Yes, even the artists I love sucked in the 80's in my opinion. The 80's were everything the 60's weren't: Hair Metal, abuse of synthetizers, uninspiring songwriting, artificial sound, thanks God that Disco was over!
Although all wasnt bad in the UK.......Indie or independent rock(often described as alternative rock in the U.S.), was a scene that emerged out of post punk and new wave eschewing the major record labels for control of their own music and relying on local scenes or national sub-cultures to provide an audience. Having enjoyed some success a number of indie acts were able to move into the mainstream, including early indie bands Aztec Camera, Orange Juice and The Smiths, followed by The Housemartins and James. The C86 cassette, released in 1986 by NME and featuring such bands as The Wedding Present, Primal Scream, The Pastels, and the Soup Dragons, was a major influence on the development of indie pop and the British indie scene as a whole.
Other forms of alternative rock developed in the UK during the 1980s. Like the drug-fueled Madchester (Manchester) scene. Based around The Hacienda, a nightclub in Manchester owned by New Order and Factory Records, Madchester bands such as The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays mixed acid house dance rhythms with melodic guitar pop.