What’s The 80’s Got to Do With It? The Top Songs of the 80’s.

Ah… The 80’s.  Who owned the top selling song?  Michael Jackson? …(no) George Michael? …(nope) Prince? …(nah) Springsteen? …(nup)  Must be Madonna? …(nooo).  How about Tina Turner? …(yes!).  What’s love got to do with it?  Apparently… everything!

What an ecelctic list it is – and what a great decade it was, with something for (nearly) everyone.  Here are the top selling songs of the 1980’s, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the National Endowment for the Arts:

AlabamaMy Home’s in Alabama – 1980
George JonesHe Stopped Loving Her Today – 1980
Kool & The GangCelebration – 1980
Willie NelsonOn the Road Again – 1980
Dolly Parton9 to 5 – 1980
Pink FloydAnother Brick in the Wall – 1980
Kim CarnesBette Davis Eyes – 1981
Joe Cocker/Jennifer WarnesUp Where We Belong – 1982
The Go-Go’sWe Got the Beat – 1982
Grandmaster FlashThe Message – 1982
Amy GrantEl Shaddai – 1982
Joan JettI Love Rock ‘n’ Roll – 1982
John Cougar MellencampJack and Diane – 1982
Prince1999 – 1982
Donna SummerShe Works Hard for the Money – 1983
Irene CaraFlashdance – 1983
Herbie HancockRockit – 1983
Michael JacksonBeat It – 1983
Cyndi LauperGirls Just Want to Have Fun – 1983
Talking Heads – Burning Down the House – 1983
The JuddsMama He’s Crazy – 1984
The Pointer SistersI’m So Excited – 1984
The PoliceEvery Breath You Take – 1983
PrincePurple Rain – 1984
Bruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A. – 1984
*Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do With It – 1984
Van HalenJump – 1984
Hank Williams Jr.All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight – 1984
USA for AfricaWe Are the World – 1985
MadonnaMaterial Girl – 1985
Paul SimonGraceland – 1986
Steve WinwoodHigher Love – 1986
Dionne Warwick & FriendsThat’s What Friends Are For – 1986
U2I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – 1987
The Beastie BoysFight for Your Right (to Party) – 1987
George MichaelFaith – 1987
Guns N’ RosesSweet Child o’ Mine – 1988
Bobby McFerrinDon’t Worry Be Happy – 1988
Tracy ChapmanFast Car – 1988
The B-52’sLove Shack – 1989
Bette MidlerThe Wind Beneath My Wings – 1989
Tom PettyFree Fallin’ – 1989
Public EnemyFight the Power – 1989



9 responses to “What’s The 80’s Got to Do With It? The Top Songs of the 80’s.

  1. Being the complete 80’s music junky that I am (it was the sole reason I got XM radio – LOVE it!), I could sing along with almost every song as I read over it, and could almost picture an exact place and time that I was listening to the song!

    I am surprised that Amy Grant’s El Shaddai made that list. I have vivid memories of an accompaniment (however you spell that word!) track, a Sunday evening, and one extremely nervous teenage girl singing a special in church! (yes, it was me!) :0)

    Awesome list!!!!

    That’s great. I remember a kid playing Amazing Grace to the tune of The House of the Rising Sun on guitar (no vocals) – kind of a stretch… no, it wasn’t me.

  2. Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses and Police were the one I love listening again and again and again. Great Man these day you seem to be submersed into a lot of music.

    I like lists. But, yes… books and music.

  3. I love so many of these… but some of them aren’t the best songs by the artists. Were U2’s other great hits in the 80s? Vertigo wasn’t, but what about One, and Where the Streets Have No Names? And I need to go download Flashdance, thanks for the reminder.

    It is odd… but they aren’t necessarily the best songs, just the top selling. It is interesting to see what we purchase.

  4. And after listening to that, we’ll have proof as to whether or not the Fed’s control media and surveillance or not. If they do, I’m about to be recruited for Dancing With the Stars or something like that :-p

    Now that would be interesting. I was actually recruited to NOT be on any type of dancing show.

  5. Whoa…a list where I love every single song. Even the cheeseball ones. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I was a kid-teenager in the 80’s, so these songs are really nostalgic for me.

    I love the Beastie Boys. I’m still fighting for my right to party.

    It sounds like you still haven’t found what you’re looking for (your party rights – or a bad play on words with a good U2 song).

  6. Okay, there is so much I could say about this. I will keep it to one train of thought (and it won’t even be directly about U2): The person or persons who compiled this did not grow up in the 80s. I’d wager that they are dead. While I enjoy most of those singles, I’d completely redo the entire thing (and be right only to myself I’m sure 😉

    Don’t let your train of thought get derailed, but this was based on sales. Maybe we could put together our own “best of” list.

  7. It’s even worse if it’s based upon sales! In that case, there should be a whole lot more Michael Jackson, don’t you think? I was thinking last night that we should compile our own list. We’d be instant superstars. 🙂

    We couldn’t do any worse!

  8. Pingback: 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die « An unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

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