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: Kevin Briggs
- 10. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
What better way to kick off than with the archetypal 80s hit?
- 9. The Reflex by Duran Duran
I was a huge DD fan when I was about 8 (now who's feeling old?) and this was catchier than this year's Christmas flu bug.
- 8. China in your Hand by T'Pau
I see 'Heart and Soul' appears frequently in these top 10s but this was far and away the bigger hit in the UK.
- 7. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
I must've been a sucker for these ballads when I was younger. This raises the hairs on the back of my neck; beautiful.
- 6. Africa by Toto
Reaches the parts other rock songs cannot reach.
- 5. La Isla Bonita by Madonna
80s songs are the soundtrack accompanying specific memories from days gone by. This harks back to a particular summer fortnight at my nan's:carefree days of puzzles and scrabble and Countdown and Lego with teacakes and hot chocolate; sunny days of cricket in the garden kicked off by Timmy Mallett's Wacaday with Transformers...in this nostalgic mood, I'm considering adding Brian May's 'Star Fleet' theme here...
- 4. You Spin me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive
but back to the present. This fantastic track had totally passed me by until I saw 'The Wedding Singer' and it became love at first chorus.
- 3. Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle
Wonderful power pop, just perfect to sing along to; 'Circle in the Sand' was just as good.
- 2. Gold by Spandau Ballet
Now, our Uni football team is basking in the 80s revival and whether dancing at 'Reagans' on a Wednesday night, or singing on the bus home from the match, this is 'our song'.
- 1. I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany
I know, I know:I can hear the collective groan! But this song harks back to the best times of late middle school for my best friend and I, and it's a huge footballers' fave at 'Reagans'.
All mainstream I know, but I defend myself by saying I was only 13 when the 80s upped and left. Other candidates well worthy of commendation are:White Wedding (Billy Idol), Down Under (Men at Work), We Built This City (Starship),Walking on the Moon (The Police), Games without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel),Sweet Dreams (The Eurythmics) and a song called For America by an artist I can't recall, oh, and a good 3 dozen more!
By: David Crutchley
- 10. Close to Me by The Cure
There are several 'better' songs from the 80's, but this one holds a SPECIAL memory for me !!!
- 9. The River by King Trigger
Why wasn't this a bigger hit? It seems only me and John Peel liked it.
- 8. Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
Didn't like much of their stuff, but this one was up there with the best
- 7. Enola Gay / Maid of Orleans by Orchestral manoeuvres in the Dark
- 6. Love will tear us apart by Joy Division
Music to get your razor blades out to
- 5. Dance Away by Roxy Music
Dressed to kill, and guess who's dying" - top lyric!
- 4. Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins
- 3. Ghost Town by The Specials
Summed up the feeling in the UK during the riots of the early 80's
- 2. All Out to Get You by The Beat (English Beat in the US)
My favourite song by my favourite band of the 80's, so had to be in there.
- 1. Is she really going out with him? by Joe Jackson
I've heard 5 different versions of this song, they would make nos. 1 - 5.
A British point of view concentrating on the early 80's when music had a bitof heart. Close misses were Geno by Dexy's Midnight Runners (much better than Come on Eileen), Vienna by Ultravox, anything by Blondie, Apollo 9 by Adam Ant
By: Charles Leet
- 10. Night Like This by The Cure
Song is good
- 9. End of the World as We Know It by R.E.M.
- 8. Rainy Day by 10000 Maniacs
- 7. Stop me if you think you've heard this one before by The Smiths
Sure Morrissey is queer ... But this song was good
- 6. Superman by R.E.M.
Of the many songs by REM ... I like this one
- 5. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
Yep ... it is good
- 4. Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails
Trent could rock even in the Late 80s
- 3. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
I need say no more
- 2. Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen
The song is beautiful
- 1. Close To Me by The Cure
Awesome song ... great Video .. Good Memories
By: Katie Dalton
- 10. Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp
My cousin and her boyfrend(now husband)were Jack and Diane,I always thought of them when I heard this song.
- 9. Africa by Toto
- 8. Stand by R.E.M
Great song.Listen to this and then listen to their new album and you can see how much their sound has evolved over the years..
- 7. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
I used to LOVE pissing off my teachers by doing my impression of the "Science!" guy. best part:"Good Heavens,Miss Sakamoto,you're beautiful!!"
- 6. If you were here by Thompson Twins
This was the song that they played at the end of "Sixteen Candles" and I have been looking for it on CD for years and finally found it recently,yay!
- 5. Michael Caine/Robert Deniro's waiting by Madness/Bananarama
For the novelty factor and also they(Caine,Deniro)are two of my favorite actors
- 4. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
This is on a lot of people's list but it's a classic(and I can't hear it without thinking of the Levi's ad!!)
- 3. We Don'T Need That Fascist Groove Thang by Heaven 17
it sounds like the singer is saying "bulls***,bulls***"(if you've heard the song you know what I'm talking about)
- 2. Whip it by Devo
This song gets *such* a bad rap (see above)
- 1. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
My mom didn't seem to mind this song but she must have had selective hearing because she was offended by
Honorable mentions also go to:"Relax"-Frankie Goes To Hollywood.Got detention for singing this at my Catholic school "Jessie's Girl"-Rick Springfield-my first crush!!! "The Cutter"-Echo and the Bunnymem:creepy as hell! "Rock Me Amadeus"-Falco:when cheesy videos happen to good songs, "Train In Vain"-The Clash:Garbage borrowed the tune for their song "Stup id Girl" I thought that was the Clash the first time I heard it! "Sex(I'm a...)"-Berlin:another one that got my parents hot under the collar.
By: Malvin Mallari
- 10. German Girl by The Lotus Eaters
- 9. Love Vigilantes by New Order
- 8. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
- 7. Wishful Thinking by China Crisis
- 6. Mad World by Tears For Fears
- 5. Michael by Secession
- 4. Feels Like Heaven by Fiction Factory
- 3. State of Art by Friends Again
- 2. Typical by Frazier Chorus
- 1. More To Lose by Seona Dancing
By: Chris Sargeant
- 10. Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx
This is "our song" for how many people?? 1989
- 9. America by Neil Diamond
I can remember listening to this one over and over and over...still gotta love it.. 1980
- 8. Faithfully by Journey
- 7. The Final Countdown by Europe
- 6. Your Love by The Outfield
Honestly never heard this one until a few months ago...but that doesn't matter!! 1985
- 5. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
From "Breakfast Club" Gotta love that 80's sound!! 1985
- 4. Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon
Can't fight putting this one in the top 5.. 1984
- 3. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
Along with "Who's Crying Now" and "Open Arms" ... the music that arguably laid the foundation for all the love songs and power ballads of the '80s... from one of the best albums ever!! 1981
- 2. After All by Cher/Peter Cetera
From "Chances Are" 1988
- 1. Who's Crying Now by Journey
Favorite song from my favorite band... 1981
All of these were a VERY close 10 -- #10 just as good as #1 -- we need a Top40 (at least) list I think!!! HONORABLE MENTION -- ANYTHING from Chicago, Madonna, or Journey; Died In Your Arms - Cutting Crew; Maniac - Michael Sembello (Flashdance Sdtk); Talking In Your Sleep - Romantics; In-between Days- The Cure; Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper; Sunglasses At Night - Corey Hart;Karma Chameleon - Boy George/Culture Club and many others......unfortunately not enough space to list them all!!
By: Brandon Hixson
- 10. Africa by Toto
This song is gorgeous! Toto is a very respectable group that performs many great songs including; Rosanna, I Won't Hold You Back and Hold The Line.
- 9. Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks is another female vocalist I could listen to for hours.
- 8. Heart Of Glass by Blondie
I know that this song isn't exactly an 80's song(1979), but I consider Blondie to be an 80's act. This is also my personal favorite disco song!
- 7. Only Time Will Tell by Asia
It's funny how most of my favorite songs are from 1982. This is a great 80's tune that also doesn't get much radio airplay anymore.
- 6. Waiting For A Girl Like You by Foriegner
Foreigner is know for recording some of the most beautiful love songs from the 80's. This one is my favorite.
- 5. Take Me To Heart by Quarterflash
As does Harden My Heart, Find Another Fool and all Quarterflash's hits, this song really rocks! Unfortunately, I never hear this one much on the radio anymore.
- 4. Cool Night by Paul Davis
This song reminds me of being a very small child and playing in the snow.
- 3. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
I love this song. I also love the writer Jim Stienman and most all of his other works.
- 2. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
Journey is one of the few groups that I could sit and listen to for hours. This track is my personal favorite from the band.
- 1. Harden My Heart by Quarterflash
This has been my all time favorite song since it's radio debut back in 1981. I love Rindy's voice and saxophone style!
By: Jordy Strain
- 10. Our Lips are Sealed by Go Go's
The definitive girl group song from the definitive girl group
- 9. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
When you think of the 80's new wave sound, this song really typifies it...electronic sounds, synthiszers, british vocals...this one has it all
- 8. Material Girl by Madonna
Can't have an 80's top ten without Madonna and this song sums up her 80's persona
- 7. Where the Streets Have No Name by U2
You know you're cool when the cops pull the plug while you're making a video
- 6. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
The one rock epic of the 80's and definitely the most moving.
- 5. Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
Yeah its cheesy, but it was huge and the movie (Back to the Future) was huge and as much as you might hate to admit it, you know this song inside and out.
- 4. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
One of the best bands ever and this song proves it.
- 3. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
Not only my favorite Duran Duran song but also was in one of my favorite 80's movies, Hot Dog the Movie.
- 2. Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Spingsteen
Reached #2 in 1984 and its #2 on this list. Not Bruce's best but this song turned the world on to the Born in the USA album and took Bruce to the very top of the rock world
- 1. Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
May not have been the best song but when I think of the 80's this is the first song I think of that says a lot.
- 10. Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie
The aftermath to Space Oddity. You'd better not mess with Major Tom.
- 9. Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
To what demented genius did David Byrne have access to?
- 8. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
My friend and I did an airband interpretation of this song in elementary school.
- 7. L'Affaire Dumoutier by The Box
A Montreal band that hit upon a novel concept with a half-french, half-english tune. I've been trying to find this little gem on CD but with no luck thus far...
- 6. Pretty much anything by The Police
With the obvious exception of that ridiculous remix of "Don't Stand So Close."
- 5. Africa by Toto
I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like this song.
- 4. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
Hunkering down for chow with the band so nice they named them twice.
- 3. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
The late Austrian rocker Falco helped re-acquaint Eighties teens with true musical genius. I wish I could understand what he's saying.
- 2. Holding Back The Years by Simply Red
I ask you:how can you have an eighties greatest hits list without Mick Hucknall? My ex-girlfriend used to call them "Simply Dead". Bitch.
- 1. Radio Free Europe by R.E.M.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best damn band that ever crawled from the south. There are so many others I just know I'm forgetting but this is a pretty decent start.
By: Tu Chung
- 10. Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes
Play this loud cause it rocks
- 9. 1 Moment in time by Whitney Houston
So much emotion , my fave Whitney tune.
- 8. Africa by Toto
A classic 80's tune
- 7. Jealous Guy by Roxy Music
A 6 minute epic
- 6. Do They Know It's Christmas Time by Band Aid
Far superior to it's big brother "We Are The World"
- 5. Moonlight Shadow by Mike Oldfield
The master of instrumental music hits it big
- 4. Bizarre Love Tringle by New Order
Synthesised sound at it's best
- 3. Take on Me by Aha
When I think of Norway, I think of Aha, what a tune.
- 2. I Want That Man by Deborah Harry
The lead singer of Blondie goes solo and does just fine
- 1. Live it Up by Mental as Anything
The greatest song to ever come out of Australia, period.
By: Syd Dynamo
- 10. F_ck the Police by N.W.A.
Put rap in a free for all, who was the toughest?
- 9. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
Had every kid wathcing MTV singing the song of a great punk band.
- 8. Message in a Bottle by The Police
Maybe their best song ever.
- 7. Radio Free Europe by REM
The song that got college radio into the mainstream.
- 6. Answering Machine by The Replacements
One of the many great songs by one of the best bands of the 80's.
- 5. Monkey's Gone to Heaven by The Pixies
A song that seperated the Pixes from the rest.
- 4. Billy Jean by Michael Jackson
One of the best singles ever!
- 3. Johnny Ryall by Beastie Boys
Though barely the eighties, a must for my list.
- 2. Jane Says/ I Would for You by Jane's Addiction
Two songs that put a great end to fabulously fun nights with friends.
- 1. Sunday Bloody Sunday/ Pride by U2
U2 anthems (not to mention Bono's stage march) gave me chills everytime I heard them. A great band to represent a decade of musical mania. Not a bad list I put together in five minute, huh.
By: Tim Ireland
- 10. Raspberry Beret by Prince
Easy start - even comes with it's own 1,2 - 1,2,3,4.
- 9. Holiday by Madonna
Skip the intro - drop in at that first 'thump'. Ease speed up to about +20% during song.
- 8. Let's Hear It For The Boy by Deniece Williams
Beat-Mix in towards tail end of 'Holiday'.
- 7. I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
Let Deniece get to final 'Let's hear it for the booooooooooooy' and drop in handclap intro.
- 6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Listen for the 'whizzes' in 'I Wanna Dance...' that are very much like the whiz intro to Cyndi. Alternatively just drop in the whiz intro after 'With Somebody Who Loves Meeeeeeeee'......... WHIZ!
- 5. Our Lips Are Sealed by The Go-Gos
Girls they want, want to have fun, girls..' drop in Go-Gos right from the top - piece of piss.
- 4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham!
Go-Gos end with neat close. Drop all the lights and leave a beat before giving them the full 'jitterbug' intro - listen for the scream (always with the screaming, screaming, screaming).
- 3. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
Wait for the last 'I wanna hit that hiiiiiiiiiigh' and drop in Culture Club from the top.
- 2. Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
Drop the bangles in at the false stop in 'Chameleon'.
- 1. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
In the final quiet moment where the short Bangle sings 'Walk Like an Egyptian......' THUMP into drum beat intro. Footloose of course ends with a bang so it's a great sign-off.
I've been a 'retro' nightclub DJ/VJ for about 9 years. Typically I retired just in time to see the 80's become 'officially hip' - maybe I should be thankful. Anyway, this Top 10 actually makes up a grrrreat 80's party set that I used to mix live on video (with the exception of 'Holiday' which was a crap clip with Madonna merely lip-synching poorly on 'Top of the Pops'). It includes most of the big guns - enjoy.
By: D M Newton
- 10. The One Thing by INXS
The first video I saw on MTV. What I liked was the stuttering drums in the chorus.
- 9. It's A Mistake by Men At Work
My fave MaW song, virtually forgotten today.
- 8. Learning To Fly by Pink Floyd
Roger was gone. Thank God they still had Dave.
- 7. Skateaway by Dire Straits
My favorite DS album.
- 6. Couldn't Stand The Weather by Stevie Ray Vaughn
I remember the night Lennon died. And I remember driving in my car when the news came about SRV. Two of my favorites taken suddenly, violently. And if you think his albums are great, they don't give one-tenth the justice of him live.
- 5. Matter Of Trust by Billy Joel
A tune that I loved the first time I heard it. Then I listened to the lyrics. They are so true, I listened to it over and over til I memorized them.
- 4. Only Time Will Tell by Asia
Gets in on the intro alone.
- 3. Talk To Ya Later by The Tubes
These guys were actually hot for about two months. From the people who gave you Wild Women of Wongo and Sushi Baby.
- 2. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
What kind of band has the cohones to debut with a double album? They should have saved some for the next one. I loved that bass going boing-boing-boing.
- 1. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
Dynamic, fun, silly video, (hey, this was the MTV decade,) and fun to dance to. And, unlike a lot of other favorites from the 80's, this one has aged well.
Honorable mentions (hoo-boy):Where The Streets Have No Name, With Or Without You, U2, Synchronicity II, The Police, Fortress Around Your Heart, Sting, Home By The Sea, Genesis, Bad To The Bone, G. Thorgood, Games Without Frontiers, P. Gabriel, Who Can It Be Now, Men At Work, Change It, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dreamtime, Daryl Hall, Strong Persuader, Robert Cray, Secret Seperation, The Fixx. I'm pobably older than most people here (b.1961). I spent the 80's working in a music shop, so I was exposed to many kinds of music. More lists to come. Thanks.
By: Lee David
- 10. Dreaming by Blondie
Sexiest woman in rock.
- 9. Suedehead by Morrissey
Proved he could make it on his own.
- 8. The One I Love by REM
Remember when they were fun?
- 7. Here Comes Your Man by Pixies
- 6. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
- 5. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
- 4. I Melt With You by Modern English
At least they mangaged one brief moment of brilliance.
- 3. In Between Days by The Cure
They churned out lots of classics, but this is the tops.
- 2. Our Lips Are Sealed by Go Go's
That opening riff still excites me as much now as it did the first time I heard it.
- 1. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
Quite simply, the best song of all time. Period.
- 10. Oh Yeah by Yello
Am I the only one who has had this song stuck in my head for days?
- 9. Cars by Gary Numan
One hit wonder but a great song.
- 8. Puttin' on the Ritz by Taco
Cool remix, nice tux.
- 7. Down Under by Men At Work
These Aussie boys ruled.
- 6. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
One of the best 80's bands and one of the most memorable songs.
- 5. White Wedding by Billy Idol
I also like Dancin' With Myself.
- 4. I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls
I loved their hair didn't you?
- 3. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
The best punk band ever - PERIOD.
- 2. Whip It by Devo
Such cool hats and how about those whips.
- 1. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
From the Breakfast Club need I say more?
Honorable Mention Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart Take On Me - A-Ha Don't You Want Me - Human League She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby Der Kommissar - After the Fire Rock Me Amadaus - Falco
- 10. Ice Machine by Depeche Mode
- 9. Reproduction Is Pollution by Shelley
- 8. Space Oditty by David Bowie
- 7. The Pan Within by The Waterboys
- 6. Born Slippy by Underworld
- 5. Razzmatazz by Pulp
- 4. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me by The Smiths
- 3. Que Vida by Love
- 2. Satelite by Depeche Mode
- 1. Palm Of My Hands by The Pale Fountains
By: John Kilduff
- 10. Rhythm Of The Night by DeBarge
I was listening to the CD "DeBarge:The Ultimate Collection" throughout the Summer of 1997 and I played this song over and over again!
- 9. Right On Track by The Breakfast Club
This song is really funky! I dance to this a lot!
- 8. Kyrie / Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
Beautiful songs by a cool band!
- 7. Ces't La Vie by Robbie Nevil
I love this song! I regularly use the title in conversation.
- 6. The Beastie Boys by The New Style
A funny rap with lots of attitude!
- 5. One Thing Leads To Another / Saved By Zero by The Fixx
These 2 songs were cool! I wish I had some of their other stuff!
- 4. Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle
Great song of hope! Belinda Carlisle is a good singer! I have 2 of her albums (Her Greatest Hits, which I got from Columbia House and Live Your Life Be Free, which I picked up for 3.99 at Media Play). Both albums were released in the 90s, but it was the early 90s so it still had that 80s flavor.
- 3. Jump by Van Halen
How could I have forgotten this song? Always jump whenever they say it, except when you're holding a portable CD player!
- 2. Fight For Your Right To Party by The Beastie Boys
Scream out the chorus! This song can have you dancing in no time!
- 1. Walk This Way by Run-DMC
Listen to this and you're gonna be movin' all around!
I have more songs! I also enjoy "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" by Tears For Fears, "Neutron Dance" by The Pointer Sisters, "Running Scared" by Fee Waybill, "Sweet Freedom" by Michael McDonald, "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, "Time Of My Life" by Bill Withers and Jennifer Warnes, "Invisible Touch" by Genesis, "Red Rain" and "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel, "Everybody Dance" by Ta Mara and The Seen, "Pull Up To The Bumper" by Grace Jones, "The Glamorous Life", "Holly Rock" and "A Love Bizzare" by Sheila E., "Free" by Prince, "Get Down On It" by Kool And The Gang, "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" by David Lee Roth, "Cross My Broken Heart" and "You've Got It All" by The Jets, "Legs", "Rough Boy", and "Give Me All Your Lovin'" by ZZ Top, "Forget-Me-Nots" by Patrice Rushen, "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung, "Beat It", "Bad", "P.Y.T", "Man In The Mirror" and pretty much anything else made by Michael Jackson in the 80s, "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo, "Pass The Dutchie" by Musical Youth, "The Power Of Love", "Hip To Be Square", "Stuck With You" and others by Huey Lewis and The News, "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive, "Red Angel Dragnet" by The Clash, plus many more that I can't think of right now!
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