80s Songs

Bands have been steadily bringing back a retro sound to music over the last few years, and this resurgence has created many other musicians who are using synthesizers and high beats to create a new style.

Remixes abound, and new musicians are also referring back to 80s songs, such as Lady Gaga did with Madonna’s Express Yourself, to put their own spin on these older, already proven 80s classic songs.

But no matter how much competition is out there, nothing can ever replace our favorite 80s songs.

When you get tired of hearing the recycled beats in today’s music scene, you will want to get back to the music that inspired it all in the 80s. Here are two definitive bands and a list of songs that were popular in the 80s.

The Cars

This band’s music was featured in some 80s movies, The Last American Virgin, Moving in Stereo, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Although their self-titled and perhaps most well-known album was released in the late 70s, the Cars released a couple more early in the decade, and the songs from these collections defined the 80s in theaters, malls, and high school proms across the country.

The popular 80s songs include Let the Good Times Roll, Shake It Up, and Let’s Go. These songs encompass the best, most upbeat 80s tunes from the Cars, but the band has plenty more to choose from if you find yourself wanting more.

Tears for Fears

If you spent any time poolside during the summer of 1985, you know every word by heart to Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears. Featured during the popcorn scene in Val Kilmer’s Real Genius, this song’s lyrics of power-grabs are set to some of the best synth-pop sounds of the 80s.

The hit has been either covered or sampled by no less than Dru Hill, Gloria Gaynor, Patti Smith and the Dresden Dolls, so it’s definitely still relevant in today’s music scene.

Another huge hit is Head Over Heels, and although Gary Jules cover of Mad World for the Donnie Darko soundtrack got a lot of rotation in radio play, the innovative Tears for Fears song, released in 1982, was faster and more frantic, and the chaotic sounds of happiness make the lyrics all the more poignant.

Both versions have a place in music history, but for children of the 80s, there is nothing better than the original.

Other favorites 80s artists are Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, the Cure, U2, and the Thompson Twins.

One-Hit Wonders

Some of the most popular songs of the decade were from bands that we would never hear from again, or at least not very often.

Here’s a short list of the bands that shot to glory with one or two songs that have to be included in any 80s music collection:
  • Take on Me by A-Ha
  • Melt With You by Modern English
  • Don’t You Want Me by Human League
  • Lucky Number by Lene Lovich
  • Your Love by The Outfield
  • Rock Me Amadeus by Falco
  •  Der Kommissar by Falco or After the Fire’s English version
  • Kids in America by Kim Wilde
  • Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • 99 Red Balloons by Nena
  • If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and, of course,
  • Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds