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: Martin Duchenski
- 10. The Logical Song by Supertramp
- 9. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
Rocky III ... what can I say?
- 8. Man In Motion (St. Elmo's Fire) by John Parr
John Parr also had a brilliant song called "Restless Heart", which appeared in the 80s movie "The Running Man" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger(kicks off in the movie's end).
- 7. Animal by Def Leppard
There are so many good 80s rock songs of this awesome band ... I decided to only chose one.
- 6. The Power Of Love by Huey Lewis And The News
cool track of a cool movie
- 5. Maria Magdalena by Sandra
very famous in Europe; but I don't know about the U.S. and the rest
- 4. Shout by Tears For Fears
- 3. You're The Voice by John Farnham
- 2. Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
- 1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
This song can't be beaten!!!
- 10. Young Turks by Rod Stewart
- 9. Missing You by Some Guy
- 8. Owner Of The Lonely Heart by Yes
- 7. Eye In the Sky by Alan Parson Project
- 6. Someday by Glass Tiger
- 5. Say Say Say by Paul and Mike
- 4. Private Eyes by Hall And Oates
- 3. Take On Me by A-Ha
- 2. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da by Police
- 1. Unforgettable Fire by U2
Only mentioned an artist once. Lots of goodies from each.
I am so glad that I was able to witness the 80's and be another fashion disaster, along with the rest of the world. I still watch Pretty in Pink once a week, attend an 80's night at a bar at least once a week (dressing up of course!), crimp my hair regularly, collect as much NKOTB paraphenalia as possible, listen to at least one Depeche Mode album a day and dream of Micheal Hutchence and Billy Idol and Simon Le Bon and Gary Numan and Martin Gore. Those are just a few things that I do to try and relive my favourite decade of all time!
- 10. You Spin Me Right Round by Dead Alive
This song altered our view of post WWII expresionism in a neo-nazi opressed world.
- 9. Karma Chamaleon by Culture Club
The feel good song of ALL TIME!
- 8. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
You can dance if you want too? You can leave your friends behind? Some of the best lines ever? I think so?
- 7. The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
It was in Donnie Darko, Donnie Darko controls my life, they made me do it.
- 6. Theme From Star Trek Next Generation by Theme Song
Best theme song ever, for the best tv show ever.
- 5. 99 Red Balloons by Nena
It mentions Captain Kirk. Need I say more?
- 4. Till the Night Closes In by Exile
No comment needed.
- 3. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears
I want to rule the world, you want to rule the world. The title alone is an insight into the chasms of humanity.
- 2. Africa by Toto
Anysong involving Africa is a sure-fire hit and genre defying song
- 1. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
This song redefined the way we look at the world. There should be no other songs made after this one. It says everything any other song would need.
80s music has changed my life and the way I look at the world. If 80s were a person, I would freeze it in carbonite and deliver it to a fat greasy man, meaning Lou Anderson.
GOD there are millions more....THE 80's RULE!
By: Laura Cole
- 10. Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
I love it when this song plays at work, or anywhere for that matter. It lightens the atmosphere, it's cool!
- 9. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers
This song goes off! Its an absolute party MUST! Everyone knows it, everyone sings to it. Brilliant!
- 8. Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
This was my favourite song when i was a wee lass.
- 7. Electric Blue by Icehouse
Has to be in my top ten greatest song ever. Patricio Cordoba i thank you for recognising this song.
- 6. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
Such a beautiful song, can't believe you guys missed it!
- 5. Tempted By The Fruit Of Another by Squeeze
I'm very sorry but i had to put it in. If you haven't got it, download it, its awesome!
- 4. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
I also wanted to include Geno but i had to make way for others.
- 3. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Absolute classic, well done to all of you who included this in your list.
- 2. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
I love this song and no matter how many times i listen to it, i never get sick of it.
- 1. True by Spandau Ballet
Come on now guys, how can you go past classic?
Well well well, my goodness this was very hard indeed. I wanted to include Vienna by Ultravox, a bit of Queen, The Bee Gees, even Wham but i didn't have room. Adam Ant with Ant Music just missed out as did Celebration by Kool And The Gang.Michael Jackson could have been the singer/writer of at least 3 songs in my list but i chose to leave them out because there were others i wanted to include.Cameo, Madness, New Order, Belouis Some, Diana Ross and a sh*tload more would have also been in if we were allowd to include more. Men At Werk with Down Under, Status Quo, E.L.O, Terence Trent D'Arby and Aha (Hunting High And Low is my favourite from them)were all great bands and helped make the 80's my favousire period for music.
By: Dennis Balin
- 10. Teen Love by No Trend
Minor indie hardcore hit - so disturbing my girlfriend refused to let me play it around her
- 9. I Heard A Rumor by Bananarama
Hare to admit it now, but made my summer in '87
- 8. Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies
"I'm not crazy!!! You're the one that's crazy!!!"
- 7. Bop Girl by Pat Wilson
More like a satire on '80s pop than the real thing, but still cool
- 6. Very Special by Debra Laws
Hot R&B ballad from '81, now a hit again, thanks to sampling
- 5. Alex Chilton by The Replacements
Way ahead of its time. Would have hit in the 1990s
- 4. The Real Roxanne by Roxanne Shante
And they say today's rap lyrics are too wild?
- 3. Digging Your Scene by The Blow Monkeys
Not sure how this became a hit in the US - jazzy and melancholy
- 2. Gentle by Frederick
If you're gonna do mushy R&B, may as well go all the way
- 1. Makes No Sense At All by Husker Du
Probably the top indie single of the era - pop with a punch
Private Joy by Prince; History Lesson by the Minutemen; Beastie Groove by the Beastie Boys; SWALK by Mikey Dread; I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz; Take the Time by the SOS Band; Endicott by Kid Creole; and Tommy, Judy and Me by Rob Hegel.
By: Micheal Giles
- 10. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
There is no chance that I could write up a top ten list of the 80s and not have at least one Michael Jackson song. I realize that his actions since this era have been questionable, at best, but they do call him the king of pop for a reason (he paid them to). But, in the end of it all, I look back at the Moonwalker video (where this song was showcased as one of the coolest visual montages of all time) and can't help but think ... didn't he know that relations with those kids (allegedly) is illegal?
- 9. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
Okay, okay, I realize that 90% of the people that read this list (yes, all three of you) will see the song that I just wrote down and want to go realing for the washroom (we call em lavatories in Canada) but, all biases aside, this was one of the biggest songs of the 80s (c'mon, admit it) ... now, feel free to run for the john ;)
- 8. The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & the News
Helloooo ... McFlyyyy? Really, any song by Huey Lewis will do, but it is still fun to look back and remember that little puke Alex Keaton rockin' out on the skateboard (the real one or the improvised one) in one of the greatest 80s movies of all, um, 80s time ... if you don't know what I'm talking about, did you live under a rock? Plus Michael J. Fox is Canadian too.
- 7. Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer
I absolutely am astounded that I have not seen this song on anyone's list - wasn't this a major theme of one of the cola companies? - i know our small town radio station played it every 22 minutes and 45 seconds on the dot (well ... they played it alot).
- 6. Patio Lanterns by Kim Mitchell
This is a classic small town song. I remember kickin' back at the beach with my friends, He-Man toys, and bright pink bathing suit (yes, it was okay for guys to wear pink back then - but is okay for none to wear it now)listenin' to the catchy little number.
- 5. Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone by Glass Tiger
I was surprised not to see any Glass Tiger on any list when i was scanning these lists - but, then again, i haven't exactly went through all 85 pages yet (only 83 of em). This close relation to Huey Lewis really had us Canadians rockin' out in our igloos (for those of us lucky enough to live in an igloo).
- 4. Summer of 69 by Brian Adams
Canada's answer to John Couger Mellencamp really came through with this rockin' diddy.
- 3. Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart
This is a classic canuck song, eh.
- 2. Your Love by The Outfield
Ok, I admit I never actually listened to this in the 80s, but thank god for learning something new everyday.
- 1. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
This song is key to rockin' like you still live in the 80s. And really, who hasen't thought that one of your friend's girlfriends is hot? Sorry Boner, it's true. :)
Like so many of your great minds have concluded already, there could be soooo many songs that could have made it to this list (or anyone elses list for that matter). I tried to present some of the songs that you might have forgotten, and would not have a chance to remember because virtually everyone put the same 20 songs into their lists. My list is also peppered with Canadiana so that those of you that are not from the land of hockey and touques (thick woolen hats worn on the head to keep it warm in the winter) would have a chance to enjoy some of our finer culture (and I got to show you how much I like to use parentheses when I write). Happy Listening chums.
- 10. Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
Dirty Dancing..my all time favorite movie of the 80s
- 9. Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles
- 8. You Spin Me Right Round by Dead Alive
- 7. Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
I still dont undertand what this song means!
- 6. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
So hard to get tired of...
- 5. I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman
- 4. In A Big Country by Big Country
- 3. Rio by Duran Duran
- 2. Don't Mean Nothing by Richard Marx
Huge fan when I was 5
- 1. Take On Me by A-ha
two words: the video
By: Rick Hickman
- 10. Saved By Zero by The Fixx
Everyone loves this one. Just a great ethereal feeling when you listen and it transports you to another place.
- 9. A Girl Like You by The Smithereens
These guys should have been bigger than they were.
- 8. Jammin' by Bob Marley
Another mood enhancer.
- 7. She Don't Use Jelly by Flaming Lips
You don't remember this one? A song everone talked about when it was out. Go back and find it somewhere. You won't forget it again.
- 6. I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Okay, I'm sorry! A guilty pleasure but always fun.
- 5. Big Love by Lindsey Buckingham
The intensity increases as the song goes along. It becomes a part of me.
- 4. Ever Changing Moods by Style Council
A feeling of freedom when I hear this one.
- 3. Go Insane by Lindsey Buckingham
Impossible not to get into this song when you hear it.
- 2. This Charming Man by The Smiths
A song that should have received more attention.
- 1. You Can’t Get What You Want by Joe Jackson
Makes me feel great everytime I hear it. Always inspirational.
The 80s, what a terrific musical era. Awesome one-hit wonders and so many nearly forgotten songs that weren't mainstream.
By: Jeremiah Mann
- 10. Seasons by Tyketto
OK so it's not 80's but it had the 80's sound to them and seasons was an excellent song and as fate would have it i gained a best friend out of that song.Her name is Angela Halsten and man do i love her to death
- 9. Shakin by Eddie Money
What can i say the opening drum beat gets me everytime.
- 8. What Does It Take by Honeymoon Suite
Excellent song and it's weird that it ended up in one of my favorite actor's movie John Cusack(One Crazy Summer).but i really took notice of these guys during the summer of 1987 when Lethal Weapon hit the big screen.
- 7. Black Coffee In Bed by Squeeze
Gee makes me wanna jump into bed and have a cup of coffee(With sugar and creamer of course)
- 6. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
TOP GUN.MAVRICK & GOOSE
- 5. My Father's Chair by Rick Springfield
So this song wasn't a radio hit but it was an excellent ballad about his father and i respect a man who would sit down and write a song about his father.Grant it i was a little spud when the song first came out but i'm 24 now and i still think the songs holds true even in 2003
- 4. Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
This song makes ya wanna just get up and dance....nuff said
- 3. So Emotional by Whitney Houston
Well personally Ms.Houston has gotten a pretty bad rap as of late but it's a very good song and i enjoy it every time i hear it.
- 2. I Still Believe by Brenda K. Starr
I remember being at my grandma's house back in 1987 listening to KIIS FM 102.7(Sorry had to plug the best radio station in L.A.) and this song came on the radio and i stood there just amazed how her voice was just awesome.
- 1. Sister Christian by Night Ranger
OK who didn't love this song,not to mention the killer guitar solo. It was a pretty powerful song
- 10. Can't Get Enuff by Winger
I love this song for the guitar riffs. Kip really has some good stuff here.
- 9. Hang Tough by Tesla
Hard power rock and a vocal sheet that has much more meaning then others tend to realize.
- 8. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Ultimate rebellion song of the 80s. Another must when driving too!!!!
- 7. I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar
A MUST LISTEN WHEN DRIVING. Totally AWESOME!!!!!!!!
- 6. Nothin' But A Good Time by Poison
Rock On and PARTY ON!!!!!
- 5. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
In fact, all of Def Leppard should be here. Excellent music and good, clean, power in the vocals.
- 4. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
Mark Knopfler really brings it home in this one!!! What the business is, we don't know!!!
- 3. Paradise City by Guns N' Roses
Absolutely love this song and Axel is da man!!!
- 2. Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi
Wonderful song and video for the good and bad times of what it is like to be a rock star.
- 1. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring
True power in music and vocals!!!! #1 ALL THE WAY IN MY BOOKS
These are my TOP 10 ROCK/METAL
By: Rick Hickman
- 10. Desperate... But Not Serious by Adam Ant
Others AA songs have made some lists, but this was his most brilliant.
- 9. The Sweater by Cadell Meryn
A song that is almost spoken word but a total hoot and too good to let fade away.
- 8. (She Sells) Sanctuary by The Cure
The Cure for boring music.
- 7. Drop The Pilot by Joan Armatrading
Huge fun song. Almost no one remembers it and that's a shame.
- 6. World In My Eyes / Everything Counts / A Question by DePeche Mode
DePeche Mode means "fast fashion" and they were indeed the fashion of the 80's. Too hard to pick just one of their songs.
- 5. Ship Of Fools by World Party
Haven't seen anyone even mention World Party yet and that had to change.
- 4. America by KBC Band (Kantner / Balin
Played it over and over again even though I'm a staunch conservative. That's how good it is!
- 3. One Of My Submarines by Thomas Dolby
Even Dolby fans seem to have forgotten this one - his best. He's my all time hero anyway for being lucky enough to marry Kathleen Beller - albeit short-lived.
- 2. Keep It Together by Madonna
Burned up my original CD, then couldn't think of the song title to save myself. Thankfully, another person on this web site had this song on her list and I am eternally grateful. I've already ordered the CD!!
- 1. Marlena On The Wall by Suzanne Vega
Never get tired of it. Would love to witness her perform in a small cabaret.
Okay, so this is my 2nd list. I took a little more time to think of some - especially the more obscure. People who love 80s music are the best!
By: Fernando Lamartine
- 10. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
Very sentimental song from 1985.
- 9. Fade To Grey by Visage
Represents the New Wave in its very esence.
- 8. Japanese Boy by Aneka
Pretty cheesy but´s got a good beat and an exotic touch
- 7. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora
No comment. Just awesome!!
- 6. You Keep Me Hangin´on by Kim Wilde
Here comes my favorite chick from the decade. She´s a prolific hit machine!
- 5. Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo
Excellent, extremely creative.
- 4. Mickey by Toni Basil
Ladies and Gentleman, at this corner, the most famous "One Hit Wonder"!!!....released in 82' it an example of that romantic way to make videos on MTV´s beginnings....but those days are gone!!!!!!
- 3. Heat Of The Moment by Asia
And now i find myself in 2003....
- 2. Come on´Eileen by Dexy´s Midnight Runners
By far the most off the wall creative song of the 80´s
- 1. I Won´t Let You Down by Ph.D
Great-great....i run out of adjectives. Don´t download it if you want to dance...very spiritual instrumentation. Just heavenly!!!!!
The Eighties are, in my opinion, the perfect time, where tecnology, creativity and romanticism were at their best an at the same time. Love the eighties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- 10. Born To Be Alive by Patrick Hernandez
- 9. The Heat Is On by Glenn Tonight
very very very very very very very good
- 8. Point Of No Return by Expose
very very very very very very good
- 7. Pop Muzik by M
very very very very very good
- 6. Eletric Avenue by Edie Grant
very very very very good
- 5. Locomotion by Debby Gibson
very very very good
- 4. Ma Baker by Bonney M
very very good
- 3. Tarzan Boy by Baltmore
- 2. I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz
- 1. I Love My Radio by taffy
one of the bests for me
there are so many good songs at that time that it's almost impossible to remember or to mention then all....
By: nick, loops ,benny
- 10. Fight For Your Right...To Party by Beastie Boyz
- 9. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
- 8. End Of The World by REM
- 7. Another Day In Paradise by Genesis
- 6. Jessie's Girl by Rick Springsteen
- 5. New York Minute by Eagles
- 4. November Rain by Guns & Roses
- 3. Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen
- 2. The Streets Have No Name by U2
- 1. Billie Jean by Micheal Jackson
Previous List or Next List
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 70s and 90s
Do You Have a List to Share?
Please check out the Top Ten Music Songs submission page.