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: Justin
  • 10. Wouldn't It Be Good by Nik Kershaw
    Really talented artist, with some truly interesting music! If you want an interesting music style, 'Shame on You' is worth a listen. However, this song epitomised the teenage desire for escape and freedom...
  • 9. Stepping Out by Joe Jackson
    Great intro and baseline!
  • 8. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
    "You ask if I love you, well, what can I say? You know that I do and that this is just one of those games that we play" - the frustration of relationships!
  • 7. Alone by Heart
    Have you ever tried singing along with the backing vocals? What a powerful song! Also - 'These Dreams' was a classic by these guys... almost made the list.
  • 6. Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits
    Just about every song on this album could be on this list - what a masterpiece! BIA made it because of the emotional impact it carries...
  • 5. Big Log by Robert Plant
    One of the most obscure names for a song... I didn't know what it was called until a couple of years ago! Always loved the tune, though.
  • 4. Synchronicity II by The Police
    One of the dozen songs from Sting/The Police that could be on this list... The lyrics are brilliant! As someone else who submitted a list said - how can you go past the imagery of "Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes"?
  • 3. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    These guys had some great stuff... and some songs that were pretty ordinary too (in my humble opinion). But this one is definitely the pick!
  • 2. Shout by Tears For Fears
    It was a toss of a coin between 'Shout' and 'Head Over Heels'... 'Shout' wins because you can really go for it when singing along in the car - a real stress relief!!!
  • 1. Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
    I've always wanted to play the drums! It's probably a result of watching the kid on the film clip. Great song - epitomises the 80's in my mind.
Congrats to all who submitted lists... there are some crackers in there! I agree that the limit of 10 can't do justice to what was the last decade of decent music... rap and boy bands really had a detrimental affect on the 90's and 00's. Honourable mentions: Peter Gabriel's 'So' album - a masterpiece that can't be flawed... when making this list nothing jumped out as a favourite, they are just all great! Also, 'Africa' - Toto and 'No One is to Blame' - Howard Jones. What fun!
By: Justin Cass
  • 10. Play The Game by Queen
    All you have to do is fall in love Play the game Everybody play the game Of love
  • 9. It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me by BIlly Joel
    Don't you know about the new fashion, honey? All you need are looks and a whole lot of money It's the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways It's still rock and roll to me
  • 8. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    We can dance, we can dance Everything's outta control We can dance, we can dance We're doin' it from wall to wall We can dance, we can dance Everybody look at your hands We can dance, we can dance Everybody's takin' the chance
  • 7. Centerfold by J. Geils Band
    My blood runs cold, my memory has just been sold My angel is the centerfold (angel is the centerfold) My blood runs cold, my memory has just been sold (angel is the centerfold)
  • 6. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
    One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free You'll find a God in every golden cloister And if you're lucky then the God's a she I can feel an angel sliding up to me
  • 5. Whip It by Devo
    Now whip it, Into shape Shape it up, Get straight Go forward, Move ahead Try to detect it, It's not too late To whip it
  • 4. Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears
    Something happens and I'm head over heels I never find out 'til I'm head over heels Something happens and I'm head over heels Ah, don't take my heart, don't break my heart, don't dont don't throw it away
  • 3. Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants
    Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch, who watches over you? Make a little birdhouse in your soul Not to put too fine a point on it Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet Make a little birdhouse in your soul
  • 2. 867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone
    Jenny, I've got your number I need to make you-oh mine Jenny, don't change your number Eight six seven five three oh-nine
  • 1. And She Was by Talking Heads
    The world was moving, she was right there with it, and she was The world was moving, she was floating above it, and she was
Other notable: Styx - Come Sail Away They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl Romantics - Talking In Your Sleep Aha - Take On Me Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science Men At Work - Land Down Under
By: Eduardo Tiburcio
Any songs of The Outfield, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Journey, The Cars or REo Speed Wagon
By: andrew rotterman
  • 10. Paradise City by Guns 'n' Roses
  • 9. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
  • 8. Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden
  • 7. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns 'n' Roses
  • 6. Jamie's Cryin' by Van Halen
  • 5. Panama by Van Halen
  • 4. Back In Black by AC/DC
  • 3. Master Of Puppets by Metallica
  • 2. Fade To Black by Metallica
  • 1. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
By: Adrian Rimbaud
  • 10. Dancing On The Jetty by INXS
    From "The Swing", a superb album.
  • 9. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  • 8. Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles
    Simultaneously new and old, one of those songs you're sure you've heard before. Caught in an infinity.
  • 7. Girlfriend Is Better by Talking Heads
    Stop Making Sense is the best live album of all time, so the Heads had to have representation here.
  • 6. Down Under by Men At Work
    The Men's finest hour. Strange reggae-like sarcastic song, great tune.
  • 5. Modern Love by Davie Bowie
    Bowie's perfect pop song. Another song you think you've heard before, because it sips at infinity.
  • 4. Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie
    Bowie pushed the edge with this, the chords are immortal, the video was one of a kind, and the lyrics were pained, desperate, ironic and detatched.
  • 3. Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush
    Simply a frightening song, by an underappreciated genius. I still subscribe to the view that the "place swap" is between the singer and God, not her partner, no matter how many times Kate denies it. The song exudes witchcraft.
  • 2. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    Personally I'm sure this about Ecstacy. Amazing tune & lyrics are caught in an eternal state of bliss (and yearning as well)... really a bit indescribable. The version on the Substance compilation is the best.
  • 1. When Doves Cry by Prince
    Still sounds like it came out of the future, in 2004! No one has ever come close to this for innovation. No one.
Contact me if your music tastes are similar! Educate me about good music going around today.
By: player68
This is subjective chart :-)
By: james
  • 10. Sign Of The Cross by Skafish
    What a cool song by a forgotten band
  • 9. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go by Soft Cell
    Best. Song. Ever.
  • 8. I Was The Puppet by Echo And The Bunnymen
    This list could've been ten Echo songs, easy.
  • 7. Turn Me 'Round by A Drop In The Gray
    Another one I played to death. Oh my broken Gothy heart!
  • 6. Shoobee Doo/Candy-O by The Cars
    Like peanut butter and chocolate
  • 5. Johnson's Aeroplane by INXS
    If they would've kept making records like this, I would've never stopped liking them
  • 4. Death Of A Disco Dancer by The Smiths
    At their finest
  • 3. Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie
    One of those songs I turn up every time I hear it
  • 2. Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) by A Flock Of Seagulls
    Same great New Wave taste as "I Ran," twice as filling.
  • 1. Her Head's Revolving by The Three O'Clock
    I played this to death when it came out.
These are in no particular order, and frankly I could've picked a hundred other songs and been just as happy. Who knew the '80s had so much great music?
By: Cody
  • 10. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
    The ultimate rebel song.
  • 9. Back In Black by AC/DC
    It just rocks.
  • 8. Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue
    One of the best power ballads of the 80's.
  • 7. Cum On Feel The Noize by Quiet Riot
    Awesome song that everyone knows.
  • 6. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
    Perfect example of 80's rock.
  • 5. Patience by Guns 'n' Roses
    Just a great song.
  • 4. When Doves Cry by Prince
    Prince was the man.
  • 3. Hot For Teacher by Van Halen
    Van Halen was tops in the 80's.
  • 2. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    One of the best one hit wonder songs of the 80's.
  • 1. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
    Killer song from the baddest band of the eighties.
As you can see I kinda favor the rock of the 80's as opposed to all that Eurotrash crap except for song two of my list.
By: Cassady Clark
By: John A
  • 10. (Feels Like) Heaven by Fiction Factory
    Another onr hit gem
  • 9. The Promise by When In Rome
    One of many many many new waver one hit wonders in the 80's
  • 8. Rain by The Cult
    Overshadowed by "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Love Removal Machine" this song rocks.
  • 7. Opportunities by Pet Shop Boys
    Their best song by far, released early on the same album as "West End Girls" Dance remixes of this song tore the dance floor up. Great song.
  • 6. Go! by Tones On Tail
    A spin off group of Bauhaus and teh precursor to Love and Rockets this song took the dancefloors by storm. "Lions" the b side of this 12" is also quite good.
  • 5. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
    An example of good songwriting that many bands failed to follow in future decades, this song and "Ghost in You" are the kind of haunting, melodic tunes that were commonplace in the 80's.
  • 4. Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode
    After dozens of hits this capped off an awesome run. Superb.
  • 3. Uncertain Smile by The The
    Extremely underated band featuring Matt Johnson's distinctive voice. This is a gem as "This is the Day" "Perfect" and "Sweet Bird of Truth" is.
  • 2. Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
    A great 80's band. "She's in Parties" was good too. This an example of Peter Murphy's brilliance. Great solo career for him as well (Cuts You Up, Indigo Eyes) Band memebres eventually split to form Love and Rockets
  • 1. I Touch Roses by Book Of Love
    Great dance tune- check out the long stemmed version
These are not my top 10 but would all be in my top 20. Rather than repeat the same songs as others I thought I'd provide some names of great 80's songs they may not have heard or may have forgotten about. In this way you can re-discover their genius in this musical void we call the 2000's...
By: Will
  • 10. Beat It by Michael Jackson
    I believe it was the first music video I saw on MTV.
  • 9. Forever Young by Rod Stewart
    Great pop/rock tune.
  • 8. Got My Mind Set On You by George Harrison
    Ok, Ok, so Weird Al had it right when he claimed that this song was only "Six Words Long", but it's still awesome.
  • 7. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears New Coke, only remembered better.
  • 6. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
    Oh man, sweet riff opening...
  • 5. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    Talk about a song nobody knows the words to! "Come on, Eileen! Don't ya...*mumble mumble mumble...*
  • 4. Pictures Of You by The Cure
  • 3. I Melt With You by Modern English
    By now, you know I like pop-rock.
  • 2. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
    I still don't know what it means, but the music video is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
  • 1. You Might Think by The Cars
    So simplistic, but the tune is the most glorious I've ever heard in my life...I hear it now! "DA-DA-DA-DA-DAA!"
By: Tim Jackson
I loved to think back and see how mhy music tastes changed in just 10 years
By: Carina
  • 10. Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies
    I'm not crazy, you're the one who's crazy....
  • 9. Don't Wait Up For Me...Tonight by Paul Collins Beat ( The Beat)
    My theme song.....
  • 8. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
    That one is a given.
  • 7. Goodbye To You by Scandal
    The perfect song to let him know just "how you really feel".
  • 6. All The Love In The World by The Outfield
    the perfect love song
  • 5. The Message Is You by Gary Myrick And The Figures
    I am still looking for the words to this....
  • 4. Forever Rock And Roll by DB Cooper
    and never growing old, living fast and dying young...
  • 3. She's Tight by Cheap Trick
    Hell, any song by the Robin and the boys...
  • 2. Take On Me by a-ha
    Not only was Morton Harkett beautiful....he could actually sing.
  • 1. Beat So Lonely by Charlie Sexton
    Thank heaven for young boys....hehehehe
I know I should of had a Bowie song in there somewhere, but, anyone who knew me knows I didn't need to list his holiness....
By: Jimmy Aspra
80`s rule!!!
By: Martin Urquiza
  • 10. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
    Cancion especial para echar un vistazo al pasado, no solo a la decada de los 80...
  • 9. Legs by ZZ Top
    Otra cancion con video inolvidable
  • 8. Radio Ga Ga by Queen
    Queen se olvido de su juramento en contra de los sintetizadores, afortunadamente!
  • 7. Shelter by Lone Justice
    Otro grupo ignorado por las masas
  • 6. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
    en Mexico tuvo mas exito The Reflex, pero esta cancion fue la primera que les escuche
  • 5. Take On Me by a-ha
    Nunca una cancion y un video se retroalimentaron tanto hasta ese momento
  • 4. So In Love by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
    El mejor album de este grupo sin duda es "Crush"
  • 3. Relentless by Red 7
    Aun no puedo encontrar la edicion en cd de este album producido por Mike Rutherford
  • 2. Shout by Tears For Fears
    La version del album es casi superada por el UK Remix
  • 1. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
    Era evidente el homenaje a los Beatles en el video que por cierto era electrizante
Cuantas listas hay que redactar para quedar totalmente satisfechos?
By: Heathcliff
  • 10. Life's What You Make It by Talk Talk
    A very, VERY strange group, and an erstwhile lucid song.
  • 9. Behind The Mask by Eric Clapton
    Again, a VERY underestimated track which needs to be fully recognised.
  • 8. Duel by Propaganda
    "The first cut won't hurt at all... the second only makes you wonder... the third will have you on your knees... you start bleeding, I start screaming..." Words needless to say cannot convey!
  • 7. No Parlez by Paul Young
    It's another album track, admittedly, but a damn fine one at that - better than any of the singles from the LP (of the same title) put together.
  • 6. Labour Of Love by Hue & Cry
    Unsure whether H&C were popular in the US or not - they weren't really that commercially successful here in their homeland with just the one top ten hit ~ and this is it. If you've never heard it, do so. "Seduced and Abandoned" is one hell of an LP.
  • 5. Fat by "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • 4. All That We Are by Scritti Politti
    The most under-rated act of all-time, and a track from 1988's Provision LP which was never released. A great shame, it begs to be heard.
  • 3. Open Your Heart by Madonna
    Am I the only person who thinks Madonna went downhill after Erotica? I hope not - the coupling of Ms. Ciccone and Patrick Leonard et al during the mid to late 80s brought out a stream of amazing tracks, the pick of the crop being Open Your Heart - it was indeed this song which influenced me to become a Madonna (only 80s Madonna, mind) enthusiast, and later a Scritti Politti obsessive thanks to the Who's That Girl? soundtrack.
  • 2. Got To Be Certain by Kylie Minogue
    For some reason, I've always enjoyed Pete Waterman's productions of the late 80s - although they weren't too popular in the US (with the exception of Rick Astley's early works), here in the UK they would top the chart more often than not, propelling the producer to where he is today - filthy stinkin' rich. This is by far Stock Aitken Waterman's best creation, with songstress Minogue delivering the vocals to her usual, completely and utterly retro and eye-poppingly astounding way.
  • 1. All The Things She Said by Simple Minds
    This song is... indescribable. Seriously, it is. It's the only song I can ever put on when I'm feeling down and truly lighten up to. It's also the perfect song to listen to whilst in the car or on public transport - with undoubtedly the most under-rated guitar riff of all time. This song stunned me into silence when I first heard it, so without further ado it's top of my pile!
...and that's it.
By: Cameron
  • 10. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
  • 9. Hysteria by Def Leppard
  • 8. Separate Ways by Journey
  • 7. Sara by Starship
  • 6. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
  • 5. Heart Of Rock 'n' Roll by Huey Lewis & The News
  • 4. Invisible Touch by Genesis
    great band
  • 3. Free Falling by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
    awesome song and great video
  • 2. In A Big Country by Big Country
    great rhythm
  • 1. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
    It's u2-need I say more-hehe
By: Vickie
  • 10. Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar
    My mom went to school with Pat I gott give it up
  • 9. Africa by Toto
    cheesy...yet amazing
  • 8. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
    This is just a GREAT song that makes you feel good...especially when you're driving in the car
  • 7. Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles
    This is song is so wonderful. Love the techno style that isn't really techno
  • 6. Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
    AMAZING movie...too good to even describe
  • 5. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
    How can you not wanna dance to this song???
  • 4. If This Is It by Huey Lewis & The News
    SO 80's it's ridiculous
  • 3. Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
    Love this song!!!! C'mon, you know you do to
  • 2. We Built This City by Jefferson Starship
    I can't believe that on VH1 they put this on the Worst Songs Ever's SO great!!!! Another great driving song
  • 1. Goonies R Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper
    Did anyone see The Goonies??? One of the best 80's movies and it's SO upbeat - it just makes you feel also makes you wanna find a treasure map and save your house from being torn down. Cyndi Lauper is just AMAZING. Period. I adore her!
The 80's were the most amazing decade ever!!! I LOVE that the fashions coming back.
By: Big Stankpot
  • 10. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
    I know you might think I'm just wierd or not man enough for putting this one on here. But, I know all of you secretly love this song and sing it in your car on your way home from work, reminiscing about your lost love.
  • 9. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship
    Okay, I know everyone knows this song. It was made famous by the hit movie "Manequin". Can anyone please tell me why all the 80's movies had the best songs, and now soundtracks are just annoying?!
  • 8. Your Love by The Outfield
    Yeah, yeah... Leave it to me to find all those long forgotten songs that you haven't thought about for the last decade. Well, you're welcome.
  • 7. King Of Wishful Thinking by Go West
    You probably don't recognize this song by title, but if you listen to it you'll remember. Also from a movie, this was used in "Pretty Woman". I think in the end scene when "Repunzell" is rescued by her "White Knight".
  • 6. I Wish It Would Rain Down by Phil Collins
    Well, I was thinking of that other song, but I know everyone and their brother hs already added it. So, I put this out there for you all to decide. I think this is another one of those under-rated songs. Go download and hear for yourself. OOops! I Mean "Go out and buy"!
  • 5. Africa by Toto
    I have no idea what this song is about, and why so many bands from the 80's insisted on making song about other continents, but it's got a really catchy chorus!
  • 4. You Might Think by The Cars
    C'mon! The Cars? How could you not have these guys in here? At least I didn't fill the whole thing with G.N'.R songs like some people. Stick to the point. Are the 80's and Guns N' Roses really synonamous with each other?!
  • 3. All I Need Is A Miracle by Mike & The Mechanics
    I think this is one of the more forgotten songs of the 80's, but I still think it's worth mentioning.
  • 2. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    Remember that Ringworm chick? And Emillio Estevez (before Paula Abdul)? This song was the opening score for the movie "The Breakfast Club".
  • 1. Take On Me by a-ha
    If you doubt that this song is not the icon of the 80's, why is it that it's on EVERY top 80's song list, album, countdown, etc. (plus the video kicks ass!)
There are alot of really good songs that didn't make on to my list for various reasons. Quick recognition to the following:Steve Winwood, Culture Club, Cindy Lauper, Bananarama, The Go-Gos, Bruce Hornsby, Belinda Carlisle, Journey, The Bangals, Simon & Garfunkel, Kenny Loggins, Whiesnake, Wham, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, All the "Big-Hair Bands", Michael Jackson (reluctantly), Soft Cell, NOT I REPEAT NOT THE CHICK WHO SINGS "HEY MICKEY" OR THE "LUFT BALLONS" FREAK, The Cure, Robbie Robb, Richard Marks, The "Boss", and to anyone I forgot?....well, there's a reason they're not on here.Bye.

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