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: TP
  • 10. The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
    Just about the perfect pop song (certainly as close to it as a 1970's country-rocker was ever going to get). Very LA, and he wrote it while driving the 405 between Sunset and Mulholland (exiting the Westside, and entering The Valley) which is a route we all took endlessly, driving our valley-girl dates home early Saturday mornings...
  • 9. That Smiling Face by Camouflage
    Another German group doing a translated version that is almost as good as the original Deutsche version....and the wafting English lyrics are even better than the original (poetry is not stressed in modern Munich.
  • 8. Nowhere Girl by B-Movie
    Particularly the EP version of it. Very melodic and, dare I say, haunting?
  • 7. Carolyne's Fingers by Cocteau Twins
    Still don't know what the song is about....but it revolutionized alot of people's thinking about musical structure.
  • 6. Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung
    Overplayed: yes. Great music: absolutely! (So the lyrics don't hold up so well...the tune and instrumentation is stellar) One of only a handful of 80's songs that was so well-produced and mixed that today's level of sophistication couldn't improve on it.
  • 5. Don't Go Back To Rockville by REM
    Rockabilly meets new wave...for a surprisingly durable combination. Great tune shines through even in subsequent covers by 10,000 Maniacs and others.
  • 4. Little Red Corvette by Prince
    Good time music at its finest....and now that the little guy's got his name back, we can identify the band again!
  • 3. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths
    Is that one too many "please"'s? No matter, it's a killer song about angst and desire and ennui. An added bonus is it's use in Ferris Bueler's Day Off" in the Chicago Art Institute in a music-only version performed by The Dream Academy.
  • 2. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads
    A classic that also showed up in anther '80's landmark "Wall Street" during Bud Fox's courting period with Darryl Hannah (yeah, her character had a name but I don't even know why they bothered....).
  • 1. Save It For Later by English Beat
    The song that defines the '80s for me. Can't count the times we played this at the fraternity-house parties. Still makes me look for my dancing shoes every time I hear it.
OK, so I was at UCLA 1980-1984, and my list reflects that. Obviously, my tastes tend toward the melodic rather than rpm-music, and my choices are clearly revisionist (i.e. songs which i would/do listen to today) as opposed to songs I liked at the time (ex: "Dancing with Myself" which was a guaranteed dance-party starter at the time, but which i find literally unlistenable today!). Honorable Mentions: "Smalltown Boy" - Bronski Beat (leaving aside the alternative-lifestyle lyrics, a song made even better by a 1994 acoustic edit on cd); "Wot" - Captain Sensible (the first of the white-boy rappers).
By: Ashayd
  • 10. Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
    Just can't give to the boys from Basildon
  • 9. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
    John Cusack, enough said.
  • 8. If You Were Here by Thompson Twins
    Classic birthday cake scene song from Sixteen Candles, no self respecting 80's girl could say they wouldn't give anything to have been Samantha Baker.
  • 7. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    Only, because this was the first big U.S. single, and brings back great radio memories.
  • 6. A Song For Europe by Roxy Music
    Every 80's band gives them credit as their inspiration, far be it from me to argue.
  • 5. Pictures Of You by The Cure
    Robert Smith holds the distinct honor of being the weirdest guy I would marry in spite of his weirdness (if he wasn't married already I mean ;)
  • 4. Lonely In Your Nightmare by Duran Duran
    Okay I know this wasn't a hit for them, but it is one of the most beautiful songs EVER. Simon LeBon was my first crush, so D2 will always be one of my favorites.
  • 3. Heaven by The Phsycedelic Furs
    Beautiful song, excellent lyrics.
  • 2. The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
    Great song to sing at the top of your lungs when your in your car alone.
  • 1. Blasphemous Rumors by Depeche Mode
    Best 80's band ever, teamed with great video visuals. Never have so few been owed so much by so many...
I was bummed at the lack of Depehce Mode songs, so I thought I should make up for it.
By: Corinne Heller
  • 10. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
  • 9. Careless Whisper by George Michael
  • 8. Journey by Ask the Lonely
  • 7. Poison by Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  • 6. Time After Time by Cindi Lauper
  • 5. Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • 4. Don't Cry by Guns 'n' Roses
  • 3. 18 and Life by Skid Row
  • 2. Poison by Alice Cooper
  • 1. With or Without You by U2
I was only 8, living in London when the 80's *ended*, but there's something to be said about riding a school bus for those last four an American school. Let's just say the upperclassmen played their tapes often.
By: Joey Ratpack
  • 10. Every Time (You Go Away) by Paul Young
    Most Romantic Song of the 80's
  • 9. Highway the the Dangerzone by Kenny Loggins
    Cheezy as all Hell, I Know. But how can you not love the five Bass notes at the start?
  • 8. Africa by Toto
  • 7. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    Best Song for the Best Movie of the 80's (The Breakfast Club)
  • 6. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
  • 5. One Gun by 54-40
    Great Tune by a Great Canadian Band
  • 4. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
    Best Pure 80's Guitar Tune.
  • 3. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
    The Boss' Best
  • 2. Don't Dream Its Over by Crowded House
    The greatest song for couples going through rough times.
  • 1. Drive by The Cars
    THE most poignant song ever written. I get goosebumps every single time I hear this song.
By: John Kilduff
  • 10. It's A Miracle by Culture Club
    It's also a wonder that you don't hear this song more often!
  • 9. The Search Is Over by Survivor
    A song that says "I searched for new love, but I always had it with you!"
  • 8. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    A plea for equality and respect that you can also dance to!
  • 7. Notorious by Duran Duran
    When Puff Daddy ripped off this song, he only gave himself another ticket to Hell. Violent, hypocritical and foul-mouthed (much like the entire rap industry), Puffy is going to Hell for sure. Open memo to the entire rap industry: If you're all good religious people, then stop the vulgarity, violence, and misogyny, ditch the Bentleys, trade in the Cristal for the blood of Christ, and actually live up to your beliefs, you hypocritical fungus. As for the original "Notorious", all I can say is that it is eminently more danceable than whatever vitriolic swill it was ripped off for!
  • 6. Could've Been by Tiffany
    A teen popster with a cleaner image than the teeny-bopper harlots you come across today! How can anybody consider Britney Spears attractive? Tiffany has more beauty in one fingernail than Britney has in her entire silicone-enhanced body.
  • 5. Turn your love around by George Benson
    A song that says "Take me back, and we'll make it better!"
  • 4. Yah Mo Be There by James Ingram and Michael McDonald
    A song that tells me to just hang in there.
  • 3. I can't go for that (No can do) by Hall & Oates
    These guys aren't cheesy, either! This song is one of the greatest "blue-eyed soul" recordings ever released!
  • 2. Human by Human League
    A lovely ballad that basically says "I'm bound to make mistakes, but I'm human...Mistakes are what every human is about". There's an old saying that goes..."In a perfect world, nobody's perfect". How true!
  • 1. These Dreams by Heart
    One of the most haunting and beautiful songs ever created. Heart is not cheesy! They were a great group, and this song was their best least from my viewpoint!
By: J. Shannon
  • 10. Love Is A Sheild by Camoflage
    Cool song. I wish it had been a bigger hit.
  • 9. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
    Cool song, you can hear the emotion in her voice
  • 8. Here Comes The Rain Again by Eurythmics
    Annie Lennox is incredible...her haunting vocals make this one a classic
  • 7. Time by Culture Club
    This is by far their best song. All of their songs were great, but this one stand the test of time.
  • 6. Opportunities by Pet Shop Boys
    This song is meant to be tounge in cheek, but the cool, slick, serious sound really reminds me of the mid 80's.
  • 5. You Keep Me Hangin' On by Kim Wilde
    Everyone sings along when this comes on
  • 4. True Faith by New Order
    Classic New Order
  • 3. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    Great song, great lyrics.
  • 2. Don't You Want Me by Human League
    This song defined the 80's sound!
  • 1. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
    Awesome song, powerful, danceable, and all those 80's synths. Stevie can rock and dance!
The 80's were an incredible and unique time. Growing up, these songs got me through some difficult teenage years. I will always love the music from the 80's!
By: Tommy Van den Berge
  • 10. Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi by Celine Dion
    She won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988. CÚline Dion, who comes from Montreal, released her first record in 1981 at the age of 13. A year later the title song from her first L.P. won a gold medal at the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo. She also received the Musicians' Prize. In 1983 she received four Felix Trophies from Quebec's Recording and Entertainment Industry Association - including 'Female Performer of the Year'. In 1984, a 5-week engagement at the Paris Olympia with Patrick Sebastien was a sell-out. Celine now works in Paris and Rome where she records with some of today's leading composers. Her latest L.P. "Incognito" was released in 1987.
  • 9. Sailing by Cristopher Cross
    Great pop ballad. Listen to it when you're down !
  • 8. Maneater by Hall & Oates
  • 7. Orinoco Flow by Enya
    It's been quite quiet about this beautiful Irish lady. It's a pity.
  • 6. Yah Mo Be There by James Ingram & Michael McDonals
    Great intro and it has become a real soul classic !
  • 5. State Of Independence by Vangelis & Jon Anderson
    Shabla Idi Shabla Ida: sing-a-long
  • 4. Wouldn't It Be Good by Nik Kershaw
    A small person but a great artist !
  • 3. Like A Prayer by Madonna
    Again religious.
  • 2. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
  • 1. Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
    Limahl's haircut is awesome !
Hi, I'm Tommy and I present a show on the Belgian radio station "Mango". I have a show that's called "Weerwolf Fm"; a non stop music programme with the best bits of the eighties and I LIKE IT. Bye ! MORE MOOIE MUSIC.
By: Robert B. Weeks Jr.
By: Alan
  • 10. The Big Kiss by Thereza Bazar
    A fusion of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. This was the ex-Dollar sex goddess' only UK charting record (#84). Produced by Arif Mardin. Her album was the most expensive in MCA's history at that time. She is known in th USA for singing the theme to the movie Gotcha!
  • 9. Eyes by Donna Summer
    I think I was the only one who bought this Jellybean remixed UK single.
  • 8. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
    Wonderful production, especially the album version.
  • 7. Never Give You Up by Sharon Redd
    The ultimate disco record. A classic song, with a classic b-side, Beat The Street. Both songs have been sampled into oblivion in recent years.
  • 6. One Step Further by Bardo
    The best song to ever come out of The Eurovision Song Contest !
  • 5. Bananarama by Nathan Jones
    Great video and dance routine. Bananarama made so many good records in the 80s, also noteworthy are Venus, More Than Physical and I Heard A Rumour.
  • 4. Dead Or Alive by Brand New Lover
    Classic melody and production. Definitely the band in their finest hour. I started going to clubs when this was out.
  • 3. Jermaine Stewart by Jody
    Jermaine was one of the worlds greatest talents. He is sadly missed.
  • 2. The Boom Boom Room by Natahsa England
    A great follow up single to her Uk top 10 hit Iko Iko, which was out at the same time as The Belle Stars version.
  • 1. Shockwaves by Diana Ross
    I can't believe there isn't anyone else with one of her songs listed on this site ! This was a Uk #76 hit in the late 80's. Very similar to Chain Reaction, but infinitely better.
By: Emily
there are hundreds more that deserve to be on the list... how about a top 500??
By: louise
  • 10. Summer Rain by Belinda Carlisle
    i love belinda carlisle... she's great
  • 9. Funky Cold Medina by Tone-Loc
    it's sooo funky
  • 8. Down Under by Men at Work
    ok, so i'm an australian...the song evokes a lot of pride and patriotism
  • 7. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
    this is an absolute classic
  • 6. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
    this is the most beautiful song... i just love it
  • 5. Power of Love by Huey Lewis & the News
    ok, who can forget Michael J. Fox on his skateboard in Back to the Future?
  • 4. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
    Shocking movie, great song, makes you want to get up and dance
  • 3. Wake Me up Before you Go-Go by WHAM!
    ok, ok, so i like WHAM
  • 2. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
  • 1. Mickey by Toni Basil
    doesn't this song just sum up the entire 80s?
there's heaps more that i wanted to mention...
By: Janett Goode
By: Guillermo Alberto Negri
  • 10. Karma cameleon by Culture Club
    Just... I like it.
  • 9. Don't worry, be happy by Bobby McFerrin
    It's cool. It's the best representative song of '80s philosophy.
  • 8. Luka by Suzanne Vega
    Yes, I know that it's a little bit folkie; but it's a great song.
  • 7. Pride (in the name of love) by U2
    The best song from the best group in the '80s.
  • 6. Don't you forget about me by Simple Minds
    The biggest soundtrack hit ever made!
  • 5. Every breath you take by The Police
    How can we forget this song?
  • 4. Original sin by INXS
    The 80's had an australian invasion. Midnight Oil, Men At work and INXS were the best.
  • 3. Let's dance by David Bowie
    Well, Mr. Bowie is a classic, what more can I say?.
  • 2. Like a virgin by Madonna
    A little ingenue, a little sensual, a lot of glamour just like... the '80s.
  • 1. When the doves cry by Prince & The Revolution
    It's the greatest song of the '80s. Prince was the real musical genius in this decade. Without him the 80's would have been nothing.
By: Egemen Atkaya
  • 10. Bryan Ferry by Slave To Love
  • 9. Madonna by Live To Tell
  • 8. She Makes My Day by Robert Palmer
  • 7. Its only love by Simply Red
  • 6. Strange Love by Depeche Mode
  • 5. Josephine by Chris Rea
  • 4. Through the barricades by Spandau Ballet
    Hell , i was crying when i first heard it
  • 3. Aganist all odds by Phil Collins
    I also liked the movie
  • 2. Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for fears
    Although i listened to it for about a million times , i never got bored of it
  • 1. True by Spandau Ballet
    The best song I've ever heard , just the best
By: tom seymour
By: Koen
  • 10. Knock me down by Red hot chilli peppers
  • 9. Fishheads by Barnes and Barnes
  • 8. A sort of homecoming by U2
  • 7. Some candy talking by Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 6. Free fallin by Tom Petty
  • 5. Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth
  • 4. Could you be the one by Husker Du
  • 3. So. Central Rain by REM
  • 2. The boy with the thorn in his side by Smiths
  • 1. Run by New Order
the '80s were pretty crass. i like some of the stuff on other people's lists, from a 'camp' point of view... but these are the only bands that mean anything to me.
By: Melanie Ares
  • 10. Gloria by Laura Brannigan
    It's in a movie too !
  • 9. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
    Just like in the movie you can dance like it :)
  • 8. Hooked on a feeling by Blue Sweede
    Very good :)
  • 7. I will survive by GLoria Gaynor
    Everybody know it !
  • 6. Closer by NIN
    I don't know why this song become my favorite after one year !! ...I freeze when I listen that !
  • 5. The sweetest thing by U2
  • 4. The Flame by Cheap Trick
    Wherever you go : I'll be with you ...Whatever you want i'll give it to you !
  • 3. Hold me now by Thompsons twins
    Like you can see I like love song :) very cute !
  • 2. Summer nights by Grease
    Just listen it :) you'll like it !
  • 1. Girl just wanna have fun by Cindy Lauper
    Excellent song !! I've take a look at the lyric and Yeah : Oh girl just wanna have fun ...
By: Tracey
  • 10. Eye of the Tiger by Survior
    A great song I sang to.
  • 9. Time after Time -True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
    I loved Cyndi's style...I wanted to be like her!
  • 8. Run,Run Away by I can't remember....augh!
    "Seek a chameleon lying there in the sun,all thanks to everyone Run Run away"
  • 7. Loving every minute of it by Loverboy
    My friends and I had our own dance routine to this song.
  • 6. Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden
    This song still sticks in my head.
  • 5. Oh Sherry by Steve Perry
    I could lip-sync this song to the T.
  • 4. Warrior by Scandal-featuring Patti Smyth
    Love her make-up,great song
  • 3. Crazy for you by Madonna
    My personal love song.
  • 2. Criminal Mind by Gowan
    You can feel the song,with the words...He's Canadian too!
  • 1. Hurts so Good by John Cougar
    I love John Cougar-American Fool.
I also liked: "Love is a Battlefield"-Pat Benatar,"When Doves Cry"-Prince,"We're not gonna take it "-Twisted Sister,"The Price"-Twisted Sister,"I feel for u"-Chaka Chan,"Pour some sugar on me"-Def Leppard, My LIst would go ON and ON......So I'll say same as others "Top 10 Songs" Love the 80's
By: Sarah Grenier
These are the best top ten songs!

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