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: Michael Piper
- 10. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Ranks up there with Tainted Love as defining the culture of the eighties.
- 9. What I Am by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
From 1989, one of the last great songs of the decade.
- 8. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Sex and dancing, dancing and sex. Sounds like the eighties!
- 7. The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk3
One hit wonder...folk for a new generation?
- 6. Wishing Well by Terence Trent D'Arby
One of those great forgotten songs
- 5. Ball Of Confusion by Love And Rockets
- 4. (Keep Feeling) Fascination by The Human League
I liked this so much better than Don't You Want Me
- 3. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
So many great songs by them, this one tops the list
- 2. Little Red Corvette by Prince
Prince ruled the eighties, what more can I say?
- 1. AEIOU (Sometimes Y) by Ebn-Ozn
Great song, defines the "80's sound" for me...never heard from again after 1 album
This is just what is in my head right now....it could be a completely different list next week or tomorrow or even maybe a few hours from now.
- 10. Train In Vain by The Clash
- 9. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
- 8. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
- 7. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
- 6. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
- 5. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
- 4. Bad by U2
- 3. Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
his voice is wonderful...
- 2. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
- 1. With Or Without You by U2
This song is my absolute favourite..I'm only 13 and I lovvve u2.. i cant stop listening to this song...my brother will go nuts cuz he hears it all the time...sometimes this song makes me cry...sometimes it makes me happy....but this song is absolutely amazing
oh i wish i cud see a u2 concert...that wud be my dream
By: dj estro
- 10. The Show by Doug E Fresh
- 9. The Breaks by Kurtis Blow
- 8. Jam On It by Newcleus
- 7. Lookin For The Perfect Beat by G.L.O.B.E. And Whiz Kid
- 6. Fresh Is The Word by Mactronics
this first time i heard a roland tr 808 used by a master
- 5. It Takes Two by Rob Base And DJ EZ-Rock
- 4. Top Billin by Audio Two
- 3. Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa
hands down the best dance song to go hip hop
- 2. Sucka MC by Run DMC
this is why i love hip hop ( to years ago a friend of mind ask me to say some mc rhymes )
- 1. Numbers by Kraftwerk
this used to be the best song to breakdance to. i never new that they were counting to 4 each time.
80s hip hop was fun fresh and so clean. i miss seeing a dj on live shows. the djs would cut and scratch to drive the crowd crazy now u have the hype man. money killed hiphop now its just rap pop music but if you listned hard you can still hear the real
By: Larry Verver
- 10. New Year's Day by U2
U2 at their best!
- 9. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
Standout from the group of tunes that made MTV...too bad MTV went downhill with less videos and more goofy shows. Kudos to VH1 for the Flock Of Seagulls reunion.
- 8. Take On Me by a-ha
This one should be higher than #8, with a cool video.
- 7. Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones
One song that got us through school!
- 6. Tom Sawyer by Rush
One jammin' song...Geddy Lee's best!
- 5. Only Time Will Tell by Asia
Asia's biggest hit emphasizing the 80's keyboards.
- 4. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
Ultimate 80's breakup song.
- 3. Let's Go All The Way by Sly Fox
True one-hit-wonder with an infectious beat. More recently covered by the Insane Clown Posse...but this one is better.
- 2. Run Runaway by Slade
Early 80's tune that set the stage for the headbangers to come tearing up the house!
- 1. Stay The Night by Benjamin Orr
Benjamin Orr wrote some great songs with the Cars, but this was the best all-around song that contained all the elements that made the 80's memorable.
Of course, there are many, many more that could argueably make the list, such as Genesis, The Bangles, Tears For Fears, any hair band, Rick Springfield, Joe Jackson, Big Country, The Outfield...the list can go on...but it has to start somewhere and have the uniqueness that only the 80's could be remembered by.
Wow, this is a tough task! The ten songs I listed are not my favorite songs or by my favorite bands...rather, I tried to list songs that captured the "spirit" of the 80's. The songs that defined popular culture (for what is was worth) in the 80s: shallow, fun, and, ultimately, digestible. It does pain me to keep influential groups like Husker Du, Sonic Youth, and the Police off the list (but that's another list all together) and songs like "Safety Dance", "Tainted Love", and "Our House" (plus a host of others), but I only have ten slots to work with...
- 10. Karma Chameleon / Take On Me by Culture Club / a-ha
I'll never get how a person as weird as Boy George can sing such a nice song.
- 9. Our House by Madness
- 8. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
I think that the late Johann Holzel was a genius! I've heard this song a thousand times and I still love hearing it! The German version is much cooler than the American.
- 7. Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles
These chicks are so cool!
- 6. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
So cool! Puts me in a great mood every time.
- 5. Vienna by Ultravox
On of the greatest songs of the 80s!
- 4. Down Under by Men at Work
Along with Walk like an Egyptian it's the coolest song of the 80s! I love singing this one out loud (with the Aussie accent!)! I even have 7 different live versions!
- 3. Call Me by Blondie
I think it's enough to say that this song made me watch American Gigolo dozen times even though I think it's one of the worst movies ever!
- 2. Gold / Big In Japan by Spandau Ballet / Alphaville
Gold is Spandau Ballet's best song. As for Big in Japan - I just love the crystal sound of the German band.
- 1. Forever Young by Alphaville
I can still recall the excitement of discovering Alphaville for the first time... The lyrics, melodies, the vocals... just pure perfection! The song has such a strong effect on me.
I must mention New Order, The Flashdance soundtrack, Don't You Forget About Me, Relax, What a Feelin, You Spin Me Round Baby (Like A Record)...
- 10. Valley Girl by Frank & Moon Unit Zappa
Thi song cracks me up "she needs to get jeans that fit and butt, and a place to get her toesnails cut"
- 9. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
This was such a great song until jessica simpson redid it. The original version is better becuase it stays with you since it's haunted and the lead singer has such a voice that it stays with you.
- 8. White Wedding by Billy Idol
I love this song and Billy Idol has such a great voice in it. The gutiar isn't too shabby either.
- 7. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
It has the most awesome beat to it
- 6. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
I i used to sing this song all the time with my brother. Like all the time.
- 5. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
Everyytime I'm driving down and open road, i feel like im in the music video. It has the moat haunting begining gutiar solo and it freaks me out
- 4. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
This song is fun to dance to and no matter how many times i get this song stuck in my head, I like it just as much
- 3. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
This song is awesome becuase his voice is so smooth and mysterious. It mkes u forget about what he is today and makes you realize what a great entertainer he was
- 2. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
This song geta me every timne! It is such a great song and gun's and roses rock
- 1. Tempted by Squeeze
I love this song so much! I never actually heard it in the 80's, but in that hanes commercial, but i love it!
By: boris alexander malinkov
- 10. Uptight by Darling Buds
- 9. Achin' To Be by The Replacements
- 8. Eyes Of A Stranger by The Payolas
- 7. Rumble In Brighton by Stray Cats
- 6. I Got Loaded by Los Lobos
- 5. Pay To Cum by Bad Brains
- 4. Lyin' Ass Bitch by Fishbone
- 3. I Wanna Be Adored by The Stone Roses
- 2. Lips Like Sugar by Echo And The Bunneymen
- 1. This Charming Man by The Smiths
By: Rochus Wessels
10 is not enough - One Night in Bangkok, Down Under, Maniac, Africa (Rose Laurens), Everything is coming up Roses, China Girl, Beat it, Johnny B., Big in Japan, Papa don't preach, It's raining men, Kayleigh, Love is a Battlefield, Bette Davis Eyes and Temptation are in my Top 25.
- 10. When I See You Smile by Bad English
Wow! That song puts a smile on your face!
- 9. Everything She Wants by Wham!
Cool song of the 80's! I love 80's music. 80's music is very nice. I like 80's music better than the 90's.
- 8. Dirty Laundry by Don Henley
- 7. Will You Still Love Me? by Chicago
That Chicago song is as good as "Hard To Say I'm Sorry".
- 6. Something So Strong by Crowded House
Great song. It's as good as "Don't Dream It's Over".
- 5. Talk Talk by Talk Talk
Great song. "It's My Life" is the best song from Talk Talk.
- 4. Such A Shame by Talk Talk
- 3. Glory Of Love by Peter Cetera
Peter Cetera has a song called "Next Time I Fall" which features Amy Grant.
- 2. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
That's a very nice song. I love that song. I have that song too.
- 1. Hard To Say I'm Sorry by Chicago
Such a beautiful song! I love it. I never get tired of it. "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" is one of my favorite songs by Chicago. I have that song.
- 10. Down Under by Men At Work
- 9. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
- 8. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
- 7. No Sleep ('Til Brooklyn) by The Beastie Boys
- 6. Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis & The News
- 5. Thunderstruck by AC/DC
- 4. Paradise City by Guns 'n' Roses
- 3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
- 2. St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion) by John Parr
- 1. Whip It by Devo
This is the greatest top ten 80s song list ever. Period. No arguments. Whip It is the greatest 80s song ever. The reason is simple. It comes from a band no one cares about but a song that everyone knows, and even to this everyone knows this song. It represented what 80s music was about, one hit wonders with catchy riffs.
- 10. From A Distance by Bette Midler
Another rarity for me - a religiously-inspired song I enjoy listening to.
- 9. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
A sad and meaningful song about the hardship and realities of life.
- 8. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
I tend to relate this song to the earlier works of Jewel.
- 7. Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx
A typical ballad, but a good one as well.
- 6. With Or Without You by U2
One of the few Euro-centric 80s pop that I genuinely like. The Irish pop scene definitely rocks (U2, The Cranberries, The Corrs, Enya, etc.).
- 5. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
This is a song that I would listen to over and over again without getting bored or sick of it.
- 4. Every Breathe You Take by The Police
Like Lauper's "True Colours", I reckon this song isn't exactly a 'ballad', but it has meaningful lyrics and a gentle melody that makes it a leisurely and relaxing song to listen to.
- 3. Holiday by Madonna
Catchy and fun pop song that's extremely hard to find nowadays.
- 2. True Colours by Cyndi Lauper
'Touching' is probably the best word I can use when describing this song. I wouldn't exactly peg this as a 'ballad', since it doesn't have a huge orchestra and excessive wailing going on. But it's unique and a song that truly shows what 80s music are like.
- 1. True by Spandau Ballet
Easy listening song that's perfect for a quiet drive home (from work, school, etc.).
The 80s were all about individuality. The songs and artists were unique and, IMO, focused more on the singer's individuality rather than the marketing ambitions of greedy record company execs. For me, the 80s (and early 90s) was a period of fun, innocence and originality. It's a period that I will never forget and sorely, sorely miss.
- 10. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
One of the best songs ever made!!!
- 9. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Its one of the best songs made in the 80s.
- 8. I Remember You by Skid Row
Skid Row at their finest.
- 7. Ballad Of Jane by L.A. Guns
- 6. Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison
Its the best power ballad ever!!
- 5. Back In Black by AC/DC
Its a good way to start off the career with a new lead singer.
- 4. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
It makes you want to be a rebel.
- 3. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
Your hooked from the beginning of the song.
- 2. I Love Rock 'n' Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Its the anthem for all rock lovers.
- 1. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
The Tune is so catchy and Duran Duran is one of the greatest bands ever!
By: Brian Vincent
- 10. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
Perhaps the most popular rock band in the 80's hands down!
- 9. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
Despite Falco being a one-hit wonder, this song really rocked in 1985-86.
- 8. Land Of Confusion by Genesis
One of many great songs in the 80's by one of the 80's best bands. Good song that speaks out about social issues.
- 7. Why Can't This Be Love? by Van Halen
Hard pressed to single out one very good song by Van Halen. But this one is one of their very best. The band took on a new approach when Sammy Hagar came on the scene. David Lee Roth was good, but Sammy was better.
- 6. Every Breath You Take by The Police
By far, one of the best songs of the 80's by a well-versed band who blended pop/rock sound with jazz technique with laser precision. The only band who could blend rock and jazz technique together even better is Rush.
- 5. Hard Habit To Break by Chicago
One of the biggest groups in the 80's who were lead by producer David Foster. Foster, in my mind, is the best producer in the business whose mentor was Quincy Jones. Peter Cetera has a very unique vocal style.
- 4. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Perhaps, in my opinion, the best rally/protest song ever recorded!
- 3. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
Despite being a one-album wonder, Mr. Mister had three good songs that were popular in 1985-86. This was the best of the three.
- 2. Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard
This song is one reason why Pyromania was such a huge album success. Everything by Def Leppard rocks!
- 1. Tom Sawyer by Rush
By far, Rush's most popular song from the greatest progressive rock band ever! Neil Peart's percussion is tops, Alex's guitars, and Geddy's bass/synths are also top notch. They have influenced many aspiring artists that have become big in their own right.
Other honorable mentions would include anything by Queen, Heart, The Pet Shop Boys, and Kiss to name a few. The 80's, along with the 50's, will rank as one of rock's greatest decades. Sad to say that the music from the 90's to the present, while not too bad, can't hold a candle to the music that defined the 80's. Right now, 70% of the music I listen to is from the 80's while the other 30% is from the 90's to the present time with a few 70's songs thrown in for good measure. The 80's still rule!!!!!!!!
Huge fan of the 80's! Especially love Prince, Madonna, Roxette, & Lionel Richie!
By: Frank McDonald
- 10. I Melt With You by Modern English
Says it all!
- 9. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
Speaks to the heart.
- 8. London Calling by The Clash
Still makes me want to leap up and go...wherever, count me in!
- 7. Careless Whisper by Wham!
Romantic and nice tune.
- 6. Don't You Want Me? by Human League
- 5. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
- 4. New Moon On Monday by Duran Duran
And Rio, and Save a Prayer, and The Reflex, and Hungry Like The Wolf and...
- 3. The Promise by When In Rome
If I had to walk the world.... nice sentiment.
- 2. Take On Me by a-ha
Fun to sing, and makes me happy.
- 1. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Great instrumentation and music!
"Don't you forget about me" Simple Minds, "West end girls" Pet Shop Boys, and many others. The 80s were awesome!
- 10. Mad World by Tears For Fears
"And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad/ The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had/ I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take/ When people run in circles it's a very very/ Mad World" Amazing lyrics throughout. I love Gary Jules' version of this song too.
- 9. White Wedding by Billy Idol
"There is nothin' fair in this world/ There is nothin' safe in this world/ And there's nothin' sure in this world/ And there's nothin' pure in this world/ Look for something left in this world/ Start again/ Come on/ It's a nice day for a white wedding/ It's a nice day to start again."
- 8. Call Me by Blondie
"Cover me with kisses, baby/ Cover me with love/ Roll me in designer sheets/ I'll never get enough/ Emotions come, I don't know why/ Cover up love's alibi"
- 7. Fight Like A Brave by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm not about to claim that this is one of the "best" songs of the 80's (since rhcp didn't hit their peak until the 90's). It's just one I personally like. :-) "You say you're running and you're running and you're running afraid/ You say you ran across the planet but you couldn't get away/ The fire in your brain/ Was driving you insane/ You were looking for a day/ In a life that never came."
- 6. China Girl by David Bowie
"I stumble into town just like a sacred cow/ Visions of swastikas in my head/ Plans for everyone/ It's in the whites of my eyes/ My little China Girl/ You shouldn't mess with me/ I'll ruin everything you are/ I'll give you television/ I'll give you eyes of blue/ I'll give you men who want to rule the world"
- 5. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
"The city's aflood, and our love turns to rust/ We're beaten and blown by the wind, trampled in dust/ I'll show you a place, High on a desert plain/ Where the streets have no name"
- 4. Burning Down The House by Talking Heads
"Watch out, you might get what you're after/ Cool babies strange but not a stranger/ I'm an ordinary guy/ Burning down the house" I prefer Psycho Killer, but of course that wasn't released during the 80's. This one's still awfully good though.
- 3. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
"I am the son/ and the heir/ of a shyness that is criminally vulgar" Such a lovely, melancholy song.
- 2. Waiting Room by Fugazi
Smart, in-your-face DC punk. I love it. "but i don't sit idly by, im planning a big suprise, im gonna fight for what i want to be!!"
- 1. Easter by Marillion
Beautiful song. "Easter here again, a time for the blind to see/ Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free./ What will you do?/ Make a stone of your Heart?/ Will you set things right/ When you tear them apart?/ Will you sleep at night/ With the Plough and the Stars alight?/ What will you do?/ With the wire & the gun?/ That'll set things right/ When it's said and done?/ Will you sleep at night?/ Is there so much love to hide?/ Forgive/ Forget/ Sing 'Never again'"
By: Zack Aldaz
.......... Pretty much sums it up... The 80's ROCKED!
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