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70+ Most Popular 80s Songs You'll Never Get Out of Your Head | 2024 Reveals

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Astrid Tran 22 April, 2024 8 min read

Why do popular 80s songs sound so good? In the 1980s, we saw the emergence of the greatest music hits and singers of all time. Madonna rose to fame as a timeless pop icon while performing on a three-tiered cake while dressed in bridal gowns. That would be Michael Jackson, who rose to prominence in the pop music industry with his "Thriller" album, which garnered seven Grammy awards and sold 70 million copies. The Perfect Kiss, Modern Love, Don't Stop Believin, and more are just too catchy to get out of your head.

What's more? In a 2010 study of over 11,000 European respondents, conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, the 1980s were found to be the most popular tune decade of the previous 40 years. In this article, we'll find out the top 70+ most iconic and popular 80s songs in the world that everyone loves.

80's freestyle album songs - Popular 80s songs - Source: Glamour

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Popular 80s Songs of Pop Music

Pop music in the 80s was strongly influenced by electronic sounds and dance music genres. The popular 80s songs are still regarded as the best music of all time. Up until now, the 80s music hits still have a significant influence on the trends of fashion and style. Top 80s pop songs are:

  1. Billie Jean -  Michael Jackson
  2.  We Are The World --  Michael Jackson
  3. Like a Virgin - Madonna
  4. True Blue -  Madonna
  5. Saving All My Love for You - Whitney Houston
  6. If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher
  7. I’ll Never Be (Maria Magdalena) - Sandra
  8. All Out Of Love - Air Supply
  9. Casablanca - Bertie Higgins
  10. You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul - Modern Talking
best pop songs of the 80s
Micheal Jackson and his best pop songs of the 80s

Billie Jean was one of the first songs that made Michael Jackson famous. The Moonwalk dance performed by the King of Pop in this MV has gone down in history and influenced many subsequent contemporary artists.

Popular 80s Songs of Rock Music

80s rock music possesses unique vibes, the combination of bombastic, anthemic, and synthesised. Soft rock, glam metal, thrash metal, shred guitar featured by heavy distortion, pinch harmonics, and whammy bar abuse was just so viral to be unforgettable.

  1. Livin' on a Prayer
  2. Every Breath You Take - The Police
  3. Purple Rain - Prince
Prince and popular 80s songs
  1. Still Loving You – Scorpions
  2. Heaven – Bryan Adams 
  3. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx 

Right Here Waiting is a ballad written by Richard Marx for his beloved wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes, during her filming in South Africa. This song, which debuted in the summer of 1989 and quickly rose to fame across the globe for Richard, is consistently regarded as one of the greatest love songs ever.

  1. Love Song - Tesla
  2. Call me - Blondie
  3. Scarecrow - John Mellencamp
  4. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
  5. You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi
  6. Hammer to Fall - Queens
  7. I Want to Break Free - Queens
  8. Radio Ga Ga - Queens
Queen's 80s songs are unstoppable power

Popular 80s Songs of Contemporary R&B

  1. Careless Whisper – George Michael
  2. Hello – Lionel Richie
  3. Saving All My Love For You – Whitney Houston 
 80s music hits
80s music hits

One of the love songs that best captures Whitney Houston's diva class is Saving All My Love For You, which was released in the summer of 1985. The narrative revolves around a girl's admission of her unfulfilled love. Millions of music fans are moved by her singing, which is enormously passionate, fierce, and powerful. 

  1. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) -  Whitney Houston 
  2. Encore - Cheryl Lynn
  3. No One's Gonna Love You -The S.O.S. Band
  4. When You Touch Me - Skyy
  5. Stomp! -The Brothers Johnson
  6. Every Little Step - Bobby Brown
  7. Square Biz - Teena Marie
  8. Super Trouper - Abba

Best Rap/Hip-hop Songs 1980s

Hip-hop, which originated from black gatherings on New York's streets in the 1970s, has grown to become a popular music genre and an integral element of the world's popular culture.

Youth around the world started to embrace hip-hop culture by 1984. American urban slang and hip-hop merchandise swiftly made their way to Europe, particularly England, where in the 1980s, rappers like She Rockers, MC Duke, and Derek B helped hip-hop establish its own identity and sound. 

  1. Rapper's Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
Best rap songs 1980s

Rapper's Delight is the song that made hip hop known as a new musical genre in the US, where it originated and developed into a massively influential artistic movement.

  1. 6 in the Mornin - Ice-T
  2. The Message - Grandmaster Flash
  3. Dopeman - N.W.A 
  4. Express Yourself - N.W.A 
  5. Smooth Operator - Big Daddy Kane
  6. Paper Thin - MC Lyte
  7. The Symphony - Marley Marl
  8. Peter Piper - Run-D.M.C.
  9. Rebel Without a Pause - Public Enemy

Popular 80s Songs of Electronic Music 

Electronic music is a modern musical genre that spans a wide range of styles, from dubstep to disco. The 1980s were a fantastic decade for electronic music, with the emergence of new genres like synthpop and house as well as cutting-edge innovations like MIDI.

A lot of the popular electronic music genres of today, like trance and house, originated with synth music from the 1980s. Clubbing in the 1980s gave rise to the new wave, or post-disco, which became popular and entered the mainstream.

  1. I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz 
  2. Come Into My Arms - Judy Torres
  3. Pump up the Volume - MARRS
  4. Express Yourself - Madonna 
  5. The Race -Yello
  6. Torch - Soft Cell
  7. Temptation - Heaven 17 
  8. Clear -Cybertron 
  9. Pump Up the Jam - Technotronic 
  10. Chime - Orbital 

Best 80s Freestyle Songs

Freestyle music was a vibrant subgenre of dance music that emerged in the 1980s, particularly in Miami and New York City. It blended elements of Latin, pop, electronic, and R&B music, creating infectious dance tracks with pulsating rhythms, catchy melodies, and passionate vocals.

  1. Come Go With Me - Exposé 
  2. Let the Music Play" by Shannon
Shannon popular 80s songs
Shannon songs 80s

Shannon songs are just iconic for 80s freestyle. "Let the Music Play, Love Goes All The Way, Give Me Tonight" hits are considered the anthem of freestyle music, with its driving beat, soaring vocals, and irresistible energy.

  1. Tell It to My Heart - Taylor Dayne
  2. Fascinated - Company B
  3. Can You Feel the Beat - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
  4. Dreamin' - TKA
  5. Boy, I've Been Told - SaFire
  6. Summertime Summertime - Nocera

Best 80s Love Songs

70s, 80s, and 90s are the golden eras of ballad songs, but nothing compares to the vibrancy and mystique of 80s love songs – they’re the most iconic ballads of all time.

  1. Every Breath You Take - The Police
  2. Heaven - Bryan Adams
  3. Alone - Heart
  4. Every rose has its thorn - Poison
  5. Stuck On YouSong - Lionel Richie
  6. Missing You - John Waite
  7. Upside Down - Diana Ross
  8. The Lady in Red - Chris de Burgh 
  9. The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
  10. I just called to say i love you - Stevie Wonder

Key Takeaways

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Frequently Asked Questions

What was the biggest hit of 1980?

Call me was sung by Bondie and was the biggest hit of 1980.  It obtained  six weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. Moreover, the song was nominated for numerous major awards and won numerous accolades, such as a 1980 Golden Globe for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Group, Duo Performance, at the 23rd Annual Awards Ceremony.

What are 5 popular songs of the 1980's and their year?

The 5 most popular songs of the 80s include:
- Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man” – Doolittle
- Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – Thriller (1982)
- The Clash – “Rock the Casbah” – Combat Rock(1982)
- Tom Tom Club – “Genius of Love” – Tom Tom Club (1981)
- Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – “The Message” – The Message (1982)
It represents different music genres, and also represents success not only in terms of artistic content but also commercial viability.

What do 80s songs have in common?

The music of the 1980s is known for its distinctive sound, which is a result of the use of synthesisers, drum machines, and electronic production techniques. The era also saw the emergence of new wave, synth-pop, and electronic dance music, which contributed significantly to the unique sound of the decade.

What music was popular in the early 1980s?

During the 1980s, electronic dance music and new wave (also known as Modern Rock) became extremely popular, with iconic symbols of big hair, big voice, and big money. As disco lost its popularity in the early years of the decade, genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco, and dance-pop gained more attention.