Great 80s Songs (Still)

Great songs from the 80’s? The top 80’s songs? The best songs of the 80’s?

I recognize that compiling a unique list of the best songs of the 1980s is a highly subjective process open to a great amount of debate and discussion.

I have endeavored to select songs that are still good. As such, while I must admit that an album like Michael Jackson’s Thriller was a great album at the time and I even went out and bought a cassette tape of the album, I’m not convinced it has withstood the test of time.

This list of top 80s songs ended up taking far more time than I thought it would and was not an easy task… It took quite a while to track down many of the songs of the 80s and to review the numerous leads and suggestions I received on great 80s songs (Thank you to all who contributed). Also, I struggled with which artists and songs to include. Set the bar too high and I’d have just a few bands and songs on the list. Set it too low and I’d have a list full of crap with a few good songs thrown in. The below represents my best effort to balance those opposing pressures…

Obviously, I have covered many genres of the 80s ranging from hair metal to chick music to pop to moody/emo music (I have tried to provide a comprehensive list after all)…

So without further verbal diarrhea, here is my unique list of the best 80s songs – in no order at all…


Depeche Mode

But Not Tonight
Never Let Me Down Again
Black Celebration
Everything Counts
Enjoy the Silence
The Things You Said


Hell’s Bells

Wall of Voodoo

Mexican Radio

Bryan Adams


Tommy Tutone



Mr. Roboto

Peter Schilling

Major Tom

The Fixx

Red Skies


99 Luftballoons

Men Without Hats

The Safety Dance

The Police

Every Breath You Take

Modern English

I Melt With You


Breaking the Chains
Alone Again

Real Life

Send Me An Angel


Round and Round

Cyndi Lauper

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

The Scorpions

Still Loving You
Send Me An Angel
No One Like You
Alien Nation
Rhythm of Love

Tears for Fears


Bronski Beat

Smalltown Boy


Master of Puppets
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Fade to Black


If you Leave

Pet Shop Boys

It’s a Sin
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)

Beastie Boys

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

New Order

True Faith
Bizarre Love Triangle

Cutting Crew

(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight

Def Leppard

Pour Some Sugar on Me


Orange Crush

The Church

Under The Milky Way


Forever Young

Billy Joel

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tom Petty

Free Fallin’
I Won’t Back Down

The Pixies

Wave of Mutilation
Where is my Mind?


Don’t Go


Princes of the Universe

Skid Row

18 & Life


Call Me

Joy Division

Love Will Tear Us Apart


Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Rick Springfield

Jessie’s Girl


What About Love
There’s the Girl

Quiet Riot

Cum on Feel the Noize

Guns N’ Roses

Paradise City
Sweet Child O’ Mine

Billy Idol

Dancing with Myself

Belinda Carlisle

Heaven is a Place on Earth


Tarzan Boy

Rod Stewart

Forever Young


No More Words


Here Comes the Rain Again
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

The Cure

Fascination Street

Flock of Seagulls

I Ran

Dead or Alive

You Spin Me ‘Round


The Final Countdown


Don’t Stop Believing

Simple Minds

Don’t you Forget About Me

Bonnie Tyler

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Bruce Springsteen

Dancing in the Dark
I’m Going Down
Downbound Train


With or Without You
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Pride (In the Name of Love)
I Will Follow


Heat of the Moment

Don Henley

The Boys of Summer


Rainbow in the Dark

The Human League

Don’t You Want Me


Hang Tough
Love Song


Like a Prayer
Live to Tell

Van Halen

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Iron Maiden

Children of the Damned
Hallowed be thy Name


Eye of the Tiger

‘Til Tuesday

Voices Carry

When in Rome

The Promise

The Bangles

Manic Monday


Take on Me

Nu Shooz

I can’t Wait

Bon Jovi

Shot Through the Heart

Ozzy Osbourne

Crazy Train
Over the Mountain
Diary of a Madman


The Celts

Big Country

In a Big Country

Thank you for reading the 80’s music list. Please comment on anything you think I have overlooked on my attempt at the ultimate 80’s music list…


8 thoughts on “Great 80s Songs (Still)

  1. Great job, i think you managed well the identification of songs that were ground breaking but that now sound sickly and those songs that manage to stand the test of time and are genuinely great tracks of music. I’ll be narrowing this lsit down to about 40 that tick all my boxes and will no doubt enjoy the play list for years to come. Again… great job!

  2. How about Madness? On reflection, I think they were one of the best bands of the 80’s and still sound fresh.

  3. Hey Man –

    This is great 80s music. The other lists of great 80’s Music are too incomprehensive and don’t include as many obscure and great 80s bands and songs like you did. Go 1980s MUSIC !!!!

  4. Thank you, Justin, for compiling this list of great 80s songs. I had forgotten how good 80s music was until I started re-listening to some of the songs you listed. Wow, what great songs!

Leave a Reply to Alberto Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s