Top 20 1980s Pop/Rock Songs by Year (Criteria)

A friend and I were recently talking about some articles we were planning to do for our respective blogs.  He mentioned that he was thinking of doing a Top Ten Songs for each year of the 1980s.  We are both children of the 80s, and I, personally. think it is the best stretch of time for music in the history of popular music.  As much as we both like the music of the 80s, we both do not necessarily like the same music from the 80s.  He likes music that is more band oriented, and I prefer the vocal stuff (though he would probably argue with this generalization).  I decided to take up the challenge and told him that I would counter with a list of my own.

It was harder than I thought it would be.  After, looking at 1983-1985, the first decision I made was to make my list a Top 20 for every year.  There is simply too much great music from these years for me not to have a few more songs on each year.  This idea presented its own difficulties.  It was difficult finding 20 songs for some of the early and late years of the 80s.  I downloaded the Billboard Top 100 and also a list of all songs that were released and charted in any given year.

Armed with this information, I decided on the criteria that would allow these songs onto the list.  If a song was released or charted in a particular year, it was fair game for inclusion in that year’s list.  This gave me some wiggle room, and allowed me to decide in which year a song would make the list.  I did not put a song on more than one list, and I limited each artist to only one song per year, as my friend also did (this forced a lot of good music off the list).  I tried to stay with popular music which meant; no country, instrumentals, rap and little hard rock, even though some of these songs charted.

In the end, this is my list, the songs that I liked the best.  For the most part, I ranked them by that criteria, but there were a few cases where I was forced to put a song a little higher on the list than I would personally have preferred out of deference to popular opinion.  I generally did not include gimmicky songs, but sometimes a gimmicky song really caught my attention, and as a result, it made the list.

Enjoy.

Top 20 80s Pop/Rock Songs (Category)

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs From 1980

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1981

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1982

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1983

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1984

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1985

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1986

Top 20 Pop/Rock Songs from 1987

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10 Responses

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  4. Great idea! I might have to steal this idea at some point. Do you mind? Being a product of the 80’s myself, I also have affection for the mindless pop that was out there in OUR day. I look forward to your lists!

  5. Some winners in there!

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