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: Daniel
  • 10. The Go Go's by Vacation
  • 9. Prince by Little Red Corvette
  • 8. Berlin by The Metro
  • 7. Soft Cell by Tainted Love
  • 6. The Cars by You Might Think
  • 5. Pat Benatar by Shadows of The Night
  • 4. Duran Duran by Save A Prayer
  • 3. Yaz by Situation
  • 2. Eurythmics by Here Comes The Rain Again
  • 1. Get Into The Groove by Madonna
By: lala
By: Robert
  • 10. Karma Chameleon by The Culture Club
    This is a great song!
  • 9. Purple Rain by Prince
    Prince is a legend!!
  • 8. Material Girl by Madonna
    Ok, Ok...madonna is in my countdown twice...only b/c she's the BEST!!!
  • 7. We Belong by Pat Benetar
    A slow-ish song with a great beat.
  • 6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
    Clever, unique song!
  • 5. Vogue by Madonna
    One of madonna's best!
  • 4. The Glamorous Life by Sheila E.
    Great percussion song!
  • 3. Jungle Life by Baltimora
    Wild Song!
  • 2. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
    Great song!! Michael Rox!
  • 1. Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell
    This song is the definition of the 80's!!! Not only does this song have a great dance beat, Michael Jackson is singing the background vocals!!!
I agree that it is almost impossible to restrict the truely fabulous music of this decade. It would be hard to even make a top 50 or 100 songs list of the 80s...oh the possibilities!!!
By: Claudio Manosalva
So many excellents songs: Union Of The Snake (Duran Duran), Train Of Thought (A-Ha), West End Girls (Pet Shop Boys), Part Time Lover (Stevie Wonder), Cars And Girls (Prefab Sprout), Right On Track (Breakfast Club)
By: fallon rohrich
  • 10. Pictures Of You by The Cure
    Not sure if this is 80's or 90;s but hell its good.
  • 9. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
    Reach out and touch faith.
  • 8. The Goonies R Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper
    "The Goonies" is my favorite movie- ooo corey feldman
  • 7. No Big Deal by Love and Rockets
    My bf introduced me to this song and I love it
  • 6. Who's That Girl by Eurythmics
    I think annie lennox is just amazing.
  • 5. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    This is the best. I love the way he sings the intro. Hey hey hey hey....
  • 4. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
    When my mom died i listened to this song over and over again.. it described the way i was feeling completley.
  • 3. Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode
    I love this song.. it just enters my blood and wow.
  • 2. Head over Heals by Tears For Fears
    Need I say more.. I love the way he sings the chours
  • 1. Shout by Tears for Fears
    I love this song and I love Tears For Fears. hell and I am only 16, their music gets me in a way i cant even explain
well enjoy. all of these songs are depressing but abything but tears for fears, the cure, the smiths and yag anything like that is great
By: Lauryn Hinskey
  • 10. Rio by Duran Duran
    A very fun song and cool video.
  • 9. Owner of a lonley Heart by Yes
    One of my fav 80's.
  • 8. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    a very intoxicating song
  • 7. Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
    Just signature 80's
  • 6. Self Control by Laura Brannigan
    I included this song cause its a fav of a good friend..and somehow I came to like it too
  • 5. Heartbreaker by Pat Benetar
    How can u have an 80's list and not include her, besides..its a kick a$$ song.
  • 4. I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz
    Love the synthesing beat especially on the extended mix.
  • 3. Sade by Smooth Operator
    She has a great voice, sexy song
  • 2. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
    A fun, sexy, grooving song.
  • 1. Love Song by The Cure
    Great love song..hehe
I didnt notice alot of these songs on the other lists. Was going to include Michael Jackson and Madonna but those are givens.
By: F. Carchia
  • 10. Venus by Bananarama
    One of the best dance-floor beats of the 80s. Edgy, sharp, keyboard with all the little squeaks and whistles. Great harmonies, too. Surpasses the original.
  • 9. Smooth Operator by Sade
    Jazzy, smooth, silky, sensual. Like fine wine and a cool breeze on a summer night. Perfectly understated pop from one of the finest artists of the decade.
  • 8. Looking for a New Love by Jody Watley
    The explosive debut single from Ms. Watley put the funk and R&B back into 80s pop. I still blast this one loud in the car.
  • 7. Kiss by Prince
    Kitschy, gimmicky and irresistible. Love it to this day.
  • 6. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    Cuz who couldn't love a huge, sweeping epic of a love gone wrong? TURN AROUND, BRIGHT EYES!!!!
  • 5. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
    Oh, come off it. You know you loved it.
  • 4. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
    Brilliant, beautifully meloncholy tune. An all-time fave that's great whenever I hear it.
  • 3. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    Hard to pick just one MJ tune, but this is the one that I still groove hard to. Absolutely masterful hook, beat, lyrics, groove. Across the board one of the greatest pop songs ever.
  • 2. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses
    Sonic dynamite. Best hard rock song of the past 20 years.
  • 1. Into the Groove by Madonna
    80s Madonna songs were like Pringles--you couldn't stop at one. The greatest pop phenom of the past 20 years delivered classic after classic, but Into the Groove is a standout. It's funky, rhythmic groove totally delivers on its title. Madonna's attitute virtually seeps from the vocals. I dare you to stay off the dance floor for this gem that still sounds remarkably fresh after 20 years.
My list is mostly pop/dance/R&B, and I have excluded many great cuts from such great acts as U2, Tina Turner, Journey, Def Leppard, George Michael, Anita Baker and more.
By: Kevin
  • 10. Vienna by Ultravox
  • 9. Eyes of a Stranger by Payola$
  • 8. Forever Young by Alphaville
  • 7. Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime by The Korgis
  • 6. All of My Heart by ABC
  • 5. (Feels) Like Heaven by Fiction Factory
  • 4. Icehouse by Icehouse
  • 3. Nobody's Diary by Yazoo
  • 2. Tinseltown in the Rain by The Blue Nile
  • 1. German Girl by Lotus Eaters
By: Amanda
Even Though I didn't live but 9 months of the 80's, I absolutly love everything about the 80's! THEY ROCK!
By: Josh
  • 10. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
    Just Great
  • 9. Whisper To A Scream by Icicle Works
  • 8. Sunday bloody Sunday by U2
    One of U2's best Ever
  • 7. Don't Stop Believin by Journey
  • 6. Pop Goes The World by Men without Hats
    Cool Song
  • 5. A Sort of homecoming by U2
    I was flirting about putting this higher.
  • 4. Hot For Teacher by Van Halen
    Eddie one of the best guitar players off all time.
  • 3. U2 by In Gods Country
    Im from Ireland so i Love U2. Song is great
  • 2. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
    Awsome Synthasiser
  • 1. Bad by U2
    BEST Song of all time by U2
By: Freddie Collins jr. @
  • 10. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    (Thriller 1982) but you didn’t hear that from me, it was a major hit then and is the best selling album of all time so….
  • 9. (You're A) Strange Animal by Gowan
    (Strange Animal - 1985) Greatest live performer around (next to BNL), he now heads for Styx and they have never sounded better
  • 8. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
    (Into The Gap 1985) One of many great hits from this band
  • 7. Wild Boys by Duran Duran
    (Arena 1984) Awesome high tech video (for the time) just one of many many good tunes and albums from them
  • 6. White Wedding by Billy Idol
    (Billy Idol – 1982) His first hit of many Eyes Without A Face, Cradle of Love, Hot In The City, Sweet Sixteen to mention a few
  • 5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham
    (Make It Big 1984) I like Careless Whisper more but this song was their big break through hit
  • 4. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    (Welcome To The Pleasuredome 1984) Relax, War, Two Tribes it’s hard to pick a favourite but RELAX goes down in ‘80’s history along side “Where’s the Beef” and the Mullet hair style
  • 3. Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2
    (Live Under A Blood Red Sky 1983) all time greatest band – rocking for over a ¼ century non-stop on the top of the charts with the same members Bono, The Edge, Adam & Larry
  • 2. Shout by Tears For Fears
    (Songs From The Big Chair 1985) 2 of the all time greatest albums ever produced, Songs From The Big Chair [1985] & The Hurting [1983]
  • 1. Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid
only 10 is an impossible task what about If I Had A Rocket Launcher by Bruce Cockburn, Bananarama, The Bangles, Rush, A-ha, Genesis, Spoons, Berlin, Yaz, Depeche Mode, Platinum Blonde ….. God I could go on forever
By: renaudsquad
  • 10. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
    I honestly can't tell you why
  • 9. Desperately by Journey
    Rock band love song
  • 8. She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summers
    Hey I thought donna was the bomb back in the days
  • 7. Always A Woman To Me by Billie Joel
    Great karaoke song
  • 6. Hello by Lionel Richie
    Brings back great memories
  • 5. Twilight Zone by Golden Earing
    I don't know why
  • 4. When Doves Cry by Prince
    Great movie great song
  • 3. Billy Jean by Micheal Jackson
    Hey, what can I say?
  • 2. Electric Avenue by Eddie Grant
    Give Eddie his props
  • 1. Drive by The Cars
By: Kamla Richardson
  • 10. Heart to Heart by Kenny Loggins
    That's another one of those songs that I haven't heard in *years*. Can someone send me this song please?
  • 9. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
    I love the way he sings the beginning of that song.
  • 8. Come on Eileen by Dexy Midnight Runner
    I had a sex dream when I was in high school about the lead singer...and I think that's where my love for scruffy white boys began.
  • 7. Dancing in the Dark by Peter Wolf
    I haven't heard that song in 15 years, *sigh*
  • 6. Gold by Spandau Ballet
    Oh I forgot about that song!! I loved it.
  • 5. Faithfully by Journey
    Who didn't think that Steve Perry voice was wonderful?
  • 4. One step up by Bruce!!!
    That whole album rocked.
  • 3. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
    That frikkin' song still makes me cry!!
  • 2. Hold Me by Fleetwood Mac
    This is one of those songs that I ran to watch the video, back when MTV didn't suck.
  • 1. Sister Christian by NIght Ranger
    Motorin' what's your price for flight. That song *still* makes my heart hurt.
And my 11th song is... what? only 10! I just got started. Thinking about them, makes me what to go tease my hair and pin my pants.
By: kamla Richardson
  • 10. Breaking Us In Two by Joe Jackson
  • 9. Land Down Under by Men At Work
  • 8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes
  • 7. Whisper To A Scream by Icicles Works
  • 6. The Reflex by Duran Duran
    John Taylor.
  • 5. Don't Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty
  • 4. Leather and Lace by Don Hendley/ Stevie Nicks
  • 3. Your Love by Outfield
  • 2. Look Away by Chicago
  • 1. Peter Gabriel by In Your Eyes
Ok this is list two... tomorrow I'm doing 3 and 4!
By: Peter Elliot
Piano Man, or anything Billy Joel
By: Texas Born, Texas Raised
  • 10. It's My Life by Talk Talk
    Great song that would be a hit today (without the help of Gwen Stephani)if it were re-released.
  • 9. Politics of Dancing by Re-Flex
    Another party favorite
  • 8. Never You Done That by General Public
    All GP music reminds me of John Hughes movies but I like this one best.
  • 7. Holding Back The Years by Simply Red
    At the time it was my Mother's favorite song, but I have learned to really appreciate the mood and feel it sets.
  • 6. With Or Without You by U2
    This song reminds me of every girl I dated in 1986-87
  • 5. Out Of Touch by Hall & Oates
    Kudos to the designers of GTA Vice City for throwing this oft forgotten gem onto the platform.
  • 4. Orange Crush by R.E.M.
    This song launched me into an R.E.M. frenzy upon which I purchased every album, bootleg cassette et al.
  • 3. Something About You by Level 42
    This and "I Don't Want To Lose Your Love" by The Outfield were a tossup as my favorite song from Junior High.
  • 2. Boyz N Tha Hood by NWA
    Seemed to be playing at every party my Jr. year in high school and in my opinion brought gangsta wrap to the burbs.
  • 1. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
    This song seemed to occupy half the decade inside my head, plus it just makes you feel good.
If going over these lists make you feel nostalgic like it did me, go get yourself a Satellite radio...Sirius for example has a 1st Wave station as well as an 80's hair and regular 80's station.
By: Rickard Brinck
  • 10. Keeper of the Seven Keys by Helloween
  • 9. I Wanna Be Somebody by W.A.S.P.
  • 8. Future World by Helloween
  • 7. Denim and Leather by Saxon
  • 6. Running Free by Iron Maiden
  • 5. The Final Countdown by Europe
  • 4. Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden
  • 3. Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden
  • 2. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'N' Roses
  • 1. Dream On by Aerosmith
By: Keith
  • 10. Rush Hour by Jane Wiedlin
    Don't know what it is about this song but I've always loved it!
  • 9. No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones
    Great 80's synth song
  • 8. Never Knew Love Like This by Stephanie Mills
    Love this song!!!
  • 7. Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi
    What a great song!
  • 6. With Or Without You by U2
    Not a big U2 fan but can never get enough of this great song.
  • 5. If You Leave by Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark
    Absolute 80's classic
  • 4. Second Chance by .38 Special
    Great song...even though it's about cheating.
  • 3. When I'm With You by Sheriff
    I get chills when I hear this song
  • 2. A Groovy Kind Of Love by Phil Collins
    Timeless classic love song!
  • 1. Find A Way To My Heart by Phil Collins
    My Wedding's gotta be number 1!
By: Manny Poo
  • 10. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica
  • 9. The Four Horsemen by Metallica
  • 8. The four Horsemen by Metallica
  • 7. ...And Justice for all by Metallica
  • 6. The call of Ktulu by Metallica
    I like when they do that cool solo.
  • 5. The Thing that should not be by Metallica
  • 4. Fight Fire with Fire by Metallica
  • 3. Eye of the beholder by Metallica
    Good use of modes.
  • 2. To Live is to die by Metallica
    Great begining riff.
  • 1. Ride The Lightning by Metallica
    I wanna have sex with this song.
By: Ian Keller
  • 10. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
    Absolutley Sweet.
  • 9. Eye of The Tiger by Survivor
    How can you not like this song?!?!?!?
  • 8. Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
    Always liked it.
  • 7. I Need a Lover by John Mellencamp
    Like the intro.
  • 6. Gimme' All Your Lovin' by ZZ Top
    NICE... is all I have to say.
  • 5. American Music by Violent Femmes
    I don't know exactly why, but i absolutly love this song.
  • 4. By My Love by The Cars
    Very good song.
  • 3. Sailing Away by STYX
    Good melody.
  • 2. Don't Stop Believin by Journey
    Tied with #1.
  • 1. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
    Best song ever!!
Some of these aren't in order. Eye of The Tiger should be way up there and same with Rock The Casbah.

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.