The 80s is a decade often called the golden age of music. I’ve put together a list of the top ten songs from 1984 that still hold up today. Check it out!
The 80s was an era where music production and technology began to improve, and the creativity of musicians was at an all-time high.
I was born in the 80s, but I was a baby back then. I was initially dismissive of the music that came before my teen days, However, as I matured, I began to appreciate the incredible legacy of the 80s music scene.
With so many iconic songs and artists from that era, it was tough to pick just ten. There are some special mention songs at the end of the post, let me know in the comments what you think!
Click on the link at the begging of each paragraph to listen to the song on youtube!
10- “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins
“Against All Odds” is a timeless ballad by legendary musician and songwriter Phil Collins. It was released in 1984 as the theme song for the movie of the same name, and it portrays the deep emotions of heartbreak and the struggle to move on.
The piano’s opening notes instantly transport the listener into a world of raw emotion and vulnerability.
Collins’ haunting and powerful voice expresses the pain of lost love with every note while the orchestra builds up to a crescendo that echoes the intensity of the lyrics.
The chorus, featuring the iconic line “Take a look at me now,” is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever been hurt and struggled to move on.
Collins’ voice soars, lifting the listener up with its power and reminding us that we can find the strength to carry on even in our darkest moments.
A Timeless Ballad of Heartbreak and Resilience
“Against All Odds” is a testament to the enduring power of love and the pain that comes when it’s lost. But it’s also a tribute to the human spirit, the strength and resilience that we all possess.
Collins’ lyrics, although simple, are profound and capture the complexity of the emotions we feel when our hearts are broken.
They remind us that even in our pain, we are not alone, and there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
The song reminds us of the power of music to touch the soul and connect us to something greater than ourselves.
It’s a song that has stood the test of time and will continue to resonate with listeners for generations to come.
Phil Collins’ powerful delivery
Phil Collins’ powerful delivery is a beacon of hope, reminding us that even when everything feels lost, there is always the possibility of a brighter tomorrow.
His voice captures the intensity of the emotions we feel when our hearts are broken, and his words provide solace and comfort in our times of need.
“Against All Odds” is a tribute to the power of the human spirit, reminding us that we all carry within us the strength and resilience to overcome even the most difficult challenges.
Its legacy is one of hope and inspiration, reminding us that we are never alone in our struggles and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The song’s popularity has inspired many famous covers over the years, including Mariah Carey, Boyce Avenue, Glee, Bonnie Tyler, Montell Jordan, and The Postal Service. Regardless of the artist or style, the song’s emotional impact remains the same, touching listeners’ hearts and reminding us of the power of love and resilience.
Mariah Carey recorded one of the most famous “Against Odds” covers in 1999 Ft. Westlife: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3YAINjlyE
Boyce Avenue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7d5Caf3SDs
Glee by Darren Criss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrG1Hbjcl8E
Bonnie Tyler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6-UpSdMZFY
“Dancing in the Dark” is a popular song by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1984 as the lead single from his album “Born in the U.S.A.”
The album was one of the most successful of the 1980s. Springsteen wrote the song himself, and it was produced by Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, and Springsteen.
The lyrics describe the frustration and disillusionment of a blue-collar worker trapped in a mundane job and unfulfilling life.
The worker longs for something more to bring him out of the darkness and into the light. The catchy chorus, “I’m just dancing in the dark,” is a powerful metaphor for life’s search for meaning and purpose.
The song’s driving beat and upbeat melody is irresistible, making it an instant classic and fan favourite.
Synthesizers and electric guitars give the song a distinctive sound that has become synonymous with Springsteen’s unique rock and roll style.
“Dancing in the Dark” was a massive commercial success, reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of Springsteen’s signature songs.
The iconic music video, featuring a young Courteney Cox dancing on stage with Springsteen, helped propel the song’s popularity even further.
Over the years, “Dancing in the Dark” has been covered by numerous artists and has become a staple of Springsteen’s live performances.
It continues to resonate with fans worldwide, capturing the universal human desire for something more that will lift us out of the darkness and into the light.
Springsteen’s passionate vocals and urgent energy in the opening chords convey the song’s emotional intensity.
The protagonist of the song is a blue-collar worker who feels trapped and disillusioned with his life, longing for purpose and meaning.
The “Dancing in the Dark” music video is also an iconic part of the song’s legacy.
It captures the joy and energy of the song, inspiring fans worldwide to dance and celebrate life.
Notable covers of the song include John Legend’s soulful rendition, Hot Chip’s groovy synth version, and Tegan and Sara’s stripped-down acoustic cover for the “Girls” soundtrack.
Despite the various interpretations, “Dancing in the Dark” remains an iconic and beloved song that continues to touch the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.
Its message of hope, resilience, and the power of music to lift us out of the darkness is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.
John Legend – In 2020, John Legend performed a soulful rendition of “Dancing in the Dark.
“His powerful vocals and piano playing added a new dimension to the song while still honouring the original.
Hot Chip – In 2008, the British electronic band Hot Chip released a cover of “Dancing in the Dark” that added a groovy synth beat to the song. Their version is a fun and upbeat take on the classic.
Tegan and Sara – In 2013, the indie rock duo Tegan and Sara covered “Dancing in the Dark” for the soundtrack of the HBO series “Girls.” Their stripped-down version features acoustic guitar and delicate harmonies, highlighting the beauty of the song’s melody and lyrics.
No matter how it is covered, “Dancing in the Dark” remains a beloved and iconic song that has touched the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Its message of hope, resilience, and the power of music to lift us out of the darkness is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.
“Jump” is a popular American band Van Halen rock song.
It was released in December 1983 as a single and was later featured on the album “1984”.
The song became a commercial hit, reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the band’s only single to achieve that position.
Eddie Van Halen, the band’s guitarist, played the catchy synthesizer riff that the song is known for, which is accompanied by David Lee Roth’s vocals and a driving drum beat.
The lyrics of the song encourage listeners to take risks and seize opportunities, urging them to “jump” into new experiences.
departure from hard rock sound
“Jump” marked a departure from Van Halen’s previous hard rock sound, incorporating more pop and synthesizer elements.
The song initially received mixed reviews from critics but has since become one of the band’s most iconic and recognizable songs.
In addition to its commercial success, “Jump” has been featured in various films, television shows, and video games.
Several artists have also covered the song, and it was sampled in the hip-hop hit “Jump” by Kris Kross.
What else is JUMP
“Jump” is not just a song; it’s an emotional journey that takes us on a rollercoaster ride of hope, joy, and triumph.
It’s a timeless anthem that reminds us to break free from our fears and take a leap of faith toward our dreams.
The opening synthesizer riff of “Jump” is like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, making it impossible to resist the urge to dance and sing along.
David Lee Roth’s powerful vocals transport us to a world of limitless potential, where anything is possible if we have the courage to take a chance.
The lyrics of “Jump” call us to action, urging us to cast aside our doubts and fears and embrace the unknown.
With its iconic refrain of “Might as well jump!”, the chorus is a rallying cry for all who dare to dream big and reach for the stars.
Decades after its release, “Jump” remains a beloved classic that inspires and uplifts generations of music lovers.
It’s a testament to the enduring power of rock and roll and a tribute to the indomitable human spirit that refuses to be held down or silenced.
A memorable cover of “Jump” was performed by the cast of the hit TV show Glee in 2010, showcasing the song’s enduring appeal to a new generation of fans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz3rqEXqQY0
Another notable cover was by Aztec Camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COtZZmWKcRI
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” is a timeless hit by Tina Turner, released in 1984 after the artist recognized its potential, despite initial reservations about the lyrics.
Originally intended for another singer, the song became a major success, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and winning Record of the Year at the 1985 Grammy Awards.
The song’s upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and empowering lyrics challenge the traditional belief that love is crucial for a successful relationship, making it a beloved anthem of independence and self-worth.
Its popularity has endured thanks to its message and its iconic music video, featuring Turner’s signature look of short hair, leather jacket, and red lipstick, dancing against a plain white background.
While the infectious beat and catchy lyrics make it impossible not to dance along, the song’s message resonates with listeners of all ages and backgrounds.
As Turner asks, “What’s love got to do with it? What’s love but a secondhand emotion?”
Many artists have covered the song over the years, including several notable versions.
One of the most well-known covers is by British singer Warren G, who released a rap version of the song in 1996.
The cover features a sample of the original track’s melody and a new rap verse by Warren G, creating a unique fusion of hip-hop and R&B. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri-eOc1irww
Kelly Clarkson cover in her show the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7OxjPjr6Xs
Britton Buchana covers the son in the Voice, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cLFRCN21WA
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” is a song written, produced, and performed by Stevie Wonder, released in 1984.
It was featured in the romantic comedy film “The Woman in Red,” which starred Gene Wilder and Kelly Le Brock.
The song quickly became a commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in several countries.
In the United States, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the Adult Contemporary, R&B, and Dance charts.
It was also a top ten hit in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The success of “I Just Called to Say I Love You” was not limited to the charts.
The song also won Stevie Wonder an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In addition, it earned him three Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” is a song that evokes feelings of love, warmth, and tenderness.
The lyrics are simple and direct, expressing a heartfelt message of love and affection that resonates with listeners of all ages.
The melody is soft and romantic, with a gentle rhythm that perfectly complements the sincerity of the lyrics.
Stevie Wonder’s smooth vocals and simple yet elegant instrumentation create a mood of pure joy and happiness.
THE SONG SUCCESS
The song’s success is a testament to its emotional appeal, as it quickly became a hit across the world and remains a beloved classic to this day.
Its message of love and devotion is universal and speaks to the deep emotions that we all feel for the special people in our lives.
The song’s success was also reflected in its sales, with over 6 million copies sold worldwide.
It remains one of Stevie Wonder’s most popular and recognizable songs and has been covered by many other artists over the years.
Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is a pop song that was released as the lead single from her second studio album of the same name in 1984.
It quickly became a commercial success, staying at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks.
The song’s lyrics playfully explore the idea of sexual innocence and the excitement of experiencing new love.
Madonna’s breathy vocals and upbeat melody create anticipation as she sings about feeling like a virgin touched for the first time.
The “Like a Virgin” music video perfectly reflects the song’s playful and provocative tone.
Madonna wears a wedding dress and cavorts on a gondola in Venice with male dancers.
The video’s use of religious imagery, such as Madonna’s “Boy Toy” belt and her appearance as a bride, caused controversy at the time but helped solidify Madonna’s reputation as a trailblazing icon of female sexuality and empowerment.
MADONNA’S MOST POPULAR SONG
“Like a Virgin” remains one of Madonna’s most popular hits, with its catchy melody and cheeky lyrics continuing to captivate audiences worldwide.
Countless artists and comedians have covered and parodied the song over the years, cementing its status as a true pop culture classic.
The song embodies the spirit of the 1980s and its cultural revolution.
Madonna’s playful exploration of sexuality and desire challenged conventional norms and helped pave the way for a new era of artistic expression.
The song celebrates the excitement and thrill of new love, with Madonna’s soaring vocals conveying a sense of innocence and vulnerability that is relatable and inspiring.
“LIKE A VIRG” STRUCTURE
The chorus, with its iconic line “like a virgin, touched for the very first time,” captures the essence of the song’s message, inviting listeners to join in the celebration of newfound passion and desire.
The music video complements the song’s playful and provocative tone.
Madonna’s use of religious imagery and symbolism caused controversy but was a powerful statement of her artistic vision and willingness to push boundaries and challenge societal norms.
Despite the controversy, “Like a Virgin” remains a beloved classic that inspires and captivates audiences worldwide.
Madonna’s ability to capture the essence of the cultural moment and turn it into a timeless pop masterpiece is a testament to her talent and her enduring impact on the world of music and popular culture.
Notable cover was recorded by the cast of the hit TV show “Glee” in 2010. Their version of “Like a Virgin” was a playful and fun interpretation, featuring the show’s signature vocal harmonies and upbeat pop sensibility.
It was a tribute to the song’s enduring popularity and influence and helped to introduce a new generation of listeners to the classic hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEbE-PZ_jS
The “Moulin Rouge” cover of “Like a Virgin” is a testament to the enduring appeal of Madonna’s music and the ability of talented artists to take a classic hit and make it their own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIerRcig8r8
“Hello” is a timeless ballad sung by American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie. It was the third single from his second solo album, “Can’t Slow Down,” released in 1984.
The song became a commercial success, topping charts in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Richie’s heartfelt lyrics express love and longing as he sings about a man trying to approach a woman he’s infatuated with.
The iconic refrain, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” is one of the most recognizable lines in popular music.
THE MUSIC VIDEO
The music video for “Hello” is famous, featuring Richie as a drama teacher who falls in love with one of his blind students.
The video’s romantic storyline and emotional tone complement the song’s lyrics and melody, making it one of the most memorable music videos of the 1980s.
Widely regarded as one of Lionel Richie’s greatest hits, “Hello” has been covered by several artists over the years, including Adele and Glee’s Jonathan Groff.
The song has also been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials, cementing its status as a timeless classic.
“Hello” is a masterpiece that captures the essence of yearning and desire, expressing universal and deeply personal emotions.
From the first notes of the piano intro, the song draws us in with its gentle yet powerful melody. Richie’s smooth and soulful vocals transport us to a world of romance and longing, where anything is possible, and love is the ultimate goal.
The lyrics of “Hello” express the universal desire for connection and companionship. The song’s protagonist is a man who is searching for love and trying to find the courage to reach out to the woman he desires.
But “Hello” is more than just a love song; it’s an emotional journey that touches the heart and soul of anyone who has ever experienced the thrill and uncertainty of new love.
Decades after its release, “Hello” remains a beloved classic that inspires and uplifts generations of music lovers.
Its emotional resonance and universal themes make it a true gem of popular music that will be cherished for generations to come.
Notable covers of “Hello” is by American rock band Incubus, who performed a live version of the song during their tour in 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrh0sk7uqBc
Other notable covers of “Hello” include versions by the Glee cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd-xLHUPuTY
“I Want to Know What Love Is” is a power ballad by British-American rock band Foreigner, released in 1984 as the lead single from their fifth studio album, “Agent Provocateur”.
The song quickly topped the charts in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
The lyrics of the song explore the human desire for love and connection, with lead singer Lou Gramm passionately expressing his yearning to find true love and understand its mysteries.
The chorus, featuring the iconic refrain “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me,” is one of the most recognizable lines in popular music.
The music video for the song depicts the band performing in a church, accompanied by a gospel choir for the chorus.
THE EMOTIONAL TONE
The emotional tone of the video perfectly complements the song’s lyrics and melody, making it a memorable music video of the 1980s.
“I Want to Know What Love Is” is widely regarded as one of Foreigner’s greatest hits and has been covered by several artists, including Mariah Carey and featured in Tom Cruise’s film “Rock of Ages”.
It has also been used in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials, cementing its status as a timeless classic.
ANALYZING THE SONG
The song’s lyrics remind us that no matter who we are or where we come from, we all share the same basic human desire for love and companionship.
Lou Gramm’s soaring vocals convey a sense of longing and vulnerability, expressing his yearning to know the mysteries of love and find someone to share it with.
As we listen to the chorus, with its heartfelt plea of “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me,” we feel the depth of emotion behind those words.
It’s a cry from the heart that speaks to our hopes and dreams and reminds us that even in our darkest moments, there is always a glimmer of light if we are brave enough to reach out and connect with others.
The music video for “I Want to Know What Love Is” perfectly complements the song’s emotional intensity, with the use of a gospel choir adding a spiritual dimension.
Despite being released over three decades ago, the song remains a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. Its message of hope and love is more relevant than ever, serving as a reminder that love is always worth the risk, no matter how difficult the journey may be.
One of the most famous covers of the song is by American singer Mariah Carey, who released her version in 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCadlN8fexk
Another notable cover of “I Want to Know What Love Is” is by Chloe Kohabski in the Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EL0S2DZm9M
Another notable cover is Leo Ihenacho – The Voice UK 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlPC_85tKqM
And Amber Riley in Glee, one of the best covers of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=019MJz6oF9U
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” is a tribute song to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, released by Irish rock band U2 as the second single from their 1984 album “The Unforgettable Fire.
” The lyrics of the song portray King as a visionary leader and a symbol of hope for those who seek freedom and justice.
Bono sings in the opening verse, “One man come in the name of love / One man come and go / One man come he to justify / One man to overthrow,” capturing King’s legacy and the struggle for equality that he inspired.
Musically, “Pride” is characterized by its anthemic guitar riffs and driving rhythm section.
The song’s memorable hook and chorus have made it a staple of U2’s live shows and a fan favourite. Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois produced the song and helped to create the atmospheric soundscapes that are a hallmark of U2’s music.
A POWERFUL SONG
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2 is a powerful and moving song that captures the spirit of hope and social justice.
It is a stirring call to action, urging listeners to stand up for what they believe in and fight for equality and freedom.
With its soaring guitar riffs, anthemic chorus, and passionate vocals from Bono, “Pride” has become one of U2’s most beloved and enduring songs. It has been covered by countless artists, featured in movies and TV shows, and remains a staple of U2’s live performances to this day.
Not only is “Pride” a great song, but it also serves as a testament to the power of music to inspire and unite people.
Its message of love and equality continues to resonate today, reminding us of the ongoing struggle for justice and human rights.
Famous cover includes:
John Legend : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPs-t5ayPAM
Kevin Walker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd_GIN6Uujw
“Purple Rain” is a classic rock ballad written and performed by the iconic American singer and musician Prince.
It was released in 1984 as the title track of his sixth studio album, “Purple Rain,” and is widely regarded as one of his greatest compositions, becoming an enduring cultural touchstone.
Lyrically, “Purple Rain” explores themes of heartbreak, love, and spirituality.
The song’s poetic lyrics, Prince’s impassioned delivery, and soaring guitar solo create an emotional and cathartic listening experience that resonates with many.
The opening lines, “I never meant to cause you any sorrow, I never meant to cause you any pain,” set the tone for the introspective and emotional journey on which the song takes us.
MOST FAMOUS PRINCE SONG
With its repetition of the titular phrase “purple rain,” the chorus has become one of Prince’s most recognizable and beloved hooks.
“Purple Rain” was a massive commercial success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning Prince an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.
The accompanying album went on to become one of the best-selling albums of Prince’s career and remains a beloved classic.
Numerous artists have covered the song over the years, and it has been featured in various films and TV shows, cementing its status as a cultural touchstone.
It is widely regarded as one of the greatest rock ballads of all time, a testament to Prince’s incredible talent as a songwriter, performer, and musician.
“Purple Rain” is more than just a song; it is an anthem of hope and a tribute to the power of love. Prince’s voice conveys raw, unfiltered emotions that pour out in every note. We feel his sorrow, pain, and longing as if they were our own.
His guitar solo speaks to the soul and lifts us up to a higher plane.
As the chorus swells, we find ourselves swept up in the sheer beauty of it all. We sing “purple rain, purple rain” as if our voices could somehow carry us to a better place.
At that moment, we are all one, united by the power of the music and the emotions it evokes.
“Purple Rain” reminds us that beauty and love can be found even in our darkest moments. Its legacy is one of healing, connection, and the enduring power of music to touch the human soul.
We are not alone in our pain; together, we can find the strength to carry on. Thank you, “Purple Rain,” for reminding us of the beauty and power of the human spirit. Your magic will live on forever in the hearts of all those you have touched.
Purple Rain is an iconic song that has been covered by many musicians over the years. Some of the most famous covers of the song include:
Bruce Springsteen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuEZ090WF-8
Kelly Clarkson – The American Idol winner performed a powerful rendition of Purple Rain during her Piece by Piece tour in 2015. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%09Purple+Rain%09Kelly+Clarkson+
Celine Dion – Live in Montreal 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE6dR7pbxQE
Maroon 5 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w2lNpixqOc
Jennifer Hudson – The Academy Award-winning singer performed a soulful rendition of Purple Rain during a tribute to Prince at the 2020 Grammy Awards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xWrMHG2xVk
Despite not making it to the top ten, 1984 had several notable songs that are still popular today. Among them, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister became a staple anthem for teenage rebellion.
At the same time, “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams still resonates with listeners who long for simpler times.
“The NeverEnding Story” by Limahl was the theme song for the popular movie of the same name and remains a nostalgic classic.
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. was a catchy and fun tune that captured the spirit of the iconic movie it accompanied.
“Footloose” by Kenny Loggins had audiences tapping their feet and dancing along with its upbeat rhythm.
“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen tackled political issues with its gritty lyrics.
Finally, “When Doves Cry” by Prince showcased the artist’s innovative sound and became one of his most iconic hits. These songs may not have made it to the top ten, but their impact on popular culture is undeniable.
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