100+ Popular Songs of the 80s – Complete List

best-80s-songs

The 80s were a decade of big hair, bright colors, and high-energy music. From pop to rock to new wave, the 1980s was a decade that saw it all.

Artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper dominated the charts with their unique sounds. However, there were plenty of other great songs released during this time that deserve your attention.

Here is a list of 100 popular songs from the 80s, ranging from classics to lesser-known tracks.

Let’s take a look!

Note: This post covers all genres including pop, rock, new wave, metal, and more.

Best Popular Songs from the 80s

Let’s first look at the top songs from the 80s. These are songs that have stood the test of time and are still as popular today as they were when they were released. Even if you’re not a fan of 80s music, you’ll probably recognize many of these classics.

Here it goes.

  1. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  2. Africa – Toto
  3. Eye of The Tiger – Survivor
  4. Beat It – Michael Jackson
  5. Sweet Child O Mine – Guns N’ Roses
  6. Straight Outta Compton – NWA
  7. Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
  8. Jump – Van Halen
  9. Livin On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  10. Material Girl – Madonna

Love Songs of the 80s

Love was definitely in the air in the 80s. With big hair, tight clothes, and an overall carefree attitude, the 80s was a decade that was all about having fun. Not like today where we’re all just a bunch of stressed-out adults.

That said, one of the most popular love songs from the 80s is “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder. This song was released in 1984 and became an instant hit. It is about a man who is trying to tell his girlfriend how much he loves her. The song is simple, but it is effective and has stood the test of time.

Another popular love song from the 80s includes “Careless Whisper” by George Michael. Known for its notable saxophone solo, “Careless Whisper” was released in 1984 and quickly rose to the top of the charts selling over 6 million copies worldwide.

What’s more, the song has been covered by many artists over the years.

And, of course, we can’t forget about Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. A classic that still gets played in the clubs today.

  • Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder
  • Heaven by Bryan Adams
  • Is This Love by Whitesnake
  • Sacrifice by Elton John
  • Woman in Love by Barbara Streisand
  • Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago
  • Tonight, I Celebrate My Love by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
  • Endless Love by Lionel Richie
  • Hello by Lionel Richie
  • Right Here Waiting by Richard Max

Rock Songs of the 80s

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than thirty years since some of the biggest rock songs of the 80s were released. Though the music may have aged, the message of these songs is still relevant today.

Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or just looking for a little throwback nostalgia, check out these 80s rock songs that are sure to get your blood pumping.

  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  • Rock You Like A Hurricane – Scorpions
  • Back in Black – AC/DC
  • Sweet Child o Mine – Guns and Roses
  • Beat It – Michael Jackson
  • Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
  • Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
  • Jump – Van Halen
  • Ace of Spades – Motorhead

80s Pop Songs

In the decade of big egos and bigger hair, the 80s was a time when pop music was at its peak. From Madonna to Dur Duranan to Michael Jackson Jackson, the 80s pop stars were larger than life.

And the songs? They were catchy, campy, and sometimes even a little bit risque. But that’s what made them so great.

So if you’re in the mood to trip down memory lane (or if you’re just curious about what all the fuss was about), here are some of the most popular pop songs from the 80s.

  • Africa – Toto
  • Take On Me – A-ha
  • Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
  • Push It! (TMW Remix) – Salt-N-Pepa
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It – Tina Turner
  • Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
  • Call Me – Blondie
  • Express Yourself – Madonna
  • Super Trouper – Abba

Country Songs of the 80s

Just like pop music, country music saw a surge in popularity in the 80s. With artists like Alabama, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton crossing over into the mainstream, country music was suddenly cool.

And while some of the songs on this list are more “traditional” sounding, others are a bit more “pop-influenced”. But all of them are great examples of the best country songs from the 80s.

So whether you’re a fan of country music or not, these songs are sure to get your toes tapping.

  • Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
  • Queen Of Hearts – Juice Newton
  • 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
  • Islands in the Stream – Dolly Parton
  • I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool – Barbara Mandrell
  • Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson
  • A Country Boy Can Survive – Hank Williams Jr.
  • Whoever’s in New England – Reba McEntire Mountain Music – Alabama
  • I’d Love to Lay You Down – Conway Twitty

Dance Songs of the 80s

The 80s dance scene was definitely a lot different than it is today. For one, the music was a lot more fun and carefree. There were also a lot more synthesizers used in the production of 80s dance songs. Unlike today, where EDM is all the rage, the 80s was a time when dance and disco were kings.

But regardless of how you feel about disco, there’s no denying that the 80s was a great decade for dance music.

Some of the most popular 80s dance songs include “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves, and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. These are just a few examples of the many great 80s dance songs that are out there. These songs perfectly capture the carefree spirit of the 80s.

  • Into the Groove – Madonna
  • It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  • Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
  • Upside Down (Inside Out) – Diana Ross
  • Thriller – Michael Jackson
  • Faith – George Michael
  • The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats
  • Jump (For My Love) – The Pointer Sisters
  • The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
  • When Doves Cry – Prince
  • Heartbeat – Taana Gardner

80s Karaoke Songs

Karaoke has been around for centuries, but it didn’t really become popular in the United States until the 80s. And since then, karaoke has become a mainstay in bars and clubs across the country.

So, in this section, we present you with a list of 80s karaoke songs that are sure to get the party started. Doesn’t matter if you’re at a bar or at a friend’s house, these karaoke songs are guaranteed to get people singing and dancing along.

  • Africa – Toto
  • Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  • Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  • Walking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves
  • I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
  • What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner
  • Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • I Just Called To Say – Stevie Wonder
  • Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
  • I Love Rock’ N’ Roll – Joan Jett And The Blackhearts

R&B Songs of the 80s

In the early 1980s, R&B was in a transitional period. Disco music was on the decline and rap music was emerging. However, R&B still had a strong following.

Although dominated by male artists, there were a few female R&B singers that made a name for themselves in the 80s. These include Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Patti LaBelle.

R&B reached its peak in the mid-to-late 80s with the advent of the new jack swing. This new subgenre combined R&B, hip hop, and pop. And it produced some of the most popular R&B songs of all time.

As for the songs, some of the most popular R&B tracks of the 80s include “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan, and “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince.

If you’re a fan of R&B, then these songs are definitely worth checking out. They perfectly capture the sound and feel of 80s R&B.

  • Never Too Much – Luther Vandross
  • Give Me the Night – George Benson
  • Nite And Day – Al B. Sure!
  • Cool It Now – New Edition
  • Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams
  • Between the Sheets – The Isley Brothers
  • Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott
  • If Only You Knew – Patti Labelle
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It – Tina Turner
  • Freeway of Love – Aretha Franklin

Hip Hop Songs of the 80s

Hip hop emerged in the early 70s, but it didn’t really become mainstream until the mid-80s. And once it did, it quickly became one of the most popular genres of music.

In the 80s, hip hop was all about having fun and being carefree. The lyrics were often lighthearted, the hooks were melodic and the beats were catchy. This is in contrast to the more serious and politically-charged hip hop of today.

Today it is all about flexing, who is the richest, who can buy the most things, and so on. But in the 80s, it was all about good times and having fun. And that’s what these songs mentioned below perfectly capture.

  • Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A.
  • Don’t Believe The Hype – Public Enemy
  • Bust A Move – Young MC
  • Sucker MCs – Run DMC
  • Set It Off – Big Daddy Kane
  • Top Billin’ – Audio two
  • Children’s Story – Slick Rick
  • Going way Back – Just-Ice
  • I’m Bad – LL Cool J
  • That’s The Joint – Funky 4 Plus 1

80s Songs Everyone Knows

There are some songs that are so popular, that even people who don’t like the genre know them.

These are the types of songs that get played at parties, weddings, and other events. They’re the songs that get everyone up and dancing.

And they’re the kinds of songs that you just can’t help but sing along to.

So, in this section, we present you with a list of 10 80s songs that everyone knows. Just simply reading the titles will probably get these songs stuck in your head.

  • Express Yourself – Madonna
  • Free Fallin – Tom Petty
  • What’s Love Got to Do With It – Tina Turner
  • Every Breath You Take – The Police
  • Africa – Toto
  • We Got the Beat – the Go-Go’s
  • Sweet Child of Mine – Guns and Roses
  • Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Jump – Van Halen
  • Livin On a Prayer – Bon Jovi

80s Christmas Songs

Christmas music has always been a staple in the lives of many people. It seems to put everyone in a good mood and fill them with the Christmas spirit.

While Christmas music is enjoyed by many people of all ages, there’s something special about the classic Christmas songs from the 80s.

Whether it’s the nostalgia factor or the simply amazing musical talent that was showcased in those songs, there’s no doubt that they hold a special place in our hearts.

Some of our favorites include “The Little Drummer Boy” by Harry Chorale Simon, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms, and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey.

These classic tunes never seem to get old and always manage to put us in the holiday spirit. We can’t wait to blast them while we decorate our trees and houses this year!

  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • Funky, Funky Xmas – New Kids On The Block
  • Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You – Billy Squier
  • This One’s for the Children – New Kids On The Block
  • Winter Wonderland – Eurythmics
  • Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
  • Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas), Pt. 1 – The Weather Girls
  • Thank God It’s Christmas (Non-Album Single) – Queen
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – The Pretenders

Hair Band’s songs of the 80s

In the 1980s, hair metal was all the rage. Bands like Motley Crue and Def Leppard were topping the charts with their hard-rocking anthems. The hair metal scene was a place where excess was celebrated and wild parties were the norm.

These bands were more about having a good time than making music, and their over-the-top stage shows were full of pyrotechnics and scantily clad women.

For a while, hair metal was king. But as grunge began to take hold in the early 1990s, the genre’s popularity began to wane. Many people blamed Nirvana for killing hair metal, but in reality, it was already on its way out.

Regardless, hair metal still holds a special place in the hearts of many music fans. And these songs mentioned below perfectly capture the essence of what hair metal was all about.

  • Round and Round – Ratt
  • Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
  • Kickstart My Heart – Montley Crue
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  • We’re not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
  • Rock You Like A Hurricane – Scorpions
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorns – Poison
  • 18 and Life – Skid Row
  • Kiss Me Deadly – Lita Ford
  • Walt – White Lion

Disco Songs of the 80s

Disco may have died down in popularity, but it was still being made and there were still plenty of great disco songs being released in the 80s.

This list features some of our favorites, including “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., “Last Dance” by Donna Summer, and “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead.

So, if you’re in the mood to go back in time and relive the disco era, put on one of these songs and get ready to boogie!

  • It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  • You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) – Dead or Alive
  • Feels Like I’m in Love – Kelly Marie
  • Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  • Give It To Me Baby – Rick James
  • Gloria – Laura Branigan
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
  • Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  • Thriller – Michael Jackson
  • let’s Groove – Earth, Wind and Fire

80s Party Songs

Looking for some 80s party songs to get the party started? Look no further! This list features some of the best 80s party songs to help you get the party started.

From classics like “We’re Having a Party” by Sam Cooke to more modern songs like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston, this list has something for everyone.

After all, what’s a party without good music? So, put on one of these songs and get ready to have some fun!

  • Like a Virgin – Madonna
  • Brass In Pocket – Pretenders
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  • Walk This Way – Run D.M.C., Aerosmith
  • All Night Long – Lionel Richie
  • Ain’t Nobody – Chaka Khan
  • Centerfold – The J. Geils Band
  • We Are Family – Sister Sledge
  • Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
  • She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • 99 Red Balloons – Nena

Fun Songs of the 80s

Too often, we get caught up in work, school, and other responsibilities and forget to take some time for ourselves. But taking some time for fun is important – it can help relieve stress, make us happier, and even improve our mental health.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have fun, and one of them is by listening to music. Music has the power to transport us to another place and time, and it can even help us forget our troubles for a while.

So, if you’re looking for some 80s fun songs to help you relax and have a good time, look no further than this list below.

  • Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
  • Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
  • Girl Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  • We Got The Beat – The Go-Go’s
  • Need You Tonight – INXS
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  • Jump – Van Halen
  • Summer Of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses

Movies Songs of the 80s

Do you remember the 80s movies? They were some of the most popular movies of all time. And, of course, they had some of the most memorable songs. Here are just a few of them.

“Footloose” by Kenny Loggins was one of the most popular songs from the 80s movies. It was in the movie “Footloose” and was also on the soundtrack album. The song spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Another popular song from 80s movies was “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. The song was featured in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” and won both an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Here are some more great songs from the 80s movies.

  • Don’t You (Forget About Me) – The Breakfast Club
  • Eye of The Tiger – Rocky
  • If You Leave – Pretty in Pink
  • (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Dirty Dancing
  • Maniac – Flashdance
  • The Power of Love – Back to the Future
  • Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Footloose
  • Take My Breath Away – Top Gun
  • Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Mannequin
  • The Heat Is On – The Beverly Hills Cop

Conclusion

There you have it, folks! A list of 100+ popular songs from the 80s. These are the songs that defined the decade and are still just as popular today. So, put on your dancing shoes, crank up the volume, and enjoy!