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Most popular 80s dance songs

December 19, The s was a time of hits. The pop machine was in full swing by then and had confidently snaked its roots down into the heart of the industry. Probably the most famous film clip of all time accompanies the title track of the best selling album in history. Hence, the famous card at the opening of the clip. Trivia note: This song was played to help welcome home the 52 freed American hostages from Iran in This was originally a hit in Europe in Definitely a favourite on the late night dancefloor, Eurythmics know how to concoct a banger. Makes perfect sense to me! This absolute lung buster is as catchy as they come with a truly iconic hook.
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What are the best dance songs from the period best known for mullets, jelly bands, and jean jackets? To answer that question, let's rank the best '80s dance songs that truly defined the decade and inspired all of the dance music that followed in the '90s and beyond. Salt-N-Pepa helped define the generation for dancers across the world with "Push It," but you don't have to look much further than the King of Pop's incredibly popular classic "Beat It," which helped launch Michael Jackson's solo career. Composer: Michael Jackson. Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson. Length seconds : Albums: The Game. Composer: John Deacon. Producer: Queen, Reinhold Mack. Date Recorded:
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Top ’80s songs, ranked

Funkytown — Lipps Inc. Electric Boogie — Marcia Griffiths 3. Push It — Salt N Pepa 5. Superfreak — Rick James 6. Celebration — Kool and the Gang 7. Footloose — Kenny Loggins 9. Love Shack — Bs Double Dutch Bus — Frankie Smith Mony Mony — Billy Idol Into The Groove — Madonna

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Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! Our sonic roundup of the era that brought us Miami Vice , mall culture and more awesomely cheesy entertainment than any sane person can handle is wonderfully diverse. Thirsty for more essentials from way back when? And if you need more playlists that hit the spot, dip into our lists of the best summer songs and breakup songs. Listen to these songs on Amazon Music. That drumbeat. That simple bass progression. Those deliciously decade-appropriate synths.

That infectious, descending lead guitar line. Lawrence and ultimately embarking on a midlife crisis that resulted in a worrying beard and Tin Machine. We defy your feet to stay on the floor as that cyclical, cynical, irresistible chorus hurtles on. In , Houston was still very much a fresh-faced siren with the crystal-clear voice and a world of possibilities at her feet.

Her approach to this song—which, when you break it down, is more about loneliness than love—says a lot about her ability to radiate warmth and positivity through her singular sound. It's miles away from the struggles the singer would face later in her career. Always a party starter and roof-igniting karaoke jam, the song become a bittersweet rallying cry in the years since her death.

You can practically hear year-old smiling through the chorus, urging every last wallflower on to the dance floor. Who can resist? As a cocksure teenager, Prince passed on four major-label record deals, demanding artistic autonomy until Warner Bros. And yet, the sharp crack of a proverbial whip yielded some stunning results in The Purple Rain soundtrack was thought to be complete, but the director needed a power ballad to lay over a montage of domestic discord. It would be the pinnacle of his career. At nearly seven and a half minutes, "Blue Monday" is one of the longest songs ever to show up on the U.

With its chugging synths and stuttering drum machine beat, it was a particularly visible signpost along New Order's journey from post-punk into dancier, Italo-disco-inflected terrain. Considering "Blue Monday" went on to become the best-selling inch single of all time, it's safe to say the band was headed in the right direction.

Nine years later, though, he came awfully close to outdoing himself with "Sexual Healing," his first non-Motown single released just two years before he was fatally shot by his father. In , Tina Turner was 44 years old and on the comeback trail. The video found her strutting around New York City in a jean jacket, leather miniskirt and feather-duster hair—a bruised but defiantly happy paragon of independence.

We may dismiss the '80s as an era of musical cheese, light on substance and heavy on excess. We get so used to the sleek, funky side of Michael Jackson that it's easy to forget how hard "Beat It" actually legitimately rocks. And it's not just Eddie Van Halen's famous finger-busting solo; it's that perfectly formed sneer of a guitar riff—conceived by Jackson and played by session ace Steve Lukather—those exaggered downbeats that feel like medicine balls being slammed down on a concrete floor and the raw desperation in MJ's voice as he chronicles the harsh truths of the street-fighting life.

As much of a dance-floor killer as it is, "Beat It" is a genuinely heavy song, psychologically as much as sonically. Though it proved a surprise commercial hit for David Byrne's new-wave art-pop experimentalists, it's easy to forget just how deliciously weird this song sounded back in Years after its release, she said that she felt like a dork singing it. Fine, Madge, but you can't have looked as dorky as the millions of us who sang it into our hairbrushes.

Is there a song more synonymous with a movie than this one? Can you listen to it and not immediate conjure scenes from The Breakfast Club? Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol also passed. Early Cars hits were all tight leather trousers and sunglasses, but by the end of their career, they were producing records like Michael Bay makes movies, filled with special effects, perpetual sunsets and supermodels. Layers upon layers of keyboards and digital choir boys stack up to make a mille-feuille of gooey, ethereal new wave. Sade is just so damned smooth.

It would be easy to be consumed by envy if we weren't all being lulled into a dopey, two-stepping, love-drunk stupor. The Nigerian-born, U. When it comes on, you've got no choice but to relax and drift off into the quiet storm. The rest is karaoke history, baby. It's impossible to feel bad when this tune's Caribbean-inflected rhythms start pumping from a nearby speaker.

The perma-coifed Commodores frontman's single smashes any attempts to resist its groove. And that bit that sounds like made-up gibberish? It is. Richie attempted to find some suitable foreign phrases but got impatient and invented his own international party language. We dare you to hear it and not clap along. Michael produced the track himself with micromanaged minimalism. The guitar, claps and drums are so closely microphoned and clipped that the acoustic instruments pop and lock like the best electronic dance music.

The hermetically sealed precision of the title track makes for surprising sexual tension. Bush was discovered when barely into her teens, knocking out genius tunes on a piano in her cozy Kent, England, home.

But her aching sensuality allowed her strangeness to connect with a mass audience. Few songs from the era are so rich and perfect. As the s turned in the s, punks and rockers and there was a difference then both became enamored with the sounds coming out of New York City. Even the Stones went disco and dabbled with rap. No guitar act better assimilated hip-hop than the Clash, probably because they had so much practice sponging up dub. Penned by Rufus keyboardist David J. Restrained it ain't—and why would you want it to be? Strap in, as primo belter Chaka Khan harnesses her most primal instincts and delivers a fierce clinic on diva ad libbing.

It's about as sappy as they come, but Baby Huey smartly slips in a line about how love doesn't require a credit card, which, as anyone who's gone on a date in the past 50 years can tell you, is totally bull. But it's a sweet thought. Maybe not surprising, coming from a band named after an amphetamine, but the U. The lyrics, about songwriter Kevin Rowland's youth as a sexually repressed Catholic kid, verge on dirty while remaining innocuous enough for your work-party karaoke sing-along.

Fine Young Cannibals were so much weirder and cooler than you remember. But you could still smash faces at the roller rink to it. In this opening cut, big sloppy washes of distorted guitar crashes over a rigid drum machine, as Roland Gift lifts it to the sky with his helium falsetto. The lyrics pour out in a nervy jumble of apocalyptic imagery, military danger and mass-media frenzy, with pointed name-drops of pop-culture figures Lenny Bruce, Leonid Brezhnev, Leonard Bernstein and Lester Bangs united only by their initials.

But its cut-through-the-chaos message still connects with anyone aiming to clear out a polluted stream of consciousness. Is this song really about that? The opening tune on Milwaukee-buskers-turned-alt-rock-superstars Violent Femmes' self-titled debut starts with one of the more recognizable guitar licks of the modern era, and then proceeds to sing about, um, masturbation—or so everyone thought. That interpretation was disputed by frontman Gordon Gano in an interview with the Village Voice in , but one thing isn't up for debate: "Blister in the Sun" is a catchy, unfettered romp that sounds just as fresh now.

Oh, that ill-fated bassline. Before Vanilla Ice famously ripped off, er, was inspired by the work of Queen bassist John Deacon, that subtle, infectious plucking heralded the meeting of two wildly influential rock icons. Considering the titanic forces at work in this tune, it's relatively understated, but it does ultimately climb to the sparkling heights that both Bowie and Mercury inhabited with such ease. As critics continued to peg rap as a passing novelty, this big, lisping teddy bear from Long Island thumbed his nose at such stuck-up stupidity.

His records were as much comedy albums and demonstrations of sampling as pretentious works of art, which made them even greater works of art. Eventually, he had the shit sued out of him, and hip-hop was forever changed. Has a drum introduction ever sounded this big? This platinum-certified single is essentially Australia's unofficial national anthem, incorporating country pride, lots of local slang "fried-out Kombi," "head full of zombie" and even the tune of a popular Aussie children's song, "Kookaburra," for the flute part.

Insanely popular in its home country, the song also made waves internationally, shifting millions of copies and becoming an instant karaoke classic. We'll still pass on that Vegemite sandwich, though, thanks. A firm salute, please, for veteran rock chick Pat Benatar, who commanded the airwaves with a take-charge attitude, a spandex wardrobe and the voice to back up both of them.

Each and every element in the song is dancing. By the middle of the decade, the band was mining house music heavily enough to join a union in Chicago though always balancing disco ecstasy with melancholy in true Mancunian fashion. A New Order single is like if architecture was flush with hormones. The album, released in , went on to become the second-highest-selling album in history, cementing the Aussie outfit's status as one of the biggest hard rock bands of all time. By this point, you know where you stand on this one: You hear Jonathan Cain's piano intro, and you either swell up with joy or wince in pain.

Whatever your take, you're about to get flattened by an emotional steamroller: four minutes of undiluted underdog yearning and a portrait of anonymous lost souls praying for luck and love on the streets of nonexistent South Detroit, starring Steve Perry's scarily, swoopingly elastic voice. This song represents the apex of scream-along arena-scale pop-rock. When it came to hair and emotion, bigger was always better. When she strode on the scene in , Neneh Cherry was one of those pop stars who made you do a double take—what the?

The stepdaughter of jazz musician Don Cherry, Neneh was raised in Stockholm, New York and London, which explains her deliciously odd accent and assured street smarts. Turning jaunty Motown influences into icy synth pop may sound like sacrilege, but that's exactly what English duo Soft Cell did when it covered Gloria Jones's funky stomper in



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