The 1980s are often thought of as the best decade for music, particularly popular music, with its vibrant and eclectic musical landscape. This era was a melting pot of genres, where synthesizers collided with dramatic guitar solos, creating a plethora of pop anthems and rock ballads. The 1980s saw the rise of iconic artists and groundbreaking sounds, shaping a generation's cultural identity. Our list of the top 100 '80s songs offers a glimpse into the diverse and dynamic soundtrack that defined a decade of popular music.
Top 80s Pop Songs
Upside Down (1980)
by Diana Ross
"Upside Down," performed by Diana Ross, was a hit single released in 1980. Its infectious disco sound and the fact that it was produced by the legendary Chic members Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards contributed significantly to its success.
by Kool & The Gang
Released in 1980, "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang became an instant party anthem. The song's upbeat rhythm and joyful lyrics celebrate good times, making it a staple at festive occasions.
Endless Love (1981)
by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
As a romantic ballad released in 1981, "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie is known for its soulful melody. The song, used in a film of the same name, became one of the best-selling singles of the era.
by Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John's "Physical," released in 1981, stands out for its upbeat tempo and risqué lyrics. The song marked a significant shift from her earlier, more country-oriented music and became one of the defining tracks of early 80s pop culture.
Billie Jean (1982)
by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," released in 1982, is famous for its distinctive bassline and Jackson's powerful vocals. The song's popularity was bolstered by its groundbreaking music video and the famous moonwalk debut on television.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)
by Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," released in 1983, became an anthem for female empowerment and fun. The song's catchy beat and Lauper's unique voice, coupled with its vibrant and whimsical music video, made it a staple of 80s pop culture and a defining track of Lauper's career.
Flashdance... What a Feeling (1983)
by Irene Cara
Irene Cara's "Flashdance... What a Feeling," from the 1983 movie "Flashdance," is an iconic song that became synonymous with the 80s dance-pop genre. Its inspirational lyrics and energetic rhythm made it an anthem of aspiration and triumph.
Karma Chameleon (1983)
by Culture Club
Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon," released in 1983, is a vibrant and colorful track known for its catchy melody and Boy George's distinctive vocals. The song's blend of pop, soul, and reggae elements helped make it one of the biggest hits of the 1980s.
by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's "Thriller," released in 1983, is renowned for its iconic music video featuring groundbreaking visual effects and choreography. The song, with its blend of disco and funk, exemplifies Jackson's influence on the music and popular culture of the 80s.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984)
Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," released in 1984, became famous for its energizing rhythm and cheerful lyrics. The song, marked by its poppy sound and colorful music video, epitomized the upbeat spirit of 80s pop music and helped solidify George Michael's status as a pop icon.
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) (1984)
by Phil Collins
Phil Collins' powerful ballad "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" was released in 1984. Featured in the movie of the same name, its emotional depth and Collins' heartfelt performance made it a standout track.
Like a Virgin (1984)
Madonna's "Like a Virgin," released in 1984, was a defining song of the decade, known for its catchy beat and controversial lyrics. The song played a significant role in establishing Madonna as a pop icon.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1984)
Released in 1984, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics stands out for its synth-pop sound. Annie Lennox's powerful vocals combined with the song's rhythmic beat made it an international success.
Time After Time (1984)
by Cyndi Lauper
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper, released in 1984, is a ballad known for its emotional lyrics and Lauper's heartfelt delivery. The song, reflecting themes of love and support, became a significant hit and showcased Lauper's range as an artist beyond her more upbeat tracks.
The Perfect Kiss (1985)
by New Order
"The Perfect Kiss" (1985) by New Order is a seminal synth-pop anthem that not only captivated the music scene of the '80s but also marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of electronic dance music, thanks to its innovative use of technology and infectious melodies.
We Are the World (1985)
by USA for Africa
"We Are the World," released in 1985 by the supergroup USA for Africa, is one of the most significant charity singles ever recorded. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, the song features an all-star cast of artists and was created to raise funds for famine relief in Africa. Its message of unity and compassion resonated worldwide, making a substantial impact both musically and philanthropically.
Material Girl (1985)
Madonna's "Material Girl," released in 1985, is known for its upbeat tempo and playful lyrics, which satirically address society's materialism. The song's popularity was amplified by its iconic music video, inspired by Marilyn Monroe's performance in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
Take on Me (1985)
a-ha's "Take on Me," released in 1985, is celebrated for its groundbreaking rotoscope-animated music video. The song's catchy synth-pop sound and high-energy vocals made it a hit of the 80s.
How Will I Know (1985)
by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know," released in 1985, is a vibrant, dance-pop track that showcased her vocal range and became one of her signature songs. Its upbeat rhythm and catchy chorus helped solidify Houston's status as a pop star.
Addicted to Love (1986)
by Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love," released in 1986, is known for its distinctive, driving beat and Palmer's smooth vocals. The song became iconic, partly due to its memorable music video featuring a band of expressionless, mannequin-like women, reflecting a slick, stylized 80s aesthetic.
Top 80s Rock Songs
Back in Black (1980)
AC/DC's "Back in Black" from 1980 is a tribute to their former lead singer Bon Scott. The song's driving guitar riffs and resilient lyrics contributed to making it one of the band's most iconic tracks and a classic rock anthem.
Another One Bites the Dust (1980)
Queen's 1980 hit, "Another One Bites the Dust," stands out for its distinctive bass line and became one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song's crossover appeal to both rock and disco audiences exemplified the band's unique ability to blend genres.
by The J. Geils Band
"Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band, released in 1981, topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. The song, known for its catchy hook and upbeat melody, reflects on the shock of discovering a high school crush in a risqué magazine.
I Love Rock 'N Roll (1981)
by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'N Roll," released in 1981, became a defining anthem for rock music. The song, originally by The Arrows, was powerfully reimagined by Jett, showcasing her raw vocal style and rock persona.
Don’t Stop Believin' (1981)
Journey's "Don’t Stop Believin'" from 1981 is an iconic rock anthem known for its uplifting lyrics and memorable melody. Its late popularity surge, especially due to its use in television and movies, has made it one of the most downloaded songs.
Eye of the Tiger (1982)
Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," released in 1982, gained fame as the theme song for the movie "Rocky III." The song's driving beat and motivational lyrics encapsulate the spirit of determination and became a popular workout anthem.
Toto's "Africa," released in 1982, is known for its rich instrumentation and memorable chorus. The song, blending rock with a hint of African rhythms, became a significant part of 80s pop culture and remains popular in various media.
Every Breath You Take (1983)
by The Police
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police, released in 1983, is one of the band's most famous songs, known for its haunting melody and ambiguous lyrics often misinterpreted as a love song when they actually depict possessiveness and jealousy.
Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," released in 1984, is often misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem but is actually a critique of the treatment of Vietnam veterans. The song's powerful lyrics and energetic sound made it a significant hit.
by Van Halen
Van Halen's "Jump," released in 1984, is notable for its synthesizer-driven melody, a departure from the band's usual guitar-heavy sound. The song became their only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Money for Nothing (1985)
by Dire Straits
"Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits, released in 1985, is known for its groundbreaking music video and Mark Knopfler's distinctive guitar riff. The song's lyrics provide a commentary on the music industry and MTV culture.
With or Without You (1987)
"With or Without You" off of the Irish rock band U2's fifth studio album "Joshua Tree", released in 1987, is known for its atmospheric sound and Bono's impassioned vocals. The song's themes of love and obsession helped it become one of the band's most iconic tracks.
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (1987)
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was also on U2's album "Joshua Tree", reflecting the band's exploration of spiritual themes. Its combination of rock and gospel elements showcases the band's evolving sound and Bono's introspective lyrics.
Livin' on a Prayer (1986)
by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," released in 1986, became one of their signature songs. The track tells the story of a working-class couple struggling to make ends meet, resonating with many during the economic challenges of the 1980s.
You Give Love a Bad Name (1986)
by Bon Jovi
Released in 1986, "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi marked the band's first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song's catchy chorus and energetic guitar riffs helped define the sound of 80s rock.
"Carrie" by Europe, released in 1986, is a power ballad that stands out for its emotive lyrics and strong vocal performance. The song, reflecting themes of love and heartache, became one of Europe's biggest hits and a staple of 80s rock ballads.
Here I Go Again (1987)
"Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake, released in 1987, is a song about resilience and starting anew. Its powerful vocals and memorable chorus helped it become a major hit and an anthem of the 80s rock era.
Sweet Child O' Mine (1987)
by Guns N' Roses
"Sweet Child O' Mine," released in 1987 by Guns N' Roses, features one of the most iconic guitar riffs in rock history. The song's blend of hard rock and melodic elements helped it become a timeless classic.
Pour Some Sugar on Me (1987)
by Def Leppard
Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," released in 1987, is known for its infectious chorus and is often regarded as one of the best rock songs of the 80s. The song's blend of hard rock and glam metal elements helped it become a defining track of the era.
With or Without You (1987)
U2's "With or Without You," from their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree," is known for its haunting sound and emotive lyrics. The song reflects the band's exploration of complex relationships and became one of their most significant hits.
Top 80s Hip Hop Songs
The Breaks (1980)
by Kurtis Blow
"The Breaks" by Kurtis Blow, released in 1980, is notable for being one of the earliest commercially successful rap songs. Its rhythmic style and Breaks laid the foundation for future hip-hop music.
Planet Rock (1982)
by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force
"Planet Rock," released in 1982 by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force, is celebrated for its innovative use of electronic music in hip-hop. The song's fusion of genres was pioneering, influencing the development of hip-hop and dance music.
The Message (1982)
by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
Released in 1982, "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five is one of the most influential hip hop tracks of all time. Its profound lyrics about inner-city life set a new standard for social commentary in hip hop.
My Adidas (1986)
"My Adidas" by Run-D.M.C., released in 1986, was a pioneering song that celebrated urban fashion and style. This track is notable for initiating a new era in hip-hop where artists began to secure major endorsement deals.
Fight for Your Right (1987)
by Beastie Boys
Released in 1987, "Fight for Your Right" by Beastie Boys became an anthem for youthful rebellion. The song, with its raucous energy, was originally intended as a parody of party anthems but became a mainstream hit.
Push It (1987)
Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," released in 1987, is a pioneering work in the hip-hop genre, especially for female artists. Known for its catchy hook and danceable beat, it became one of the first rap songs to hit the mainstream pop charts.
Paid in Full (1987)
by Eric B. & Rakim
"Paid in Full" by Eric B. & Rakim, released in 1987, is known for its smooth flow and complex lyricism. Rakim's style on this track had a profound impact on the future of lyrical techniques in hip-hop.
Rebel Without a Pause (1987)
by Public Enemy
"Rebel Without a Pause" is a defining track from Public Enemy's 1987 album "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back." Renowned for its politically charged lyrics and innovative use of sampling, the song marked a significant moment in the evolution of hip hop, emphasizing the genre's capacity for social commentary and complex production.
It's Tricky (1987)
Run-DMC's "It's Tricky," released in 1987, is known for its catchy hook and lively beat. The song exemplifies the group's skill in creating hip-hop with mass appeal.
Bust a Move (1989)
by Young MC
"Bust a Move" by Young MC, released in 1989, is known for its storytelling lyrics and funky bassline. The song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance, reflecting the growing recognition of hip-hop in the music industry.
It Takes Two (1988)
by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock released "It Takes Two" in 1988, a song that became a hip-hop staple due to its infectious rhythm and memorable samples. It's often cited for its impact on future hip-hop production.
Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Released in 1988, "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A brought a raw, unfiltered perspective to hip-hop. Its confrontational lyrics and portrayal of life in South Central Los Angeles were groundbreaking, heralding the rise of gangsta rap.
Wild Thing (1989)
by Tone Lōc
Tone Lōc's "Wild Thing," released in 1989, is known for its playful lyrics and distinctive sample from Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'." The song was a major hit, illustrating hip-hop's crossover into popular music.
Children’s Story (1989)
by Slick Rick
"Children’s Story," released in 1989 by Slick Rick, is a narrative hip hop track known for its storytelling style and cautionary theme. The song's vivid storytelling, coupled with its catchy, simplistic beat, became a staple in hip hop, influencing the narrative techniques of future rappers.
Shake Your Rump (1989)
by Beastie Boys
"Shake Your Rump," a track from the Beastie Boys' 1989 album "Paul's Boutique," might be one of the lesser-known songs on this list, but the impact it (along with the entire album) had on Hip Hop and modern recording is astounding. It changed the game for recording artists by introducing a new revolutionary approach to sampling. This album moved away from the typical two-turntable break and overlay sample that hip hop began with, instead creating tracks from a multitude of diverse samples. This innovative technique redefined the use of sampling in music production, for all genres.
Top 80s Country Songs
9 to 5 (1980)
by Dolly Parton
"9 to 5," performed by Dolly Parton and released in 1980, is a vibrant anthem for office workers. The song's upbeat tempo and Parton's catchy lyrics resonated with many Americans dealing with the routine and challenges of daily work life, making it a cross-over hit in both country and pop charts.
I Love a Rainy Night (1980)
by Eddie Rabbitt
"I Love a Rainy Night" by Eddie Rabbitt, released in 1980, combines a catchy beat with a feel-good vibe. This song, which celebrates the simple joys of a rainy night, became a significant hit for Rabbitt, highlighting his ability to blend country and pop elements.
On the Road Again (1980)
by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again," released in 1980, became an anthem for life on tour. The song, known for its catchy melody and Nelson's love for the touring life, won a Grammy Award and is revered as a classic in both country music and American pop culture.
Queen of Hearts (1981)
by Juice Newton
Released in 1981 by Juice Newton, "Queen of Hearts" is a lively blend of country and pop. Known for its upbeat melody and Newton's spirited performance, the song was a top hit on the country charts and crossed over to mainstream success, showcasing Newton's versatility as an artist.
Fancy Free (1981)
by The Oak Ridge Boys
"Fancy Free" by The Oak Ridge Boys, released in 1981, is known for its upbeat rhythm and feel-good lyrics. It became a significant hit in both the country and pop charts, showcasing the group's harmonious vocals and ability to create a catchy, mainstream country sound.
Mountain Music (1982)
Alabama's "Mountain Music," released in 1982, blends traditional country with Southern rock. The song, an ode to simple pleasures and outdoor life, resonated with fans, making it one of the group's signature hits and a classic in the country music genre.
Always on My Mind (1982)
by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson's 1982 rendition of "Always on My Mind" is a heartfelt ballad about love and regret. Originally recorded by other artists, Nelson's version won Grammy Awards and is celebrated for its emotional depth and Nelson's soulful delivery, cementing its status as a classic in country music.
Crying My Heart Out Over You (1982)
by Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs' "Crying My Heart Out Over You," released in 1982, is a classic bluegrass-influenced country hit. The song's traditional sound, combined with Skaggs' heartfelt vocals, marked a return to classic country roots during the 80s.
Islands in the Stream (1983)
by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
"Islands in the Stream," a duet by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers released in 1983, is a notable example of a successful crossover hit. Written by the Bee Gees, this love song blends country and pop elements, showcasing the strong chemistry between Parton and Rogers.
Why Not Me (1984)
by The Judds
"Why Not Me" by The Judds, released in 1984, is a harmonious blend of traditional country sound and heartfelt storytelling. The song's appeal lies in its relatable lyrics about love and longing, showcasing the duo's vocal chemistry and contributing to their rise as one of the most successful acts in country music during the 80s.
All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight (1984)
by Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr.'s 1984 song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" became an anthem for country party songs. Known for its energetic style and Williams' distinctive voice, it also gained fame as the theme for Monday Night Football.
The Chair (1985)
by George Strait
George Strait's "The Chair," released in 1985, is a classic example of his traditional country style. The song, known for its unique narrative structure and Strait's smooth vocals, tells a story of a chance encounter leading to romance, further cementing Strait's status as a leading figure in the neotraditional country movement.
by The Highwaymen
"Highwayman" by The Highwaymen, a supergroup featuring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson, was released in 1985. The song's narrative about reincarnation and its haunting melody, performed by four of country music's legends, made it a timeless classic in the genre.
Forever and Ever, Amen (1987)
by Randy Travis
"Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis, released in 1987, is a heartwarming country ballad. Its heartfelt lyrics and Travis's rich vocals helped the song win a Grammy Award and solidify Travis's status as a leading figure in the neotraditional country movement.
Fishin' in the Dark (1987)
by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
"Fishin' in the Dark," a hit for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1987, is known for its catchy tune and laid-back, romantic lyrics. The song remains a favorite among country fans and epitomizes the feel-good vibe of 80s country music.
Top 80s R&B Songs
Upside Down (1980)
by Diana Ross
"Upside Down," performed by Diana Ross and released in 1980, features a dynamic disco beat. Produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, this song is notable for its funky groove and became one of Ross's biggest hits, topping the charts worldwide.
Let's Groove (1981)
by Earth, Wind & Fire
Released in 1981, "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind & Fire is known for its infectious beat and innovative music video. The song captures the band's essence, blending R&B, soul, and funk, and remains a timeless dance classic.
Sexual Healing (1982)
by Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," released in 1982, marked a significant comeback for the artist. Known for its sensual rhythm and soulful lyrics, the song won two Grammy Awards and is celebrated as one of the most influential R&B tracks of the 80s.
All Night Long (All Night) (1983)
by Lionel Richie
"All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie, released in 1983, is a feel-good song that blends elements of R&B, pop, and Caribbean music. The song's festive vibe and catchy chorus helped make it a global hit, showcasing Richie's appeal as a solo artist.
Purple Rain (1984)
Prince's "Purple Rain," released in 1984, is a powerful blend of rock, gospel, and orchestral music. The title track of the album and film of the same name, it's known for its emotional depth and has become one of Prince's most iconic songs.
When Doves Cry (1984)
Prince's "When Doves Cry," also off his 1984 album "Purple Rain", is known for its groundbreaking blend of R&B, pop, and funk, along with its absence of a bass line. As the lead single from the album, it showcases Prince's unique artistry and innovation.
I Feel for You (1984)
by Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan's "I Feel for You," released in 1984, is a standout track known for its mix of R&B, rap, and funk elements. The song, featuring a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder and a rap by Melle Mel, highlighted Khan's versatility and became a significant cross-genre hit.
Freeway of Love (1985)
by Aretha Franklin
"Freeway of Love," performed by Aretha Franklin and released in 1985, is a vibrant blend of pop and R&B. Known for its energetic tempo and saxophone solo by Clarence Clemons, this Grammy-winning hit marked a successful period in Franklin's career.
"Nightshift" by the Commodores, released in 1985, is a tribute to music legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. The song's soulful melody and poignant lyrics about loss and remembrance earned it critical acclaim and a Grammy Award.
If Only for One Night (1985)
by Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross's "If Only for One Night," released in 1985, is a soulful ballad that showcases his smooth and emotive vocal style. The song, with its romantic and heartfelt lyrics, is a testament to Vandross's prowess as a leading R&B crooner of the 80s.
That's What Friends Are For (1986)
by Dionne Warwick and Friends
"That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick and Friends, released in 1986, featured notable artists like Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. This charity single, known for its heartwarming lyrics and ensemble performance, became a major hit and raised funds for AIDS research and prevention.
by Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson's "Control," released in 1986, is a song that marked a turning point in her career. It embodies themes of independence and self-empowerment, showcasing Jackson's evolution as an artist and significantly influencing the R&B and pop genres.
So Emotional (1987)
by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston's "So Emotional," released in 1987, is a powerful R&B track that showcases her vocal range and emotional delivery. The song, with its blend of pop and soul elements, became one of Houston's many chart-topping hits in the 1980s.
My Prerogative (1988)
by Bobby Brown
"My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown, released in 1988, is known for its catchy rhythm and assertive lyrics. The song, blending R&B and new jack swing, captures the defiant and confident spirit of the era and became one of Brown's signature hits.
by Karyn White
Karyn White's "Superwoman," released in 1988, is a powerful R&B anthem that resonated with many for its themes of female empowerment and self-worth. White's impressive vocal performance and the song's impactful message made it a significant hit of the late 80s.
Miss You Much (1989)
by Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson's "Miss You Much," released in 1989, is a vibrant R&B track that opened her 'Rhythm Nation 1814' album. Known for its energetic dance routine and catchy beat, it solidified Jackson's status as a pop and R&B icon.
Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) (1989)
by Soul II Soul
Released in 1989, "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" by Soul II Soul stands out for its fusion of R&B and dance elements. The song, known for its influential beats and Caron Wheeler's powerful vocals, became a significant hit and helped define the sound of British R&B.
Top 100 80s Music from Other Genres
Against the Wind (1980)
by Bob Seger
"Against the Wind," released in 1980 by Bob Seger, is a reflective ballad about the challenges of aging and the passage of time. Seger's heartfelt lyrics and a melody that blends rock with a hint of country made this song a standout track in his career.
by Lipps Inc
"Funkytown" by Lipps Inc, released in 1980, is known for its infectious beat and memorable hook. This disco anthem captures the upbeat, dance-oriented spirit of the late 70s and early 80s, becoming a global hit.
Coming Up (1980)
by Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney's "Coming Up," released in 1980, showcases his ability to create catchy, upbeat tunes. The song's lively tempo and optimistic lyrics reflect McCartney's enduring talent for crafting memorable pop music.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Vangelis's instrumental theme "Chariots of Fire," released in 1981 for the film of the same name, is renowned for its emotive and inspiring melody. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Score, contributing significantly to the film's emotional impact.
We Got the Beat (1981)
by The Go-Go's
"We Got the Beat" by The Go-Go's, released in 1981, is a vibrant and energetic pop-rock track. Known for its catchy rhythm and the band's lively performance, it became a staple of early 80s pop and a symbol of girl group empowerment.
Down Under (1981)
by Men at Work
Men at Work's "Down Under," released in 1981, is an upbeat song characterized by its distinctive flute riff. The song's lyrics, filled with Australian cultural references, and its catchy tune helped it become an international hit and an anthem of Australian identity.
In the Air Tonight (1981)
by Phil Collins
Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight," released in 1981, is famous for its dramatic drum break and moody atmosphere. The song's introspective lyrics and Collins's powerful performance made it a landmark track in his solo career.
Bette Davis Eyes (1981)
by Kim Carnes
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes, released in 1981, stands out for its distinctive vocal style and catchy melody. The song, a tribute to the legendary actress, became one of the biggest hits of the year and won Grammy Awards for Song and Record of the Year.
Don't You Want Me (1981)
by The Human League
"Don't You Want Me" by The Human League, released in 1981, is a defining track of the synth-pop genre. The song's catchy chorus and duet-style narrative about a soured relationship made it an international hit and an 80s pop culture icon.
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me (1982)
by Culture Club
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club, released in 1982, features Boy George's soulful vocals and a blend of pop and reggae influences. The song's emotional depth and the band's unique image made it a significant hit and a memorable track of the 80s.
Electric Avenue (1982)
by Eddy Grant
Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue," released in 1982, is known for its reggae-influenced rhythm and socially conscious lyrics. The song, which references a street famous for its multicultural community in London, became a significant hit and is notable for its fusion of different musical styles.
Let's Dance (1983)
by David Bowie
David Bowie's "Let's Dance," released in 1983, marked a shift to a more dance-oriented sound. Produced by Nile Rodgers, the song's catchy beat and upbeat rhythm made it a significant hit and a staple of 80s pop music.
Another Day in Paradise (1989)
by Phil Collins
"Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins, released in 1989, is a socially conscious song about homelessness. Collins's haunting lyrics and the song's poignant message helped it become one of his most memorable and impactful tracks.
The 1980s were more than just a memorable musical era...
The 1980s were a cultural phenomenon! The top 100 80s music not only defined a generation but continue to resonate with audiences today, proving the timeless appeal of the decade's music. From synth-pop to hard rock, these tracks capture the spirit of an era that defined popular music.