If you're looking for an incredible decade of music, look no further than the 1980s. The emergence of electronic dance music (electro, techno, house, freestyle, euro-dance) and new wave modern rock coincided with the continued popularity of soft rock, glam rock, thrash metal, and shred guitar. At the same time, post-disco, Italo-disco, Euro-disco, and dance-pop all grew in popularity.
With that in mind, there's a lot of music to choose from when picking the best songs from the 80s. But with the help of people online, here are the most popular answers.
1. “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
The iconic pop song has hooks on every instrument. Many argue it's the best song of the entire decade.
2. “Take On Me” – A-Ha
The Norwegian pop band rose to fame with this single, accompanied by the iconic music video.
3. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Tears for Fears
When you think of the 1980s, you tend to think of this single from Tears for Fears. Their entire catalog deserves celebration, but this may be their best selection.
4. “Don't You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds
A definitive song from the 1980s that was immortalized by The Breakfast Club.
5. “Eyes Without a Face” – Billy Idol
Billy Idol is a legend, so choosing just one of his songs is difficult. Fans went with this underrated deep cut.
6. “The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley
From the catchy lyrics to the iconic riff, it's hard not to get nostalgic while blasting this Don Henley classic.
7. “Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen
You could honestly go with any Queen song from the 1980s. This one has the perk of being a song to perform CPR to.
8. “Like a Prayer” – Madonna
Like A Prayer checks so many boxes on a music fan's wishlist. It's easily a top ten song of the decade in the eyes of fans.
9. “Blue Monday” – New Order
The seven-minute epic arguably sums up everything great about 1980s music. How does it feel? It feels great.
10. “Running Up That Hill” – Kate Bush
The Kate Bush single has found new life after being heavily featured in Stranger Things. A new audience is realizing that we've been running up that hill for decades.
11. “Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads
One of the most legendary bands of their time, Talking Heads' library is filled with iconic classics. One of their best is this 1981 hit.
12. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell
When it comes to 80s anthems, it's hard to do better than Tainted Cell's breakout single. Sadly, the band was a one-hit wonder, but what a hit it was.
Writer and editor with ten years of experience working full-time in this capacity. I've written over 2000 pieces of published work and managed teams of 50+ writers. I've produced content for some of the world's most prominent entertainment and sports platforms. My published work includes feature articles, news and opinion pieces, listicles, quizzes, voice-over scripts, viral content, and more. I'm a British 80s kid who loves movies (horror, superhero stuff, and all things 80s are my favorites), boxing, and football (soccer), a former business owner and executive headhunter, and a Tottenham Hotspur FC fan for my sins.