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: Jason Freund
By: Justin Flavin
  • 10. Chains of Love by Erasure
    Summery uplifting pop at its best.
  • 9. Humanoid by Stakker
    Hardcore trance, ten years ahead of its time.
  • 8. Paninaro by Pet Shop Boys
    A veritable monster of a tune, that preceeded the house music explosion.
  • 7. Blasphemous Rumours by Depeche Mode
    The Modey's wax lyrical about God, death and stuff... very very moving..
  • 6. Bedsitter by Soft Cell
    A superb tune - far far better than Tainted Love in my opinion.
  • 5. Playing With Knives by Bizarre Inc
    Uplifting piano stabs, rave hooklines, and a belting vocal. A breakthrough rave track released when rave music was starting to really kick off.
  • 4. Last Rhythm by Last Rhythm
    A classic house tune, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
  • 3. Pacific State by 808 State
    Lazy saxophone on top of synthetic , futuristic beats'n'synths. Vastly ahead of its time - it still sounds great today.
  • 2. Strings of Life by Rhythm Is Rhythm
    THE track of the late 80's dance music scene. A killer of tune produced by the Detroit techno-meister, Derrick May.
  • 1. William, It Was Really Nothing by The Smiths
    What? A guitar track! Quite simply, this is probably the finest 3 minutes of pop since The Beatles "She Loves You".... Short,sweet, with gorgeous melodies that simply wrap around you...
By: Tobedawg
  • 10. Oblivious by Aztec Camera
    A Sick twisted tale of Modern Chivalry!!!
  • 9. The Promise by When In Rome
    The piano at the beginning is so blissful and reminds me of a cloudy day at the beach..
  • 8. Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
    "I would do most anything to get you back by my side".. a young sounding Robert Smith pleading..
  • 7. Somebody by Depeche Mode
    One of those songs that STILL sends chills up and down my spine till this day when I hear it
  • 6. Anarchy In The UK by Sex Pistols
    A PUNK ANTHEM!!! Okay, maybe technically it wasn't 80's since it came out in 1979, but still TRUE angst at it's best.. RIP Sid Vicious
  • 5. Wrapped Around your Finger by The Police
    Sting's Vocals make this song essentially unique and romantic.. coupled with the work of Stewart Copeland
  • 4. Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes
    Their debut album is the ULTIMATE road-trip sing-a-long CD.. "When I'm a walkin' I strut my stuff and I'm so strung out"
  • 3. Bizzare Love Triangle by New Order
    DEFINATELY!!! A CLASSIC!! "I'm not sure what this could mean, I don't think you are what you seem"
  • 2. I Wanna Be Adored by Stone Roses
    The MANCHESTER sound revolution.. "I don't have to sell my soul, he's already in me"
  • 1. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
    "I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does?".. Morrissey's vocals of longing are so beautiful!!
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl", INXS - "The One Thing", U2- "With or Without you", David Bowie - "Modern Love, Bob Marley - "Get up stand up", XTC- "Mayor of Simpleton", They Might Be Giants - "Don't let start", Camper Van Beethover - "Take the Skinheads Bowling"
By: Delmar Sand
By: cesar alberto
*Dire Straits Money For Nothing *Human League Human *Billy Idol Eyes without a Face *Depeche Mode Everything Counts *Men at Work Who can it be now *Tears for Fears Sowing the seeds of love/Shout *Madonna Material Girl *Kajagoogoo Too Shy *U2 With or Without you *Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer
By: Russell Longhurst
  • 10. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
    This song was SO big!!!! I dare you to try not to sing with it and do some air drums too!
  • 9. Jetsetter's Ball by Flash And The Pan
    If you can find this one- have a listen- I put it in here just to remind anyone who did hear it!
  • 8. Bang A Gong (Get It On) by The Power Station
    Robert Palmer really comes through with this combo- a real rocker!
  • 7. Secret Journey by The Police
    This band was just so GREAT! In my opinion, "Ghost In The Machine" was their BEST!!!! It's got such a deep sound to it.
  • 6. Hot In The City by Billy Idol
    I'm glad they didn't play this one as often- it still sounds great every time I think of playing it!!
  • 5. Clones (We're All) by Alice Cooper
    Only one thing to say about this song- I'm not a fan, but this song is COOL!!
  • 4. I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
    Every time I think of high school I think of this song!
  • 3. Passion by Rod The Mod Stewart
    This is about the only song of his I like- it's so different from anything else he sang...
  • 2. I Don't Like Mondays/ Someone's Looking At You by The Boomtown Rats
    Yeah- 79 again- but it really set up the 80's. The Piano work on Mondays is just AWESOME!!
  • 1. Another Brick In The Wall -pt 2 by Pink Floyd
    Ok- This was in 79- but this was one of my first albums I got. I listened to it OVER and OVER and OVER!
I literally grew up in the 80's- from start to finish! I started high school in 1979 and by 1989 I was married and had 2 kids with one more on the way!!! The 80's will be forever in my mind!!
By: Paul D.
  • 10. Brand New Lover by Dead or Alive
  • 9. Pop Muzik by M
  • 8. King for a Day by Thompson Twins
  • 7. Echo Beach by Martha & The Muffins
    Right again...the 2nd best New Wave song was by another CANADIAN band!!! This song has such an edge to it....still giving me shivers almost 20 years after
  • 6. Nova Heart by The Spoons
    That's right....the best New Wave song was by a CANADIAN band!!!
  • 5. Left to My Own Devices by Pet Shop Boys
    ...the best dance song there ever was...the best there'll ever be
  • 4. Vacation by Go-Go's's still all I've ever wanted...
  • 3. If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • 2. You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart by Eurythmics
    I'm not suprised that the best voice in music (Annie Lennox) emerged during the BEST decade of music
  • 1. Atomic by Blondie
    .... was this the birth of Techno? Who 'da thunk it
By: Colin Generao
  • 10. Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
    This is just such a catchy song it always makes me think when i hear it..."who sings this???"
  • 9. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    I almost forgot about this one. The video and the song have been my favourites for years.
  • 8. Roxanne by The Police
    Sure "Every Breath You Take" is also a favourite of mine but its just that this song is so much better to sing when drunk
  • 7. Here Comes Your Man by Pixies
    This song is one i just came across on...but it reminds me of this one girl since its her favourite song. i'm not even sure they're in the 80's...
  • 6. Dare by Stan Bush
    This might not be as familar to all of you. But if you grew up watching Transformers like I did then you'll remember this from the movie. The memories!!!
  • 5. The Longest Time by Billy Joel
    yet another song I remember from Alvin & the Chipmunks...just give me a mic and let me sing this
  • 4. Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes
    Contract killing...if i were ever in that profession i would always play this...(grosse point blank)
  • 3. Dont You Want Me by Human League
    The most catchy sound of the 80's
  • 2. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    From my favourite movie the Breakfast Club...the way they play it right when the movie ends is classic
  • 1. You Might Think by The Cars
    I first remember this song on Alvin & the Chipmunks...i just like this...and i have no clue why.
This site rocks...
By: Joey
  • 10. Maneater by Hall & Oates
  • 9. Total Eclipse Of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
  • 8. Waiting For a Girl Like You by Foreigner
  • 7. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) by Hall & Oates
  • 6. Africa by Toto
  • 5. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
  • 4. Every Breath You Take by The Police
  • 3. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  • 2. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
  • 1. Eye Of the Tiger by Survivor
Top 10 SCOURGES of the 80's! Billy Joel, Phil Collins, REO Speedwagon and others (you know who you are), you have miraculously been spared. Foreigner clearly never should have left the 70's. All members of this band should have killed themselves before ever stepping onto 80's soil!
By: John H
  • 10. Fascination by Human League
    Synth-heavy, addictive beat.
  • 9. Cars by Gary Numan
    A foretaste of the British euro-pop-punk invasion.
  • 8. Let's Go by Wang Chung
    The perfect song to play in a convertible.
  • 7. Drive by The Cars
    A lonely song, without the band's usual dependence on plastic synth.
  • 6. Stand by REM
    A fun, meaningless song heralding today's high-energy slacker rock.
  • 5. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
    An unusually elegant ballad from this 80s icon.
  • 4. Walk This Way by Run DMC
    The perfect fusion of album-oriented rock and embryonic chart-topping rap.
  • 3. Don't Stop Believing by Journey
    A haunting piano and electric guitar.
  • 2. The End of the Innocence by Don Henley
    A good signpost for a generation that believed (1) nuclear war could be next week, and (2) no government was a good government.
  • 1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    Without a doubt, the greatest song of obsessive love ever, 80s or otherwise.
Also-rans: "Safety Dance," Men Without Hats; "She's a Beauty," The Tubes; "Don't Want to Wait Anymore" also the Tubes; "A Matter of Trust" Billy Joel; and "Out of Touch" by Hall & Oates.
By: Jon
Wow! Tough, tough time listing here but I think this would cover my favs! ;-)
By: Sam Rodriguez
By: Andreas
  • 10. Enola Gay by O.M.D.
  • 9. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
  • 8. It's The End of The World As We Know It by R.E.M.
  • 7. Twist in My Sobriety by Tanita Tikaram
    Saddest song ever.
  • 6. Negative Creep by Nirvana
    Yes, Nirvana. It's a 1989 song.
  • 5. Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes
  • 4. Waiting Room by Fugazi
  • 3. 99 Luftballons by Nena
  • 2. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    The best Hairspray and Stadium Rock Band, they survived the 90s and amazingly still kick ass. Saw them live in 2000, GREAT show.
  • 1. It's My Life by Talk Talk
    The Synths, Mark Hollis' voice and the lyrics give me goosebumps.
I was only 13 when the 80s ended, but I like the music of those days at least as much, if not more, as the 90's music. This chart has some more alternative and rock in it. Most pop songs have been mentioned enough times already.
By: c seaman
By: Joey Gun Cola
  • 10. With Or Without You by YouToo
    Nobody knows this one! You will never hear about this band! Some asian band i think!
  • 9. Hurts To Be In Love by Gino Vanelli
    Very personal choice!!! It brings great memories to me.
  • 8. I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
    If you don't like this song what the hell do you like?
  • 7. Love On The Rocks by Neil Diamond
    No comments.
  • 6. Carrie by Europe
    Not the movie... You morons!!!
  • 5. Save a Prayer by Duran x 2
    Won't get tired of this song ever! I will still like it when i'm dead!
  • 4. True by Spandeau Ballet
    Classic! Classic! What a Classic this is.
  • 3. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
    You can't forget this one.
  • 2. Reality by Richard Sanderson
    (From the french movie "La Boom") You may not have seen the movie (first one with French actress Sophie Marceau) but you surely heard the song.
  • 1. Careless Whispers by George Michael
    What can i say!!! Got to admit this guy is the Greatest pop singer ever!!! (Geee! I can't believe he's gay! Did he write this for a guy or a girl??? Who knows!?! Who cares!?! this song is the greatest slow ever!!!)
TOP TEN SLOW SONGS A mention to: Is This Love (White Snake) Another mention to: Still Loving You (The Scorpions)
By: petshopgirl
  • 10. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    Everyone goes crazy when this song comes on, esp. considered "The Song" of all time to mah Asian peeps. ;P
  • 9. Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling
    "4...3...2...1../Earth below us/drifting, falling /floating,weightless/calling, calling home....." The chorus alone will transport you back to the 80s.
  • 8. Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes
    I remember as a lil kid watching "Solid Gold" (LOL) and this song would ALWAYS come up b/c it was so popular, and the cheezy dancers would do some faux-romantic dance scene, but dang! this song is just so perfectly heavenly.
  • 7. Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode
    Even though i like All of DM's work, you gotta admit liking their stuff when Vince Clarke was still on board i.e. "Just Can't Get Enough"
  • 6. Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
    "Tellllllll me/tell me that your sweet love hasn't died.../Giiiiive me/One more chance to keep you satisfied/--satisified.." And then comes the bomb-ass beat, you can't forget this one. =)
  • 5. The Sun Always Shines On TV by A-Ha
    "Touch Me.../How can it be?..." this song is even better than Take On Me.
  • 4. Electricity by OMD
    Simply classic.
  • 3. Once In A Lifetime by Gregorian
    Ok it's an early 90s song, but it is the most beautiful dance song i have ever heard in my life, and if you love 80s euro wave, you will LOVE this song EVEN MORE! by the producers of Enigma. SO hard to find, even on napster but it is the most dazzling gem you will ever hear. go FIND IT!
  • 2. Carmen by Anything Box
    Forget that "Living in Oblivion" crap! Anything Box's opus is "Carmen" a lush, melancholy ballad that will have you weeping, i swear!
  • 1. Russian Radio by Red Flag
    "I hear a voice/ten thousand miles away/getting so much closer ever-y day..." One of the most overlooked synth bands, on a par with DM and OMD
I dont like saying the term "80s music" b/c i hate that cheesy Air Supply,Huey Lewis, Tiffany, etc. pop crap that came out during then. I refer to MY kind of 80s music as synthpop/new wave/romantic/electro/euro/dance. B/C that is what Pet Shop boys, OMD, New Order and DM are all about!! SPECIAL MENTIONS go OUT to: "Christine" by OMD (early 90s but the most beautiful song by OMD), "Tears Run Rings" by Marc Almond, "Feels Like Heaven" by Fiction Factory, "Water Flowing Under" by Talking Heads, "Sole Salvation" by General Public, "I Like Chopin" by Gazebo, "The Different Story" by Peter Schilling, "It's My LIfe" by Talk Talk, "Boys Dont Cry" by The Cure, "Lips LIke Sugar" by Echo and the Bunnymen, everything else by OMD, Pet Shop Boys, DM, New Order! pEACe and LoVE to all! ~trust in the Lord~
By: B. J. Fears II
  • 10. Living After Midnight by Judas Priest
    The title says it all
  • 9. Runnin' with the Devil by Van Halen
    This song introduced the rock world to Sir Edward and the V-H bad boys. It still kicks ass!
  • 8. Seek and Destroy by Metallica
    From Metallica's 1983 debut album "Kill'em All". Little did we know that nearly 20 years later the men in black would still be goin' strong.
  • 7. Rainbow in the Dark by Ronnie James Dio
    His albums "Holy Diver" and "The Last in Line" were some of the best music that you could find in the 80s. Heck, even now they still rule!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 6. Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath
    Sabbath's first offering after Ozzy left. Ronnie James Dio sang the title song, and in 1980 this song and album helped start the 80s headbangin'.
  • 5. Bang Yer Head (Metal Health) by Quiet Riot
    The opening cords of this song would start a dead man's heart. Quiet Riot was a 1 album hit, but man, what a album.
  • 4. Hellion/the Electric Eye by Judas Priest
    In 1981/82 "Screamin' For Vengeance" helped kick in the door for headbangers. The intro to this song is just too cool.
  • 3. tie: Highway to Hell and Hell's Bells by AC/DC
    Angus and the boys weren't the best muscians around, but, these two songs will always be considered headbangin' anthems.
  • 2. Any song off of Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osborne
    The "GREATEST" album ever recorded. Every song is great. From the greatest guitar solo ever on "Over the Mountain" to the ballad "Tonite".
  • 1. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne
    Even after all these years I still get goosebumps when I hear this song. Ozzy and Randy Rhoades were and still are the best singer/guitarist combo.
It's funny, but in the year 2000 with with all the awful music like hip-hop and the cutsy-boy bands that saturate the air-waves, the music that was great in the 80's can still be found and is not dead yet. When you make up a list of any kind, some things have to be left-out. Nothing was listed from such great bands as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard or Whitesnake. While they are not listed, they are still greatly enjoyed. Also, let's not forget the band that started heavy metal back in the 70's, the legendary Led Zeppelin. While they left us after the death of Jon Bonham in 1979, their influence was felt thoughout the 80's and still today. For those about to rock, we salute you.
By: Xtreemdude
I'm sure I forgot tons. Worth mentioning: Big Country- by Big Country- off the album big Country....only in the 80's!
By: Fiona
  • 10. Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung
    An absolutely corking track.
  • 9. Obsession by Animotion
    Bores its way into your brain. In a good way, of course.
  • 8. Dolce Vita by Ryan Paris
    It just makes me want to dance maniacally. Happy Music!
  • 7. I'm In Love With A German Film Star by The Passions
    Moody, slinky, and really rather ace.
  • 6. The Model by Kraftwerk
    Just fantastic. I'm running out of superlatives!
  • 5. Since Yesterday by Strawberry Switchblade
    I was drooling with delight when this popped up on 'TOTP2' last week. Where are they now? I demand a Strawberry Switchblade revival!
  • 4. Say Hello Wave Goodbye by Soft Cell
    THE definitive drama queen anthem!
  • 3. Sister Of Mercy by Thompson Twins
    Another act I cherish, and it's nigh-on impossible to pick a favourite track. 'SOM' just shades it, today anyway.
  • 2. 99 Luftballons by Nena
    I would sell my spleen for Frau Kerner and co. and I could pick virtually anything from their oeuvre, but I'll go for this as EVERYONE knows this worthy global smash.
  • 1. Heartache Avenue by The Maisonettes
    How can anyone of sound mind fail to want to take this song home and love it all over? I maintain this IS the most perfect pop record ever.
I could have easily compiled a list from 1-100; such is my love for eighties music. Must mention those who narrowly missed my list, from Spagna and Valerie Dore to Nu Shooz and Icehouse and the perennially popular bands (hello Human League, Culture Club, Heaven 17 et al!).

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