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
- 10. Stand by REM
Michael Stipe's lyrics are always enigmatic, and the band has a sound that is at once familiar and original. Again, any number of songs could have been substituted.
- 9. Here Come Cowboys by Psychedelic Furs
Another severely underappreciated band, at least in the U.S.
- 8. Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
The band was short-lived, but had a huge impact on society by being one of the first totally out gay bands who weren't just in it for a good time. With Smalltown Boy, they documented their own stories, as well as those of countless other gays, including myself. Listening to the song almost 20 years later still reminds me of what a struggle it was to rise above the derision of others and learn to be proud of who I am. Jimmy Somerville's voice was a sonic knife that cut through all that b.s. for me.
- 7. Let's Dance by David Bowie
Bowie is an artistic genius -- heads and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. Let's Dance proved that he could step into other genres and apply that genius effectively.
- 6. Would I Lie To You by Eurythmics
Annie Lennox IS the goddess. Again, hard to pick a fav, but this one rocks with Annie's raw, angry lyrics and Dave Stewart's charging lead guitar tearing holes through your speakers.
- 5. Private Idaho by B-52's
Any number of B-52's songs could have been here. Love Shack was a big contender as was Planet Claire, Rock Lobster, Quiche Lorraine... etc.
- 4. Burning Down The House by Talking Heads
Hard to pick my fav Heads song, but this one lives up to its name whenever it's played.
- 3. Beyond Belief by Elvis Costello
This song was easily one of his most musically and lyrically sophisticated to date and remains one of my favorite songs.
- 2. Slow Song by Joe Jackson
Not the Jackson song most people think of first, but it's always been a fav of mine.
- 1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
One of the greatest love songs ever written. That it's subversive as well (he is talking about another guy after all) makes it even better. It's also an archetype of the early 80's New Wave/Synth/Punk music.
By: Rocío Buonsignore
- 10. Forever Young by Alphaville
Very good song
- 9. Wound In My Heart by Propaganda
I like this song very much
- 8. Honesty by Billie Joel
a very quiet song
- 7. Why by Annie Lennox
a song to hear with your partner
- 6. You're The Inspiration by Chicago
a song with a deep meaning
- 5. I'll Be Over You by Toto
a very romantic song
- 4. Oh L'amour by Erasure
I Met the love of my life
- 3. Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi
very special song for me
- 2. Take On Me by A-ha
Very good song
- 1. Life In A Northen Town by Dream Academy
it's a very relaxing song, it lets you think
I would like to see my list in this page. I'm from Argentina!!!!
By: Jennifer Jans
- 10. Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
I liked this song ever since I heard it on my Jem and the Holagrams tape! ~I'm an 80's child!~
- 9. One Night In Bankok by Murray Head
Weird but great song. I keep hoping alt. band Cake will cover this song. It is perfect for them!
- 8. Walk This Way by Aerosmith w/ Run DMC
Why can't more colaborations be this cool?
- 7. Smooth Operator by Sade
It just feels like it should be in my top 10. I don't know why....but it's a great song.
- 6. Take On Me by A-Ha
Great song and great video.
- 5. La Isla Bonita by Madonna
The 80's weren't complete without Madonna.
- 4. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
I like the version with "Where Did Our Love Go?".
- 3. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
I don't know why, but I seem to like this one better than Every Breathe You Take. I must be weird.
- 2. True by Spandau Ballet
I'll never get tired of this song.
- 1. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
You gotta love this song, even if you don't like Mike.
- 10. Yankee Rose by David Lee Roth
Kick arse front man for Van Halen, I prefer his solo stuff
- 9. Real American/Hulk Hogan Theme by Rick Derringer
I grew up on this song
- 8. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
The piano deserves a top 10
- 7. Wind Of Change by Scorpions
Powerfull song, written after the fall of the Berlin wall and the Soviet Union
- 6. Glory Of Love by Peter Cetera
I loved Karate kid and the song
- 5. Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
Could be No 1
- 4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
- 3. Crazy Crazy Nights by KISS
- 2. Shandi by KISS
I love Kiss and this was a close 2nd
- 1. Run To Paradise by Choirboys
Awesome, uplifting,adrenhaline pumping
KISS could have had a few more songs there, Poison,ACDC , Madonna ,Michael Jackson, Guns'n'roses, Def Leppard, Roxette, Iron Maiden, Rick Astley, Shakin Stevens, Bangles, Aerosmith, Banannaramma, Belinda Carlisle, Bryan Adams and the Muppets(seriously) deserve a mention
I am a freshman in high school, and these are songs my friends and I sing on an almost daily basis.
- 10. Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
- 9. Puttin On The Ritz by Taco
- 8. Somewhere Out There by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
Reminds me of when I was a little boy
- 7. I Miss You by Klimaxx
Good love song
- 6. I'm So Excited by Pointer Sisters
- 5. Thats What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick And Friends
Good love song
- 4. Talking In Your Sleep by Romantics
- 3. St. Elmos Fire by John Parr
Great instrumental/love song like.
- 2. Oh Sherry by Steve Perry
- 1. Africa by Toto
I LOVE this song! This song, from 1983, year I was born, is the best, one of my all time favorites!
Im more of a 2000s music person, but there are still so many songs from the 80s that I find I love!
- 10. It's My Life by Talk Talk
Awesome song. It was made in 1984.
- 9. Kids In America by Kim Wilde
It's cool. It was made in 1981/82.
- 8. Shout/Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
Tears For Fears is a cool band. Those songs were made in 1985.
- 7. Love Is A Battlefeld/We Belong by Pat Benatar
They're cool. Those songs were made in 1983.
- 6. We Got The Beat/Our Lips Are Sealed by The Go-Go's
They're awesome! Those songs were made in 1981.
- 5. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
"Tainted Love. Whoaaaaah! Tainted Love." This is a awesome song. It was made in 1982.
- 4. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
This song is cool! It was made in 1983.
- 3. Don't You Want Me? by Human League
The music video is cool! It was made in 1981/82.
- 2. Come On, Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
This song is so awesome! It was made in 1982/83.
- 1. Our House by Madness
This song is so damn cool! It was made in 1983.
80's music rock!
By: Jason Morton
- 10. Jump by Van Halen
Eddie kicks ass at guitar. And how about that smile?
- 9. Like A Prayer by Madonna
She won't go away!
- 8. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
- 7. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns 'N' Roses
- 6. Manic Monday by The Bangles
Girl Power - And this song was written by Prince
- 5. I Want Your Sex by George Michael
"OMG did he say SEX on the radio!!!!!
- 4. Hungry Like A Wolf by Duran Duran
When you play this song today, it puts a BIG smile on your face.
- 3. When Doves Cry by Prince And The Revolution
One word best describes this song - EPIC
- 2. Beat It by Michael Jackson
No one can dance like Michael Jackson. He rulled the 80's.
- 1. Like A Virgin by Madonna
She's the ultimate Pop icon. This song proved Madonna was going to be around for a long, long time.
The 80's were awesome
- 10. Mony Mony by Billy Idol
A song that is great to listen to when you're out having a good time!
- 9. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
A fun song to listen to when you're out with your friends!
- 8. Hippy Hippy Shake by The Georgia Satellites
Although it is an old song the new version in the 80's made it a great song to dance to. It gives you reason to shake your thing in front of all the hot guys!
- 7. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
A great party song!
- 6. Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles
Who doesn't like this song? It's catchy and fun to sing anywhere at anytime!
- 5. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
A song about friendship and love. What else could you want?
- 4. The Kid Is Hot Tonight by Loverboy
A song that makes me want to go out ans party. It reminds me of life, and the cocky guys.
- 3. I Hate Myself For Loving You by Joan Jett
A song that is fun to sing. It also has a great beat, and reminds me of teenagers growing up.
- 2. Hungry Like THe Wolf by Duran Duran
Awesome song! It has a beat that makes me want to dance!
- 1. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
I love this song! It reminds me of how cool the music was in the 80's. I also enjoyed the movie.
I love the music from the 80's! I'm only 16 but yet I feel like I belong listening to these great songs. All my friends laugh at me, but I don't care I do say that the 80's was the best era for music ever!
By: Brad Marshall
- 10. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'N' Roses
- 9. Dance The Night Away by Van Halen
- 8. With Or Without You by U2
- 7. Hard To Say I'm Sorry by Chicago
- 6. Mr. Roboto by Styx
- 5. Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
- 4. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
- 3. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
- 2. We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel
- 1. Final Countdown by Europe
By: Ceruti Alessandra
- 10. Big in Japan by Alphaville
The best german group in the world
- 9. Situation by Yazoo
I think Vince Clark ist a genie of the synthetizer
- 8. Don't You Want Me by Human League
I enjoy the ask-answer singin between Phil Oakey and the girl very much
- 7. Spin Me 'Round (like A Record) by Dead or Alive
I can avoid not to sing its refrain. it's stronger than me
- 6. Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
The sound of it is the most beuatiful 80s sound I've heard of
- 5. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Culture Club
Probably everyone feels this song as a personal thought
- 4. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
How can people relax with such a powerful song?!
- 3. Fade To Grey by Visage
It completely closes in on me when I listen to its gloomy sound
- 2. Girls On Film by Duran Duran
I think this is the best Duran Duran song together with Save a prayer
- 1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
I simply love Marc Almond's deep and sensual voice
By: Greg Mastin
- 10. Caught In A Mosh by Anthrax
Anthrax had a bunch of great tunes in their heyday, and this is my personal favorite.
- 9. Looks That Kill by Motley Crue
Ok, my give in to the mainstream. I loved this album and this song most of all. I was 12. So sue me.
- 8. Livin' After Midnight by Judas Priest
There's something about this track, not complicated, or clever, or extraordinarily creative. Pretty basic stuff. But there are few better late at night with a few cold beers in you.
- 7. Come To The Sabbath by Mercyful Fate
Great song. No need to play the record backwards to hear the 'devil lyrics'
- 6. Peace Sells by Megadeth
If 'catchy' is a term you can associate with metal, then this song is it. The rollicking guitar riff would probably be recognized by just about anyone.
- 5. Master Of Puppets by Metallica
I hate copping out to their most popular tune pre-sellout days, but live, with thousands of people banging their heads in unison...bliss.
- 4. Christbait Rising by Godflesh
Ok, I expect almost no one to know what this song is...those that do, need no explanation.
- 3. Mr. Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne
He may be a little ballad-heavy now, but Ozzy is still the King. Great riff and the guitar work is magnificent. Check out The Osbournes! Hilarious!
- 2. Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden
Stepping back to the early 80's, this is one of the best metal songs from that era. Great guitar work and the story of a man's introspective thoughts as he ponders his life on the way to the gallows is powerful.
- 1. Angel Of Death by Slayer
I'm a metal head, so none of that milquetoast pop that was so forgettable. At least to me anyway...its my list so its gonna be loud! This song is, for me, fast, driven and the best hardcore song EVER! Oh, and not for the faint of heart either.
I know I have forgotten a few good ones. This was off the top of my head. Just wanted to do a top ten that wasn't just about sappy MTV junk that was so popular at the time...and don't get me started about the anti-metal of Warrant and Winger, etc.!
- 10. She Wears It Well by Debarge
- 9. Two Of Hearts by Brown Sugar
- 8. Lost Emotion by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
- 7. Out Here On My Own by Irene Cara
sad song but, I really like it
- 6. Make It Real by The Jets
I really love this song
- 5. Miracles by Whitney Houston
- 4. I Miss You by Klymaxx
- 3. I Still Believe by Brenda K. Starr
I really like the song because it touches my heart. I'm wondering will she be coming out with another album? I really miss hearing her
- 2. Automatic by Pionter Sisters
- 1. Iko Iko by Belle Stars
I like the song it's got a really cool beat
Miss You Much Janet Jackson cool beat
By: Walter Frith
- 10. Bark At The Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath's 'Paranoia' locked in Osbourne's sub-conscious mind. Doesn't mean it isn't great.
- 9. Falling For Nightlife by The Explorers.
For me to know and you to find out. Do yourself a favour and go on a treasure hunt-like expedition to find this and listen to it. It is EXTREMELY rare but worth the effort.
- 8. Do You Wanna Hold Me? by Bow Wow Wow
- 7. This Is England by The Clash
A song about the British way of life seen through the eyes of anger as one is morally decayed by the corruption of political fallout crapping on society.
- 6. The Killing Moon by Echo And The Bunnymen
Listen to it outside under a full moon and you'll feel the world has been re-invented.
- 5. Time Stand Still by Rush
A hard and beautiful song about life passing us by.
- 4. Images Of Heaven by Peter Godwin
Two words: footnote classic.
- 3. Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc) by Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark
This was perhaps the most under rated electronic/pop/new wave band of the 80s and this piece is touching and medieval with a pinch of folk.
- 2. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Perhaps the definitive RETRO song of the 80s.
- 1. The Warrior by Scandal
What a song! Big, loud, infectious and rock heavy are some immediate adjectives that come to mind. This was a definitive 80s rock song if you favoured the big hair and big sound 80s bands. "Shoot at the walls of heartache, BANG BANG, I am the Warrior!" Poetic and pleasantly hard hitting. I just can't get enough of that song!!!
80s Rock and Rule forever!!
- 10. Every Breath You Take by The Police
- 9. Beat It by Michael Jackson
- 8. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
- 7. Glory Days by Bruce Springstein
- 6. Jump by Van Halen
- 5. Right Now by Van Halen
- 4. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
- 3. Dancin In The Dark by Bruce Springstein
- 2. Young Turks by Rod Stewart
- 1. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'N' Roses
- 10. F**k the Police by N.W.A.
Out of nowhere comes the N.W.A.! What?
- 9. Sex And Violence by The Exploited
- 8. Goons Of Hazzard by Dead Kennedys
Makes fun of rednecks and guns and Hazzard is a few hours away from me, and I've heard stories about that place, and how they are very racist over there and what not.
- 7. Let's Lynch The Landlord by Dead Kennedys
Everybody should squat!!! This is the squatters anthem!
- 6. Halloween by Misfits
Another classic Misfits song.
- 5. Hollywood Babylon by Misfits
Just something about this song I love.
- 4. Buzzbomb by Dead Kennedys
- 3. Last Caress by Misfits
Haha! Just listen to these lyrics!
- 2. California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys
Once again, DK is probably the only good thing to come out of the 80s and this song about Jerry Brown is one of the best.
- 1. Holiday in Cambodia by Dead Kennedys
The greatest song by the greatest band ever...all that needs to be said.
I wasn't around much in the 80's, only 5 years so I can't have the best opinion on this list, but I do know Dead Kennedys and Misfits. I don't like all that new age and whatever they called it, and DK and other punk rock is probably the only stuff I listen to from the 80's. That and some of the first raps ever spit.
By: jon erik
what about adding hitlists from the 80`s? i can`t remember all the songs i liked back then.Hitlists are a great way to search for old personal favourites. great site by the way!! :)
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