Top 10 Songs of the 80s: A Musical Journey Down Memory Lane

The 80s was a decade of great music, with numerous hits that topped the charts and became instant classics. From the emergence of MTV to the rise of pop icons, the 80s was a period of musical innovation and creativity. The songs of this era reflected the social, political, and cultural changes that were happening around the world. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 songs of the 80s that continue to be popular today.

10. Prince – Purple Rain (1984)

Prince is a musical icon thanks to his outstanding talent in many ways. Referring to Prince, it is impossible not to mention the classic album Purple Rain (Purple Rain) produced in 1984. There are many interesting things behind the album “crucified” with Prince’s name throughout his career.

Purple Rain is the most classic and most popular music album released in 1984. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 25 million copies worldwide. Not only that, the album also won 2 Grammy awards and 1 Oscar, marking the male artist’s excellent work. The two most popular songs on the album, When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, both reached number 1 and 2 of the Billboard Hot 100. This album is actually a quote from the music of the movie of the same name starring Prince. The film’s director was Albert Magnoli, later Prince’s manager.

The biggest mystery is the question of whether the film is based on Prince’s real life or not? The film was shot primarily in Minneapolis and was a commercial success. With a budget of only $7.2 million, the film’s revenue was 10 times that of the global. Of course, the success of the musical film cannot be without the magnetic attraction of Prince’s music. Many viewers thought the film was too sexual, and Prince defended: “It’s a fictional story, so it should be viewed that way. Violence is a daily occurrence and we just tell stories. If you really feel that way, I’m very sorry that it was not our intention.”

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Top 10 Songs of the 80s 

9. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin (1981)

“Don’t Stop Believin” is a song performed by American musical group Journey, released as a single to promote the group’s 1981 album, Escape. The song peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on its initial release. However, the single was not successful as it did not enter the top 40 in the UK; It then peaked at number 6 in its 2009 re-release and became popular through television broadcasts.

Allmusic’s Mike DeGagne describes it as a “perfect rock song”, a “hymn” with “rock music’s greatest opening keystroke.” It is the most downloaded song with over 6 million hits. . It was also the best-selling song in digital music history before being surpassed by Imagine Dragons’ single “Radioactive” in January 2014.

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Top 10 Songs of the 80s 

8. ABBA – The Winner Takes it All (1980)

In the late 1980s, the Swedish group ABBA released a new album, Super Trouper. This is considered the most successful album of the group’s career. Each song is a hit but also a distinct mood. The Winner Takes It All is a masterpiece among them, containing a sadness of loss.

The Winner Takes It All is the work of ABBA’s main songwriting duo, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. But the main composition and the most important contribution of ideas belongs to Bjorn.
The song was composed in 1980 with the original title “The Story Of My Life”, but then, after finishing the lyrics, Bjorn decided to change it to The Winner Takes It All. The vocals were sung by Agnetha Falstkog, the group’s most beautiful vocalist.

This is a sad, very sad song, about a woman’s mood after a divorce. In her loneliness and despair, the woman remembers the good days when we’re next to each other.

The Winner Takes It All has a beautiful melody preceded by Benny Anderson’s emotional piano music. Like many other ABBA songs, this song is divided into 4 parts, of which 3 are different moods to swirl into the chorus. Listeners seem to be “stuffed” into the mood data and “fall” completely when the climax is played.

Bjorn recounts that this is the only song by ABBA when composing he had to use yeast. Indescribable emotions kept swirling in Bjorn’s head, that one should give it a mood, winner or loser and in love, is there a need for victory or glory?

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Top 10 Songs of the 80s 

7. A-ha – Take on Me (1985)

Having appeared in many big blockbusters and legendary meme songs, “Take On Me” has officially surpassed 1.6 billion views on YouTube even though it was released nearly 40 years ago.

If you are a person who often surfs the Internet to search for memes, you will probably be familiar with a-ha’s song “Take On Me”, one of the songs used a lot in funny meme videos. of the online community. After appearing in the movie Ready Player One by famous director Steven Spielberg, this song has become more popular than ever, getting closer to young people, creating a whole new meme trend. and humorous.

If you don’t know, “Take On Me” was once a hugely popular hit right after it was released on October 19, 1985 by pop group a-ha from Norway, produced by Warner Bros Records. export. After sweeping the charts, this song took home the MTV award for a-ha in the two categories of Best MV and Best New Debut Singer. In 1986, “Take On Me” continued to resonate when performed on the prestigious Grammy stage.

In 2000, “Take On Me” suddenly made a comeback thanks to the cover of the popular group A1, with a more vibrant and modern mix and style. Following this success, in 2010, a-ha released a remake of the MV on YouTube, revolving around a girl’s love affair with a boy who came out of a manga she was reading. 

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6. Foreigner – I Want to Know What Love Is (1984)

The Anglo-American hard rock group Foreigner has a certain history of composing and performing. The band members are all British, except for the American lead singer Lou Gramm. They released 9 studio albums between 1977 and 2009 and made a big splash since their debut album Foreigner (1977).

However, the peak form only fell in the 1980s when the album Agent Provocateur was released in 1984. The song “I want to know what love is” made them widely known on both sides of the Atlantic and globally. The ballad has a rather low and gentle opening and powerful soaring chorus.

The common point of the top 1 hit songs is the beautiful melody, unmistakable. It conveys the band’s own identity and emotional uplift. Later, diva Mariah Carey also covered the song and conveyed all the power to perform beyond the original. If you compare the two versions side by side, the audience will see that the low and low amplitude of the song is quite adventurous, making Carey difficult to complete the challenge.

Previously, the group Foreigner also had a number of high-ranking singles on the Billboard chart such as “Waiting for a girl like you”, “Hot Blood or Double Vision”. The power of the ballad “I want to know what love is” overshadows all of their old hits. After this album, along with the departure of singer Lou Gramm, Foreigner’s performance declined, causing the quality of subsequent albums to plummet. Again, top hits are worth referencing and comparing. They have sold up to 80 million records, nearly half of which in the US market. Referring to Foreigner, the audience certainly remembers the group’s nail song “I want to know what love is.”

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5. Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (1987)

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is a song by American recording artist Whitney Houston from her second studio album, Whitney (1987). It was released on May 2, 1987 as the first single from the album by Arista Records.

The song was co-written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam of Boy Meets Girl, who previously wrote Houston’s number-one single “How Will I Know”, while production was handled by Narada Michael Walden, a familiar collaborator in the female singer’s career.

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is a dance-pop song incorporating elements from R&B, with the content referring to a girl’s confession about finding a dance partner at a party to dance with. can find a true lover for herself. It was originally composed as a country song, but was later transformed by Walden to become an upbeat song.

On YouTube, upon its release, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” received mixed reactions from music critics, who compared it to “How Will I Know” and the song. Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”.

However, the song garnered numerous awards and nominations at major awards ceremonies, including winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 30th Annual Awards. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” has also received incredible commercial success, topping the charts in 17 countries worldwide, including major markets such as Australia and Belgium. , Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top 10 in most of the countries it appeared in. In the United States, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks, becoming Houston’s fourth consecutive number one single there.

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4. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine (1987)

If November Rain is considered the most emotional song of Gun N’ Roses, Sweet Child O’ Mine acts as a manifesto of the band. This song is not just the beginning of their fame, their pioneering with a whole new kind of rock music. And Sweet Child O’ Mine is also a “matchmaker” for a quick love affair, just like how Gun N’ Rose composed this song.

In the 1980s, Los Angeles was a “mecca” for rich people with a debauched, debilitating lifestyle filled with sex and drugs. Any night, every popular nightclub at that time like Troubador or Whiskey a Go Go seemed to explode with established bands mainly from the Sunset Strip such as Hanoi Rock, Mötley Crüe or W.A.S.P… and artists. A similar style artist to Twisted Sister from New York. They play glam metal music that emphasizes hedonism and extravagant behavior.

By the mid-1980s, the success of a rock group with their debut album turned everything around. That is the band Gun N’ Roses with the album Appetite For Destruction. Not only changing music trends, with the success of Appetite For Destruction, Gun N’ Roses also had a strong impact on the lifestyle and public behavior towards rock music.

The third single of this album, Sweet Child O’ Mine is the only single in Gun N’ Rose’s career to top the Billboard chart, saving the “flatness” of the previous two singles from the same album.

Meanwhile, Gun N’ Roses “enlisted” to organize the Aerosmith tour. The success of both the song and the tour immediately landed Gun N’ Roses on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for the first time.

In particular, Aerosmith was organized quite successfully and properly in the midst of the debauchery of Los Angeles at that time, thanks to a basic rule established by Gun N’ Roses: When they were present, there was no drug. At the same time, Gun N’ Roses also donated T-shirts to a series of rehab centers they passed, as a declaration of separation between rock music and drugs, two things that go hand in hand in a debauched lifestyle. of a segment of the population of Los Angeles.

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3. George Michael – Careless Whisper (1984)

The song “Careless Whisper” co-written and performed by British artist George Michael (1963 – 2016) has just been voted the most loved song by British radio listeners. “Careless Whisper” has just topped the top 500 songs most loved by listeners of Smooth Radio in 2021.

The song “Careless Whisper” was first released in 1984, by George Michael and the rest of the Wham! – Andrew Ridgeley co-wrote. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley have bonded and made the group Wham! was active in the period from 1981-1986.

The late male singer’s older sister – Ms. Yioda Panayiotou shared this latest information on behalf of the family, saying: “We are once again very touched to know that the song “Careless Whisper” has been 3 years in a row. ” was voted at the top of the top 500 listeners’ favorite songs of the year, according to a survey by radio station Smooth Radio.

To know that George’s music continues to find sympathy among listeners, continues to be loved by the international public, it means a lot to us, as it does to George.”

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2. Madonna – Like a Virgin (1984)

Like a Virgin is a feminist song performed by Madonna in 1984 from her second album of the same name. Like a virgin becomes a pilgrimage of love in which the praise of unmarried sex has sparked heated debates among listeners.

The dance-pop song’s co-writers Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly couldn’t have imagined the success and impact of the song when it was released. The lyrics of the song are the voice of a young girl who wants to live fully and freely in love without being bound by any dogma.

Like a Virgin through Madonna’s clear, playful voice, brought to life and provocative with her unique, bizarre style on stage, plus the impressive fashion sense that Madonna showcased this year 1984… made the image of Madonna immediately become a cultural icon of the American youth class.

Young people are crazy about Madonna because she is the one who guides them to a world of free love (in which sex is an important factor) while the church and parents are strongly opposed – demanded a boycott of the song and Madonna.

However, some other public opinion, especially music experts, consider this song to be a song that has a profound transmission to the community. It represents the voice of an independent woman who lives to the fullest and is true to herself. It shows a talented, courageous and lovely Madonna even when half the world is against her.

Like a Virgin was so loved that it became the soundtrack of many movies such as Reservoir Dogs, Moulin Rouge! and Bridget Jones. This song has cemented Madonna’s position in the American music scene with nearly a hundred awards of all kinds, her live performance of Like a Virgin on stage in 1984 is considered an unforgettable performance in history. American music history (break with the solemn tradition of theatrical).

Madonna shared her true feelings for the song: “You can see the title of the song is kind of ironic about human hypocrisy, I’m not the materialistic type but definitely I don’t need to lie to people that I’m not a virgin. People misunderstood the song’s meaning, saying it promoted premarital sex; But for me, Like a Virgin is just something fresh, a turning point in Madonna’s career.”

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1. Michael Jackson  – Billie Jean (1982)

Michael Jackson made history when he appeared at the Motown 25 ceremony in 1983 to perform Billie Jean. In a performance of the iconic track, the King of Pop performed his first live moonwalk. Jackson’s Billie Jean is synonymous with choreography, but people may not know the truth behind the making of the song itself.

Billie Jean” has been critically and commercially successful; it was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song topped multiple charts. charts, including the United Kingdom and the United States, and also reached the top 10 in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

However, the name of the song is still controversial. Some people think that this is the name referring to a scandal of Michael Jackson when he was accused by a fan of being the biological father of her child. However, Michael Jackson shared: “Billie Jean” is an anonymous name, representing many girls. People called them groupies in the 1960s. They hung around the backstage and ready to go to bed with any group. What music comes to perform?

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The 80s was an iconic decade for music, with numerous hits that continue to be popular today. From pop to rock, dance to soul, the music of the 80s reflected the social, political, and cultural changes that were happening around the world. The songs on this list capture the spirit of the era and continue to inspire and entertain music lovers around the world.


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