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. We Are The World by Various Artists
I had to choose this, so I could include a bunch of 80's artists at one time!
- 9. Big Country by Big Country
I've never heard anyone play their guitars to sound like bagpipes like they do, it's such a unique sound.
- 8. Mr. Roboto by Styx
This song will never die....
- 7. Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac
The musicianship on this song is just outstanding.
- 6. True by Spandau Ballet
Who doesn't love *uh-uh-uh uh, I know this much is true....*?
- 5. The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Musical talent + Social Conscience = Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
- 4. An Innocent Man by Billy Joel
It's not one of his mega hits, but it's such a lovely song musically and lyrically.
- 3. Hot Blooded by Foreigner
There is something about this song that makes me just want to play some air guitar. Lou Gramm has a great rock voice too.
- 2. Boys of Summer by Don Henley
The music video was good too.
- 1. Faithfully by Journey
Probably one of the best love songs ever recorded. Journey is my favorite band, and Steve Perry's sexy voice combined with beautiful lyrics make for some great music! I love all of Journey's songs (except for the new stuff done with Perry's replacement, no offence to Augeri fans...) so it was tough choosing just this one for the list.
It was sooo hard just choosing 10!
- 10. You Spin Me Round (like A Record) by Dead or Alive
An essential eighties tune, so catchy and danceable...one of those songs that if someone starts singing, its stuck in your head for an eternity
- 9. Sex Dwarf by Soft Cell
- 8. Wave of Mutilation by The Pixies
such an underrated yet incredibly talented group
- 7. Shake the Disease by Depeche Mode
Martins lyrics combined with Daves vocals is simply heavenly :)
- 6. Cities in Dust by Siouxsie and the Banshees
my favourite female vocalist! They have so many great songs especially from their earlier years
- 5. Heartbreak Beat by Psychedelic Furs
A voice like Richard Butlers never goes unnoticed
- 4. Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before by The Smiths
ever wonder why all their song titles are so LONG? One of the best eighties non-synth groups though
- 3. The Killing Moon by Echo and The Bunnymen
- 2. But not Tonight by Depeche Mode
Great upbeat song! Depeche Mode deserves their own top ten list, all their songs are fantastic.
- 1. Pictures of You by The Cure
One of the most beautiful songs ever!
All great songs. Wasn't easy to order them.
By: Tom L.
- 10. Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult
"He picks up a bus and he throws it back down As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town" Thats the best song B.O.C. ever come out with, I dont care about the rest of there music.
- 9. Slide It In by Whitesnake
The funny story about this song, is that my Dad was riding with me in my car, and he picked up my cassette cases. He starts reading off the songs, Slide It In, Slow An' Easy, Spit It Out, and he looks over at me and says " What is this crap? " It all comes back to me when my oldest daughter wants to listen to a song that I may not care about. History does repeat itself. lol
- 8. I'll Wait by Van Halen
Gives you second thoughts about having your picture taken!
- 7. Turn The Page by Bob Seger
I have never gotten tired of this song after all the times i've played it, I just can't get used to Metallica singing it.
- 6. Too Much Time On My Hands by Styx
I would crank this up and cruise around in my boat (74 LTD 2dr) on University Ave. in Cedar Falls, Ia.
- 5. I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar
If Sammy doesn't drive 55, why should I? lmao
- 4. Tall Cool One by Robert Plant
I liked hearing this one in the clubs.
- 3. Ten Seconds To Love by Motley Crue
Now thats a quicky!
- 2. Ordinary Average Guy by Joe Walsh
My life the way it is now.
- 1. Hells Bells by AC/DC
I got Back In Black as a Christmas present,and I couldn't wait to play it. Hells Bells on Christmas didn't go over to good. Despite my choices in music, I think I turned out OK. lol
This song list is so hard to come up with, because my favorites shift around on a daily basis. So I'm going to have a Honorable Mention list, in no particular order, because I don't want to be at this all day :) Huey Lewis - If This It, Heart - Heartless, .38 Special - Rockin' into the Night, AC/DC - Big Balls, AC/DC - Touch Too Much, ZZ Top - Tube Snake Boogie, ZZ Top - TV Dinners, Alan Parsons - Games People Play, Warrant - Cherry Pie, Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun, Uriah Heep - That's The Way That It Is, Aldo Nova - Fantasy, Aldo Nova - Hot Love, Tubes - She's A Beauty, Tracy Chapman - Fast Car, Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime, Styx - Blue Collar Man, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pride And Joy, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cold Shot, April Wine - Sign Of The Gypsy Queen, Bad Company - No Smoke Without A Fire, Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies, Billy Joel - Shameless, Billy Squier - Don't Say No, Black Sabbath - Trashed, Slaughter - Up All Night, Scorpions - No One Like You, Sammy Hagar - Three Lock Box, Rolling Stones - Start Me Up, Poison - Something To Believe In, Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight, Billy Idol - Rebel Yell, Bob Seger - The Fire Down Below, Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead Or Alive, Boz Scaggs - Breakdown Dead Ahead, Bruce Springsteen - Cover Me, Cheap Trick - Flame, Danzig - Mother, Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer, Pat Benatar - You Better Run, Nazareth - Holiday, Motley Crue - Kickstart My Heart, Metallica - One, Loverboy - Lovin' Every Minute Of It, Krokus - Long Stick Goes Boom, Kiss - Fits Like A Glove, Kick Axe - Heavy Metal Shuffle, Judas Priest - Hot Rockin', Journey - Any Way You Want It, John Cougar Mellencamp - Rain On The Scarecrow, Joan Jett - Little Liar, Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills, Helix - Rock You, Guns N' Roses - Paradise City, Foreigner - Hot Blooded, Fleetwood Mac - Tusk, Faith No More - Epic, Eric Clapton - Forever Man, Eagles - Those Shoes, Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard - Too Late For Love, David Lee Roth - Yankee Rose, Triumph - Lay It On The Line, some of these may be from the late 70's, oops! Oh well it has taken me half the day to do them and I Have more. Maybe next time. Great site and great memories from the 80's.
By: Steve Williams
- 10. Men and Women in the 21st Century by Men Without Hats
the US lost interest in MWH after Pop Goes The World, but this album is their best by far. beautiful title song.
- 9. Don't You Want Me by Human League
the best of synth/new wave haircut chic. and madonna used to dance to it when she was sad.. what more to say.
- 8. Sex (I'm A) by Berlin
I was too young to go to clubs when this song came out. But I can only imagine the hipsters getting all into themselves in the mirrored walls. Then that Top Gun fiasco... what were they thinking.. retirement obviously?
- 7. Something About You by Level 42
Hate to put a video in front of the song - both rule, but the image of Mark King (bassist vocalist) dressed as some pantomime waving a cane and laughing like a lunatic as the camera pulls away at the end of the song totally subverts an adult love song into something more sinister. I think the MTV crowd couldn't handle ambivalent meaning anymore.
- 6. Echo Beach by Martha and The Muffins
Daniel Lanois' debutante party. Totally totally 80s for me.
- 5. Hold Me Now by The Thompson Twins
*sob* "i have a picture, pinned to the wall, it's of me and of you and we are laughing and loving it all... " my musical high school yearbook in one tune.
- 4. How Soon Is Now / This Charming Man by The Smiths
The things we called alternative, Nirvana made it acceptable ten years later in pop radio. This is the Iliad and Odyssey of all moper songs.
- 3. Head Over Heels by The Go-Gos
perfect. watch belinda dance and the girls pump it out in the video. convinced me they actually could play and write. then they blew away.
- 2. Tokyo / Lovers in A Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn
don't know exactly how popular mr. cockburn was in the US, but he had sizeable critical and sales respect in Canada and Europe. get a copy of these - amazing storytelling and metaphor.
- 1. Making Plans For Nigel/Senses Working overtime by xtc
easily the most underbought, undersold genius band of the late 70s 80s and early nineties.
oh of course: Spandau Ballet (True), Madness (Our House, It Must Be Love), Motels (Suddenly Last Summer, Only The Lonely), English Beat (Mirror In The Bathroom), Neneh Cherry (Kisses On The Wind, Buffalo Stance).
By: Jake Kishpaugh
- 10. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears
This is just the perfect drive song!! The beat and the synthesizer, plus the guitar solo, are VERY catchy. It was my favorite for a long time when I first heard it six years ago. The song spent 2 weeks at #1 in June, 1985.
- 9. Sara by Fleetwood Mac
Probably the band's best song (apart from Stevie's solo stuff). The melody and harmony in this song is gorgeous and very moody, and Stevie's unique voice fits it distinctly. Peaked at #7 in February, 1980.
- 8. Amanda by Boston
This is a beautifully-crafted ballad sung by one of the best rock bands ever. This powerful love song used to be my favorite song, mostly 'cause Amanda was a girl I was in love with (what a convenient song title!) Spent two weeks at #1 in November, 1986.
- 7. Down By The Sea by Men At Work
Men At Work are one of the most talented bands I've ever heard, and I enjoy many of their tunes. This one is their best, with nostalgia, beautiful instrumentals, and Colin Hay's distinctive voice blended in. Wasn't released as a single, though, but would have done well on the charts, considering how popular Men at Work were in 1982.
- 6. Beauty And The Beast by Stevie Nicks
A beautiful, haunting ballad--Stevie sings it just great, as she usually does! This song wasn't released as a single.
- 5. Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits
This is my second-favorite song by Dire Straits, and it's a close second to "Romeo And Juliet." This song has an incredible "journeying" mood to it. Not released as a single.
- 4. Romeo And Juliet by Dire Straits
A beautiful, melodic love song that displays the great talent of the members of Dire Straits, a band that is one of my all-time favorite. This song is from 1980, but not released as a single (too bad!)
- 3. Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You by Stevie Nicks
An incredibly beautiful, moody piano/synthesizer song that just soars! Stevie's voice is haunting and very melodic, changing style to fit the fluctuating moods of the song. Only hit #60 in 1986.
- 2. The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
This song is THE QUINTESSENTIAL song of summer!! It just floored me when I first heard it. The synth, the percussion, guitar, and the lyrics, plus the great "seagull" sounds, make the song genuinely sound like summertime at the beach. Don Henley REALLY crafted a gem here! This song vies VERY closely with my #1 song. Peaked at (only!) #5 in February, 1985.
- 1. Chances by Air Supply
An incredible ballad filled with nostalgia and beautiful violin, guitar, and synthesizers. Has a great "pining" mood (as you can tell, I love music w/ a good "mood" to it) and is the best ballad written by Air Supply, the "king" of love ballads of the early '80s. This wasn't released as a single in America, however.
Honorable mention: "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes, "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, "Lost In Love" by Air Supply, "Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat Benatar, "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley, "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" by Yes, "My Hometown," "Dancing In The Dark," and "Brilliant Disguise" by Bruce Springsteen, "Time After Time" and "All Through The Night" by Cyndi Lauper, "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister, and many others are classics.
By: El Diablo
- 10. Died In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
A one hit wonder band but this is a true classic 80's love song.
- 9. Slave To Love by Bryan Ferry
Another great love song. Unforgettable melody, great lyrics and Bryan's amazing voice.
- 8. Sadeness by Enigma
They created their own musical genre with this song and it's never been done better since. I especially love the pan pipes in this song.
- 7. Brother In Arms by Dire Straits
One of the great bands of the 80's. I love so much of their music but this is perhaps their best, even though it is a very sad song.
- 6. Atmosphere by Joy Division
From one of the pioneers of the alternative music scene, an amazing song that moves me whenever I listen to it.
- 5. Hysteria by Def Leppard
It took me a while to decide on either this song or Love Bites to represent my love for the music of this band.
- 4. Forever Young by Alphaville
Beautiful song with great lyrics.
- 3. Edie (Ciao Baby) by The Cult
One of the best bands ever and this song stands out as their greatest song. Its got everything I want in a song - the sound, the voice, the words and most of all the passion.
- 2. Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds
The song moves me like no other. Simply superb.
- 1. With Or Without You by U2
I do believe this is the best song to come out of the 80's. The immense talent of U2 and Bono's wonderful voice at it's finest.
I'd love to hear what you think of my selections. Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Karl Nixon
- 10. Love Can't Turn Around by Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk
This one definately deserves a mention, not least of all for the fact that it was one of the very first 'house' tunes on the circuit. Right outta Detroit, baby...!
- 9. You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive
Probably the best party tune of the 80s, this is one of the most bouncy records I've ever heard.
- 8. Don't You Want Me by Human League
I know everyone else has this on their lists, and although I want to be different, I just can't exclude this one.
- 7. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
What 80s top ten would be complete without these boys? Definately the best and most consistent band of the decade.
- 6. Living On The Ceiling by Blancmange
I can't believe no-one's mentioned this one yet! What a track, way ahead of its time for 1982! Silly lyrics, but one hell of a middle-eastern sounding sample.
- 5. Always On My Mind by The Pet Shop Boys
I could include other Pet Shop Boys tracks in this top ten list, such as 'Heart', 'It's A Sin' and 'Rent', however I'll just pick my favourite to continue the variation...
- 4. Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
Being a Jimmy Sommerville fan I knew I'd have to include this electro-monster. Very haunting!
- 3. The Riddle by Nik Kershaw
A very under-rated track this, in spite the somewhat daft lyrics.
- 2. Brother Louie by Modern Talking
I'm very surprised this one hasn't cropped up on these pages yet - what a fantastic tune!
- 1. The Final Countdown by Europe
Well it may be a one-hit-wonder but I love it! A very dramatic song that just sums up the 80s for me.
I could sit here and mention countless others, if I had the time and patience. The tracks I've listed above, however, are the ones that spring to mind when summing up the 80s.
- 10. Losing My Religion by REM
Probably one of the better-known 80's songs out there. Whatever you think of REM, this song still rocks. Another little fact about the lyrics, "Losing My Religion" is actually a southern phrase meaning something to the effect of "trying to subtlely show a feeling or emotion". It's pretty cool really, and resembles the feelings of many a high school student with a crush. It's not about religion at all.
- 9. Pure Energy by Information Society
A really cool song. The first 5 seconds have a voice saying "It's worked so far, but we're not out yet." If you listen closely it sounds like Harrison Ford... and definately resembles any number of movie characters he's played. Weird fact about a cool song.
- 8. I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
This one and "Another Day in Paradise" are definately his best songs ever made.
- 7. She's Got the Look by Roxette
A lot of similar connotations to "Come On Eileen", and it has a sweet tune.
- 6. Spirits in the Material World by The Police
C'mon, get the mental image of a half-dozen ghosts singing this song. It's funny if you have the right idea :)
- 5. Rock the Casbah by The Clash
Everyone has to know this song, it has some really cool lyrics behind it too.
- 4. One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head
No matter what, I'm always amused to remember this song is about chess. The opening instrumental is different between the original and radio-edit versions, and both are cool... download both if you can.
- 3. Hazy Shade of Winter by The Bangles
Awesome song, it's just plain catchy.
- 2. Gimme Shelter by Rolling Stones
You gotta love this song. Arguably one of the Stones' best songs in my opinion.
- 1. Anywhere Is by Enya
My best friend introduced me to this one. A real classic, it has a lot of meaning and passion without putting you to sleep.
I tried to put mostly songs that hadn't been listed, but most all the songs above are awesome too, it's just nice to have some variation :) There's also a ton of other songs that I wish I'd had room to list, such as "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, every Police/Sting, Doors, and Billy Joel song ever written, Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall", Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" and "It's my life", and a few dozen more.
Apologies to Michael Jackson, but these songs are just better than anything in his collection.
By: m selebay
- 10. Our House by Madness
A great ska hit, a true classic.
- 9. 68 Hours by National Velvet
hard to find, but a great song.
- 8. I Got You by Split Enz
- 7. Ain't Talkin Bout Love by Van Halen
David Lee Roth was Van Halen
- 6. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
- 5. Wild Boys by Duran Duran
can't be the 80s without duran
- 4. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
a very cool song in the spirit of spanish bombs
- 3. Voices Carry by Till Tuesday
- 2. Echo Beach by Martha And The Muffins
new wave will always have a voice in martha and the muffins.
- 1. A Forest by The Cure
A song that grows on you and has a wicked beat, almost all 80's people will remember it when they hear it.
Oh... there could be sooo many more songs, by sooo many more artists, however this is my favorite 10 off the top of my head.
By: Slap' Head
- 10. Lean on Me by Club Nouveau
- 9. Copperhead Road by Steve Earle
A campfire classic!
- 8. Blister in the Sun by The Violent Femmes
An 80's anthem!
- 7. Flame Trees by Cold Chisel
Great rock from an Australian institution..
- 6. C'mon Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runner's
- 5. I Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
- 4. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
More classic rock - for something different..
- 3. And We Danced by The Hooters
Loved the flimclip. Classic 80's rock
- 2. I'm On My Way by The Proclaimers
Need I say any more!?! Sensational..
- 1. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Classic, stereotypical 80's stuff!
I grew up in the 80's and each of these songs has a relevant meaning to me. We thought the music was crap at the time, but they keep doing covers of them these days, so they can't have been that bad..
- 10. The Sweetest Thing by U2
pretty cool, the later released film clip was even better!!!
- 9. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
changed the worldwide view on the conflicting ireland...
- 8. Pride (in The Name Of Love) by U2
incresed amnesty international's membership by like 300%...mus be doin' sumfin right!
- 7. All I Want Is You by U2
good slow song
- 6. I Will Follow by U2
good earlier stuff by the best band eva!!!
- 5. Bad by U2
not bad at all...
- 4. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Lookin For by U2
pretty good follow up song to with or without u
- 3. Where The Street's Have No Name by U2
- 2. With Or Without U by U2
pretty good, so much different from anythin else i've heard before
- 1. New Year's Day by U2
quite simply, best song eva!!!!
U2 Is The Best Band Eva, Over 20's Years In Business And Still Going Strong.
By: Will B
- 10. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
I started liking that song since I was like 12 or 13, also I liked the other version since like that John Lennon song I heard on the airplane.
- 9. St. Elmos Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr
I liked that song since in Late 1998 when I started loving the NFL, like the 49ers beating the Colts, plus some Monday Night Football...
- 8. The Search Is Over by Survivor
I liked that song since I imagined again that I went to LA, had Lasagna for dinner then went for a night drive like over 6 years ago.
- 7. Mad About You by Belinda Carlisle
I first heard that song since I returned to LA 8 years ago when I lived in Moscow,ID. And another thing is that I imagine I'm with my SC4Y buddies again.
- 6. Gloria by Laura Brannigan
I liked that song since like 4 years ago when I went to Green Valley Lake near Big Bear Lake,CA.
- 5. Manic Monday by Bangles
I heard that song since I was like 13 years old.
- 4. Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
It's just a cool song, and My younger sister Alexandra loves that song so much. A little dirty language but it seems kind of irish.
- 3. Kyrie by Mr Mister
I think of the best scenes of Twister the movie when hear that song.
- 2. (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon
I started liking this song since I returned from London, England like over a year ago hearing it on the airplane.
- 1. Broken Wings by Mr Mister
The way I love this song, was that I went to a foursquare church summer camp singing it to almost all of the campers, even some that I met.
One more thing, My name is William Brown, and I'm from Lompoc,CA. Probally some others don't like putting it where there from, but for me, I don't mind at all. I'm 19 years old this year. I am just an 80's music fan. Thats all. Long distance or not, Whereever I find good music. It seems cool. Thank you very much. Sincerely William
- 10. Pleasure And Pain by Divinyls
Lesser known song from the band that brought us "I touch myself"
- 9. She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summer
She works HARRRD for the money, uh-uh, uh-uh
- 8. Say, Say, Say by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
Awesome. You don't see collaborations like this anymore.
- 7. Let It Whip by Gap Band
Not to be confused with "Whip It", another gem . . . "Let It Whip" was recently used in a tampon ad.
- 6. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
This song gives me goosebumps still . . .
- 5. We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel
What an anthem for the 'me' generation!
- 4. Maniac by Michael Sembello
I crashed my car to this song.
- 3. One Way Or Another by Blondie
I'm gonna get ya, get ya, get ya . . .
- 2. You Think You're A Man? by Divine
Campy, queer, but a quintessential 80s hit!!
- 1. Gambler by Madonna
Little known classic by the Material Girl
- 10. Stuck With You by Huey Lewis and The News
I love this song. Probably H&N's best.
- 9. Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
I never liked the Eagles, but Don is alright.
- 8. Take On Me by A-ha
The epitomy of 80s pop....for about a week.
- 7. Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles
Yeah I know this song is from 1979, but who didnt love it in the 80s
- 6. Saint Elmo's Fire by John Parr
I used to dance to this song when I was two years old
- 5. I Wanna Be A Cowboy by Boys Don't Cry
Just as unpopular today as it was in the 1980s, but I love it!
- 4. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
Poor Murray just couldnt sing, but the video clip is above average.
- 3. Money For Nothing by Dire Straights
It just wouldnt be the 80s without Dire Straights
- 2. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
Lame, but it is a personal favourite.
- 1. Land of Confusion by Genesis
Prolific world politicians as puppets?
By: Lauchlan Mackinnon
- 10. Magic Man by Heart
That and 'Barracuda' are Hearts two great contributions to the eighties . . .
- 9. Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins
- 8. The Slab by Hunters And Collectors
Another Australian band . . . a thumping bass line. Could have picked so many more here . . . "Throw your arms around me" "When the river runs dry" "talking to a stranger" . . .
- 7. Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again (live)? by The Angels
Another Australian Band. The rejoinder from the audience in the live version is a little rude (and makes the song great) . . .
- 6. Alone With You Tonight by Sunny Boys
- 5. Forever Man by Eric Clapton
- 4. Spare Parts (and Broken Hearts) by Bruce Springsteen
A great little number. The live version rocks.
- 3. Telegraph Road by Dire Straits
We all know Dire Straits . . .
- 2. Scuttle Buttin' by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
A fast little rocker . . .
- 1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Theme song to the Soundtrack to Rocky III . . . see http://www.jimpeterik.com/btseot.htm
If you went anywhere near an Australian pub in the eighties, chances are you know the lyrics to "Khe San" by Cold Chisel off by heart . . . or remember "Goodbye Astrid" or "My baby". Then there were the variety of Talking Heads songs . . . Psycho Killer for starters. The Cars were belting out the tunes then and very eighties . . . the list goes on.
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