The 1980s get picked on a lot, and to a degree that's understandable. Every decade starts looking goofy and dated in hindsight, and the fashions and pop culture milestones of each are often made fun of by later generations.
The '80s had plenty of excesses and fads we can all laugh at now, but unlike the preceding decades, it's often criticized as being a terrible period for music. Frankly, that is ridiculously untrue.
The 1980s were a "totally awesome" time for rock music in particular, despite what many people apparently believe. So why are those people mistaken, and on what do I base my defense of the musical contributions from the decade of shoulder pads and big hair?