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: Groovekat
  • 10. The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics
    A truly haunting tale of a son's stilted relationship with his father. The guitar riff from Genesis' Mike Rutherford is just gorgeous and makes the song for me. Essential listening.
  • 9. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
    Quite simply the saddest song I've ever heard, and the most uplifting at the same time. If this list was based purely on emotional connection then this would be #1 with a leg in the air. With his roots in the artsy 'Genesis', Gabriel, Along with Morrisey, leads the way for lyrics and storytelling. A truly gifted communicator and artist.
  • 8. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
    This has to be the pick of 2 or 3 Journey songs that really do deserve to be in this list. The competion is simply too fierce lol. Probably the song you'd most identify with 80's music, Steve Perry's voice is a true gift from god and is unrivalled in terms of range and power. This track has some truly unforgettable moments.
  • 7. The Stroke by Billy Squire
    Sex on Vinyl. One of the most imediately recognizable hooks of all time.
  • 6. This Charming Man by The Smiths
    Very difficult to make a list that covers all genres but any 80's list not including at least ONE Smiths song is not worth the paper it's written on IMO. In this, Morrissey demonstrates why he is considered one of the greatest storytellers in modern music. You can't help but lose yourself in his words.
  • 5. Holding Back The Years by Simply Red
    Wow, WHAT a song. The lyrics by Mick Hucknell in this are AMAZING and are the catalyst for its #5 spot. Vocal performance is truly awesome and dispells all the rumours that gingers have no talent lol. Greatest break up song OAT IMO.
  • 4. I Wanna Know What Love Is by Foreigner
    Much the same as 'In The Air Tonight' in its unrelenting pulse, this really is shivers down ya spine stuff lol. Probably the best build up to a chorus of any song I've ever heard. Eerie, haunting, Godly, epic, lush, contemplative, deep and catchy are adjectives for this 80's gem. Perfection on tape.
  • 3. Africa by Toto
    From my favourite band of A.T, this mind bender spans 3 different keys seamlessly and takes you on a journey of wonder and musicianship. There's just so much more to it than first meets the ear. Jeff Porcaro's feel in this quintessential 80's classic is once again brilliant.
  • 2. Superfreak by Rick James
    The king of funk's defining moment. No song gets people on the dancefloor as quickly as this. The lyrics are sexy and in your face and James was the only guy out there who could pull this off and still look cool. Awesomeness. (Shame about that downsyndrome guy sampling it later on)
  • 1. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
    How this is not on anyone's list thus far let alone number 1 is beyond me. Decribed by Atlantic record's Ahmet Ertigen as "The perfect pop song", its relentlessness and haunting lyrics transport you into Collins' tormented existence and subsequent release of anger when the drums explode. Perfectly paced, beautifully written, magnificent.
Such a painful list to make as there were 30 odd equally as good songs that missed out. Here are some of those.. 11- Another One Bites The Dust (Queen) 12- Flesh For fantasy (Billy Idol) 13- Only You (Yazoo) 14- Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) 15- Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode) 16- Started With a Kiss (Hot Chocholate) 17- All My Love (Cold Chisel) 18- It's Only Love (Bryan Adams & Tina Turner) 19- Music & Lights (Imagination) 20- Never Tear Us Apart (INXS) To leave feedback about my list:
By: Mike W
  • 10. I Want Your Sex by George Michael
  • 9. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
  • 8. Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil
  • 7. Wild Wild West by Escape Club
  • 6. She's Like the Wind by Patrick Swayze
  • 5. Darling Nikki by Prince & the Revolution
  • 4. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
    Who didn't sing along with this song whenever it played...
  • 3. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
  • 2. Need You Tonight by INXS
  • 1. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses
By: Colorado89er
  • 10. Red, Red Wine by UB40
  • 9. Rigor Mortis by A Split Second
  • 8. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
  • 7. Holiday by Madonna
  • 6. Photograph by Def Leppard
  • 5. Don't You Want Me by Human League
    CATEGORY: FAV SYNTH POP Runner Up: A-Ha - Take on Me
  • 4. Point of No Return by Expose
    CATEGORY: FAV FREESTYLE Runner Up: Stevie B - I Wanna Be the One
  • 3. Brand New Lover by Dead or Alive
  • 2. The Promise by When in Rome
  • 1. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    This song is in a category all its own. I still get chills when I hear it. Distinctive, smart, hypnotic,inventive, a masterpiece.
Renaissance: a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity; see also: 80s music
By: Charles Leo Ratcliffe
By: Ohh The 80's!
  • 10. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
  • 9. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
  • 8. Under Pressure by David Bowie & Queen
  • 7. Billie Jean & Beat it! by Michael Jackson
  • 6. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
  • 5. Pride-In the Name of Love by U2
    Amazing band. I would also include Evolution and Mysterious Ways if this list was longer!
  • 4. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
  • 3. A Forest by The Cure
    Boys Don't Cry-goes on the list somewhere.
  • 2. Eyes Without a Face by Billy Idol
    Dancing with Myself-another epic song.
  • 1. Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode
    I just can't get enough-should be on this list too!
Honorable Mentions: Van Halen-Jump Madness-Our House AC/DC-Back in Black Bon Jovi-Livin on a Prayer Police-Every Breath You Take Flock of Seagulls- I ran Guns 'n' Roses- Paradise City Men Without Hats-Safety Dance A-Ha- Take On Me Flock of Seagulls-I ran Soft Cell-Tainted Love Devo-Whip It Survivor-Eye of the Tiger Metallica-Master of Puppets Guns 'n' Roses- Welcome to the jungle Guns 'n' Roses- Sweet Child of mine Cry Little Sister (Thou Shall Not Fall) -Gerard McMann (1987)-Lost Boys.
By: Ben
By: Mysterie
  • 10. No Tears by Tuxedomoon
    His voice is great
  • 9. Dear God by XTC
    This was a very controversial song when it was first released, I find it extremely powerful.
  • 8. All The Pieces by Oingo Boingo
    Great song. Always.
  • 7. Who's That Girl [She's Got It] by A Flock Of Seagulls
    Quite fun to dance to.
  • 6. Embarassment by Madness
    Catchy song.
  • 5. Nothing To Be Done by The Pastels
    The vocals go well with the instruments.
  • 4. A Girl Like You by Orange Juice
    Simply beautiful.
  • 3. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • 2. A Night Like This by The Cure
    It's very romantic.
  • 1. Michael Who Walks By Night by Strawberry Switchblade
    I always listen to this song. Their voices are beautiful, and it's very calming and mellow music.
I don't expect people to agree with my choices of songs from these artists, or my simple comments, but I figure it's much better to listen to the music and get your own opinion of it. Considering there is not enough words to explain why, or just how much I enjoy these songs.
By: Vini
  • 10. I Feel For You by Chaka Khan
    Written by Prince, Chaka does a fantastic version that would be hard to beat.
  • 9. Call Me by Go West
    Hard-hitting fun.
  • 8. Absolute by Scritti Politti
    Green's honey-styled vocals soothe the hard bass beat that you can listen to over and over.
  • 7. You Should Hear How She Talks About You by Melissa Manchester
    Clean, crisp vocal with a mesmerising rythmn.
  • 6. Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar
    A strong song and message (as portrayed in the video), a defining moment in 1980's music.
  • 5. Heartache by Pepsi & Shirley
    Definitely a pure POP song at it's best.
  • 4. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
    I remember this song as an introduction to parties, drinking, and great nights out when I was 13 or 14.
  • 3. Time (Clock Of The Heart) by Culture Club
    Personal favourite from all their chart hits.
  • 2. Wishful Thinking by China Crisis
    This song reminds me of autumn, falling leaves and being with someone special.
  • 1. Take It Back by The Pookah Makes Three
    The 12" version rocks.
Not one to follow general trends, my top song is probably not too well known, but there are some great songs beyond the charts.
By: Andrew
By: Todd Pilgrim
  • 10. Cherry Pie by Warrant
  • 9. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
  • 8. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • 7. I Aint Missing You by John Waite
    one hit wonder but good one
  • 6. I Love Rock And Roll by Joan Jett And The Blackhearts
    Can't help but moving when this song come on
  • 5. Gloria by Laura Brannigan
    loved brannigan
  • 4. I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John
    i simply love you more than i love life itself. what a line
  • 3. Total Eclispe Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    defined 80's genre
  • 2. Do You Believe In Love by Huey Lewis And The News
    Heard it on late night t.v. show great song
  • 1. Glory Of Love by Peter Cetera
    My wife of 24 years and mine song. My teenage daughter said it was the perfect love song
Even my kids love the 80's decade
By: Jayhawk
  • 10. Electric Eye by Judas Priest
  • 9. Monkey Gone to Heaven by Pixies
    and if the devil is six
  • 8. Wasted Years by Iron Maiden
  • 7. Fade To Black by Metallica
  • 6. Tom Sawyer by Rush
  • 5. Angel Of Death by Slayer
  • 4. The Zoo by Scorpions
  • 3. The Prisoner by Iron Maiden
  • 2. Peace Sells by Megadeth
  • 1. Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden
    Classic, maybe the best metal song of all time, except maybe Black Sabbath's War Pigs.
Mainly metal, some rock,
By: Jessica Duke
  • 10. Mickey by Toni Basil
    cheer song
  • 9. Maniac by Michael Sembello
  • 8. take on me by Aha
    wierd video but kewl song
  • 7. livin on a prayer by bon jovi
  • 6. My Futures so bright i gotta wear shades by Timbuk3
    best song about nuclear science
  • 5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
  • 4. 1999 by Prince
  • 3. Toy Soldier by Martika
    unusual but great
  • 2. Nasty by Janet Jackson
  • 1. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
    luv it mj all tha way
luv it
By: S. Alvarez
  • 10. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
    Love the euphoric sound of this song
  • 9. Juegos de Seduccion by Soda Stereo
    Hot, intense song
  • 8. Your Love by The Outfield
    Enough people have not covered this song. Would love to hear some worthy contestant on American Idol do this.
  • 7. When Doves Cry by Prince
    Sexiest song ever!
  • 6. Human Nature by Michael Jackson
    ¨ ¨
  • 5. Beat It by Michael Jackson
    ¨ ¨
  • 4. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    No one will ever sing this song as well
  • 3. Ask by The Smiths
    Lyrically one of the best songs here. ¨Nature is a language, can't you read?¨
  • 2. Forever Young by Alphaville
    Only song I ever liked by them.
  • 1. Soda Stereo by Sobredosis de T.V.
    This Argentinian band came up with the greatest melodies and arrangements!
Wish I could have included: Everybody Wants to Rule the World, 99 Red Balloons, Solsbury Hill, The Caterpillar, Land Down Under, Ceremony, Take On Me, Emotion in Motion, What a Feeling, Paisley Park, A Question of Lust, Church of the Poison Mind, A Forest, Don´t Dream It's Over, Melt With You, It's My Life (talk talk), I Ran, My Life, and Things Can Only Get Better.
By: Stevie
  • 10. More Than This by Roxy Music
    Everyone likes Bryan Ferry, there are no exceptions.
  • 9. Teardrops [7" Mix] by Womack And Womack
    After they dispensed with some family unpleasantness the Womack's got together and wrote this lovely tune.
  • 8. Easy Lover by Phil Collins
    Another 'Serious Hit' from the vertically challenged megastar. Phil Collins knows how to write a tune while Phil Bailey knows how to hold one. A match made in heaven.
  • 7. Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis And The News
    It's not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself. Cue axe.
  • 6. Innocence by Kirsty Maccoll
    Frankly we could have chosen any record from of Kirsty's 80's back catalogue could have been chosen. The best female soloist of her generation and certainly in the UK.
  • 5. Lessons In Love by Level 42
    A toe-tapping rhythm coupled with a chorus that one can bellow out makes for a good tune. Mark King's slap bass work is second only to Peter Hook's.
  • 4. Wham Rap! by Wham
    The first recorded instance of white boys rapping. The rough 'n tumble rhythm of George and Andy belies their subtle critique of '80's Britain.
  • 3. Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
    One of the most evocative songs ever written. Melancholic song charting Jimmy Somerville's experiences of homophobia in his small Scottish town. The video, nearly thirty years on, is still one of the most powerful and thought provoking ever produced.
  • 2. I Don't Want To Be A Hero by Johnny Hates Jazz
    A cerebral affair from Mr. Datchler et al. Although released on the back of their breakthrough hit 'Shattered Dreams' it peaked at 11 in the UK and limped in at 31 on the US Billboard. A powerful anti-war song akin to Hardcastle it was nearly banned from the US due to its lyrical content.
  • 1. True Faith by New Order
    Criminally underrated both sides of the Atlantic. Video directed by madcap French choreographer Philippe Decouflé who was additionally responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies for Barcelona '92
Honourable Mention[s]: Go West - We Close Our Eyes Electronic - Getting Away With It Nine Below Zero - Eleven Plus Eleven Hue & Cry - Labour of Love Alison Moyet - Love Resurrection Happy Mondays - Tart Tart Black Box - Ride on Time The Primitives - Crash [Dumb & Dumber Soundtrack] Olivia Newton John - Physical Erasure - Sometimes Mel & Kim - Respectable Durutti Column - Jacqueline
By: Peter Paul,and Mary
  • 10. Sometimes/blue Savannah/a Little Respect by Erasure
    We couldn't decide
  • 9. Michael Jackson by Billie Jean
  • 8. Final Countdown by Europe
  • 7. Atomic by Blondie
  • 6. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
  • 5. With Or Without You by U2
  • 4. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • 3. Little Red Corvette by Prince
  • 2. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
  • 1. Take On Me by Aha
By: European
  • 10. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
  • 9. I Can't Stand It by The Velvet Underground
  • 8. Temptation by Heaven 17
  • 7. Golden Years by David Bowie
  • 6. Five Miles Out by Mike Oldfield
  • 5. King Volcano by Bauhaus
  • 4. Close to me by The Cure
  • 3. Temptation by New Order
  • 2. Losing Touch with My Mind by Spacemen 3
  • 1. Decades by Joy Division
11. Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash 12. Desire - U2 13. Love Kills - Joe Strummer 14. Streams of Wiskey - The Pogues 15. About a Girl - Nirvana Well, I guess it would be easier to choose at least 25 favourite instead of 10. There are so many other great artists who should be on this list, but let's say these here are really my favourites (in no particular order, of course). :-)
By: Jessika Mariee Duke
By: Edwin Wall III
  • 10. Follow The Leader by Killing Joke
  • 9. All You Ever Think About Is (Sex)! by The Flirts
  • 8. Electric Funky Drummer by Maurice Starr
  • 7. Den Harrow by A Taste Of Love
  • 6. Lemon Firebrigade by Haircut 100
  • 5. Rainy Season by Howard Devoto
  • 4. Everybody by Ambassadors Of Funk
  • 3. Pity For The Self by Poesie Noire
  • 2. The Cold by Eskimos and Egypt
  • 1. Nowhere Girl by B Movie
Not my favorite songs but one's everyone should know from the 80's.
By: Carl UK
  • 10. Theme from S'Express by S'Express
    This was the tune that put me on the journey to creating my own dance music. It also paved way for the possibilities of what you can achieve with a sampler. A pivotal moment in the late 80's which influenced a large chunk of the 90's.
  • 9. Me, Myself & I by De La Soul
    Takes me back to the daisy age. What's not to love about this tune?
  • 8. The Message by Grand Master Flash and Melle Mel
  • 7. Joy Division by Love will tear us apart
    Have always loved this track and always will. Ian Curtis and Co, we salute you.
  • 6. Fade to Grey by Visage
    80's synth dream of a track. Completely inspirational.
  • 5. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
    I'm pretty sure there is only a small minority of people that don't love this song. It still sounds fresh even today.
  • 4. Hungry like the wolf by Duran Duran
    I wanted to be Simon Le Bon when I was a kid. They always gave a confident performance. This song is catchy as hell.
  • 3. A Night to Remember by Shalamar
    This will always be a classic 80's disco tune. Always brings back good memories.
  • 2. Is this Love by White Snake
    Love the moodiness of this. Never get bored of it.
  • 1. Borderline by Madonna
    One of those songs you think has been around since time began. The foundations of the song are timeless.
Guess I must really like music with synths in, judging by the list. There are other tracks that I love equally (such as tracks by The Police, who were one of my favourite bands back in the day) but only enough room for ten. Boo.
  • 10. Don't Answer Me by Alan Parsons Project
    A great group many of you probably have never heard of.
  • 9. Call Me by Blondie
    This one insisted to be on my list.
  • 8. Alone by Heart
    Really a nice ballad.
  • 7. End of the World as We Know It by R.E.M.
    Hard to pick just one song from these guys.
  • 6. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
    I'm sure this song got them a lot of chicks for free.
  • 5. Crazy Train by Ozzie Osborne
    Listen to the drums as well as Randy Rhodes guitar work. Ozzie's got a style of his own as well.
  • 4. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
    Great lyrics about unwavering dedication sung by a great singer.
  • 3. With or Without You by U2
    Got to have U2 in my list. Great song
  • 2. Jump by Van Halen
    High high notes, Low low notes. Crank it up.
  • 1. Turn it on Again by Genesis
    Title says it, turn it on again.
Some of my other candidates were When Doves Cry-Prince, Harden My Heart- Quarterflash, Down Under-Men at Work, Love Shack-B-52s, Don't Stop Believing-Journey, and Don't you forget about me-Simple Minds

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