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: Joe Myles
  • 10. O Superman by Laurie Anderson
    Creepy and strange - when we first heard this in 1981 we didn't know what to think.
  • 9. It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Zee Rock
    Forget the lyrics...they stink. While dj'ing in the late 80's this was one of my favorite songs to play live - whenever I'd throw this one down the bar would literely explode - this was RocknRoll in 1988
  • 8. Love Song by Simple Minds
    I don't know why but I always loved this song.
  • 7. The Payback Mix by James Brown
    This gem came out in 1987 - it's older in it's origins but remixed SO GOOD that it still packs a dance floor in 2002!!!
  • 6. How Soon Is Now by The Smiths
    One of the ALL TIME classic 80's songs - still turn it up if I ever hear it!!!
  • 5. Perfect Circle by R.E.M.
    One of the sadder songs on the first R.E.M. album "Murmur" - Gorgeous stuff.
  • 4. Here Comes A Regular by The Replacements
    The Replacements are a band that was grossly underrated - this is one of quieter yet saddest Replacements songs of the 80's.
  • 3. The Message by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
    First heard this Hip Hop classic while visiting New York City in February 1983 - this was my first exposure to Hip Hop and I loved it - in later years despite being a huge Rock n Roll fan I've always had a place in my musical heart for Hip Hop - probably because of this song.
  • 2. Ceremony by New Order
    The original 12 inch single!!! Can't beat it.
  • 1. Bad by U2
    My favorite song of all time!!! The reason I still like these guys.
By: jamie malin
  • 10. You Should Be So Lucky by Kylie
    you cant knock the song that introduced one of the better soap/singers ever!!!!
  • 9. Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astly
    it was good at the time!! better than anita dobsons cover of eastenders theme : )
  • 8. Our House by Madness
    the 80s would not have been the same without madness
  • 7. Happy Hour by The House Martins
    nuff said!!
  • 6. Crazy For You by Madonna
    cant beat it for a slow dance
  • 5. Freedom by Wham
    nice dance tune for all you disco divas out there
  • 4. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    cracking lyrics!
  • 3. 500 Miles by The Proclaimers
    as above. what a group!!!
  • 2. A Letter From America by The Proclaimers
    what a catchy tune
  • 1. Walk This Way by Aerosmith Feat Beastie Boys
    how can you get better than this !!!!!
thats your lot thanx for reading!!!! : )
By: John L
  • 10. Solid Rock by Robin Lane And The Chartbusters
    My favourite 3-chord song!
  • 9. Lean On Me by Red Box
    'Exuberant' is the word here.
  • 8. Prisoners by Brookfield
    Pretty with guitars: obscure late-'60s-California sounding track from Toronto.
  • 7. Worlds Away by Strange Advance
    Pretty with synthesizers: languid prog new wave from Vancouver. They also have "Just Like You" and "Alien Time".
  • 6. Letter From America by The Proclaimers
    Folky and passionate.
  • 5. Somebody Got Murdered by The Clash
    Breathless excitement!
  • 4. Dancing With Peter Pan's Shadow by The Faith Brothers
    A gem! Sparkling guitars, brilliant horns, the '80s best.
  • 3. Like 1000 Violins by 1000 Violins
    A smooth passionate groove, preferred slightly to the Spoons' quirky lyric "No Electrons" or Rational Youth's "In Your Eyes".
  • 2. Mr. Hurst by Last Party
    Melancholy guitar pop.
  • 1. Hollow Horse by The Icicle Works
    Powerful and ultra-tightly produced by Hugh Jones, I refer to the original 12" non-extended version, with the fade in and no gap between the first and second verse! A perfect song!
By: David D. Drebsky
  • 10. Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles
    The song that started the music video craze.
  • 9. Open Your Heart by Madonna
    "The Immaculate Collection" was her best album. This is my favorite song on it.
  • 8. Allentown by Billy Joel
    Billy is probably my 2nd favorite artist of the 80's...he may be the only artist alive who never wrote or played a bad song. Like not ever.
  • 7. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
    "Walk Like An Egyptian" has nothing on this song. An amazing love song.
  • 6. These Dreams by Heart
    Just takes my breathe away.
  • 5. The Miracle by Queen
    Queen is THE best artist of the 80's. I could make my top ten list just out of their songs alone...but this is one of the best.
  • 4. Shout by Tears For Fears
    A great song from a great group. The lyrics still don't make a whole lot of sense, but the chorus is so catchy. And the beat is VERY hard to top.
  • 3. Hands To Heaven by Breathe
    This one still gets me all emotional. Good lyrics, good melody, a touching song.
  • 2. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship
    A fantastic addition to any love song of my favorite duets.
  • 1. I Get Weak by Belinda Carlisle
    Simply put, the greatest love song ever written and put to music in my eyes...a total classic.
I am a huge fan of 80's pop rock...there is no music I like more. To this day, the music industry has not produced anything that could even come close to the sound of that decade. These are just a handful of my many picks.
By: Todd Zastrow
  • 10. You're The Inspiration by Chicago
    I have many a memory of slow dancing at Jr. High dances to this song
  • 9. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    say what you will about him, but back when mj still had his feet planted on the ground he rocked the whole freaking world with this song. i still love seeing the video!
  • 8. Shout by Tears For Fears
    Ah, Tears For Fears. How I miss them.
  • 7. Dream Come True by Frozen Ghost
    Americans may not recognize this one, but these guys were a Canadian 80's "hair" band. This was their one-hit ballad. It was performed at my wedding!
  • 6. Fight For Your Right To Party by Beastie Boys
    One of the first great fusions of metal and rap
  • 5. Cum On Feel The Noise by Quiet Riot
    Even though it had the exact same beat as Song #4
  • 4. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
    Get past the makeup, what a great song!
  • 3. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
    A big "Your Welcome" to people who liked this song and could never figure out who performed it
  • 2. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
    A perfect anthem for the decade
  • 1. Mr. Roboto by Styx
    As far as I am concerned, one of Styx's greatest songs, even though the album and subsequent concert pretty much killed their carreer
By: Harmen Greven
This is the best ten I could come up with. Some other that must! be in the top ten. But I have not chosen these because these songs have definite 80's sound, while the next are pure new wave. Decades - joy division Sisters of mercy - Alice
By: Steve
  • 10. Self Control by Laura Brannigan
    Euro-pop at it's very best.
  • 9. Imagination by Belouis Some
    What a great video. This song just sums up what the 80's were about... whatever that was!
  • 8. Love And Pride by King
    Such an 'up' song... and wacky hair helped in the 801s
  • 7. Fade To Grey by Visage
    The best New Wave song there was
  • 6. Big Log by Robert Plant
    A thumping brilliant song this, that base is just sooooo sexy.
  • 5. True Faith by New Order
    Great song! Great video! Great memories!
  • 4. You Take Me Up by Thompson Twins
    I just really like this one
  • 3. Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones
    Loads of great stuff from HJ.
  • 2. E=MC2 by Big Audio Dynamite
    What a great vibe! This was around when I met the girl who would later be my wife.
  • 1. The Motive by Then Jerico
    Belting singing far better than the much more widely known 'Big Area'
These are in no particular order and it's an impossible task to pick only 10:- what about Pet Shop Boys - "West End Girls", Kirsty MacColl "New England", Teardrop's "Reward", Joy Division "Love will Tear us Apart", so many, so many...
By: Matt
  • 10. Careless Whisper by Wham!
    All you need to hear is that saxaphone and you think of the 80's.
  • 9. Is This Love? by Whitesnake
    This is the definition of an 80's "Monster Ballad" Every list needs one.
  • 8. Out Of Touch by Hall And Oates
    Why has there been such a shortage of Hall and Oates on people's list. I love this group!
  • 7. Beat It by Michael Jackson
    Every list has to have a Michael Jackson song. This was my favorite, plus you can't ignore the 80's rock guitar riff by Eddie Van Halen.
  • 6. Lies by Fleetwood Mac
    I remember being in the back of my parents car on long road trips and always hearing this one.
  • 5. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    All I have to say is the "Breakfast Club."
  • 4. Land Down Under by Men At Work
    Love the flutes. The song definately takes me back to the times.
  • 3. Take On Me by A-ha
    Probably the best 80's video and easily on of the best songs
  • 2. Africa by Toto
    Its all the keyboard. Probably the most memorable memorable keyboard sequence of the 80's and the keyboard was the instrument back then.
  • 1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
    No band defines the 80's as well as Tears for Fears. I would have loved to have added more of there songs because they are simply so 80's. This song defines the 80's to me better than no other song.
Dj Spinbads 80's mixes are amazing!
By: Eighties Guy
  • 10. Sweet Dreams by Eurhythmics
    Haunting and very evocative of a certain point in time.
  • 9. In My Room by Yaz
    Blew me away when I first heard it. Totally unique sound.
  • 8. Clampdown by The Clash
    Could have been almost any track from London Calling.
  • 7. Master And Servant by Depeche Mode
    These guys taught us that synth music could be full-sounding and emotional.
  • 6. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    Without question, best one-hit-wonder song of the decade.
  • 5. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses
    Got to include something mainstream here and this was a great rock song. Remember, before Nirvana and Pearl Jam, "new wave" stuff didn't get much radio airplay.
  • 4. White Wedding by Billy Idol
    This guy was really great for a long time, if you count his work with Generation X. Not sure what happened to him but a comeback would be welcome.
  • 3. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
    Could have been New Years Day, as well. From U2's last good album, IMHO, "War". The live version on their EP sucked; it has to be the studio version.
  • 2. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult
    These guys made hard rock cool again.
  • 1. Run And Run by Psychedelic Furs
    Unique, hardedged yet danceable from one of the great bands of the Eighties.
By: Danno
  • 10. Limelight by Rush
  • 9. We're Ready by Boston
  • 8. Four In The Morning by Night Ranger
  • 7. Desert Moon by Dennis DeYoung
  • 6. Knocking At Your Back Door by Deep Purple
  • 5. Fight Fire With Fire by Kansas
  • 4. Subdivisions by Rush
  • 3. Mean Street by Van Halen
  • 2. Heart & Soul by Huey Lewis & The News
  • 1. Waiting For A Girl Like You by Foreigner
By: Brittany
  • 10. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
    The ultimate rebel song! What more can you ask for when you're a child of the 80s?!
  • 9. Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen
    Makes you proud to be an American..doesn't it? And nobody says it better than Bruce Springsteen!
  • 8. Walk This Way by Aerosmith w/ Run DMC
    The beginning of the future of rap, rock n' roll duos!
  • 7. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    Great song, great artist, great video! What more could you ask for?
  • 6. Fight For Your Right (To Party) by Beastie Boys
    The title says it all! Beatie Boys related to everyone in this song..especially the crazy teens! An awesome song and awesome band!
  • 5. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
    I had to throw in a song with a little uhh "action" in it. And what better song than AC/DC's "Shook Me All Night Long"..? These boys know how to rock and rock hard.
  • 4. Summer Of '69 by Bryan Adams
    The song we can all sit down and listen to and relate to in some way. We all remember those summers that we wished would never end.
  • 3. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    An amazing song and even better band. This band is so talented and has some of the best songs of the 80s but this is my favorite!
  • 2. Jump by Van Halen
    Probably one of the best and most energetic songs on the 80s is definitaly "Jump!" It always gets you pumped and seeing Van Halen is even better! There's nothin quite as good as that! They put on the best show!
  • 1. Thriller by Michael Jackson
    And my number 1? Who else but the king not Elvis...the OTHER king! lol! Michael Jackson's "Thriller"...awesome song and video! It's number 1 on mine and everyone else's list whether you're a fan or his or not you can't deny him the number 1 spot! He's got the voice and the moves and he's just one of the best performers of all time!
By: Tom
By: hank77
  • 10. Livin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • 9. Worlds Apart (Seperate Ways) by Journey
    great song from the best band of the eighties
  • 8. Send Me An Angel by Real Life
    great song
  • 7. Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes
    lost the acid,found the guitar
  • 6. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
    great band that was'nt around long enough
  • 5. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
    he's a freak but one of the most talented albino's i have ever seen!
  • 4. One by Metallica
    came out in 89' everybody knows the words, "just like a war time novelty"
  • 3. Tom Sawyer by Rush
    greatest song by the greatest
  • 2. Spirit Of Radio by Rush
    great song by the greatest
  • 1. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
    a-ha is better than this? come on!
there were so many "bands" in the eighties, I decided not to go with one hit wonders. any record company can write a hit song and sell it as an artists work, integrity thats what counts(metallica not included)
By: Julien Peter Benney
  • 10. Welcome To The Boomtown by David and David
    A brilliant and tragic song by an artist that might have bettered Tears For Fears' combination of sophistication and social consciousness. Overlooked classic.
  • 9. State Of The World by Janet Jackson
    A song I would not believe she was capable of after hearing her more recent works. What song is so serious and yet so upbeat at the same time???
  • 8. Appetite by Prefab Sprout
    A song I often try to sing along to. Despite its unfashionable lyrical theme, it was a foretaste of the most wonderfully literate songwriter the world has known. (only a hit in Australia).
  • 7. Walk The Dinosaur by Was (Not Was)
    A brilliant dance track of which my memories come from hearing this at a camp in Daylesford. Wondeful theme, but I only recently rediscovered this one.
  • 6. Night Of The Swallow by Kate Bush
    The most wonderful string and pipe section I have ever seen, and it sounds like heaven. "The Sophia of popular music" (see why I call her that??) at her brilliant, mysterious best.
  • 5. She Drives Me Crazy/Good Thing by Fine Young Cannibals
    A pair of singles that goes very far towatds defining what the late 1980s were all about. The playing is really powerful and quite stripped-down.
  • 4. Would I Lie To You? by Eurythmics
    The hit single from the album that almost defined the 1980s for me.
  • 3. Avalon by Roxy Music
    The fulcrum behind the album of the same name, it set a standard for ballad singing that has hardly been equalled.
  • 2. Message In A Bottle by Police
    Borderline '80s (1979/1980) but this is another song I can never get tired of for a moment.
  • 1. New Sensation by INXS
    By far their best. I have never grown tired of this song since hearing it on "Rage". Jon Farriss simply fires.
There are just too many songs from the '80s I wish I could include, and it is just too difficult for me to narrow it down to a small number very easily. There are many others that I would wish to include, but cannot.
Hon. Mentions Africa Toto, M.Jackson Man in the Mirror,Steve Winwood Higher Love & Back in the Highlife
By: Edwin Lin
By: Big Ian
  • 10. I Am Real American by Unknown
    It was Hulk Hogans entrance music and nothing screams 80's like the Hulkster! My band played it at a gig in a small bar & had the whole crowd chanting HOGAN! What a night!
  • 9. Final Countdown by Europe
    "All these hits plus more by original artists like Heart, Whitesnake..." This song is the advert for every 80's compilation album on Shopping TV. Along with "Is This Love" & "I want to know what love is" they appear on every 80's compilation album regardless of genre!
  • 8. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
    I want my MTV! The first song ever played on MTV Europe will hold a special place in everyones hearts. Plus it rocks!
  • 7. Purple Rain by Prince
    Possibly the greatest songwriter of the 80's. I love this track especially the guitar parts at the end. Prince we miss you!
  • 6. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    Breakfast Club, has anyone not seen that movie, does not get sent as a free gift when you sign up to video clubs! This song brings it all back plus the band grew up near where I live in Scotland.
  • 5. Rio by Duran Duran
    If you are to be a true 80's classic its all in the opening line. Pumpin bass leads into the most obviuos, but brilliant pop song Duran Duran ever penned.
  • 4. Livin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
    Like I say its all in the opening line. You hear that soft synth for a few seconds, then the tambourine "1,2,3,..1,2,3,.." then the bass line rides underneath just to warn you "yes Livin on a Prayer is about to start" then by the time the drums kick in you know what song it is, you have your bandana dug out & your making strange air guitar motions with your mouth. Long live Bon Jovi!
  • 3. Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses
    GN'R were the best band of the 80's, Appetite was the best album & this was THE best song they ever wrote. Slash & Axl rule. The lead lines are out of this world, its got the best guitar solos ever as well. All 5 of 'em! Its on Virgin Radio nearly everyday and it all comes flooding back when you hear that opening Riff. Slash we salute you! Now wheres my Top Hat!
  • 2. Take On Me by A-Ha
    Another synth driven classic openinn line that bores into your head that just takes you back when its on the radio. You know what song it is by the first chord. Its sooooo 80's. And is there a better video from the 80's. I dont think so. Sledgehammer get out of it!
  • 1. Jump by Van Halen
    When you here that synth on the Radio its almost like being there! Eddie at his best riff & solo wise Roth at his best lewd-wise! Rock on brother Halen!
What defines a true 80's song: Well i think it lies in the fact that most of these get played with shocking regularity on most good Radio Stations even if they avoid playing oldies or metal songs. The opening line is usually the killer. If you dont know right away that your listening to it then its power is gone. There are exceptions of course as noted in the list, but they prove the rule. God Bless the 80's my we all remember it fondly. Now I'm away to watch Terminator & Back To The Future!
By: Jeremy Otto
  • 10. Secret Separation by The Fixx
    Can't include "How Much is Enough" since that was 1991, but I think this one is a close second (even better than the more popular "One Thing Leads to Another)
  • 9. Do You Believe in Love? by Huey Lewis & the News
    The song that made Huey a star, even if he never quite came up with a song this catchy (which is tough to do).
  • 8. Touch Of Grey by Grateful Dead
    I had a friend in college who was a dedicated Deadhead and was insulted that I only liked this one because it's catchy. But you can't make a leopard change his spots, right?
  • 7. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    Just as danceable and catchy today as it was 20 years ago.
  • 6. Freeze Frame by J. Geils Band
    This early 80s hit has aged quite well. Very danceable.
  • 5. Shakedown by Bob Seger
    How can I include this one and leave off Seger classics like "Against the Wind" and "Like a Rock"? Simple; it's straightforward power pop that doesn't make you think too much; just get enjoy the groove.
  • 4. Healing Hands by Elton John
    Just an incredibly upbeat and underrated song.
  • 3. Innocent Man by Billy Joel
    B.J. sounds a lot like the late, great Sam Cooke here.
  • 2. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
    Captures the late 50s/early 60s sound while still sounding new.
  • 1. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    Although I thought about a couple other songs for #1, this has to be it because it is so quintisentially 80s. And you can't help dancing to it.
By: Chuck Artz
  • 10. Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox
  • 9. Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash
  • 8. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
  • 7. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
  • 6. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • 5. Beat It by Micheal Jackson
  • 4. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    can't get enough of this song and that crazy mideivil dance. This song made bio dome worth watching.
  • 3. White Wedding by Billy Idol
  • 2. I Ran by Flock Of Seagulls
    love the way they hold those oooohhhhhhhhhs
  • 1. That's What I Like About You by The Knack
    This is the most uplifting song ever...this song is unbeatable for flying down the roads in your car and having fun. I can't believe barely anyone has it on their list
By: Rick WIlson

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