The 5 bands that Keith Richards said he liked in the 80s

Keith Richards, the renowned figure of Rock and Roll, who is celebrated for his legendary role as the iconic guitarist of The Rolling Stones, has unquestionably etched an indelible mark upon the musical landscape. His influence transcends the boundaries of time and generations, rendering him a profound wellspring of inspiration for countless musicians.

Although Richards achieved his zenith during the late 1970s and 1980s, his journey allowed him the privilege of bearing witness to the emergence of novel musical talents. This discourse undertakes the exploration of five musical ensembles that, in a rare moment of admiration, found favor with Keith Richards during the tumultuous 1980s.

Bands that Keith Richards said he liked in the 80s


Notably, the realm of heavy music seldom held Keith Richards in its thrall. However, there existed one band that miraculously managed to strike a resonant chord within him: AC/DC. The year 1977 heralded the release of AC/DC’s album, “Powerage,” which left a profound and indelible imprint on Richards. In a revealing anecdote, Angus Young, the lead guitarist of AC/DC, disclosed that it was Waddy Wachtel, a musician who had collaborated with Richards, who introduced him to the auditory magic woven by AC/DC. The very first time Richards encountered its melody, he ardently requested a repeat performance. This album became an esteemed and cherished treasure within Richards’ ever-expanding collection.

Remarkably, an intriguing association linked AC/DC and The Rolling Stones. AC/DC graced the stage as the opening act for The Stones not merely once but on three separate occasions in 2003, within the borders of Germany and Canada. This unprecedented collaboration even witnessed the presence of Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC, who joined The Rolling Stones on stage. Together, they delivered a performance of the timeless blues composition, “Rock Me Baby.”


Originating from the picturesque terrain of Dublin, Ireland, U2 sprang to life in 1976. The 1980s ushered in an era of unparalleled acclaim for the band, with the release of iconic albums such as “War” (1983), “The Unforgettable Fire” (1984), and “The Joshua Tree” (1987). Keith Richards held a profound admiration for U2, with a particular fondness for the band’s charismatic frontman, Bono. The world bore witness to their record-breaking world tour from 2005 to 2007, in support of “A Bigger Bang,” a tour that emerged as the highest-grossing spectacle in the annals of music history.

During an interview, when questioned about U2’s astounding success, Richards eloquently expressed his reverence for the band, underscoring their momentous influence within the music industry. While Bono may not have necessarily been his first choice for a convivial companion, Richards unmistakably acknowledged U2’s indelible mark on the musical sphere, recognizing their unwavering prowess and significance.

Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley, who took his inaugural breath in Kingston, Jamaica, in the year 1968, bore the formidable legacy of the legendary Bob Marley as his birthright. Initiating his musical odyssey from an early age, Ziggy’s talent and unwavering dedication resonated deeply with Keith Richards. What set Ziggy apart in Richards’ discerning eyes was his unparalleled capacity to build upon his father’s musical legacy, crafting a distinctive and unique artistic identity. Richards wholeheartedly admired Ziggy’s steadfast commitment to his craft.

In a truly serendipitous twist of fate, Keith Richards, Ziggy Marley, and U2 united their musical forces on stage during the Smile Jamaica benefit concert of 1988. Ziggy Marley, alongside his musical collective, The Melody Makers, embarked on a journey marked by numerous albums, including “Play the Game Right” (1985). Their creative endeavors yielded hit compositions such as “Tomorrow People” and “Look Who’s Dancing,” leaving an indelible mark on the soundscape of their time.


During the 1980s, INXS, a celebrated rock ensemble hailing from the Australian continent, succeeded in capturing Keith Richards’ admiration. Their musical voyage commenced in the vibrant city of Sydney in 1977. INXS ascended to the pinnacles of musical recognition with the launch of critically acclaimed albums such as “Kick” (1987), “X” (1990), and “Welcome to Wherever You Are” (1992). Richards held an affinity for the band’s unwavering artistic vision and was entranced by the magnetic allure of their frontman, Michael Hutchence.

INXS, in a rare testament to their authenticity, remained steadfast in their artistic direction, a quality that deeply resonated with Keith Richards, a man profoundly enamored with the genre of rock music. Tragically, the music world bade adieu to Michael Hutchence in 1997, marking the conclusion of a truly unforgettable era in the band’s storied history.

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman, a gifted singer-songwriter born in Cleveland, Ohio, in the year 1964, succeeded in securing Keith Richards’ admiration through her profoundly soul-stirring compositions. Her eponymous debut album, released in the year 1988, introduced the world to her enduring masterpieces, “Baby Can I Hold You” and “Fast Car.” This album perseveres as one of the highest-grossing and most celebrated works in the history of music, with over 20 million copies sold on a global scale.

Although Tracy Chapman’s public appearances have been relatively infrequent throughout the years, her music continues to enrapture the collective psyche of her audience. In the year 2020, she made a significant cameo appearance on ‘Late Night with Seth Myers,’ delivering a mesmerizing rendition of her iconic composition, “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution,” while ardently championing the cause of social transformation.


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