The best and most remarkable 80s songs are a product of a decade of musical innovation…
and cultural transformation. It was a time when artists pushed boundaries, experimented with new sounds, and left an indelible mark on the music industry. From infectious pop hits to groundbreaking rock anthems, the 80s produced an array of remarkable songs that continue to resonate with audiences today. Let’s delve deeper into the best and most remarkable songs of that decade.
“Thriller” is a song that needs no introduction. With its iconic bassline, infectious groove, and Vincent Price’s chilling narration, it became a worldwide phenomenon. The music video, directed by John Landis, revolutionized the genre and showcased Jackson’s unmatched dance skills. “Thriller” remains a timeless classic and a staple of Halloween playlists.
Madonna was the undisputed Queen of Pop in the 80s, and “Like a Prayer” showcased her musical and artistic evolution. The song’s gospel-inspired chorus, combined with Madonna’s powerful vocals and provocative lyrics, sparked controversy but also solidified her status as a cultural icon.
This song remains a popular selection for Madonna’s millions of fans, and is still a beloved number in her arena and tour stadiums.
This rock ballad catapulted Guns N’ Roses to superstardom. With its memorable guitar riff, Axl Rose’s soaring vocals, and a heartfelt melody, “Sweet Child o’ Mine” remains one of the most beloved rock songs of all time. It captures the essence of 80s rock with its blend of raw energy and melodic sensibility.
Although the relationship that inspired this song is long gone, Sweet Child O Mine remains a timeless classic and one of the most remarkable 80s song.
Sting’s haunting vocals and the song’s distinctive guitar riff turned “Every Breath You Take” into an instant classic. Often misinterpreted as a love song, its lyrics actually explore themes of obsession and surveillance. The track’s infectious melody and captivating atmosphere make it a standout from the 80s.
As a matter of fact, this was the most played song on the radio during the 1980s, earning Sting millions of dollars.
Bon Jovi’s anthem of resilience and determination struck a chord with audiences worldwide. The combination of Jon Bon Jovi’s powerful vocals, the anthemic chorus, and rich guitar harmonies made “Livin’ on a Prayer” an enduring symbol of hope. It remains one of the band’s signature songs and a staple of rock music.
Another gem from Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” showcases his mastery of pop and R&B. Its iconic bassline, infectious beat, and Jackson’s electrifying vocals helped redefine the boundaries of popular music. “Billie Jean” propelled Jackson to superstardom and solidified his legacy as the King of Pop.
“Don’t Stop Believin'” is an anthem of optimism and perseverance. Journey’s Steve Perry delivers an impassioned performance, while the song’s uplifting lyrics and memorable piano intro have made it a timeless favorite. It has gained even more popularity in recent years, thanks to its inclusion in popular TV shows and movies.
Don’t Stop Believin has become a popular song for many artists to cover, and is a common choice on TV talent competitions and reality shows.
“Purple Rain” is the title track from Prince‘s iconic album and film of the same name. This epic ballad showcases Prince’s unparalleled talent as a musician, with soulful vocals, blistering guitar solos, and deeply emotive lyrics. “Purple Rain” is a masterpiece that captures the essence of Prince’s artistry.
Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall delivers a soulful and heartfelt performance in this emotionally charged ballad. “Sweet Child” explores themes of love and longing, and its powerful vocals and captivating melody make it a standout in the 80s music landscape. It remains one of Simply Red’s most beloved songs.
A-ha’s “Take on Me” is an infectious synth-pop gem that combines catchy hooks with a captivating music video. The song’s memorable chorus, Morten Harket’s impressive vocal range, and the video’s blend of live-action and animation made it an instant hit. “Take on Me” is a true 80s classic that continues to captivate new generations.
“With or Without You” is an emotional and introspective ballad that propelled U2 to new heights of popularity. The song, which serves as the lead single from their album “The Joshua Tree,” showcases the band’s distinctive sound and Bono’s captivating vocals. However, it’s the collaboration between the band members that truly brings this song to life.
The chemistry between Bono’s impassioned vocals, The Edge’s shimmering guitar work, Adam Clayton’s pulsating basslines, and Larry Mullen Jr.’s dynamic drumming creates a sonic landscape that resonates with listeners.
This collaboration resulted in a groundbreaking song that defied genres and showcased the immense talent of both acts. The song’s creation itself was a unique and spontaneous process, with the artists coming together in the studio and building the song from scratch.
The track is known for its instantly recognizable bassline, courtesy of Queen’s John Deacon, and the powerful vocal interplay between Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Their combined voices create a sense of urgency and emotional intensity that perfectly captures the song’s theme of societal pressures and the human condition.
These songs represent just a fraction of the best and most remarkable songs from the 80s. The decade was a musical playground where artists explored new sounds, pushed boundaries, and created unforgettable melodies. And whether it was pop, rock, new wave, or any other genre, the 80s offered a diverse range of music that continues to inspire and entertain listeners to this day. What is your favorite song from this beloved decade? Share it with us in the comment section below.