12 best songs from the 80s
From Billie Jean to I Wanna Dance With Somebody, check out our compilation of the best 80s songs.
Here to witness the most iconic decade of music? You have set your sights on the right lane. We are counting down some of the best hits from the 80s. From the dance-pop masterpieces to the punk-rock superhits, we have all of them lined up in our compilation.
As disco died out in the early 80s, it was time to add some new spices to the blend and that is exactly what the legends from the time did. From Michael Jackson to Marvin Gaye, every artist brought something new to the mix and that is how the decade came to be known as the golden age of music. Artists started to use more electric sounds and synthesizers to mould their music into increasingly unique lanes which gave us a rich collection of music to choose from. The rock bands that ruled the industry, the soloists who carried it and the female icons who were birthed in these times were all part of a generation that came to regard music not just for its groove but also for its substance as music became more than just keys on a piano.
With the advent of technology, the music video also became an important part of the industry. With artists trying new ideas and styles of video making to attack attention, MTV became a major part of the music industry. Scroll down further to sift through our compilation of the best hits from the 80s.
Check out our list of the 12 best songs from the 80s below:
I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
One of the most well-known songs from the decade, this Houston track is still a superhit. Encompassing the dance-pop groovy feel, the song is an all-time favourite in popular culture. The track was part of the legend's second album, Whitney. Though the critics gave the song mixed reviews, worldwide it was a home run as it became a six times platinum record. At the Grammys, Whitney also won the nod in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category for the hugely popular song.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears
Embracing the new wave and synth-pop, the pop-rock band Tears for Fears from Britain released this ever-lasting hit on the record. Another track that has been revived from the 80s in recent years, the song has been a constant play for the ones who crave the nifty vibe of the golden age songs.
Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
A song that would highly resonate with the newer generations. With its powerful drums playing in the background, the song makes for a highly relatable track with its lyrics that express the sheer drag that life is for most gen-z individuals. Springsteen's song grapples with the essence of what we frequently talk about now in 2022 which is self-hate. From the way we look to the way we live, the same-old story on a loop leading into the darkness that is our hopeless mind which constantly reminds us that we in some way are being left out of the fun, thanks to the advent of social media this constant mental nag has transformed itself into more than just a small pit in the stomach. The song though birthed in the 80s has certainly stood the test of time.
Back in Black - AC/DC
Many might already be familiar with this absolute hit song through the Marvel blockbuster, Iron Man. This AC/DC home run is perfect for rock beginners who haven't ventured much into the metal lanes. The heavy groove on the song makes it impossible for anyone to stop themselves from head-banging to the electrifying track.
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
This 1987 track has one of the most iconic opening guitar riffs of all history. The American hard rock band introduced many to the pure heart-clenching greatness of a powerful guitar riff as they let the strings take the stage in the middle of the track while the lead singer takes a back seat and lets the guitar speak for itself. Recently, much-younger netizens have also perched their eyes on this masterpiece as the latest teaser of Thor: Love and Thunder features the explosive song in the background.
Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
The internet works in mysterious ways and one such example is the rick-rolling meme. For those unversed, the song picked up popularity in the 21st century when netizens started a trend of fooling others into watching the music video for this song which in turn made the song a hit once again. Besides being great meme material, Rick Astley's track is also one of the best dance-pop tunes from the time when disco had faded away and had given way to the synthesizers and heavy drum beats which transformed into the brand-new genre "dance-pop."
Call Me - Blondie
The theme song to the 1980 film, American Gigolo, Call Me is definitely a personal favourite. Upon its release, the song was a smashing hit as it lasted consecutive six weeks on no. 1 on the Billboard Chart. The track has the power to instantly pull you into a head-banging streak as the drums in the background hit hard blended with the strong guitar riffs, the song is nothing less than perfection. The high-pitched voice of the lead singer of the band, Debbie Harry gives the track immense flavour and just the right amount of rock for even the beginners to tap their feet to.
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
This list would be incomplete if we did not include the legendary performer. Billie Jean in particular was a song that became one of Jackson's biggest hits as critics dubbed the track the greatest dance record of all time. Introducing Jackson's iconic moonwalk to the world, the music video for the song was widely distributed by MTV at the time making the song a big hit.
Fight the Power - Public Enemy
This powerful track does not hide its motivation or its intention as the rap duo goes off about reclaiming their rights. The late 1980s was the time when rap was making its initial foundations in popular culture with its important messages and quick flows, all were on board the hip-hop train that would blossom into one of the biggest genres in the coming decades. Inspired by the Isley Brothers’ track of the same name, this rap classic masterstroke is all about fighting the powers that be.
Super Freak - Rick James
A timeless track, Rick James' groovy tune on this song has lasted decades as the track has been brought back on the front burner on the internet with the newer generations enjoying the dance-pop fun in the 21st century. The song itself has been revived through edits and reels on social media apps like TikTok and Instagram leading the track into charting lists once more. Some might even remember the song from the movie Little Miss Sunshine and its iconic use in the film.
If Only You Knew - Patti LaBelle
The soulful melody and the honey-like voice of Patti LaBelle are all this song needed to make it the best R&B/Soul track of the time. Her high notes at the end of the song elevate the low-lying peace of the tune and bring out the desperation the lyrics convey in sweet melodies throughout the song. The 80s were a time when music did not chain itself to one particular popular genre and songs like these are a testament that though at the time dance-pop and synthesized tracks were all the rage, Soul music was also a huge part of the blend.
Take on Me - A-Ha
A synth-pop classic that still slaps hard, this song is a major karaoke star. The track on its first music video release did not hit the charts but the second music video launched the song onto the hit list and soon it was everywhere. The second try at a music video was a rather unique decision at the time as it used hand-drawn animations to tell the story through the video. The Norwegian synth-pop band became a sensation as they won numerous awards at the time and the song itself became a timeless hit for generations to enjoy.
Comment down below some of your favourites from the golden decade that we sifted through in our list of the best 80s songs.