I am a child of the 1980's. I was 12 years old in 1980. One thing I vividally remember about the decade is all of the great music that it produced.

With so many different kinds of music, a kid like me could choose what genre he wanted. For some reason, the genre of hard rock and heavy metal appealed to me immensely. I was drawn to the masculine, hard pounding and angry music that became the hallmark of both genres.

Of course, there are always going to be some groups that will stand out no matter what kind of music that you are talking about. Here is a list of my favorite heavy metal and hard rock bands back in the 1980's.

Iron Maiden:

This band was formed in the mid '70's. With its grotesque mascot named Eddie, this band has put out the most hard pounding heavy metal music on the market for more than 30 years now. What drew me to Iron Maiden even more than their heavy metal guitars, Bruce Dickerson's evil voice and perfect heavy metal screams was the fact that their lyrics were about more than love and sex. There song, Revelations, is a Pagan prayer sung to the God of Earth and Alter, and their song entitled Hallowed Be Thy Name, is the thoughts of a man who is about to be taken to the gallows to be hung. I remember sitting in my room as a teenager and imagining what it must be like to be in his shoes.

I must have listened to the album (now I am really dating myself aren't I?) Piece of Mind a couple of thousand times. I know that I did, because after I bought the tape I wore it out in less than a year.

Led Zeppelin:

Who can forget the song Stairway to Heaven? You would not be a metalhead if you could not repeat the words to every song that Led Zeppelin ever wrote. I can still do it even to this day. It was a shame that drummer John Bonham had to die in 1980, thus breaking up the band.

Led Zeppelin left us with many timeless hard rock hits such as Stairway to Heaven. This is also not a song about love or sex, but rather it is a song about a woman who accumulates wealth, but then discovers that this wealth is not going to "buy her a stairway to heaven." It really is quite insiteful.

Another one of my favorite Zeppelin songs is All Of My Love. When I was in high school i just could not get enough of the organ in the middle of this song. I could not believe how much that added to the song.

Before John Bonham died, Led Zeppelin gave us some of the greatest heavy metal music ever. I mis this band, and I have missed them since 1980.

Van Halen:

Now I want to be very clear about this. I am a metalhead. I am writing about Van Halen and not Van Hagar. I liked this band alot when Bad boy David Lee Roth was singing for them. Roth was a fantastic heavy metal singer. The raw energy that he had back in the 1980's made this band irrestible to me. With songs like Mean Streets, the Atomic Punk, and Chained, Van Halen became one of my favorite bands. I was unbelievably disappointed when they fired David and hired Sammy, who was as tame as a poodle when it came to singing.

The 1980's was a great decade when it came to music. Look at what it gave us, MTV that actually played videos, punk rock, heavy metal and hard rock. I loved the 1980's and was so unhappy when it had to end, but then again, all good things must come to an end eventually. At least I have the memories.