The 80s was a decade renowned for its iconic music culture. From synth-pop to new wave, the music of the ’80s was a departure from the sounds of previous decades and continues to enthrall listeners today. Although some of the musical trends of the 80s have been forgotten, many of them remain relevant and popular in modern times. The decade produced some legendary acts that are still household names and their songs continue to feature on playlists across generations.
The 1980s was a time of radical fashion, pop culture, and music. With the introduction of MTV in 1981, the stage was set for some of the most iconic songs to come out of that decade; from Prince’s “Purple Rain” to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” – these are some of the best songs from that era.
For those who lived through this era and for younger generations who have heard these classic tunes on the radio or in movies, it is hard to resist singing along. The 80s had a unique sound that defined an entire generation. From synth-pop and new wave to rock ballads and power chords, there were many memorable tunes created during this decade.
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
The 1980s was an era of some of the most iconic music in history. A lot of this music still holds up today, but one artist in particular who stands out is Cyndi Lauper. Her song “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” has become a staple piece of 80s pop culture and is still widely considered to be one of the best songs of the decade.
This classic feel-good anthem was originally released by Robert Hazard in 1979, but it wasn’t until Cyndi Lauper put her unique spin on it that it became an international hit in 1983. The upbeat track talks about young women wanting to have fun without worrying about societal expectations and it perfectly encapsulates the attitudes and values of many people during this time period.
Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf”
“Like A Virgin” by Madonna
One song that stands out from the rest is Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. Released in 1984, “Like A Virgin” quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable songs of the 80s. This infectious pop tune has been covered countless times since its original release, and remains a staple of any 80s music party playlist.
This iconic tune was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and produced by Nile Rodgers – all part of an impressive creative team that helped to make this hit single so successful. The lyrics explore themes such as sexuality, independence, love and self-empowerment – which resonated with listeners around the world.
“Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran
Critically acclaimed British new wave band Duran Duran released the timeless hit “Hungry Like The Wolf” in 1982 and it quickly became one of their most iconic songs. This track is a perfect example of the band’s signature sound, with its driving drums, catchy riffs and infectious melodies. With its infectious chorus and catchy guitar-driven rhythms, “Hungry Like The Wolf” was an instant classic among fans and critics alike. Its popularity only intensified when it was featured in the 1983 film ‘Risky Business’.
The song has been used numerous times throughout popular culture over the years, including its appearances on TV shows such as ‘Glee’ and ‘Scrubs’. It has also been covered by artists from all genres including pop punk group Good Charlotte and electro-house DJ deadmau5.
The 1980s was a decade of amazing rock music. From the classic anthems that still get the crowds singing at concerts to those hidden gems that you can only hear on vinyl, it’s no surprise that these songs are some of the best in history. So which rock classics defined the 80s? Here’s a look at some of the top tracks from this era.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
First up is Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which gained popularity again thanks to its inclusion in Wayne’s World and became one of Queen’s most iconic hits. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is one of the best songs of the 80s. Released in 1975, it quickly became a classic, thanks to its dramatic and complex structure. The track was composed by Freddie Mercury and produced by Queen’s long-time collaborator Roy Thomas Baker. It opens with a slow intro before transitioning into an operatic passage that segues into a hard rock section at the end. The song also contains elements of classical music and progressive rock, making it truly unique and memorable in comparison to other songs from the era. Bohemian Rhapsody reached No.1 on multiple charts around the world and became one of the most recognizable tracks of all time – it was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004!
“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
Journey also lent their magic touch to 80s rock with “Don’t Stop Believin’”, a song so beloved it has been covered numerous times since then. Don’t Stop Believin’ is one of the best songs from the 80s. Released in 1981, it was a single from Journey’s album Escape and has become an iconic pop-rock anthem. With its powerful lyrics and passionate vocal delivery, Don’t Stop Believing continues to bring fans together all over the world.
It is most commonly known for its inspiring message of hope, which encourages listeners to persevere in spite of hardships and obstacles on the road to success. The song’s signature guitar riffs and keyboard solos accentuate this uplifting message, making it one of the most memorable songs from the 80s. Its popularity has endured for decades since its release due to its timeless themes and optimistic tone.
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police
In terms of rock music, ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police is another song that stands out from the rest. Released in 1983, the song was written by Sting and became a global phenomenon, topping charts around the world. Its thoughtful lyrics about obsession and devotion speak to listeners on an emotional level, while its catchy melody ensures it remains lodged in our heads long after we hear it. It even won two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Song Of The Year – testimony to its lasting impact.
“Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer is one of the most memorable and influential songs of the 1980s. It was released in 1986 as part of the band’s album Slippery When Wet and has since become a classic MTV hit single. The song captures the excitement, optimism, and unknowns of young adulthood while providing an anthem for anyone going through hard times. With its catchy chorus and positive message, Livin’ On A Prayer is widely regarded as one of the best songs to come out of the 80s.
The story follows two protagonists who are struggling to make ends meet amidst economic hardship and adversity. They reflect on their faith in each other as they rely on prayer to keep them afloat during these difficult times.
We all know the 80s as a time of great music, but nothing stands out quite like R&B. The best songs of the 80s had an unmistakable charm and soul that still resonates today with old and new generations alike. From disco-infused funk to soft-spoken ballads, these classic R&B hits are truly timeless!
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore some of the most iconic songs from this beloved decade. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ — these unforgettable tunes still have us singing along every time they come on the radio. Whether you’re looking for something to get you up dancing or something to relax with, there is no shortage of amazing 80s R&B classics!
“Thriller” by Michael Jackson
One of the most iconic songs from this time is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” This track helped establish Jackson as one of the most famous artists ever and ushered in an era that was driven by flashy music videos. His Thriller album is widely considered to be the best-selling album of all time, spawning a number of hit singles that remain popular to this day. From “The Girl Is Mine” to “Thriller,” Jackson’s work on Thriller helped create some of the best songs of the 80s. Released in 1982, Thriller quickly became Michael Jackson’s most successful album. It featured seven top-10 hits, including four number one singles: “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” and the title track, “Thriller.” These iconic songs have become synonymous with an entire generation and are still played today whenever people want to listen to 80s music.
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston
The 1980s was the decade of musical innovation and genre-defying hits. With so many great songs to choose from, it can be difficult to pick out the best of the best. However, one song stands out as a timeless classic: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. This Grammy Award-winning single has provided an iconic soundtrack for some of the most memorable moments in pop culture history since its release in 1987.
The upbeat dance anthem celebrates living life to its fullest and having fun on the dance floor. It’s no surprise that this feel-good hit is still beloved today; its positive message resonates with listeners of all generations, making it one of the best songs of the 80s.
“When Doves Cry” by Prince
Is one of the best songs of the 80s. Released in 1984, it was the lead single off Prince’s iconic album Purple Rain and catapulted him to international stardom. It quickly became a hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, cementing its place as an all-time classic.
With its complex yet catchy synth pattern, soulful vocals, and unique lyrics about heartbreak, When doves cry has become one of the most iconic pop songs of all time. Music critics including Rolling Stone have praised it as one of Prince’s greatest accomplishments — “a song that hits hard with emotional complexity”.
The 1980s was the decade in which hip-hop music began to fully rise to prominence. With classic songs such as Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ and Run DMC’s ‘It’s Tricky’, this period of time saw the emergence of some of the genre’s most influential acts.
The lyrical content of early 80s hip-hop tracks also tended to focus on social commentaries rather than solely partying, representing a shift from earlier funk and soul records. As the decade continued, more conscious rap styles evolved with great success – both commercially and critically. For example, artists like Public Enemy used their platforms to discuss political issues, while groups such as NWA spoke about life growing up in inner cities.
“Walk This Way” by Run DMC
This song went on to become a chart-topper and has been referenced countless times in pop culture. The song was groundbreaking for its time, mixing rap and hard rock together as no one had before in a way that resonated with audiences both young and old.
Released in 1986, Walk This Way was not only one of the best songs of 80s but also set the stage for more hip hop/rock collaborations to come. The track fused elements of rap and hard rock artist Aerosmith’s 1975 hit single, creating an infectious combination of sounds that continues to capture listeners today. Not only did this break barriers between genres, but it made Run DMC instantly recognizable in their own right with their unique style and flow.
“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s 1982 single, “The Message,” is widely regarded as one of the best songs of the 80s. The groundbreaking track was a rap song that addressed serious social issues, and it was incredibly influential in the development of hip hop music. In fact, some say it laid the groundwork for generations to come in terms of its lyrical content and complex production.
“The Message” also holds a place in history as the first ever rap song to be nominated for a Grammy Award. It wasn’t just an impactful record musically. It was also instrumental in helping hip hop gain mainstream acceptance, with many considering it to be one of the genre’s most important releases ever.
“(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” by Beastie Boys’
Released in 1986, the song became an instant classic, quickly becoming one of the best songs of 80s. With its catchy lyrics and upbeat vibe, it’s no surprise that this track has become a timeless anthem for partying and having a good time.
The song is still popular today, with many people using it to get the party started. The Beastie Boys have certainly made their mark on music history with this classic track that manages to capture the spirit of 80s music perfectly. It’s hard not to dance and sing along when you hear this song come on!
The 80s was a decade known for its groundbreaking music. Country crossover, or country pop, is one of the most iconic genres of the time. It brought together the best of both worlds, combining smooth melodies and storytelling with twangy guitars and classic country sounds. The result was some of the best songs of 80s!
For many listeners, traditional country simply wasn’t enough to satisfy their musical cravings – so they opted for something a little more unique with a blend of genres. Country crossover became that bridge between fans who wanted to try something new but still remain true to their roots in country musi¹c. Some notable artists who popularized this genre include Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers as well as other more contemporary acts like Sugarland and Lady Antebellum.
Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” saw him blend folk with smooth pop hooks for a timeless classic that has become one of his signature tunes. The Oak Ridge Boys achieved similar success with their upbeat single “Elvira” which featured a unique mix of bluegrass and pop. Islands in The Stream” to Dolly Parton’s iconic cover of “I Will Always Love You,
“I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” remains one of the best songs of the 80s. Released in 1974, it was an instant hit and has since gone on to become one of the most covered songs in history. Despite being a classic love song, it resonates with listeners around the world regardless of their age or cultural background.
Dolly Parton’s heartfelt vocal performance is what gives this song its power. Her delivery is filled with emotion and conveys a sense of longing for an impossible love that will never last. The lyrics are simple but effective, and they capture something universal about heartache and regret that many people can relate to. Even after more than 40 years. I Will Always Love You still stands as one of the best songs of the 80s.
“Islands in The Stream” by Kenny Rogers
The song “Islands in The Stream” by the legendary country singer Kenny Rogers is one of the best songs of the 80s. Released in 1983, this anthem was co-written by the iconic duo Bee Gees, who also performed vocals on it. It topped both the US Country and Adult Contemporary charts and was an instant hit worldwide.
The lyrics of the song capture a beautiful story between two lovers whose relationship is being tested from outside forces. The jaunty beat and Rogers’ warm voice make for a timeless classic. Which has been covered by numerous artists over the years since its release. Along with hits like “Coward Of The County” and “Lucille”, “Islands in The Stream” has become one of Kenny Rogers’ most beloved tunes and one of the most memorable songs from that era.
The Enduring Legacy of 80s Music
In conclusion, the legacy of 80s music has proven to be one that continues to inspire and bring joy to listeners around the world. While the decade was marked by groundbreaking developments in musical styles. It also introduced the world to a diverse range of iconic artists who have had an unparalleled influence on popular music today. Through its unique blend of creativity and innovation, 80s music has transcended generations and will continue to be remembered for its timelessness and cultural significance.