The Best Pop Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

Over 5.9K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Pop Songs Of The '80s, Ranked
Latest additions: Don't You (Forget About Me) (Simple Minds), Money For Nothing (Full Length Version), Don't Stop the Music
Most divisive: Push It

If you're making a throwback playlist, you can't forget the best pop songs of the '80s. Including unforgettable classics and old school dance hits, the list of '80s pop songs features popular artists, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, and David Bowie. Moonwalk down memory lane with the top pop songs of the 1980s. 

Vote up the best '80s pop songs, and add your favorites if they're missing from the list.

Ranked by
  • Take On Me

    Take On Me

    2,107 votes

    "Take On Me," the iconic 1980s synth-pop anthem by Norwegian band A-ha, is a high-energy love song that captures the essence of youthful passion and adventure. Propelled to international stardom with its groundbreaking rotoscope-animated music video, this catchy tune still resonates today as an emblematic representation of the decade's distinctive sound and visual style. With Morten Harket's soaring falsetto, infectious melodies, and an unforgettable chorus that begs for sing-alongs, "Take On Me" remains a beloved classic in both the hearts of nostalgic fans and new generations discovering its timeless charm.

  • Journey's anthemic power ballad, "Don't Stop Believin'," emboldens listeners with its soaring vocals, unforgettable guitar riffs, and a message of resilience. An undeniable staple of the 80s, the song resonated with audiences seeking inspiration and hope amidst life's uncertainties. Today, "Don't Stop Believin'" persists as a cultural touchstone, instilling tenacity and optimism in the hearts of millions.

  • Thriller
    1,658 votes

    Michael Jackson's legendary opus, "Thriller," enthralls listeners with its ominous synth lines, infectious dance beats, and masterful storytelling. Culminating in an iconic music video forever etched into pop culture, this quintessential 80s track exemplifies creative innovation and unparalleled artistic vision. Decades later, "Thriller" continues to lure new generations into its spine-chilling world, proving to be an unyielding masterpiece.

  • Queen's pulsating groove and indomitable energy in "Another One Bites the Dust" introduced a timeless anthem to the world, blending rock and funk elements. The track's unforgettable bassline, catchy chorus, and Freddie Mercury's mesmerizing vocals propelled the song to the top of the charts. Today, "Another One Bites The Dust" remains a beloved classic, evoking nostalgia and demonstrating Queen's enduring impact on popular music.

  • Beat It
    1,739 votes

    Michael Jackson's invigorating anthem, "Beat It," combines a driving beat, blistering guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, and empowering lyrics to create an unstoppable force in 80s pop culture. As a stand-out track from the unprecedentedly successful album Thriller, "Beat It" transcended musical boundaries, uniting pop and rock listeners alike. Today, this electrifying song remains a testament to the King of Pop's undeniable impact on music history.

  • Time After Time
    1,473 votes

    "Time After Time" is a timeless classic from the 1980s, beautifully crafted by the talented Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman. With its poignant lyrics, heartfelt melody, and Lauper's distinctively emotive voice, it captivated listeners upon release in 1984 and still resonates with audiences today. This enchanting ballad propelled her album She's So Unusual to multi-platinum status and solidified Cyndi Lauper as one of the most iconic artists of that era.