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: Stan
  • 10. Dream Maker by Rick James
    This is an old one- I think it's an 80's production though.
  • 9. Endless Love by Diana Ross/Lionel Richie
    Great ballad for a bad film.
  • 8. Keep on Loving You by REO Speedwagon
    Made the movie "Last American Virgin" and instant classic
  • 7. Rumors by Timex Social Club
    Great song for showing off the woofers.
  • 6. The Search is Over by Journey?
    I'm not sure of the band, but the song is memorable.
  • 5. Valley Girl by Moon and Frank Zappa
    Fun song back then and now.
  • 4. Crimson and Clover by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
    What can I say, I'm Jett fan from way back
  • 3. The Lady in my Life by Michael Jackson
    Great guy before he went crazy
  • 2. Roxanne Roxanne by UTFO
    Great dance rap song.
  • 1. I love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
    Still playing this one as loud as I can.
The '80s produced the best decade of music, period.
By: Gaspar
By: Nick Hytrek
  • 10. Like a Prayer by Madonna
    The dance version of this song is awesome.
  • 9. With or Without You by U2
    This song more than any takes me back to high school. The deep base just sinks in and the lyrics are awesome
  • 8. Crazy by Icehouse
    A real minor hit, but my favorite of the band.
  • 7. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
    I can still feel the warm summer breezes from all the nights I heard this song while driving around with my girlfriend. A real touching song.
  • 6. Rush Hour by Jane Wiedlin
    Former Go-Go hit it big with this pure pop song. It had such a catchy beat that I couldn't ever hear it too much. It came out just after I graduated from high school and brings back so many good memories.
  • 5. Sentimental Street by Night Ranger
    This song always gets overlooked, but I think it's their best. What a powerful song.
  • 4. Dreams by Van Halen
    What a great semi ballad. The keyboard work was so new for Van Halen and it was awesome. Great solo by Eddie too.
  • 3. The Flame by Cheap Trick
    A very personal song for me. It summed up many emotions for me many times.
  • 2. Hysteria by Def Leppard
    I can't think of my senior year in high school without thinking of this song. I didn't even have a girlfriend when this song came out, and I still loved it.
  • 1. Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
    I will never like any song more than this one. The music is terrific and it's such a terrific story. I envisioned what the video to this song would look like long before I ever saw it.
This could easily have turned into a top 100 list. I chose my most favorite songs. They aren't stereotypical 80s songs, but they all have a lot of meaning to me.
By: L.A.
  • 10. Tempted by Squeeze
    The best song about adultery yet. I just really dig it; please don't ask me to explain.
  • 9. Pretty in Pink by Psychedelic Furs
    Peppy pop. One of their best in my humble opinion.
  • 8. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty
    Lovely understated song; much like Tom himself.
  • 7. Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
    Most people were understandly put off this great song when they had to endure weeks of affected apathetic reciting by the Gap adolescents. I understand that; I too was put off. But it's still a great song, and the commercial no longer runs. Well, that's my spiel.
  • 6. The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
    Fantastic song, even better video. One of the few Don Henley songs that don't make me want to gnaw my arm off just so I'll have something to throw at the stereo. End of Innocence, Heart of the Matter - UGH; what's up with the sappy ballads, Don? Spare us all, please!
  • 5. Melt with You by Modern English
    One-hit Wonder. This song is just such jolly good fun. One can't help but be in a better mood when listening to it.
  • 4. Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol
    Sexy song from the sexiest 80's rocker. Billy was not master of his domain; gotta love him for that. Hey, he even manages to not sound surly in this song.
  • 3. Love Stinks by J. Geils Band
    Raucous, rambunctious, rowdy, and a whole bunch of other "R" adjectives.
  • 2. You Might Think by The Cars
    It's so bloody hard to pick one song from The Cars. All their songs are just so fabulous. Further contenders: My Best Friend's Girl and Just What I needed.
  • 1. Wild Wild Life by Talking Heads
    The best song of the 80's from the greatest New Wave band. Non-sensical lyrics, great riffs, really hyper and frenetic. Perfection exemplified. I must give a nod to Road to Nowhere as well.
Ugh. I'm leaving out so many great songs. How can you possibly limit yourself to ten when it's the decade that spawned New Wave. I mean, the eighties was just the best decade for music. But try telling that to the tasteless tots who are currently obsessed with the Backstreet Boys et. al. Ah well.
By: Serkan Oztürk
depeche mode-enjoy the silince,stevie wonder- I just colled I love u,spandeu ballet -true
By: Andrew Holt
  • 10. Negative Creep by Nirvana
    The best song off "Bleach" is this song which originated the "Seattle grunge" sound.
  • 9. Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
    Best pop song of the 80s, as seen in the movie "Back to the Future."
  • 8. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
    Journey's best song is found on their "Escape" album, and is a perfect example of the "Journey sound."
  • 7. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
    Randy Rhoads' signature guitar sound rocks the beginning in the ultimate pump-you-up song. Ozzy Osbourne's best song by far.
  • 6. Panama by Van Halen
    The rockin' song off 1984 has the Eddie Van Halen signature guitar beginning and is the greatest song of the 80s by this superb group.
  • 5. Here Comes your Man by The Pixies
    The originators of the alternative genre to rock and roll, the Pixies mix a great melody with a garage band sound in this single off "Doolittle."
  • 4. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses
    Best rock ballad of the 80s...'nuf said.
  • 3. Magic Power by Triumph
    Awesome ballad by the greatest canadian trio other than rush.
  • 2. Paradise City by Guns n Roses
    The best guitar solo in the history of rock and roll. How does Slash play that fast? You've really got me...
  • 1. Tom Sawyer by Rush
    The greatest song by the second greatest band of all time. Geddy Lee's bass solo is amazing, and Peart kills us all w/ his amazing fills.
80s pop music is not good.
By: Tim Bob
  • 10. The Trooper by Iron Maiden
    1983-My list starts and ends with my favorite metal band of all times. These guys ruled the '80's.
  • 9. Mommy's Little Monster by Social Distortion
    1982-I was mommy's little monster, she likes me now but back then it was war.
  • 8. My War by Black Flag
    1983-Another great band with many great songs. Henry Rollins kicks ass.
  • 7. Die, Die My Darling by Misfits
    1982-No, Metallica didnt write this song. They recorded it as a tribute to the biggest punk band of its time. They're still around but Glenn Danzing was the magic. They're lame now.
  • 6. When The Sh*T Hits The Fan by Circle Jerks
    1983-Hard to pick one song from these guys too. Another one of the all time greatest punk bands, these guys where bright and talented as well as angry and loud.
  • 5. Minor Threat by Minor Threat
    1981-Every one of there songs is a classic. Only around a few years, they were different then most and began the whole "straight edge" movement. I wasnt into that, I enjoyed sex and drugs. All 26 of there songs where released on a compilation in '89 that's still available today.
  • 4. Too Drunk To F*ck by Dead Kennedys
    1981-One of the best punk bands of all times. I bought a 12" single of this song. Hide it under my bed and listened to it whenever I could. It wasnt long before my parents found it in a "shake down" I was well into my rebelion by this time and my parents where aging rapidly. But for some reason this really freaked them out and my dad burned the record in the backyard, I'm not sure if he was expecting demons to fly out or what... It was kinda weird and something I'll never forget.
  • 3. The Number OF The Beast by Iron Maiden
    1982-My breakout song and album. In '82 I was in 8th grade, christian school and church activities was my life. I hated it and I thought all those people where very fake and shallow. The answer to everything was "God" and I wanted more. Once exposed my transformation was rapid. I found a quick way to get out of a school I hated. a little paint on the bathroom wall was all it took "Iron Maiden" and "666". out of a school of 200 they instantly knew it was me. I was called to the office, got a beating and then expelled. So began a life of sex, drugs, and Iron Maiden.
  • 2. Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies
    1983-There's a video for this song, about once every three years MTV will play it at like three or four in the morning. Summer of my freshmen year I bought this record and discovered my teenage calling. That fall I was a changed man, skateboard in one hand, clove in the other, so began three years of raising hell.
  • 1. Master of Puppets by Metallica
    1986- My only pick that made it on commercial radio, but only after Metallica went "pop". Song came out my senior year of high school. My all time most played CD (bought only after tape wore out). Whole album is good, but this is the song I remember listening to most, we'd blow speakers up listening to it, it's amazing I can still hear. I couldn't wait to get out of school and away from my parents, at the time I thought life sucked... I've lived half my life since then and I must admit I really miss those days. I had no idea how good I had it. But there's no place in this world for a thirty something punk with an attitue problem. I realized that about the time I had to get a job, No Saturday school or detention in the real world, they just fire your ass. So I mellowed and conformed, sort of like Metallica but not as bad. From that back album and up I think they pretty much suck. But this was, at least for me, the number one song and album of a pretty bitchin' decade.
By: Hanna
As you all know, the best music was made in the 80s (and in my opinion - in the late 70s too). These are the choices from my main favourite bands, still so hard to pick just 10 of those!!!
By: Tucker
Flash Forward Forever
By: Tom Hunter
  • 10. Wild Boys by Duran Duran
    The Band of the 80's deserves two mentions.
  • 9. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
    Boy, General Hospital must have been a fun place to work in the early 80s.
  • 8. All I Need by Jack Wagner
    Actor, Singer, Golfer, Teeth Whitener Salesman. Is there anything that Wagner CAN'T do?
  • 7. Party All the Time by Eddie Murphy
    Nothing says the 80's like a comedian singing
  • 6. Parents Just Don't Understand by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
    The only song from the late 80s that belongs on the list.
  • 5. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    Perhaps the movie helps this get so high on the list.
  • 4. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    Gotta have the extended mix on this one.
  • 3. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
    By far THE Band of the 80s.
  • 2. Der Kommissar by After the Fire
    To really be a true Classic 80's song, it almost HAS to be sung by a one hit wonder.
  • 1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    Classic 80's beat. Later turned into a Classic Levi's commercial.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): She Bop, Don't You Want Me, Sunglasses At Night, In Your Eyes, Rock Me Amadeus, Obsession, Mr. Roboto
By: Jákup Páll Ostero
  • 10. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
  • 9. I Don't Need No Docktor by WASP
  • 8. The Last In Line by Dio
  • 7. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne
  • 6. All the Fools Sailed Away by Dio
  • 5. Headless Cross by Black Sabbath
  • 4. Crazy Crazy Night by Kiss
  • 3. The Final Countdown by Europe
  • 2. Armageddon it by Def Leppard
  • 1. Here I go again by Whitesnake
The 80's metal favorites
By: Ed
  • 10. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
    Fourth of July trip to upstate New York.
  • 9. Africa by Toto
    One of the dominoes from aformentioned Men At Work song.
  • 8. Melt With You by Modern English
    One of the strongest cause of nostalgia in me.
  • 7. Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes
    Literally always reminds me of the eightees.
  • 6. Destination Unknown by Missing Persons
    A really good band, but no one realized it back then (including myself).
  • 5. Love Cats by The Cure
    Surprisingly overlooked on many lists. My sister was into them, so I heard them a lot during the early eightees.
  • 4. Land Down Under by Men At Work
    A domino that sets off many other dominoes of nostalgiac thought, christmas '83, other songs, etc.
  • 3. Rio by Duran Duran
    Any Duran song is really nostalgiac, but Rio especially. Early days of MTV.
  • 2. Every Breath You Take by Police
    What eightees list is complete without them?
  • 1. Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes
    My favorite band anyway.
A virtual time machine. No order in particular. These are not necessarily my favorites, but if I hear them, I am immediately swept back in time.
By: Randi
  • 10. Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone by Glass Tiger
  • 9. She's Like The Wind by Patrick Swayze
    excellent song, considering he's an actor and all!
  • 8. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
  • 7. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
  • 6. Take On Me by Ah-ha
  • 5. Nothing Compares by Sinead O'Connor
  • 4. Luka by Suzanne Vega
    Does anyone else remember this song?
  • 3. Every Rose Has It's Thorn by Poison
  • 2. Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band
    Courtney Cox is in the video!
  • 1. The Sun Always Shines On TV by Ah-Ha
    Such a good song!
By: Zach Smith
  • 10. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
    C'mon everyone wants to be Maverick. "I feel the need.....the need for speed!"
  • 9. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
    I don't know why I dig this song so much. It's just the s--t!
  • 8. Cyndi Lauper by Goonies 'R' Good Enough
    I remember renting this movie every week for like a year. This is my favorite Cyndi Lauper song. I'm not female so " Girls just wanna have fun" didn't make the cut. "Time after Time" was great as well.
  • 7. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
    Real Genius.......Anyone?????
  • 6. One More Night by Phil Collins
    This list wouldn't be complete without the man. I'm also a huge fan of pool. Billards all the time. It's from The Color Money. Great flick.
  • 5. Here I go Again by Whitesnake
    Like a drifter I was born to walk alone. Kinda deep for a hair band.
  • 4. Sara by Starship
    Sarah sarah....Where are you. Fell in love with a girl named Sara. Used to listen to this song all the time. Starship has some awesome 80's songs. We built this city.......Nothing's gonna stop us now. Great 80's!
  • 3. Hard To Say I'm Sorry by Chicago
    My Ex ruined this song for me forever. But on the flipside I will always love the message. It's truly a great 80's ballad.
  • 2. Your Love by Outfield
    I love this song. I wanted to use it in a movie. Can't you see it at the end credits. Guy and girl driving off in the sunset.....C'mon!
  • 1. Take On Me by A-Ha
    Of course #1 had to be Take on me. No answers to the choice, just my favorite.
Well I didn't persay grow up listening to this stuff. I remember when they came out, but I was a little young. I do have a love of 80's music. There's nothing better. Everything is so bland right now. 80's music will live on forever. Very cool site!
By: Alicia
  • 10. Let's Go To Paradise by Mental As Anything
    I am already!
  • 9. Spirit Got Lost by Mental as Anything
    fab .......
  • 8. Live it Up by Mental As Anything it ......
  • 7. Working For The Man by Mental As Anything
  • 6. I Didn't Mean To Be Mean by Mental As Anything
    ....I can dedicate this one to you Leon......
  • 5. Too Many Times by Mental as Anything
    ....pretty cool......
  • 4. Just Like Romeo And Juliet by Mental as Anything
    .....not bad!....
  • 3. Come Around by Mental as Anything
    ...this is a great one.....
  • 2. The Nips Are Getting Bigger by Mental as Anything
    ....and another.....
  • 1. If You Leave Me Can I Come Too? by Mental as Anything
    Look Leon ...another Mental as Anything hit.....
Leon Kinsella, As you can see Mental as Anything did have many hits and were not "one hit wonders". They were very popular in Australia in the 80's. Oh yes if you are going to make any comment at least get thier name right!!! While I'm at it, it's The Human League ....
By: les
  • 10. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
    this is my favorite duran duran song.great vidio too
  • 9. Mad World by Tears For Fears
    i dont know why.i just love this song (fantastic)mabe its the wierd dancing that did it lol
  • 8. Enola Gay by OMD
    out of all of OMDs songs this is the one that comes to mind mainly becouse after hearing it i went out and bought the greatest hits album
  • 7. Atomic by Blondie
    this blondie track was my favorite of hers(well the one that comes to mind anyway)
  • 6. Its A Mystery by Toyah
    i loved the look of this girl,she was great and this song was one of her best songs she did have others but this always comes to mind
  • 5. Don't You Want Me by Human League
    this is a great catchy synth song.which i always play
  • 4. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
    i like this song becouse i think its the best song michael jackson ever made and my girl loved it.
  • 3. Cruel Summer by Bananarama
    this is a great song that always brings back the good old days to me
  • 2. Wings Of A Dove by Madness
    i love this song its funny.and catchy a great song to sing along to
  • 1. We Are Glass by Gary Numan
    well this song is my favourite gary numan song.i loved cars but this and i die you die where the best of numans 80's (i think anyway)
all these song bring back great memories of the 80's i will always play these tracks (i was going to put 3 numan tracks in my top 10 but i thought against it lol)
By: Angel
  • 10. Call Me (American Gigolo Theme) by Blondie
  • 9. We Built This City by Starship
  • 8. Nikita by Elton John
  • 7. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
  • 6. Union Of The Snake by Duran Duran
  • 5. Physical by Olivia Newton - John
  • 4. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
  • 3. Winner Takes It All (Over The Top Theme) by Sammy Haggar
  • 2. Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do) by Cristopher Cross
  • 1. Taylor Dane by Tell It To My Heart
Fine Young Cannibals, Asia, Falco, Dire Straits, Frank Stallone...
By: Bagh
  • 10. Pump Up The Volume by Marrs
  • 9. Turn Back The Clock by Johnny Hates Jazz
  • 8. The Promise You Made by Cock Robin
  • 7. You and me by Spargo
  • 6. Love Me Just A Little Bit More by Dolly Dots
  • 5. Harder Than Your Husband by Frank Zappa
  • 4. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • 3. Faith by George Michael
  • 2. The A-team tune by theme
  • 1. I Love Rock And Roll by Joan Jett
By: Kirk Baethke
  • 10. Laughing by 54-40
    The lone Canadian entry in our top-ten...and one of many 54-40 classics from the last two decades. I Go Blind, One Day In Your Life, Baby Ran...all great in their own right...but Laughing is the one that sticks with me.
  • 9. A Good Heart by Feargal Sharkey
    Truer words were never sung.
  • 8. 99 Luftballons by Nena
    Coming from a German background, and being deeply intrigued by the politics at the time, this song was the ultimate in, what, 1983? Scared the daylights out of me for a while, too.
  • 7. Friends Of Mr. Cairo by Jon and Vangelis
    I had no choice but to go out and rent The Maltese Falcon once I heard this song. say the least...the SONG that is. The movie's pretty good, too.
  • 6. Message To My Girl by Split Enz
    The Finn family is back on our top ten with a classic ballad. A sraight-ahead, no pretense song. Simply wonderful.
  • 5. Captain Of Her Heart by Double
    Memory from this one? Drivin' to baseball games. I was also just 16 at the time, and I was hoping to at some point really UNDERSTAND what was being talked about in this song. I'm now 31 and I think I finally get it. Took me a while.
  • 4. Heart And Soul by T'Pau
    For some creepy reason, I equate this song with the 1987 Edmonton tornado. I was in Edmonton shortly after it happened and I remember seeing snapped-off trees and downed power lines while this song was playing in my parents' car. The two have no correlation whatsoever, but are connected in my brain forever. Great song.
  • 3. Kiss This Thing Goodbye by Del Amitri
    Nice kiss-off song. I should have paid more attention to it when I first started listening to it. Woulda saved me a lotta grief. Oh well...
  • 2. Hourglass by Squeeze
    Great sing-along tune, as long as you were paying close attention. Annie Get Your Gun and Tempted are close runners-up from Squeeze's library. Let's hear it for Difford and Tillbrook!
  • 1. Can't Carry On by Crowded House
    1988...year two at girlfriend at the time bought me Crowded House's debut CD. This is simply the best song of the 11. Thanks, Rhonda.
These may not be the TOP TEN per se, but these songs hold the most meaning for me from that decade. I was always "on the fringes" socially at school, so why should my song selections be any different. Enjoy!
By: MonA Amin
  • 10. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    Very cool song....especially to dance to
  • 9. It Must Have Been Love by Roxette
    so sweeeet
  • 8. Careless Whisper by Wham sweet
  • 7. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
    girl power!!!!
  • 6. Love Shack by B 52's
    i lvoe all these classics
  • 5. Sweet Dreams (are made of this) by Eurythmics
    dance favorite
  • 4. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    Good dance song
  • 3. My Prerogative by Bobby Brown
    wooooooo hoooo....
  • 2. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
    music classic
  • 1. Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode
    This is still one of my favorites

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