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: Kayla
  • 10. (I Just) Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew
    I love the music of this song!
  • 9. It Must Be Love by The Payolas
    I don't hear this song very often but I love it!
  • 8. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
    I have always loved this song. From the music to the lyrics, it is just an awesome song, plain and simple!
  • 7. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
    The reason that I love most songs is because of the music and that is exactly why I love this song.
  • 6. Absolute by Scritti Politti
    Everytime I listen to this song, I can't help but sing along! In my opinion, Scritti Politti was so original and I really love a lot of their stuff but this song is undoubtedly my favourite by them!
  • 5. Don't Talk To Strangers by Rick Springfield
    I love the lyrics and the message of this song. I love so much of Rick's stuff!
  • 4. Don't Shed A Tear by Paul Carrack
    I remember when I first heard "One Good Reason" by Paul and I thought, none of his other stuff could be better than this song but then once I heard this song, I changed my mind very fast!
  • 3. Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger
    In my opinion, Glass Tiger is so underrated which is very unfortunate because they so many great great songs. It was so hard for me to choose between this song, "Someday", "My Song", "My Town", "I'm Still Searching", and so many other amazing songs by Glass Tiger. I chose this song because it was the song that made me fall in love with GT
  • 2. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
    The Police is my favourite band of all time. I had a hard time picking just one song. "Every Little Thing" and "King Of Pain" are my two favourite songs by the Police but I ended up choosing "Every Little Thing" because I love the meaning of the song, the lyrics are great and the music is amazing! I love the Police!
  • 1. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
    This song has the greatest beginning of any song I have ever heard before! And then from there, it just gets better and better! I never get tired of hearing this song!!
This was so hard for me! I love pretty much everything from the 80s but these are the songs that I listen to over and over and over and never get sick of so that's why I picked them!
By: Lil Killer
  • 10. Psycho Circus by Kiss
    Thats my favorite rock song of all time. I love killer clown/circus movies. That song brought them both to life.
  • 9. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
    I have that song on a CD. Everyone I know loves that song.
  • 8. I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister
    These guys rocked. I have had that song stuck in my head all day.
  • 7. For Those About To Rock (we Salute You) by Ac/dc
    Thank You AC/DC for giving the world good music. I have the AC/DC Black Ice CD.
  • 6. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
    I just can not get over the fact that I did not grow up in the 80s. People think I should have.
  • 5. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    This song is on my Guitar Hero World Tour game.
  • 4. You Shook Me All Night Long by Ac/dc
    I love this song.
  • 3. Lick It Up by Kiss
    This song made me realize how much I love rock music.
  • 2. Rock N Roll All Nite by Kiss
    My favorite band of all time. They scare everyone. This song made me love to rock all nite.
  • 1. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
    This song rocks
I hope all you rock lovers know a little something about your favorite bands. I know everything about my favorite band KISS.
By: Simon
  • 10. Dr Mabuse (12" Version) by Propaganda
    An often forgotten group, their 1984 hit Dr Mabuse is a must for anyone who likes synth 80s music.
  • 9. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
    A remarkable group in the 1980s, and a remarkable song, one of their most moving if not most lively.
  • 8. Wonderful Life by Black
    One hit wonder, but beautiful.
  • 7. Up In Heaven by The Clash
    The Sandanista album might be the most disliked of the Clash's discography by most fans, whilst it's true it is a truly acquired taste, this song is one of the more 'London Calling' type Clash moment along with it's stablemate 'Somebody got murdered'.
  • 6. Perfect Kiss (12" Version) by New Order
    Blue Monday and Bizarre Love Triangle were good but this was better. This song was also about the late Ian Curtis the group's former lead singer in their previous incarnation as Joy Division.
  • 5. Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure
    This is one of the best songs of the 80s full stop, along with 'Just Like Heaven' and 'Boys don't Cry'.
  • 4. Vulgar Picture by The Smiths
    Yes another Smiths song, but here the first sounds of Morrisey's solo career direction comes to the fore in a truly moving song.
  • 3. Village Girl by Sheila Chandra
    A very recent find for me, a truly beautiful song. Sheila was in the band Monsoon who had the 1982 hit 'Ever so Lonely', before that she'd been in kid's TV show Grange Hill as Sudhamani Patel from 1979-81.
  • 2. Everything Counts by Depeche Mode
    A childhood favourite of mine, especially the 1989 live version from the Rosebowl.
  • 1. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths
    The Smiths are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them. This has to be my favourite song of there's though, not far behind would be 'I want the one I can't have'.
By: Chris
  • 10. It's My Life by Talk Talk
    Oh so Life affirming.
  • 9. Don't Dream It's Over by Split Enz
    When things went bad this song always cheered me up.
  • 8. Fragile by Sting
    Cuts through all the diversions. Life is truly precious. A timeless classical guitar melody by Sting.
  • 7. The Unforgetable Fire by U2
    Moody, reflective and raw emotion. What can I say? what a band!
  • 6. Whisper To A Scream by Icicle Works
    A flare of riveting adrenalin pumping sound.
  • 5. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
    Anarchy is alive and well and kicking down the door of hipocracy and political correctness.
  • 4. Bella Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
    Favorite after midnight and getting up to no good song.
  • 3. New Gold Dream by Simple Minds
    The future is bright and ambition knows no end.
  • 2. Driven To Tears by The Police
    A song of social conscience and a cry for help against the backdrop of excesses.
  • 1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
    Classic 80's roll top-convertible-and-everything-is right-with-the-world song!
So many great bands and I wish I could include as well. (i.e. The Pretenders,Eurhythmics,Pet Shop, Psychedelic Furs, Pet Boys,Thompson Twins
By: Turtlebait
  • 10. Talk Dirty To Me by Poison
  • 9. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • 8. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • 7. Take It On The Run by REO speedwagon
  • 6. Cant Fight This Feeling by Reo Speedwagon
  • 5. Take On Me by A-Ha
  • 4. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Lepard
  • 3. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
  • 2. Use Your Love by The OUtfield
    Awesome one night stand song!!
  • 1. If You Leave by OMD
    This song always reminds me of Pretty in Pink an ultimate 80's classic!
By: Tina
By: Greg
  • 10. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    Some people roll their eyes if you have the biggest artist of the decade in your top ten. They say it's too obvious. But they are wrong in the case of Thriller. Ask someone about THE Michael songs of the 80's and you get "Billie Jean," and "Beat It," but Thriller is often forgotten. Give this song another listen and it will be added to your playlist. It makes you want to do the worm :-). Also another video that was so groundbreaking it changed what we all expected of our MTV.
  • 9. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
    Answers the age old question "Do songs have to make any sense to be good?" Obviously the answer is no. You can't sit still listening to this one. And after all, Little Wayne wears sunglasses at night now right? Talk about influence!
  • 8. Jeopardy by The Greg Kihn Band
    Where does the end of disco meet the beginning of 80's pop? This song just begs you to dance to it. Have a party, blast this song, and see what happens. Spontaneous dancing and howling of "Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh!"
  • 7. Pride (In The Name Of Love) by U2
    I know it's never hard to put the biggest bands of a decade on a top 10 list, but this song goes under the radar. Everyone knows "With Or Without You," and "Where The Streets Have No Name," but it's easy to argue this is U2's best song. An infectious guitar riff and power chorus it just makes you want to scream it out.
  • 6. Take On Me by A-Ha
    How many times have you said to yourself "sure I can hit that high note," and belted it out before breaking all the windows in the room? (for me it's 13). A great song, good beat, and Morten Harket (that's his real name) sure can sing. All the way from low vocals to that falsetto we all remember. Not that a video can help a song make a top 10 list, but remember how cool the half-real, half-drawn vidoe was? It changed everything.
  • 5. No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones
    Why does anyone like Howard Jones? I can't answer that question. All I know is that hands down this is a song that is great from beginning to end. If it's 80's nerd music then i'm an 80's nerd. This song is GREAT. You have to scream it at the top of your lungs.
  • 4. Nena by 99 Luftballoons
    Starts off with a haunting vocal before before breaking into one of the best beats of the 80's. I hate to sound like a stupid 80's snob, but the only REAL version is the German version. (To make that sound even dumber I do recommend giving Goldfinger's remake of this song a listen).
  • 3. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    Remember when we were all singing this song at a young age not really knowing what it meant? I dare you to try to listen to this song and not nod to the beat. This was and always will be a great party song.
  • 2. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
    Classic 80's pop from overseas. Great random sounds in the background. I love all the vocals but I think the falsetto at the end of the song seals the deal.
  • 1. Your Love by The Outfield
    This song is simply my favorite 80's song. I love how the song builds, the layers of the vocals, and how the drums puncutate the parts of the song. Should be part of every 80's playlist. To me the song sums up the decade more than any other.
There was such a mix of music in the 80's. There was pop, dance, the emergence of Rap, Hair Metal, and much more. As a decade there is so much great music it is tough to pick 10 songs and say they are "the best". I like thousands of songs from the 80's. At the end of the day I am probably most defined by having my cable box tuned to MTV for the first airing of "Video Killed The Radio Star." In the end I just chose the 10 songs that I probably could have in a playlist by themselves and listen to them again and again. And being able to rock a party then and now didn't help either!!
By: Andrew Horne
By: Stephanie
  • 10. Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
  • 9. 99 Luftballons by Nena
    Catchy Song
  • 8. Livin´On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    Love this one
  • 7. Material Girl by Madonna
    Classic Madonna
  • 6. Call Me by Blondie
    Love the part that's spoken in French
  • 5. Need You Tongight by INXS
    Good Song...
  • 4. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
  • 3. Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
    Funny Song
  • 2. Take On Me by A-ha
    Best Video Ever!
  • 1. Hungry Like the Wolf/New Moon On Monday by Duran Duran
    Who dosen´t love these guys?
By: Randy Schuele
  • 10. Dream Warriors by Dokken
    Just sweeps it up.
  • 9. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
    Excellent song for them.
  • 8. I Wear My Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
  • 7. Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles
    First Video to Air on MTV.
  • 6. Born In The Usa by Bruce Springsteen
    Just a great song
  • 5. I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister
    Less popular than were not gonna take it.But oh so much better.
  • 4. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
    One hit wonder.Whats not to love?
  • 3. Comin Atcha Live by Tesla
    Speed metal.What else to say?
  • 2. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
    Good song cause everyone knows it.
  • 1. Metal Health by Quiet Riot
    Still get chills from the vocals.
By: Josh
  • 10. Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners
    brings back memories of summer holidays in 1980
  • 9. Love by Art Of Noise
    Superb minimalism
  • 8. Babylon Sisters by Steely Dan
    ...As cool as it gets
  • 7. Mary's Prayer by Danny Wilson
    Superb lyrics from the Dundee trio
  • 6. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
    Groundbreaking for its time.
  • 5. Holding Back The Years by Simply Red
    A nostalgic song and video
  • 4. Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie
    One of his last great tracks
  • 3. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
    A superb epitaph
  • 2. Blue Monday by New Order
    The greatest ever 12 inch
  • 1. How Soon Is Now ? by The Smiths
    Perfection in a 5 minute song
Found it difficult to produce this list as I only looked at albums as a whole in the eighties
By: Alan Del
  • 10. Jenny/867-5309 by Tommy Tutone
    'Nuff said!
  • 9. Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
    Kajagoo-who? Not exactly in the Rock n' Roll hall of fame, but a great80's tune!
  • 8. 99 Red Balloons by Nena
    So good we got to hear it in 2 languages!
  • 7. Puttin' on the Ritz by Taco
    This song hadn't worked since what, the 20's?
  • 6. Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder
    Matthew Who?
  • 5. Der Kommisar by After the Fire
    When else could this song have been a hit. Thank God for the 80's.
  • 4. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    What a tune!
  • 3. Come Dancing by The Kinks
    The exception to the rule, this song was pure 80's nonetheless.
  • 2. Our House by Madness
    One-hit wonder anyone?
  • 1. Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    The quintessential 80's tune, bar none.
When I think of 80's music, I think of music that could only have worked in the 80's i.e. fun, silly, irrelevant. I think mostly of one-hit wonders. A lot of these lists seem to overlook what made 80's music unique. Yes there's Queen, Journey, Foreigner and all the other big names, but that music would have worked in any decade. Why include music from artists who have large bodies of work spanning decades? That is NOT what made the 80's truly unique! Before I begin I must give a shout-out to those 3 totally 80's bands Men at Work, Duran Duran & Culture Club. Each had many songs that could have made my list, but they were all too prolific. This was the 80's after all! With this in mind,a purely 80's (mostly one-hit wonders)list:
By: Travis Miller
  • 10. Don't Stop Believin by Journey
    Possibly one of the greatest songs ever written.Steven Tyler's voice is amazing and Journey as a whole was one very talented group.
  • 9. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
    Although Cynid hit it big with girls just Wanna Have Fun first, Time After Time was and still is known as her biggest hits ever.
  • 8. Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen
    An amazing track by the "Boss," it showed the true genius of this guy.
  • 7. Eye of The Tiger by Survivor
    Possibly The best movie soundtrack ever, and it definitely made the movie better.
  • 6. With Or Without You by U2
    U2 has had a lot of hits in it's career, but this one to me at least will always be their best.
  • 5. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
    While the video starred Tawni Katang and man was it a hot video. The song itself in my opinion will always be remembered longer than then music videao.
  • 4. Sweet Child O'Mine by Guns N'Roses
    This classic song by GNR,maybe the closest thing to a ballad that this band ever did.
  • 3. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
    Possibly one of the most explicit songs ever, but it rocked. Truly one of the best rock hard rock songs maybe ever.
  • 2. Every Breathe You Take by The Police
    The Police were an awesome 80's pop band and this song made them literally superstars.
  • 1. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    It is still as awesome today as it was when it first came out.
Most of these songs were rated pretty high in the 80's and the difference is most of these songs are still good, even today
By: Fabio
These are 10 of my favorite 80's songs... they're catchy and really excellent songs that brngs me back memories from that faboulous decade!
By: Zevon
  • 10. The Jam by The Bitterest Pill
    The most angsty song of the 80s.
  • 9. General Public by Tenderness
    An English Beat spinoff with a great, and I mean great! driving beat.
  • 8. English Beat by Save it for Later
    I could go on...
  • 7. Echo and the Bunnymen by Killing Moon
    Every time I hear this song it stays in my head for days.
  • 6. The Clash by Police on My Back
    A great Eddy Grant song again from Sandanista!
  • 5. Elvis Costello by Shipbuilding
    So many ECs to choose from but the Chet Baker horn solo sets this one apart.
  • 4. Pretenders by Private Life
    Chrissy's amazingly sexy vocal talents unleashed.
  • 3. The Smiths by How Soon is Now
    Is there anyone as manly as Morrissey?
  • 2. The Stranglers by Golden Brown
    The worlds first top ten harpsichord single. I never tire of it!
  • 1. Somebody Got Murdered by The Clash
    Boy, for an amazing, groundbreaking triple album, Sandanista! gets very few kudos for individual songs.
Tough to choose just 10.
By: Jake
  • 10. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora
  • 9. Turn Up The Radio by Autograph
  • 8. Pride by U2
  • 7. Invisible Touch by Genesis
  • 6. Just One Night by Triumph
  • 5. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
  • 4. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult
  • 3. Run To You by Brian Adams
    the perfect song?
  • 2. Take On Me by A-ha
    this is basically song "1-b" for me
  • 1. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    never get sick of this
few more Canadian entries I would make but only 10 allowed...
By: Wayne Butterworth
Just missing out but need a mention -11 Only you Flying Pickets 12 I want to know where love is Foreigner 13 We don’t need another hero Tina Turner 14 The Reflex Duran Duran and 15 A good heart Feargal Sharkey
By: Eric
  • 10. Everybody Wants You by Billy Squire
    the opening guitar sucks you in for a fun rock and roll ride, that's fun to sing
  • 9. Unchained by Van Halen
    what 80's list would be complete without some REAL vh on it? great representation of the boys with diamond dave up front. i'm still ashamed that i ever bought a vanhagar disc, but glad i got to see the original band once.
  • 8. The Zoo by The Scorpions
    somehow i ended up with this on one of my recordable cassettes, and it was like nothing i'd ever heard.
  • 7. Long Stick Goes Boom by Krokus
    great song that sounded way too much like a bon scott tune when i first heard it, which is part of what made it so great. honorable mention to "our love", which had great sound quality, and is probably my favorite krokus tune
  • 6. Thunderstuck by Ac/dc
    going back to the ac/dc pool, this is probably a close second to post-"back in black" stuff. classic
  • 5. Merry Go Round And Round by Motley Crue
    so many memories of underage drinking associated with this song from their debut/best album. probably not on anyone else's list, but, hey...that's cool. it will always remind me of drinking in a parked car
  • 4. For Those About To Rock, We Salute You by Ac/dc
    also by my favorite band, one of their best in the brian johnson era during the 80's that's not on the "back in black" album.
  • 3. Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden
    guaranteed to get your pulse racing. compelling
  • 2. Holy Diver by Dio
    catchy, heavy and classic, with a scrotum. fun to sing, and still rocks
  • 1. You Shook Me All Night Long by Ac/dc
    from my favorite band of all time, i choose this song because, at the time of me first getting into the band (this was my first ac/dc album), this was the song that jumped out the most. the opening is so sweet and clean
this is my list of 80's ROCK songs in no particular order. hard enough to come up with an 80's list without mixing in all the good new wave stuff from the decade, let alone trying to put it in any type of order.
  • 10. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
  • 9. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    The drum beat make me wanna dance
  • 8. Everytime You Go Away by Paul Young
    Best vocal
  • 7. When The Smoke Is Going Down by Scorpions
    Best slow rock
  • 6. Tragedy by Bee Gees
  • 5. Atlantis Is Calling by Modern Talking
  • 4. Take On Me by A-Ha
    I only like this song
  • 3. You Re My Heart You Re My Soul by Modern Talking
  • 2. Still Loving You by Scorpions
    Best power ballad song ever!
  • 1. Cheri Cheri Lady by Modern Talking
    Best synthpop song ever!
The most important band is Modern Talking and Scorpions
By: Qawi
Duran duran & culture club are the greatest new romantic band of the world and nobody can't challenge the soulful voice of paul young and george michael in the 80's.

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