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: M Polk
- 10. In the Mood by Robert Plant
Umm Umm Good
- 9. Love Song by Tesla
WOW please come back to this one for a second listen.
- 8. Pasific State by 808 State
- 7. French Kiss by Lil' Louis
Hypnotic nothing more than that. The birth of Techno.
- 6. Under The Milky Way Tonight by The Church
One of the the most romantic song ever made
- 5. Between Something and Nothing by The Ocean Blue
Hard to come, by but find this song.... find it! The greatest riff rock music lovers never heard.
- 4. Fool's Gold by The Stone Roses
Almost out cools Miles Davis
- 3. Watermark by Enya
Time stands still
- 2. There She Goes by The La's
- 1. Wicked Game by Cris Issac
The end eighties (88-91) are overlooked as the finest years of music we may ever see in this lifetime. This is just one gem.
I love the 80's!!!!
- 10. Beat It by Michael Jackson
(20) I had to have one song from Michael Jackson, since his music was the first that I really started to get into when I was growing up. My favourite from him is actually "Who Is It", but that wasn't an 80s song so I'll have to make do with "Beat It" - still a very good song of course!!. No one can deny that Michael was a great performer and made some great music.
- 9. Six Months In A Leaky Boat by Split Enz
(19) A very good song from another great New Zealand band. Split Enz had a lot of great songs, but never really gained any popularity outside Australasia. I actually heard that this song was banned in NZ for a while, I'm not sure whether that is true or not.
- 8. The Look Of Love by ABC
(18) A great song from this Australian pop band. The lyrics in particular are very clever ("If you judge a book by the cover, then you judge the look by the lover"), and the melody and arrangement is excellent.
- 7. Africa by Toto
(17) This song is without a doubt one of the classic songs of the 80s: melodic, slow and a little bit exotic. It has an interesting video, as well. Toto also had quite a few other good songs: 99, Hold The Line, I Won't Hold You Back, Rosanna...
- 6. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
(16) A great song from a band that apparently lived in New Zealand for a while. Excellent production and lyrics make a great 80s song. Make sure you get the extended 7-minute album version.
- 5. Crazy by Icehouse
(15) This Australian band (mainly Iva Davies) has a large number of good songs, and are still recording. This one has great lyrics and a catchy beat, and was a big hit. "Great Southern Land" is another very good song with a darker feel to it.
- 4. Sara by Starship
(14) Another very well known song, and rightly so. Starship had a few big hits, but this is my favourite. All the Sarahs that I've met in my life have been really nice people, so the name has a positive connotation for me.
- 3. Easy Lover by Phil Collins
(13) Another undeniably talented musician with many good songs. This one gets your feet tapping very quickly, and is my favourite from him. Genesis had a lot of great stuff, too.
- 2. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
(12) "The Breakfast Club"... need I say anything more?? What a great movie it was, but how I wish it was a lot longer!! As for the song, it is very good too. This is the song that Simple Minds loved to hate: it was their most popular song but it was the only one they didn't write themselves!!
- 1. True by Spandau Ballet
(11) A fairly cheesy 80s song that takes itself very seriously, but you can't help but love it. Such a smooth, dreamy song, and undeniably brilliant.
Well I couldn't narrow it down to 10 so I've cheated a bit and done my top 20. These are songs 11-20 in my list, the top 10 should be just below this (I hope!!)
- 10. The Sun Always Shines On TV by A-Ha
(10) Sure, they were a "girls band", but they actually have a lot of very good songs. Also, they actually write their own songs and play their own instruments (how many of the crap boy bands today can do that?), so they get my respect. Everyone knows "Take On Me", but personally I like this one better.
- 9. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
(9) Another great song from a New Zealand band, and I think this was one of the few songs that had an impact outside Australasia. These guys were definitely not one-hit wonders, either, although none of their other songs were quite as popular as this one.
- 8. Waiting So Long by Supertramp
(8) An awesome song from what would turn out to be Supertramp's last real album together, "...Famous Last Words...". Supertramp also released a lot of great songs in the 70s, of course. This song is an unusual, multi-faceted song that is a bit sad but rocks pretty damn hard towards the end.
- 7. Heart And Soul by The Narcs
(7) As a Kiwi I have to put a couple of New Zealand songs on the list, and this one has definitely earnt its place. A very atmospheric, melodic song from a band that unfortunately turned out to be a one-hit wonder.
- 6. Man-Eater by Hall and Oates
(6) A classic 80s song that everyone knows. Has a very distinctive beginning of course that sexy saxophone. Hall and Oates had many other good songs too - "Out of Touch" in particular is very good.
- 5. Eye In The Sky by Alan Parsons Project
(5) An incredibly dreamy song with a great message from an underappreciated "band". They had many great songs; their early material in the 70s in particular is brilliant.
- 4. Telegraph Road (Live) by Dire Straits
(4) The greatest 80s rock band, in my opinion. They had an awful lot of good songs, but this one really is something special. A very sad, serious song that alternates between quiet piano solos and rocking pretty damn hard. Get the live version - the crowd going crazy makes it truly amazing.
- 3. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
(3) These guys must be the most unlikely looking group of popstars ever - I mean, one of them is a hairdresser.... They actually had quite a few good songs though, and this one is incredible. A driving beat and great lyrics make it hard to sit still while this is on!! I've heard the video for this song is terrible, but I haven't seen it myself.
- 2. Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police
(2) A great band with a lot of very very good songs. All the members of The Police had formal music training (unlike many 80s musicians), and it showed. This song is almost shy, but the lyrics are superb and Sting does a great job with them. A brilliant song about the change in power in a relationship.
- 1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
(1) What can I say?? An absolutely amazing song from a great band, and one that I'll never get sick of. The 80s encapsulated into four and a quarter minutes of pure magic.
I was born in 1980 so I never really got to appreciate the 80s while it was happening, but I love listening to the music now - it is certainly a lot better than the modern stuff. An awesome site, keep up the good work!!
- 10. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Look like women, talk like men. This song is my personal philosophy.
- 9. Livin' On a Prayer by Bon Jovi
An American anthem. Haha, that was alliteration or something like that, wasn't it? Those creatice writing classes are paying off!
- 8. You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive
This is such a great song. Plus, I'm a sucker for crossdressers.
- 7. White Wedding by Billy Idol
For the 80s punker in all of us. Who hasn't stood in front of their mirror and practiced Billy's trademark sneer?
- 6. Save Me by Queen
Save me, save me, saaaaaaaaaaave me! Incredible lyrics, incredible music, just an overall fantastic song.
- 5. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
Good ol' American rock!
- 4. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
And another gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust...
- 3. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
Alright, so I wasn't born in '69...But I'm sure it was a good year, anyway.
- 2. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
Tu-ra-lu-ra-tu-ra-lu-ri-ay! Infectious, simply infectious.
- 1. Radio GaGa by Queen
Alright, alright...Queen is my fave band. But come on now, the synthesizers, the drums...If this doesn't blatantly shout "80s," I don't know what does!
There are so many other songs I could throw in here, but it would take hours.
By: Christian Keenan
- 10. Nothings Going To Stop Us by Starship
The soundtrack from Manaquin. I have never been so completely in love with a girl as I was when I saw Kim Catrall when I was 11. just hearing this tune reminds me off the butterflies I had in my stomache for her. She is a slapper on sex in the city now :( I would be her toy boy still ;)
- 9. Eddie Grant by Electric Avenue
He had a few singles he is no john Lennon but his songs seem to live on.
- 8. Lets Dance by David Bowie
Great song. He is still writying quality tunes too!
- 7. The Reflex by Duran Duran
Remember this beaing my favorite on the album when I was 8. i still have the same record collection? i was so ahead of my time!
- 6. Love Pride by King
Not that popular but full of energy and bravado well written energitic QUALITY!! Still got the single somewhere. What a mullet!
- 5. Baggy Trousers by Maddness
I think listening to these angry young men made me grow up a rebel hooligan. Another great song I walked in to lamposts listning to this on me walkman.
- 4. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
I was 6 when this come out. I never had a clue what it meant. loved the track though. Good scouse rock!!
- 3. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
A feel good song. Married now to the Breakfast Club soundtrack. Great vocal very much an anthem like lots!
- 2. Take On Me by A-HA
Gives me memories of going on a school trip to Austria. Went to Dublin last month to see A-HA got too drunk to go the gig but great song!
- 1. Billy Jean by Michael Jackson
Come out in January 1980 only just made it in to this decade but can not be beaten!
Every Michael J fox film had a cool soundtrack, I forgot Billy Joel too he is a good songwriter. I'm sure there are loads I didn't think of. Where the streets have no name by U2 yep thats all of them!
- 10. Lady In Red by Chris De Burgh
Was this song smooth or what people
- 9. Waiting For A Star To Fall by Boy Meets Girl
Another one hit wonder of the 80s but a truly remarkable song
- 8. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
What is it bout this song....I still dunno why I like this song.....hahahahah
- 7. A Groovy Kind Of Love by Phil Collins
One of the finest singers of all time.....too bad he went solo but his solo stuff is incredible as well
- 6. Livin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
The smash single from the rock lords of the decade
- 5. Love Bites by Def Leppard
Exceelent song from a classic album HYSTERIA by an underrated band who have been pushed outta the limelight in the 90s
- 4. With or Without You by U2
The best song from this legendary band in this decade even though there were other classics 2 in this decade
- 3. Like A Prayer by Madonna
The undisputed queen of pop
- 2. Take On Me by A-ha
Arguably one of the best pop songs of the decade with an excellent video
- 1. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
Touching song from a few hits wonder of the 80s
It really is impossible to restrict the amazig music of this decade to just 10 songs but I have tried....misses include ppl like Duran Duran.(cos my fav song of theirs was Ordinary World in the 90s),Michael Jackson,Whitney Houston,Foreiger...tons of one hit wonders...Starship,Europe,Foreigner(they ahd a few hits....lol)
- 10. I'd Really Love to See You Tonight by Dan England
- 9. Somebodys Baby by Jackson Brown
- 8. Hot in the City by Billy Idol
- 7. Babooshka by Kate Bush
- 6. It Must Be Love by Madness
- 5. Its A Beautiful World by Devo
- 4. Planet Earth by Duran Duran
- 3. Love Bites by Def Leppard
- 2. Turning Japanese by The Vapours
- 1. Jessies Girl by Rick Springfield
- 10. Kayleigh by Marillion
One rock for the end...
- 9. Golden Brown by The Stranglers
Always is also a nice stuff by them...
- 8. Africa by Toto
Maybe THIS is actually the best song of the 80's...
- 7. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
The only Joy Division song I like
- 6. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
That man was completely crazy. Unfortunately, all the good people die young...
- 5. Take On Me by A-ha
I have it as a ringtone on my mobile.
- 4. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes by Ultravox
Midge Ure! Midge Ure!
- 3. View To Kill by Duran Duran
Seems to be one of my Duran Duran favs. But only ONE of...
- 2. Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar
I fell in love with it only recently.
- 1. Sweet 16 by Billy Idol
I wouldn't say this is THE best song of the 80's but I had to put SOMETHING!
I'm pretty much a New Wave and New Romantics fan. One of those who are never satisfied with ANY 80's compilation available. Of course, I forgot to mention loads of performers. Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Nick Kershaw, Tears for Fears... Oh dearie....
- 10. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Finally watched Breakfast Club for the first time last summer. I already loved the song before, but I love it even more now.
- 9. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
Another great "slower" song.
- 8. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
How can you not love the chorus and the beat to this song?
- 7. Careless Whispers by Wham/George Michael
It doesn't matter if just George Michael gets the credit or all of Wham, it's still a great slow song.
- 6. Something About You by Level 42
Their best song.
- 5. Into the Groove by Madonna
My favorite 80s Madonna song.
- 4. Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
Words cannot describe how awesome this song is.
- 3. Human by Human League
An overlooked song by them. Much better than Fascination and Don't You Want Me.
- 2. The Flame by Cheap Trick
I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it.
- 1. Easy Lover by Phil Collins
How can this not be number one? It's not only the greatest Phil Collins song ever, it's the greatest 80s song ever!
By: Stephen Laughlin
- 10. Gloria by Laura Brannigan
Very touching,and reminds me of me.
- 9. Can't Stay Away From You by Gloria Estefan
Dramatic, and Gloria Estefan has a great voice.
- 8. China Girl by David Bowie
What can I say, its David Bowie at his best.
- 7. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
The perfect love song.
- 6. Take On Me by A-Ha
The vocal is so high, and its great.
- 5. Jump For My Love by Pointer Sisters
Very lively, and cheap...in a good way.
- 4. Who's That Girl? by Eurythmics
I didn't know songs could be this moody.
- 3. Smooth Operator by Sade
The song that epitomises eighties materialism. Love it.
- 2. Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush
The most moving song ever. Kate Bush rocks.
- 1. Aint Nobody by Chaka Khan & Rufus
The ultimate eighties song. Full of synthesisers.
I was only born in the eighties but my favourite songs are from then. The ones that just missed were - The only way is up (Yazz),Karma Chameleon (Culture Club) and Venus (Bananarama).
By: Art Thomas
- 10. Songbird by Kenny G.
You know you liked this song - its ok to admit it.
- 9. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
Great Movie - Great Song
- 8. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
- 7. One Night In Bancok by Murry Head
- 6. Puttin' On The Ritz by Taco
songs 8,7,6 are good reasons why the 80's were so great - its was just fun times had by all
- 5. Believe It Or Not by Forgot The Artists Name - Sorry!
can you believe they are finally going to make a movie version of the greatest t.v. show ever - way to go ralph!
- 4. Its A Mistake by Men At Work
Second greatest band of the 80's - down under may have been their anthem, but this song and overkill is what made them truly great.
- 3. Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News
greatest band of the 80's - power of love and the sports album may have got them on the map - but the fore album showed their wide range of talent
- 2. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears
Another example of a great song/movie combo from the 80's - popcorn anyone?
- 1. Yoda by Weird Al Yankovic
The weird one and star wars together - if that isn't 80's then I don't know what else could be - May the force be with you .....always!
More songs than even a top 100 list could hold - but this will do. Here's an idea for a rainy weekend - rent a bunch of 80's classic movies and get lost in nastalga. Back to the future, real genius, ghostbusters, gremlins, and weird science are a must - I'm sure you can take it from there.
By: Carly Roach
- 10. Everything I Do by Brain Adams
Brilliant song, not too sure about the movie :S
- 9. Magic Dance by David Bowie
Labyrinth Song, Brilliant and fab movie
- 8. Little Lie by Fleetwood Mac
LOVE this song
- 7. Tonight I Celeberate My Love With You by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson
Excelletn Song , possibly 70's
- 6. Broken Wings by Mr Mister
Possibly 70's but its still fab
- 5. China In Your Hands by T'Pau
Good song and group
- 4. Living On a Prayer by Bon Jovi
- 3. We Are The World by USA Africa - MJ
Brilliant- no more to be said
- 2. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
- 1. SuperWoman by Karen White
I love 80's songs, more of a 70's gurl to be honest
By: Randy Munroe
- 10. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
I needed a 10th song, and it's fun to say "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts"
- 9. Pinball Wizard by Elton John
A lot of people like the The Who version better, but this one is just more energetic.
- 8. Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles
The blonde waitresses take their drinks, spin around and they cross the floor . . .
- 7. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
This is good, so is Rio.
- 6. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
I think this is the most universally-loved song ever. The lyrics are just so great to belt out.
- 5. Centerfold by J. Geils Band
He sees his school-age crush in a girly magazine. Wow. That'd be freaky.
- 4. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
This song was JUST played at a homecoming dance, and you wouldn't believe the reaction. Everyone loves this song.
- 3. Jump by Van Halen
I could do without the voice, but the intro is so wonderful
- 2. Divinyls by I Touch Myself
It's so much fun.
- 1. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler
It builds up and up through stages, I love it.
- 10. I Ran by Flock Of Seagulls
A special mention to them because they got away with those haircuts!!
- 9. Down Under by Men At Work
As you can tell I am an Aussie!!
- 8. Who Can It Be Now by Men At Work
Who can it be knocking at my door....
- 7. Live It Up by Mental As Anything
This band played a concert in Adelaide, Australia and realised they couldn't play instruments. They went on to become an icon
- 6. Boys Of Summer by Don Henley
This song gettings my foot tapping each time
- 5. Pride by U2
Need I say more
- 4. All I Want Is You by U2
7 mins of pure bliss
- 3. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
The Joshua Tree was an awesome album
- 2. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
The Joshua Tree was an awesome album
- 1. With Or Without You by U2
The best song ever written if you ask me
- 10. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Superb song, and a fantastic, funny video with Chevy Chase starring!
- 9. Sweet Dreams by Elvis Costello
Another lesser known song, but for me tells of a recent break-up, and the feelings that go with it.
- 8. Love Needs No Disguise by Gary Numan And Dramatis
One of Numan's lesser known hits, but one of my favourites of his.
- 7. All Of My Heart by ABC
Yes, it's another New Romantic Band, but for me the 80s was predominantly about the New Romantics and Live Aid.
- 6. Moonlight Shadow by Mike Oldfield
One of the very few songs I liked as a kid when it came out. Most of the others became favourites on re-releases or through me getting older!
- 5. Maid Of Orleans by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
More haunting synthesisers from one of the Kings of the New Romantic age.
- 4. Every Breath You Take by The Police
One of the most romantic songs ever recorded. Class.
- 3. I Want It All by Queen
Superb guitar and lyrics. Truly rocking song at the end of the 80s.
- 2. Keeping The Dream Alive by Freiheit
Supposedly a Christmas song, but a nice harmonic ballad in its own right. Great video too, just looking for a download of it!
- 1. Vienna by Ultravox
For me, this is THE 80s anthem. Great, haunting melody.
My main regret was that for most of these I was too young to appreciate these when they (first) came out. Being born in 75, I didn't really start getting into music until I was 12 or 13 when the 80s were nearly over. But age has made me realise how great the 80s, especially the early part was for music. (Whisper it quietly, I like 70s rock and some stuff from the 60s and 90s too!)
- 10. The Sun Always Shine On Tv by A-ha
- 9. Electric Blue 1988 by Ice House
- 8. You're A Strange Animal 1985 by Gowan
- 7. Love Becomes Electric 1988 by Strange Advance
- 6. Beat-it 1983 by Michael. Jackson
- 5. Glory Days 1985 by B.Springsteen
- 4. Desire(hollywood Remix) 1988 by U2
- 3. Small Town 1986 by J. Mellencamp
- 2. Land Of Confusions 1987 by Genesis
- 1. Jeopardy 1983 by Greg Kihn Band
- 10. Drive by Cars
- 9. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
- 8. Mad World by Tears For Fears
- 7. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Culrure Club
- 6. Take On Me by A-ha
- 5. Comanchero by Moon Ray
- 4. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
Well, actually anything from the Falco 3 album will do
- 3. The Voice by Moody Blues
although this could actually be 70's...
- 2. Tom Sawyer by Rush
- 1. The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by Jon & Vangelis
Top ten lists are silly, but this entry, at least, is definite!
Pink Floyd, Def Lepard and Poison where all great. Also loved Milli Vanilli! Hey I was 12, I didn't know any better!!!!
- 10. Why Can't I Have You? by The Cars
This is one of those songs that I fell in love with and can't stop playing. It's a realy good song.
- 9. Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode
Music For the Masses is classic. Smashing Pumpkins did a good remake of this song that's on the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack.
- 8. Age of Consent by New Order
Power, Corrupption and Lies...great album. I like this song the best, but Blue Monday is great too.
- 7. Everything She Wants by WHAM!
This is a brilliant song. I love George Michael.
- 6. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
Duran Duran are great, and really undermined. This song has been my favorite for years just because it's very sad. "Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise..."
- 5. Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears
Songs From the Big Chair is one of the ultimate 80's albums. I chose this one because it happens to be my favorite...others would probably say Shout or Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
- 4. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
When I was a 4 or 5, all I would listen to was Phil Collins. This is the song that really stuck with me. The fact that there's an urban legend surrounding it makes it even better.
- 3. Kyoto Song by The Cure
I'm such an 80's fan that I got The Head On The Door and this is my all-time favorite track.
- 2. How Soon is Now? by The Smiths
I acually read about the Smiths in a teen magazine a few years ago in a comparison to another, horrible 90's band. Well when it mentioned the depressed lyrics I had to check them out and bought an new wave compelation CD for my brother, because it had a Smiths song on it. After that, I was addicted.
- 1. Love My Way by Psychadelic Furs
I'm only 15 so cut me some slack...I first noticed this song when I was watching the Wedding Singer and my uncle went "Isn't this the Psychadelic Furs?" I fell in love with this song and now I need a new CD because I played it so much.
There are a lot more I can add, but this is my ultimate list.
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