The 15 ultimate front men of the 80s
They rule the stage with absolute authority. And back in the '80s, they probably ruled the posters hanging in your bedroom and dorm rooms. Without them, the band would be playing the Holiday Inn lounge in Kankakee, Illinois.
We asked our readers for their picks for the best front-men of the 80s, and we received an avalanche of replies. Today, we unveil the final ranking.
Remember, solo acts weren't eligible, so no whining about Rick Springfield, Prince, Huey Lewis or Madonna not being on the list. Females, of course, are eligible, but it just sounds weird to say "front-women." As usual, fire away with your feedback.
Here are the final picks, along with reader comments on why they belong on the list.
THE 15 BEST FRONT-MEN OF THE '80s:
15. DAVID GAHAN (Depeche Mode): "Without him, Depeche Mode are just three guys playing keyboards. Who the hell wants to see that?"
14. ROBIN ZANDER (Cheap Trick): "Forever associated with the words, 'I want you ... to want ... me!' "
13. BONO (U2): "White flag in hand, he's hard to top."
12. ANNIE LENNOX (Eurythmics): "She can really command a stage."
11. MORRIS DAY (The Time): "The only reason to watch 'Purple Rain' -- and this year's Grammy Awards."
10. CHRISSIE HYNDE (The Pretenders): "Chrissie IS the band, regardless of whatever weird lineup they sported."
9. DAVID BYRNE (Talking Heads): "He was Mr. 80's and was everywhere. Speaking In Tongues, Stop Making Sense, Little Creatures is a great run. Not to mention all the pioneering and great videos for MTV."
7. DANNY ELFMAN (Oingo Boingo): "An amazing manic energy when I saw Oingo Boingo in the 80s. It was a thing to see."
6. STEVE PERRY (Journey): "I've seen a LOT of concerts, mostly AOR, and Steve Perry was the best. He sounded just as good or better on stage than he did on the studio cuts."
5. STEVEN TYLER (Aerosmith): "I saw Aerosmith in 1988 -- with Guns 'n Roses as opening act - and no I will not nominate Axl Rose -- Steven tore up the stage."
3. DAVID LEE ROTH (Van Halen): "I was listening to Van Halen this morning on my commute, in effect casting my vote for Diamond Dave all the way...the hair, the clothes, the moves, the attitude."
2. MICHAEL HUTCHENCE (INXS): "I saw them on the Kick tour, and he held the audience riveted."
1. FREDDIE MERCURY (Queen): "The ultimate showman. I still get chills when I see 'Radio Ga-Ga' performed at Live Aid." (See it)
Honorable mention: Terri Nunn (Berlin); Debbie Harry (Blondie); Martin Fry (ABC); Colin Hay (Men at Work); Robert Smith (The Cure); Morrissey (The Smiths); Jim Kerr (Simple Minds); Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music); Paul Stanley (Kiss); Rob Halford (Judas Priest); Henry Rollins (Black Flag); Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band); Phil Collins (Genesis); David Coverdale (Whitesnake); Belinda Carlisle (Go-Go's).