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Six 80's Rock Anthems your Kids Should Know by Heart

October 16, 2015

Generation X has grown up. You've traded in your denim and leather for khakis and hoodies, likely have less hair, and have children of your own. Chances are, your children are now teens and at the age you were when you were banging your head and holding up a lighter at a concert. While you really don't want them to see pictures of you with your chain wallet or Madonna-esque stacked silver and rubber bangle bracelets over lace gloves, you probably still long for their musical tastes to be more in line with your own.
 
Rock anthems of the 80s were powerful and fun. In the days before digital auto-balance, boy bands, and mp3 files, albums and cassette tapes were played loudly and reflected the massive talent of epic guitar solos, drum solos, and vocalists. While culture does change and evolve, kids are still kids. They recognize talent and still just want to have fun.
 
Therefore, if they have not yet been introduced to the music that moved an entire generation, the time is now. After all, some of it is already being played on the oldies stations. There are many songs that are worthy of being passed down to the next generation. Short of listing the discography of an entire decade, choices needed to be made to decide upon the top eight that your offspring should not go another moment without committing to memory.
 
"Promises in the Dark" - Pat Benatar
 
This little gem was on Pat Benatar's Precious Time album from 1981. There were few women who made it huge in the hard rock scene in the early 1980s, but Benatar did it in a big way. While some of her later songs spent more time on the charts, "Promises in the Dark" is a timeless and solid rock song about being afraid to love again. Benatar rose to fame on her talent, without stunts or bad behavior to garner attention. Parents of girls can even use her as a role model who worked her way to the top.
 
"Metal Health" - Quiet Riot
 
Quiet Riot had already existed since the early 1970s without widespread notice, until this song blasted them to national fame in 1983. People continued to bang their heads for about another decade, and today's kids certainly need to know the history of the art and culture of head-banging. This metal song was followed with "Cum on Feel the Noize", which reached even greater popularity. That follow-up was a piece of rather naughty fun that today might be considered slightly inappropriate to introduce to kids.
 
"I Wanna Rock" - Twisted Sister
 
Rock anthems based on the need for speed and freedom that existed in the 80s were truly written for kids looking for a way to triumph over daily existence of life and school. You may even choose to show them the video, and use it as a reminder that teachers were even more of a drag when you walked to school uphill both ways.
 
"Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osbourne
 
Okay, admittedly this infamous and iconic 1981 hit probably wasn't Ozzy's best song. Yet, it not only allows for an impromptu history lesson about the Cold War, but is also a true powerhouse of an anthem. You can introduce this one to your kids with confidence that Ozzy is still cool, and can use it as an opportunity to relay how you were cool enough to like Ozzy when he was a controversial figure.
 
"Love Song" - Tesla
 
This love power ballad was released in 1989, near the end of the hard rock and heavy metal popularity. If you knew nothing else released by Tesla, you will remember lead singer Jeff Keith singing the hopeful and passionate "I know" at the end of this song. This song embodies the cultural tone of the late 80s, and is an excellent illustration of the full sound of hopeful youth before the flannel, grunge, and angst of the 90s. What better message came out of the 1980s than "love will find a way?"
 
"Home Sweet Home" - Mötley Crüe
 
Mötley Crüe had success in the 1980s, but nothing compared with what they did in 1985. Despite personal issues within the band, "Home Sweet Home" had everyone who didn't know how to remotely play the piano learning the simple yet sublime opening notes. This song is as 80s as they come, and your children probably should have been singing "I'm on my way, home sweet home" at least six months before they mastered their ABCs.
 
If they roll their eyes the first time you play these songs, keep trying. Eventually they will be sneaking onto the Internet to download the mp3 like the good little metal heads you are raising them to be. Not only is it a solid bonding experience to share your music and the memories of these songs, but when your child approaches you and asks, "Hey, what album has that Freewill song by Rush so I can download it?" you will smile and know you've become an epic parent
 
(Usage only rights, under my pen name Tara Low, have been sold to one client through a Constant Content. If you would like to purchase usage rights to this article, please do so through Constant Content. Thanks. Other article special requests can be done directly through me IF they have not already been posted there.)

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