In the 80s - Top Ten Lists of Eighties Songs

What are your top ten favorite songs from the 80s?

This page currently edited by: Quirk. Past editor: RetroGuyDK, Absolutely Vile, Junior

By: Heuvelmanns
  • 10. Seperate ways by Journey
  • 9. Close my eyes forever by Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford
  • 8. Save a prayer by Duran Duran
  • 7. Why d'you lie by Colin James
  • 6. Against all odds by Phil Collins
  • 5. Hunting high and low by A-HA
  • 4. Sister Christian by Night ranger
  • 3. Live to tell by Madonna
  • 2. Don't dream it's over by Crowded house
  • 1. With or without you by U2
By: Lizz
  • 10. Space Age Love Song by Flock of Seagulls
    Strange band, strange name, strange music, awesome song.
  • 9. Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
    This one is for Brooke
  • 8. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something
    Can't help but sing along.
  • 7. White Wedding by Billy Idol
    Cute and Creative. What more do you want?
  • 6. Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
    The one hit wonders and this was their one hit.
  • 5. Blue Monday by New Order
    It's the best break up song I've ever heard.
  • 4. Stand by REO Speedwagon
    When I hear this I think of confronting my problems head on!
  • 3. Unskinny Bop by Poison
    Weird title, cool song.
  • 2. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses
    The lyrics are unforgettable. Sheryl Crow sucks!
  • 1. You Spin Me by Dead or Alive
    Can't help but dance can ya?
Why is it you can never ever beat 80s music or the way it sounds?? Down with people who scorn it! There are 20 million other great 80s songs, but I can't think of them all!!!
By: Footzy
  • 10. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
    Not only is the song great to listen too, but the video has 'Chevy Chase' singing the song. A+ for originality
  • 9. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
    Her voice is just too compelling. I think every guy can relate to this song!!
  • 8. Lady In Red by Chris De Burgh
  • 7. Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen
    I am a Canadian, but what the hell does that matter.........this is an awesome song! Love the tribute to Vietnam, well done Bruce.
  • 6. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper
    Only one out of two songs of hers I like, but it really takes you back!
  • 5. Live To Tell by Madonna
    How many years has she been at the top now?????
  • 4. Drive by The Cars
    Anyone ready to 'Drive'off a bridge. This song is way to powerful!
  • 3. Little Red Corvette by Prince
    Well, can't say much for him, but it's a good song none the less.
  • 2. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    Honesty is hard to swallow, but sting certainly did it in this song!
  • 1. New Orleans Is Sinking by The Tragically Hip
    Try not to move when this song is playing. Loved by Canadians, mysterious to Americans
My number one song may be strange, but I feel that the boys from 'The Great White North' haven't been given a fair chance. If you haven't heard the tune I strongly recommend finding it. Moreover there newer albums just keep getting better!!
By: Jack the Ripper
  • 10. Suedehead by Morrissey
    I'm so sorry.
  • 9. Jeane by The Smiths
    Jeane, I'm not sure what happiness means, but I look into your eyes and I know that it isn't there.
  • 8. Still Ill by The Smiths
    It just wasn't like the old days anymore.
  • 7. This Charming Man by The Smiths
    This man said, "it's gruesome that someone so handsome should care."
  • 6. That Joke isn't Funny Anymore by The Smiths
    I've seen this happen in other people's lives and now it's happening in mine.
  • 5. There is a Light that Never Goes out by The Smiths
    To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.
  • 4. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths
    See the luck I've had could make a good man turn bad.
  • 3. I Know it's Over by The Smiths
    With your triumphs and your charms, while they're in each others arms.
  • 2. Everyday is Like Sunday by Morrissey
    Come! Come! Come! Nuclear bomb.
  • 1. How Soon is Now? by The Smihs
    When you say it's gonna happen now, well when exactly do you mean? See I've already waited too long, and all my hope is gone.
By: James Jackson
  • 10. Diana by Bryan Adams
  • 9. St. Elmos Fire by John Parr
    As I said earlier, his Man With a Vision and Under Parr albums are also great.
  • 8. Ride Like the Wind by Christopher Cross
  • 7. I hear Leesha by Michael W. Smith
    Similar to Think of Laura by Christopher Cross.
  • 6. The Night is Still Young by Billy Joel
    I wish Joel would continue making albums!
  • 5. She Remebered by Eric Carmen
  • 4. Cool Night by Paul Davis
  • 3. Revenge by John Parr
    A great song from his first album. His Man with a vision and Under Parr albums are also great.
  • 2. Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams
    Always a favorite.
  • 1. Where are you now? by Jimmy Harnen
    A great song, but don't be fooled into thinking it's his only great song!
By: H.
By: ryan
By: 7
  • 10. Kids in America by Kim Wilde
    The first of many top 10 hits for this diva supreme, this entered the Aussie chart in Autumn 1981...her next 3 top 10 hits, "Chequered Love", "Cambodia" & "View From a Bridge" are almost as good.
  • 9. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnoght Runners
    How can this one be left out? It's difficult enough omitting "Geno".
  • 8. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    The definitive 80's anthem. Number 1 in the autumn of 1982.
  • 7. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    The New Romantics defined in my mid-high school years, must have been late winter 1981. Despite numerous excellent songs released over the next 3 or so years, none ever quite managed to reach this standard
  • 6. Echo Beach by Martha & the Muffins
    The spring of 1980...indeed, 'far away in time...'
  • 5. Atomic / Call Me by Blondie
    I know it's cheating including 2 songs in the one place but these were both in the chart at the same time in the autumn of 1980 and i have always found it impossible to separate them.
  • 4. Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie
    Released in spring 1980 accompanied by the most fantastic film clip I had ever seen. The riff formed by the opening four notes is simply brilliant, and the closing synth as the legend walks along the beach with his 'mother' is incredibly powerful. The dude in front of the bulldozer is none other than Steve Strange from Visage.
  • 3. Ship of Fools by World Party
    Great lyrics, great melody, great song...released in 1987, well past the best of the 80's, this is the last great chart song ever recorded.
  • 2. You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties by Jona Lewie
    Doesn't anybody remember this genius ?? This 1980 classic epitomises the rich synth sound that was to prevail in the charts for the next few years...
  • 1. Fade to Grey by Visage
    I remember seeing a brief preview of the filmclip the week it entered the Australian chart in the autumn of 1981. I acquired the single the following Wednesday & played the song 26 consecutive times that afternoon when I arrived home from school. 18 years later my single still plays loud & clear without missing a bar. I remain obsessed. The song I want played at my funeral.
HOW DIFFICULT WAS THIS LIST TO COMPILE ?? For those too young to LIVE the early 80's as a teenager (I was born in 1966)other recommended listening treats include:"Send Me an Angel" (Real Life); "Turning Japanese" (The Vapors); "Rocklobster" (B-52's); "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" (Dead Or Alive); "Don't Go" (Yazoo) & "Mad World" (Tears For Fears). Space prevents me from reiterating ad nauseum the supremacy of early 80's music. I may well be admitted to a psyche ward should my worn needle finally call it a day. To all my fellow retroers, choose life !!
By: John Kilduff
  • 10. Johnny Kick A Hole In The Sky by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Funk-punk that could punch a hole in your head!
  • 9. Sex (I'm A...) by Berlin
    Someone once described Terri Nunn as a new-wave Barbie doll. Well, she sounds like what you might imagine Barbie to talk like on this album!
  • 8. If You Leave by OMD
    Very emotional, and used in "Pretty In Pink"! Molly Ringwald...what a babe!
  • 7. Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun by The Beastie Boys
    Hard-rocking rap-metal!
  • 6. Flashdance (What A Feeling)/ Fame by Irene Cara
    2 inspirational songs from 2 80s movies! Flashdance is a particular favorite of mine! Jennifer Beals...Hello, Nurse! (If you enjoyed the 90s cartoon "Animaniacs", you'd get the reference)
  • 5. Something Happenned On The Way To Heaven by Phil Collins
    Another bouncy, horn-driven song!
  • 4. Need You Tonight by INXS
    Why did Michael Hutchene kill himself? All shall be revealed on the E! True Hollywood Story! (shameless plug)
  • 3. Valley Girl by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa
    It's funny to the max, for sure! Man, did Moon Unit Zappa look good or what?
  • 2. Raising Hell by Run-DMC
    Little-known song from the Kings Of Rock! It's rap-rock that 90s artists like Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit only wish they could do!
  • 1. Breakout by Swing Out Sister
    Oh my God, I love this song so much! It just screams 80s, and it makes you want to go out and feel that you can do anything!
The 80s...What a decade! Enough 70s nostalgia...Enough bell-bottoms, polyester, afros and disco! It's time for parachute pants, spandex, New Wave Hair and dance music (The 80s term for disco, but dance music is much better than disco!) All I can say about the 70s is...Barf Out, Gag Me With A Spoon! The time is coming when the 80s will start to be loved again and discovered by a new generation of kids! Prepare for it! The 70s are on their way out again!
By: Jody McKinnon
  • 10. Eternal Flame by Bangles
  • 9. Gloria by Laura Branigan
  • 8. Jump by Van Halen
  • 7. If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher
  • 6. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
  • 5. Everything She Wants by Wham
  • 4. Bizzare Love Triangle by New Order
  • 3. Like A Prayer by Madonna
  • 2. I Need You Tonight by INXS
    KICK is one of my all time fave albums, and this song is a GEM from it.
  • 1. You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive
    This song totally screams the 1980s for me. I love to dance to it today some 14 years later.
By: Laura
By: Tom
  • 10. Red Red Wine (remake) by UB40
    Because it helps me forget
  • 9. 99 Luftballons by Nina
    Because everyone really is a Capt. Kirk
  • 8. Heat of the Moment by Asia
    Because now I find myself in '82
  • 7. I know what boys like by The Waitresses
    Because I was pissed when Square Pegs got cancelled
  • 6. One Night in Bangkok (from the Musical Chess) by Murray Head
    Because I get my kicks above the wasteline sunshine
  • 5. Escape (the Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
    Because I like the dunes of the Cape
  • 4. Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas
    Come on now, just thinking about it makes you wanna kick
  • 3. Respect by Erasure
    Just because
  • 2. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    because sometimes you really are better off dead
  • 1. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    Good Evening Pasadena
By: Ryan M.
  • 10. The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
    I should have put this higher on the list. Great song with an important message.
  • 9. Rapture by Blondie
    She can rap pretty good. The video was an art form for that time
  • 8. One Night in Bankok by Murray Head
  • 7. 99 Luftballons by Nena
    Another song that I like and I don't even know what she's singing about
  • 6. Pop Muzik by M
    I don't know why I like this song! It's so simple, yet so catching!
  • 5. I Just Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew
    A very moving song, which was very uncommon in the 80's decade.
  • 4. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    The synthesize is used perfectly in this song. The lyrics really stand out.
  • 3. Blue Monday by New Order
    The "Orgy" version of this melody is good, but the original is the best!!! They don't need guitars or anything to make it sound awesome.
  • 2. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
    Such an easy written song, thats why its so cool!!!
  • 1. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
    GREAT SONG!!! Good beat to it, despite the fact that I don't know what he's really saying.
By: laluna
  • 10. under the milky way by church
    i hated this song so much when i first heard it. don't ask me why. it's got to be one of the greatest songs of all time, and everyone should go out and buy it right now. what are you waiting for? huh? oh fine, don't listen to me.
  • 9. the mercy seat by nick cave and the bad seeds
    this song scares me...that's a rare thing. i don't know why i like it, but i do, and you will too, or else nick cave will kill you. maybe that's why i like it...i'm semi-afraid not to!
  • 8. boys don't cry by cure
    i was going to put let's go to bed on here instead, but this song reminds me more of them at their best, and, besides, who can forget the video?
  • 7. things can only get better by howard jones
    this was my first actual true favorite song. i love it, and it's the only thing in the world that can cheer me up when i'm sad about something.
  • 6. blue monday by new order
    resisting the urge to kill all members of orgy...ok, now that we got that out of the way, this is the ultimate 80s single. everyone should have it.
  • 5. friends of mine by duran duran
    for some reason this song has become somewhat obscure beyond the duranie rings. i don't know why. it's really cool though, and a good showcase of simon lebon's talent for writing lyrics no one understands.
  • 4. policy of truth by depeche mode
    this is the song that first turned me on to 80s music way back in first grade. it's still my favorite depeche mode song, and i recommend it to anyone who says they hate the 80s. i bet they'll change their minds.
  • 3. missing you by john waite
    "there's a storm that's raging through my frozen heart tonight..."
  • 2. ship of fools by world party
    i love world party. so sue me. wait, please don't.
  • 1. the chauffeur by duran duran
    duran duran IS the 80s. there was no greater band before, there has been no greater band since, and there never will be a greater band. you know why? because they have the best singer in the world, the best synthesizer player (i bow to my god, nick rhodes), the best lyrics, the best musicians (though some have left over the years), and they know how to make good music. these new bands should learn a lesson from them before music goes completely down the drain. anyway, i chose the chauffeur because it is the only song that has succeeded in making me cry. not the album track, but i saw them on their let it flow tour on 8-26-99, and when simon sang that song, it was incredible. the whole room got quiet, and all you could hear was his voice echoing. it was an amazing experience.
so...i'm not the normal 80s freak. i'm only a high school freshman. however, i'll bet i know as much about this era if not more than anyone out there! hahahaha. you know this is very cruel making us pick only 10 out of the billions of awesome 80s songs out there, but i did my best. well, i have a favor for chucky g and his readers...does anyone know where i can get a boys brigade cd with the song melody on it? actually, any compilation cd with melody on it would be good too. if you know, i'm at thanks! and as if i haven't said enough, here are my honorable mentions:every song on the arcadia "so red the rose" album any song released by david bowie between 1980 and 1989 any glam rock song NOT by poison anything by genesis anything by crowded house (especially chocolate cake) everything by the cure or love & rockets or depeche mode babydoll by devo girls on film, planet earth, anyone out there, careless memories, is there something i should know, night boat, sound of thunder, rio, hungry like the wolf,, my own way, lonely in your nightmare, hold back the rain, new religion, save a prayer, last chance on the stairwayreflex, new moon on monday, union of the snake, cracks in the pavement, i take the dice, american science, meet el presidete, winter marches on, notorious, skin trade, of crime and passion, shadows on your side, late bar, seventh stranger, i don't want your love, or any other song by duran duran out of my mind (so it's not 80s, it's by duran duran, it sounds like it should be on rio, and it's awesome, so it belongs on here) powerstation, howard joones, new order, psychadelic furs, skid row...anything by them would be good
By: Andrew Levine
  • 10. Take On Me by A-Ha
    Best music video ever? Hell, it's one of my 10 favorite FILMS of all time!
  • 9. Kids in America by Kim Wilde
    The best from the most underrated pop musician of the late 70's-early 80's, a lot like Blondie but with a better voice than Debbie's.
  • 8. Melt With You by Modern English
    I will never forgive Burger King.
  • 7. Shake It Up by The Cars
    "Just What I Needed" is better, but that was 1978, so it's ineligible.
  • 6. by
    More alive and urgent than "Still Haven't Found."
  • 5. Rio by Duran Duran
  • 4. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
    Actually written in '79...but who cares? :-)
  • 3. Lucky Star by Madonna
    I get a chill every time I hear that sparkly-trickly opening chord. Best dance song ever.
  • 2. Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes
  • 1. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
By: Ginger Vitis
  • 10. Kiss Me Deadly by Lita Ford
    i just picked this one off the top of my head...there is just way too many great 80's songs. well this one is great too. lita ford is hot.
  • 9. Every Rose Has It's Thorn by Poison
    so is this strictly for 80's new wave or can we include hair bands? whatever, uh...great ballad.
  • 8. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive
    uh...the original doesnt do much for me, but a great band i know does this one.
  • 7. Bathroom Wall by Faster Pussycat
    what can i say? i love hair bands.
  • 6. Nothin But a Good Time by Poison
    another poison great. this song is a great rock anthem. i listen to it everyday.
  • 5. Pretty in Pink by Phsycedelic Furs
    another Furs song. this one is great.
  • 4. Love My Way by Phsycedelic Furs
    this one is off the valley girl soundtrack right? im 15. cut me some slack. well, awesome song.
  • 3. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
    Billy Idol is great. my band does this song. rock n' roll!
  • 2. Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue
    great band. great song. they rock!
  • 1. Talk Dirty To Me by Poison
    best song ever. this song never gets old. poison is the best.
By: Aristotle Esguerra
  • 10. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On by Robert Palmer
    Funky beat, great lyrics, and a man's voice that didn't sound as he were castrated. Definitely one for the dance floor or speeding down the highway.
  • 9. It Takes Two by Rob Base and EZ-Rock
    An old-school hip-hop classic. Typically egotistical rap lyrics are atypically entertaining. Plus it's got a great groove. Walk this way instead, people....
  • 8. Prince by Kiss
    One of those "love 'em or hate 'em" songs. I didn't realize it was Prince until he broke out of his falsetto at the end. Very funky.
  • 7. I'll Be Over You by Toto
    As soon as my heart stops beating...I'll be tired of this song. Cliche'd theme is saved by perfect instrumentation and vocal harmony. A keeper.
  • 6. Thomas Dolby by She Blinded Me With Science
    Goofy lyrics, heavy on the synthesizers, and a so-very-catchy beat. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Which is why this one will live forever as an '80s classic.
  • 5. Information Society by What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)
    I never really got into the whole "new wave" movement, but this song really stuck with me.
  • 4. You Got It All by The Jets
    Great song for a slow dance, wherever that slow dance may take place. Plus the band's from the South Pacific. Go Island people!
  • 3. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) by Aerosmith
    Another "driving" song...The most memorable release off the Permanent Vacation album.
  • 2. Hands To Heaven by Breathe
    The '80s will be remembered for some of the best heartrending songs ever created. Funny how this one was omitted from a lot of lists....
  • 1. Somebody by Depeche Mode
    If these lyrics don't speak the truth, then I don't know what truth is.
Somehow, I don't think I'll remember the music of the '90s with the same fond memories. I know I'm not alone in my opinion....
By: Blakely Neff
  • 10. No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones
    I just have a soft spot for slow, easy-listening songs
  • 9. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    A classic in any age, era, dispensation, etc.
  • 8. Take on Me by A-Ha
  • 7. Melt With You by Modern English
    A catchy littly tune
  • 6. Faithfully by Journey
    A song of honor, devotion, and loyalty
  • 5. Nikita by Elton John
  • 4. Everytime You Go Away by Paul Young
    Enchanting- the song envelops you
  • 3. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
  • 2. I Know You're Out There Somewhere by The Moody Blues
    A nostalgic and inspirational masterpiece- it invites divine intervention
  • 1. The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
    evocative and never wearisome- simply bold and surreal
I know--A lot of mushy love songs, so I'll add a few more: "Fall At Your Feet" - Crowded House and "Love At First Sight" - Styx. Though both are from 1990, they are worth mentioning
By: Jessica
  • 10. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) by Hall and Oates
    A very guilty pleasure.
  • 9. Little Red Corvette by Prince
    Contains my favorite line from the 80s--"A body like yours out be in jail, 'cause it's on the verge of being obscene"--
  • 8. Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police
    In my opinion, better than Every Breath You Take--plus it's educational.
  • 7. I Wanna Be a Cowboy by Boys Don't Cry
    "Riding on the chuckwagon, following my man--His name is Ted, can you believe that..."
  • 6. It's a Sin by Pet Shop Boys
  • 5. Hands to Heaven by Breathe
    This on just makes me cry.
  • 4. C'est La Vie by Robbie Nevil
    see above comment
  • 3. Obsession by Animotion
    So cheezy...I can't help myself.
  • 2. Don't Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    That video still freaks me out.
  • 1. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
    No one can twirl like Stevie!
Can I add a couple of honorable mentions: Burning Up-Madonna Bedbugs and Ballyhoo-Echo and the Bunnymen The Chauffer or Notorious-Duran Duran I Want Your Sex-George Michael Spellbound-Siouxsie and the Banshees

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