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10 Best 80s Pop Songs of All Time, Ranked

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Pop music has been a favorite for many music lovers for a very long time. Each decade seems to bring something new to the genre, and there’s always a new rising pop star that takes pop music to a new level.

There are a lot of stellar songs from the pop genre, but many would agree there’s a handful that reign supreme. 

In this article, I’m going to focus on the 10 best 80s pop songs that deserve all the attention!

1. Beat It – Michael Jackson (1982)

Many fans would agree Michael Jackson is undeniably the king of pop, and that’s pretty hard to argue with considering his track record. His talent is unmatched, and it shines through in many ways on his record “Beat It.”

The instrumentation is very catchy, and his impeccable vocals really sell the song’s dynamics. It’s danceable, and many people can’t help but move with the record’s energy and infectious hooks.

2. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield (1981)

A song that was quite popular throughout the 80s, “Jessie’s Girl” was hard to escape during that era. Rick Springfield has a standout voice, and the hook of this record brings everything together to reel in listeners.

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Littered with fun synth and organic melodies, its repetitive nature is catchy and hard to ignore. The artist has many other great songs, but this one ended up as one of the best 80s pop songs, in my opinion.

3. Take On Me – A-ha (1985)

A song that’s still loved to this day, “Take On Me” offers dreamy synth melodies and fast-hitting drums that make you want to dance. Released in the mid-80s, this is a song that has held relevance with each passing decade.

It also boasts iconic vocals and a beautiful hook that has immortalized the record. Considered to be a timeless record from the 80s, I don’t see this song’s influence dissipating any time soon.

4. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson (1982)

As I said earlier, Michael Jackson is known to many as the king of pop, so it only makes sense that he has more than one song on this list. Starting off with catchy, enticing percussion, it quickly introduces a nice bass line to match.

Each layer of the song slowly creeps in, and you’re just on the edge waiting for Michael’s famed vocals to come in. The record slowly creeps up in energy, and once everything comes together, it sends chills throughout your body.

5. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper (1983)

A leading artist in the 80s, Cyndi Lauper captivated the hearts of many people with her outstanding talent and story writing. “Time After Time” is another song that offers a melody that brings a lot of nostalgia for many people nowadays.

During its release, it heavily resonated with people who felt attached to the record’s message. Overall, the track was a recipe for success from every angle and is now a timeless staple of pop music from the 80s.

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6. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (1980)

I think this song can easily be labeled as one of the best 80s pop songs for numerous reasons. Starting off with a catchy drum and bass pattern, it slowly builds up its energy and reaches heights first-time listeners may not expect.

Its hook also boasts some of the most memorable lyrics out of the 80s, and the song is very fitting for film, tv, and other media. The instrumentation is groovy and gets people moving, and the song’s infectious qualities make it memorable for a lifetime.

7. Pump Up the Jam – Technotronic (1989)

Although this record came out in the late 80s, it still envelopes all of the best parts of 80s pop music. It delivers a heavy bass line and an extremely danceable percussion style.

You’ll also find catchy synths, and the lyrics are perfect for the dance floor, making it a club hit that’s still used today. Regardless of its repetitive nature, it’s a song that can be left on loop and still satisfy a crowd of listeners.

8. I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow (1982)

Littered with iconic melodies and memorable lyrics, “I Want Candy” is a song that’ll go down in history as it keeps resurfacing over the years. The group has a sizeable discography, but this record sits at the top of their best work in the eyes of many fans.

It features rolling percussion and guitar melodies that are hard to forget. Of course, the hook on this record is what really stuck with people and will always be remembered as a staple of 80s pop music.

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9. Believe It Or Not – Joey Scarbury (1981)

One of the calmer records on this list, it still stands as a pop favorite for many people that lived through the 80s and even younger generations too. Joey’s voice is unforgettable, and the production delivers an organic, cinematic quality that’s sweet to the ear.

The lyrics in this record won’t be forgotten any time soon, and the hook is what most people latched onto and store in their memory bank. It’s truly a classic record from the early 80s, and Joey is one of those artists that knows how to produce a timeless sound.

10. Call Me – Blondie (1980)

I feel this is one of the best 80s pop songs for numerous reasons. It brings a fast energy that’s danceable yet perfect for a solo listening session or a live show. The guitar progression is also quite addictive, and the lead vocals are angelic above all the grit the record brings.

Each verse has unique qualities, and of course, the hook is something you won’t ever forget. “Call Me” carries all of the elements for a timeless record, and this still holds true, even in our modern era of evolving pop music and new musical influences.