Top 5 Best Overall Radio Stations from the 1980s

A blog about the best overall radio stations from the 1980s along with why these stations were so popular.

1. Boston’s WBCN-FM

WBCN was a free-form rock station in Boston that had a huge impact on not only the local music scene but also the national scene as well. The station’s playlists were very eclectic and featured artists such as Queen, AC/DC, and U2. WBCN was also one of the first to air Howard Stern on a syndicated basis.

2. New York’s WBLS-FM

WBLS was a station that played soul, disco, and other R&B genres during the day but played dance music at night which included House Music and Techno. They also aired “Soulful Sunday” which was an entire day of gospel music and interviews with gospel artists. WBLS introduced acts like Prince to the masses and helped break artists such as Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson.

3. Chicago’s WGCI-FM

WGCI is a Top 40/CHR station whose playlist includes dance, hip-hop, pop, rock, alternative, urban contemporary gospel, R&B, EDM/Top40, and mainstream urban titles. They are owned by iHeart

The 1980s was a decade full of great music, so it is not surprising that there were so many great radio stations during this time. The following list contains the top five best overall radio stations from the 80s:

1. WABB-FM – Mobile, AL

WABB-FM was a top-40 radio station based in Mobile, Alabama from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. During the 80s, WABB-FM became one of the most popular radio stations on the Gulf Coast because it had a very strong signal and played popular songs that other stations would not play.

2. KULF – Houston, TX

KULF was a legendary country music station that went off the air in 1989. During its last few years on the air, KULF became one of the most popular stations in Texas and surrounding states because of its strong signal and large coverage area thanks to being a 50,000 watt station.

3. KRBE – Houston, TX

KRBE was another legendary Houston radio station that remains on the air today (but with a different format). In the 80s, KRBE had some of the funniest DJs ever and played all of today’s hottest hits. It became

In the 1980s, the radio was my best friend. I learned about music and life from the radio. The best stations were willing to take risks and play stuff that was unknown. They help make the artists famous by playing new songs and promoting concerts.

In the 1980s, there were a lot of great radio stations across the country. Some of them played alternative rock, some played adult contemporary, some played new wave, some played dance music and others played top 40 hits. Here is a list of the top five best overall stations from the 80s.

1) WLIR – Long Island, New York – This station was known as “the progressive rock station of New York.” It was on 92.7 FM from 1973 to 1987 when it moved to 92.7 FM in Garden City until 1992 when they went off the air because they could not pay their bills. They were known for playing up-and-coming artists such as U2, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and others long before anyone knew who they were. They also had a popular weekend show called “Dancin’ On The Edge,” which featured early hip hop/rap music that you could not hear anywhere else at that time.

2) KROQ – Los

In the 1980s, radio was king. This is before the Internet and widespread television, so radio was much more popular in general than it is now. There were many different radio stations that sprung up during this period, ranging from all types of music genres to talk radio and sports radio. Many of these formats are still used today, but not nearly as many people listen to the radio like they once did.

1. KROQ: Los Angeles Alternative Rock Station

Los Angeles’ KROQ dominated the airwaves for alternative music for almost a decade with their morning show Kevin and Bean as well as their afternoon drive time show hosted by Rodney Bingenheimer. The station itself has changed formats several times (as it’s now under CBS ownership), but KROQ had one of the most loyal followings of any station during the 80s.

In the early 1980s, it seemed like every city had either a progressive rock or alternative rock station. But out of all of these stations, there were five that really stood out – and for good reason.

The first one was KROQ in Los Angeles. Although it wasn’t the first alternative rock station on the air, it was perhaps the most influential in terms of how it played its music. The other four stations were WXRT in Chicago, KTCL in Denver, WBCN in Boston, and WDRE on Long Island. As you’ll see, each of these stations had their own unique style.


KROQ was probably the most influential alternative station in the country during the 1980s. It was also one of the first stations to play new wave artists like Duran Duran and The Cure. In addition to this, they played a lot of punk music by artists such as XTC and The Smiths as well as some heavier bands such as Metallica and Anthrax. They were also known for their “Roq Of The 80s” show which featured songs from every genre imaginable including pop hits from Michael Jackson (Thriller) to hip hop classics like Run DMC’s Rock Box.”

1. WXRT Chicago, IL.

WXRT is one of the finest radio stations in the country, hands down. They were playing Bruce Springsteen before anyone else in America was and even managed to play The Clash’s London Calling album before it was released! I had the good fortune of listening to this station between 1983 and 1985. The DJ’s were great and the music was unparalleled. WXRT still exists today but has lost a lot of its edge. The station is still owned by CBS but is more mainstream than they were when they were playing all kinds of new wave, punk, alternative and classic rock from the 60’s and 70’s.

2. KROQ Los Angeles, CA.

KROQ is another legendary radio station that broke many bands in the 80’s including The Clash, The Police, U2, REM, Talking Heads and many others. KROQ also pioneered “modern rock” as a format to fill in the gaps between traditional album oriented rock stations such as KMET and KLOS who played Led Zeppelin and other classic artists but ignored some of this newer stuff coming out in the 80s’. KROQ is another legendary station that continues today with different ownership than what they had back then but still manages to

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