Best ’80s songs to enrich your playlist
The ’80s is the craziest and most electric and hyper decade in music history; it’s also been the years when the weird fashion and exotic hairstyles began to conquer the world. It was a decade for everything new, especially music.
The music trend in the ’80s decade was kicked off with a backlash between Disco and the orchestral arrangement dominating in the ’70s.
The 1980s were characterized by unheard-of electronic sounds accomplished through synthesizers, keyboards, and drum machines, which dramatically changed music.
It’s been a decade of tons of memorable and unique songs, so let me take you on a journey to the 08’s to discover and enjoy these memorable melodies. Wear loose clothes, Put on some radiant makeup, and let’s take off to 08s.
Here’s a list of the best and most memorable songs of the exotic decade of the 80’sm to enrich your playlist.
1. Funkytown – Lipps Inc (1980)
Funkytown” is a song by American disco act Lipps Inc. from their debut album Mouth to Mouth (1979). It was released as the album’s second single in 1980.
“Funkytown” reached the top spot in the United States, West Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia, among many others.
Sung by Cynthia Johnson, the song expresses the singer’s pining for a symbolic place that will “keep me movin’, keep me groovin’ with some energy.” Steven Greenberg wrote the music while the band was living in Minneapolis with dreams of moving to New York Funkytown¨ is written in the key of C Major.
2. Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon (1981)
Keep On Loving You” is a soft rock power ballad written by Kevin Cronin and performed by the American rock band REO Speedwagon.
The song first appeared on REO Speedwagon’s 1980 album Hi Infidelity. It features the lead guitar work of Gary Richrath. It was the first REO Speedwagon single to break the top 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching the number-one spot for one week in March 1981.
The single was certified Platinum for U.S. sales of over one million copies. It peaked at number seven in the U.K. Singles Chart.”Keep On Loving You” has been a mainstay on 1980s soft rock compilations and has appeared on dozens of ‘various artists compilation albums, as well as several REO Speedwagon’s greatest hits albums.
See Also: ’70s Greatest Hits of All Time
3. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (1982)
“Eye of the Tiger” is a song by the American rock band Survivor. It was released as a single from their third album of the same name and the theme song for the 1982 film Rocky III, released a day before the single.
The song was written by Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan and keyboardist Jim Peterik, and it was recorded at the request of Rocky III star, writer, and director Sylvester Stallon.
It gained tremendous MTV and radio airplay and topped charts worldwide during 1982. In the United States, it held No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks (the band’s only song to top the chart) and was the No. 2 single of 1982.
It spent fifteen consecutive weeks in the top ten, the second-longest run of 1982, behind”Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp (which was prevented from reaching the top of the Hot 100 by “Eye of the Tiger”).
The band won an award for “Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal” at the 25th Annual Grammy Awards; in September 1982, it also peaked at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, remaining at the top of the U.K. Singles Chart for four consecutive weeks. The single sold 956,000 copies in the United Kingdom in 1982.
It was certified Platinum in August 1982 by the RIAA, signifying sales of 2 million vinyl copies. The song had sold over 4.1 million in digital downloads in the United States alone by February 2015. It was voted VH1’s 63rd-greatest hard rock song. Combined sales of original vinyl releases and digital downloads total over 9 million copies.
4. All Night Long – Lionel Richie (1983)
All Night Long (All Night)” is a hit single by American singer Lionel Richie from 1983. His second solo album, Can’t slow down(1983), combined Richie’s soulful Commodores style with Caribbean influences.
This new, more dance music, pop-inspired approach proved popular, as the single reached number one on three Billboard Charts (pop, R&B, and adult contemporary). In the U.K., it peaked at number two on the singles chart.
5. Caribbean Queen – Billy Ocean (1984)
“Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” is a 1984 song by Trinidadian-British singer Billy Ocean. Co-written and produced by Keith Diamond, it climbed to number-one on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Billboard Black Singles Chart, and number six in the U.K. Singles Chart.
The song won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.
The song was recorded under different titles for different parts of the world, resulting in “European Queen” and “African Queen.” In the U.S., the song was released under the title “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run).” It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 85 on August 11, 1984. It hit number one ten weeks later and stayed at the top of the chart for two consecutive weeks. The song charted for 26 weeks.
6. Broken Wings – Mr. Mister (1985)
“Broken Wings” is a 1985 song recorded by Mr. Mister’s American pop-rock band. It was released in June 1985 as the lead single from their second album, Welcome to the Real World.
The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1985, where it remained for two weeks. It was released as the band embarked on a U.S. tour opening for Tina Turner.
“Broken Wings” became the first of two consecutive number ones of the band on the American charts, the other chart-topper being “Kyrie.” Outside of the United States, “Broken Wings” topped the charts in Canada, peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Irland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and West Germany, and the top twenty of the charts in Austria, New Zealand, Spain, and Sweden.
7. You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovie (1986)
“You Give Love a Bad Name” is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi, released as the first single from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. Written by Jon Bon Jovie, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child about a woman who has jilted her lover, the song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 29, 1986, and became the band’s first number one hit.
In 2007, the song re-entered the charts at No. 29 after Blake Lewis performed it on American Idol.
Despite the chorus’s lyrics, the song should not be confused with “Shot Through the Heart,” an unrelated song from Bon Jovi’s 1984 self-titled debut album.
8. La Bamba – Los Lobos (1987)
La Bamba is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known for a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a Top 40 hit in the U.S. charts. Valens’s version is ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is the only song on the list sung in a language other than English.
“La Bamba” has been covered by numerous artists, notably by Los Lobos, whose version was the title track of the 1987 film La Bamba, a Bio-pic about Valens; their version reached No. 1 in many charts in the same year.
9. Kokomo – The Beach Boys (1988)
“Kokomo” is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys from the 1988 film Cocktail and album Still Cruisin. Written by John Phillips, Mike Love, Scott Mckenzie, and Terry Melcher, its lyrics describe two lovers taking a trip to a relaxing place on Kokomo, a utopic island off the Florida Keys.
In addition to the fictional Kokomo, the song also references many natural Caribbean islands, including Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Martinique, and Montserrat. The song was released as a single on July 18, 1988, by Elektra Records and became a number one hit in the United States, Japan, and Australia.
10. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx (1989)
“Right Here Waiting” is a song by American singer and songwriter Richard Marx. It was released on June 29, 1989, as the second single from his second album, Repeat Offender.
The song was a global hit, topping charts in many countries worldwide, including the U.S., reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Right Here Waiting” was ranked number two on the U.K. Singles Chart, certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as it was the most-streamed love song on Spotify ahead of Valentine’s Day in 2013.
Marx wrote the song on the road as a love letter to his wife, Cynthia Rhodes, who was in South Africa shooting a film. Marx arranged the track with Jeffery (C.J.) Vanston features none of the heavy drums and synthesizers popular, with Marx’s vocal accompanied only by classical guitar (by Bruce Gaitsch) and keyboards (by Vanston). It is one of Marx’s most frequently covered compositions.
11. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (1980)
Written by bassist John Deacon, the song was featured on the group’s eighth studio album, The Game(1980). It was a worldwide hit, charting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, from 4 October to 18 October (their second number-one single in the country).
The song spent 15 weeks in the Billboard top 10 (the longest-running top ten songs of 1980), including 13 weeks in the top five and 31 weeks total on the chart (more than any other song in 1980). It reached number two on the Hot Soul Singles chart and the Disco Top 100 chart, and number seven on the UK Singles Chart.
The song is credited as Queen’s best-selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies. This version was ranked at number 34 on Billboard’s All-Time Top Songs.
The song won an American Music Award for Favorite Rock Single and garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
12. Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (1981)
The song was written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow R&B singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their “endless love” for one another.
Billboard has named the original version the greatest song duet of all time. R&B singer Luther Vandross covered it with fellow R&B singer Mariah Carey and country music singer Shania Twain. Richie’s friend (and sometimes co-worker) Kenny Rogers has also recorded the song.
While the film Endless Love was a modest box-office success, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year in the United States and reached number one on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981.
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