Top 250 Songs of the 80s (5 of 5)

My opinion, my taste, but after thorough research of the songs released in the 80s, these are the best.

1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

The 80s began when I was five and ended when I was 15. As far as first-hand experience goes, the first few years were dictated by whatever my mother would play. The last few years were dictated by the style in junior high or early on in high school. But the overall appeal of 80s music came from my enjoyment of rock and university party music.

For the decade reviews, I gave the songs a hard and fast ranking. The year-by-year stuff were simply grouped.

Here in Part 5, we finish things off with Songs 1 through 50.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

50. In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins (1981)

You’re only allowed to listen to this if you air-drum the solo

49. Born In The U.S.A.  – Bruce Springsteen (1984)

48. What I Am  – Edie Brickell & New Bohemians (1988)

47. Straight Outta Compton  – N.W.A (1988)

NSFW – My favorite rap song from the 80s

Here is the clean version:

46. One More Night  – Phil Collins (1985)

45. With Or Without You  – U2 (1987)

44. Every Breath You Take  – The Police (1983)

43. Gimme All Your Lovin’  – ZZ Top (1983)

42. Wild Flower  – The Cult (1987)

Extended version, because I like that one better

41. Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution  – AC/DC (1980)

40. Hurts So Good – John Mellencamp (1982)

39. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones (1981)

38. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield (1981)

37. Money For Nothing  – Dire Straits (1985)

36. Jane Says  – Jane’s Addiction (1988)

35. Total Eclipse Of The Heart  – Bonnie Tyler (1983)

34. Epic  – Faith No More (1989)

33. Sister Christian  – Night Ranger (1983)

32. Red Red Wine  – UB40 (1983)

31. Baby Have Some Faith – 54-40 (1989)

Underrated, little-played song. Needs more exposure, because it’s a great one. The best from 54-40 IMO.

30. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson (1982)

29. Redemption Song  – Bob Marley (1980)

28. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey (1981)

27. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)  – Phil Collins (1984)

26. Wanted Dead Or Alive  – Bon Jovi (1986)

25. You Shook Me All Night Long  – AC/DC (1980)

24. Buffalo Soldier  – Bob Marley & the Wailers (1983)

23. I Love Rock And Roll – Joan Jett (1981)

22. Here I Go Again  – Whitesnake (1987)

21. Keep On Loving You  – REO Speedwagon (1980)

20. What It Takes  – Aerosmith (1989)

19. Glory Of Love  – Peter Cetera (1986)

18. Does Anybody Out There Even Care – Lenny Kravitz (1989)

Little-known song from an underrated album. Let Love Rule is probably my second favorite album of all time. If Kravitz was an established artist when this album came out, then this song would have certainly been a hit.

17. Pour Some Sugar On Me  – Def Leppard (1987)

16. Purple Rain  – Prince (1984)

15. Love Bites  – Def Leppard (1987)

14. Rosemary – Lenny Kravitz (1989)

13. Girl I’m Gonna Miss You – Milli Vanilli (1989)

12. Beds Are Burning  – Midnight Oil (1988)

11. When Doves Cry  – Prince (1984)

10. Every Rose Has Its Thorn  – Poison (1988)

9. Paradise City  – Guns N’ Roses (1987)

8. Oh Sherrie  – Steve Perry (1984)

7. Sweet Child O’ Mine  – Guns N’ Roses (1987)

6. You’re the Inspiration  – Chicago (1984)

5. Boots or Hearts – The Tragically Hip (1989)

4. Let Love Rule  – Lenny Kravitz (1989)

3. Blow at High Dough – The Tragically Hip (1989)

2. Patience  – Guns N’ Roses (1988)

1. New Orleans Is Sinking – The Tragically Hip (1989)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Follow me on Spotify here.

Get the entire 250-song playlist on Spotify here. And on YouTube here.

Here are the Top 250 songs of the 80s, in the opinion of yours truly…

1New Orleans Is SinkingThe Tragically Hip1989
2Patience Guns N’ Roses1988
3Blow at High DoughThe Tragically Hip1989
4Let Love Rule Lenny Kravitz1989
5Boots or HeartsThe Tragically Hip1989
6You’re the Inspiration Chicago1984
7Sweet Child O’ Mine Guns N’ Roses1987
8Oh Sherrie Steve Perry1984
9Paradise City Guns N’ Roses1987
10Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison1988
11When Doves Cry Prince1984
12Beds Are Burning Midnight Oil1988
13Girl I’m Gonna Miss YouMilli Vanilli1989
14RosemaryLenny Kravitz1989
15Love Bites Def Leppard1987
16Purple Rain Prince1984
17Pour Some Sugar On Me Def Leppard1987
18Does Anybody Out There Even CareLenny Kravitz1989
19Glory Of Love Peter Cetera1986
20What It Takes Aerosmith1989
21Keep On Loving You  REO Speedwagon1980
22Here I Go Again Whitesnake1987
23I Love Rock And Roll Joan Jett1981
24Buffalo Soldier Bob Marley & the Wailers1983
25You Shook Me All Night Long  AC/DC1980
26Wanted Dead Or Alive Bon Jovi1986
27Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) Phil Collins1984
28Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey1981
29Redemption Song  Bob Marley1980
30Billie JeanMichael Jackson1982
31Baby Have Some Faith54-401989
32Red Red Wine UB401983
33Sister Christian Night Ranger1983
34Epic Faith No More1989
35Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie Tyler1983
36Jane Says Jane’s Addiction1988
37Money For Nothing Dire Straits1985
38Jessie’s Girl Rick Springfield1981
39Start Me Up The Rolling Stones1981
40Hurts So GoodJohn Mellencamp1982
41Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution  AC/DC1980
42Wild Flower The Cult1987
43Gimme All Your Lovin’ ZZ Top1983
44Every Breath You Take The Police1983
45With Or Without You U21987
46One More Night Phil Collins1985
47Straight Outta Compton N.W.A1988
48What I Am Edie Brickell & New Bohemians1988
49Born In The U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen1984
50In The Air Tonight Phil Collins1981
51Back In Black  AC/DC1980
52Traveling Riverside BluesLed Zeppelin1982
53I Go Blind54-401986
54Just Like Paradise David Lee Roth1988
55Eternal Flame Bangles1988
56Rock and Roll GirlsJohn Fogerty1985
56Coming Home Cinderella1988
57Hard Habit To Break Chicago1984
58Super Trouper  ABBA1980
59Stand R.E.M.1988
60Alone Heart1987
61Hysteria Def Leppard1987
62Islands in the Stream Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton1983
63Sharp Dressed Man ZZ Top1983
64They Don’t Know Tracey Ullman1983
65All Through The Night Cyndi Lauper1983
66Another One Bites The Dust  Queen1980
67The Tide Is High  Blondie1980
68Touch Of Grey Grateful Dead1987
69The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson1987
70Father Figure George Michael1987
71New Moon On MondayDuran Duran1983
72Last American ExitThe Tragically Hip1987
73Brilliant Disguise Bruce Springsteen1987
74Rag Doll Aerosmith1987
75Angel Aerosmith1987
76Slow and LowBeastie Boys1987
77Jack & DianeJohn Mellencamp1982
78Blister In The SunViolent Femmes1982
79Legs ZZ Top1983
80Push It Salt N Pepa1987
81Need You Tonight INXS1987
82One Gun54-401987
84Boy Inside the ManTom Cochrane and Red Rider1986
85Livin’ on a Prayer Bon Jovi1986
86Fall On Me R.E.M.1986
87Rhymin & Stealin Beastie Boys1986
88Rave OnJohn Mellencamp1988
89She Sells Sanctuary The Cult1985
90Seven Bridges Road  Eagles1980
91Sad Songs (Say So Much)Elton John1984
92Queen Of HeartsJuice Newton1981
93In Your Eyes Peter Gabriel1986
94It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me  Billy Joel1980
95Union Of The Snake Duran Duran1983
96The Look Roxette1988
97Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) Cinderella1988
98Let’s Go Crazy Prince1984
99Faith George Michael1987
100End Of The Line The Traveling Wilburys1988
101Raspberry Beret Prince1985
102You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi1986
103Welcome To The Jungle Guns N’ Roses1987
104Free Fallin’ Tom Petty1989
105About A Girl Nirvana1989
106Pride (In The Name Of Love) U21984
107Blame It On The Rain Milli Vanilli1989
108Walk Like An Egyptian Bangles1986
109We’re Not Gonna Take It Twisted Sister1984
110Glory Days Bruce Springsteen1984
111All the Things I Wasn’tGrapes of Wrath1989
112This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to GlideThe Kings1980
113Trickle DownThe Tragically Hip1989
114Listen To Your Heart Roxette1989
115Handle With Care The Traveling Wilburys1988
116Crimson and CloverJoan Jett1982
117Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos Public Enemy1989
118Dream OnNazareth1982
119All I Want Is You U21988
120Sign Your Name Terence Trent D’Arby1987
121Hard to Say I’m SorryChicago1982
122I’ll Be There For YouBon Jovi1988
123These DreamsHeart1986
124Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson1987
125Angel Of The MorningJuice Newton1981
126Driving My Life Away  Eddie Rabbitt1980
127It Ain’t Enough Corey Hart1983
128Seven Wonders Fleetwood Mac1987
129Take It On The Run REO Speedwagon1981
130The Flame Cheap Trick1988
131Straight From The Heart Bryan Adams1983
132Dirty Diana Michael Jackson1987
133What About Love?Heart1985
134What Does It TakeHoneymoon Suite1986
135Finest Worksong R.E.M.1988
136Keep Your Hands To Yourself The Georgia Satellites1986
137Live To Tell Madonna1986
138I Won’t Back Down Tom Petty1989
139I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For U21987
140Hungry Like The WolfDuran Duran1982
141Everywhere Fleetwood Mac1987
142Rock ‘N Roll Is KingElectric Light Orchestra1983
143In Your Room Bangles1988
144My Hometown Bruce Springsteen1984
145Open ArmsJourney1982
146Mony MonyBilly Idol1981
147I Build This Garden for UsLenny Kravitz1989
148I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) The Proclaimers1988
149Love Removal Machine The Cult1987
150Paper in Fire John Mellencamp1987
151Safety Dance Men Without Hats1983
152Nightshift Commodores1985
153Fire Woman The Cult1989
154I Hate Myself For Loving You Joan Jett1988
155Pass The DutchieMusical Youth1982
156Manic Monday Bangles1986
157Superman R.E.M.1986
158Tom Sawyer Rush1981
159Sweetest Thing U21987
160Centerfield John Fogerty1985
161Head Like A Hole Nine Inch Nails1989
162Can’t Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon1984
163Groovy Kind of LovePhil Collins1988
164Valotte Julian Lennon1984
165Hold MeFleetwood Mac1982
166Uptown Girl Billy Joel1983
167Runnin’ Down A Dream Tom Petty1989
168Panama Van Halen1984
169Wouldn’t It Be GoodNik Kershaw1984
170Sweet JaneCowboy Junkies1989
171I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner1984
172Eyes of a StrangerPayolas1982
173Fairytale of New York The Pogues1987
174Alive and Kicking Simple Minds1985
175Beat ItMichael Jackson1982
176Desire U21988
177You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) Dead or Alive1984
178Gypsy Road Cinderella1988
179Girl You Know It’s True Milli Vanilli1989
180Girls Just Want To Have Fun Cyndi Lauper1983
181I Wish It Would Rain Down Phil Collins1989
182You May Be Right  Billy Joel1980
183Last of the Red Hot FoolsThe Jitters1987
184Lil’ DevilThe Cult1987
185Rise Public Image Ltd.1986
186No Sleep Till Brooklyn Beastie Boys1986
187Misunderstanding  Genesis1980
188Crazy Train  Ozzy Osbourne1980
189BamboleoGipsy Kings1987
19099 Luftballons Nena1984
191Time After Time Cyndi Lauper1983
192Heaven Bryan Adams1984
193Don’t Go Back To Rockville R.E.M.1984
194California GirlsDavid Lee Roth1985
195Up Where We BelongJoe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes1982
196Paul Revere Beastie Boys1986
197Sweet Soul SisterThe Cult1989
198Every Woman In the WorldAir Supply1981
199Fishin’ in the DarkNitty Gritty Dirt Band1987
200It’s Raining AgainSupertramp1982
201Cherry BombJohn Mellencamp1987
202Edge of SeventeenStevie Nicks1981
203Head Over Heels The Go-Go’s1984
204Hold Me Now Thompson Twins1983
205Home Sweet Home Mötley Crüe1985
206Hungry Heart  Bruce Springsteen1980
207I Love A Rainy Night  Eddie Rabbitt1980
208Summer of ’69 Bryan Adams1984
209Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)Eurythmics1982
210Any Way You Want It  Journey1980
211VolareGipsy Kings1989
212Dude (Looks Like A Lady) Aerosmith1987
213American Dream Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young1988
214Wild Wild Life Talking Heads1986
215CrashThe Primitives1986
216Pictures of Matchstick MenCamper Van Beethoven1989
217Drive The Cars1984
218Centerfold J. Geils Band1981
219Hell’s Bells  AC/DC1980
220Janie’s Got A Gun Aerosmith1989
221Nobody Told Me John Lennon1984
222Pink Houses John Mellencamp1984
22338 Years Old The Tragically Hip1989
224Love In An Elevator Aerosmith1989
225Pop Goes the WorldMen Without Hats1987
226Freeze-FrameJ. Geils Band1981
227So Far Away Dire Straits1985
228The One That You Love Air Supply1981
229Heart And SoulT’Pau1987
230Woman  John Lennon1980
231Rooty Toot TootJohn Mellencamp1987
232Under Pressure Queen1981
233Used To Love Her Guns N’ Roses1988
234Driver 8 R.E.M.1985
235Heart And SoulHuey Lewis & the News1983
236Who Made Who AC/DC1986
237When the Weight Comes DownThe Tragically Hip1989
239Elvira The Oak Ridge Boys1981
240I Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder1984
241Throwing It All AwayGenesis1986
243Lonely Ol’ Night John Mellencamp1985
244Karma Chameleon Culture Club1983
245Shout Tears for Fears1984
246Wasn’t That A PartyThe Irish Rovers1980
247Walk This Way Run-D.M.C.1986
248All Night LongLionel Richie1983
249Cold ShotStevie Ray Vaughan1984
250Holiday RoadLindsey Buckingham1983

1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s


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