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: Tom Whalen
- 10. Celebration by Kool & The Gang
This song (1980) opened up the great 1980's, and boy was THAT a decade to celebrate good times!
- 9. I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman
I remember (1984) standing on top of the brick partition at the local country club swimming pool area, and hearing this song for the first time. I was 12 years old then. Great song.
- 8. Chains Of Love by Erasure
A dance club-like song, with a haunting sound
- 7. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
That song makes me sad when listening to it today.
- 6. Material Girl by Madonna
I can remember laying on my bed, listening to that song, and waiting for that chime sound. Beautiful!
- 5. Thriller by Michael Jackson
Greatest music movie ever made!
- 4. If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
One of the greatest synthesizer-backed songs ever!
- 3. Take On Me by a-ha
Arguably the greatest music video ever!
- 2. Purple Rain by Prince
Who can forget that music video?
- 1. Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
This song to me expresses the desire by girls to dress like they want (think big hair styles and silver bracelets) and act like they want (most songs in the '80's are about breaking free)
If anyone wants to discuss the 1980's with me, email me!
- 10. PYT (Pretty Young Thing) by Michael Jackson
Hey, he's the King of Pop, he deserves two spots on this list.
- 9. Man In Motion by John Parr
Bottom line is behind every great 80's movie stands a great 80's song.
- 8. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
Great movie, great song.
- 7. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
I think this was the first video I remember watching, and I still can't figure out how Mike got ground to light up everywhere he stepped!
- 6. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n' Roses
Slash using his guitar as a phallic extension of his little slash...pure 80's video cliche.
- 5. It Must Have Been Love by Roxette
You know what...it really must have been.
- 4. Open Arms by Journey
I think we all become puddy when Steve opens the song with...."Highway run..."
- 3. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
No matter how long Bon Jovi plays, no matter how many film roles Jon plays, this will be their best and most enduring song.
- 2. With Or Without You by U2
Bono...need I say more?
- 1. I Melt With You by Modern English
Funny thing is I didn't hear this song until the late 90's...and it's my favorite song from the 80's.
Too many great songs in this era...the rankings are interchangeable on a daily basis.
By: BYRON BENGUCHE
- 10. Everyday I Write The Book by Elvis Costello
- 9. Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie
- 8. Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa And The Zulu Nation
- 7. Buffalo Girls by Malcolm McLaren
- 6. Red Red Wine by UB40
- 5. Everytime You Go Away by Paul Young
- 4. Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
- 3. Nineteen by Paul Hardcastle
- 2. The Tide Is High by Blondie
- 1. Rapture by Blondie
By: The Greek
- 10. Oh Sheila by Ready For The World
Am I the only one who knows this tune? Excellent pop/dance record. Even now when I listen to it it makes jump. Its like Flashdance and Fame combined. Listen to it. You will remember me
- 9. Lullaby by The Cure
By far their best song. A song that really makes my heart jump. If not, the sexier song evr written
- 8. Pull Up To The Bumper by Grace Jones
I dont know about you people, but this one is a mega song. Very catchy, very Gracy. Love the goddess, just love her.
- 7. Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
This is the song that really made me believe that Kajagoogoo will last forever. Definetely one of the best songs of the 80s
- 6. Forever Live And Die by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
The band that always kept it quiet. Great lyrics and rythms. They deserve more. They are absolutely brilliant. Especially this song
- 5. Forever Young by Alphaville
The saddest song ever but still cant help listening to it. A great song from a great band.
- 4. Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones
His best song by far. The guy was a genius. Is he still producing? Love him
- 3. You Take Me Up by Thomsons Twins
Where are they now? I used to love this group. Most of their songs were so great. Hold me now was also very very great
- 2. Caught Up In The Rapture by Anita Baker
Come on guys. Nobody has mentioned this one in their top 10. Did you listen to it? If not, then I recommend you should go and buy it. Simply brilliant
- 1. In Too Deep by Dead Or Alive
I know, I know. Most of you like You spin me round but I cant help it. Into deep is the ultimate pop song. Especially the intro. So f***ing cool
I dont know about you guys but for me the 80s is 1985. Maybe that is when I first started to listen to music. Bring back the 80s. Is there a way to do it? Do I sound that I am stuck in the 80s? Do I sound crazy? Well... I am crazy with the 80s and you are too. Love to all.
By: Henrik Dons Christensen
- 10. King Of Rock by Run-DMC
YEAH YAEH YEAHH
- 9. Blue Monday by New Order
- 8. Rio by Duran Duran
The Yacht, the phone, and a gigantic red ball
- 7. Kids In America by Kim Wilde
- 6. William, It Was Really Nothing by The Smiths
William, Wiliaaaaaaaaaam-laaaaaalaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaa Morrisey, I love your voice
- 5. London Calling by The Clash
- 4. Obsession by Animotion
WellI guess I've played Vice City too much
- 3. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
I like the synth in this great song. And the line "Like some new romantic looking for the tv sound" tells everything about the new romantics
- 2. Shout by Tears For Fears
- 1. Fade To Grey by Visage
- 10. Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do) by Wham!
I embraced this song in about 1984 (in an ironic sort of way, honest), a year or two after it came out. It still makes me smile.
- 9. Slave Girl by Lime Spiders
Sydney, 1985. You had to be there.
- 8. That's Entertainment by The Jam
- 7. Temptation by New Order
Annabelle O'Neil if you're out there, I still think of you every time I hear this
- 6. Kiss Off by Violent Femmes
Why couldn't I get just one ...
- 5. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- 4. The River by King Trigger
This rocks ... in a tropical jungle sort of way. One of the great one hit wonders
- 3. Walk This Way by Run DMC & Aerosmith
- 2. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go by Soft Cell
- 1. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
A good haircut was very important in 1982
Honourable mentions: Theme From S-Express by S-Express; It's Raining Men, the Weather Girls; Free Nelson Mandela, Special AKA, Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves and a song that began the decade Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. WORST SONG OF THE 80S: We Built This City, Starship
- 10. Together Forever by Rick Astley
- 9. Never Can Say Goodbye by Communards
- 8. Shame by Eurythmics
- 7. I Couldn't Say Goodbye by Tom Jones
- 6. In 100 Years by Modern Talking
- 5. Love In The First Degree by Bananarama
- 4. Anything For Love by David Foster
- 3. Papa Don't Preach by Madonna
- 2. Love Train by Holly Johnson
- 1. I Should Be So Lucky by Kylie Minogue
By: Nick Tseflios GREECE
- 10. Down Under by Men At Work
- 9. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
- 8. Face To Face Heart To Heart by Twins
- 7. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
- 6. Maria Magdalena by Sandra
- 5. Bad Boy by Den Harrow
- 4. The Lebanon by The Human League
- 3. Droid by Mito
- 2. Outside Lookin' In by Dream Sequence
- 1. Dark Pageant by Choir
By: BYRON BENGUCHE
- 10. The Message by Gradmaster Flash & The Furious Five
CLASSIC HIP HOP ENOUGH SAID.
- 9. Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie
THIS SONG WAS SAMPLED BY VANILLA ICE AND HE TRIED TO TAKE CREDIT FOR IT,BUT THIS IS A GREAT COLLABERATION FRON QUEEN AND DAVID BOWIE.
- 8. Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa And The Zulu Nation
THIS IS A CLASSIC HIP HOP JOINT 21 YEARS LATER IT STIIL IS.HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE THIS SONG ON THIS CHART.
- 7. Lipstick Lies by Pat Benatar
I HAD THE MADDEST CRUSH ON PAT BENATAR WHEN THIS SONG CAME OUT IN 1983.
- 6. Nineteen by Paul Hardcastle
THIS IS A GREAT TECHNO SOMNG FROM HIM
- 5. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) by Eurythmics
THIS SONG IS GREAT ANNIE LENOX HAS A GREAT SOULFUL VOICE(BYRON FYI:STEVE WINDER PLAYS THE HARMONICA ON THAT SONG)
- 4. Eyes Without A Face by Biily Idol
BILLY IDOL WAS A BAD BOY THS SONG STLL KICKS A--.HOW CAN YOU GROW UP IN THE 80'S WITH OUT LISTENING TO BILLY IDOL
- 3. Don't Disturb This Groove by System
THIS IS A CLASSIC R&B SONG IT TAKES ME BACK TO THE SUMMER OF 87
- 2. Sign Your Name by Terence Trent D'Arby
THIS WAS PURE SOUL FROM A GREAT ATRIST.
- 1. Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend) by Mel And Kim
THIS WAS THE FIRST SONG I DJ FROM IN CHICAGO.THIS SONG INTRODUCED ME TO UK HOUSE MUSIC TO BAD THAT WAS THE ONLY HIT THE HAD
Check out these unknowns... Will You Stay Tonight? by Comsat (C.S.) Angels ;Feels Like Heaven, by Fiction Factory; Burning Flame, by Vitamin Z; No More “I Love You’s”, by Lover Speaks; Somewhere In My Heart, by Aztec Camera. Justa big fan of new old music!
- 10. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? by Culture Club
Can remember everybody talking about this song and Boy George.."Is it a boy? Is it a girl?" The press had a field day! Great song and in my opinion, one of their best.
- 9. Rio by Duran Duran
Good song, good video - narrowly beating 'Save A Prayer' in my top ten.
- 8. Transfer Affection by A Flock Of Seagulls
I loved this song the first time I heard it. This group stood out - not only because of their great synth/new wave songs, but because of the singer's wacky hairstyle!
- 7. Lessons In Love by Level 42
Love this song! Brings back great memories of 1985 and has a special place in my heart.
- 6. Christian by China Crisis
An absolutely beautiful song from a very underrated band. Gives me goosebumps listening it!
- 5. All Of My Heart by ABC
I guess I could of picked any song by ABC - as they were all good. However, this song has the edge on their others, due to personal memories that it brings back when I hear it. Also love the strings in this, too. "Sentimental powers might help you now But skip the hearts and flowers, skip the ivory towers You'll be disappointed and I'll lose a friend."
- 4. I Dream To Sleep by H2O
The first time I saw H2O on TOTP, I fell in love with Ian Donaldson. Never get tired of playing this song.
- 3. Don't Tell Me by Blancmange
Loved Blancmange - and loved the video to this song, too. Neil Arthur was a cutie, too! "I didn't hear you as you left my room last night, don't turn your back on me"
- 2. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
My second fave band of the 80's! This song is regarded as their anthem and came from the movie 'The Breakfast Club'. Love all their stuff - but this one really stands out.
- 1. Messages by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Well, what can I say! My all time fave band of the 80's and my favourite OMD song, too. The lyrics are brilliant! The songwriting partnership of Andy McCluskey & Paul Humphreys has been likened to that of Lennon & McCartney and with songs like this, it isn't hard to see why.
Narrowly missing out in my list: Eurythmics, Aha, Adam & The Ants, Aztec Camera, Animotion, Yazoo, Haircut 100, Fiat Lux, Altered Images to name but a few.
- 10. (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon
Great song to welcome in the 80s. This song is bittersweet due to his untimely death.
- 9. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
Classic Stevie Nicks.
- 8. Mad About You by Belinda Carlisle
Belinda's first solo effort. Great prerequisite to "Heaven on earth."
- 7. Only The Lonely by The Motels
A unique song that to me will always be a classic.
- 6. Love Shack by The B-52s
Wow, you can't help but love this party song. This group is a Southern treat.
- 5. True Colours by Cyndi Lauper
A great heartfelt song that's timeless.
- 4. Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlise
Belinda you are awesome. Wow this song is heavenly rock.
- 3. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics
This song is a classic and for me will forever remind me of the 80's with all the good & bad.
- 2. Shake It Up by The Cars
Always puts me in a good mood when I hear it.
- 1. Head Over Heels by The Go-Go's
This song is a real toe tapper. I think it's one of their best from that time period. It's got lots of bass and piano. Makes you wanna dance.
These are a few of my favorites, but there are many more.
- 10. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
I have never owned the album, yet every time I hear this on the radio it never fails to make me feel good.
- 9. Save A Prayer (live version) by Duran Duran
The song that takes you to a different place; the most exotic song of the 80's.
- 8. My Love Is Leaving Me by Steve Winwood
An unorthodox selection with little airplay, poignant yet mellow; helped me get through some tough times.
- 7. Alive And Kicking by Simple Minds
Maybe the best band ever. Listen to albums "Sparkle in the Rain" and "Street Fighting Years", which weren't big in America. This one is one of their most intricate, and runs laps around "Don't You Forget About Me."
- 6. Mama by Genesis
The best angry song ever. I heard a DJ say this is about abortion.
- 5. Moments In Love by The Art Of Noise
The best passionate love song ever; always dreamt of playing it in the honeymoon suite.
- 4. Patience by Guns 'n' Roses
A song that got me through some hard times in late high school. This song proved that sometimes less is more.
- 3. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
Inspirational with a unique and addictive guitar hook. Never fails to sound good on the radio.
- 2. It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Don't know what's up with the "Can't stand sex" line, but still the best rap track ever.
- 1. Shout/The Working Hour/Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears
Couldn't pick just one Tears For Fears song. "Working Hour" reminds me of NC beach trip in '89; album version of "Head Over Heels" has extra ending which sounds Flock of Seagullish
"It Can Happen" Yes; "Fascination Street" The Cure; "Words Get in the Way" Gloria Estefan; "All You Zombies" The Hooters; "If I Live to Tell" Madonna; "It Can Happen" Yes; "Sunday Bloody Sunday" "Bad" U2; "Crying In the Rain" Whitesnake; "The Reflex" Duran Duran; "Family Man" Hall & Oates; "Fishheads" Barnes & Barnes; "Orinoco Flow" Enya; "Domino" Genesis; "Welcome to the Boomtown" ???; "Never Let Me Down" Depeche Mode; "Suddenly Last Summer" The Motels
By: Mark Goodwin
- 10. Puttin' On The Ritz by Taco
Absolutely the coolest big-bands era song remake of all time!
- 9. Come Dancing by The Kinks
I love the sound of this song and never get tired of hearing it. It goes well with "Our House", don'tcha think???
- 8. Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
There are a few other Cure songs I could pick here as well. No band sounds like them!
- 7. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
I know it's on everyone's list. But there's a reason for that! One of the most catchy and listenable songs of the 80s!
- 6. Don't Dream (It's Over) by Crowded House
I absolutely love the opening riffs in this song.
- 5. Down Under by Men At Work
A fun song!
- 4. The Mayor Of Simpleton by XTC
This band was way underrated! This is a borderline 80s call with a late '89 release but it's a great song from a great album!
- 3. Whip It by Devo
I can still remember the first time I heard this one on the radio. I had NEVER heard anything like it, it caught me at first listen and still gets me today. Devo has some other very memorable tunes that would make my top 50.
- 2. Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
Another '89 release and maybe the band is more identified with the 90s but I love their sound and almost every song on the Diesel and Dust album and it's worth mention here.
- 1. Our House by Madness
An extremely catchy song that helped me to discover a band that had a fantastic sound and many good albums. You never hear them here in the states, though. A pity!
I was wondering why nobody had voted for I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred when I looked it up and it was released in the 90s. Funny how time gets blurred in memory. I have to give honorable mention to a few songs that evoke strong 80s memories for me even though they aren't necessarily my favorites: Bon Jovi - Livin' on a Prayer, Guns n' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle, Human League - Fascination, Lipps Inc. - Funkytown and The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
By: Blake Millard
- 10. Round And Round by Ratt
Hair metal bands eclipsed this decade.
- 9. Right Now by Van Halen
If you haven't already heard this, download it ASAP.
- 8. Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
A great musician with a great pop song.
- 7. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
The 80s were kinda cheesy and this song highlights it.
- 6. A Letter To Elise by The Cure
A great British band that influenced so many bands to follow. This song is not quite as famous but should have been a huge hit.
- 5. Your Love by The Outfield
Great party song for frats.
- 4. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
Just a sample from a band which produced many hits.
- 3. November Rain by Guns 'n' Roses
This ballad from a drug infested band is 8 minutes of pure rock.
- 2. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
revived by GTA: Vice City. An instant classic with a fantastic guitar ending.
- 1. Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue
This band lived through it all and cam out on top. Read their book "The Dirt" and you will appreciate their perspective.
By: DJ GAMEHUNTER34
- 10. Mary's Prayer by Danny Wilson
- 9. Young Guns (Go For It!) by Wham!
- 8. I'm Still Standing by Elton John
- 7. What's Love Got To Do With It by Tina Turner
- 6. Sugar Walls by Sheena Easton
- 5. Down To Earth by Curiosity Killed The Cat
- 4. Cry by Godley & Creme
- 3. Juicy Fruit by Mtume
- 2. Close To Me by The Cure
- 1. Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry
Previous List or Next List
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 70s and 90s
Do You Have a List to Share?
Please check out the Top Ten Music Songs submission page.