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: Kevin
  • 10. Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart
    Reminds me of my first (and only) trip to Florida as a kid. It was playing on the radio one night driving through Georgia, and many times afterward.
  • 9. Everything She Wants by Wham!
    Reminds me of the original "satellite era", when dish's were the size of swimming pools and you had to go out and crank them by hand to point it. This song was popular when we had ours.
  • 8. The Reflex by Duran Duran
    One of my favorite songs; I always wished I could listen to it whenever I wanted, but I didn't have the album or anything to play it on. Only a small FM radio.
  • 7. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
    A very moody, deep song; for me anyway. Also on Miami Vice once I think.
  • 6. When Doves Cry by Prince
    Remember when you could actually pronounce his name?
  • 5. Rhythem of the Night by DeBarge
    "Forget about the worries on your mind, you can leave them all behind..."
  • 4. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head/Chess
    What can I say?
  • 3. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    Very catchy tune
  • 2. Africa by Toto
    Still one of my favorite songs.
  • 1. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    The Breakfast Club! This song is the 80's
There's no way to really fit all the great songs into a top ten list; I'm sure I'm forgetting some too. The other lists are great though.
By: Ed Tepe
  • 10. Take On Me by A-ha
    Great song!
  • 9. Shout by Tears for Fears
    Great album, "Songs from the High Chair."
  • 8. 867-5309 Jenny by Tommy Tutone
    A one hit band. This song rocks!
  • 7. Africa by Toto
    On a lot of people's top ten lists.
  • 6. Desperately Seeking Susan by Madona
    It wasn't her biggest hit, but I liked it. She is still big after 20 years, what a career!
  • 5. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
    Album of the Year 1984.
  • 4. Down Under by Men at Work
    Classic 80's
  • 3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    This early Eighties hit had a huge impact on music and began the music video revolution.
  • 2. With or Without You by U2
    Just a really good song!
  • 1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    This song is one of the most played songs in radio history.
Other favorites that were hard to look over. Against All Odds - Phil Collins Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel Hello - Lionel Richie I Feel for You - Chaka Kahn Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes Something About You - Level 42
By: Covert1
  • 10. I Want Your Sex by George Michael
    Okay, so this barely counts, but I recall a time in which this was THE most so-called nasty thing on the radio to those of us who weren't very far in our schooling...
  • 9. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
    For some reason, when I was little, I never wanted this song to end.
  • 8. Heart of Rock and Roll by Huey Lewis and the News
    I should really just nominate the entire 'Sports' album.
  • 7. Highway to the Dangerzone by Kenny Loggins
    Another great soundtrack (Top Gun) and more great music. Great song to play also when you're getting into rush hour traffic.
  • 6. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
    The deep voice part is just too catchy to forget.
  • 5. Shout by Tears for Fears
    Wow.. I vaguely recall seeing the video to this once... But the album, 'Songs from the Big Chair' is the stuff.
  • 4. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
    The video's one thing, but NOBODY can mistake the music. Turn it on in the car, crank it up, everyone's happy.
  • 3. Turn Me Loose by Loverboy
    Anyone recall watching Discovery Channel's 'Wings'? They used to play this when I watched my favorite fighter jets doing maneuvers and stuff.
  • 2. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
    Ditto on #1, but no matter what the situation is when I hear the song, I have to pound out the one drum fill.
  • 1. You Belong to the City by Glenn Frey
    The whole Miami Vice Soundtrack says it all.
Prince - Purple Rain; Aha - Take on Me; Robert Palmer; U2 - The Joshua Tree; Men At Work; INXS; Stevie Ray Vaughn (still others that I just cannot recall due to overload)
By: eileen rake
  • 10. Limelight by Rush
    No big comment-just listen to the song!
  • 9. Rock of Ages by Def Leppard
    Conjures up a religious hymn! I WANT ROCK-n-ROLL! YOU BETCHA!!
  • 8. Sanitarium by Metallica
  • 7. I Am I'm Me by Twisted Sister
    This song flipped a switch in my brain! I was leaning towards metal-this song cemented it!
  • 6. Take Off (To The Great White North) by Bob And Doug Mackenzie w/Geddy Lee
    KOOOOOOluukuukuukoooluukuukuu! Fell on the floor and ROLLED!!
  • 5. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
    I wore mine--DID YOU?!
  • 4. The Show Must Go On by Queen
    You can FEEL Freddie giving eveything he had left. Thank you Freddie!
  • 3. Somebody Save Me by Cinderella
    "I lost my job-they shook me outta my tree!" What rocker couldn't relate to that in the 80's?!
  • 2. When Doves Cry by Prince
    NEVER get tired of hearing it!! HELLO TREV!!!!!!
  • 1. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
    Teri Nunn"s voice is pure magic!
THANKS for the opportunity to mention my Top 10! They're in no particular order. I'd be here until next week trying to figure that one out!
By: Q
  • 10. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses
    The whole album ruled. And it's GNF'nR. No questions.
  • 9. With or Without You by U2
    U2 has never sucked and this is a song for generations, not just the 80's.
  • 8. Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan
    One of the great classic rockers comes through again in the 90's.
  • 7. Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul
    God is she hot or what?
  • 6. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
    Did Rocky make this song or did this song make Rocky? Talk amongst yourselves.
  • 5. Let's Go to Bed by The Cure
    Did they even make a song that really sucks? I don't think so.
  • 4. Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle
    We all loved it, and no one should say anything to the contrary.
  • 3. Beat It by Michael Jackson
    Hey, it's Michael, he owned the 80's.
  • 2. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    No doubt. Was a set-up to so many other songs.
  • 1. One by Metallica
    No song revolutionized the metal industry as this one. It is the fountain which all other metal came from.
Drop me a line if you wanna talk 80's, I'm living in the past.
By: Alex
  • 10. All I Do by Daryl Braithwaite
  • 9. Waiting For A Star To Fall by Boy Meets Girl
  • 8. Land Of Confusion by Genesis
  • 7. Another Day In Paradise by Phil Collins
  • 6. Glory Of Love by Peter Cetera
  • 5. The Flame by Cheap Trick
  • 4. When The River Runs Dry by Hunters & Collectors
  • 3. No Promises by Icehouse
  • 2. Will You Still Love Me by Chicago
  • 1. Slave by James Reyne
By: Kieran Kuek
  • 10. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
    What a band. What a song. Sigh...
  • 9. True Faith by New Order
    You can't get past the 80s without loving at least one of New Order's track. Definitely a killer.
  • 8. Electric Blue by Ice House
    Fantastic band from Down Under. Certainly one of the best 80s tracks of all time.
  • 7. When I'm With You by Sheriff
    I mean, just listen to the ending...
  • 6. (I Feel) Buddy Holly by Alvin Stardust
    A great old track of the early 80s. Such a wonderfully nostalgic song. Thank God for Napster!!!
  • 5. Oh Patti by Scritti Politti
    Help! I'm going weak on my knees!
  • 4. The Search Is Over by Survivor
    One of the best romantic songs ever written. How can anyone not fall in love with this...
  • 3. Save a Prayer by Duran Duran
    Another great band of the 80s. The 80s would never be the same without these guys. Listen to the start of this and you'll know why...
  • 2. Question of Lust by Depeche Mode
    I'm such a HUGE fan of Depeche Mode. This is but one of the many many tracks I love from them.
  • 1. Everybody Wants to Rule The World by Tears for Fears
    How can one song have such a lasting impact on someone? Makes me glad to be a part of the 80s. Awesome awesome track.
Honorable Mention: 1. Waiting For A Star To Fall - Boy Meets Girl 2. Leave A Light On - Belinda Carlisle 3. I Don't Want To Be A Hero - Johnny Hates Jazz 4. Secret - OMD 5. Kissing A Fool - George Michael
By: Jeremy
80's music kicks ass!
By: Cory Baker
  • 10. State of Shock by The Jacksons featuring Mick Jagger
    Just put this in to see if anyone was paying attention. Nice beat, but what a strange grouping of performers.
  • 9. Change by John Waite
    Thank you MTV and thank you Vision Quest. What a great tune.
  • 8. All Cried Out by Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam
    Is anyone else offended by the cruddy 90's remake? Couldn't they have at least found a guy who could sing the part with as much passion?
  • 7. Don't Pay The Ferryman by Chris DeBurgh
    I just have to thank Napster for coming along and allowing songs like this to be found again. No longer in print.
  • 6. Vox Humana by Kenny Loggins
    I have no idea, but I like it.
  • 5. Black Cars by Gino Vanelli
    Great beat, great sound, great, well, they are as obscure as any Duran Duran song, but you sing them anyway.
  • 4. Weapons of Love by The Truth
    You must play are drums on this one!
  • 3. Why Me by Planet P
    80's pop with a sci-fi feel. MTV only on this gem
  • 2. New Girl Now by Honeymoon Suite
    Honeymoon Who? Yet another MTV only band. Great song.
  • 1. Satisfaction Guaranteed by The Firm
    An ultimant love song with a twist of 80's pop. Perfect
I sat down in front of the TV one day in the early 80's and what a wonderful surprise when I discovered MTV. Most of the music I love was provided by Martha Quinn, JJ Jackson, and many others. Most of my list consists of obscure tunes from the MTV only line of music. Hope I remind of some forgotten gems.
By: Joanna
By: terry elsmere
  • 10. we stood still by ultravox
    good album to drum to
  • 9. turn me loose by loverboy
  • 8. girls on film by who else
  • 7. africa by toto
    yes i know a bit lame
  • 6. turning japanese by vapours
    masterbating? thats the first time i heard that
  • 5. i ran by flock of seagulls
    hair today gone tomorrow
  • 4. voices carry by til tuesday
  • 3. homosapian by pete shelley
    um...great in the buzzcocks
  • 2. da da da by trio
  • 1. too shy by kajagoogoo
    great chorus
i've now got two babies and am always tired as hell
By: elvis-christ
  • 10. What I Like About You by The Romantics
    Short and irresistible as only the best party tunes are, this baby never fails to liven things up. Maybe not one of the great songs of the 80s, but anyone who's heard it won't complain too loudly.
  • 9. I Need A Man by The Eurythmics
    Madonna may be the 80s biggest female power icon, but this song blows the bulk of her stuff away like a rocket going through a jar of M&Ms. Annie Lennox is at her best - fierce, seductive, and in complete control. Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, Ani DiFranco, and countless others have much to thank her for.
  • 8. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
    Perhaps the saddest, depressing, most misery-filled songs ever released. Sure, it's nearly impossible to figure out what Ian Curtis is mumbling about, but then that hauntingly beautiful keyboard melody comes up again and you're hooked for life. Timeless and universal.
  • 7. Photograph by Def Leppard
    One of the few songs from my mid-to-late-80s metal phase that I can still listen to without feeling like I was a clueless idiot for about four years. Cinderella? Poison? Warrant? Winger? Dear God, what the hell kind of drugs was I on?
  • 6. Bad To The Bone by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
    A monster of a rock n' blues tune, with one of the most recognizable opening guitar riffs since the Stones' "Satisfaction." Every guy, whether he'd like to admit it or not, would love to be the mean motherfucker described in the lyrics, even for just a day. And I've lost count as to how many movies have used it.
  • 5. Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer
    If you don't like this song, you suck.
  • 4. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
    The only song of the band that a Cure-hating friend of mine could stomach, this one has it all: the dizzy rush of falling in love, the swirling euphoria of being in love, and the bittersweet ache of losing that love. May be one of the most perfect pop songs ever.
  • 3. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    One of those songs that you knew would become a classic the first time you heard it. So perfect in its delivery that it fooled everyone (yours truly included) into thinking it was just a pained love ballad. Then stalkers the world over began chanting "I'll be watching you" and you could never listen to it the same way again. An endlessly fascinating jewel.
  • 2. Kiss by Prince
    Now that he seems to have followed Whacko Jacko down the road to the Outer Limits, it's easy to forget that His Royal Purpleness was once a musical innovator of the highest order, a wonderful singer/songwriter, and the horniest sexual badass around. "1999," "When Doves Cry," and "Little Red Corvette," are all favorites, but when this song came out, it literally sounded like nothing else on the radio: sparse, humorous, and oh so funky. Love that scream he does in the last part of the chorus.
  • 1. Genius Of Love by Tom Tom Club
    Though it's tough to know what being in love is like when you're still in elementary school, this happy tune gave us all a hint that it must be pretty darn fun. Then Mariah Carey came along and fucked it up forever. May she rot in Hell.
Saw all the lists and thought I'd submit one of my own. By no means final. In no particular order.
By: D C Vance
  • 10. Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar
    The very first music video I saw. Cable had just come to our street in Boston and MTV was still a an extra premium channel that was not available yet!!
  • 9. Give Me Tonight by Shannon
    I may have been homesick but i still liked to dance
  • 8. Everybody Rules the World by Tears for Fears
  • 7. Heaven by Bryan Adams
    Again, I was in Madrid and wanted to be in Boston.
  • 6. Saving all My love for You by Whitney Houston
    I was a homesick exchange student in Madrid and got a bootleg cassette of the album. It helped me finish the semester
  • 5. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • 4. Purple Rain by Prince
    I don't like him now but but back then he was the MAN
  • 3. I Just Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew
    For a guy, I was a romantic
  • 2. Modern Love by David Bowie
    Again, play it, even now, very loud and with a lot of bass
  • 1. Shout by Tears for Fears
    Bass need more bass. And yes Mom I'll turn down the volume (after the song)Still play now the same way.
Too many others to mention
By: Serge
  • 10. So in Love by OMD
    The song speaks for itself -- it is very passionate and full of sentimental energy. If there were a number 11 on this list, Echo and the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" would be listed as the sibling of this great song by OMD
  • 9. True Faith by New Order
    I don't have to say that New Order is masterful and extraordinary when it comes to producing music that touches your heart and emotional nerve. This is a great song, familiar to many, and better than some others (which are overemphasized)
  • 8. Don Quichotte by Magazine 60
    Fun song to listen to and dance to. Virtually forgotten, but I list it here to encourage revisiting.
  • 7. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    I love this song. It doesn't need a remix at all. It is perfect for club playing. It is also one of Duran Duran's songs that I feel is in some way underappreciated.
  • 6. Russian Radio by Red Flag
    Not as good as Mexican Radio (which I did not nominate as Top 10 because I wish to nominate special songs that are underappreciated), but certainly a passionate song. Lot of angst, in a very classy way.
  • 5. Iko Iko by Belle Stars
    If you went through the 80s like I did, you would know that this was a well-known song; however, it is easy for great songs to give to other great New Wave songs. This is one that I consider should have been at the forefront continuously; it can never be under-heard. Truly great piece that captures the minimalist style of better New Wave songs.
  • 4. Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus
    Virtually unknown -- but it showed up in "Silence of the Lambs" ---- The band has not left a legacy (in fact I think it was a duo and it dissolved), but the song seeps with 80s-ness
  • 3. Europa and the Pirate Twins by Thomas Dolby
    I think Thomas Dolby is forever pinned to "She Blinded Me with Science" (which is a great song) - but I encourage attention to his other stuff. He is a true 80s icon
  • 2. The Model by Kraftwerk
    Totally cool song -- not surprisingly, the band is and was always totally cool
  • 1. Love is a Stranger by Eurythmics
    Simple beat and tune, message is still relevant, Annie Lennox is cool, a song that can still bring down a house - not too mention our sensitive and emotive 80s souls
By: TinTin
  • 10. Carrie by Europe
    Ahhh Joey Tempest gave me the shivers! Love that hair by the way
  • 9. I'll be over you by Toto
    I fell in love with the bass player when they performed this song live on Solid Gold!
  • 8. When the war is over by Cold Chisel
    Love this song, cried the first time I heard it
  • 7. Lessons In Love by Level 42
    Awesome song from an awesome band
  • 6. Down Under by Men At Work
    I remember raging to this song at those teen parties!
  • 5. Girl Im gonna miss you by Milli Vanilli
    This song reminds me of my first boyfriend ahhhh
  • 4. Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi
    Richie Sambora rocked in this video! cool song too
  • 3. Flashdance by Irene Cara
    I can remember almost breaking my neck trying to do this dance! cheesy movie but a way cool song!
  • 2. Hysteria by Def Leppard
    A really nice power ballad by some spunks with long hair!
  • 1. Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
    I LOVE THIS SONG!! My all time fav....David Byrne is a me the shivers but always gets my head nodding along...Psycho Killer Rox!
Excellent site, a great tribute to the 80's
By: Roy Jamajan
  • 10. Shout by Tears For Fears
    I love these guys!
  • 9. The Cure by Love Song
    The Cure rocked...
  • 8. Culture Club by Karma Chameleon
    This was my fav by C Club
  • 7. The Reflex by Duran Duran
    One of their songs which used to send chills down my spine.
  • 6. The Police by King of Pain
  • 5. Sweet Freedom by Michael McDonald
    this man has an awesome voice...
  • 4. Tenderness by General Public
  • 3. In The Big Country by Big Country
  • 2. How Soon Is Now by The Smiths
  • 1. People Are People by Depeche Mode
Kyrie Elaison by ???, Men At Work,
By: Joe Peters
Honorable Mention:"Woman in Chains"-Tears For Fears. This song is also good.
By: Aisle Childs
  • 10. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    This song will never leave your mind to wonder ... What if?
  • 9. Billie Jean by Micheal Jackson
    Moonwalk and I still don't know who's kid it is?
  • 8. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
    The video is still doing good to keep the song in play.
  • 7. Atomic Dog by George Clinton
    Anymore dogs in da house!
  • 6. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    Baby, baby, baby where did our love go fits perfectly in this song
  • 5. White Horse by Laidback
    I rode the dancefloor, carseat and girlfriend; no particular order.
  • 4. Rumours by Timex Social Club
    Everyone heard about them and started spreading the word.
  • 3. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
    The first 20 seconds makes it a hit.
  • 2. 19 by Paul Hardcastle
    I will remember this song for it's scattered beats and vocal. I was to young to be there but old enough to understand the song and message!
  • 1. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    This song is great for clubbin' because you drop whatever you're doing to go out on the dancefloor.
Even in reverse order these song will be remembered when the words are spoken. 80's ruled and still in play for the years to come !!!!!
By: James
  • 10. Pop Goes The World by Men Without Hats
    Screw the Safety Dance. Pop rules!!!
  • 9. Dancing In Heaven by Q-Feel
    Love dancing to this song. Perhaps it's because I am in heaven while I am doing? Sorry, that was horrible.
  • 8. Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants
    Don't we all have a birdhouse in our souls?
  • 7. Kingston Town by UB40
    Great beat. Gotta love that Reggae.
  • 6. Gods Of War by Def Leopard
    Greatest Def Leopard song ever written.
  • 5. Don't Stand So Close To Me by The Police
    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a band called The Police sings a song with the content of this one? Great song anyway.
  • 4. Take On Me by a-ha
    Tell me you don't love the video? Everytime MTV has a greatest video-athon, guess who always places in the top 3? No, I'm not talking about Michael Jackson.
  • 3. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    Everytime this song comes on, we all stop what we are doing and start dancing around the room like mad. It's really cool when we are in a car then people get to watch us dance around!
  • 2. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    Great song. Great beat. Expecially love the extended dance mix.
  • 1. Secret by OMD
    When I heard this song while at a club, I wanted to grab the first girl I could see and dance with her.
Honorable Mentions: Wild Wild Life - Talking Heads, Everytime I Write The Book - Elvis Costello, Neverending Story - Limahl, Our House - Madness, Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw, Rock The Casbah - The Clash, Copacabana - Barry Manilow, many songs from The Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, The Bangles, and all the others in which I have no idea what the names of the songs are...and there are many.
By: Billy Wachter

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