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: Roshan Eapen
Michael Jackson rules the music world. He's just simply the best.
By: Scott
  • 10. The Sun Always Shines On TV by a-ha
    My personal favorite of theirs. I love the build up before the vocals begin. Has anyone noticed that Beautiful Day by U2 sounds very similar to this at one point? (Actually tons of newer songs keep reminding me of songs from the 80s)
  • 9. The Great Ones Remember by Men Without Hats
    This one has great lyrics; a pointed critique on social conformity. The opening hook is superb!
  • 8. When Time Turns Around/Arias And Symphonies (tie) by The Spoons
    A really underated synth band out of Toronto. It's hard to believe the band members were only around 20 when they recorded these. I LOVE these songs. They are a perfect example of that early 80s synth-pop sound.
  • 7. April Fool by Chalk Circle
    Another obscure Candadian band. I only discoverd this one in 1998 on a Retro 80s weekend on MuchMusic (Canada's MTV). It's possible I heard it 15 years before, I can't be sure, but a really like it now.
  • 6. Innuendo/Dancing At The Feet Of The Moon (tie) by Parachute Club
    Obscure Candadians again. They were pretty big here, but probably not very well known elsewhere. These songs are way better than Rise Up, their biggest hit. I totally remember sitting in my best friend's sister's car(a lemon yellow '78 Corolla) in the parking lot of one of the local malls, the three of us singing along to Dancing...!*SIGH* Innuendo is a really powerful song that I never understood until I was older.
  • 5. Should I See by Frozen Ghost
    Really obscure Canadians. I can't say I agree with the sentiments of this song, but it sound terrific, and takes me back two decades instantly.
  • 4. Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
    For me, this is one of a handful of absolutely essential 80s classics. The bass line is one of the best ever created, and the haunting,soulful, pensive and pure counter-tenor of Sommerville is brilliant. The video is very evocative. I remember feeling sorry for the lonely boy riding the train to who-knows-where.I must also mention Why, Heatwave, No More War, and I Feel Love
  • 3. I Could Give You (A Mirror) by Eurythmics
    I love a ton of Eurythmics songs (one of my favoite bands) but choose this because it is unknown and under appreciated. It was the b-side to the Who's That Girl single. My friend played this for me in his car as we were driving around at 2AM, and I almost had a stroke. The ending sounds really weird and chaotic, but truly stunning. I've loved it ever since. Also very good and weird are Aqua and The Walk.
  • 2. Situation/Blue Monday/Living On Video by Yazoo/New Order/Trans-X
    I know this cheating, but I have always sort of linked these three songs as being the ultimate trio of quintessentially 80s synth-pop. The sampled laughing in Situation puts me in an 80s frame of mind like nothing else, and the rest of the song is just about perfect. Blue Monday is my favorite New Order song. Trans-X is a one-hit-wonder duo from Montreal. I remember listening to Living on Video on the radio when no one was home and dancing like a fool, but it was so fun. These three songs will always be in my pantheon of all things 80s.
  • 1. Pale Shelter by Tears For Fears
    I have recently come to recognize how brilliant the early TFT stuff is. In March of 2003 I heard Pale Shelter for the first time ever (I don't know how I missed it through-out the 80s) and loved it. Even though I had no specific association with it, this song gave me that funny feeling you get when you are transported back in time two decades to Jr. High. I searched it out and have since discovered the entire album (The Hurting) which has since become one of my top five albums of all time. That's amazing considering that only one year ago I had never heard anything from it save for Change, and that I VERY vaguely remember. I had always like Shout, Everybody Wants To..., and Head Over Heels, but never realized the genius of Tears for Fears until discovering The Hurting.
Making this list was SO hard! Instead of actually listing a true top 10, I have listed some of the more obscure 80s songs that i think deserve more attention. More well-known artists I love are Madonna, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive, Pat Benatar, Howard Jones , ABC and Wham! Some of my truly favorite songs are Wham! - Careless Whisper; Sade - Smooth Operator; Spandau Ballet - True; ABC - the entire Lexicon of Love album; Divine - You Think You're a Man; Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good; Kajagoogoo - Too Shy... I had better stop, because I could go on all day. I love this site, and the lists are a lot of fun. I'm glad I am not alone it being totally stuck on 80s music (which we all know is the BEST!!!!)
By: Dave
  • 10. Girls On Film by Duran Duran
    Great hit, and as for the video...............
  • 9. Cars by Gary Numan
    iconic hit, to say the least.......
  • 8. One Step Beyond by Madness
    definitive to the group.........
  • 7. You're The Inspiration by Chicago
    This is what my wife and I courted to............AAAH!
  • 6. Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    never get tired of hearing this.......
  • 5. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
  • 4. The Jack That House Built by Jack'n'Chill
    another club hit.....
  • 3. True/Gold/Through The Barricades by Spandau Ballet
    couldn't seperate these so..........
  • 2. You're The One For Me by D-Train
    in the clubs, lovin it.
  • 1. Blue Monday by New Order
    you say eighties, it's the first song I will think of.
A top ten is almost impossible, twenty would be hard, mentions to: Queen, Aerosmith, Dire Straits, Billy Idol, Yazoo, Pink Floyd, A-ha, Specials, Human League, Bon Jovi and fifty or so bands and artists who gave us the best tunes in any decade.
By: ed
  • 10. Nothin' But A Good Time by Poison
    it makes u wanna haved a good time
  • 9. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
    freakin love it
  • 8. Jump by Van Halen
    jump and jump up n down
  • 7. Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue
    i died and this song brought me back to
  • 6. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    i sing it in the shower
  • 5. Is This Love? by Whitesnake
    made me fall in love 4 the 1st time
  • 4. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    relax it makes me relaxs when im nervous
  • 3. One by Metallica
    best songwriting of the 80's
  • 2. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
    catchy song n hook the frontman should have replaced vince neil
  • 1. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns 'n' Roses
    the best 80's song
hair metal n new wave rulezzzzz
  • 10. Brilliant Mind by Furniture
    Not quite one hit wonders but I think it deserves putting in my top ten
  • 9. Let's Go To Bed by The Cure
    Anything the cure have done would be good enough to be here.
  • 8. Uncertain Smile by The The
    Helen G where are you! Love this tune. Remind me of a club in Plymouth which is now gone for a 'BURTON'(hint)
  • 7. Take On Me by a-ha
    The video was brilliant.
  • 6. Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues
    This my absolute favorite christmas tune. You hear this on your radio you just know its christmas time. Some wonderful lyrics.
  • 5. Berserker by Gary Numan
    Not to everyones tastes my list so tough luck. Has written some great albums over the last 25 years. Without him the Sugababes would have to sample someone else, what's that, they have say no more on the matter.
  • 4. Edward The Bear by The Damned
    Ok, so it's the B side of Grimly Fiendish but the album phantasmagoria (spelling poor sorry)is certainly a must. Thanks to pen friend Jasminka for her in-put in this. Reminds me of Helen G's blonde hair. Chances missed.
  • 3. Temple Of Love by Sisters Of Mercy
    Great goth song and not the last in this list!
  • 2. Ziggy Stardust by Bauhaus
    Don't mean to upset DB fans but it's worth a listen to if you haven't ever heard this version.
  • 1. Alive And Kicking by Simple Minds
    Just grateful that I am. Means a lot enough said.
This list is not in any particular order but it's great to see other people's top 10 lists. Who remembers sigue sigue sputnik, the cult, spear of destiny etc have enjoyed it. Love to know where u r Helen G.
By: mike b
  • 10. Roxanne by The Police
  • 9. Blaze Of Glory by Bon Jovi
    a good song by bon jovi
  • 8. Wheel In The Sky Keeps Turning by Journey
    a very good song, i personaly think its underated
  • 7. I Will Follow by U2
    good band, good song, nothing more to say
  • 6. Ozone Baby by Led Zeppelin
    probably led zeppelin's worst album (coda) but saying its the worst still doesn't mean its not one of the best albums of all time.
  • 5. Wearing and Tearing by Led Zeppelin
    not very many ppl know this, but this song was acuttaly RELEASED in 1982, but recorded b4 bonzo's death in 1980.
  • 4. Paradise City by Guns 'n' Roses
    once again another great great song by gnr, probablly the best band of the 80's.
  • 3. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns 'n' Roses
    another great song by gnr
  • 2. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    a great song, sure to make you wanna get off your feet.
  • 1. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
    fabulous song by gnr, my personal favorite, the greatest song in the 80's for sure.
By: new wave vixen
My all time favorites, along with the above are, Tainted Love-Soft Cell, Rio-Duran Duran, I ran-A Flock of Seagulls, The Metro and Take My Breath Away-Berlin, but they were already mentioned. God, there's just too freakin' many good ones! I could go on all day!
By: EdwardP. [edw2004 at]
  • 10. Same Ole Love by Anita Baker
    (1986) Her other songs got/get all the radio play but this is her best.
  • 9. Never Knew Love Like This Before by Stephanie Mills
    (1980) An '80s MTV song? Of course not.
  • 8. Cars by Gary Numan
    (1980) An early 1980 (January) entry. I like the fact that this could've been one of those '80s MTV video songs -- but never was.
  • 7. Limelight by Rush
    (1981) It's odd, but this is probably the only song by Rush that I like ?
  • 6. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) by Eurythmics
    (1985) It seems their other songs get all the attention nowadays.
  • 5. Train In Vain by The Clash
    (1980) An early spring entry and one of their best from their 1979, album London Calling.
  • 4. Mama Used to Say by Junior
    (1982) Another great song never played on MTV (Thank God!)
  • 3. Stomp! by The Brothers Johnson
    (1980) The Brothers did well in the '70s; this was probably their last great song.
  • 2. It's My Life by Talk Talk
    (1984) Eventhough another band is using this song right now it's still one of the best of the '80s.
  • 1. Rock With You by Michael Jackson
    (1980) Michael's best. Written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones.
The above songs are in no particular order. I tried to give as many pre-MTV or non-MTV songs as possible. I could easily come up with 100 great '80s songs, but for now other greats would be: The Long Run-The Eagles(1980);This Beat Goes On/Switching to Glide-The Kings(1980);Overjoyed-Stevie Wonder(1985);A Broken Heart Can Mend-Alexander O'Neal(1985);Lady (You Bring Me Up)-The Commodores(1986);Our House-Madness(1984);Cum on Feel the Noize-Quiet Riot(1983);Don't Disturb This Groove-The System(1988);Into the Groove-Madonna(1985);Whip It-Devo(1980);Cherish-Madonna(1989);Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now-McFadden and Whitehead(1980).
By: Steve Bunche
  • 10. Be Nice To Your President by Margaret Thatcher And The Supply Side
    Undeniably obscure, this is a great blast of anti-Reagan propagnda from right when we needed it most. And the b-side, "Breaking Into the Pentagon of Your Love," is almost as fun.
  • 9. Spiders by The Vapors
    Sure, "Turning Japanese" is loads of fun, but this monster from The Vapors' second album ("Magnets") will burrow into your cerebral cortex like an ambitious earwig.
  • 8. Keep It Up by The Boomtown Rats
    Forget "I Don't Like Mondays." This tale of sexual anxiety is not only extremely fun in every way, but it also features these great opening lyrics: In her two pound coat she really thinks she's cloaked in mystery She's acting like a character from Agatha Christie I got a pain in my shoes and all I wanna do is dance!
  • 7. Slang Teacher by Wide Boy Awake
    How the hell was this British dance oddity not a major hit? If you can't move to this, look for a toe tag!
  • 6. Soft Things by Devo
    "When something calls you, you'll know what to do!" One of the spud boys' best dance tunes.
  • 5. Alone Again Or by The Damned
    A terrific cover of the 1960's classic by Love.
  • 4. Birds Of Prey by Tony MacAlpine
    An incredible instrumental by perhaps the only black metal guitar virtuoso.
  • 3. Jesus Entering From The Rear by Feederz
    Possibly the single most sacreligious song ever recorded, but it's also incredibly catchy. I had a dorm-mate in college (1984) who was a staunch Catholic who promised to kill me if I ever played this record again; needless to say, within a week he was wandering around campus singing it. And only go with the version from the "Let Them Eat Jellybeans" compilation.
  • 2. Same Man I Was Before by Oingo Boingo
    From the same album that gave the world the majorly overplayed — and vastly inferior — "Dead Man's Party," this is prime example of the quirky, one-of-kind magic that was Oingo Boingo.
  • 1. The Phoenix by The Cult
    If ever there were a song made for testing the limits of your speakers, this is it. Rocks very hard, is sexy as hell and builds to an incredible crescendo. If you've never heard this you owe it to yourself to check it out.
"Dentaku"-Kraftwerk: this Japanese language version of their classic "Pocket Calculator" blows the original out of the water! "Drop Your Pants"-Hilary: a naughty little feel-good number and a bit of a minor radio hit here in New York during the Fall of 1983. "Reach Out"-Cheap Trick: simply put, the best song they ever recorded. One of the few truly inspirational rock anthems.
  • 10. You've Got Another Thing Comin' by Judas Priest
  • 9. Tempted by Squeeze
  • 8. Your Love by The Outfeild
  • 7. Two Minutes To Midnight by Iron Maiden
  • 6. Cars by Gary Numan
    this should be higher on the list...
  • 5. Africa by Toto
  • 4. (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight by The Cutting Crew
    sorry... i had to put it.
  • 3. Missing You by John Waite
  • 2. Working For The Weekend by Loverboy
  • 1. Cum On Feel The Noize by Quiet Riot
    ok, nobody's ever heard of this song but it's great.
if you're a video game freak like me you might realize that all of these songs are from vice city. I love 80's music.
By: José Pablo Salas
By: José Pablo Salas
By: Dillan Roberts
  • 10. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
    For my responses Ill write my favorite lines from the song I picked ex: Stand back stand back I did not see you in the middle of my room. Get it?
  • 9. Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard
    Eden,bedin brotin brogin!
  • 8. Mr. Roboto by Styx
    Domo Domo Domo Domo
  • 7. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    Take my hand we'll make it I swear livin on a prayer.
  • 6. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    ... Once upon a time I was falling in love now that feelings gone..nothing else to say total eclipse of the heart!
  • 5. Careless Whisper by Wham!
    ... Theres no comfort in the truth pain is all youll find!
  • 4. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
    ... All the boys thinks shes a spys shes got Bette Davis eyes.
  • 3. Chains Of Love by Erasure
    ...Come to me come to me hold me and we can break these chains of love.
  • 2. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
    ...And another ones gone and another ones gone another one bytes the dust!
  • 1. Wild Life by Banarama
    ... Dont you loose your cool you gotta get up and play its a wild life, wild life this is the wild life (wild life.)
Washington, high New Jersey class of 81 you know who you are.
By: mikee
  • 10. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol
    love it also
  • 9. Still Loving You by Scorpions
    this is also rock but a great example of classic rock
  • 8. Silent Running by Mike And The Mechanics
    i dont know if they are a religous band or not but good music
  • 7. That Was Yesterday by Foreigner
    great tune! music video is kinda dull, but nice to see them together
  • 6. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
    everyone likes this one so do i, they alos have some other good tunes
  • 5. Is This Love? by Whitesnake
    this is a ballad but was made in the 80's so it counts, more great solos, watch to music video to see the animation of the band members
  • 4. Saved By Zero by The Fixx
    great tune heard it in a pool hall
  • 3. Send Her My Love by Journey
    love neil schons solo at the end not to mention the entire song, neat to see them play on the video
  • 2. Big Log by Robert Plant
    i heard it on the radio a long time ago and fell in love, another weird music video
  • 1. Drive by The Cars
    favorite cars song, weird music video, but nice to see ben orr singing at the desk
i could hardly pick just ten of them, there are so many more great ones!!!!! i SUGGEST YOU LISTEN TO ALL OF THESE SONGS!
By: Jenny
  • 10. Give Me Tonight by Shannon
  • 9. Situation by Yazoo
  • 8. Sussudio by Phil Collins
  • 7. Some Like It Hot by The Power Station
  • 6. I.O.U. by Freez
  • 5. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
  • 4. Girls Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
  • 3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
  • 2. Kalimba De Luna by Tonny Sposito
  • 1. In The Evening by Sherril Lee Ralph
By: PenelopE
By: Amy Davies
By: tommy d
  • 10. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
    sound slike david bowies china girl...sorta
  • 9. Take On Me by a-ha
    love the video
  • 8. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
    i tried to remember this song for so long, and was reminded of it when i watched donnie darko
  • 7. Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode
    cool, always liked this one
  • 6. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
    sappy as hell, but you have to love it
  • 5. Drive by The Cars
    sad tune
  • 4. Nova Heart by The Spoons
    just has that 80s feel summed up. this band also went to my high school which is kinda cool
  • 3. Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes
    one of the best rock/pop tunes i can think of
  • 2. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
    sick tune
  • 1. It's My Life by Talk Talk
    the no doubt remake was good, but couldnt quite do it like talk talk
By: Mike
  • 10. Take Off (Great White North) by Bob & Doug Mackenzie
    This is a great song for those who like something out of the ordinary, kind of like "PacMan Fever", or "Sidewalk Talk"
  • 9. Just Got Lucky by Jo Boxers
    When New Wave was at the height of hip at my school and everywhere else for that matter!
  • 8. St. George And The Dragon by Toto
    Recorded in late 1979, but played well into the early 80s. It's a great song from that group!
  • 7. Breakin'..There's No Stoppin' Us by Ollie & Jerry
    The best breakdancing song that ever came out of the decade!
  • 6. Love On Your Side by Thompson Twins
    A perky compilation, one of their best..rates up there with "Don't Mess With Dr. Dream"
  • 5. Baby's In The Mountains by Peter Godwin
    A rare gem, and hard to find
  • 4. Always Asking Questions by Howard Jones
    On the "Best Of" album, along with "What Is Love?"
  • 3. Send Me An Angel by Real Life
    A great song for inspiration!
  • 2. When The Lights Go Out by Naked Eyes
    This 1980s song was on one of the first albums I ever purchased. It was in cassette form! Even before that I had late 70s dance compilations on 8-track! eeeek
  • 1. Dancing In Heaven - Orbital BeBop by Q-Feel
    This song has the energy of the 80s, and is fun to listen to!
My runners-up include: "Mama Used To Say" by Junior; "Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz; "Fortune and Fame" by Naked Eyes; "Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour) by Dollar; "So This Is Romance" by Linx; "I Eat Cannibals" by Toto Coelo; "Round and Round" by Jaki Graham; "In A Big Country" by Big Country; "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw; "A Little In Love" by Cliff Richard and finally "Vanity Kills" by ABC. That's my list of favorites and songs I really enjoyed (and still enjoy now). Thanks for checking out my list, and thanks Chuck for this site. It's great to reminisce! :) If anyone would like to correspond with me about my collection or yours, please email me at Thanks!

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