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

24 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

Brand New Lover – Dead or Alive

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

19 Great Songs from 1986

Wild Wild Life  – Talking Heads

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

Crash – The Primitives

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 – 9CrashThe Primitives
Great – 19Who Made Who AC/DC
Great – 19Manic Monday Bangles
Great – 19Paul Revere Beastie Boys
Great – 19What Does It TakeHoneymoon Suite
Great – 19Walk This Way Run-D.M.C.
Great – 19Throwing It All AwayGenesis
Great – 19Nobody’s Fool Cinderella
Great – 19Rise Public Image Ltd.
Great – 19Wild Wild Life Talking Heads
Solid – 28Stand By MeBen E. King
Solid – 28Brand New LoverDead or Alive
Solid – 28Wild Wild Life Talking Heads
Solid – 28Montego BayAmazulu
Solid – 28(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) Beastie Boys
Solid – 28Like a Rock Bob Seger
Solid – 28Word Up! Cameo
Solid – 28Lady In Red Chris de Burgh
Solid – 28Invisible Touch Genesis
Solid – 28Land of Confusion Genesis
Solid – 28Shake You Down Gregory Abbott
Solid – 28Open Your Heart Madonna
Solid – 28Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel
Solid – 28Kiss Prince
Solid – 28Back In The High Life Again Steve Winwood
Solid – 28Why Can’t This Be Love? Van Halen
Solid – 28SomedayGlass Tiger
Solid – 28Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)Glass Tiger
Solid – 28A Matter Of Trust Billy Joel
Solid – 28Everything in my HeartCorey Hart
Solid – 28Higher Love Steve Winwood
Solid – 28Lean On MeClub Nouveau
Solid – 28Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86The Police
Solid – 28VenusBananarama
Solid – 28Brass Monkey Beastie Boys
Solid – 53Girls Beastie Boys
Solid – 53Mad About You Belinda Carlisle
Solid – 53Amanda Boston
Solid – 53Real Wild Child (Wild One) Iggy Pop
Solid – 53Danger Zone Kenny Loggins
Solid – 53The Dead Heart Midnight Oil
Solid – 53Bizarre Love Triangle New Order
Solid – 53If You Leave OMD
Solid – 53Big Time Peter Gabriel
Solid – 53Everybody Have Fun Tonight Wang Chung
Solid – 53Patio LanternsKim Mitchell
Solid – 53It’s Tricky Run-D.M.C.
Solid – 53Bad DayR.E.M.
Solid – 53Take Me Home Tonight Eddie Money
Solid – 53It’s In The Way That You Use It Eric Clapton
Solid – 53The Final Countdown Europe
Solid – 53If She Knew What She Wants Bangles
Solid – 53Feel It AgainHoneymoon Suite
Solid – 53You’re the Voice John Farnham
Solid – 53The RainOran “Juice” Jones
Not Bad – 73Who Wants To Live Forever?Queen
Not Bad – 73Something So StrongCrowded House
Not Bad – 73You Keep Me Hangin’ OnKim Wilde
Not Bad – 73I Didn’t Mean to Turn You OnRobert Palmer
Not Bad – 73Stuck With YouHuey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 73Typical MaleTina Turner
Not Bad – 73The Way It Is Bruce Hornsby & the Range
Not Bad – 73Notorious Duran Duran
Not Bad – 73Who’s Johnny El DeBarge
Not Bad – 73Thorn In My Side Eurythmics
Not Bad – 73Tonight, Tonight, Tonight Genesis
Not Bad – 73Doing It All For My Baby Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 73When I Think of You Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 73Papa Don’t Preach Madonna
Not Bad – 73True Blue Madonna
Not Bad – 73You Can Call Me Al Paul Simon
Not Bad – 73The Next Time I Fall Peter Cetera
Not Bad – 73Human The Human League
Not Bad – 73Your Wildest Dreams The Moody Blues
Not Bad – 73Dear God XTC
Not Bad – 73Somebody SomewherePlatinum Blonde
Not Bad – 73Red Rain Peter Gabriel
Not Bad – 73Thank You For The MusicABBA
Not Bad – 73Songbird Kenny G
Not Bad – 73Friends and Lovers Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson
Not Bad – 98Master Of PuppetsMetallica
Not Bad – 98RumorsTimex Social Club
Not Bad – 98CrossfireStevie Ray Vaughan
Not Bad – 98The Sun Always Shines on T.V. a-ha
Not Bad – 98Take My Breath Away Berlin
Not Bad – 98This Is The Time Billy Joel
Not Bad – 98When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going Billy Ocean
Not Bad – 98Mandolin Rain Bruce Hornsby & the Range
Not Bad – 98Strokin’ Clarence Carter
Not Bad – 98(I Just) Died in Your Arms Cutting Crew
Not Bad – 98Heartbeat Don Johnson
Not Bad – 98Missionary Man Eurythmics
Not Bad – 98Rock Me Amadeus Falco
Not Bad – 98Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You Glenn Medeiros
Not Bad – 98Hip to Be Square Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 98Let’s Wait Awhile Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 98Nasty Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 98Words Get In The Way Miami Sound Machine
Not Bad – 98Don’t Get Me Wrong Pretenders
Not Bad – 98C’est La Vie Robbie Nevil
Not Bad – 98Sara Starship
Not Bad – 98You Got It All The Jets
Not Bad – 98The Edge of Heaven Wham!
Not Bad – 98Thin Red LineGlass Tiger
Not Bad – 98Soul CityPartland Brothers
Not Bad – 98What Have You Done For Me LatelyJanet Jackson
Not Bad – 98To Be A LoverBilly Idol
Not Bad – 98The Future’s So BrightTimbuk 3
Not Bad – 98Somebody’s Out ThereTriumph
Not Bad – 98Emotion In MotionRic Ocasek
Not Bad – 98DreamtimeDaryl Hall
Not Bad – 98Sanctify YourselfSimple Minds
Not Bad – 98Don’t Leave Me This WayThe Communards
Not Bad – 98Party All the TimeEddie Murphy
Not Bad – 98Dancing On the CeilingLionel Richie
Not Bad – 98We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes OffJermaine Stewart
Not Bad – 98Only In My DreamsDebbie Gibson
Not Bad – 98Touch Me (I Want Your Body)Samantha Fox
Not Bad – 98Sweet SixteenBilly Idol
Not Bad – 98Somewhere Out ThereLinda Ronstadt and James Ingram
Not Bad – 98Caravan Of LoveThe HouseMartins
Not Bad – 98Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To My RoomPaul Lekakis

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1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

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