My favorite songs of 1986

In 1986 I was 12 years old, finishing up grade six and entering grade seven at a new school. The Beasties, along with Run-D.M.C.’s Walk This Way, got me into rap and I was pretty hardcore into that genre for a couple of years. But later I came to appreciate some of the pop and rock music that was released.

This was also a great year for slow songs. Some of the best ones in history came out in ’86, helping to wed many a couple for years to come.

This was the year that the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame opened, with its first induction ceremony, inducting: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and record producer Sam Phillips.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because I know better than anybody that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow, if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. You understand. So I group them, instead of present a hard-and-fast order:

Awesome
Great
Solid
Not Bad
…with inter-group splitting.

First, video clips of the best from that year

25 Solid Songs from 1986

Brass Monkey  – Beastie Boys

Venus – Bananarama

Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86 – The Police

This one was the first version I heard (I was about 12 years old). Several years later, when I got The Police Greatest Hits and I heard the other version, I didn’t like it as much (it has since grown on me). Since then I had looked for this version until I started questioning if it even existed and I imagined the whole thing! With the YouTube age, we can truly find anything – this version exists, and here it is…

Lean On Me – Club Nouveau

Higher Love  – Steve Winwood

Everything in my Heart – Corey Hart

A Matter Of Trust  – Billy Joel

Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) – Glass Tiger

Someday – Glass Tiger

Why Can’t This Be Love?  – Van Halen

Back In The High Life Again  – Steve Winwood

Kiss  – Prince

Sledgehammer  – Peter Gabriel

Open Your Heart  – Madonna

Shake You Down  – Gregory Abbott

Land of Confusion  – Genesis

Invisible Touch  – Genesis

Lady In Red  – Chris de Burgh

Word Up!  – Cameo

Like a Rock  – Bob Seger

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)  – Beastie Boys

Montego Bay – Amazulu

Wild Wild Life  – Talking Heads

Brand New Lover – Dead or Alive

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

17 Great Songs from 1986

Rise  – Public Image Ltd.

Nobody’s Fool  – Cinderella

Throwing It All Away – Genesis

Walk This Way  – Run-D.M.C.

What Does It Take – Honeymoon Suite

Paul Revere  – Beastie Boys

Manic Monday  – Bangles

Who Made Who  – AC/DC

Keep Your Hands To Yourself  – The Georgia Satellites

These Dreams – Heart

Superman  – R.E.M.

Live To Tell  – Madonna

In Too Deep  – Genesis

True Colors  – Cyndi Lauper

You Give Love a Bad Name  – Bon Jovi

Walk Like An Egyptian  – Bangles

No Sleep Till Brooklyn  – Beastie Boys

8 Truly Awesome Songs from 1986

In Your Eyes  – Peter Gabriel

Boy Inside the Man – Tom Cochrane and Red Rider

Fall On Me  – R.E.M.

Livin’ on a Prayer  – Bon Jovi

Rhymin & Stealin  – Beastie Boys

I Go Blind – 54-40

Glory Of Love  – Peter Cetera

Wanted Dead Or Alive  – Bon Jovi

I put together a playlist on YouTube with the above great songs for your enjoyment

Follow me on Spotify

Here is the full list of good songs released or popularized in 1986…

Awesome – 1Wanted Dead Or Alive Bon Jovi
Awesome – 1Glory Of Love Peter Cetera
Awesome – 1I Go Blind54-40
Awesome – 4Rhymin & Stealin Beastie Boys
Awesome – 4Livin’ on a Prayer Bon Jovi
Awesome – 4Fall On Me R.E.M.
Awesome – 4Boy Inside the ManTom Cochrane and Red Rider
Awesome – 4In Your Eyes Peter Gabriel
Great – 9No Sleep Till Brooklyn Beastie Boys
Great – 9Walk Like An Egyptian Bangles
Great – 9You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi
Great – 9True Colors Cyndi Lauper
Great – 9In Too Deep Genesis
Great – 9Live To Tell Madonna
Great – 9Superman R.E.M.
Great – 9These DreamsHeart
Great – 9Keep Your Hands To Yourself The Georgia Satellites
Great – 18Who Made Who AC/DC
Great – 18Manic Monday Bangles
Great – 18Paul Revere Beastie Boys
Great – 18What Does It TakeHoneymoon Suite
Great – 18Walk This Way Run-D.M.C.
Great – 18Throwing It All AwayGenesis
Great – 18Nobody’s Fool Cinderella
Great – 18Rise Public Image Ltd.
Solid – 26Stand By MeBen E. King
Solid – 26Brand New LoverDead or Alive
Solid – 26Wild Wild Life Talking Heads
Solid – 26Montego BayAmazulu
Solid – 26(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) Beastie Boys
Solid – 26Like a Rock Bob Seger
Solid – 26Word Up! Cameo
Solid – 26Lady In Red Chris de Burgh
Solid – 26Invisible Touch Genesis
Solid – 26Land of Confusion Genesis
Solid – 26Shake You Down Gregory Abbott
Solid – 26Open Your Heart Madonna
Solid – 26Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel
Solid – 26Kiss Prince
Solid – 26Back In The High Life Again Steve Winwood
Solid – 26Why Can’t This Be Love? Van Halen
Solid – 26SomedayGlass Tiger
Solid – 26Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)Glass Tiger
Solid – 26A Matter Of Trust Billy Joel
Solid – 26Everything in my HeartCorey Hart
Solid – 26Higher Love Steve Winwood
Solid – 26Lean On MeClub Nouveau
Solid – 26Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86The Police
Solid – 26VenusBananarama
Solid – 26Brass Monkey Beastie Boys
Solid – 51Girls Beastie Boys
Solid – 51Mad About You Belinda Carlisle
Solid – 51Amanda Boston
Solid – 51Real Wild Child (Wild One) Iggy Pop
Solid – 51Danger Zone Kenny Loggins
Solid – 51The Dead Heart Midnight Oil
Solid – 51Bizarre Love Triangle New Order
Solid – 51If You Leave OMD
Solid – 51Big Time Peter Gabriel
Solid – 51Everybody Have Fun Tonight Wang Chung
Solid – 51Patio LanternsKim Mitchell
Solid – 51It’s Tricky Run-D.M.C.
Solid – 51Bad DayR.E.M.
Solid – 51Take Me Home Tonight Eddie Money
Solid – 51It’s In The Way That You Use It Eric Clapton
Solid – 51The Final Countdown Europe
Solid – 51If She Knew What She Wants Bangles
Solid – 51Feel It AgainHoneymoon Suite
Solid – 51You’re the Voice John Farnham
Solid – 51The RainOran “Juice” Jones
Not Bad – 71Who Wants To Live Forever?Queen
Not Bad – 71Something So StrongCrowded House
Not Bad – 71You Keep Me Hangin’ OnKim Wilde
Not Bad – 71I Didn’t Mean to Turn You OnRobert Palmer
Not Bad – 71Stuck With YouHuey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 71Typical MaleTina Turner
Not Bad – 71The Way It Is Bruce Hornsby & the Range
Not Bad – 71Notorious Duran Duran
Not Bad – 71Who’s Johnny El DeBarge
Not Bad – 71Thorn In My Side Eurythmics
Not Bad – 71Tonight, Tonight, Tonight Genesis
Not Bad – 71Doing It All For My Baby Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 71When I Think of You Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 71Papa Don’t Preach Madonna
Not Bad – 71True Blue Madonna
Not Bad – 71You Can Call Me Al Paul Simon
Not Bad – 71The Next Time I Fall Peter Cetera
Not Bad – 71Human The Human League
Not Bad – 71Your Wildest Dreams The Moody Blues
Not Bad – 71Dear God XTC
Not Bad – 71Somebody SomewherePlatinum Blonde
Not Bad – 71Red Rain Peter Gabriel
Not Bad – 71Thank You For The MusicABBA
Not Bad – 71Songbird Kenny G
Not Bad – 71Friends and Lovers Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson
Not Bad – 96Master Of PuppetsMetallica
Not Bad – 96RumorsTimex Social Club
Not Bad – 96CrossfireStevie Ray Vaughan
Not Bad – 96The Sun Always Shines on T.V. a-ha
Not Bad – 96Take My Breath Away Berlin
Not Bad – 96This Is The Time Billy Joel
Not Bad – 96When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going Billy Ocean
Not Bad – 96Mandolin Rain Bruce Hornsby & the Range
Not Bad – 96Strokin’ Clarence Carter
Not Bad – 96(I Just) Died in Your Arms Cutting Crew
Not Bad – 96Heartbeat Don Johnson
Not Bad – 96Missionary Man Eurythmics
Not Bad – 96Rock Me Amadeus Falco
Not Bad – 96Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You Glenn Medeiros
Not Bad – 96Hip to Be Square Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 96Let’s Wait Awhile Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 96Nasty Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 96Words Get In The Way Miami Sound Machine
Not Bad – 96Don’t Get Me Wrong Pretenders
Not Bad – 96C’est La Vie Robbie Nevil
Not Bad – 96Sara Starship
Not Bad – 96You Got It All The Jets
Not Bad – 96The Edge of Heaven Wham!
Not Bad – 96Thin Red LineGlass Tiger
Not Bad – 96Soul CityPartland Brothers
Not Bad – 96What Have You Done For Me LatelyJanet Jackson
Not Bad – 96To Be A LoverBilly Idol
Not Bad – 96The Future’s So BrightTimbuk 3
Not Bad – 96Somebody’s Out ThereTriumph
Not Bad – 96Emotion In MotionRic Ocasek
Not Bad – 96DreamtimeDaryl Hall
Not Bad – 96Sanctify YourselfSimple Minds
Not Bad – 96Don’t Leave Me This WayThe Communards
Not Bad – 96Party All the TimeEddie Murphy
Not Bad – 96Dancing On the CeilingLionel Richie
Not Bad – 96We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes OffJermaine Stewart
Not Bad – 96Only In My DreamsDebbie Gibson
Not Bad – 96Touch Me (I Want Your Body)Samantha Fox
Not Bad – 96Sweet SixteenBilly Idol
Not Bad – 96Somewhere Out ThereLinda Ronstadt and James Ingram
Not Bad – 96Caravan Of LoveThe HouseMartins
Not Bad – 96Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To My RoomPaul Lekakis

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1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

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