Top 25 ’80s Songs

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

As much as I like to malign the 1980s, it is a decade rich with pop culture and — admittedly — music that’s not too shabby.

In this two-part Top 25, I cover my favourite songs and movies from my first complete decade of life. I’ll start with the music.

The 1980s was the decade of shoulder pads, teased hair, caked-on makeup, neon colours and parachute pants. It was also where I I lived like George Thoroughgood’s “Bad to the Bone”.

Thank God the ’80s came and went, but the music and movies stay with us. I recall summer days in Mississauga, when we lived in a stacked townhouse, listening to 1050 Chum, a station that was programmed to play Top 40 of that time. This was probably 1984.

As you can probably imagine, Toto’s “Africa” and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” were common tunes, as was The Eurythmics’ “Here Comes The Rain Again” and Juice Newton’s “Playing With the Queen of Hearts”.

There are so many more songs I could have added to this list, including Thoroughgood, Bruce Hornsby, Styx, Peter Gabriel, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Kate Bush, Madonna, Queen, INXS, Stevie Wonder, the Clash, the Cars, the Police, the Tragically Hip and Chaka Khan.

Ah, but you can’t have them all (or perhaps I can add another The Next 25?). So, here are my Top 25 tunes from a decade I am incredibly ambivalent too.

25. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-025 Song: “Tom Sawyer”
Artist: Rush
Album
: Moving Pictures
Released: 1981
24. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-024 Song: “American Dream”
Artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Album
: American Dream
Released: 1988
23. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-023 Song: “Blister in the Sun”
Artist: Violent Femmes
Album
: Violent Femmes
Released: 1983
22. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-022 Song: “Back in Black”
Artist: AC/DC
Album
: Back in Black
Released: 1980
21. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-021 Song: “One Thing Leads To Another”
Artist: The Fixx
Album
: Reach the Beach
Released: 1983
20. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-020 Song: “Thinking of You”
Artist: Harlequin
Album
: Love Crimes
Released: 1980
19. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-019 Song: “Money For Nothing”
Artist: Dire Straits
Album
: Brother in Arms
Released: 1985
18. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-018 Song: “Panama”
Artist: Van Halen
Album
: 1984
Released: 1984
17. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-017 Song: “Touch of Grey”
Artist: Grateful Dead
Album
: In The Dark
Released: 1987
16. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-016 Song: “Whatcha Gonna Do”
Artist: Chilliwack
Album
: Opus X
Released: 1982
15. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-015 Song: “Electric Avenue”
Artist: Eddy Grant
Album
: Killer on the Rampage
Released: 1983
14. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-014 Song: “Let My Love Open the Door”
Artist: Pete Townshend
Album
: Empty Glass
Released: 1980
13. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-013 Song: “The Stroke”
Artist: Billy Squier
Album
: Don’t Say No
Released: 1980
12. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-012 Song: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”
Artist: Yes
Album
: 90125
Released: 1983
11. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-011 Song: “Love Removal Machine”
Artist: The Cult
Album
: Electric
Released: 1987
10. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-010 Song: “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”
Artist: Michael Jackson
Album
: Thriller
Released: 1983
9. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-009 Song: “Bette Davis Eyes”
Artist: Kim Carnes
Album
: Mistaken Identity
Released: 1981
8. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-008 Song: “I Love a Rainy Night”
Artist: Eddie Rabbitt
Album
: Horizon
Released: 1980
7. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-007 Song: “Hungry Like The Wolf”
Artist: Duran Duran
Album
: Rio
Released: 1982
6. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-006 Song: “Dirty Laundry”
Artist: Don Henley
Album
: I Can’t Stand Still
Released: 1982
5. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-005 Song: “Rag Doll”
Artist: Aerosmith
Album
: Permanent Vacation
Released: 1987
4. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-004 Song: “Say Hello”
Artist: April Wine
Album
: Harder … Faster
Released: 1980
3. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-003 Song: Let’s Go Crazy”
Artist:
Prince
Album:
Purple Rain
Released:
1984
2. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-002 Song: “Footloose”
Artist: Kenny Loggins
Album
: Footloose
Released: 1984
1. BB-Top-25-80s-Songs-001 Song: “Sausalito Summernight”
Artist: Diesel
Album
: Watts In a Tank
Released: 1981
 

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About the author

Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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