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: Alex Schroeder
- 10. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
Another hit from Bon Jovi.
- 9. Rock You Like A Hurricane by Scorpions
Heavy metal from some of the best.
- 8. Wild Side by Motley Crue
Best song from one of the best bands of all time.
- 7. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
One of the most popular song of the decade.Half metal and half ballad.
- 6. Down Under by Men at Work
Awesome song from the Aussies.
- 5. I Still Haven`t Found What I'm Looking For by U2
Good song.A departure from traditional 80`s rock music.
- 4. Fade to Black by Mettalica
Kirk Hammett is excellent in this song with great lyrics.
- 3. Jump by Van Halen
Great song by one of the best bands of all time.
- 2. The Final Countdown by Europe
Barely missed #1.Keyboard riff is unbelievable.Excellent song.
- 1. Livin on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi defined 80`s heavy metal.It doesn`t get better than Livin on a Prayer.
By: John Shoffner
I would say these songs had a huge impact on my life. Surprisingly, I've still turned out pretty well adjusted.....LOL
- 10. Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails
A phenomenal song and debut. No more need be said.
- 9. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
What a sad sad song. It still gets me.
- 8. Lucretia, My Reflection / This Corrosion by Sisters of Mercy
Floodland was a great album. The Sisters don't really deserve to be dumped into any decade, they are timeless. These 2 songs are definately 80's tho.
- 7. Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) by Icicle Works
I remember listening to this album after I got it endlessly for almost a week. Modern English "Riccochet Days" finally supplanted it when I got new acquistions from Blue Meanies Records.
- 6. Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
An 80's monument. I prefer to dance and listen to "A Forest" and a zillion other Cure songs to this one, but the nostalgia factor puts it on my 80's list.
- 5. The Cutter by Echo and The Bunnymen
Pretty much any song from Crocodile or Ocean Rain could be here. They are an amazing band, and phenomenal in concert. "What Are You Going To Do (with your life)" is my number one song for the 90's.
- 4. Cities in Dust by Siouxsie and The Banshees
This always got me on the dancefloor also Dear Prudence, and Hong Kong Garden. After Kiss Them For Me, she sort of began sucking....
- 3. How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths
I love dancing to this. I like other Smith's songs (This Charming Man, Panic) a lot, but this is one of those 80's hallmarks.
- 2. People are People by Depeche Mode
I like other songs(But Not Tonight, Policy of Truth) much much more. It was one of the 1st I heard by them and is quintessentially 80's.
- 1. Everyday (is Halloween) by Ministry
The only song guaranteed to get me on the dancefloor, even with broken limbs.
It's really impossible to do a top ten list. It would be easier if it was broken down into categories, but you'd end up with things like "Top Ten 80's Moody German Synthpop" and the like. Honorable mention to: Eurythmics, Human League, Modern English, Visage, Cetu Javu, XTC, Japan, Alphaville, Icehouse, The Models, EBN-0ZN, Pet Shop Boys, Camoflage, Suzanne Vega, and a million others like the Dead Milkmen, The Clash, The Ramones, The Jam.... God it's an endless list. Now I have to do a list of Ska/Mod tunes....
By: denise molina
- 10. 867-5309 by Tommy Tutone
One hit wonder!
- 9. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol
I thought he was the hotest guy on earth as a kid! HAHAHA!
- 8. Criminal World by David Bowie
This man is so weird but so sexy at the same time. MY all time favourit artist.
- 7. Pride by U2
History just isn't the same without this band!
- 6. Cry Little Sister by Sisters of Mercy
One of my all time fav movies! I had a crush on all those hairy 80's guys!!
- 5. You're a strange animal by Gowan
- 4. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult
- 3. Cuts both ways by Gloria Estefan
One of many good songs by Gloria.
- 2. Glory of Love by Peter Cetera
This will be played at my future wedding!
- 1. I Wana Know What Love Is by Foreigner
The best love song in the world!! But then the 80's has the best love songs period.
I love 80's music even though I'm 90's generation. I grew up with it coz of my very cool big sister Lisa! I wanted to be just like her during the 80's!
By: Chuck Gowing
- 10. People Are People by Depeche Mode
I loved Depeche Mode well before this single came out. When I was in High School I got a kick out of my friends saying "that new band Depeche Mode" just 'cuz the song is so radio friendly. It's still a classic.
- 9. Headhunter by Front 242
More industrial than new wave - but damn catchy. Probably the best bridge from old school synthpop to new school "mainstream" industrial.
- 8. Talk Talk by Talk Talk
I know it's said that pop and angst usually don't mix well in music. At synth based music is hardly emotional - but I can feel Mark Hollis's pain here.
- 7. Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones
I used to think I only sang along with this song when I was drunk. But honestly, it can be just as fun sober.
- 6. Height of the Fighting by Heaven 17
As a spin off of the Human League, they took the more "alternative sounding" route. Listen to this one and you'll see why.
- 5. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Culture Club
Boy Goerge, you have no idea how you and this song changed my life. I think for many people.
- 4. Love On Your Side by Thompson Twins
I know most people think of "Hold Me Now" when this band's name comes up - but it has that synth edginess that can't be beat.
- 3. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
Can this video be any cooler. Annie, you rocked my world.
- 2. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
In many ways, got the whole thing started here in America
- 1. Don't You Want Me by Human League
No other band or song could possibly represent this era better
I appreciate the Human League more now than ever. They began recording in 1978 and are still together and recording now. Their material, at times, may seem dated - but the message and the medium are timeless.
By: Marc Maltais
- 10. You're The Voice by John Farnham
ohhhhh ohhhhhhhh ohhhhhhhhhhh wooohh oooohhhhhhhhhh!!
- 9. Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics
- 8. Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger
- 7. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
- 6. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
come on eileennnnnnn
- 5. New Years Day by U2
I wanna be with you, night and day! :o)
- 4. Fade To Grey by Visage
Devenir gris !
- 3. Major Tom by Peter Schilling
4 3 2 1 ...
- 2. I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls
...and i rannnnnnnn....i rannn so far away..
- 1. Weekend Rock by Puzzle
Maybe a 1979 or 1980 song but very popular in the beginning of the 80's.. The best "rollerskate" song ever... Rockennnn Rockennnnn Weekend rock..Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! :o)
Phil Collins & Phil Bailey - Easy lover A Ah - Take on me Alphaville - Big in japan Billy Idol - Eyes Without a Face Billy Joel - Uptown girl Buggles - On tv Cyndi Lauper - All through the night Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round (like a record) Kid Creole - Male curiosity Lime - Guilty Madness - Our house Natch and Nebel - Ready to dance Phil Collins & Phil Bailey - Easy lover Simple Minds - Alive and kicking etc.....etc....etc...... :o)
By: allen carter
- 10. Two Occasions by The Deele
A karaoke favorite where I live for some reason. It's a shame though. They choose one of the best R&B love songs to ruin.
- 9. Stuck With You by Huey Lewis&The News
Song#2 from this group. When I finally got all the lyrics, I really started loving this song.
- 8. If This Is It by Huey Lewis&The News
Just one of the two songs that I love from this group. This one really tugs at my emotions.
- 7. Don't Get Me Wrong by The Pretenders
Heard this song during an old episode of Saturday Night Live with them as a musical guest. I later got it on an '80s pop compilation CD. Another catchy rock/pop song of the '80s.
- 6. Nite and Day by Al B. Sure!
Almost as catchy as "Something About You." I remember singing the chorus over and over after I heard it for the first time.
- 5. I Want To Be Your Man by Roger
Didn't like it when it first came out, but when I heard it played a few months ago on the radio, I grew a love for it. It's really a superb love song.
- 4. Don't Disturb This Groove by The System
This one falls into the category of one of the best songs nobody's heard of. It has a great guitar intro---unusual for an R&B Song---and a great chorus. Another victim of the one-hit wonder syndrome: Make a song so great its success can't be repeated.
- 3. Something About You by Level 42
This would've been number one, but I was trying to list songs by personal attatchment. This one is purely technical. Despite the fact that the video and the lyrics were kinda weird, this song boasts the single best hook in the music industry. Once you listen to it you hum it until they play it again. I heard it again for the first time in 11 years back in 1997 and I have burned and downloaded every single version that I could find---including buying the video and concert collections on tape.
- 2. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
I had a crush on this girl in first grade when I saw the video. I basically came away from it thinking "If this guy can get a girl, maybe there's hope for me to."
- 1. I'm Still Standing by Elton John
This is the one song that puts me in a good mood every time I hear it. I remember the very first time that I saw the video, I must've been about six. Coincidentally, my family was on the way to the beach. To this day, I cannot walk near a beach without thinking of that song.
- 10. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
They were the first band I ever saw live...Chris Issak opened for them! And this song made me want to be a Thompson Twin too!
- 9. A Little Respect by Erasure
More good clean Electro Pop
- 8. Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carisle
She still looks good and can rock the house. Belinda was and still is 80s bliss.
- 7. If You Leave by OMD
Again, an 80s favorite.
- 6. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
A song on everybody's 80s soundtrack.
- 5. I Think Were Alone Now by Tiffany
Ok - a little bubblegum never hurt anyone...especially when it comes from one of the most underated voices of the 80s...have you heard her new album, 'Color of Silence'? Its bloody brilliant!
- 4. Strangelove by Depeche Mode
I could sing this song over and over...Pain...will you return it?
- 3. West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys
Electro Pop at its very very best. The Pet Shop Boys could easily be the best electronic band ever.
- 2. Into The Groove by Madonna
This song can make me dance in even the dullest of situations!
- 1. Shoulder To Cry On by Tommy Page
One of the best ballads of all time about true friendship. Tommy is one of the nicest guys I have ever met too!
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- 10. Every Breath You Take by The Police
The cronic of the obsessive love... I love it... everytime the song play I'll sing along, every move...
- 9. Take Me On by A-HA
- 8. Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
LOL!!! Do you remember Dirty Dancing?! "I carried the watermelon"...
- 7. Karma Khameleon by Culture Club
Boy George is another singer you can criticize from his(?) hair to his feet.. But that video on the steamship is so 80's!!!
- 6. I Melt With You by Modern English
Beautiful lyrics to a cool melody.
- 5. Like A Virgin by Madonna
You may say she's boring, she's provocative, she's nothing... but you HAVE to agree, nothing is more 80's than those little screams after the words "Like a Virgin"...
- 4. (Don't You) Forget About Me by Simple Minds
That one shows us what a simple movie can do to a simple song.
- 3. By My Side by INXS
Great arrangements, great lyrics, great song... Australia can make music too.
- 2. Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Not only girls had fun listening and dancing to that one.
- 1. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by The Smiths
Do I really need to say anything about this song? :)
By: Amy LaChance
Most of this stuff was retro by the time I got into music, but these are definitely my favorites from the 80s station.
By: Steven Robinson
- 10. Velvet by A-Ha
listen to this song and you'll know what i mean
- 9. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
this song is another example of the 80's style
- 8. A View To A Kill by Duran Duran
yes, it is bond, james bond, and this is the song which is most associated with the great francise that is James Bond 007 licenced to kill
- 7. Every Breath You Take by Police
this song was recently covered by the well know "puff daddy"
- 6. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Yet another classic song from the 80's. This guy has such a cool voice. Check out the lalalala ending it rules!
- 5. Red Red Wine by UB40
this is an absolute classic reggae song which has a tremendously fun rhythm.
- 4. I'm Still Standing by Elton John
this song will lift your spirits and show that what doesn't defeat us only makes us stronger, aka this song
- 3. Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
A really solid love song from those pet shop boys, they have great voices don't u think? The chorus of this song is very memorable indeed.
- 2. Take On Me by A-Ha
yes, the top two songs are from A HA, and they certainly deserve it. This is an excellent song, which has the best introduction I have ever heard.
- 1. The Sun Always Shines On TV by A-HA
stunning piece of music which just grows and grows and me everytime i hear it. This song never gets tiresome
you can download most of these songs from "napster". Go to www.napster.com and download the software free of charge. This is the best piece of software and computer can have!
By: Jaime Zapata
- 10. The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics
It's too late when we die.
- 9. Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle
One of the divas from the 80's. Totally refreshing.
- 8. All I Want Is You by U2
oh, yes it is!!!
- 7. Sailing by Christopher Cross
Yeah, let's begin the decade with this
- 6. When Smokey Sings by ABC
Debonnair lullabies from memories revealed
- 5. The Captain Of Her Heart by Double
A perfect song for lonely midnights, almost perfection from an obscure band fro Switzerland
- 4. Time Stand Still by Rush
Freeze these moments a little bit longer, but it's too late, almost 14 years
- 3. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
Why not? is anybody here that remember the crowd and the jam in the video??? Unforgettable
- 2. Love Song by The Cure
The most commercial song from one of the melancholiest albums of the 80s
- 1. Woman by John Lennon
Lennon's dead, the dream is over , but the eighties began
-Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic-The Police -Moonlight Shadow-Mike Oldfield -Watching The Wheels-John Lennon -Every Breath You Take-The Police -Avalon- Roxy Music
By: J.D. Brown
- 10. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
Just last year I heard this song played by a one man band on the street of Oxford. I gave him a pound just for origionality and taste in music.
- 9. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
What a cool song!
- 8. I'm Lost in You by Rod Stewart
One of the first cassette singles I purchased. I played it over and over again in my very cool Alpine that had auto rewind. My 80 Grand Prix was a classic as well.
- 7. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
Once I figured out that Tracy was a girl, I was able to adjust o.k.
- 6. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
Who could ever forget Say Anything. What a great flick.
- 5. Lost in Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson
I saw Deborah G. perform in Joseph and His Amazing . . . Dreamcoat. She has a lisp too. I was too blinded by love to realize this as a youth.
- 4. Something About You by Level 42
Although the Guy had a lisp, I still thought he was pretty cool.
- 3. It Might Be You by Stephen Bishop
O.K. I am a cheese ball. But I am not a sap!
- 2. Can't Stay Away from You by Gloria and the Sound Machine
I don't remember how many girls I dedicated this song to.
- 1. If You Leave by OMD
I remember the first time I heard this song on the radio. I bought the "45" the very next day and still love this song.
What made the 80's great was the sucess of the one hit wonders and the ability of great singers to make their own imprint on the decade (Billy Joel, Dire Straits, Reo Speedwagon, etc.) I miss this music very much!!
- 10. When Doves Cry by Prince
- 9. Patience by Guns & Roses
- 8. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
- 7. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
- 6. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
- 5. Africa by Toto
- 4. Hysteria by Def Leppard
Another great 80's Leppard song...
- 3. You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive
Just an overall cool song.
- 2. Take On Me by A-ha
- 1. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
This song is the ultimate 80's song...it's a great song. And those shredded jeans were the fashion statement.
Although there were some really good songs in the 80's, I think that the hard rock/metal music was the best. I'm still a hard rock fan when it comes to the older bands that are still around (Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, etc...)
- 10. We Are Time by The Pop Group
Heard this psychedelic trip for the first time in Japan
- 9. I Don't Wanna Be Friends With You by Shop Assistants
Fast and short but fine
- 8. In The Country by The Farmers Boys
A song to make you happy
- 7. Sunday (Rebel Soul) by Faith Brothers
- 6. First Picture Of You by Lotus Eaters
Maybe a bit too soft, but a great song
- 5. National Avenue by Red Guitars
Those lyrics really breathe the eighties atmosphere (at least as it was in Europe) "How's Paul? Is he working? No, who works these days?"
- 4. Thank You by The Pale Fountains
Although "Back of my Hand" by the same group is also a very good one
- 3. Driving Away From Home by It's Immaterial
- 2. Town To Town by Microdisney
Like song #8 bound to make you feel good and sing along
- 1. Thinking Of You by The Colour Field
My favourite song ever! And actually the only one by The Colour Field I like at all ...
All these songs I rediscovered last year when I was in Japan. I bought a couple of eighties CD's there, and found it just amazing to find out that the Japanese my age have been listening to the same songs in their highschooldays as I did. Most of the songs are typically British, and some are rare to find on CD outside of Japan.
By: stuart barstow
- 10. Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears
u.s. number one!(not that that means anything but for a bunch of english doom merchants it does)
- 9. There There My Dear by Dexys Midnight Runners
- 8. Disappear by Madness
one of many great madness songs,from a great album.
- 7. Precious by The Jam
a very underrated track.double a side with town called malice but this never got played.
- 6. Up The Down Escalator by Chameleons
i don't have a small record collection-i just think the chameleons made better records than anyone else in the 80s.
- 5. That Joke Isnt Funny Anymore by Smiths
this is why marr is a guitar hero.
- 4. Waterfall by Stone Roses
unbelievable sound/production.unconventional guitar tuning
- 3. Out Of Touch by Hall & Oates
mega catchy pop song.u.s. number one.did nothing in uk.why?????
- 2. Death Of Imagination by The Sun And The Moon
offshoot of the chameleons heard it once-instant classic.
- 1. Tears by The Chameleons
intense subtle and beautiful.
can't believe i have left out so many great songs by bands like specials,wham!,new order,the the,huey lewis etc etc
By: Vinnie W
- 10. The Bus Stop by Fatback Band
An 80s song for an 80s dance.
- 9. Melt With You by Modern English
- 8. Holiday by Madonna
Started it all for her.
- 7. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
Song came out of nowhere and became very popular- universally remembered.
- 6. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
Best song from an 80s icon band.
- 5. Girls On Film by Duran Duran
Best song from another 80s icon band.
- 4. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Unstoppable party song.
- 3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
Pioneering video, plus the biggest selling album of all time rates a mention.
- 2. Don't You Want Me by Human League
Popular in the early 80s.
- 1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham
Definitive 80s band and song.
There are too many songs over 10 years that deserve a mention, but here are some that have elements of popularity/quality/remembrance.
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We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 70s and 90s
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