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: Pawel
I think TOP 10 of my favorite songs of the 80's shows all attributes of that amazing decade!
By: Allison
  • 10. This is theTime and We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel
    I lov Billy Joel! "This is the Time" is gorgeous,and I would also love to dance to this. "We Didn't Start the Fire"-culture through the years--a classic Billy Joel song.
  • 9. Easy Lover and You Can't Hurry Love (tie) by Phil Collins
    I love both of these songs equally. Phil Collins is one of my favorite artists.
  • 8. Faith by George Michael
    Cool song
  • 7. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? by Culture Club
    This song makes me laugh ritoriously. I can't look at Boy George without thinking of his look-alike in "The Wedding Singer." My mom and I went to see this my freshman year of high school, and we saw the look-alike and laughed. I was convinced that it was REALLY Boy George. He kept singing this song!! CLASSIC!!
  • 6. Our Lips Are Sealed by Go Gos
    I love the lyrics to this danceable song!
  • 5. Vacation by Go gos
    Ironic how this group took a permanent vacation after this song...
  • 4. Dont You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    A great song from a great movie. the Breakfast Club is on my list as one of my favorites. My dad always thinks David Bowie sang this song.
  • 3. Eternal Flame by Bangles
    Breath taking song. I actually would love to do a Ballet dance to this for my college dance class. The song supposedly is about things found in a temple, including a ever-burning flame.
  • 2. Walk Like an Egyptian by Bangles
    My mom says this song makes no sense. Does any song make sense???
  • 1. I've Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison
    Classic from my childhood. I've loved this song since pre-school (1988). The video always makes me laugh,especially the sax-playing squirrel and singing animal heads. Harrison does a flip off a chair. Need I say more?
I couldn't forget "Invisible Touch" and "Land of Confusion" by Genesis (obviously I love Phil Collins!) Also, "Cherish" and "True Blue" by Madonna, although I love so many of her songs. "Forever Young," "Rhythm of my Heart," and "Downtown Train" by Rod Stewart. Too much to name!
By: Pat
  • 10. Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart
  • 9. Maneater by Hall & Oates
  • 8. Hold me now by Thompson Twins
  • 7. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
  • 6. safety dance by Men without hats
  • 5. you can call me Al by Paul Simon
    Not sure if this is eighties or not...
  • 4. Final Countdown by Europe
  • 3. Money For Nothing by Dire Straights
    For the longuest time I thought weird al sang this
  • 2. Take On Me by A-ha
    gotta love that video
  • 1. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
    My fav songs...gave me the chills
By: Evan Tolley
By: Lance Wilson
  • 10. Mandinka by Sinead O'Connor
    Catchy guitar riff, Sinead can wail like no other woman.
  • 9. Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes
    When I'm a walking, I strut my stuff, then I'm so strung out.
  • 8. Wild Wild Life by Talking Heads
    I think this was their best song.
  • 7. Strangelove by Depeche Mode
  • 6. True Faith by New Order
  • 5. The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
    I know most everyone is saying who????
  • 4. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
  • 3. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
    The best punk band of all time. The Sex Pistols made more of an influence, but the Clash wrote better songs.
  • 2. How Soon is Now by The Smiths
    The Smiths were as genuine as any band has come. Johhny Marr is the anti-thesis of the guitar heroes that ruled the day. Their acoustic stuff was the best!
  • 1. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult
    This is arguably one of the first if not the best alternative songs of all time. Even today, it sounds just as fresh as it did 17 years ago.
By: M
  • 10. Last Christmas by Wham!
  • 9. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
  • 8. Summer Of '69 by Bryan Adams
  • 7. You Are The Voice by John Farnham
    The sound of 1986, I think, it's a good song from the man from down-under.
  • 6. In The Army Now by Status Quo
    The refrain is really good!
  • 5. Love Is A Stranger by Eurythmics
  • 4. You Win Again by Bee Gees
    Gooood song!
  • 3. Jeanny by Falco
    It is only cool a cool song, there is nothing to add!
  • 2. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
    No Comment!
  • 1. Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid
    It is defenitly my favourite song of the 80's.
By: Ricardo Cardoso
  • 10. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
    I love this song.
  • 9. The Final Countdown by Europe
    A big hymn of the 80's
  • 8. Take On Me by A-ha
    From Norway. Excellent.
  • 7. Lovesong by The Cure
    Great, great, great.
  • 6. Nur Geträumt / Just a dream by Nena
    Yes, Nena, an exciting song.
  • 5. People are People by Depeche Mode
    Maestros! The best band of all the times.
  • 4. Secret by OMD
    This is 80's music! This is an excellent song!
  • 3. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
    Excellent. I have no words to describe this song.
  • 2. 99 L uftballons by Nena
    Ahh, Nena! The most beautiful woman in this world! All her discography is excellent, and you can learn German. This song is another work of art.
  • 1. Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode
    Depeche Mode were undoubtely the best band of the 80's, and they are still alive and kicking! This song is work of art.
Great. I can't understand why some people say that U2 was the best band of the 80's. Come on ! What do they have of the 80's? They've been doing the same since they recorded their first album! Depeche Mode are the kings! And Nena, the Queen!
By: RemyArcher
  • 10. Land Down Under by Men at Work
    I always hear this song during lunch hour at work. Why? Because it has one of the catchiest hooks ever!
  • 9. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses
    This is hands down THE MOST popular opening riff of any rock song during the 80's! It sounds like Armegeddon is coming. WHen I hear Axel Rose screech at the beginning, I feel like beating the crap out of something.
  • 8. Take on Me by Aha
    Huge song! Huge-er video!! This rules!
  • 7. Rock It by Herbie Hancock
    Waaaay ahead of its time. Still is. This is what our grandkids music will sound like. When I hear it I feel like breakdancing.
  • 6. Like a Virgin by Madonna
    Are you kidding? This song should've been on EVERY list! Only a few artists captured the 80's pop/dance sound exactly, and are still recording. She is one of them.
  • 5. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club (Boy George)
    I grew up weaned on MTV since the very beginning. This was one of the most played videos. God I miss the 80's!
  • 4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper
    Songs in the 80's were made just to have fun. Pop. rock. dance. That was it. :0)
  • 3. Jump by Van Halen
    Man, what a feel-good, fun song! This is what I truly miss about the 80's - songs were made for fun, nothing more, nothing less. Another classic opening riff.
  • 2. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    STILL sends chills up my spine when I hear it. Absolutely incredible song! Amazing.
  • 1. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    I can't believe I didn't see THIS SONG on the list more! This song - of all songs - was the CEMENT of 80's rock/pop/r-n-b! It's the standard even today.
Yo, I'm glad I came across this 80's site. There's no denying the power and influence the 80's decade still has on people, which is why a show about the 80's is coming out! I still can't believe 'Billie Jean' didn't pop up more on lists.
By: CC
  • 10. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    I just love this tune and its lyrics and the movies it was featured in!
  • 9. We Will Rock You by Queen
    Since i love sports as much as music(!) i had to add this classic by some of the best voices ever.
  • 8. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
    One of the greatest bands of all time and still going strong! Gotta LOVE U2
  • 7. Shout by Tears for Fears
    Yea yea, so i really like this band!
  • 6. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
    Here they are again, just a great band, with their OWN sound! Lyrics are genius too.
  • 5. Africa by Toto
    Such an 80's song! It's hard to explain. The line, "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you" is one of the most passionate yet simple ever written.
  • 4. True by Spandau Ballet
    Such a wonderful love song. I refuse to dance to it w/ anyone other than the man I one day will marry!
  • 3. Smooth Criminal/Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    The dance routines created for these two hit songs are INCREDIBLE! I have watched over 100 times but his choreography and talent never cease to amaze me!
  • 2. Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
    The best musical artist in the world in my opinion. This song is #2 because the lyrics are truly selfless and honest and we should all be the "man in the mirror" in order to make the world a better place.
  • 1. Head Over Heals by Tears for Fears
    Not only my favorite, but this song just takes me away somehow. It carries sentimental meaning as well:)
I am only 18...born in the 80s...too young to really have heard and appreciated these songs when they first came out. But let me tell you once i discovered the music from this time period of my childhood, boy did i fall in love! These are classics i don't care what anyone says:)
By: Colin Brandt
  • 10. Like A Prayer by Madonna
    Ha ha - all this talk of being "down on her knees" after "like a virgin" seems a little cute. Coupled with the corporate-promotion-cross-burning this song feels a lot about like destruction of an artist's character for the corporate mind - perhaps the saddest result of the 80s (can you say "We Built This City" by Starship? Shudder. Poor Grace Slick). The lyrics and sound of this song, however, are fun and have inspired countless jazz recital performances.
  • 9. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
    I find it hard to believe this song was bypassed by this site by and large. Though Dire Straits did make one entry (Sultans of Sphynx? That's Swing, dear. Sultans of Swing) this song should not be ignored. Mark Knopffler wrote these lyrics listening to two deliverymen watching Sting on MTV. The Lyrics, listened to now, coupled with the Lego-Brick computer animation of the music video, seem so chillingly prophetic of the following decade.
  • 8. Take On Me by Ah-Ha
    The Video. The Video. The Video. It's so cleverly done it had people talking around my father's water cooler. Despite being perhaps the most spectacularly effective one-hit wonders (though they remained popular in Norway - they were the Official Band of the Lillehammer Olympics), Ah-Ha's tiny keyboard hooks and falsetto-ey lyrics make you want to Robot so badly its sad.
  • 7. Sussudio by Phil Collins
    I still shake my ass all over the place to the fuzzy thud of the drum machine (the same sounds is used in Genesis' Mama) whenever I hear this song on the stereo. The preeminence of the triad of Genesis/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel practically owned the radio during the decade and for sheer danceability this song makes it in (plus, listen to the tiny sample used in the chorus in the latter half of the song - Phil borrowing from Grandmaster Flash - I swear to God)
  • 6. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
    Ah - New Wave - how I miss you so. New Order was riding the crests of Punk Rock, Disco, Kraftwerk and Cocaine and established themselves as the preeminent intentionally-souless corporate-esque muzak. At home in both the elevator of Trump Towers and The Cotton Club, no one new where to put them and that's the way they liked it. The synth-sampled psychosis and the laughable useless lyrics made this perhaps the most-remembered song of New Wave
  • 5. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    As someone who views The Breakfast Club as the preeminent historical account of life as a caucasian middle-income youth, the final scenes with Anthony Michael Hall narrating the pairing of the remaining cast over this cleverly interspersed song remains touching 15 years later. Jesus, I'm getting misty-eyed. All the Metallica fans are gonna drag me out on the street and mosh the crap out of me.
  • 4. Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd
    While The Wall project was first begun in the 70s, I cannot think of a single school dance that didn't play this song. Besides being debatably the best straight-ahead rock-and-roll song ever written, its image of blunted reaction coupled with undelying rage and helplessness created a perfect image of the blunted and desensitized minds of Western Youth.
  • 3. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    This is the first video I remember seeing. The rolling bassline that slides and carries the entire song is completely effective in making people dance. I remember trying to moonwalk across the living room carpet, leaving ruts in the deep pile.
  • 2. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    The real story of the song (yes, it is about a stalker) is not the questionable position of Sting's brushes with obsession (ie The Nabokovian Don't Stand So Close To Me and his flirtation with tantricity)but is the effect the song has on people. This song's heavy-soft beat coupled with rolling guitar by Andy Summers creates a danceable but pretty rendition of the sort of love that can drive men to desperation, creating sympathy for the pathos and addiction of the protagonist.
  • 1. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
    Absolutely, hands down, the most emotional and vibrant song of the decade. The shimmering delicacy of The Edge's flanged guitar enshrouded with Bono's fist-pumping lyrics create a mood I have yet to experience anywhere else.
Ah - the 80s. Brings a tear to my eye. While you may note the absence of big-hair rock bands (Van Halen, Poison, Metallica, Ratt, Whitesnake, Foreigner, onandon) this list is less to do with the favorite 80s songs of the time but of the most effective and enduring songs and artists of the decade. Ah - the wonderful dancing - liek Molly Ringwald in every movie ever - The Robot - Rock Lobster - it all blends into a homogenous glob of nostalgia. The songs are less about faves and more about the power they held over an entire generation.
  • 10. Two Of Hearts by Stacy Q
    Love this one too!!
  • 9. Patience by Guns N' Roses
  • 8. Bang The Drum by Todd Rundren
    Love this song.....suits the Toyota commercial!
  • 7. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
    I just wanna cut loose.......footloose!!
  • 6. I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
  • 5. Obsession by Animotion
    Like totally love this!
  • 4. You Spin Me 'round(like A Record) by Dead Or Alive
    Can't remember the bands name..oops!
  • 3. Da Da Da by Trio
    cool beat!
  • 2. Blue Monday by New Order
    Excellent beat, man......solid!!!!!
  • 1. Legs by ZZtop
    Totally to the max, man..........right on!!!!!!
Yes.......Keep up this totally super site, right on man!
By: Wayne
  • 10. Send Her My Love by Journey
    My faveright singer shines through on this song, like a lighthouse in the midnight shoreline! What else is there to say?
  • 9. Time by Pink Floyd
    And speaking of Pink Floyd I'm a new Floyd fan, yet I remember hearing them way back in the 1970's, on A.M. radio! Gosh, how time passes on by! This is such a hauntingly beautiful song.
  • 8. Spanish Gold by Icehouse
    Yet one more band from "Down Under," and one of my all time faveright bands fullstop. 1986 was the year, "Measure For Measure," the c.d. Unforgetable stuff from Iva Davies, Guy Pratt, and the boys! I think Mr. Pratt more resently filled in on bass duties, once heald by Mr. Rodger Waters in a little Enlish band known as "Pink Floyd."
  • 7. She's No Ordenary Girl by Naked Eyes
    An obscure gem from this British duo.... my faveright song from them. Rob Fisher and Peter Byrne were planning on picking up where they left off in the early 80's, but unfortunately; Rob passed away during an opperation in 1999.
  • 6. Fast Cars by Pseudo Echo
    Do you see a trend sort of taking shape here? Yes I am a synth pop freak... one of my faves from this band from "The Land Down Under!"...."Funky...." Who?
  • 5. Bullet The Blue Sky by U2
    A very powerful song from the "Jashua Tree," c.d... also one of the best bands ever!
  • 4. White Feathers by Kagagoogoo
    I almost put "Too Shy," but that song is so yuck... "White Feathers," was not realeased as a single in the U.S.A., far as I know... but I love it! "White Feathers," is true synth pop at it's finest!
  • 3. Love Moves in Strange Ways by Blue Zoo
    I don't know much about this band... but I know they were around in the early 1980's.... never saw the video for the song; however this song is very cool.... and true.
  • 2. Beat It by Micheal Jackson
    I don't care to much about M.J., but let's give the man credit where it's due he did single handedley break down the color barrier in pop music video on M-TV... plus who could ever forget that silly video clip?
  • 1. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    The video on this song entranced me and took me 2 well; anoughter planet... the chorse was a bit goofy; but the song itself and the cloths were cool?
I could be here for the rest of my life listing more of my faveright bands, solo artist, and there songs... "Tears For Fears: The Working Hour," "Robert Whyet: Sea Song," Tons of stuff by "New Order," "Depeche Mode," "Our Daughters Wedding," "The Other Two....." ect, ect, ect.
By: Luis Moreno
  • 10. Our House by Madness
    The classic song...Forever
  • 9. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
    Almost woman, Always the king....Unforgettable songs in the 80's
  • 8. Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
    Thanks Pet Shop Boys, Excelents songs in they history...
  • 7. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Jermaine Stewart
    Cool song...
  • 6. Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
    Great girl, great song, greatest ...
  • 5. Right Track by Breakfast Club
    When you feel bored, listen this song...Great
  • 4. Dreaming by OMD
    Great song.
  • 3. Genius Of Love by Tom Tom Club
    Was a Genius song.
  • 2. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
    Incredible song, specially in discotheques when played this song.
  • 1. New Sensation by INXS
    The most exciting pop song
The best era in the Music history, Always in the history....The 80's
By: Chad Quick
  • 10. Keep Feeling Fascination by Human League
    This was defniately their best song and video too. I loved the scenes of them playing the keyboards.
  • 9. Kids In America by Kim Wilde
    Much much better than "You Keep Me Hanging On". I remember this one being played alot on MTV.
  • 8. Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes
    This video would be in my All time top 10 list simply because it was sooooo bizzare!!!! I also loved the catchy song.
  • 7. Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo
    I remember hearing this song and then seeing the video for it in the middle of the night wasy back in 1983. They showed the best stuff overnight. Remember "Night Trax" on TBS ??
  • 6. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    A Killer Video !!
  • 5. Pop Muzik by M
    I know this song was from 1979, but the video was played alot on MTV in 1981 and 1982 and so, I count it as from the 1980's.
  • 4. Pop Goes The World by Men Without Hats
    I always liked this song better than Safety Dance, but I loved both of the videos.
  • 3. Stand & Deliver by Adam Ant
    I loved this guys videos, they were so crazy!! Too bad we don't have any good videos or channels that show them anymore :(
  • 2. Words by Missing Persons
    I was a huge new wave fan and loved all of the great music out from 1980 to 1983. Awesome video too with a different mix of the song.
  • 1. They Don't Know by Tracey Ullman
    I loved this song and the video was so cool when she was walking through the supermarket and had a picture or Paul McCartney in the shopping basket... remember that ??
I have so many memories of the 1980's. We got MTV in December of 1981 and I watched it all the time until about 1988 or so when it started going downhill. Of course now, MTV and VH1 show barely an hours worth of videos a day, that is so sad, but then so is today's rappic, I mean music. I only wished I had videotaped more of the videos back then. We got a VCR in 1983, but I didn't do much taping, still I like to go back and watch what I do have.
By: Melissa
By: Loren L.
By: Randy
  • 10. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
    Along with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", a Number 1 song of 1980! What a powerhouse this band was!
  • 9. Best of Times by STYX
  • 8. Centerfold by J. Geils
    When I think of high school swim team, I think of THIS song. #1 in 1982.
  • 7. I Can't Go For That by Hall and Oates
    Oops! Almost forgot about them. They were definitely a great part of the early '80s.
  • 6. The Tide is High by Blondie
    There are too many great songs to list, but this was a huge one for Blondie! I love "Rapture" and "Call Me".
  • 5. Let's Dance by David Bowie
    Another song I pretty much remember by the year, 1983.
  • 4. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    Just one of many for them.
  • 3. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
    Boy George is so cool!
  • 2. Like a Virgin by Madonna
    "Papa Don't Preach" and "Live to Tell" were pretty big, too!
  • 1. With Or Without You by U2
    "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was pretty big as well.
The earlier the '80s, the better! It seemed like mainstream pop got away from the really fun stuff as the '90s approached. That's not to say there still wasn't some great stuff out there. I still loved the B-52s right through the '90s into today. However, the early '80s New Wave/Punk era was a blast. Some late '80s honorable mentions are: INXS "Need You Tonight" and the much overplayed "Love Shack"!
By: Wilson
By: Pete
  • 10. The Metro by Berlin
    Berlin had some great hits in the 80's and the lead singer was almost, not quite as sexy as Blondie...The whole blond lead singer with all the guys standing around in parachute pants with Roland Synthesizers seems to have worked wonders in the 80's...No Doubt is kind of reinvigorating this image
  • 9. Only the Lonely by The Motels
    This song just has nice progressions...Beautiful lyrics, nice tone and it has a kind of edge to it...
  • 8. What I Like About You by The Romantics
    THis song was not extremely popular when it came out, but it was a favorite of Martha Quinn...They then used it for a beer commercial in the late 1980's and it became huge...kind of like UB40's Red, Red Wine...When it first came out great song but not much airtime, then it found a mainstream audience and whammo...
  • 7. And We Danced by The Hooters
    This was a great album from around 85 or 86, lots of catchy tunes
  • 6. So Caught Up in You by 38 Special
    Just a great song...still hear it on the radio nowadays...
  • 5. Words by Missing Persons
    This group just had raw power and sex appeal...The lead singer, who in my opinion, has had a direct influence on Gwen Stefani, had an absolutely tweaked out voice and was hot...Mental Hopskotch was also big...THis band very popular in 1982 and very much a part of the 80's New Wave scene...
  • 4. I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls
    Love this song...Video was also very "eighties" back when every band "hid" behind their Roland synthesizer...Seems like every single band had to use the synthesizer in the early 80's...This song could also be grouped with Spaceage Love Song, another great hit from this underrated band
  • 3. Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol
    I still remember seeing this video for the first time on Dec 30, 1983, my birthday...I have a strange memory, I know...I just really remember the times and places whenever I heard any of these songs...Very strange video; but this was when Billy Idol was just beginning to become a major star; follow up to the "White Wedding" video from SUmmer, 1983
  • 2. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    I was in the sixth grade when this song was popular(summer of 83); I think this just about the "heart" of the 1980's and I only consider music that was made between about 1981-84 to qualify as "true" eighties music, mainly since it was very New Wave and different from music produced in say 1980 or in say 1986 when Janet Jackson, Tiffany and Bon Jovi type performers took over MTV and the Top 40
  • 1. In a Big Country by Big Country
    Great song (one hit wonder), but this song resonates and has such a unique sound...Also, I was recently reminded of it when the lead singer was found dead recently...
There are far too many great songs to mention from the early 80's...Most of the songs that I loved so much in those days, if they were released nowadays when I am 30 yrs old, I am sure they would not have near as much of an affect on me...I think the 1980's for most people who grew up or were old enough to have remembered that era was a time of real nostalgia...I have never been able to really describe it, but there is definitely something very authentic about the music, the fads, the culture that I think we have not, nor ever will replicate again...
By: Angela

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