The music of the 80s will always be remembered as a time of radical change. This era was characterized by songs that were filled with energy, catchy beats and a sense of adventure. The music was a reflection of the times and the artists that emerged on the scene were revolutionary in their own right.
Whether you were a die-hard pop music fan or just someone who enjoyed a good tune, you couldn’t escape the infectious sounds of the 80s. The music was a marker of a time that was filled with optimism, hope, and endless possibilities.
“Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
The electrifying and enigmatic “Billie Jean” by the legendary Michael Jackson ignites fervent emotions and beckons listeners to groove to its infectious beat. Its beguiling rhythm lures one to continue moving without any hesitation while Jackson delivers his powerhouse vocals, showcasing his legendary range.
The track’s spellbinding production captures the essence of the ’80s pop era, mixing synthesized sounds with live instruments in a way that feels fresh and innovative, even decades later. “Billie Jean” transcends the boundaries of time and genre, cementing its place among the most iconic pop songs of all time.
“Like a Virgin” – Madonna
The second track on the list takes listeners back to the 80s with “Like a Virgin” by the pop icon Madonna. This hit song, characterized by its energetic beat and upbeat melody, quickly became an iconic pop anthem of the decade.
Complete with catchy hooks and a memorable chorus, “Like a Virgin” showcases Madonna’s distinct and dynamic vocal range while also showcasing her confident and unapologetically bold persona. This classic track embodied the carefree spirit of the era and helped lay the foundation for the pop music genre to come.
“Take on Me” – A-ha
A-ha’s “Take on Me” is a quintessential 80s pop song known for its innovative music video and catchy synthesizer riffs. The Norwegian band’s unique blend of synth-pop and new wave resulted in a chart-topping hit that has stood the test of time.
The song’s energetic chorus and memorable hooks make it a staple at any 80s-themed party, while the video’s rotoscope animation has cemented its place in pop culture history.
“Every Breath You Take” – The Police
The 80s-era pop song, with its hauntingly simple melody and hypnotic rhythms, evokes intense emotions and remains a classic to this day. Its iconic combination of dreamy harmonies and romantic lyrics make it one of the most beloved and recognized songs of all time.
Whether you’re dancing in the club or cruising down the street, this timeless tune is sure to get your heart racing and your feet moving. A true masterpiece of the pop genre, it continues to inspire and captivate music lovers around the world with its catchy hooks and irresistible beats.
“Sweet Child o’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses
Number 5 on my list is one of the most iconic 80s pop songs out there and features a guitar riff that immediately transports you to the decade of big hair and neon clothes. It’s a rock ballad that features Guns N’ Roses’ signature mix of hard rock and metal, but the soaring chorus and powerful vocals are pure pop perfection.
You can’t help but sing along to “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, whether you’re at a karaoke bar or screaming it out at a concert. It’s the kind of song that defines a generation and continues to inspire new fans today.
“Livin’ on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi
One of the finest musicians of the 1980s, Jon Bon Jovi, and his band managed to create a hit that would endure the test of time. “Livin’ on a Prayer” is a pop-rock anthem everyone can relate to, a suggestive piece that– like many other successful tracks of its heyday– bridged the gap between the idealism of the previous decade and the exuberant spirit of the succeeding one.
It has everything from a catchy guitar riff to memorable hook and dynamic chorus that are certain to plant themselves in one’s brain.
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston
The 80s pop scene featured a litany of illustrious and dynamic artists, and track number 7 is emblematic of the era. This tune swept listeners off their feet, provoking an organic and vivacious urge to dance with another.
This song was ubiquitous, its presence felt almost everywhere during its release. It delivers a palpable energy through its upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and powerful vocals. Even today, it remains a classic that transports individuals back to the heyday of 80s pop music.
“Careless Whisper” – George Michael
This 80s pop hit was a soaring ballad that showcased the smooth, seductive vocals of a former Wham! member. Its melodic saxophone riff and soulful lyrics made it an instant classic, capturing the hearts of audiences around the world.
The song explores the complex and often turbulent journey of love, with an earnest and vulnerable delivery that makes it impossible not to feel the emotions pouring through the speakers. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or just a fan of timeless pop ballads, this song is a must-listen.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
The iconic “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper is a must-have for any 80s pop playlist. With its catchy melody and playful lyrics, the song perfectly captures the buoyant and carefree spirit of the decade. Lauper’s expressive vocal delivery and the vibrant instrumentation make this track an undeniable classic that never seems to get old.
From its upbeat rhythm to the relatable sentiment of wanting to let loose and have fun, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a pop masterpiece that encapsulates the vivacity of the era and continues to inspire and delight audiences today.
“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
Without a doubt, “Sweet Child o’ Mine” is one of the most iconic 80s pop songs ever. It has an infectious rhythm and guitar solo that can get anyone moving. The song is bursting with energy and is a perfect representation of the era. The way the lyrics effortlessly flow along with the music is hypnotizing. It’s a song that never gets old and can make even the youngest generation groove to it.
“Don’t Stop Believin'” – Journey
This juicy track embodies a sportive and hopeful character pervading throughout the decade that celebrates the power of aesthetics, dance, and perseverance. Hitting the shelf in the transitional period between disco’s demise and the rise of new wave, it captivated a generation of listeners, becoming one of the iconic songs of the 1980s.
Journey’s anthemic refrain and emotive melody, embellished with synth hooks, guitar riffs, and Steve Perry’s powerful vocal performance, still pulsate with vibrancy, inspiring countless karaoke sessions, stadium sing-alongs, and movie scenes. This song is an enduring symbol of ’80s pop culture.
“Hungry Like the Wolf” – Duran Duran
Now here comes “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran – an ’80s pop sensation filled with enigmatic and vibrant beats, dynamic instrumentation, and captivatingly elusive lyrics that make it an utterly compelling listening experience. The track’s infectious and eclectic instrumentation creates a definitive burst of musical energy, with an artful and intricate interplay of synths, guitars, and percussion, which is vividly captivating.
“Hungry Like the Wolf” perfectly captures the intricate and artful essence of 80’s pop music, a must-listen for any music enthusiast.
“Material Girl” – Madonna
Madonna’s “Material Girl” is the epitome of 80s pop songs. It’s got such a rad beat that’ll have you furiously bopping your head. The lyrics are totally gnarly with Madonna channeling some serious girl power and claiming she’s not one to settle for less than what she deserves. It’s totally tubular and has become an icon of the 80s, with its memorable music video featuring Madonna in some seriously glamorous outfits.
“Africa” – Toto
Ah, “Africa” by Toto, a true musical masterpiece from the 80s. This captivating pop song is imbued with a sense of euphoria and adventure, transporting the listener to a world full of mystery and wonder.
With its sweeping orchestration and soaring vocals, “Africa” is a true testament to the power of music to inspire and uplift the soul. If you want to experience the pure joy of 80s pop music, look no further than Toto’s “Africa”.
“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Yo, so there’s this track that’s a stone-cold classic from the 80s – it’s got an infectious riff and an energy that’ll light up any room. The artist behind it is a boss lady with attitude, and she knows how to bring the party with her voice.
If you’re on the hunt for an instant mood booster, this pop gem is one to add to your playlist pronto. Get ready to rock out and feel the power of the 80s!
“Jump” – Van Halen
One of the biggest jams of the 80s has to be “Jump” by Van Halen. The keyboard intro is totally bonkers and the whole thing is super high-energy. If you don’t feel like jumping around when that chorus hits, I don’t know what to tell you. And that guitar solo? Epic. It’s the kind of track that just makes you feel good.
“Beat It” – Michael Jackson
“Beat It” by Michael Jackson is like, totally one of the sickest songs of the 80s. It’s got this totally gnarly beat that just makes you want to move, and the guitar riffs are just wild. MJ’s voice is so smooth and fierce at the same time, it’s just beyond. The lyrics are kind of intense and mysterious, too.
Overall, “Beat It” is just a super rad 80s pop song that everyone should totally know and love.
“I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner
Perhaps one of the most notable 80s pop songs, “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner appeals to anyone in search of meaning in their amorous pursuits. Its lyrics express a raw desire to transcend superficial romance and connect on a deeper level.
The song’s anthemic chorus encourages listeners to put themselves out there and explore the profound questions that emerge from giving oneself over to another. It is a timelessly passionate track that remains popular to this day.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a dynamically intense 80s pop classic that playfully conjures a sense of mystery and anguish with its dynamic vocal performance and poignant lyrics. The track’s music video has also become iconic, featuring a cast of characters in a gothic, fairy tale-esque setting, adding even more depth to the song’s already mystical atmosphere.
It’s a must-listen for anyone looking to relive the era of neon lights, big hair, and addictive pop hooks that defined the 80s.
“The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis and the News
“The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News is a quintessential 80s pop song that exudes an upbeat and lively energy. It is replete with catchy hooks and virtuosic instrumentation that draws you into its sonic world and makes you want to dance.
This song epitomizes the playful, optimistic and carefree spirit of the 80s, a decade that saw the emergence of new genres of music and a profound cultural shift. It is a song that transcends time and continues to remain popular among newer generations, a testament to its immense popularity and enduring appeal.
“Physical” – Olivia Newton-John
“Physical” by Olivia Newton-John is a quintessential 80s pop song that captures the vibrancy and energy of the era. Its upbeat tempo, along with Carlisle’s soaring vocals, makes it impossible not to dance along.
The song’s lyrics paint a picture of a utopian world where love reigns supreme, and the chorus is especially infectious, with its catchy melody and sing-along lyrics. “Physical” remains an enduring classic that epitomizes the joyful spirit of 80s pop music.
“The Reflex” – Duran Duran
So, there’s this iconic 80s pop song that’s got a seriously catchy chorus and groovy beat that just demands you move your body. It’s funky and fresh, with some seriously rad guitar riffs and a synth-driven sound that perfectly encapsulates the vibe of the era.
This tune is an instant classic that still gets people grooving today. Trust me, if you haven’t heard it yet, you need to check it out ASAP!
“Footloose” – Kenny Loggins
This ‘Footloose’ track by Kenny Loggins is essentially an eternal groove that never fails to delight listeners. It’s a bright, spirited song that encourages one to dance with absolute abandonment. The energetic rhythm generates a feel-good factor, and one cannot resist tapping their feet to the beat.
‘Footloose’ was a prominent hit of the 80s, and even now, it’s cherished by music enthusiasts of all generations. The lyrics prompt you to dance feverishly even in serious situations. Overall, the song is a masterclass in blending an upbeat music style with instrumental diversity to create an endurable masterpiece.
“When Doves Cry” – Prince
The track that gets all the ladies on the ’80s dance floor, “When Doves Cry” boasts Prince’s signature funk/pop sound, with electrifying guitar riffs and that infectious drum beat that we all know and love. The record’s production was ahead of its time, with the use of funky vocal effects and the inclusion of electronic drums.
Prince’s layered, falsetto vocals add a touch of eroticism to the lyrics, creating a vibe that’s both fiery and sultry. When this tune hits the speakers, you can’t resist the urge to break out some of Prince’s signature dance moves!
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham!
The upbeat and vibrant “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is a quintessential 80s pop song that exudes infectious energy and good vibes. The melody is characterized by irresistible hooks, lively synths, and a catchy chorus that encourages you to sing along.
Its peppy and carefree spirit is perfectly captured in the playful lyrics, which describe the exciting and spontaneous energy of young love. Overall, this song is a joyous celebration of life and love that is impossible not to dance along to.
“Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr
This 80s pop gem is from the iconic soundtrack of the blockbuster hit, Ghostbusters. It’s a catchy and funky tune that showcases a groovy bassline, a bouncy rhythm, and a memorable chorus that screams 80s nostalgia. The song is a testament to Ray Parker Jr.’s songwriting prowess and his ability to create an earworm that’s still stuck in our heads to this day.
With its upbeat vibe and infectious energy, this song deserves a spot in every 80s playlist, and is sure to make you want to get up and dance.
“Heaven is a Place on Earth” – Belinda Carlisle
“Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle is an immensely gratifying and captivating pop melody that exemplifies the fervor and grandeur of the 80s pop genre. The song carries an air of vibrancy and exuberance that is typical of the era’s cheery pop beats. It features Carlisle’s mellifluous vocals atop a multi-layered instrumental composition.
With its catchy hooks and uplifting lyrics, “Heaven is a Place on Earth” has become an enduring representation of the 80s’ penchant for enthralling pop hits that exude a liberating and joyous vibe.
“She Drives Me Crazy” – Fine Young Cannibals
This classic 80s pop track mixes up the perfect blend of excentricity and upbeat madness. Indulging in the brash, bold, and bombastic, the song perfectly encapsulates the infectious energy of the decade. With its funky guitar licks, soulful vocals, and groovy beats, it invites the listener to forget their worries and just dance the night away.
Though it may have been released over 30 years ago, the song still resonates and inspires a new generation of music lovers to let loose and have fun.
“Uptown Girl” – Billy Joel
“Uptown Girl” is one of the quintessential 80s pop songs. The upbeat melody and Billy Joel’s charismatic vocals take listeners on a journey to the upper echelons of society. Inspired by the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the song tells the story of a working-class man’s infatuation with a wealthy woman.
The song’s catchy chorus is guaranteed to get stuck in your head, and its nostalgic appeal will transport you back to the glamorous world of 80s pop music.
“I’m Still Standing” – Elton John
“I’m Still Standing” is an absolute banger from Elton John that’s perfect for any 80s pop playlist. The song starts off with a perky piano riff that’s sure to get your toes tapping and your head bobbing. The lyrics, though simple, carry a message of perseverance and positivity that’s sure to give you a boost of energy.
From the thumping drums to the bombastic horns, this track will keep you moving and grooving until the very end. It’s pure fire and definitely deserves a spot on any 80s pop playlist!
“You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
The infectiously upbeat tune from Bon Jovi’s 1986 album “Slippery When Wet” that rocks your socks off whenever it comes on the radio. The catchy lyrics and guitar riffs make it a classic 80s pop song that still gets crowds jumping and singing along at concerts today.
It’s no wonder this song earned Bon Jovi their first Grammy nomination and became a chart-topper around the world.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” – Michael Jackson
The energetically executed “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson is a choice track from the 80s pop era that boasts an infectious infectious rhythm and mesmerizing melody. From the soulful vocals to the upbeat instrumentation, Jackson captivated his audience with his captivating charisma and artistic flair.
This groovy tune highlights Jackson’s ability to command the stage with not only his vocal prowess, but also his robust choreography, making it an unforgettable anthem of the 80s.
“Time After Time” – Cyndi Lauper
The 80s were bursting with vibrant pop songs that stood the test of time. Cyndi Lauper’s stirring ballad “Time After Time” is a testament to that. With its captivating lyrics and emotive vocals, the song has solidified itself as a staple of 80s pop. The sound quality is crisp and fresh, reflecting the essence of the decade’s musical landscape.
Lauper’s voice brings out the song’s poignant message, making it a sentimental favorite. “Time After Time” is a masterpiece that continues to resonate with music lovers of all ages.
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds is a quintessential 80s pop song that encapsulates the era’s spirit of youthful rebellion and non-conformity. Its upbeat and catchy melody coupled with thought-provoking lyrics makes it an anthem for teenagers of that generation and beyond, resonating with its message of not being forgotten and standing up for what you believe in.
The song’s emphatic chorus and iconic opening guitar riff are sure to get anyone hooked on the infectious energy of 80s pop music.
“Love Shack” – The B-52’s
“Love Shack” is an upbeat and lively pop song from the 80s that will get you grooving in no time. With its catchy hook and infectious melody, this song has become a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today. The B-52s’ unique style of blending rock, funk, and new wave elements creates a perfect blend for this danceable tune that will get you moving in no time.
The song’s energetic vocals and funky guitar riffs make it a must-have for any 80s pop playlist, and it is sure to keep you on your feet all night long.
“We Built This City” – Starship
“We Built This City” by Starship was an unparalleled pop hit in the 80s and is still widely sought after today. Its avant-garde production values, innovative instrumentation and skilful songwriting are all factors that make it one of the defining tracks of the decade.
This iconic song epitomizes the catchiness and uniqueness of 80s pop music while also pushing the boundaries of conventional song structure and arrangement. Starship truly built “We Built This City” to last.
“I Want to Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston
This banger by Michael Jackson definitely gets the blood pumping! With its upbeat rhythm and positive self-affirmations, “Man in the Mirror” is a timeless anthem that still resonates with audiences today.
It’s the perfect song for anyone looking to make a change in their life, as MJ encourages listeners to take a hard look at themselves and make a difference. And with its catchy chorus and funky bassline, it’s no wonder this hit single topped the charts back in the day.
“The Final Countdown” – Europe
This track from Michael Jackson’s legendary album “Bad” is a true gem of 80s pop music. Featuring an upbeat tempo and catchy hook, “Man in the Mirror” exudes positivity and introspection.
Jackson’s soulful vocals and powerful lyrics urge listeners to look within themselves and make a positive change, making this song a timeless classic that continues to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for all those who hear it.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley
“Never Gonna Give You Up” is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head for weeks. It’s catchy with a ton of energy, making it a classic 80s pop tune that still holds up today. The vocals are smooth and the beat is perfect for dancing along. This track is an absolute banger, and it’s easy to see why it’s become a meme with its catchy chorus and unforgettable Rick Astley finger point.
If you’re in the mood to dance and groove, “Never Gonna Give You Up” is the perfect song to add to your playlist.
“All Night Long (All Night)” – Lionel Richie
This totally rad 80s hit by Lionel Richie is an absolute banger that will get you on your feet and groovin’ in no time! With a catchy beat and fun lyrics, “All Night Long (All Night)” will transport you to the carefree days of big hair, neon colors, and dancing in the club all night long. Don’t miss out on this iconic song that’s sure to make you wanna party like it’s 1983!
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” – Tina Turner
Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It” was the anthem of the 80s and a smash hit. The upbeat, spirited song with empowering lyrics and Turner’s soulful, dynamic voice captured the spirit of the decade. The song’s irresistible chorus and driving rhythm make it a pop classic that continues to inspire generations of listeners.
The music video featuring Turner’s electrifying performance and glamorous style added to the song’s iconic status. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” is an essential component of any 80s pop playlist.
“True Colors” – Cyndi Lauper
“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper is a captivating piece of music that reflects the honest and vulnerable parts of life. This 80s pop song addresses self-acceptance and the courage to reveal the true self to others. With its soulful melodies and meaningful lyrics, “True Colors” is a timeless piece that will forever resonate with the listener.
Lauper’s impressive vocal range and dynamic arrangement of the instrumentation simultaneously evoke a sense of introspection and empowerment, making it an ideal addition to any 80s pop music playlist.