When most people think of girl bands, the first thing that comes to their mind is The Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, and more recently the Korean supergroup BLACKPINK.
But the truth is that they are far from being the only ones: throughout music history, girl bands have been integral to the betterment of music as an art form and as a business.
Today, I’m going to pay tribute to the finest girl bands from one of music’s most important and defining decades: the 80s.
Every single one of these bands made a significant mark on popular culture by exploring new avenues of musical expression, setting unique style trends, and redefining femininity in the 20th century. Here are the
Best Girl Bands Of The 80s
Bananarama is one of the most popular British female pop groups of all time. Bananarama was formed in London, in 1979 by Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward, and Sara Dallin, who were childhood friends.
This is one of the world’s most successful girl bands, with over 30 top 50 singles throughout their career. Their best-known hits include great songs such as “It Ain’t What You Do”, “Robert De Niro’s Waiting Room”, and a fantastic cover of “Help” by The Beatles.
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, The Bangles is a highly successful pop rock band, with a variety of their best singles reaching the coveted top 10 charts.
Formed by Susanna Hoffs, Vicky Peterson, Debbie Peterson, and Michael Steele, their best-known song is probably “Walk Like An Egyptian”, a wonderfully fun and upbeat song about hieroglyphs, desert sands, and hookah pipes.
Formed by Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, and Jane Wiedlin in 1978, The Go-Go’s went on to become one of the most iconic girl bands of the 80s, being one of the first all-female groups to play all of their instruments and write all of their songs.
In fact, their debut album, Beauty And The Beat is hailed as one of the turning points of 80s musical development, with many people calling the album a hallmark of the American New Wave.
Exposé was an almost ubiquitous presence in dance clubs across the 80s. One of the main exponents of the popular freestyle sound, Exposé was composed by Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno.
They were one of the first groups to have four hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and enjoyed wild success for most of the late 80s and into the early 90s.
The group was particularly popular in Miami’s thriving club scene and actively recorded music until 1993. Their most popular song is probably the 1987 hit, “Season’s Change”.
The Pointer Sisters
The Pointer Sisters were formed in the 1970s by sisters Bonnie, June, Anita, and Ruth Pointer. However, they were a mainstay of the Soul music circles throughout the 80s and it was during the 80s that they produced some of their most powerful work.
Their best works include classics of the soul and urban genres, such as “He’s So Shy”, “Slow Hand”, “Automatic” and “Jump (For My Love)”. However, their biggest song is the instantly recognizable mega-hit from 1982, “I’m so excited”.
We have the late, great Prince to thank for the next group on the list. This trio from Minneapolis was composed of sisters Vanity and Susan Moonsie, and Brenda Bennet, and under the tutelage of Prince put out a solid catalog of R & B, Pop, Funk, rock, and Synth-Pop work throughout the 80s.
Vanity 6 brought a very strong sex appeal and was known for its racy, controversial lyrics and lingerie-clad live shows.
This legendary hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa made up of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Deidra Roper, better known as “DJ Spinderella”, has sold more than 15 million records across the world. This makes them the number one female rap group by the number of sales and charting singles, and one of the best-selling rap groups of all time.
Salt-N-Pepa put out two seminal hip-hop albums during the 80s: 1986’s Hot, Cool, and Vicious, and 1988’s A Salt With Deadly Pepa. Their hit singles “Push It” and “Shake Your Thang” quickly cemented them in rap history.
The next all women band on the list is a hard rock and glam rock icon who took the charts by storm in the late 80s before grunge changed the musical landscape forever. I’m talking about Vixen.
While Vixen’s sound was often compared to the likes of artists like Bon Jovi or Heart, and while Vixen was far from being the first or the most popular girl band, they were able to consistently compose albums full of catchy choruses and flashy solos, carried by a grade-A production.
Their eponymous 1988 album ranked 41 in Billboard’s top 200, and contained such hard rock gems as “Edge of a Broken Heart” and “I Want You To Rock Me”.