Saturday, July 2, 2011

Top 500 Songs of the 1980s

This is a highly subjective list of the top 500 songs of the decade according to me and only me.  I posted this at the end of 2010 on Facebook, but I found Facebook notes to be a poor alternative to blogging.

There are worthy artists who are omitted because I just never got into them, and there are unworthy artists who were included because I don't feel quite guilty enough about those particular guilty pleasures. The list is undoubtedly affected by the fact that I was in junior high at the start of the decade and in grad school at the end of the decade and the music director at WRCT-FM from 85 to 87.

I have three rules:
1) No more than one song per album
2) For the top 40 only, no more than one song per artist
3) The song had to be released in that decade (date is determined by record sleeve, or

500 Leather Nun - Gimme Gimme Gimme
499 Bronski Beat - Why?
498 Rave-Ups - Remember
497 Queen - Another One Bites The Dust
496 John Zorn - Cobra (Moderato)
495 Aztec Camera - Jump
494 Talk Talk - It's My Life
493 Piranhas - Love Games
492 Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
491 The Wolfgang Press - Sweatbox
490 Michelle Shocked - The Cement Lament
489 Big Dipper - Faith Healer
488 Mekons - Big Zombie
487 Ian Dury - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
486 Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days
485 Alter Natives - Sunset
484 Yes - Leave It
483 Motor Totemist Guild - Submission
482 JFA - Charlie Brown
481 Home and Garden - King Penguin
480 Bloody Mannequin Orchestra - Meal at McDonalds
479 Genesis - Misunderstanding
478 Ali & Tams avec L'Orchestre Malo - Malo
477 The Police - Synchronicity I
476 Lounge Lizards - Incident On South Street
475 The Circle Jerks - Coup d'Etat
474 Dbs - Bonneville
473 Long Ryders - Join My Gang
472 Robert Hazard - Escalator of Life
471 Ratt - Round and Round
470 Men at Work - Down Under
469 Romeo Void - Never Say Never       
468 The Romantics - What I Like About You
467 Fishbone - Ma And Pa
466 Eartha Kitt - Cha Cha Heels
465 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Manaqib Khawaja Mueenuddin Chishti
464 Chumbawamba - How to Get Your Band on Television
463 Alarm - Sixty Eight Guns
462 Rolling Stones - Start Me Up
461 Pato Banton - Don't Sniff Coke
460 Billy Bragg - It Says Here
459 Yeah Yeah Noh - Stealing in the Name of the Lord
458 The Waitresses - I Know What Boys Like
457 The Cars - Shake It Up
456 Talk Talk - Talk Talk
455 I, Ludicrous - Mistakes
454 Cesaria Evora - Fruto Proibido
453 Kenny Loggins - I'm Alright
452 Blue "Gene" Tyranny - Harvey Milk
451 Casselberry-Dupree - Did Jesus Have a Baby Sister?
450 Thelonious Monster - Union Street
449 Bobby McFerrin - Walkin
448 Pat Benatar - Hit Me With Your Best Shot
447 Sneetches - In My Car
446 Zimbo Chimps - Inca Vacation
445 Didjits - Jerry Lee
444 Coil - Tainted Love
443 Belfast Cowboys - Jesus Was a Truck Driving Man
442 Max Urban - Flem Fatale
441 Nena - 99 Luftballons (German version)
440 Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
439 Pop Group - Feed the Hungry
438 This Heat - Independence
437 Bangles - How Is The Air Up There
436 Walkabouts - Ask Me Another
435 k.d. lang - Big Boned Gal
434 Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane
433 Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio
432 Cat and Mouse Band - Living Room
431 Carsickness - I Don't Think So
430 Dinosaur Jr - Freak Scene
429 The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
428 Copernicus - Chichen-Itza Elvis
427 The Residents - This Is a Man's World
426 Elvis Costello - Veronica
425 Cassandra Wilson - Apricots on Their Wings
424 Freakwater - Ballad of Freakwater
423 Trio - Da Da Da I Don't Love You
422 Culture Shock - Punks on Postcards
421 Chesterfields - Hopes For Lauren and Joseph
420 Contras - SOS
419 Bongwater - His New Look
418 Guy Klucevsek - Samba D. Hiccup
417 Queen Latifah - Ladies First
416 Black Flag - Six Pack
415 Butthole Surfers - Sweat Loaf
414 Glass Eye - Maggie
413 The Colourfield - Thinking of You
412 Damned - There Ain't No Sanity Clause
411 The B-52's - Private Idaho
410 Billy Joel - It's Still Rock And Roll To Me
409 Josie Cotton - Johnnie Are You Queer?
408 Lindsay Cooper - Parliament Catch
407 Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine
406 Agitpop - Stop, Drop And Roll
405 Mice - Downtown
404 Blurt - Get
403 The Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods
402 Here Today - Whistle in the Yard
401 EBN-OZN - AEIOU Sometimes Y

400 Bill Laswell - Work Song
399 Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
398 Ophelias - Palindrome
397 Fems - Go To a Party
396 Soldier String Quartet - Five Little Monsters
395 Todd Rundgren - Bang the Drum All Day
394 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jesus Met the Woman at the Well
393 Virgil Moorefield - Vitus Dance
392 Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny
391 fIREHOSE - Brave Captain
390 R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
389 XTC - Senses Working Overtime
388 Peter Gabriel - I Go Swimming (Live)
387 Terry & Jerry - Kennedy Says
386 28th Day - Pages Turn
385 Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
384 Longshoremen - Locomotive
383 Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
382 Fred Lane - Car Radio Jerome
381 Mary Jane Girls - In My House
380 Pylon - Crazy
379 Wayne Horvitz - Please Take This Train From My Door
378 House Of Freaks - Sun Gone Down
377 French Letters - Don't Tell Robert
376 Violent Femmes - I Hear the Rain
375 Robert Rental and the Normal - Live in San Francisco
374 Stan Ridgeway - The Big Heat
373 Clive Pig - One Night in Greece With An American
372 Section 25 - Guitar Waltz
371 Poet's Corner - Trippin' on Krupa
370 UnknownmiX - Soul
369 Dramarama - Anything, Anything
368 Public Image Ltd. - Rise
367 Section 25 - Looking From a Hilltop
366 The Damned - Eloise
365 Siouxsie & the Banshees - Happy House
364 Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Having an Average Weekend
363 Joyce Lightbody - Furo Fuhrer
362 Electric Light Orchestra - Hold On Tight
361 Pere Ubu - Something's Gotta Give
360 The Pretenders - Middle Of The Road
359 Foetus - I'll Meet You In Poland, Baby
358 Bruce Springsteen - The River
357 Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn
356 Blue Öyster Cult - Burnin' For You
355 Divine Horsemen - My Sin
354 Roxy Music - Avalon
353 Housecoat Project - Only in San Francisco
352 Love Camp 7 - Janet in a Green Light
351 Jane's Addiction - Jane Says
350 Invisible Chains - Sal Mineo Youth Growing Up
349 Details at Eleven - Row Song
348 David Bowie - That's Motivation
347 David Thomas - My Thoery of Simultaneous Simultude
346 Fun Boy 3 - The More I See The Less I Believe
345 David Garland - TV Can Teach Me
344 Minutemen - Cheerleaders
343 Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue
342 Flies - I'm In Pittsburgh
341 Frank Zappa - Porn Wars
340 Frenzy - I See Red
339 Roky Erickson And The Aliens - Night Of The Vampire
338 New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
337 Devo - Girl U Want
336 Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough
335 Pigbag - The Big Bean
334 Ciccone Youth - Burnin' Up
333 Rare Essence - Body Moves
332 The Microscopic Septet - The Lobster Parade
331 Peter Blegvad - Karen
330 Scott Johnson - John Somebody (Part I)
329 The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men
328 World Saxophone Quartet - Hattie Wall
327 Luc Van Acker - Zanna
326 Wha Ha Ha - On the Floor
325 Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
324 Miracle Legion - The Backyard
323 Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel - Descent Into The Inferno
322 Joe Pop-o-Pie - Political Song
321 Paul Sturm - Times Are Bad
320 Marc Almond - Untitled
319 blotto - I Wanna Be a Lifeguard
318 Savage Republic - Trudge
317 R.E.M. - I Am Superman
316 The Honeydrippers - Sea of Love
315 Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
314 Fifth Column - Fairview Mall Story
313 Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
312 Rockpile - Teacher Teacher
311 Circle Jerks - World Up My Ass
310 Agitpop - Five Day Forecast
309 Newcleus - Jam On It
308 A.T.S. - Texas
307 Toasters - Matt Davis
306 Etron Fou Lebloublan - Laves a la Machine
305 Cameo - Word Up
304 Laurie Anderson - O Superman
303 Dbs - Neverland
302 V-Effect - A Tree Grows in Managua
301 Ululation - Bad Day on Avenue B

300 Linton Kwesi Johnson - Wat About Di Working Claas?
299 Kraftwerk - Tour de France
298 Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
297 Motörhead - Ace of Spades
296 Massacre - Legs
295 Rebby Sharp - Some Men
294 Marc Riley and the Creepers - Goin' Rate
293 LMNOP - Comparative Analysis
292 Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Stand Accused
291 Jam - Absolute Beginners
290 Joe Jackson - You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)
289 The Dead Milkmen - Bitchin' Camaro
288 Lo Yo Yo - All the Atrocities
287 Christmas - Big Plans
286 Government Issue - Caring Line
285 Bernice Johnson Reagon - Buses Are a Coming
284 Made For TV - So Afriad of the Russians
283 Mental As Anything - Humming a Tune
282 3 Mustaphas 3 - Starehe Mustapha I, II, and III
281 No Trend - Teen Love
280 Life In A Blender - Showers Lose the Girl
279 Bangles - Going Down to Liverpool
278 Hüsker Dü - Makes No Sense at All
277 Camberwell Now - Wheat Futures
276 Bevis Frond - Repressor
275 Prince - Little Red Corvette
274 Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait
273 Psychick T.V. - Godstar
272 The Legendary Pink Dots - Louder After 6
271 Blondie - Rapture
270 Public Image Limited - This Is Not a Love Song
269 The Chills - I Love My Leather Jacket
268 Cucumbers - Who Betrays Me
267 David Murray - 3-D Family
266 Comsat Angels - Independence Day
265 Yello - Domingo
264 Sheila Chandra - Question the Answer
263 Einstürzende Neubauten - Yü-Gung (Fütter Mein Ego)
262 Oliver Lake - Olla's Blues
261 M.D.C. - John Wayne Was a Nazi
260 Hüsker Dü - - New Day Rising
259 Chris Isaak - Gone Ridin'
258 Godley and Creme - My Body the Car
257 Cassiber - Sleep Armed
256 World Saxophone Quartet - Kinda Up
255 Beefeater - Fred's Song
254 The Durutti Column - Tomorrow
253 Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - My Wife and My Dead Wife/Brenda's Iron Sledge (Live)
252 Tones on Tail - Twist
251 Skeleton Crew - Sparrow Song
250 Feelies - Original Love
249 Art of Noise - Close to the Edge
248 Psychedelic Furs - We Love You
247 Name - False Latin Situation
246 Adam Ant - Stand and Deliver
245 Ice T - Colors
244 Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Bad Reputation
243 Van Halen - And the Cradle Will Rock...
242 Pixies - Gigantic
241 David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes
240 Crass - Berkertex Bribe
239 Stranglers - Golden Brown
238 Embarrassment - Celebrity Art Party
237 Yello - Live at the Roxy
236 Police - When The World Is Running Down
235 Trouble Funk - Still Smokin' (Beat is Bad Dub Mix)
234 Camper Van Beethoven - Cowboys From Hollywood
233 Deltones - Make Me Smile
232 Rush - Freewill
231 Jayne Cortez - There It Is
230 Fear - Let's Have A War
229 The Cure - The Love Cats
228 R.E.M. - So. Central Rain
227 Skinny Puppy - Assimilate
226 Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum
225 Dick Griffin - A Dream for Rahsaan
224 RUN-DMC - My Adidas
223 Shop Assistants - Safety Net
222 Colorblind James Experience - (He Must've Been) Quite A Guy
221 Tupelo Chain Sex - Everyday's a Holiday
220 Clash - Ivan Meets GI Joe
219 Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
218 John Lennon - Watching The Wheels
217 Human Sexual Response - Land of the Glass Pinecones
216 Dogma Probe - 13
215 Magazine - Model Worker
214 Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Lovers Walk
213 Greg Kihn Band - The Breakup Song
212 The Go-Go's - Skidmarks On My Heart
211 Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes
210 Stray Cats - Rock This Town
209 Psychic TV - Just Drifting
208 Thompson Twins - The Gap
207 Test Dept - Victory
206 Psychedelic Furs - Here Come Cowboys
205 XTC - Generals And Majors
204 Kinks - Destroyer
203 Steve Weisberg - I Can't Stand Another Night
202 Young Fresh Fellows - TV Dream
201 The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom

200 Echo & The Bunnymen - The Cutter
199 Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
198 Rosanne Cash - Tennessee Flattop Box
197 New Order - Blue Monday
196 Fang - The Money Will Roll Right In
195 Berlin - Metro
194 Siouxsie & the Banshees - Spellbound
193 King Missle (Dog Fly Religion) - Take Stuff From Work
192 R.E.M. - Stand
191 Crazy 8's - Johnny Q
190 Anne Clark - Poem For A Nuclear Romance
189 AC/DC - Hells Bells
188 Polecats - Make a Circuit With Me
187 Barry Altchul Quartet - Ahfra Love
186 Lloyd Cole - Rattlesnakes
185 Sneetches - Unusual Sounds
184 My Dad Is Dead - Talk To The Weatherman
183 The Selecter - Too Much Pressure
182 Bauhaus - The Passion Of Lovers
181 The Cure - In Between Days
180 Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
179 David Rudder - Kojak
178 Soft Cell - Tainted Love
177 The Redskins - Bring It Down
176 Pere Ubu - Waiting For Mary
175 Specials - Man At c&a
174 Sisters of Mercy - Black Planet

173 Squeeze - Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
172 Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed (Club Mix)
171 Government Issue - Fashionite
170 Bongos - Glow in the Dark
169 Stranglers - Ice Queen
168 Jayne Cortez - Maintain Control/Economic Love Song
167 Dub Syndicate - Ravi Shankar, Pt1/The Show is Coming
166 Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf
165 Gun Club - She's like Heroin to me
164 Bargepole - Building Site
163 BCR - Krankenhaus Juju
162 Duran Duran - Girls On Film
161 Diana Ross - Upside Down
160 Danielle Dax - Fizzing Human Bomb
159 Toasters - Weekend in LA
158 Lou Reed - New Sensations
157 Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
156 A.T.S. - Runaway Barge
155 Shadow Vignettes - Honky Tonk Bud
154 Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love
153 3 Teens Kill 4 - Tell Me Something Good
152 David Garland - This Is Love
151 Prefab Sprout - Don't Sing
150 Conjure - Jes' Grew
149 Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot
148 Kahil El'Zabar - Another Kind of Groove
147 Clive Pig - Furious Table
146 Brian Woodbury - All White People Look Alike
145 Mekons - The Prince of Darkness
144 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
143 Confusional Quartet - 1Sigla
142 Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
141 Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - Sho Yuh Right
140 The Replacements - I Hate Music
139 X - Sex And Dying In High Society
138 U2 - I Will Follow
137 Art Bears - The Song of Investment Capital Overseas
136 Terry Allen - Gimme a Ride to Heaven
135 Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
134 Saxophone Choir - Saxophone Shop
133 Nails - 88 Lines About 44 Women
132 Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumours
131 Geroge Clinton - Atomic Dog
130 String Trio of New York - Texas Koto Blues
129 Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
128 Guadalcanal Diary - Watusi Rodeo
127 John Zorn - Giu La Testa (duck You Sucker!)
126 Human League - These Are the Things That Dreams Are Made Of
125 Agitpop - Problems Respond
124 Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
123 Lora Logic - Brute Fury
122 Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Human Hands
121 The Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
120 Yaz - Nobody's Diary
119 Icicle Works - Whisper to A Scream
118 Living Colour - Cult of Personality
117 Minor Threat - Betray
116 After Dinner - After Dinner
115 Government Issue - Vanity Fare
114 News From Babel - Black Gold
113 Iva Bittova & Pavel Fajt - Big Beat
112 Rick James - Super Freak
111 Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You
110 Steinski - The Payoff Mix
109 Big Black - Crack Up
108 Hüsker Dü - Eiffel Tower High
107 Bauhaus - She's In Parties
106 Times - I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape
105 XTC - Wake Up
104 Fall - Couldn't Get Ahead
103 Amina Claudine Myers Sextet - Country Girl
102 Sonic Youth - Star Power
101 Robert Wyatt - Stalin Wasn't Stallin'

100 Kurtis Blow - 8 Million Stories
99 Gray Matter - Burn No Bridges
98 Tupelo Chain Sex - The Revolution Will Be Televised
97 The Special A.K.A. - Free Nelson Mandela
96 Iggy Pop - Repo Man
95 Prince And The Revolution - When Doves Cry
94 Egg Hunt - We All Fall Down
93 Men & Volts - Someone Else's Money
92 Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance
91 Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
90 Jim Carroll Band - People Who Died
89 Fang - Everybody Makes Me Barph
88 Laurie Anderson - Sharkey's Day
87 Cassiber - Vengeance Is Dancing
86 Au Pairs - It's Obvious
85 Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
84 Replacements - I Will Dare
83 Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
82 Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
81 Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
80 Higsons - Conspiracy
79 XTC - Poor Skeleton Steps Out
78 Billy Bang Sextet - Going Through
77 U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
76 Black Flag - TV Party
75 Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink
74 Flipper - Sex Bomb
73 Scream - Walking By Myself
72 Kalahari Surfers - Safety Seat
71 The Legendary Pink Dots - Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade
70 Young Marble Giants - Wurlitzer Jukebox
69 Minutemen - Viet Nam
68 Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
67 Carsickness - Never Walk Alone
66 Gang of Four - I Love A Man In Uniform
65 Orthotonics - Luminous Bipeds
64 The Dream Syndicate - The Days Of Wine And Roses
63 Psychedelic Furs - President Gas
62 They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng
61 AfterDinner - Ironclad Mermaid
60 Great Plains - Letter to a Fanzine
59 Cassandra Wilson - I Thought You Knew
58 Modern English - I Melt With You
57 Big Black - Racer X
56 Fishbone - Party At Ground Zero
55 The Fall - Cruisers Creek
54 ABC - Poison Arrow
53 Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized
52 Suzanne Vega - Small Blue Thing
51 News From Babel - Dragon At The Core
50 Bob Marley - Redemption Song
49 Sun Ra - Nuclear War
48 Hüsker Dü - Real World
47 Chumbawamba - Always Tell The Voter What the Voter Wants to Hear
46 Kamikaze Ground Crew - Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic
45 The Clash - Should I Stay or Should I Go
44 Jam - Beat Surrender
43 Minor Threat - Minor Threat
42 Hüsker Dü - Everything Falls Apart
41 Embarrassment - Careen
40 Fibonaccis - Had It With Girls
39 Colorblind James Experience - I'm Considering a Move to Memphis
38 Slapp Happy - Everybody's Slimmin'
37 David Bowie - Let's Dance
36 Peter Blegvad - When The Work Was New
35 Robert Wyatt - The Age Of Self
34 Trouble Funk - Drop the Bomb
33 Beat Happening - Indian Summer
32 David Murray Octet - Morning Song
31 Martha & The Muffins - Echo Beach
30 Billy Bragg - A New England
29 Time Zone - World Destruction
28 Split Enz - I Got You
27 Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling
26 Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
25 Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia
24 Marshall Crenshaw - Cynical Girl
23 Astor Piazzolla - Tanguedia III
22 Cleaners From Venus - Summer In a Small Town
21 E.U. - Somebody's Ringing the Doorbell
20 Public Enemy - Fight The Power
19 Avengers - Cheap Tragedies
18 Cannanes - I Woke Up
17 Television Personalities - How I Learned to Love the Bomb
16 Rush - Tom Sawyer
15 Madness - Our House
14 Minutemen - Courage
13 Kalahari Surfers - Prologue/Houghton's Parents
12 Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - We Need Some Money
11 Holger Czukay - Perfect World
10 The The - This Is The Day
9 Skeleton Crew - Bingo
8 Mission of Burma - That's When I Reach For My Revolver
7 R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe
6 Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
5 Bad Brains - I Against I

4 Jam - That's Entertainment
3 Minor Threat - Salad Days
2 Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
1 Hüsker Dü - Turn On The News

That's it.  The complaints can officially begin about who and what I left out.  I did make a very few additions, subtractions, and corrections of date errors based on feedback on my Facebook note.  You never know.  It could happen again.

If you wonder how somebody might make a list like this, or if you're wondering about making one yourself, further thoughts are forthcoming.  A friend suggested doing an interview about the making of my decade lists (this is just one of the four I've done so far).  The interview and the other decade lists will follow in the coming weeks and months on this blog.


  1. This list...I love 80s music and I think I recognized maybe ten songs on this entire list. Where are these artists?:

    Huey Lewis & The News
    Hall & Oates
    Michael McDonald
    Phil Collins
    Dan Hartman
    Steely Dan
    Jefferson Starship
    Don Henley
    Tears for Fears
    Bryan Adams
    Bob Seger
    John Parr
    Cyndi Lauper
    Michael Jackson
    REO Speedwagon
    Mr. Mister
    Whitney Houston

    And only one song from Journey, Kenny Loggins, Michael Jackson and Genesis? Only two songs from Prince and Duran Duran?

    What kind of 80s list is this exactly?

    1. May be the most comprehensive top 500 list of 80´s songs, check it out at iTunes Playlist :

  2. What sort of 80s list is this, indeed? In the 80s, I actively disliked most top 40 music. I thought I might mellow on that opinion over time. I really haven't. I think a lot of it has to do with 80s production values. Even though there are some good songs among the pop hits of the 80s, the actual recordings of those songs just have a blandly overproduced sound that I find aesthetically displeasing and can't get past.

    Also, some of the suggested artists (e.g. Jefferson Starship, Steely Dan, Bob Seger, and Hall & Oates) were better in the 70s. I thought REO Speedwagon might sneak in as a guilty pleasure, but they've held up even less well than I would have guessed.

    I agree it would have been an omission to leave out Cyndi Lauper, but I didn't. She's in there are #313. As for only having one or two songs by some artists, I had a rule of only one song per album. Without that rule, Thriller and Purple Rain could have each had more songs, but I didn't much care for what Prince or Michael Jackson did later in the decade.

    I loved Tears for Fears before they made it big. I think I bought all 3 of the first 12-inch singles as imports. There's really no accounting for me leaving them out other than plain old snobbery. Oh well. It happens.

    1. still touring.....going strong.....sounding great!!! 2016

  3. This is the best list of 80s music I've ever seen, bar none. Bravo!

  4. I've never even heard of half of these songs or bands

  5. This should surely include I'm In Love With A German Film Star by The Passions, an absolute gem of a song. Didn't recall seeing Cocteau Twins either. Voyage Voyage by Desireless? Tears For Fears possibly one of THE bands of the eighties for serious music fans. Chart position is pretty meaningless and should not enter the equation. Agree with the production values comment, a lot of the stuff in the mid 80s especially was poorly produced especially drum tracks which were often way over the top. SAW ruined everything also.

    1. I'd put Tears for Fears on if I did it over again today. I hadn't listened to them in more than 20 years when I made this list, so I downloaded a few of their songs that I used to like. They didn't pull me back in right away, but on repeated listening, I have to agree they belong. The Cocteau Twins annoy me. I respect them on a certain level, but nothing gets to make my list if my gut reaction to it is annoyance. It's totally and completely subjective, but I made a decision when I was making these lists that I wasn't going to include anything that I didn't really like a lot myself regardless of how much anybody else liked it. It was a helpful guide for me to make the task ultimately possible.

  6. Another very interesting list Dave, I hope to go through this in more detail once I've finished with the 70s. Well done for sticking to your guns, I do agree that the Cocteaus can get annoying in that their lyrics are pretty much indecipherable, I love their sound though. Not sure if I spotted it but one of my favorites from the early 80s was Living In A Dreamboat by Sal Paradise, well worth a listen if you missed it.

  7. Into The Night - Benny Mardones.

  8. That is a list of absolute crap. 99% of those songs sold probably 3 copies and you aren't even on the list of purchasers unless you're the parent of one of so called artist.
    It's great to be different, but you went wayyy too far expressing your individuality with this insanely horrible list of the bullshit songs of the 80's.

  9. That is a list of absolute crap. 99% of those songs sold probably 3 copies and you aren't even on the list of purchasers unless you're the parent of one of so called artist.
    It's great to be different, but you went wayyy too far expressing your individuality with this insanely horrible list of the bullshit songs of the 80's.

    1. Wow--yeah; you tell 'em, Fred Vin! You're absolutely right, dude--XTC, Bob Marley, Prince, Minor Threat Dead Kennedys, Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Ian Dury, The Clash, Joy Division, The Bangles, Smiths, Public Enemy, R.E.M., and David Bowie are all a bunch of complete nobodies!!!!!

      (nice work on the list!)

    2. Ah, man--Minor Threat Dead Kennedys were my favorite! They had some great songs. Remember "Let's Lynch the Edge"? Remember "Dead Edge"? Remember "Bleed for Me (Edge)"?

      In hindsight, it probably shouldn't have come as a huge shock when they murdered U2.


  10. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to hear Woodbury's new song I think this is the right place for you!

  11. some of my choices;

    Irene Cara- Out Here On My Own
    Pete Townsend- Let My Love Open the Door
    George Harrison- All Those Years Ago
    Stevie Wonder- Master Blaster
    Richard & Linda Thompson-Walking on a Wire
    James Taylor- That Lonesome Road
    The Cars- You Might Think
    Stevie Wonder- Overjoyed
    Elvis Costello- Every Day I Write the Book
    Queen- Sail Away Sweet Sister
    Los Lobos- Will the Wolf Survive?
    Raspberry Beret
    John Lennon- Watching the Wheels
    Donald Fagen- Goodbye Look
    Hall & Oates- You Make My Dreams
    Huey Lewis & the News- If This Is It
    Bob Seger- Against the Wind
    Manhattan Transfer-Boy From New York City
    The Pretenders- Back on the Chain Gang
    The Plimsouls- A Million Miles Away
    Dexy's Midnight Runners- Come On Eileen
    REM- (Don't Go Back to) Rockville
    Eric Carmen- It Hurts too much
    Peter Gabriel- Games Without Frontiers
    Sade- Smooth Operator
    The Stray Cats- Stray Cat Strut
    Cars- Shake It Up
    ELO- Four Little Diamonds
    Julian Lennon- Valotte
    Madness- Our House
    Joan Armatrading- I'm Lucky
    The Romantics- Talking In Your Sleep
    .38 Special- Caught Up in You
    Paul McCartney- Coming Up
    Billy Joel- You May Be Right
    Nena- 99 Luftballoons
    .38 Special- Hold On Loosely
    John Hiatt- Riding With The King
    Pretenders- Brass in Pocket
    Dwight Yoakam- Guitars, Cadillacs
    Joan Armatrading- Me, Myself, I
    Paul Simon- The Late Great Johnny Ace
    Billy Joel- Allentown
    Bananarama- Cruel Summer

    more to follow

  12. Paul Simon with Linda Ronstadt- African Skies
    Brian Wilson- Love and Mercy
    Dream Academy- Life in a Northern Town
    John Hiatt- Have a Little Faith in Me
    Prince- Raspberry Beret
    Beausoleil- Bon Temps Rouler
    Todd Rundgren- Hodja
    Ennio Morricone- Cinema Paradiso
    Elvis Costello- Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
    Dire Straits- Walk of Life
    Aretha Franklin- Freeway of Love
    Ennio Morricone- On Earth as It Is In Heaven
    The Jayhawks- Two Angels
    Steve Winwood- Back in the High Life
    Dr. John with Rickie Lee Jones- Makin' Whoopie!
    Aha- Take On Me
    The Commodores- The Night Shift
    REM- It's the End of the World as We Know It
    Sting- Moon Over Bourbon Street
    Anita Baker- Sweet Love
    Peter Gabriel- Sledgehammer
    Katrina & the Waves- Walking on Sunshine
    The Indigo Girls- Closer to Fine
    The Proclaimers- I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
    Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville- Don't Know Much
    Whitney Houston- So Emotional
    REM- Superman
    Milli Vanilli- Blame It On the Rain
    Los Lobos- River of Fools
    Tears for Fears- Everybody Wants to Rule the World
    Tracy Chapman- Fast Car
    Was (Not Was)- Walk the Dinosaur
    The Stone Roses- I Wanna Be Adored
    How Will I Know- Whitney Houston
    REM- Pop Song '89
    Madonna- True Blue
    Ray Charles & Willie Nelson- Seven Spanish Angels
    Queen & David Bowie- Under Pressure
    The Ramones- Baby I Love You
    John Williams- Exultate Justi
    Lyle Lovett- If I Had a Boat
    Squeeze- Tempted
    Bob Dylan- Pressing On
    Dolly P., Linda R. & Emmylou H.- Wildflowers
    Marshall Crenshaw- Someday, Someway
    John Barry- Main Title (I Had a Farm in Africa)
    Billy Joel- Keeping the Faith
    Randy Newman- Dixie Flyer
    They Might Be Giants- Don't Let's Start
    Wynton Marsalis- Think of One
    Harry Nilsson- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
    George Harrison- When We Was Fab
    The Bangles- Walk Like an Egyptian
    Talking Heads- And She Was
    Bobby McFerrin- Blackbird
    Van Morrison- Whenever God Shines His Light
    REM- Orange Crush
    Cyndi Lauper- True Colors
    Al Jarreau- We're In This Love Together
    Leonard Cohen- Dance Me to the End of Love
    Whitney Houston- I Wanna Dance With Somebody
    Huey Lewis & the News- Stuck With You
    Amy Grant- If These Walls Could Speak
    Bobby McFerrin- Sightless Bird
    James Brown- Living in America
    Lenny Kravitz- Let Love Rule
    Squeeze- Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)
    Mr. Mister-Kyrie Eleison
    Bruce Hornsby- The Way It Is
    Bobby McFerrin- Drive
    Sade- The Sweetest Taboo
    Elvis Costello- Veronica
    The Smithereens- Only a Memory
    Bruce Springsteen- Tunnel of Love
    REM- One I Love
    Michael Jackson- Man in the Mirror
    Los Lobos- La Bamba
    The Bangles-Eternal Flame
    Suzanne Vega- Luka
    The Cars- You Are the Girl
    Club Nouveau- Lean On Me
    Take 6- Mary
    The Replacements- Alex Chilton
    Tiffany- I Think We're Alone Now
    The Beach Boys- Kokomo
    Debbie Gibson- Lost in Your Eyes

    The Traveling Wiburys- Handle With Care
    Poison- Your Mama Don't Dance
    Edie Burkell & the New Bohemians- What I Am

  13. The Romantics- Talking in Your Sleep

  14. Bob Dylan- Every Grain of Sand
    Bob Dylan- Jokerman

  15. Bruce Springsteen- Hungry Heart

  16. Steely Dan- Hey Nineteen

  17. Blondie- The Tide is High

  18. Tom Petty- Freefallin'

  19. Joan Armatrading- The Weakness in Me

  20. Linda Ronstadt- How Do I Make You

  21. John Williams- Raiders March

  22. John Lennon- Grow Old With Me

  23. No 80's list is an actual 80's list without Culture Club.