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Top 45 80s songs of all time

November 12, 2011

I picked only one song per artist. If I had not stuck to this, then the list would have been saturated by Stevie Ray Vaughn, U2, Metallica, and Tom Petty. I tried to pick a good mix of rock and pop. And no, Michael Jackson did not even crack the top 20. A few of the songs are from the late 70s or early 90s, but they fit the “80s sound.” If I feel like it I’ll put up commentary later.

1. Any song performed by
Stevie Ray Vaughn

2.Sultans of Swing by Dire

3.With Or Without You by U2

4.Every Rose Has Its Thorn
by Poison

5. I Won’t Back Down by Tom
Petty and The Heartbreakers

6.Crazy Train by Ozzy

7.Master of Puppets by

8.Rock The Casbah by The

9.It’s Friday, I’m in Love
by The Cure

10.Love Song by Tesla

11.Every Breath You Take by
the Police

12,Patience by Guns ‘n’

13.Eruption/You Really Got
Me by Van Halen

14.The Trees by Rush

15.Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ

16.R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. By
John Cougar Mellencamp

17.Another One Bites The
Dust by Queen

18.My City Was Gone by The

19.Makin’ Love Out Of
Nothing At All by Air Supply

20.I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

21.We Didn’t Start The Fire
by Billy Joel

22.The Trooper by Iron

23.High Enough by Damn

24.Hit Me With Your Best
Shot by Pat Benatar

25.Heaven by Warrant

26.Enjoy The Silence by
Depeche Mode

27.The KKK Took My Baby Away
by The Ramones

28.Come Sail Away by Styx

29.Beat It by Michael
Jackson and Eddie Van Halen

30.The Promise by When in

31.I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
by The Proclaimers

32.Here I Go Again by

The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by REM

34.(Dude) Looks Like A Lady
by Aerosmith

35.Time After Time by Cindy

36.99 Luftballoons by Nena

37.Who Can It Be Now? By Men
At Work

38.You Give Love A Bad Name
by Bon Jovi

39.Bette Davis Eyes by Kim

40.Start Me Up by The
Rolling Stones

41.Dancing With Myself by
Billy Idol

42.Photograph by Def Leppard

43.Black Star by Yngwie

44.You Spin Me Round (Like A
Record) by Dead or Alive

45.Our House by Madness

11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2011 4:15 am

    Can’t say I have heard of most of those people and only about one of the songs. Since Bill Monroe and Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash were still livin’ then, cain’t recall ever havin’ a need to listen to any of them. But I trust your judgment.
    A lot of my 1980s energies were tied up with reading R.J. Rushdoony and Shelby Foote, coaching basketball, and watching Ronald Reagan reshape the universe.

  2. Toni permalink
    November 12, 2011 2:24 pm

    Apparently I had not yet left the pop world for the country. I knew lots of songs, and have to agree they are some of the best. The 80s don’t rank high on my decades of good rock music. Most of it was a lot of noise. You picked some really good ones, and I did see a Michael Jackson mention.

  3. November 12, 2011 7:36 pm

    I guess I should have titled this “Top 45 80s Pop/Rock Songs.” I didn’t really cover any country music in this. Country music in the early 80s was the pitts for me, but the late 80s gave us the New Traditionalists movement beginning with George Strait, which I appreciate.
    Dad, These songs were the soundtrack to the defeat of Communism.

  4. November 12, 2011 8:38 pm

    If these songs put a nail in the coffin of Communism, and thereby furthered the agenda of Ronald Reagan, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, then they have my nod of approval.
    Maybe you will need to make me a CD containing the best of the best.
    You did teach me to like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon Garfunkel, and those other guys who do good “screamin’ and hollerin'” music.

  5. Katy permalink
    November 13, 2011 5:12 am

    This is, like, TOTALLY a great list of 80’s music! 🙂 I have fond memories of that decade, including the music. I like how diversified your music interest is, Nick.

  6. Katy Nix permalink
    November 13, 2011 2:56 pm

    This is, like, a totally awesome list of 80s music!!! I have fond memories of that decade, including the music. I like your diversity, Nick. Have to say I was surprised when I saw you had done an 80s list, but I’m glad you did. Good picks.

  7. D. R. Leach permalink
    November 16, 2011 9:52 am

    80’s music. Hmmm. Sadly too late to be 60’s and 70’s. But, one supposes, still infinitely better than 90’s music. Actually, sitting back in my bedroom in the 60’s listening to rock top 40, never imagined I’d type “90’s music” in 2011 on my computer. (No, I might have said, “what’s a computer?”)

    Hope you are well, SOB. (Son of Ben).

  8. David L. permalink
    November 16, 2011 8:50 pm

    I will never convince you, but I typed SOB without the slightest, I mean even the slightest awareness of it’s sub-polite normal usage. Strains credulity, but it’s true. I am at times, hopelessly naive. Or, maybe just stupid. Anyway, sorry about that. That’s why they don’t let me out of my room anymore. By the way, while I am here, and speaking of straining credulity, IS THERE really 40 top 80’s songs to be found??

    • November 17, 2011 5:09 pm

      Yes, there are 40 top 80’s songs to be found, as evidenced in the list, SOB (Shrewd, Orderly, Bellicose). 😛 Although If I had not limited myself to one song per artist they would have all been by U2, Stevie Ray Vaughn or Tom Petty.

  9. November 18, 2011 11:49 am

    Hey, I thought that really informative. I will definitely be back to check in with this blog again. Fab Info

  10. David L. permalink
    November 18, 2011 11:50 pm

    I trust you will not consider it trivial that I like Petty – though I confess I did not really pay him any mind till his association with Jeff Lynne, who by the way, I consider a genius. Most of the rest of the list I am barely familar with, if at all, save the oldies acts – Aerosmith – (Barney Fife, lead singer) and the Rolling Stones (oh wait, THAT’S Barney!), Queen and Billy Joel. The rest are not so familiar to me. Oh, the Police, I guess as the 80’s go, that’s pretty good stuff.

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