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: Charles R. Grosvenor Jr.
- 10. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
One of the most remembered songs of the eighties, pretty much described Mtv as it was and was one of the best computer animated videos.
- 9. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
The only popular song about chess that I can even remember, only the eighties could produce a song like that!
- 8. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
SCIENCE! The quintessential nerd Thomas Dolby hits it big with a cool song and a humorous video, which is probably better remembered than the song.
- 7. Cars by Gary Numan
The first song of it’s kind that I can remember. The lyrics invoke some sort of Mad Max world where everyone lives in their cars yet there isn’t a car anywhere in the video, go figure.
- 6. I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls
Talk about hair bands of the eighties, their lead singer used to be a hair dresser, and well, he lived it.
- 5. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
The best rendition of this is Dan Akyroid in the Coneheads movie, check it out sometime. I always loved the synthesizers in this song, it made the song if anything.
- 4. Physical by Olivia Newton John
If there was anyone who could make the US infatuated with working out and Australia, it was this feisty singer.
- 3. Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard
This song just rocks, period.
- 2. Nobody Told Me by John Lennon
Released after his death on an album filled mostly with Yoko screaming on it, this was none-the-less a great song.
- 1. A View To A Kill by Duran Duran
You can argue this one with me all you like, but this was the best James Bond movie theme ever (Paul McCartney can go take a flying leap with that slow moving boring “Live and Let Die” themesong). The song itself just invokes the whole James Bond image perfectly.
- 10. Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room) by Paul Lekakis
all it took this guy was 3 simple words to get any woman he wanted
- 9. I Love Rock ‘N Roll by Joan Jett
the first lady of rock and roll in the ’80’s
- 8. Mr. Roboto by Styx
wrote the finest lyric of the decade:domo arigato Mr. Roboto
- 7. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
the original still sounds better than the recently released remix
- 6. One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head
- 5. Don’t You Want Me by Human League
- 4. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
simply a brilliant song. remember the steamship video?
- 3. Down Under by Men At Work
besides making great music, these folks taught us what a vegemite sandwich was
- 2. Pac-Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia
check out the full-length album, featuring “ode to centipede” and “do the donkey kong”
- 1. Shout by Tears for Fears
i can play this song over and over and over…… without ever getting tired of it. and it sounds just as good today as it did in 1985.
By: Hung T. Nguyen
- 10. Africa/Rosanna by Toto
Africa sweeps me away to a tropical island with steel drums and wild dogs look for some solitary company. Rosanna is just real catchy to listen to.
- 9. Against All Odds/One More Night by Phil Collins
What can I say about this British singer? He’s the man! Against All Odds and One More Night are beautiful love songs (you can guess I’m a sucker for love songs) that you can always sing to your ex-girlfriend if you want her back.
- 8. Eye in the Sky by Alan Parsons Project
I don’t need to see anymore to know that I can read your mind. . .
- 7. Out of Touch/Private Eyes by Hall and Oates
No top 10 80’s music list is complete without the best duo ever to exist! These guys released MANY hits during the 80s, and these are just two of the best.
- 6. Land of Confusion/Invisible Touch/Throwing it All Away by Genesis
Three way tie. I know it’s not legal really, but these guys are my favorite band and all these songs are cool. LOC and IT are some of the best pop rock songs I’ve ever heard and TIAA is a song that just tends to stick in your head. In general, I think these guys rock but unfortunetly, the 80s had better singles.
- 5. Our House by Madness
Have you heard this song? If you have, you’d know why I love it so much. This perky, surface meaning song about a full house can really make one jump up and down looking like a fool.
- 4. Faithfully/Open Arms by Journey
I can’t believe I’m putting my brother’s favorite band ahead of mine. This is the band for powerful loves songs. These can really tug on the heart.
- 3. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
No love song is better. This once is quite the tearjerker.
- 2. Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins
Actually, the full version of this song deserves second. The one that is usually played on the radio isn’t as good as the 7-minute version on the album and other certain collection albums. Listen to it sometime if you haven’t.
- 1. Down Under by Men at Work
This is the coolest song I’ve ever heard. I love the unique instruments, excellent use of the flute, and the neat drum part in the middle. I never get tired of this song. The video is just as cool, too. Without this song, I would never have learned the existence of vegemite sandwiches.
I had a hard time choosing songs between many artists. So there were a lot of ties.
Editors Note, that’s fine with me as long as people don’t start sending lists that are basically favorite artist lists. Though if people would like, I could always start a list of those as well.
By: firstname.lastname@example.org, “ruiner”
- 10. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
I still get a happy feeling when I think about that video…
- 9. Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails
Hey! It came out in ’89…
- 8. Take On Me by A-HA
I’m still confused about this one…
- 7. Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes
- 6. I Need a New Drug/The Heart of Rock & Roll by Huey Lewis & the News
Huey was my first concert, and I remember all those cheezy songs!
- 5. Down Under by Men at Work
- 4. Can’t Fight this Feeling by REO Speedwagon
- 3. Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer
Another great video…
- 2. Wild Wild West by The Escape Club
We’re headed for the 90’s…
- 1. Venus by Bananarama
What’s my desire??? Like really needed to be asked after seeing that one on Mtv…
By: Sarwar Mushtaq
- 10. If You Leave by OMD
- 9. New Moon On Monday by Duran Duran
- 8. Wild Wild West by Escape club
- 7. Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked eyes
- 6. The Promise by Arcadia
- 5. I Ran by Flock of Seagulls
- 4. Love My Way by Phsychedelic Furs
- 3. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
- 2. Melt With You by Modern English
- 1. Won’t You Dance With Me by Lords of the new church
By: Michael Dixon
- 10. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora
Never would’ve dug this song up if it weren’t for the Listerine commercials. Viva gingivitis!
- 9. If You Leave by OMD
Nothing quite like a nice Brat Pack anthem. Molly Ringwold used to be my moon goddess.
- 8. Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo
“I wish I was in Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana”. Who says poetry is dead?
- 7. Kyrie by Mr. Mister
Masterful use of synthesizer. What does “Kyrie Elaison” mean anyway? Who cares?
- 6. Nightshift by The Commodores
Sweet sounds ARE coming down on the Nightshift. Marvin and Jackie would’ve been proud of this beauty.
- 5. Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins
I remember dancing with girls to this in 7th grade. It was usually sandwiched between “Red Red Wine” and “Wild Wild West”.
- 4. Down Under by Men at Work
Tie me kangaroo down and make me a vegamite sandwich. Everytime I hear this song I picture those goof balls wandering around in thedesert in those funky, all-white outfits. I love it!
- 3. Second Chance by .38 Special
I’m probably biased towards this song because it was out the same time my first love dismissed me. I spent many a night “standing inthe pouring rain”.
- 2. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
Only Rage Against the Machine can motivate me like this classic. I remember their concert. There I stood, in my black and white checkered Skidz, bellowing “Red light, Yellow light, Green light, Go!”
- 1. Africa by Toto
The best ever, hands down. Heaven is being at a frat party, standing by a giant speaker with a brew in hand and a few in belly and hearing Steve Luthaker wail away on the chorus.
I recently compiled my Top 500 songs of all time (actually I made 1980 the cutoff date, for the sake of not putting Kung Fu Fighting on). I typed it up all nice and everything but my friends say I have too much spare time. Well, I figured it out that 312 of the 500 are from that luxurious decade. These are the top 3.12% of them.
And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I left these beautes out. Honorable Mention:Pink Floyd’s “Learning To Fly”, Timmy T’s“One More Try”, Animotion’s “Obsession”, Thompson Twins’ “Lay Your Hands On Me”, and Dire Straits’ “So Far Away”.
By: Ben Amos
- 10. I Heard a Rumor/ Venus by Bananarama
I swore that I wouldn’t include ties, but I’m morally-obligated to do so for this one…
- 9. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears For Fears
The video IS “par excellance.” Who could ever forget the two guys dancing at the gas pumps???
- 8. Pop Musik by M
Okay, so the girl with the headphones in the video is an Amazon, and the multi effects quickly became trite… “New York, London, Paris, Munich…” How can you NOT love this song???
- 7. One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head
By far, one of the most addictively-unique sounds of the era. How often did you see Broadway showtunes popping up on the Billboard charts???
- 6. (Keep Feeling) Fascination by Human League
I must say that I was a bit disappointed when I read all of the other lists, and saw that this gem had been abandoned for “Don’t You Want Me.” DYWM is an 80’s watermark, no doubt, but the nasty little synth-loop that they put at the song’s start, wins out…
- 5. She Blinded Me with Science by Thomas Dolby
This was one of the most entertaining videos ever. “Good heavens, Miss Sakimoto, you’re BEAUTIFUL!!!”
- 4. Hourglass by Squeeze
Okay, most of you won’t remember this one, but I do… The video has a cool scene where the lead singer rolls a basket of fruit UP a painted staircase…. “Takeittothebridge, throwitoverboard, Seeifitcanswim, backandtotheshore, noone’sinthehouse, everyone’sout, allthelightsare on, and the blinds are down..”
- 3. Perfect Way by Scritti Politti
I’ll admit that I’d forgotten about this song until only recently. This is one of those songs that you sit and listen to over, and over…
- 2. Heart and Soul by T’Pau
After cutting my teeth on my Star Wars toys, even I can forgive the fact that they named themselves after a bit part of Star Trek. The background vocals are just plain haunting, and that’s not a bad thing…
- 1. Something About You by Level 42
A clown in a mustard-yellow plaid suit, riding on a train, through the English countryside annoying the fat, old men in the same car… Do videos ever get any better than this??? We’re talking the height of surrealism, here…
I was ecstatic to chance upon your 1980s site, and I must tell you that I respect your excellent taste highly. Unlike most who think that it is trendy to get into retro-rock a second time, I never let go of my love for the music of the decade in which I grew up. Narrowing all of these great songs down to a mere ten was quite a difficult task, because there are so very many phenomenal bands, but here goes…
- 10. Only the Lonely by Motels
- 9. Rapture by Blondie
- 8. Puttin’ on the Ritz by Taco
- 7. Souvenir by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
- 6. Der Kommisar by Atter the Fire
- 5. Together in Electric Dreams by Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder
- 4. Madame Butterfly by Malcolm McLaren
- 3. Summer in Berlin by Alphaville
- 2. Tour de France by Kraftwerk
- 1. I’d Rather Jack by The Reynolds Girls
Hello there Charles, I enjoyed your pages. Good for the aged (I speak for myself of course) to wallow in some pleasant memories of the all-too-distant past… The lists is in no partcular order.
By: email@example.com By: Kevin Kropf
- 10. Xanadu by Olivia Newton John
On the edge of the disco days looking toward the british/aussie invasion
- 9. On the Dark Side by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band–Eddie and the Cruisers
Great movie, cool author (PF Kluge) rocking song
- 8. Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
See the pattern–movie tunes rock
- 7. If You Were Here by Thompson Twins
Another John Hughes (16 Candles) finale song, this is the one no one can find, but I have it
- 6. Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider
Nickname of my high school sports team (Red Riders)helped this song as well as the movie “Vision Quest” — always good for an adrenaline rush
- 5. And We Danced by The Hooters
Cyndi Laupers backup band rocking on this wild song
- 4. View to a Kill by Duran Duran
One last time with the fab five, before theymade fools of themselves with Arcadia and Power Station
- 3. One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head
It’s already been said about this one
- 2. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr
Great movie, great cast, best soundtrack and this is the best song on it.
- 1. Midnight Blue by Lou Gramm
Only one of two non-movie songs, but this is my alltime fave from the former/current frontman of Foriegner. Lou this is the best!
Like them Love them Lived them. Many other songs marked the decade as the best for goofy, serious, hardrocking slow, jamming and crazy songs, but we can all agree there will never be enough compliation CD’s on the 80’s.
- 10. Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean
OK this one’s partly ’cause Billy is from my homeland of Trinidad (in the Caribbean). But it’s also because this is the only song that so perfectly fused T’dad slang and rhythms with R & B pop.
- 9. Run to You by Bryan Adams
These days ole Bry sticks to singing a never ending litany of wimpy lurve songs but back in ’84 he put out this moody guitar driven masterpiece. Something he has never duplicated.
- 8. Anything for You by Gloria Estephan
The best of her plaintive love songs.
- 7. Self Control by Laura Branigan
Her usually screechy high notes were pleasantly absent from this very hot, very sexy song
- 6. I Don’t Want Your Love by Duran Duran
DD is still my fave band though you may not believe it if you read on later! It’s a very cool, very funky song and Simon gets the love-in-denial tone just right. Plus I actually understood these lyrics!
- 5. Keep on Loving You by Reo Speedwagon
Don’t like this band but this is just a wonderful song. Sounds as fresh today as it did back in ’81.
- 4. Broken Wings by Mr. Mister
The power ballad of the 80’s. Still sends chills down my spine. The song was the most UN-Richard- Marx- type ballad released. No over-the- top-wimpy vocals here.
- 3. La Isla Bonita by Madonna
It was hard to pick out the best of all of M’s songs. I just think this one was truly the peak of her love affair with Spanish influenced music. I await “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.”
- 2. Careless Whisper by George Michael/Wham!
The POP ballad of the 80’s. Wasn’t George-ous gorgeous in the vid?
- 1. For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton
I am a confessed Bond-aholic and I say forget “A View to A Kill” with its typical Duranesque obscure garbage lyrics this is THE classic Bond song of the 80’s. The boudoir themed song highlighted the little something JB was more actually more famous for and nobody could have done it better than Sheena Easton. Remember that opening sequence?
I visited your Top 80’s albums and singles sites yesterday and I just had to write in with my 2 cents. (Don’t be mad at me for my ??? taste:-))
- 10. Sailing by Christopher Cross
Technically a 70’s song, but by far the most relaxing tune of the 80’s
- 9. Working for the Weekend by Loverboy
….you wanna piece of my heart?
- 8. Sweet Freedom by Michael McDonald
Makes you picture Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines roller-skating in Key West
- 7. Feeling Fascination by Human League
Not as catchy as “Don’t You Want Me” or “Human” but the keyboards scream 80’s
- 6. Voices Carry by til’ Tuesday
To those who disagree…..”…..ohhhh hushhhh. Keep it down now….”
- 5. Our House by Madness
Wonderful melody with plenty of unnecessary 80’s techno-drum beats
- 4. You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates
Though H20 was their best album, nothing can touch….”What I want-you got…….”
- 3. I Keep Forgettin’ by Michael McDonald
Most underrated/least known song of the 80’s. Hey, Warren G. remembered it and made millions sampling it in “Regulate”.
- 2. Never Gonna Give You Up/Together Forever by Rick Astley
They’re both more or less the same song but still, you can’t deny the cool dance rhythm. Just picture the bartender dancing in the video.
- 1. All Night Long by Lionel Richie
1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Live. Nuff said.
By: Gerardo Ibarra
Based on a survey made in Mexico City E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Matt Scheidler
- 10. Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder
Don’t see this one anywhere else, but it makes my list.
- 9. Let’s Go All The Way by Sly Fox
It’s the sixth grade all over again when I hear this one. Don’t know if that’s a GOOD thing or not, though…
- 8. People Are People by Depeche Mode
Haven’t heard this song that much in the years since it hit, but love it when I do.
- 7. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
Just bought a compilation CD that had a different version of this song than the one I remember. Thank goodness the other nineteen hits were the same as I remembered them!
- 6. Not Enough Love In The World by Don Henley
Eagles or solo, Henley’s stuff still sounds great.
- 5. Foolish Beat by Debbie Gibson
Laugh if you will, but listen to this album again! I’d forgotten how good it really was until this past week when I picked up a free copy of this that a radio station was pitching.
- 4. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Mom didn’t particularly like this song when it was a hit, but she isn’t the one compiling the list, either.
- 3. The Final Countdown by Europe
The only album I have on both LP and CD. ‘Nuff said.
- 2. The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby And The Range
My overall favorite 80’s group. The first two Range albums are tops for the decade, but that’s another list.
- 1. Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes
I have never grown tired of this song, don’t know why, don’t care why.
Just found your site, totally by accident. But, surfing can send you to some pretty neat places.
Honorable mentions can go on forever, but I have to mention:Murray Head “One Night In Bangkok,” Peter Wolf “Come As You Are,” Men At Work “Who Can It Be Now,” Scritti Politti “Perfect Way,”Times Two “Strange But True,” and Dan Hartman “I Can Dream About You.”
- 10. Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Could the ’80s have been any more fun than this?
- 9. A Little Respect by Erasure
I have sentimental feelings for this one.
- 8. Our House by Madness
Too bad they never really hit it big in the States.
- 7. Don’t You Want Me by Human League
Perfect Techno-pop candy.
- 6. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
So over the top, it still makes me laugh.
- 5. Every Breath You Take by Police
It’s impossible to get tired of this song.
- 4. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
Ebulliently stupid and catchy.
- 3. Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls
I relate big time.
- 2. Love Shack by B-52s
Shake that groove thang!
- 1. Rio by Duran Duran
The video makes the song that much better.
Now that I’ve written the story (don’t know when it’ll run), here’s my top 10 and being a cheater, I’ve added some honorable mentions as others had done. If you wanna edit them out to keep the top 10 pure, that’s your pregotative (as Atlantan Bobby Brown would say)
I could easily throw in another 20 honorable mentions. Here’s a few:When in Rome, “The Promise”, Violent Femmes, “Blister in the Sun”,Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, Murray Head, “One Night in Bangkok”, Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now”, Frankie Goes toHollywood, “Relax”. Note from Chuckyg: The story refered to here, is the first story written about my 80s site, way back around the first anniversary of the site. It ran in the Atlanta Constitution in the summer of 1996.
By: Eric Kilian
- 10. Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles
- 9. Some People by Belouis Some
Strange lyrics, but an irresistable song
- 8. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
- 7. Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
- 6. Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
- 5. Road To Nowhere by Talking Heads
Another unmentioned masterpiece
- 4. Cars by Gary Numan
It grows on you.
- 3. One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head
- 2. Vienna by Ultravox
Now why no one mentioned this song is beyond me, but it is quite good.
- 1. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
Quite possibly the most beautiful song ever written.
Gentlemen, gentlemen… you asked for a top ten list, here you are (why some of these were never mentioned eludes me). Honorable Mentions:Captain Sensible, “Wot” I’m sorry, but this song just rocks. Adam and The Ants, “Desparate But Not Serious” A song that sticks with you, and gets more attractive every day
By: Kevin Bradley
I think that your 80’s page is the best site that I seen on the ‘net, keep up the great work. I loved the 80’s and this page helps me remember those times and the songs.
By: Chip Hall from Pensicola, Florida By: Rick G.
- 10. Take on Me by A-Ha
The coolest video I’ve ever seen, and a song that hits your heart.
- 9. Every Breath You Take by The Police
The most popular band of the ’80’s?
- 8. Maneater by Hall & Oates
My favorite band ever.
- 7. The Way it Is by Bruce Hornsby
Not of the ’80’s pop genre, but still a great ’80’s song.
- 6. Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House
Great guitar in this one.
- 5. Too Late for Good-byes by Julian Lennon
A song of which I am the only fan I know.
- 4. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
Everybody loves this one!
- 3. Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz
Why does nobody like this one?
- 2. Something About You by Level 42
Had this song stuck in my head for 10 years before I finally heard it again!
- 1. Steppin’ Out by Joe Jackson
This song just rules!
A born again 80’s lover (I’m only 16), I’m heard many of these songs for the first or second time in only the last few months.
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 70s and 90s
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