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Top 15 80s Pop Songs

Top 15 80s Pop Songs – The 1980s was a exciting and innovative time for pop music. New wave, synthpop and dance music exploded in popularity, while rock, R&B and hip hop continued to evolve. Music videos and MTV ushered in a new visual element to songs. The 1980s produced many catchy pop hits that still resonate today. Here is a look at 15 of the best and most iconic 80s pop songs.Top 15 80s Pop Songs

Top 15 80s Pop Songs Are:

1. “Like a Virgin” by Madonna (1984)

Madonna’s megahit “Like a Virgin” was the lead single from her album of the same name. With its up-tempo synthesizer arrangement and Madonna’s sassy vocals, “Like a Virgin” became one of her signature songs. The lyrics are about a woman feeling like a virgin again in a new romance. The song’s risqué video and Madison Square Garden live performance where Madonna writhed around in a wedding dress made “Like a Virgin” hugely controversial at the time. But it also cemented Madonna’s status as the biggest pop star of the 80s. “Like a Virgin” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 6 weeks.

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2. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds (1985)

This new wave anthem was written specifically for the John Hughes coming-of-age film The Breakfast Club. Although Simple Minds was initially reluctant to record it, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” became the Scottish band’s only #1 hit in the US. With its iconic synthesizer intro and catchy hook, it’s one of the definitive songs of the 80s. The lyrics about not forgetting someone are perfect for the film’s themes of friendship and adolescence. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” captures a wistful, nostalgic emotion that still resonates today.

3. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics (1983)

The haunting synthpop track “Sweet Dreams” was a standout on Eurythmics’ second album and launched them to fame. Annie Lennox’s powerful vocals paired with the pulsing, hypnotic arrangement create an unforgettable mood. The lyrics exploring relationships and disillusionment are open to interpretation. The innovative video showcased Lennox’s androgynous visual style. “Sweet Dreams” topped the charts in multiple countries including the US. Its impactful sound and aesthetic made it one of the most influential pop songs of the decade.

4. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club (1983)

The infectious pop-reggae track “Karma Chameleon” was the biggest hit for British band Culture Club. Written by frontman Boy George, its lyrics use color metaphors to describe a fickle lover. The catchy chorus and harmonic reggae groove made it a massive success worldwide. The video with the band members on a riverboat also helped make “Karma Chameleon” the top selling single of 1983 in the UK and US. Its laidback vibe and George’s soulful vocals made it one of the most memorable songs of the 80s.JAMB portal

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5. “Call Me” by Blondie (1980)

Written for the film American Gigolo, Blondie’s “Call Me” was a #1 hit single and key new wave song. Debbie Harry’s seductive vocals combined with Blondie’s synthesizer-driven sound made “Call Me” hugely popular. Its lyrics about an aloof lover encapsulate the emotional detachment of the new wave era. Blondie also pioneered the concept of the modern remix with “Call Me.” While not as experimental as later Blondie songs, “Call Me” showed their knack for crafting polished power pop and set the tone for 80s new wave.

6. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears (1985)

This song was the breakout single for British synthpop duo Tears For Fears. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” combines dark, poetic lyrics about power with soaring vocals and keyboards. It became their first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit and remains one of the most recognizable songs of the decade. The accompanying music video underscored the song’s themes of control and conformity. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” captures the synthesized sound of 80s pop along with a philosophical message that still resonates.NYSC Portal

7. “Manic Monday” by The Bangles (1986)

Written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher, this catchy pop tune was the first big hit for all-female band The Bangles. The lyrics about making it through a mundane, manic Monday struck a chord with listeners. The crunchy guitars, upbeat melody and harmonized vocals created an infectious power pop sound. “Manic Monday” became a #2 smash and helped propel The Bangles to fame. It remains one of the most memorable 1960s-inspired pop singles of the 80s.Information guide Nigeria

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8. “99 Luftballons” by Nena (1983)

This German New Wave/synthpop track was an international pop phenomenon. The original German version “99 Luftballons” topped the singles charts in multiple countries. The English version “99 Red Balloons” also became a huge hit. With its upbeat tempo contrasting dark lyrics about nuclear war, it captured the zeitgeist of 80s Cold War fears. Nena’s girlish vocals paired with synthesizers created a catchy, quirky pop confection that transcended language barriers. The song’s cryptic symbolism and striking video also made it one of the eras most compelling hits.

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9. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) ” by Whitney Houston (1987)

This high-energy dance-pop smash showcased Whitney Houston’s incredible vocal power. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” was Houston’s first #1 hit and the lead single from her blockbuster sophomore album. The lyrics about wanting to dance again after a bad breakup resonated with mainstream listeners. Houston’s soaring vocals paired with thumping percussion made this an irresistible pop single. It also helped cement Houston as one of the decade’s definitive pop divas.

10. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey (1981)

This driving arena rock anthem became one of Journey’s signature hits. The lyrics about never stopping believin’ despite setbacks struck a chord with listeners. Steve Perry’s powerful vocals soar over the guitars and synthesizers. “Don’t Stop Believin'” only reached #9 when first released, but its impact has endured. The song is one of the top-selling digital downloads ever and became popularized even further in pop culture like on Glee. It’s now considered one of the quintessential 80s pop-rock anthems.

11. “Take On Me” by A-ha (1985)

Norwegian band A-ha struck pop gold with “Take On Me” and its pioneering rotoscoped music video. The synthpop song combines yearning vocals, keyboards and an uplifting hook. The innovative video brought the drawings to life as a woman is pulled from a diner into a live-action cartoon fantasy. “Take On Me” fused an adventurous visual style with catchy melodic pop. It became A-ha’s only #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit but left an indelible mark on 80s pop culture.Romantic love message

12. “I Love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (1982)

A gritty rocker covered by Joan Jett, “I Love Rock N Roll” was an attitude-filled anthem for rebellious 80s youth. Jett’s snarling vocals gave it an aggressive, punk-inspired edge. Originally a minor hit for the Arrows in 1975, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ version topped the Billboard charts for 7 weeks. The video of Jett rocking out became an MTV staple. The song helped cement Jett’s status as the Queen of Rock and Roll. It endures as one of the most forceful pop-rock hits of the decade.Good morning My Love Message

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13. “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League (1981)

This synthpop smash captured the era’s coldness in human relationships. The male and female vocal interplay of “Don’t You Want Me” tells the story of a failed romance between a star and her lover turned mentor. The Human League crafted an icy, robotic sound using synthesizers and drum machines. But the emotional lyrics and vocal dynamics made “Don’t You Want Me deeply affecting. A multi-million seller worldwide, it announced The Human League and synthpop’s emergence in the 80s mainstream.

14. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell (1981)

British synthpop duo Soft Cell made this 1964 Northern soul track into an edgy 80s hit. Their electronic arrangement and Marc Almond’s sleazy vocals turned “Tainted Love” into something totally modern and eerie. The song’s theme about a poisoned relationship epitomized the darker side of love in the 80s. “Tainted Love” reached #1 in multiple countries and became Soft Cell’s signature song. Its influential electronic groove helped blaze the trail for synthpop and 80s alternative dance music.

15. “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and The Revolution (1984)

The lead single from Purple Rain, this high-octane funk-rock track was a hit for Prince and the Revolution. With its surging synthesizers, scalding guitar solos and Prince’s frenetic energy, “Let’s Go Crazy” is a whirlwind call to live life to the fullest. The lyrics urge escaping society’s problems by losing yourself in music, dancing and love. The song embodied the spirit of the 80s with its experimental sound and hedonistic outlook. “Let’s Go Crazy” taking the #1 spot showed Prince’s unique brand of pop could crossover to commercial success.

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The 1980s produced some of the most memorable and culture-defining pop singles of all time. Artists embraced new technology and sounds, leading to an explosion of creativity. Synthpop, new wave and dance mixes ruled the era. But more traditional rock, R&B and pop also evolved in exciting new directions. The songs on this list all left an enduring impact on popular music. Their iconic melodies, innovative videos and reflections on 80s society live on as pop classics today. The 15 songs here capture the diverse spirit and innovation that made 80s pop so dynamic and enduring.


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