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: Angela P.
- 10. Walking on The Moon by The Police
How do you choose the BEST Police song exactly?? Can't say enough about this band. My husband thinks they're too "thinky" and can't stand Sting's voice but I don't care. They still rate a top ten mention. I'll lump Sting's solo efforts from the 80's into this one, too.
- 9. Under the Milky Way by The Church
Wow! This song always brings back so many memories. Enough said.
- 8. Like A Prayer by Madonna
What better way to follow up a Prince song than with a Madonna song?? And this one was one of her best, in my humble opinion. She was still creating controversy as late as '89 when this album came out (remember the video?) My CD still smells like patchouli.
- 7. Gett Off by Prince
I remember hearing this song for the first time in my car during a Sunday morning R&B radio show. Not the one "The Artist Formerly Known As" gets remembered for (basically anything from "Purple Rain" is all most people know), but in my opinion this is his best HIT song (not to be confused with all the songs on his albums that never got released as singles - many, many more of those that are just plain unbelievable compared to some of the other crap that came out in the '80s.)
- 6. Lover Girl by Tina ????
This song - again a one-hit wonder - just totally kicks serious butt!! I am ashamed that I cannot recall her last name because she was one funky chick! And I recall she had an eyebrow ring WAY before it was fashionable.
- 5. A Night Like This by The Cure
Again, I must point out that the earlier album - "Head on the Door" is a much better album than "Kiss Me" (but didn't get the same cross-market airplay).
- 4. Kiss On My List by Hall & Oates
This song began a love affair with a duo that set all sorts of new records in the '80s. Remember that show "Solid Gold"? I used to sit 5 inches from the TV whenever Hall & Oates were on. Daryl Hall forever influenced my taste in men (they have to be tall, blonde and skinny).
- 3. The One Thing by INXS
"Shabooh Shabah" beats "Kick" hands down as their best album. This is the stuff that came out BEFORE they were a household name. Miss ya Mike!
- 2. There is a Light and it Never Goes Out by The Smiths
"How Soon is Now" gets more mentions but personally, "There is a Light" has much more sentimental value for me. Used to listen to this one over and over....
- 1. Life in a Northern Town by Dream Academy
Best but most underrated band of the '80s.
Didn't have room to mention Duran Duran, Robbie Neville, Nik Kershaw, Sheila E., Kate Bush, The Pixies, Basia, The La's, The The, World Party, XTC, Tears For Fears, The Cult, etc. etc. etc.
- 10. Everytime I Look At You by Kiss
reminds me of my missus
- 9. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jnr
very good song to a very good film
- 8. Bad by Michael Jackson
sad but i liked it
- 7. Something I Can Never Have by Trent Reznor
very good song
- 6. Under The Bridge by red hot chilli peppers
very good song hits you were it hearts and then some brilliant riffs
- 5. Breadfan by Metallica
another classic song from the tallica the riff is bloody cool and equally hard to play
- 4. How Can You Be So Cruel by David Bowie
taken from the labyrinth soundtrack this is one of my favorites
- 3. Cake And Sodomy by Marilyn Manson
very cool song the guitaring is superb
- 2. Cowboys From Hell by Pantera
this song just kicks ass
- 1. Turn The Page by Metallica
as the band says this song is what its like to pull a bird and the feeling you get the next day
most are metal but then again im a metaller and im god
- 10. High on You by Survivor
This song makes you feel so good to be in love, or at least, in infatuation.
- 9. Der Komissar by After the Fire
Can't sit still when this one comes on, either.
- 8. If You Leave by OMD
From the unforgettable prom scene in "Pretty in Pink". We all wished our proms could have been so dramatically romantic.
- 7. New Moon on Monday by Duran Duran
Duran Duran has got to be (in my opinion) the greatest band of the '80s. I love all their songs but this one's my favorite.
- 6. Saved by Zero/Red Skies by The Fixx
It's impossible to sit still listening to "Saved by Zero".
- 5. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
Another beautiful love song.
- 4. Respect by Erasure
"I try to discover a little something to make me sweeter..." What a great way to open a song.
- 3. Hold Me Now by The Thompson Twins
It's hard to choose the most beautiful love song of the '80s. I think this is it.
- 2. Take On Me by A-ha
Happiest song of the '80s.
- 1. Electric Blue by Icehouse
Aside from being a gorgeous song, it embodies the romantic angst of '80s teens. Besides, my favorite '80s teen heartthrobs - Andrew McCarthy and Eric Stoltz - have (electric) blue eyes.
Honorable mentions to "The Promise" When in Rome, "Burning Down the House" Talking Heads, "Tarzan Boy" Baltimora, "(I Don't Want to Lose) Your Love" The Outfield, "Owner of a Lonely Heart" Yes, "One Night in Bangkok" Murray Head, and many, many more.
- 10. IOU by Freez
These are going to be all obscure tracks, more or less, that still shine through the years...
- 9. Love Resurrection by Alison Moyet
Another chante fatale...
- 8. We Belong by Pat Benatar
In early 1985 (I was 15) this was played quite often on Radio Luxembourg - I remember listening to what they called "Next Week's Top 40" at night under my duvet...
- 7. Who's Zoomin' Who by Aretha Franklin
- 6. P Machinery by Propaganda
Even today I have no clue as to what the song is about. I stopped caring a long time ago, though.
- 5. Lost In Music (84 remix) by Sister Sledge
This is much more an eighties song to me. There's something hypnotizing in this track.
- 4. Don't Mess With Doctor Dream by Thompson Twins
Rather extravagant intro - and NOT one of their biggest hits, but still a nice memory from 1985
- 3. My Heart Goes Bang by Dead Or Alive
The album track was quite silly, but listen to the intro on the remixed 7" version... Shame it only made Top 30
- 2. Say I'm Your Number One/After The Love Has Gone by Princess
She was ugly as hell, and the first time I saw her picture I said to myself "no way". But songs were excellent - early S/A/W, maybe that's why
- 1. It Doesn't Have To Be This Way by Blow Monkeys
Not necessarily a Number One at all, and so rich in production. I often wonder what all those obscure artists do for a living now?
Oh, and thanks - whoever it was - for mentioning Sharpe and Numan's "Change Your Mind".
By: m brown
- 10. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
The guy in the Vid spins round and round. How cool is that. Probably the best video ever and the quintessential 80's cheese metal.
- 9. Betray by Minor Threat
If you were a white, skateboarding, punk rock suburban teen boy in the 80's, how could this song not make you fall apart. Made guys I know celibate and give up booze and drugs.
- 8. Battery by Metallica
Remember when Metallica was the coolest most uncompromising band. Alas. However this is the heaviest song ever. Period. The production is unreal.
- 7. Girls on Film by Duran Duran
How good is this song? The weird thing is Duran were critiqued to no end as a boy band back then. Now we know better. A perfect pop song.
- 6. How Soon is Now by the Smiths
One of the best intros to any song. Instant recognition. Helped me to no end pick up art girls. Thanks Morrissey.
- 5. Smoothered Hope by Skinny Puppy
The best industrial song I've ever heard. Still the most original, I've never heard another song like it. Skinny Puppy's first, they never matched it again.
- 4. Word up by Cameo
This song is so cool and you've all forgotten it. "Word up, what's the word..."
- 3. Ceremony by New Order
Other New Order Songs were more famous, but this is their most sublime. I can still fall apart to it.
- 2. She Watches Channel Zero by Public Enemy
The best rap song ever is really a metal song. The Slayer riff is the best use of a sample ever. Great hypocritical lyrics. Did I mention it samples Slayer?
- 1. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
The best song ever. An unequalled moment when a pop group achieves high art. People kill themselves to this (including the singer). Unparalleled.
To that guy who put Dan Hartman #1. Well done. That is a great song and totally forgotten.
By: Trevor McFadden
- 10. Love Bites by Def Leppard
No, the name isn't "Deaf Leopard" like so many people believe.
- 9. I Ran by Flock of Seagulls
New Wave got old quick...
- 8. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
The ultimate 80s band
- 7. Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Strangely rhythmic and catchy
- 6. You Spin Me Right Round by Dead or Alive
Dual vocalists works real well.
- 5. You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC
Best ACDC album, great energy song.
- 4. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
Who needs the Eagles?
- 3. Pride by U2
The song that officially launched U2 to stardom.
- 2. A View to a Kill by Duran Duran
The absolute best Bond theme ever! No song captured the mood of Bond quite like this one did.
- 1. With or Without You by U2
From "The Joshua Tree," proves U2 was/is the greatest band on Earth.
Other U2 greats that could be here: Where The Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, New Year's Day. Honourable Mentions: Bon Jovi, The Police, Bryan Adams.
By: Shay Bar-Or
- 10. Touch me by Samantha fox
*Innocent* song, for innocent people.. ;-)
- 9. The final countdown by Europe
- 8. Self Control by Laura Branigan
A great dance song...GO LAURA! :-)
- 7. I should be so lucky by Kylie minogue
Kylie was the pop queen of the 80's, and this song proves it!
- 6. Ella Ella l'a by France gall
I really love french, and this is one of the best french 80's songs in my opinion... everytime I am dipressed I listen to it and I feel better... Try it yourselves!
- 5. Take on me by A-ha
- 4. La isla bonita by Madonna
- 3. Fame by Irene Cara
- 2. Moonlight Shadows by The shadows
No words... Its just the best ballade of the 80's
- 1. Maria Magdalena by Sandra
I think Sandra was one of the best 80's-dance genre, and I just love this song! A party without this song is not a real party! I don't think that the most of you know it by its name, but when you hear it- you will sure recognize...
Hi there! My name is shay and I am from Israel. though I was born in 1984 the 80's music is my favourite one, and there isn't one single day that I don't listen to this music. A few more songs I wanted to mention as "very very good" : 1.Tell me lies - FleetWood Mac 2.Maniac - Michael Sembello 3.Voyage Voyage - Desireless 4.Keep me hanging on - Kim Wilde 5.Locomotion - Kylie minogue 5.
By: J Ryan Sweeney
- 10. World Shut your Mouth by Julian Cope
Chicks hate this song.
- 9. REM by Superman
This is back in the mid 80's when this band still had teeth. Murmur is a Fantastic album, and mabye the best ever. The 90's destroyed this band and I turn off the radio whenever I hear their new stuff.
- 8. U2 by Pride
I like alot of thier work. Being of descent Irish, I'm almost compelled to like them. Do not however like or neccessary agree with their politcs.
- 7. Red Rider by Lunatic Fringe
This song gets your blood flowing. It was used many inspirational times in the movie Vision Quest(which also has a great soundtrack).
- 6. Melt with you by Modern English
This is a great song, however this is the only track I like.
- 5. Reptile by The Church
I like alot of their stuff, bought four of their ablums. This is their best song though.
- 4. Lips like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen
This song and the #6 song is where I bend back to the majority of other lists.
- 3. Psychedelic Furs by Here Come Cowboys
Whole Mirror Moves and Forever Now albums are great. This song for whatever reason stand out for me, despite the dumb title.
- 2. Happy When it Rains by Jesus and Mary Chain
I didn't discover this band until the early nineties when I was in college. Fraternity buddy left it in my car and I listened to Darklands for six months straight.
- 1. Train in Vain by The Clash
Love this song, whenever I hear it, I have to stop what I'm doing and just listen. Rolling Stone voted London Calling the best album of the 80's. This track is on that album but is not listed.
My list is somewhat different from most. I don't have the sappy love songs or toe tappers. Most of these songs don't even get a mention of other lists. I grew up in the 80's and all my first's generate from this decade. First girlfriend, sex, beer, etc. I believe that the music today is on the whole awful, the only band I consistently listen to from the 90's is Green Day.
- 10. I would die 4 U by Prince
- 9. Adult education by Hall & Oates
- 8. Jeanny by Falco
- 7. I like chopin by Gazebo
- 6. The promise you made by Cock Robin
- 5. The sound of the music by Dayton
- 4. Somebody's watching me by Rockwell
- 3. Love of the common people by Paul Young
- 2. We are the young by Dan Hartman
- 1. We just by Moses
- 10. Take my breath away by Berlin
- 9. American Sovjets by CCCP
- 8. In Zaire by Jonny Wakelin
- 7. Nineteen by Paul Hardcastle
- 6. And when the rain begins to fall by Pia Zadora
- 5. The night by Valerie Dore
- 4. Donīt answer me by Alan Parson Project
- 3. This is not america by David + ?
- 2. We belong by Pat Benetar
- 1. Hit that perfect beat boy by Bronski Beat
By: R. Kwan
- 10. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Okay, I admit I haven't mentioned a female artist on the list, sorry, those were my favorite songs. I think True Colors is quite beautiful, I liked the lyrics and the music. Shows that people are beautiful in each and every way.
- 9. Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
I never figured out why I liked that one. I'm not even sure why it's about masturbation to some people, I had a different interpretation. Anyways, the song gets addictive the more you hear it. Occasionally annoying to some people I know.
- 8. Perfect Way by Scritti Politti
Read the song's lyrics carefully. This is a philosophical song, he mentions something about communism, I think. Even the song's title tells you. Oh yeah, Green Gartside's one of the cutest guys I've ever seen :). Also really nice falsetto vocals.
- 7. Vienna Calling by Falco
Ok ok, I admit, Falco has some of the cheesiest songs ever made, rap in German and funny lyrics, but his songs are kind of catchy. Although I don't get one word he's rapping, I love this song. Too bad he died, he was a good rapper despite silliness.
- 6. Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield
Well, I thought this song was quite cute. Innocent lyrics and nice music. The song makes me smile. The poor guy in the song.
- 5. Stripped by Depeche Mode
Well, this is one their most beautiful songs. Depeche Mode is definitely another underrated band. Their songs take on a really dark nature and the lyrics to this one says a lot. The music is really haunting, but excellent for the song. This song deserves a lot of credit.
- 4. Nothing But A Good Time by Poison
Who doesn't need it? This song has got it all, the mood, the feeling, the wild energy needed. I love the guitar raffs, also the music is excellent. The lyrics rock!
- 3. Girls Girls Girls by Motley Crue
Yes, this is definitely one of their best! The energy, the lyrics, the wild feeling in the song says it all! It's not sexist as some people may think, but mostly about some guys going to a strip show. Really cool song and one of their best!
- 2. Praying for Time by George Michael
Well, the song was made in 1990, but it's close enough. This is one of his best, Praying for Time talks about how greedy the people are and how we've forgotten to give. It's quite nice and it's perhaps one of his most underrated songs.
- 1. Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx
I think Richard Marx has been one of the most underrated artists in the music industry. He had a lot of really good songs and a lot of people seem to forget his name, but not his songs. I would put him as one of the top artists of the 20th century. This song has some of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard.
This is in no particular order. Sorry about mentioning so many male artists :P.
- 10. Take On Me by Aha
loved the video
- 9. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
they had to make the list twice, biggest band of the 80's
- 8. Foolish Heart by Steve Perry
best slow song of the decade
- 7. The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
i think of an old friend, chuckie craig, when i hear this song
- 6. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
the woman in the video was beautiful
- 5. Summer Of 69 by Bryan Adams
was he the best that year or what
- 4. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
best song in my senior year of high school
- 3. Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson
diana ross in video
- 2. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
love the drums
- 1. Beat It by Michael Jackson
he's a legend
80's was best decade ever and michael jackson was the leader of the decade
By: Nic K.
- 10. Love Bites by Def Leppard
Love, heartache, break ups, isn't that what the 80's were about.
- 9. Landslide by Stevie Nicks
Love Stevie Nicks. The lyrics to this song are just incredible. Don't know anyone who doesn't like this one.
- 8. Faithfully by Journey
Still makes me cry everytime. They still play this one at all the proms and weddings.
- 7. Sister christian by Night Ranger
Everyone likes this one!
- 6. High on you by Survivor
Just reminds me of the 80's!
- 5. Dress you up by Madonna
This song reminds me of when I first starting liking Madonna. I actually still have this song on my workout tape.
- 4. Hysteria by Def Leppard
I love Def Leppard and this song just says it all.
- 3. Fallen Angel by Poison
The intro just sounds like true 80's rock.
- 2. Crazy for you by Madonna
Can never get tired of this song or Madonna!
- 1. Love walks in by Van Halen
This is how it all begins! And I do happen to like Sammy over david.
By: Paul Manchester
- 10. Pride (in the name of Love) by U2
The best from U2, launching them to global success
- 9. Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Hey, it got banned by Radio 1 in the Uk, that must make it good :o)
- 8. Aint what ya do (it's the way that ya do it) by Fun Boy 3/bananarama
Great track, introduced bananarama to the world by one of the great SKA innovators
- 7. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
Some's up the 80's, great video as well
- 6. Kiss by Prince & the Revolution
Such a Funk Song
- 5. Love will Tear us Apart by Joy Division
Haunting song, from one of the original Indie Bands, saw these in Manchester, Uk live, awesome, went onto become New Order after lead singer suicide
- 4. Come Live with me by Heaven 17
Much underated band
- 3. Temptation by Heaven 17
Great song from one half of the origan Human League, sits very easily with modern dance music
- 2. Fascination by Human League
Human Leagues best
- 1. 1999 by Prince & the Revolution
A great Funky Song, and the introduction of Prince to the mainstream public......
All songs not in any particular order........
By: Burton Fleisher
- 10. Cutie Pie by One Way
Another club favorite
- 9. Flirt by Cameo
Word up, Single Life and Candy also deserve honorable mentions.
- 8. Party Train by Gap Band
Drop the bomb on me, Early in the morning and Outstanding deserve honorable mentions
- 7. Lets Pretend were married by Prince
from the 1999 album, which had allot of good tracks.
- 6. No Parking on the dance floor by Midnight Star
Electricity, Freakazoid, Operator and Slow song were big at the clubs too.
- 5. Big Fun by Inner City
One of the songs that got the Chicago House scene started back in 86'
- 4. Do it by The Barkays
A club favorite
- 3. Keep it Live / Let It Whip by The Dazz Band
2 Great dance tunes
- 2. Superfreak / 69 Times by Rick James
'My name is slick Rick"
- 1. Jungle Love by Morris Day & The Time
"In my room, I have a brass waterbed..." The Time was the best of the Minnesota sound bands.
I just wanted to see some of the great 80's R&B stuff that was playing at the clubs. So here is a list of some that I remember.
- 10. I Dont Mind At All by Bourgois Tagg
A beautiful slow song from 87 that is fun to sing along to
- 9. Get Into The Groove by Madonna
Whenever i play this people get excited to dance to it, unlike some other madonna songs that just spark an OH GREAT ANOTHER MADONNA SONG
- 8. Down Under by Men At Work
Dont ever try vegemite if you dont know already what it is, yuck
- 7. Standing At The Feet Of The Moon by Parachute Club
This is one of those love it or hate it songs and i always loved it
- 6. I Ran by Flock of Seagulls
I recently played this song at a new years eve party and it was incredible to watch people dancing and singing to it....still
- 5. Shout by Tears For Fears
Let it all out......
- 4. Send Me An Angel by Real Life
I wasnt much of a bike enthusiast but when i saw the movie RAD this song became part of me forever
- 3. Go Insane by Lindsey Buckingham
Not much to say its just a great song, and hey we all wanna go insane sometimes
- 2. The Chauffer by Duran Duran
This song still haunts me with its intro, i loved Duran Duran in the 80's, one of the definitive groups of course of the era
- 1. New Orleans Is Sinking by Tragically Hip
Canadian band that just plain puts it all out there, this is one of the best songs ever recorded, for those in the states that havent heard of them its because MTV banned them in 92 for a controversial song and video making it difficult to become big there but they have released 8 ro 9 studio albums here and all are incredible
honorable mentions: This list is of course impossible to anyone that grew up in the 80's it seems to cover such a big span of music. Admittedly i listened to a lot of top 40 but being from a small town i was not privy to a lot of the New Wave, Alternative of the 80's . So i mention ""Istanbul not Constantinople, They Might be Giants", One Night In Bangkok, Murray Head, Tokyo Rose, Idle Eyes, Things Can Only Get Better, Howard Jones and Raspberry Beret, Prince
- 10. Is There Something I Should Know? by Duran Duran
- 9. New Sensation by INXS
- 8. Hyperactive by Thomas Dolby
- 7. Generals And Majors by XTC
- 6. Love Plus One by Haircut 100
- 5. I Will Follow by U2
- 4. Pride ( In The Name Of Love) by U2
- 3. Two Hearts Beat As One by U2
- 2. Bad by U2
- 1. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
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