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: Joyce Ebrahiem
OK ALL THESE SONGS ARE SOO OUT OF ORDER AND THERE ARE SO MANY MORE THAT I WANT TO PUT IN THERE BUT HERES AN IDEA...THE 80'S MUSIC WAS SO DIVERSE AND JUST FREAKIN AWESOME...
By: Gordon Gecco
- 10. Walk Like an Egyptian by Bangles
A good song.
- 9. Sweet Child O'Mine by GNR
Not a big rock fan but a huge one of this song.
- 8. Into the Groove by Madonna
80's, Dance, Feel, Scene, This song.
- 7. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
This is when it was cool to like him and he was somewhat normal.
- 6. Lose Your Love Tonight by The Outfiled
A good tune with a great beginning.
- 5. Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
I tend to do this when I hear this song.
- 4. Let's Go Crazy by Prince
Makes me go crazy!
- 3. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
You can find me movin to this song from the Culture Club at the Culture Club on Wall Street Thursdays in NYC!
- 2. Bordeline by Madonna
Defining 80's sound from defining 80's artist
- 1. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
When I think 80's music it's Duran Duran. Enuff said!
Hard to put in a list as my opinion would probably be different on another day. 80's Forever!
- 10. I found someone by Cher
talk about girl power, cher rocks!
- 9. don't forget about me by Simple minds
also from a great movie
- 8. Magic by America
- 7. Is this love by Whitesnake
I love this song and many more glam bands
- 6. hold me now by thompson twins
just listening to it makes you feel that 80s vibe
- 5. get into the groove by madonna
from the great movie Desperatley Seeking Susan
- 4. reo speedwagon by take it on the run
love to belt out the lyrics
- 3. rapture by blondie
- 2. boys of summer by don henley
Eagles are my favorite group and this is my favorite song by don henley
- 1. eyes without a face by billy idol
mesmerizing song, Could listen to it over and over
By: A. V.
- 10. Ceremony by New Order
This group is what Joy Division grew up to be
- 9. How Soon is Now by The Smiths
Another modern classic with a timeless sound. This songs STILL holds up well even after 15 years
- 8. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode
The best and darkest song from one of the greatest bands of the 80ís.
- 7. Love Kills by Joe Strummer
From the Sid and Nancy soundtrack ... listen and enjoy
- 6. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
Holds up real well over time
- 5. Blowing up Detroit by John Palumbo
A KROQ favorite
- 4. A girl called Johnny by The Waterboys
Not a bad find if you willing to look
- 3. Lust for Life by Iggy Pop
I canít believe this song was used in a commercial
- 2. Janeís Says by Janeís Addiction
Modern day classic
- 1. Bad by U2
Doesnít get any better than this! U2 is our (80ís) version of the Beatles
- 10. Only You by Yazoo
The wizardry of Vince Clarke and the sultry voice of a young Alison Moyet. A perfect combination!
- 9. Happy Ever After by Julia Fordham
The woman with the voice! This is definitely one of the all time classics of the 80s. If you haven't heard this shame on you!
- 8. Don't Dream Its Over by Crowded House
Loved the vid. They went on to produce fantastic songs. Get the greatest hits if you haven't got it!
- 7. Every Breath You Take by The Police
Nuff said. Sting rocks!
- 6. Wonderful Life by Black
Used on several adverts. Just a haunting slightly melancholic tune that's impossible to put down.
- 5. Sooner Or Later by Alan Parsons Project
Check out also the other hits "Eye in the Sky" and "Don't Answer Me".
- 4. Keeping The Dream Alive by Freiheit
I remember being hooked onto this song for ages and ages. One to listen over and over again.
- 3. The Land Of Make Believe by Bucks Fizz
Check out also "Now those days are gone". Brilliant harmonies and brilliant melody.
- 2. A Little Respect by Erasure
One of my all-time favourite bands. Great song, corny video, excellent remixes.
- 1. Life In A Northern Town by Dream Academy
Check out also their other minor hit "Indian Summer". Brilliant!
Other songs with honarary mention: The Living Years - Mike and the Mechanics, The Promise - When In Rome, Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode, Never Never - The Assembly, The Search Is Over - Survivor and many more...a decade of hits, a decade of classics!
- 10. I Should Have Known Better by Jim Diamond
Something about the way he sings I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I Loooove Yooooo, hits my spinal column like an ice pick
- 9. Catch Me I'm Falling by Real Life
A real bubble gum classic that only charted well in Australia, whats wrong with you people?
- 8. Were not gonna take it by Twisted Sister
Not since the Sex Pistols has a song made me wanna go outside and set fire to something
- 7. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
I only recently found out what this song was about. Maybe that explains why it was my favorite song when I was about fourteen. he.he.
- 6. If You Want My Love You Got It by Cheap Trick
The tune is a rip off of a beatles number but still a catchy song. Hav'nt seen it on anyone else's list. Am I the only one thats not tone deaf.
- 5. Just like Heaven by The Cure
This tune cures just about anything. Well maybe exept that rash, I'd see a doctor about that if I were u.
- 4. Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen
A top song from the early eighties. Well I thought it was anyway, and thats all that matters, anyone got a problem with that!
- 3. Working Class Man by Jimmy Barnes
An Aussie anthem. For those who have to work for a living. A shame it didnt get the overseas exposure it deserved.
- 2. With or Without You by U2
A real classic, a great song to drown your sorrows to.
- 1. Impressed by Charlie Sexton
Greatest song of all time without fear of contradiction,by a very under rated artist, off his Pictures for Pleasure albumn. Asong for anyone who has been a loser in the game of love.
Just missed out "Jack and Diane" John Cougar. "Tainted love" soft cell "You better you bet" The Who. BYE BYE.
- 10. East of Eden by Big Country
Still a great band in my eye
- 9. In a Big Country by Big Country
Great Scottish rock band, still around today I believe
- 8. Walking on a thin line by Huey Lewis
Huey had a lot of great 80's classics
- 7. Beat so Lonely by Charlie Sexton
Great guitarist, this song shoulda done better than it did
- 6. Rain on the scarecrow by John Mellencamp
- 5. Karma Cameleon by Culture Club
However the hell u spell that word
- 4. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
A bit of hard rock never hurt anyone.
- 3. Our House by Madness
Any song from this band could be on this list
- 2. Rush by Big Audio Dynamite
I think this one just made the 80's
- 1. If you leave by OMD
Great song from a great music era
This is not my top 10 80's song's, I havent compiled it yet. I have been trying to compile my favorite 100 songs for the last 6 yeas so far I have the top 2. However most of these songs will be in my top 100, they are all very, very good 80's songs
By: Geoff Speare
- 10. Obsession by Animotion
Boy would I love to see this video again...
- 9. Peek-a-Boo by Devo
The hats, baby! The hats!
- 8. Blue Jean by David Bowie
Thriller--bah, this was the good extended video of the 80s...
- 7. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
You're worthless and weak...
- 6. The Reflex by Duran Duran
This song just plain rocked. Performance video optional.
- 5. Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes
Maybe they'll play the REAL video for this some day. "Wait...there's a better way..."
- 4. I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls
How can you beat a camera stand wrapped in tin foil?
- 3. Mr. Roboto by Styx
Currently enjoying a minor comeback. Can you guess that this had a great video also?
- 2. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Another amazing song in its own right, with a wonderful, wonderful video.
- 1. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
Best song of the decade, and an incredible video to boot. A song almost had to have a great video to be a true 80s song...
There's plenty more, of course: A-ha, Dexy's Midnight Runners, etc... Harken back, to the days when MTV played "Video Music, 24 hours a day"...
- 10. Break Out by Swing Out Sister
Hearing this reminds me of walking home from a gaelic football match in 1986.
- 9. Thunder And Lightening by Thin Lizzy
This was one of Lizzy's last songs and in my opinion, the best. Every instrument is used to it's optimum effect. Aggressive and brilliant.
- 8. Nothings gonna change my love 4 U by Glenn Mederos
This was the most played song of its year, and the consequence of that is its inclusion in my top 10.
- 7. Take On Me by A Ha
Scandinavian lads A Ha got a well deserved number one for this, their debut effort.
- 6. Radio Ga Ga by Queen
A beatifully made pop song from 1984. I love it anyway.
- 5. Amor by Julio Iglesias
Julio did an excellent job of covering this ancient dancefloor track. The orchestra are particularly good.
- 4. If Only I Could by Sidney Youngblood
A song about the resignation to the fact that no amount of Idealism and wishfull thinking can change the attitudes of those around us.
- 3. Lets hear it for the boy by Deniece Williams
This song has a very humourous video, not to mention those lovely lyrics. This is a tune which belongs among the best.
- 2. Round and Round by Spandau Ballet
This has to be one of the most romantic songs ever, I just love the way the tambourine beats during the chorus.
- 1. Last Christmas by Wham!
A very special song, I always think of my childhood christmases when I hear it.
For me this is the absolute list.. I am a big fan of the 80s even though I was born 85.. I really wish that I could have experienced it.
By: jerome lepois
- 10. Foolish heart by Steve Peary
- 9. Whitesnake by Here I go Again
- 8. Michael Jackson by Bad
- 7. I've been losing you by A-ha
- 6. Walk like anEgyptain by Bangles
- 5. People are people by Depeche Mode
- 4. Alive & Kicking by Simple Minds
- 3. I want it all by Queen
- 2. Shout by Tears for fears
- 1. Warriors of the wasteland by Frankie goes to Hollywood
By: Glen McBride
- 10. Fascinated by Company B
What can I say? Great track
- 9. I love my radio by Taffy
Was the opening theme to my radio show for 6 years, and I still love it
- 8. Boys by Sabrina
Hubba Hubba Hubba Hubba
- 7. Summer Rain by Belinda Carlisle
I once wanted to marry this lady, come to think of it I might still....
- 6. The Safety Dance by Men without hats
Cheeeeeeese, but for some reason I love it
- 5. Sex...I'm a slut by Berlin
Brutal honesty! I love it!!
- 4. Girls on Film by Duran Duran
Still have nightmares about the video
- 3. Never say never by Romeo Void
First heard this in a movie called "Reckless" which was pretty B-grade, but loved the track ever since
- 2. Two Tribes by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Again loved the video
- 1. Maniac by Michael Sembello
Just liked the fil clip
Honourable mentions: "Shadows of the Night" by Pat Benetar, "Suddenly last summer" by The Motels, "There aint no age for rock and roll" by The Veterans, "Up Rock" by The Rock Steady Crew, "Buffalo Gals" by Malcolm McLaren.....
- 10. New York New York by Microchip League
A great, rare synth track. Does anybody know anything about this band?
- 9. Let's Go To Bed by The Cure
Wonderful dance track from one of the most successful and talented pop groups ever. I'm dancing now just thinking about it.
- 8. Headhunter by Front 242
Tough as nails, this band is. This is hardcore punk with keyboards.
- 7. 21st Century Boy by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
"Flaunt It" is a flawless record, and this gem might be the best track from it. Put this track on, and watch the dance floor go insane.
- 6. Situation by Yazoo
From what I consider to be the best example of synthpop from the eighties, "Upstairs at Eric's". Vince Clarke is a genius.
- 5. Living On Video by Trans-X
Great early synth cut by one of many bands that had a hit or two in the eightes before fading into obscurity.
- 4. Fly On The Windscreen by Depeche Mode
You absolutely cannot lose with this one, one of many brilliant tracks from the 1986 masterpiece "Black Celebration".
- 3. Get Down Make Love by Nine Inch nails
B-Side to the "Sin" single. Queen samples and heavy guitars make this an incredibly sexy cut that's guaranteed pack the dance floor.
- 2. Let Me Go by Heaven 17
An excellent cut with an irresistable bubbling bassline by a band that took their name from "A Clockwork Orange". Very cool.
- 1. I Love A Man In Uniform by Gang Of Four
Any band that can make dance music without synthesizers impresses the hell out of me. Easily one of the finest bands of the eighties, if not ever.
These are ten synth or dance tracks from the tops of my lists, in no particular order. I've narrowed it to the dance category only, as it would be nearly impossible to come up with only ten tracks from the entire decade.
- 10. Head On by The Pixies
Not really punk, and yet not accepted by Alternativos. Probably the most clean song I could ever love.
- 9. My War by Black Flag
The angriest song ever. No solo. Some weird spoken word in the middle, it sounds like Rollins steps back from the microphone at one point, and the bass player does not exist. Greg Ginn on guitar, need I say more?
- 8. Turn on the News by Husker Du
This probably is the ultimate proto-Alternative song. Often overlooked, I suppose, by those who like to think they are being original on the alternative scene.
- 7. Country Death Song by Violent Femmes
Sick, beautiful. A combination of the Velvet Underground, The Sex Pistols, and William Faulkner. No more need be said.
- 6. I and I Survive/ I Against I/ I by Bad Brains
Tie here for a trio of "I"-themed Bad Brains songs, all of which have ridiculous solos and incredible singing by H.R. I and I Survive is also the greatest Reggae song ever recorded, and I against I probably is the most ridiculous adrenalized song from 1985.
- 5. Sex Bomb by Flipper
Ok this actually isn't a "great" song but it is irrestible and the lyrics are retarded. Pure joy, and almost 8 minutes long of sax appeal.
- 4. Missionary by Operation Ivy
The definitive ska-core band, unfortunately broken up but fortunately has formed Rancid and Common Rider. This is a violent and one-take number which I would take with me anywhere where self-righteousness ran amuck.
- 3. Pay To Cum by Bad Brains
This is probably the fastest song ever. This band doesn't get enough respect, and yet anyone who has heard of them probably loves them.
- 2. Storm in my House by The Minutemen
Co-written by Henry Rollins of Black Flag, this is probably the most likeable song on this list to non-punk fans. Gentle, yet tempestuous.
- 1. Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag
I don't know if there is a better punk song than this. Ever.
Top Albums Damaged by Black Flag, Bad Brains, Violent Femmes, Junkyard by the Birthday Party, and Fugazi's 13 Songs have some other beauties.
By: Brendan Decker
- 10. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
That whole album was a winner.
- 9. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
Great drinking song. Sadly enough, I never realized it until college (in the 90's).
- 8. It's Tricky by Run DMC
The pioneers of rap, in my opinion.
- 7. Luka by Suzanne Vega
I hated it, but I liked it. Go figure.
- 6. The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & The News
Don't need money, don't take fame, don't need no credit card to ride this train? Good music, but I wish I could believe in the lyrics...
- 5. We Built This City by Starship
If they took that stupid traffic report out of the song, it would have been total 80's cheez!
- 4. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leopard
I always wanted to pour some sugar on myself after hearing that song. Never got around it, yet.
- 3. Down Under by Men At Work
Makes me think I want to eat a Vegemite sandwich.
- 2. Jump by Van Halen
I could not tire of it, no matter how many times I heard it play on my walkman on the bus before baseball/soccer games in JR High.
- 1. Ghostbuster's by Ray Parker Jr
Propped up on pillows in the back seat of my dad's blue station wagon (so I could look out the window),and eating circus peanuts by the bag, I remember singing this song well over a thousand times on the way down to Disney World in 1984. Who ya gonna Call!!!
Honorable Mention I am pushing the envelope with these since they may be different decades of music), however they deserve credit...B52's-Roam, Dianna Ross-Upside Down. Wow, thanks for the memories. I wasted almost a full day of work thinking about this list. If only they had The Internet in the 80's!
- 10. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
I felt I had to get Duran in there somewhere - you can't get more 80s than these guys. Overlooked by most on the site but, in hindsight, is probably one of their strongest songs.
- 9. Close To Me by The Cure
A huge hit at home in Australia. The music video was a masterpiece for it's time and still holds it's own today.
- 8. Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie
We strained our ears to the lyrics of this song as kids. Did he say 'Fun to Funky' or something else...
- 7. Beautiful World by Devo
Everyone seems to favour Whip It from the flower pot men. But for me, this funky number sums up the wonderful humour and social parody of Devo's work.
- 6. Kids In America by Kim Wilde
I remember a hot summer spent in the local swimming pool with all the neighbourhood kids learning the words to this song. "Looking out a dirty old window..."
- 5. Into The Groove by Madonna
Not many signs of this on the site but just try and not dance to this. Another HUGE hit at home in Australia - it was No1 forever. Big disappointment when she didn't play it on her tour.
- 4. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
When punk hit the dance floor.
- 3. When Doves Cry by Prince
Funky, throbbing beat combined with oh so 80s melodramatic lyrics.
- 2. Bizarre Love Traingle by New Order
One of the most influential and inventive bands of the 80s. This is them at their commercial best. Great 12" remix too.
- 1. Don't You Want Me by Human League
I still love this song - like most everyone else on this site! The smoothest and most perfect example of all 80s synth.
I just found this site and I refuse to log out without submitting my list! My criteria is as follows: 1. The song had to encapsulate something specifically 80s (e.g. I love REM and 'Fall on Me' but I don't think they scream 80s) 2. The song had to stand the test of time and be something I still play (e.g. I loved Bananarama at the time but haven't played them for years) So here goes - HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again Simple Minds - Glittering Prize ABC - Poison Arrow Spandau Ballet - Gold Flock of Seagulls - I Ran Heaven 17 - Temptation Yaz - Don't Go And with special mention to Australian bands: INXS - Original Sin Icehouse - Great Southern Land Real Life - Send Me An Angel
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