they frequented during their come up. 

How’d You Do?

1-3: Maybe the 1980s just isn’t your decade. That’s OK!

4-7: Not too shabby, but you won’t be winning any Grammys.

8-10: You’re a rock and roll legend! Hall of Fame, here we come! 

Want to make money like a rockstar… without the crash-and-burn, high-profile lifestyle? Learn how you could launch one of these  20+ different side hustles to make you real money when you’re not jammin’ out to the sweet tunes of the 1980s.

A lot of rock stars make more than enough money to retire early — but you don’t have to be a rock star to retire early yourself. Just read this guide on 7 different moves to make if you want to retire early

For more trivia like this, check out TriviaPop.

This quiz was produced for MediaFeed.org by TriviaPop.com.

Image Credit: tortoon / iStock