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: puneet
i was born in 81, but i love this decade!
By: Peter
  • 10. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Jermaine Stewart
    A great song with a great eightees sound. It reminds me of beach-parties and lots of beer and lots of girls;)
  • 9. Take On Me by A-ha
    This song also is a truly classic of the eightees. It reminds me of when my sister bought their first record and when I saw their video on TV. The video in b&w is very cool.
  • 8. Raspberry Baret by Prince
    I just love Prince. I'm not gay but I can't help to love his sexy voice. I think the sound of this song tells us much about this decade, it was indeed very sexy, cool and innocent at the same time.
  • 7. True Faith by New Order
    This makes me think of two things, those many discos I went to as a kid and the movie "American Psycho";) When Patrick walks in to this snobby, hipp, slotty club and tells the female bartender that he is gonna stabb her to death and play around with her blood. Nice attitude! ;)
  • 6. All I Want To Do Is Making Love To You by Heart
    I can listen to this song over and over again.
  • 5. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
    This is Billy Idol at his best I think. Put this in your CD-player on any party and there will be some serious rock&roll;) This is so great...
  • 4. A Walk In The Park by Nick Straker
    This song also reminds me much of the eightees when I was just a kid. You don't hear it much on clubs though. It has a nice nostalgic sound in some way which I just can't explain. Very good.
  • 3. You Are Always On My Mind by Pet Shop Boys
    Again, so much eightees. This must be one of the greatest songs ever. Neil Tennant's crisp and clear voice together with the nice synth-sound of Chris Lowe is just so great. A totally must on every retro party or any party for that matters.
  • 2. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House
    This song remembers me of those school-discos when I was a kid, a lovely soft song with really eightees feeling over it.
  • 1. You Came by Kim Wilde
    This is SO much 80 that I can scream out my happy feelings:) I don't know, I just feel so damn happy when I hear this song, my nostalgic heart cries. Why can't this deacade come back.
It's an almost impossible mission to make a top list of the eightees greatest songs because there just is to many of them. You find new forgotten songs all the time that you remember and love. It's incredible I must say.
By: Paul Haney
  • 10. That's Entertainment by The Jam
  • 9. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
    One of my favorite songs of all-time.
  • 8. Blue Monday by New Order
  • 7. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
  • 6. I Know It's Over by The Smiths
    One of my favorite Smiths' songs.
  • 5. Purple Rain by Prince
    Incredible song. Very overlooked.
  • 4. Rebel Without A Pause by Public Enemy
    Why P.E. was hip-hop's most powerful group.
  • 3. Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth
    Best track one, side one ever.
  • 2. Celebrated Summer by Husker Du
    Incredible, epic song by one of the 80's most overlooked, and best, bands. The end is incredible.
  • 1. Unsatisfied by The Replacements
    One of the best expressions of youthful angst on record. A heart-wrenching, beautiful song.
By: Lindsey Bowden
  • 10. Wherever I Go, Whatever I Do by Hazel Dean
    Because the collection would not be complete without a stock, aitken and waterman! and it is great!
  • 9. Criticize by Alexander O'Neal
    What can i say a fantastic feel good song, although i think i might have spelt criticize wrong!
  • 8. Burning Heart by Survivor
    Everyone always mentions eye of the tiger which was of course a classic but this sing is heartwrenching and oh so emotional!!
  • 7. Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
    The 80's wouldnt have been the same without it.
  • 6. Endless Summer Nights by Richard Marx
    Lazy summer evenings is all i can say about this song.Im even prepared to forgive richard marx's haircut for it!
  • 5. Hyperactive by Thomas Dolby
    Its amazing how many people dont remember this song when i tell it to them, what were these people doing in the 80,s....having lives i expect!
  • 4. Voyage Voyage by Desireless
    I cant believe no one else has mentioned this song, or maybe they have and i missed it, its a classic!
  • 3. Gold by Spandau Ballet
    Its almost as if they titled this song to sum up the 80's - Pure Gold!
  • 2. I Can't Wait by Nu-Shooz
    Brilliant 80's tune, its a perfect 80's chilled summer.
  • 1. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora
    This song is legend, it sums up 80's music and reminds me of fabulous 80's clubbing!!!
Its completely impossible to name 10 favourite songs when there are hundreds. What a shame we couldnt live in this decade forever, fortunately i still do live in it and have made a career studying it, so i hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my world!
By: Evan W
By: Andy
  • 10. We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
    This song represented the triumph of rock and roll over conservative ideologies. Twisted Sister told the rest of the world that, if they didn't like rock and roll, to shove it!
  • 9. Rainbow In The Dark by Dio
    Although Dio spent most of his career in the shadow of Ozzy and Black Sabbath, he finally broke out on his own and came up with this great song. Holy Diver is also a worthy classic.
  • 8. Eruption+You Really Got Me by Van Halen
    This song by Van Halen gets top spot for the most kick-ass guitar riff in rock and roll.
  • 7. Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison
    Greatest love song ever written- period.
  • 6. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N' Roses
    Guns N' Roses was a shooting star- in the last part of the 80s they were unstoppable, but creative differences between Axl Rose and Slash abruptly brought this band to an unfortunate demise. There were several other songs I like of GNR, including Sweet Child O'Mine and November Rain.
  • 5. Detroit Rock City by KISS
    Another 70s song, but it also desrves a mention.
  • 4. Highway To Hell by AC/DC
    My all-time favorite song. Angus Young and Bon Scott- who could possibly top that combination?
  • 3. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
    If Stairway to Heaven was the defining song of the 80s, then Def Leppard was the defining BAND of the 80s. This is the greatest song about sex ever written.
  • 2. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    A 14 minute epic, Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd truly brought rock and roll to the forefront of the musical stage. Quite simply, Freebird has the most recognizable guitar riff in rock music history. I realize this song was a 1970s song, but it definitely deserves to be on this list.
  • 1. Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin
    This ballad by Led Zeppelin has to be the most defining song of the eighties. There's no telling the heights Led Zeppelin could have soared to had it not been for Steve Bonham's premature death.
These are not necessarily my favorite songs, but rather songs that I fell defined the era of 80s music. This genre though is rock and roll. There are many defining songs that will not appear on this list (such as Michael Jackson's Thriller) simply because they are not rock songs. However, they are defining nonetheless and I hope you readers will not count that against me.
By: james
Nothing Beats The 80's ...
By: Campbell Adcock
  • 10. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
    Changed videos with their computer graphics, and the guitar intro just plain rocks!
  • 9. Living Doll by Cliff Richard & The Young Ones
    Favourite novelty song (with Stutter Rap a close second) Young Ones were Classic 80s humour, in your face and proud of it. ("Oh dear! One of Vyvian's socks has escaped!!!)
  • 8. Summer Of '69 by Bryan Adams
    Classic song about missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. My high school life in a nutshell :)
  • 7. Venus by Bananarama
    Loved the film clip, still do the belly dance hands thing when this one gets cranked up.
  • 6. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
    Heavy drum beats made for a great stomping song for the boys
  • 5. Crazy For You by Madonna
    The classic end of school year slow dance song. Nice memories.
  • 4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham!
    Changed fashion overnight like no-one before. Big girls started wearing T-Shirts in their droves. Choose Life!
  • 3. Mean To Me by Crowded House
    Little known worldwide, this song is about suicide, loneliness & that feeling when you are going out of your mind is right up there. Pure escapism.
  • 2. Take On Me by A-Ha
    The greatest hook every created. Once in your head again, takes quite awhile to remove.
  • 1. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive
    Was at a wedding the other day and when this one came on the crowd went off. Just takes everything to another 80s level.
By: Brian from Scotland
  • 10. Call Me by Blondie
    No Top 10 could be complete without a song from Blondie - this was one of my Top 3 Blondie hits
  • 9. Road To Nowhere by Talking Heads
    Hit and miss band for me - this was a definite hit
  • 8. Angels Don't Fall In Love by The Bangles
    Excellent pop song from a mostly under-rated band
  • 7. Careless Whisper by George Michael
    Romance set to song
  • 6. Take On Me by A-ha
    Perfect pop - super video
  • 5. St Elmo's Fire by John Parr
    Inspiring piece of pop
  • 4. The King of Wishful Thinking by Go West
    Under-rated band - unique vocals
  • 3. Together in Electric Dreams by Phil Oakey / Giorgio Moroder
    Synth / pop heaven
  • 2. There Must Be An Angel (playing With My Heart) by Eurythmics
    Annie Lennox / Dave Stewart - dream team
  • 1. A Little Respect by Erasure
    My favourite band of the 80's - lots of hits and very few misses
I entered the 80s as a 21 year-old and while the 80s were not my "formative" years, they were my favourite in terms of life experience. The songs I chose defined that era for me personally.
By: Amanda Hines
  • 10. In These Arms by BON JOVI
    Can You Tell Who My Favorite Band Is....not Sure This Is An 80" Song.
  • 9. Looks That Kill by Motley Crue
  • 8. Heaven's On Fire by Kiss
  • 7. Back In Black by Ac/dc
    Head Bangers Bang On
  • 6. Runaway by Bon Jovi
    Bon Jovi Always Rocks My World!
  • 5. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
  • 4. I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett
    Come on and dance with me!
  • 3. Wild in the Streets by Bon Jovi
    This is really a great song. I still listen to this song quite a bit. It is timeless. I think kids today would get into this.
  • 2. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
    Turn up the radio! Everyone feels this music! It is charged!
  • 1. Bad Name by Bon Jovi
    The song gives me energy. It is excellent. The video is just as great as the song!
By: Zach Dawson
  • 10. Detroit Rock City by Kiss
  • 9. Kickstart My Heart by Motely Crue
  • 8. Fight for Yur Right by Beistie Boys
  • 7. Hells Bells by AC DC
  • 6. The Jungle by Guns n Roses
  • 5. Highway to the Danger Zone by ?
  • 4. Guns of Brixton by The Clash
  • 3. Anarchy in the USA by The Sex Pistols
  • 2. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
  • 1. Master of Pupets by Metalica
By: gary
  • 10. Pass The Dutchie by Musical Youth
    i tried my best to stay away from cheese. this song is too catchy
  • 9. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol
    the one song/singer that keeps eluding the "monster ballads" compilations i see in k-mart
  • 8. You Got Lucky by Tom Petty
    his best song ever
  • 7. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
    should've been called "love my voice".
  • 6. New Moon On Monday by Duran Duran
    another great tune that got wasted by critics in the eighties cause of it's lack of cheese! (ei. come on eileen - dexy's midnight runners)
  • 5. Season's Change by Expose
    as a college dee jay, i played the hell out of this song. call me a sap!
  • 4. Don't Close Your Eyes by Kix
    i tried to stay away from hair bands but this song is just too cool
  • 3. Toy Soldiers by Martika
    to sing of a drug addict is one thing. to depict yourself as the addict is just too strong.
  • 2. All This I Should've Known by Breathe
    talk all your "hands to heaven" and "how can i fall" all you want to, but, this song is the true gem on the album
  • 1. No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones
    who hasn't felt this way? exactly!
By: Ian Competent
  • 10. Good Feeling by Violent Femmes
    Great song from the band's debut. Strnge that this album had such a resurgence in popularity 20 years later.
  • 9. I Want You Around by The Ramones
    The version on the "Rock'n'Roll High School" soundtrack is a million times better than the demo version on "All The Stuff And More". "Something To Believe In", "Howling At The Moon" and "Outsider" were also great 80's songs for The Ramones.
  • 8. These Days by Joy Division
    The B-side to the "Love Will Tear Us Apart" single. Possibly the best 45 ever released by anybody.
  • 7. Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies
    Incredible hook. An absolute crime that this song was never played on the radio.
  • 6. Sea Shanty by The Pogues
    Shane MacGowan is one of the most underrated songwriters of all time.
  • 5. Sueisfine by My Bloody Valentine
    Never released as a single, but still rules.
  • 4. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch by Motorhead
    Love that riff...
  • 3. Never Understand by Jesus And Mary Chain
    "Psycho Candy" is amazing - one of the greatest albums ever.
  • 2. Bastards Of Young by The Replacements
    "Tim" wasn't half the album of "All Shook Down" but this song is the band's best.
  • 1. Makes No Sense At All by Husker Du
    Best single from the best band of the 80's.
OK - so most my stuff was from college radio. I liked some of the fluffy stuff, too - "Eyes Of A Stranger" by The Payola$, "Nova Heart" by The Spoons, "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran, "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring, "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" by Bruce Cockburn. And the Police are really awesome. Almost all of their songs were great. There were some great metal singles too - "Suicide Solution" by Ozzy Osbourne, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest", "Wasted Years" by Iron Maiden, "Circle Of Tyrants" by Celtic Frost, "Tribal Convictions" by Voivod. The whole 80's nostalgia thing is kind of sad though. It just shows how little is going on right now.
By: Ken
  • 10. Beat It by Michael Jackson
    Perhaps the most popular entertainer of the 80's, and his #1 hit...
  • 9. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
    Can't ever mistake this song for any other band- so recognizable as classic Pet Shop Boys.
  • 8. Rio by Duran Duran
    Duran Duran - hated them at the time because of their image and because they were a band that 'girls' liked, but now they stick out as a really great 80's band. Rio is just one of their hits.
  • 7. Something About You by Level 42
    Catchy 'synthesizer' music that is included in many a great 80's song... plus lyrics that are very catchy.
  • 6. Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
    See #3... and add to it that it is a song that is hard to forget.
  • 5. Erotic City by Prince
    Great song from artist(s) that were, in the 80's timeframe, very very very progressive!
  • 4. Send Me an Angel by Real Life
    See #3.
  • 3. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
    Top songs from typical 80's movies are very memorable.
  • 2. Don't You Want Me by Human League
    Smells like the '80s
  • 1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
    #1 song from a band that could arguably be the #1 band with the #1 lead singer!
When going thru this list, it is easy to see that the great songs of the 80s had WORDS YOU COULD UNDERSTAND. Funny how that trend disappeared in the 90's sometime with the increase in popularity of grunge bands who yelled stuff and rappers who are very difficult to understand if you are not into that type of music. This point seems to correlate directly with the increase in difficulty of video games over the years. After a certain point, I couldn't understand them anymore! I felt dumb, because I had mastered the joystick plus 1 or 2 button games... and now you have to be able to memorize a whole playbook full of moves with 6 or 7 buttons and their respective combinations in order to survive a video game longer than 1 minute!! Whip It / Devo Kyrie / Mister Mister Like a Virgin / Madonna True / Spandau Ballet Owner of a Lonely Heart / Yes Careless Whisper / Wham Rock Me Amadeus / Falco Sweet Dreams / Eurythmics If You Leave / OMD
By: spider
  • 10. Rainbow in the Dark by Dio
    Best Dio song ever!
  • 9. Panama by Van Halen
    Best Van Halen song ever!
  • 8. My Bologna by Wierd Al Yankovic
    Funniest song I ever heard! (At that time)
  • 7. Burning Down The House by Talking Heads
    Best Talking Heads song ever!
  • 6. TNT by AC/DC
    Best AC/DC song ever!
  • 5. Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue
    Best Motley Crue song ever!
  • 4. Breaking the Law by Judas Priest
    Best Judas Priest song ever!
  • 3. 2 Minutes to Midnight by Iron Maiden
    Best Maiden song ever!
  • 2. One by Metallica
    Best Metallica song ever!
  • 1. Bark At The Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
    Best Ozzy song ever!
All these songs are of my opinion. If you don't like it, tough nuggets.
By: keri
  • 10. Candy by Bow Wow Wow
    sound is very adam antish with a punk ass 13 yr old lead singer, u can't beat a pre pubecent singing about loving "candy wrapped in a sweater"
  • 9. Would I Lie To U by The Eurythmics
    don't know how to spell it, the annie lennox group, anyways i loved it
  • 8. Shake Ur Love by Debbie Gibson
    i don't care what sport u played or how tough u were, if u were in middle school or high school during that time, u sang the words
  • 7. Send Me An Angel by Not Sure The Artist
    it's like depech mode ish and it's awesome
  • 6. Back In Black by Ac/dc
    it's heavy it rocks, its eighties
  • 5. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    i think if i must explain this one, well, i pitty u
  • 4. The Reflex by Duran Duran
    hello, this song screams the excess of the eighties, the electronic sounds,the fact that the song means nothing, come on
  • 3. Rosana by Toto
    if it weren't for rosana arquette, this song would not exist, thanx rosana
  • 2. Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant
    not sure if that's the name of the song, but, how much does that song kick?
  • 1. Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes
    every time u hear just the intro to this song, u know exactly what it is
the 80's kicked and it's hard to make a top ten list of a decade, i think some people will see my choices and think, ya. others well, hey, it's all good. don't hate
By: Christoph
  • 10. Change by Tears for Fears
    REally nice refrain -- dancey!
  • 9. Dreaming of Me/ Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
    Light switch, man switch...
  • 8. Too Pieces/ Only You by Yazoo
    Beautiful ballads featuring Alison Moyet's jazzy, brassy vocals.
  • 7. Alphaville by Summer In Berlin
    Sleek euro-ballad.
  • 6. Accidentally on 4th Street (Gloria) by Figures on a Beach
    Dancey, happy, upbeat...
  • 5. A Little Respect by Erasure
  • 4. Generals and Majors by XTC
    Guitar-driven dance song.
  • 3. Damaged Goods by Gang of Four
  • 2. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult
  • 1. Images of Heaven by Peter Godwin
    Nice aesthetic, sad lyrics
By: CC L'amore
By: Laura Smith
  • 10. The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • 9. In a Big Country by Big Country
  • 8. The Motive by Then Jerico
  • 7. An Innocent Man by Billy Joel
  • 6. Me, Myself & I by De La Soul
  • 5. Take on Me by A-ha
  • 4. Beat It by Michael Jackson
  • 3. Jump by Van Halen
  • 2. Cuddly Toy by Roachford
  • 1. Tinseltown in the Rain by Blue Nile
By: Sara
  • 10. Love Shack by B-52s
    The Love Shack - cuz that's where it's at! "The love shack is a little old place where we can get together!" Great, fun song.
  • 9. 99 Red Balloons by Nena
    I've always loved the music to this song. You know, the part right after she says "99 Red Balloons go by" at the beginning.
  • 8. Kyrie by Mr. Mister
    Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel. Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night. Kyrie Eleison, here I'm going will you follow. Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light. Who doesn't love this song?
  • 7. Simply Irresistable / Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer
    I love both of these songs equally, so it's a tie!
  • 6. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
    Everybody have fun tonight...everybody Wang Chung tonight!
  • 5. St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr
    Love, love, love this song. "I can see a new horizon underneath the blazin' sky. I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher. Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels. Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire
  • 4. I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
    I love this song, very romantic. I'm considering it as one of the songs for my wedding...that is if I get married! "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner also gets props, but I couldn't fit both the titles into the box!
  • 3. I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany
    A very catchy song. Eat your heart out, Britney Spears!
  • 2. Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
    There's something about this song that just oozes '80s-ness. It's got that je ne said quoi. Maybe it's the fact that it was played at the end of "The Breakfast Club," a great classic from the '80s. But this song always makes me feel nostalgic for my favorite decade.
  • 1. We Are the World by USA for Africa
    I remember this song came out when I was four and we had the record. I would sing to it in the basement everyday before school when I was five/six. I just love this song, and my favorite lines are Tina Turner's, Willie Nelson's, and especially Cyndi Lauper's. I love how she sings her line.
This was very difficult for me because there are so many other songs from the '80s I love. Honorable mentions go to "What a Feeling" - Irene Cara, "Shout" - Tears For Fears, "Footloose" - Kenny Loggins, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" - Jefferson Starship, "Cherrybomb" - John Mellencamp, "Heaven is a Place on Earth" - Belinda Carlisle, "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" - Billy Ocean, and most of Madonna's '80s stuff! And a lot more, believe me! I live for '80s music.

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