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: alf
  • 10. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N Roses
  • 9. Dont Worry, Be Happy by Bobby Mcferrin
  • 8. Lullaby by The Cure
    smith talent
  • 7. Take On Me by A-ha
    classic but much better the reel big fish cover
  • 6. Go West by Pet Shop Boys
  • 5. The Trooper by Iron Maiden
  • 4. Dueling Banjos by Deliverance
  • 3. Iron, Lion Zion by Bob Marley
  • 2. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
  • 1. Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses
    Best Of All Time
GUNs and roses, and Bob marley are the best of 80'
By: matt
  • 10. Telegraph Road (Live) by Dire Straits
    Bow to the master of steel guitar!!!
  • 9. Sounds Of Then by Gangagang
  • 8. Am I Evil? by Metallica
    Metal was huge in the 80's. This band had balls so to speak. Made me grow long hair and think about getting a tattoo. Testosterone music.
  • 7. Power & the Passion by Midnight Oil
    I'm an Aussie. Aussies love the Oils. Just broke up after 25 years together. Great sounding band.
  • 6. Lets Go Crazy by Prince
    Gotta love that Guitar Solo. This guy had talent. A multi-Instrumentalist. Jamiroquai must have got their style from this guy. Funky stuff.
  • 5. Love Missile by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
    I was very alternative yet very catchy. Bought their tape just for this song. Great 12" version as well.
  • 4. I Feel 4 U by Chakka Khan
    Strong sexual overtones in this song. Got me thinking about loosing my virginity back in '84.
  • 3. Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    Good one to dance to in the shower.
  • 2. Bullet The Blue Sky by U2
    An almighty powerful song with a great beat. Never released as a single but there best in my book. Off the Joshua Tree - their biggest album. Made them huge.
  • 1. Slave To The Rhythm by Grace Jones
    The 12" version of this song is awesome!! Nobody remembers the good old 12" popular in the 80's. This was one of the best for sure. Her only good song.
By: Imran Mohammed
  • 10. Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
    A fantastic record that reminds you of the 80s whenever you hear it! My fave Pet Shop Boys hit. I'm sure 99% of people will love this track
  • 9. This Is Planet Earth by Duran Duran
    This is such great sounding song and is my fave duran duran hit. This just beat "Girls on Film" by a whisker! You have to hear it!
  • 8. Obsession by Animotion
    A classic 80s hit that I only heard recently. It sounds aggressive whilst being distinctively 80s! I love it!
  • 7. I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls
    I heard this song recently when I got the new video game "Grand Theft Auto: vice city". let me tell u, this song is awesome, nuff said. The voice and beat and lyrics are perfect.
  • 6. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears
    This song is so 80s, its so great too! Their best hit IMHO, it is definetly one of the best songs ever made.
  • 5. When Will I Be Famous? by Bros
    I love this song! This boy band didnt last long but this song among some of their other ones will survive as the great songs of this great decade. It may be a little long, but it still is awesome. I love the rebel feel to it!
  • 4. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
    This song is great. this guy was german and recently died. this song is all in german but it was no.1 in britain for a while! I love this song! Come on Rock me Amadeus!
  • 3. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    This song is definatly one of the best songs ever. This group is Scottish, like me! I live in the same street as the lead singer btw! This song sounds amazing and its great to listen to if you are in the car. Long live simple minds. This song just beat their other song which I like "Glittering Prize", which is also awesome!
  • 2. Don't You Want Me by The Human League
    Ah this song is awesome. It may be quite old but it sounds fantastic. I sang this song at my schools talent show! This song just beat their other fantastic hits, most notably, "Human", "The Lebanon" and "Love Action". this song has a great rythm and synth beat to it. vocals are excellent.
  • 1. Living In A Box by Living In A Box
    You must hear this song! A fantastic song from 1987 it was a chart hit everywhere! This is my favorite song of all time. This was Living in a Box's first and best hit. What can I say! this song has awesome energised lyrics and a great beat. I have made a web-site devoted to the group as this song is so good. the music video for this song is also great! Sounds really really good! hear it now!!! This is such an excellent song I never sop hearing it. #I'm a living in a box! I'm a living in a cardboard box!#
Well, the 80s was THE greatest decade for music. The songs were... awesome! Here are some other songs that didnt make the Top 10 but are so good they deserve a mention: New Order - Blue Monday, Black Box - Ride On Time, Frnkie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes, J Geils Band - Centerfold, A-Ha - Take on Me, Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy, Michael Jackson - Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, Bad. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up, Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again, Prince - 1999, Johnny Hates Jazz - Shattered Dreams, Go West - We Close Our Eyes, Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better, Soft Cell - Tainted Love
By: Mark
  • 10. Sex Dwarf by Soft Cell
    Excellent club favorite, especially the remix complete with Marc Almond screaming orgasm break!!
  • 9. Situation by Yazoo / Yaz
    YAZ or YAZOO as they were known in the United Kingdom later disbanded to form the now very successful ERASURE.
  • 8. Everyday Is Halloween by Ministry
    Do you remember dancing in black to this song?
  • 7. Stranger by Xymox
    A great song for club mixing
  • 6. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight by Dominatrix
    Awesome classic!
  • 5. Don't You Want Me? by Human League
    Euro-Pop New Wave dance.
  • 4. New York by Microchip League
    A very popular club track with djs and clubbers alike. Great synth with "vocodor" robot voice.
  • 3. Join In The Chant by Nitzer Ebb
    Nitzer Ebb was very electro/industrial/punk. "Join In The Chant" will get the dancefloor packed!
  • 2. Hit That Perfect Beat by Bronski Beat
    One of the first successful gay bands of the '80s. The remix of this song is awesome!
  • 1. You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive
    Very high energy dance! Awesome strong vocals.
"Just Can't Get Enough"-Depeche Mode, "Looking From A Hilltop"-Section 25 File 13-"Taste So Good", Vicious Pink-"Fetish", "French Kiss"-Lil'Louis "I Love You"-Yello, "Houseman"-Voyou, "Have In Mind"-Cetu Javu, "Love Missile F1-11"-Sigue Sigue Sputnik, "I Beg Your Pardon"-Kon Kan, "We Are The Boys"-Until December, "American Soviets"-CCCP, "Living On Video"-Trans-X
By: Capt. Troy Owens
  • 10. Doot Doot by Freur
    A very pretty song about who knows what.
  • 9. Only A Lad by Oingo Boingo
    This was awesome.
  • 8. We're Through Being Cool by Devo
    What were they thinking?
  • 7. Mirror In The Bathroom by English Beat
    The New Wave was here!
  • 6. 88 Lines About 44 Women by The Nails
    Their other songs were better but this is what they're known for.
  • 5. The Metro by Berlin
    Teri Nunn was a hottie !
  • 4. I Wanna New Drug by Huey Lewis
    Again, the whole album rocked.
  • 3. I Got The Six by ZZ Top
    A bad boy fast drivin' high school tune. Unforgettable.
  • 2. When Doves Cry by Prince
    A killer slow dance love song.
  • 1. Hello Again by The Cars
    C'mon, this was in the prime of the 80's...this whole album rocked.
send me your comments
By: St. Jude
  • 10. No Time To Lose by Tarney Spencer Band
  • 9. Wind Him Up by Saga
  • 8. Livin in the Limelight by Peter Cetera
  • 7. Beacon Hill by Red Rider
  • 6. Call of the Wild by Gary O
  • 5. Space Jungle by Bongos
  • 4. Tokyo Rose by Idle Eyes
  • 3. Why Me by Planet P Project
  • 2. Modern Day Delilah by Van Stephenson
  • 1. Main Attraction by The Outfield
I didn't think it was necessary for me to mention The Police's "King of Pain"'s a given.....
By: Joy
  • 10. Girl You Know It's True by Milli Vanilli
    To Bad They Lipsang! It really was a hit!
  • 9. Girl Just Wanna Have Fun! by Cyndi Lauper
    She's so unusual!!!!
  • 8. I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany
    Go Mall Queen!!!
  • 7. Can't Touch This by MC Hammer
    Go Hammer!!!
  • 6. My Prerogative by Bobby Brown
    Was very slammin' in it day!
  • 5. Not My Kinda Girl by New Edition
  • 4. Hanging Tough by New Kids On The Block
  • 3. Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson
    "Feel the power & feel the energy coming up you row".
  • 2. Mercedes Boy by Pebbles
    Keeps you moving across the dance floor.
  • 1. Forever Your Girl by Paula Abdul
By: leanne Jefferson
By: denise
  • 10. I'll Be Over You by Toto
    sweet surrender
  • 9. Lea by Toto
    nothing is constant... but somehow let a day be so special worth remembering... with someone so special...
  • 8. Til They Take My Heart Away by Clair Marlo
    too much love...
  • 7. Sailing by Cristopher Kraus
    be in reveries...
  • 6. Crossroads by Bone Thugs And Harmony
  • 5. Best Of Me by Olivia Newton-John And David Foster
  • 4. Tattooed On My Mind by D' Sound
  • 3. runaway by the corrs
    song of courage...
  • 2. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper
    song of encouragement
  • 1. Let Me In by Mike Francis
    cool song... takes my breath away
By: Ferry
  • 10. Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    Where is Frankie on the other lists? Another briljant cold-war song, especially the long version with the alarm horn.
  • 9. Jeanny by Falco
    Ban a song from the radio and it will propably get more attention then it would otherwise have gotten. This song deserved the attention.
  • 8. Big Log by Robert Plant
    Just like Robbie Robertson, Neil Young, Sting and Neil Young, without their former band still going very strong
  • 7. Russians by Sting
    The clock ticking in the final years of the cold war, mister Reagan says he will protect me....
  • 6. Somewhere Down The Crazy River by Robbie Robertson
    This song is produced by Daniel Lanois, just like Peter Gabriels So and U2's Joshua Tree, not the worst albums of the decade. This number is just briljantly composed and filled with mistique
  • 5. Rockin In The Free World by Neil Young
    The absolute number one all time song, the best lyrics, hard guitars and even a robust video from Neil
  • 4. Pride by U2
    Another protest song, but this time Bono manages to say everything in a little over 3 minutes, you still hear this one at least once a week.
  • 3. Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel
    In Europe it was a big hit, i heard it was quite controversial in the US.
  • 2. My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen
    It is 20 years, but i hope to hear this song in about two months, playing in my city
  • 1. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
    Still the #1 Video after all these years
A little different from the other lists, but still very much the 80-s.
By: michael
  • 10. Rise Above by Black Flag
    a call to higher standards that is not only timeless but applicable in many situations
  • 9. Fascist Groove Thang by Heaven 17
    in the early 80's, the US missiles in europe were not only making the russians nervous, it made europeans feel caught in the middle. this song showed their unease with reagans election "generals tell him what to do"
  • 8. There Is No Love Between Us Anymore by Pop Will Eat Itself
    PWEI more known for Defcon One, but i love this song...
  • 7. Police On My Back by The Clash
    an eddy grant song, the clash made it their own with this cover song from sandinista!
  • 6. When The World Is Running Down.... by The Police
    probably the longest titled song ever, one of the most hopeful songs written
  • 5. Town Called Malice by The Jam
    like many english bands of the early 80's, the jam broke up just as they were about to take over US radio.....
  • 4. Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies
    "im crazy??? when i went to YOUR schools? i went to YOUR churches?"
  • 3. What I Like About You by Romantics
    one song that holds true to the original feel of rock and roll
  • 2. The Message by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
    the reagan juggernaut left out more than a few people. this song captured it brilliantly.
  • 1. Holiday In Cambodia by Dead Kennedys
    a chilling take on the all too real atrocities committed
i was more into british music in the early 80's than american and i guess this list shows that
By: King o Ireland
By: George
  • 10. Take On Me by A HA!
    These guys probably made the best video of the 80's, and even though the lyrics are a bit difficult to understand, the lead singer's voice is still superb.
  • 9. Big Time by Peter Gabriel
    Interesting video. Reagan on a Triceratops err... was that the other one? Pete's pretty psychadelic anytime anyway, though..
  • 8. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    Didn't see the video, but the song is ... I guess you'll just have to listen for yourself.
  • 7. I Ran by Flock Of Seagulls.
    Classic 80's. This one kind of captures the spirit of the whole decade.
  • 6. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    Kind of a fun video and a great song to boot.
  • 5. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
    I thought this was just a song until I went to Thailand. It hits straight to the mark.
  • 4. Luka by Susan Vega
    Kind of sad, but still painfully rings true.
  • 3. Land Down Under by Men at Work
    Those crazy Aussies. This was great.
  • 2. Simply Irresistable by Robert Palmer
    Women in bathing suits! Wow! and a GREAT song to boot!
  • 1. Run to You by Bryan Adams
    He only did 2 really f songs (also summer of 69') before he gagged out, but wow!
This list is by no means complete ... These are the top 10 songs, but they beat out some other songs by only just a hair... Definitely my favorite decade for music.
By: Tom
  • 10. Town Called Malice by Jam
  • 9. Good Heart by Fergal Sharkey
  • 8. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  • 7. Americanos by Holly Johnson
  • 6. Walk This Way by Run Dmc And Aerosmith
  • 5. Why by Carly Simon
  • 4. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
  • 3. If You Let Me Stay by Terence Trent Darby
  • 2. Fergus Sings The Blues by Deacon Blue
  • 1. Easy Lover by Phil Collins
    Wonderful song with great pace
By: meem
  • 10. Manic Monday by The Bangles
    10 pounds of "perk" in a 5 pound bottle. i just love that opening, too! more evidence of prince's genius.
  • 9. Dress You Up by Madonna
    one of the few madonna songs that hasn't been played into the ground over the past couple decades ... and *so* vintage!
  • 8. Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears
    instantly recognizable and still meaningful.
  • 7. Toy Soldiers by Martika
    guilty pleasure, pure and simple.
  • 6. Heartbreak Beat by Psychedelic Furs
    fun summer city nights.
  • 5. So Far Away by Dire Straits
    could've just as easily chosen "your latest trick" or "brothers in arms" itself ... the whole album is basically phenomenal and quintessential eighties.
  • 4. (Feels Like) Heaven by Fiction Factory
    close to the perfect pop song -- if you haven't heard it, you owe it to yourself to find a copy.
  • 3. How Soon Is Now by The Smiths
    the fact that this song was so successful despite its 6:30 length is a testament to its greatness.
  • 2. Coming Up Close by Til Tuesday
    beautiful ... never could figure out why it wasn't a bigger hit as a single.
  • 1. It's A Sin by Pet Shop Boys
    the best dance/pop song i think i'll ever know
i restricted myself to eighties pop songs, but i'm really more of a fan of eighties rock -- but that's for another top ten :-) i'm also confident that if i filled this out in a week, the list would look quite different :-)
By: Mike Webb
  • 10. Male Stripper by Man 2 Man
    This song possibly got alot of play in the gay nightclubs, but can you blame them? This song has just got that "AWESOME" beat, that typical 80's Hi-Energy sound and you know you just gotta get up and dance!!!
  • 9. Oh Lamour by Erasure
    One of the most poular pop songs and very danceable!
  • 8. Pet Shop Boys by West End Girls
    Who can forget that unforgettable intro, with the street sounds of London, that very distinct voice of Neil Tennant and ofcourse the very "London" like video!
  • 7. F.R. David by Words
    This is just one of the 80's ALL TIME DISCO CLASSIC TRACKS! F.R. David had many more excellent tracks, like "Pick Up The Phone", but this songs seemed to be his biggest!
  • 6. Take On Me by A-Ha
    Well well - when I think of music video's of the 80's - this song gotta come to mind first. A-Ha made great music videos, but this song was huge - I like to think it was that very catchy electronic "INTRO" to the song.
  • 5. Sounds Like A Melody by Alphaville
    Alphaville are one of the 80's bands you just can't forget! Who can forget songs like "Big In Japan" & "Forever Young"?? But "Sounds Like...." just gotta take the cake - it's that instrumental part towards the end of the song that makes it so great!!
  • 4. The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
    This song was almost cosidered a "ONE HIT WONDER" - but Men Without Hats, who reined from Canada, actually released about 3 or 4 albums and quite a few singles, some moderatelly sucesfull, others did not even chart. This song is instantly recogniseable and you just gotta LOVE IT!!
  • 3. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive
    It's amazing, just how many of these almost ONE HIT WONDER bands of the 80's, actually have some of the top dance songs - like this track. If you haven't heard this song, you must, otherwise you'll miss out on one of the greatest dance songs!
  • 2. Around My Dream by Silver Pozzoli
    Silver Pozzoli, you may not recognise the name, but you certainly will recognise the tune. He comes from Italy and made some of the best Italo/Euro dance songs, you will be singing along in no time...."Sing, sing, sing, sing my dream around...."
  • 1. You're My Heart, You're My Soul by Modern Talking
    This song is No.1 because it is very catchy, very trendy (even today), very euro, very danceable, has the best lyrics I've ever heard and has a beat and undeniable "Hooks" and "Chorus lines". Modern Talking have many many more classic tracks and remain one of Germany's biggest exports!!
It is very difficalt to choose only 10 best songs of the 80's and also I coul go on to choose many other songs from different music categories, like Rock, Alterative, etc... that's where I'd put in songs like Queen, Dire Straits, etc... but these are my personal top 10 of the 80's. Very Difficalt choices!
By: Anthony
By: Gary Raymond
  • 10. The Tower Of Song by Leonard Cohen
    cohen showed all of his lyrical power and knowing wit in this pick of the bunch from his rebirth album I'm your man.
  • 9. A Series Of Dreams by Bob Dylan
    unreleased until the official bootleg series kicked off, dylan showed that he was a great musical visionary once again with this seering tune.
  • 8. If That's What It Takes by George Harrison
    a wonderful mix of typical harrison riffs and unconventional chord progressions mixed with a great feel, a man who made records for himself.
  • 7. Stop by Sam Brown
    performed by a wonderful soul singer, this self penned song reminded the eighties what soul was.
  • 6. China Girl by David Bowie
    bowies genius for combining thought, melody and a his own take on the style of the time were never better displayed than here.
  • 5. Tweeter And The Monkey Man by The Travelling Wilburys
    primarily a dylan song but with all the humour that made the wilbury's a pleasant surprise in an era that was often accused of taking itself too seriously.
  • 4. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
    a masterpiece of 1980's big production.
  • 3. The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar by Bob Dylan
    lyricly superior to anything alse around at the time, dylan crept up on the young pretenders in 1982.
  • 2. Downbound Train by Bruce Springsteen
    while the boss spent most of his energy on writing overblown power-pop he found time to write this great rock tune with the heartfelt lyrics of the mythological rock n roll loner.
  • 1. I Know It's Over by The Smiths
    an epic lament, a grandiose admition of hopelessness and sharply wry.
anything by Phil Collins is a crime against the very idea of ears.
By: Antonio (from Mexico)
  • 10. Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen
  • 9. Africa by Toto
  • 8. Goodbye Horses by Q. Lazzarus
  • 7. I Just Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew
  • 6. Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen
  • 5. Take On Me by A-Ha
  • 4. Square Rooms by Al Corley
  • 3. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  • 2. The Promise by When In Rome
  • 1. Words by F. R. David
The Best (I think)
By: Greg
  • 10. Make Me Lose Control by Eric Carmen
    You almost have to sing along to this one. Very catchy, and reminds me of a gorgeous brunette I knew once. Or twice. ;)
  • 9. We Built This City by Starship
    This song got so much radio time... One station in my area had a special intro written into the beginning of the song that they played each time.
  • 8. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
    Oh the memories... This song playing on a boom box while I was making out with my girlfriend on a deserted baseball field at night. God, how old am I?
  • 7. Overkill by Men At Work
    I loved this song. I wasn't terribly into the group, though. I got real tired of "Down Under" after hearing it played to death day after day on the radio. I remember the lead singer's wierd eyes. :)
  • 6. Against All Odds by Phil Collins
    I'm surprised I haven't seen this one elsewhere on here. It was so popular, but it seems to have all but disappeared after Collins' popularity grew with his solo work.
  • 5. If This is It by Huey Lewis & the News
    These guys had so many great songs, but I think this one is their best.
  • 4. Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon
    So many of these are signature songs of past relationships (or ones I wanted). This one hurts just to think about it. What I would change if I could go back..... :)
  • 3. Still Loving You/Big City Nights by Scorpions
    These two had to go together. They were the anthems of the group I partied with. We had 47 parties in 1985, just about one a weekend, and often they lasted more than one day. These two songs would be heard over and over again. I remember so many good times for which these songs provided a backdrop.
  • 2. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    Just about everyone who was in high school in the mid 80s identifies with this song, and one of the characters in the Breakfast Club. If any kid today wants to know what it was like growing up in the 80s, the cliques, the personality types, the power struggles, you MUST see this movie.
  • 1. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
    One year out of high school and this song was my new personal anthem. Like just about every other white American male of the time, I felt that this song was about me. So many things were changing. One of my all time favorites for any genre. Great guitars, great words, very catchy chourus. I still catch myself whistling it every once in awhile.
There are so many songs that were great in the 80s.. Whittling it down to 10 is really tough. I could go over and over this list a hundred times and it'd probably be different every time. It's really funny, but I didn't realize how much I liked a lot of these until they were not being played on the radio anymore. These songs are definitive of a generation. And to those who get the artists wrong, or misspell the titles, GO LOOK THEM UP! Neither Foreigner nor Air Supply did "Can't Fight This Feeling"!!

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.