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: A.Gabrang
  • 10. Who Wants to Live Forever? by Queen
    Not entirely sure it's from the 80's...anyway, it's a pretty sad song, considering the situation of the band at the time. (Editor: It appears in "Highlander I" so...)
  • 9. Hysteria by Def Leppard
    Out of their plethora of solid hits, this has been my favorite.
  • 8. True by Spandau Ballet
    Eh. Another guilty pleasure, but a great one at that.
  • 7. Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi
    The fact that I favor a rock band's soft side never ceases to arouse me...Anyway, great guitar riff.
  • 6. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
    I miss those days in high school...affects me in a similar way Henley's "End of the Innocence" does.
  • 5. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N' Roses
    Yeah, it's typical, but no other GNR song has grown to me as much as "Welcome to the Jungle" (other than "November Rain" and "Patience").
  • 4. With or Without You by U2
    Best song from the band. At first, I would've put their other song "All I Want is You," but after recent events relationship-wise, this has been my favorite from U2.
  • 3. The End of the Innocence by Don Henley
    I know it's about politics and Henley's abhorrence for Reagan, and I've also heard it's about divorce. Still, it's one of the only songs that remind me of life and the long-lost innocent days of childhood.
  • 2. Faithfully by Journey
    My favorite ballad of the band and decade. A magnificent anthem for life on the highway, reminiscing over the loved one back home. IMO, it's much better than their more popular hit "Open Arms."
  • 1. Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
    Simply put, one of the greatest rock songs of the 80's.
Near Misses & other guilty pleasures of the 80s: "Send Her My Love" by Journey "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" by Air Supply "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners "Only Time Will Tell" by Asia "All I Want is You" by U2 "Rocket Queen" by Guns N' Roses "Heaven is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle
By: Junior Vitale
  • 10. Sunshine Reggae by Laid Back
  • 9. Pet shop Boys by Go west
  • 8. Love In A First Degree by Bananarama
  • 7. Color My Love by Fun Fun
  • 6. She Is Fress by Cool And The Gang
  • 5. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    The best of the word
  • 4. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora
  • 3. Big in Japan by Alphavile
  • 2. Self Control by Laura Branigan
  • 1. Hotel California by Eagles
By: Jennifer M.
  • 10. Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant
  • 9. At This Moment by Billy Vera
    Ask most people from Generation X and they think of the TV show, Family Ties, when they hear this song. It's the song that Alex danced to with Ellen.
  • 8. Whip It by Devo
    This song is on the list primarily because of the memorable video.
  • 7. Down Under by Men at Work
  • 6. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • 5. We Built This City by Starship
    This is a classic cheesy 80s song.
  • 4. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • 3. Vacation by The Go-Go's
    My favorite song when I was a little girl.
  • 2. Crazy For You by Madonna
    I still love this song to this day. Whenever I hear it, it takes me back to being in junior high and being completely obsessed with Madonna!
  • 1. Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield
    In my opinion, this is the quinessential 80s song and one of my all-time favorites!
By: K.
  • 10. Breakout by Swingout Sister
    Catchy tune from '87(?)
  • 9. Catch Me Now (I'm Falling) by Pretty Poison
    From the second greatest Jon Cryer movie ever!!
  • 8. Bastards of Young by The Replacements
    Didn't discover this gem until recently; a great '80s masterpiece!
  • 7. Never Tear Us Apart by INXS
    Jus' cuz.
  • 6. Summer Nights by Van Halen
    "Summer nights and my radio...." Does it get any better?
  • 5. Something About You by Level 42
    Great song
  • 4. If You Leave by OMD
    Awesome, massive and doesn't gag me with a spoon!
  • 3. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses
    Axl, please come back!
  • 2. Let's Go All The Way by Sly Fox
    Just a dirty, dirty song in words and groove
  • 1. All I Need is a Miracle by Mike + the Mechanics
    Kooky video + catchy tune - Phil Collins = Number 1!
By: John Dudman
  • 10. Panama by Van Halen
    Great driving music - summertime, windows open and stereo cranked, up going nowhere in particular.
  • 9. Die To Be With You Tonight by Jimmey Barnes
    Probably his best effort. The lyrics were just right for where I was at the time.
  • 8. Drowning Man by The Cure
    The whole album 'Faith' was so atmospheric and moody, just perfect to listen to in a dark room.
  • 7. 2 Minutes To Midnight by Iron Maiden
    I'll never forget 2nd May 1981 when they came to Canberra on their World Slavery Tour. Really loud, great stage effects & couldn't stop talking about it afterwards.
  • 6. All You Zombies by The Hooters
    Loved that song, still do.
  • 5. Vampire Girl by The Screaming Tribemen
    Sort of like an 80s extension of Radio Birdman. Great thrash / punk sound, really catchy tune. "I'm in love with a vampire girl tonight".
  • 4. The Whole Of the Moon by The Water Boys
    Just classic 80s, really captured the essence of the best decade ever.
  • 3. One Good Reason by The Swingers
    The flipside from the single 'Counting The Beat' - which was great, but the b-side was even better.
  • 2. Cold Cold Change by Midnight Oil
    Fantastic barking guitar riff, machinegunlike punching lyrics. Track 1 side 1 off 'Head Injuries' - every track was brilliant.
  • 1. Long Night by The Angels
    For me, singularly the best Australian band throughout the 70s & 80s. Played covers of virtually every song they ever did, and through a Marshall stack amp the riffs just jumped right up and tore your throatout. Awesome!
So much great music and such a great time to be growing up. Wish it was still the 80s and they still put out music like that. Love this website, talk about nostalgia, all the songlists, some of which I'd forgotten, really brings it all back. Thanks.
By: James Hydrick
  • 10. The Boy With the Thorn in His Side by The Smiths
    I could have picked 10 songs all by The Smiths. But that wouldn't be fair on the others.
  • 9. No Memory by Scarlet Fantastic
    The woman had really big hair, but the song was great. "We have the sun in out hair, the sun in out eyes, but we don't give a damn - because we're free".
  • 8. Build Me a Bridge by Adele Bertei
    6 and a half minutes of Thomas Dolby produced magic. Root it out if you can - now!
  • 7. You Are The One by A-Ha
    One of the later, less known hits. A good one, nonetheless.
  • 6. Crazy by Icehouse
    A big 80s rock power ballad.
  • 5. Twilight Café by Susan Fassbender
    Funny name, excellent song. It never gets any plays on radio or television. That is also a travesty.
  • 4. Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling
    A big hit in the States, but flopped in the UK. That is a travesty.
  • 3. Bakerman by Laid Back
    First came out around 1989 and was released the next year the UK, but it's so good I'm having it in this list. Cool video!
  • 2. Duel by Propaganda
    Possibly my favourite song from the 80s. This is a definition of synth power pop, with a brilliant production from Trevor Horn.
  • 1. Downtown by One 2 Many
    It was number 1 around parts of Europe, but didn't get the recognition it deserved in the UK and USA.
The is just off the top of my head. I could pick a dozen more Top 10 lists from this decade.
By: octopus
  • 10. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
    big thumping 80's rock
  • 9. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    loved the indutrial sounds in this song, and the songs message as well.
  • 8. London Calling by The Clash
    during the height of the british punk movement!, mow where did i put my kicker boots?
  • 7. Thriller by Micheal Jackson
    this was one of the best 80's videos ever, now wacko jacko looks like one of the undead in his thriller video!
  • 6. Living Doll by Cliff Richard & The Young Ones
    ok, it was a novelty song, but c'mon the young ones were way cool, especially neil the hippy!
  • 5. One Night In Bangkok by Falco
    something completely different but great!
  • 4. All You Zombies by The Hooters
    loved the video for this song, set in an old factory.
  • 3. Young Turks by Rod Stewart
    used to love singing along to this one!
  • 2. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
    i still love this song to this day, to me it's one of the 80's most memorable songs
  • 1. Flesh For Fantasy by Billy Idol
    billie's earlier stuff just rocked, classic 80's rock at it's best!
i could have listed many more, the 80's to me a magical period.
By: Muffy
  • 10. Red, Red Wine by UB40
  • 9. Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
  • 8. I Want To Be Sedated by Ramones
  • 7. Gone Daddy Gone by Violent Femmes
  • 6. World Destruction (meltdown remix) by Africa Bambaata with John Lydon
  • 5. Walk Away From Love by Yaz
  • 4. Black Coffee In Bed by Squeeze
  • 3. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
    also done by Pat Benetar
  • 2. Lust to Love by Go Gos
  • 1. Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club
Too many favorites to list just 10. How about Never Say Never by Romeo Void, Somebody by Depeche Mode, It's Different for Girls by Joe Jackson, Remember the Art of Noise?
By: Bifkin
  • 10. Take On Me by A-Ha
  • 9. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    many peoples pick of the 80s. almost defines the era.
  • 8. Like A Prayer by Madonna
  • 7. Africa by Toto
  • 6. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
    great vocals, rift made famous by rocky
  • 5. More Than A Feeling by Boston
    smash hit with very powerful chorus rift and soft verses
  • 4. Red Red Wine by UB40
    always a classic that everybody knows and anybody can sing
  • 3. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
    Anthem... awesome song
  • 2. Invisible Touch by Genesis
  • 1. Animal by Def Leppard
    Unforgettable song, great hook.
Def Leppard are the shit.
By: Jesús
I Love 80´s¡¡¡¡
By: Jesús
By: Joe Treadwell
  • 10. True by Spandau Ballet
    Just a great song.
  • 9. Some Like It Hot by Power Station
    Great song from Robert Palmer and the Taylor boys from Duran Duran.
  • 8. Faithfully by Journey
    Steve Perry's powerful vocals are unforgettable on this timeless classic.
  • 7. Take On Me by A-ha
    Great song from a one hit wonder group.
  • 6. Walk This Way by Aerosmith feat. Run D.M.C.
    Innovative collaboration with the breakthrough band of Hip Hop and one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
  • 5. Melt With You by Modern English
    New wave at its finest.
  • 4. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
    "With a Rebel Yell... she cries more, more,more" enough said.
  • 3. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    Who could forget the Breakfast Club?
  • 2. Roseanna by Toto
    Played to death by the radio stations, but a classic indeed
  • 1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    The definative song of the 80's and one of the best pop songs of all time.
By: Ryan A
  • 10. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
    Classic 80's rock song with a fun chorus. Simply amazing.
  • 9. When I See You Smile by Bad English
    Now this is what I call an 80's Monster Ballad. This is the ballad of all ballads. Once you hear this song once you'll never stop singing it.
  • 8. St. Elmo's Fire by John Parr
    The song goes with the movie which is one of my favorite 80's movies. This song has a catchy chorus and is really good all together.
  • 7. Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money
    Eddie Money is awesome and this is definitely his best song. I love the chorus and it makes you want to get up in a group and sing it together.
  • 6. Take On Me by A-Ha
    This song is so fun and full of energy right off the bat. The chorus is riviting and the rest of the song shows what an 80's song's supposed to sound like.
  • 5. Don't Stop Believing by Journey
    Journey is probably my favorite 80's band ever. This song perfects the 80's era. I love how it builds up to the chorus towards the end of the song.
  • 4. Dreams by Van Halen
    Some say this isn't the best Van Halen song. Well, it's mine and it's so catchy and upbeat.
  • 3. Livin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    How can anyone possibly not like this song? Nothing bad with this song at all. Love it...LOVE IT!
  • 2. Carribean Queen by Billy Ocean
    I think about the summer when I hear this song. Such a great tune with a rich chorus.
  • 1. I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
    Such a great 80's ballad to sing with your buddies. Never gets old...classic!
By: Nicole
  • 10. Bad Company by Bad Company
    Awesome song and band only they could pull of a song with the same title as the band
  • 9. Turn the Page by Bob Seger
    Awesome song great for long car rides!!
  • 8. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
    This song totally rules
  • 7. Tush by ZZ top
    What can i say... awesome song!
  • 6. Hey You by Pink Floyd
    I love this song and band!
  • 5. Simple Man by Lynard Skynard
    one of the best southern rock bands!!
  • 4. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Lepard
    AKA the striper song
  • 3. Tom Sawyer by Rush
    YET another awesome song by an awesome band
  • 2. Working Man by Rush
    RUSH RULES and that is all there is to it
  • 1. Hold on loosely by 38 Special
    AWESOME SONG what more can i say
I absoutly LOVE the 80's expecially the music. Everyone knows me as the Chick who loves RUSH!! lol
By: Tatiana
  • 10. Careless Whisper by Wham!
    Great one!!
  • 9. Let`s Dance by David Bowie
    The title says it all...
  • 8. Enola Gay by OMD
    Fine piece of 80`s new-wave
  • 7. I Ran by A flock of seagulls
    No comment...
  • 6. Pride by U2
    What can I say...FANTASTIC!
  • 5. Gold by Spandau Ballet
    Nice song with a nice video.
  • 4. Blue Monday by New order
    The song is great but the video gets boring after twenty seconds.Oh,well.
  • 3. Rio by Duran Duran
    Look out,here they come!That video kind of reminds me of another one by Elton John,released in `83.(I forgot its name)
  • 2. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
    Not bad,boys,not bad at all.
  • 1. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    The best song ever!!Here`s a tip-when they play it on VH1 turn your TV up to 20 and enjoy.
Hope you like it!
By: Mathew GoyoII Shaffer
  • 10. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Warrant
    These guys will always have a special place in my heart I don't know why but Heaven and I saw red have always touched me where it counts whenever I'm at a concert now adays and a cover of either of those songs starts to play I guarantee you that I'll be one of the people holding a lighter
  • 9. I Ran by A Flock of Seagalls
    I never thought I'd meet a woman like you......
  • 8. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
    something about this allways appealed to me
  • 7. (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight.. by Cutting Crew
    I first heard this on the juke box in my grandpas garage and I've loved it since.
  • 6. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
    ???This song has stuck with me since I was 5....Sublminal messages maybe?
  • 5. Whiskey In The Jar by Metallica
    Mush-a-rain Dum-a doo-ma-da.....
  • 4. People Are People by Depeche Mode
    I thought this one deserved honorable mention after Dope did a remix of it.
  • 3. Mr. Roboto by Styx
    I'm sorry man but this songs just fun to listen to
  • 2. Shot in the Dark by Ozzy Osbourne
    Come on its Ozzy!
  • 1. Never Surrender by Lion
    From the 1986 movie "The Wraith" It may have been a B movie but hey it was great for us car enthusiasts. By the Way I was born in 90...but my mom was stuck in the 80s so I grew up on this stuff
These songs are songs I listen to atleast twice a week...I have no idea why...maybe I'm just stuck in a past I wasnt fortunate enough to bear witness to.I thank my mother for introducing these songs to me.
By: lithiumdeuteride
  • 10. Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode
    Gotta love the haunting vocal synth outlining the chord progression.
  • 9. Maniac by Michael Sembello
    Who else dares to use the augmented chord in a dance tune?
  • 8. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
    This song out-classics just about any other classic rock song. Maybe a little early to be a true 80s song.
  • 7. Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    Everybody's heard this at some point, and if they haven't, they ought to.
  • 6. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
    What a great love song.
  • 5. Atomic by Blondie
    Blondie is solely responsible for trance music, and this song is a perfect example.
  • 4. Take on Me by A-ha
    Quite an endearing music video. If only videos today could be so unique...
  • 3. 99 Luftballons by Nena
    The English version doesn't even compare.
  • 2. Africa by Toto
    It's just so catchy.
  • 1. Head over Heels by Tears for Fears
    In my mind, Tears for Fears is the best band of the 80s decade.
By: Zouhair Hafdi
  • 10. True by Spandau ballet
  • 9. In The Death Car by Iggy Pop
  • 8. Would I Lie To You Babe? by Charles And Eddie
  • 7. Go West by Pet Shop Boys
  • 6. Betty Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
  • 5. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Jefferson Starship
  • 4. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
  • 3. I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis
  • 2. Fresh by Cool and the Gang
  • 1. Ma Baker by Boney m
I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THESE SONGS? THEY ARE JUST WONDERFUL. Believe me when I say that I keep listening to them all the time.
By: Erin Dowd
  • 10. Send Me An Angel by Real Life
    When I first heard this song, I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. I still have to jam to this song!!
  • 9. I Melt With You by Modern English
    This song should be way higher, I almost forgot it. I still think Nicholas Cage was at his hottest in this least he grows on ya.
  • 8. Let The Music Play by Shannon
    If this song wasn't playing at the rollerrink, forget it!! Best rollerrink song ever!!
  • 7. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
    Reminds me of rollerskating in front of my house with my ghetto-blaster cranked!
  • 6. At This Moment by Billy Vera and The Beaters
    LOOOVVVEEE this song!! Remember when Ellen broke up with Alex? (Family Ties)
  • 5. Jack And Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp
    This song is simply classic. Also gives me, the midwestern girl warm fuzzies.
  • 4. Hot For Teacher by Van Halen
    Opening double bass drums mocking the sound of an idling car..Hallelujah!!
  • 3. When Doves Cry by Prince
    This whole album...need I say more? I will, there's not a bad song on this entire album!!
  • 2. I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
    I could listen to this song all day. Still gives me chills.
  • 1. Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
    This song is the epitome of the 80's to me.
Too bad there are only 10 places. However, these are still solid choices. I obviously agree with some of the obvious listings: Duran Duran, Flock Of Seagulls, Michael Jackson, etc. but I feel like some of my songs get forgotten--so that when you hear them they almost have greater impact than the standard ones.
By: David Wilt

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.