Last Updated on 18 September 2023

The following list is the Official Definitive List of the 500 best songs from in the 1980s.

I found 14 different ranked lists online of “best 80s songs” and pulled them all into Excel and merged them all to get this definitive compilation.  See my Methodology page for the research process that was used, including links to all 14 lists that were averaged.

  1. Billie Jean, by Michael Jackson
  2. When Doves Cry, by Prince
  3. Don’t Stop Believin’, by Journey
  4. Crazy Train, by Ozzy Osbourne
  5. Every Breath You Take, by The Police
  6. Sweet Child o’ Mine, by Guns N’ Roses
  7. I Love Rock N’ Roll, by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  8. Livin’ on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi
  9. I Wanna Dance with Somebody, by Whitney Houston
  10. Beat It, by Michael Jackson
  11. Come on Eileen, by Dexys Midnight Runners
  12. With or Without You, by U2
  13. The Message, by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
  14. What’s Love Got to Do With It, by Tina Turner
  15. Master Blaster (Jammin’), by Stevie Wonder
  16. Love Will Tear Us Apart, by Joy Division
  17. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), by Eurythmics
  18. Jump, by Van Halen
  19. Sexual Healing, by Marvin Gaye
  20. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody), by Talking Heads
  21. Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler
  22. Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen
  23. Take On Me, by A-ha
  24. Straight Outta Compton, by NWA
  25. Call Me, by Blondie
  26. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, by Cyndi Lauper
  27. Tainted Love, by Soft Cell
  28. Hungry Like the Wolf, by Duran Duran
  29. Like a Prayer, by Madonna
  30. You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC
  31. All Night Long (All Night), by Lionel Richie
  32. Walk This Way, by Run-D.M.C.
  33. I Can’t Go For That, by Hall & Oates
  34. Everybody Wants to Rule the World, by Tears for Fears
  35. Time After Time, by Cyndi Lauper
  36. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2), by Pink Floyd
  37. Don’t You Want Me?, by Human League
  38. In the Air Tonight, by Phil Collins
  39. Like a Virgin, by Madonna
  40. Kiss, by Prince
  41. Flashdance… What a Feeling, by Irene Cara
  42. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, by The Smiths
  43. Jessie’s Girl, by Rick Springfield
  44. Fight the Power, by Public Enemy
  45. Don’t You (Forget About Me), by Simple Minds
  46. Let’s Dance, by David Bowie
  47. Super Freak, by Rick James
  48. Back in Black, by AC/DC
  49. Super Trouper, by Abba
  50. How Soon Is Now?, by The Smiths
  51. Thriller, by Michael Jackson
  52. Under Pressure, by Queen & David Bowie
  53. West End Girls, by Pet Shop Boys
  54. Blue Monday, by New Order
  55. Faith, by George Michael
  56. How Will I Know, by Whitney Houston
  57. Push It, by Salt-N-Pepa
  58. Money for Nothing, by Dire Straits
  59. Jack & Diane, by John Mellencamp
  60. Just Like Heaven, by The Cure
  61. Down Under, by Men At Work
  62. Welcome to the Jungle, by Guns N’ Roses
  63. Once in a Lifetime, by Talking Heads
  64. Upside Down, by Diana Ross
  65. Purple Rain, by Prince
  66. Paid in Full, by Eric B. & Rakim
  67. Walk Like an Egyptian, by The Bangles
  68. Maneater, by Hall & Oates
  69. Square Biz, by Teena Marie
  70. Centerfold, by The J. Geils Band
  71. Bette Davis Eyes, by Kim Carnes
  72. Fight for Your Right, by Beastie Boys
  73. Bizarre Love Triangle, by New Order
  74. Straight Up, by Paula Abdul
  75. Just Like Honey, by The Jesus and Mary Chain
  76. Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor
  77. Start Me Up, by The Rolling Stones
  78. Ghost Town, by The Specials
  79. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, by U2
  80. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, by Wham!
  81. Pour Some Sugar on Me, by Def Leppard
  82. Our Lips Are Sealed, by The Go-Go’s
  83. Need You Tonight, by INXS
  84. Love Shack, by The B-52’s
  85. The Power of Love, by Huey Lewis and The News
  86. Africa, by Toto
  87. Lady, by Kenny Rogers
  88. Hot for Teacher, by Van Halen
  89. Panic, by The Smiths
  90. Into the Groove, by Madonna
  91. I Want to Know What Love Is, by Foreigner
  92. Born in the U.S.A., by Bruce Springsteen
  93. The Killing Moon, by Echo & the Bunnymen
  94. Karma Chameleon, by Culture Club
  95. Love Is a Battlefield, by Pat Benetar
  96. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), by Kate Bush
  97. Let’s Go Crazy, by Prince
  98. Addicted to Love, by Robert Palmer
  99. Bust a Move, by Young MC
  100. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, by Queen
  101. Sledgehammer, by Peter Gabriel
  102. Edge of Seventeen, by Stevie Nicks
  103. Summer of ’69, by Bryan Adams
  104. Careless Whisper, by Wham!
  105. Fast Car, by Tracy Chapman
  106. My Prerogative, by Bobby Brown
  107. (Just Like) Starting Over, by John Lennon
  108. Physical, by Olivia Newton-John
  109. Here I Go Again, by Whitesnake
  110. Buffalo Stance, by Neneh Cherry
  111. Alone, by Heart
  112. Say Say Say, by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
  113. Rock the Casbah, by The Clash
  114. Burning Down the House, by Talking Heads
  115. This Charming Man, by The Smiths
  116. Word Up!, by Cameo
  117. Close to Me, by The Cure
  118. Hit Me with Your Best Shot, by Pat Benetar
  119. Together in Electric Dreams, by Philip Oakley & Giorgio Moroder
  120. Take My Breath Away, by Berlin
  121. Should I Stay or Should I Go, by The Clash
  122. Planet Rock, by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force
  123. I’m Coming Out, by Diana Ross
  124. Nasty, by Janet Jackson
  125. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), by Dead or Alive
  126. The Mercy Seat, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  127. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, by Culture Club
  128. Endless Love, by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  129. Footloose, by Kenny Loggins
  130. The Sweetest Taboo, by Sade
  131. Shout, by Tears for Fears
  132. Funkytown, by Lipps, Inc.
  133. One, by Metallica
  134. Temptation, by New Order
  135. When I Think of You, by Janet Jackson
  136. Express Yourself, by Madonna
  137. Where Is My Mind?, by Pixies
  138. April Skies, by The Jesus and Mary Chain
  139. I Ran (So Far Away), by A Flock of Seagulls
  140. Miss You Much, by Janet Jackson
  141. Modern Love, by David Bowie
  142. You Give Love a Bad Name, by Bon Jovi
  143. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now), by Phil Collins
  144. Redemption Song, by Bob Marley & The Wailers
  145. It’s the End of the World as We Know It, by R.E.M
  146. Rock with You, by Michael Jackson
  147. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, by Poison
  148. That’s What Friends Are For, by Dionne Warwick
  149. Never Gonna Give You Up, by Rick Astley
  150. Uptown Girl, by Billy Joel
  151. Children’s Story, by Slick Rick
  152. Blister in the Sun, by Violent Femmes
  153. Master of Puppets, by Metallica
  154. Sister Christian, by Night Ranger
  155. Atmosphere, by Joy Division
  156. Papa Don’t Preach, by Madonna
  157. I Think We’re Alone Now, by Tiffany
  158. Comfortably Numb, by Pink Floyd
  159. Parents Just Don’t Understand, by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  160. Crazy for You, by Madonna
  161. Hounds of Love, by Kate Bush
  162. 1999, by Prince
  163. Celebration, by Kool & the Gang
  164. Material Girl, by Madonna
  165. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  166. Whip It, by Devo
  167. Panama, by Van Halen
  168. Borderline, by Madonna
  169. Mickey, by Toni Basil
  170. In Between Days, by The Cure
  171. Keep on Loving You, by REO Speedwagon
  172. Ebony and Ivory, by Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder
  173. Teen Age Riot, by Sonic Youth
  174. Paradise City, by Guns N’ Roses
  175. Rapture, by Blondie
  176. The Boys of Summer, by Don Henley
  177. In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel
  178. Atlantic City, by Bruce Springsteen
  179. Pride (In the Name of Love), by U2
  180. The Way You Make Me Feel, by Michael Jackson
  181. Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), by Soul II Soul
  182. True Colors, by Cyndi Lauper
  183. Debaser, by Pixies
  184. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, by Starship
  185. Birthday, by The Sugarcubes
  186. Love T.K.O., by Teddy Pendergrass
  187. Let’s Hear It for the Boy, by Deniece Williams
  188. I Can’t Wait, by Nu Shooz
  189. Free Falling, by Tom Petty
  190. (I Just) Died in Your Arms, by Cutting Crew
  191. Heaven Is a Place on Earth, by Belinda Carlisle
  192. Broken Wings, by Mr. Mister
  193. Road to Nowhere, by Talking Heads
  194. I Would Die 4 U, by Prince
  195. Freak Scene, by Dinosaur Jr.
  196. 99 Luftballoons, by Nena
  197. Rock Me Amadeus, by Falco
  198. Higher Love, by Steve Winwood
  199. Everywhere, by Fleetwood Mac
  200. It Takes Two, by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
  201. The Tide Is High, by Blondie
  202. Valerie, by Steve Winwood
  203. Open Your Heart, by Madonna
  204. The Way It Is, by Bruce Hornsby
  205. If You Leave, by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  206. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, by Billy Joel
  207. Owner of a Lonely Heart, by Yes
  208. Made of Stone, by The Stone Roses
  209. Hurts So Good, by John Mellencamp
  210. What Have I Done to Deserve This?, by Pet Shop Boys
  211. A Night to Remember, by Shalamar
  212. Love Action (I Believe In Love), by Human League
  213. Tom Sawyer, by Rush
  214. Bad, by Michael Jackson
  215. Girls, Girls, Girls, by Motley Crue
  216. Hard to Say I’m Sorry, by Chicago
  217. Just a Friend, by Biz Markie
  218. Straight to Hell, by The Clash
  219. Private Eyes, by Hall & Oates
  220. Never Too Much, by Luther Vandross
  221. Waiting For a Girl Like You, by Foreigner
  222. What I Like About You, by The Romantics
  223. We Got the Beat, by The Go-Go’s
  224. Gloria, by Laura Branigan
  225. Faithfully, by Journey
  226. Missing You, by John Waite
  227. Hello, by Lionel Richie
  228. The Breaks, by Kurtis Blow
  229. Little Red Corvette, by Prince
  230. Fool’s Gold, by The Stone Roses
  231. Drive, by The Cars
  232. The Glamorous Life, by Sheila E.
  233. Holiday, by Madonna
  234. Can’t Fight This Feeling, by REO Speedwagon
  235. Never Let Me Down Again, by Depeche Mode
  236. Father Figure, by George Michael
  237. These Dreams, by Heart
  238. Got My Mind Set on You, by George Harrison
  239. Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson
  240. Sharp Dressed Man, by ZZ Top
  241. Raspberry Beret, by Prince
  242. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin, by Michael Jackson
  243. Part-Time Lover, by Stevie Wonder
  244. Head Over Heels, by Tears for Fears
  245. Fuck tha Police, by N.W.A
  246. Dr. Feelgood, by Motley Crue
  247. Brass in Pocket, by The Pretenders
  248. You Made Me Realise, by My Bloody Valentine
  249. We Are the World, by USA for Africa
  250. Just the Two of Us, by Bill Withers
  251. One More Try, by George Michael
  252. Drag Rap, by The Showboys
  253. This Is the Day, by The The
  254. Pull Up to the Bumper, by Grace Jones
  255. So Emotional, by Whitney Houston
  256. Me, Myself and I, by De La Soul
  257. Woman in Love, by Barbra Streisand
  258. Maniac, by Michael Sembello
  259. La Bamba, by Los Lobos
  260. Right Here Waiting, by Richard Marx
  261. Listen to Your Heart, by Roxette
  262. Song to the Siren, by This Mortal Coil
  263. In the Dead of Night, by U.K.
  264. It’s a Sin, by Pet Shop Boys
  265. 9 to 5, by Dolly Parton
  266. Could You Be Loved, by Bob Marley & The Wailers
  267. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion), by John Parr
  268. You Can Call Me Al, by Paul Simon
  269. Ghostbusters, by Ray Parker, Jr.
  270. Cult of Personality, by Living Colour
  271. Ace of Spaces, by Motorhead
  272. Islands in the Stream, by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  273. Danger Zone, by Kenny Loggins
  274. Heaven, by Bryan Adams
  275. Photograph, by Def Leppard
  276. If I Could Turn Back Time, by Cher
  277. Waiting Room, by Fugazi
  278. Mony Mony, by Billy Idol
  279. Greatest Love of All, by Whitney Houston
  280. Invisible Touch, by Genesis
  281. Red Red Wine, by UB40
  282. Venus, by Bananarama
  283. I Melt With You, by Modern English
  284. A Groovy Kind of Love, by Phil Collins
  285. We’re Not Gonna Take It, by Twisted Sister
  286. Heat of the Moment, by Asia
  287. Everything She Wants, by Wham!
  288. She Drives Me Crazy, by Fine Young Cannibals
  289. Janie’s Got a Gun, by Aerosmith
  290. About a Girl, by Nirvana
  291. 867-5309/Jenny, by Tommy Tutone
  292. Mr. Crowley, by Ozzy Osbourne
  293. Eternal Flame, by The Bangles
  294. Say You, Say Me, by Lionel Richie
  295. Ain’t Nobody, by Chaka Khan
  296. Easy Lover, by Philip Bailey & Phil Collins
  297. On My Own, by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
  298. White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It), by Grandmaster & Melle Mel
  299. Forget Me Nots, by Patrice Rushen
  300. Walking on Sunshine, by Katrina and The Waves
  301. Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  302. Lean on Me, by Club Nouveau
  303. I Just Called to Say I Love You, by Stevie Wonder
  304. Abracadabra, by Steve Miller Band
  305. Cities in Dust, by Siouxsie and The Banshees
  306. Kyrie, by Mr. Mister
  307. Paul Revere, by Beastie Boys
  308. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), by Michael Jackson
  309. Kiss on My List, by Hall & Oates
  310. Who Can It Be Now, by Men at Work
  311. Out of Touch, by Hall & Oates
  312. Rock You Like a Hurricane, by The Scorpions
  313. Coming Up (Live at Glasgow), by Paul McCartney
  314. The One I Love, by R.E.M.
  315. Cruel Summer, by Bananarama
  316. Separate Ways, by Journey
  317. Dancing in the Dark, by Bruce Springsteen
  318. It’s My Life, by Talk Talk
  319. Pride and Joy, by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  320. Cold Hearted, by Paula Abdul
  321. Woman, by John Lennon
  322. Pacific State, by 808 State
  323. Take Me Home Tonight, by Eddie Money
  324. She Blinded Me With Science, by Thomas Dolby
  325. Town Called Malice, by The Jam
  326. Anything for You, by Gloria Estefan
  327. Sussudio, by Phil Collins
  328. Cars, by Gary Numan
  329. Since Yesterday, by Strawberry Switchblade
  330. One Thing Leads to Another, by The Fixx
  331. Rip it Up, by Orange Juice
  332. Miami Vice Theme, by Jan Hammer
  333. Please Don’t Go, by KC and the Sunshine Band
  334. Rio, by Duran Duran
  335. Do That to Me One More Time, by Captain & Tennille
  336. Baby, I Love Your Way, by Will to Power
  337. Hells Bells, by AC/DC
  338. I Will Dare, by The Replacements
  339. You Make My Dreams (Come True), by Hall & Oates
  340. Open Arms, by Journey
  341. Tell It to My Heart, by Taylor Dayne
  342. Baby, Come to Me, by Patti Austin and James Ingram
  343. Don’t Believe the Hype, by Public Enemy
  344. Nomi Song, by Klaus Nomi
  345. Shake the Disease, by Depeche Mode
  346. Break My Stride, by Matthew Wilder
  347. White Wedding, by Billy Idol
  348. Head to Toe, by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
  349. Live to Tell, by Madonna
  350. Separate Lives, by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
  351. The Look, by Roxette
  352. Roll With It, by Steve Winwood
  353. Pretty In Pink, by The Psychedelic Furs
  354. I Love a Rainy Night, by Eddie Rabbitt
  355. Ashes to Ashes, by David Bowie
  356. Bring the Noise, by Public Enemy
  357. Nothing’s Shocking, by Jane’s Addiction
  358. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going, by Billy Ocean
  359. Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do), by Christopher Cross
  360. Lost in Your Eyes, by Debbie Gibson
  361. You Got It (The Right Stuff), by New Kids on the Block
  362. Teardrops, by Womack & Womack
  363. Tempted, by Squeeze
  364. Working for the Weekend, by Loverboy
  365. Fairytale Of New York, by The Pogues
  366. Love Will Never Do (Without You), by Janet Jackson
  367. Too Shy, by Kajagoogoo
  368. One More Night, by Phil Collins
  369. Everybody Have Fun Tonight, by Wang Chung
  370. Here Comes the Rain Again, by Eurythmics
  371. Wishing Well, by Terence Trent D’Arby
  372. Rosanna, by Toto
  373. We Didn’t Start the Fire, by Billy Joel
  374. Chariots of Fire, by Vangelis
  375. End of the Century, by Ramones
  376. Love Can’t Turn Around, by Farley “Jackmaster” Funk and Jesse Saunders
  377. Magic, by Olivia Newton-John
  378. At This Moment, by Billy Vera and The Beaters
  379. Don’t Wanna Lose You, by Gloria Estefan
  380. Stuck with You, by Huey Lewis and the News
  381. Don’t Dream It’s Over, by Crowded House
  382. Human Nature, by Michael Jackson
  383. Blame It on the Rain, by Milli Vanilli
  384. Flying High Again, by Ozzy Osbourne
  385. That’s Entertainment, The Jam
  386. Saving All My Love for You, by Whitney Houston
  387. You May Be Right, by Billy Joel
  388. Didn’t We Almost Have It All, by Whitney Houston
  389. Lovesong, by The Cure
  390. Shake Your Rump, by Beastie Boys
  391. Where the Streets Have No Name, by U2
  392. Wanted Dead or Alive, by Bon Jovi
  393. Could’ve Been, by Tiffany
  394. Land of Confusion, by Genesis
  395. Loving the Alien, by David Bowie
  396. Your Love, by Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle
  397. Personal Jesus, by Depeche Mode
  398. Two Hearts, by Phil Collins
  399. The Reflex, by Duran Duran
  400. Shake You Down, by Gregory Abbott
  401. Wind Beneath My Wings, by Bette Midler
  402. Toy Soldiers, by Martika
  403. Shakedown, by Bob Seger
  404. We Built This City, by Starship
  405. Voices Carry, by ‘Til Tuesday
  406. People Are People, by Depeche Mode
  407. Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car, by Billy Ocean
  408. Don’t Stand So Close to Me, by The Police
  409. Cold Shot, by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  410. Another Day in Paradise, by Phil Collins
  411. Harden My Heart, by Quarterflash
  412. There’ll Be Sad Songs (to Make You Cry), by Billy Ocean
  413. Mr. Roboto, by Styx
  414. Forever Your Girl, by Paula Abdul
  415. The Flame, by Cheap Trick
  416. Gypsy, by Fleetwood Mac
  417. A View to a Kill, by Duran Duran
  418. Always, by Atlantic Starr
  419. Human, by Human League
  420. Everytime You Go Away, by Paul Young
  421. Truly, by Lionel Richie
  422. Ask, by The Smiths
  423. Mad World, by Tears for Fears
  424. Glory of Love, by Peter Cetera
  425. You Keep Me Hangin’ On, by Kim Wilde
  426. Genius of Love, by Tom Tom Club
  427. Get Up, by Van Halen
  428. The Pleasure Principle, by Janet Jackson
  429. I’m Still Standing, by Elton John
  430. Legs, by ZZ Top
  431. Girl I’m Gonna Miss You, by Milli Vanilli
  432. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, by Paul Simon
  433. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Metallica
  434. Smooth Operator, by Sade
  435. Things Can Only Get Better, by Howard Jones
  436. When I See You Smile, by Bad English
  437. Lorelei, by Cocteau Twins
  438. Only in My Dreams, by Debbie Gibson
  439. Sara, by Starship
  440. Let the Music Play, by Shannon
  441. Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen
  442. Metal Fatigue, by Allan Holdsworth
  443. Small Town, by John Mellencamp
  444. Here Comes Your Man, by Pixies
  445. Don’t Worry, Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin
  446. London Calling, by The Clash
  447. The Final Countdown, by Europe
  448. Never, by Heart
  449. Look of Love, by ABC
  450. Pleasant Dreams, by Ramones
  451. Roll Me Away, by Bob Seger
  452. Together Forever, by Rick Astley
  453. She’s a Beauty, by The Tubes
  454. Bad Love, by Eric Clapton
  455. Everyday Is Like Sunday, by Morrisey
  456. O Superman (For Massenet), by Laurie Anderson
  457. Run to You, by Bryan Adams
  458. Unchained, by Van Halen
  459. Waiting for a Star to Fall, by Boy Meets Girl
  460. Heavy Metal, by Sammy Hagar
  461. Monkey Gone To Heaven, by Pixies
  462. Tell Her About It, by Billy Joel
  463. Sign ‘O’ the Times, by Prince
  464. Get on Your Feet, by Gloria Estefan
  465. Seek and Destroy, by Metallica
  466. Kokomo, by The Beach Boys
  467. I Will Follow, by U2
  468. Pump Up The Volume, by MARRS
  469. Celebrated Summer, by Hüsker Dü
  470. Glory Days, by Bruce Springsteen
  471. Going Underground, by The Jam
  472. I’m on Fire, by Bruce Springsteen
  473. Round and Round, by Ratt
  474. Black Limousine, by The Rolling Stones
  475. Damaged, by Black Flag
  476. I Wanna Be Adored, by The Stone Roses
  477. The River, by Bruce Springsteen
  478. Computer Love, by Kraftwerk
  479. Never Say Never, by Romeo Void
  480. More Than This, by Roxy Music
  481. Pure, by The Lightning Seeds
  482. Two Tribes, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  483. Black and Blue, by Van Halen
  484. Ceremony, by New Order
  485. Goodbye Horses, by Q Lazzarus
  486. Somebody, by Bryan Adams
  487. Follow the Leader, by Eric B. & Rakim
  488. Beat Dis, by Bomb the Bass
  489. Other Arms, by Robert Plant
  490. Run to the Hills, by Iron Maiden
  491. Mama, by Genesis
  492. Moody, by ESG
  493. DJ Premier in Deep Concentration, by Gang Starr
  494. Mean Street, by Van Halen
  495. The Whole of the Moon, by The Waterboys
  496. Bad, by U2
  497. Can’t Be Sure, by The Sundays
  498. Moments in Love, by Art of Noise
  499. Epic, by Faith No More
  500. Oh Sherrie, by Steve Perry