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I have been an avid lover of ‘80s music since childhood. And I’m not the only one who loves this music: Songs from the ‘80s have consistently remained popular with people of all ages since the ‘80s. Surpassing other decades, the popular songs of the ‘80s feature a unique quality and a remarkable variety of music styles.


Since the ‘80s, music has gradually become more and more corporate and standardized, which is why the incredible music of the ‘80s eclipses and transcends popular music today. Furthermore, music is now categorized into genres to such an extreme degree that people are rarely exposed to different styles of music anymore.


This website focuses on the pop songs from the ‘80s that are still popular today, but the ‘80s songs that were not “popular” back then are also totally awesome, and many of those songs have become beloved classics.



Music from the ‘80s is much more than just the popular songs! For a comprehensive list of all the best ‘80s songs from all music genres, check out...








New Wave



New Age




Gangsta Rap








Adult Contemporary


The ‘80s had the best music in all categories!!


This playlist features songs by all noteworthy ‘80s artists, including artists you may not be as familiar with, such as Iron Maiden, Enya, Eric B. & Rakim, The Smiths, Tracy Chapman, 10,000 Maniacs, New Order, De La Soul, The Clash, Willie Nelson, Indigo Girls, Luther Vandross, Metallica, Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark, Reba McEntire, The Cure, Ice-T, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Jungle Brothers, Erasure, Jane’s Addiction, and The Stone Roses (just to name a few).


And, of course this playlist also includes songs from the most popular artists, including Madonna, Prince, Journey, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Def Leppard, Whitney Houston, Duran Duran, Van Halen, Elton John, Richard Marx, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Mötley Crüe, U2, Dolly Parton, Tears For Fears, AC/DC, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Police, Pink Floyd, Patti LaBelle, Eurythmics, Donna Summer, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, George Michael, Bryan Adams, R.E.M., Queen, Michael Jackson, and many more—all of the best artists from this decade of amazing music!


To listen to 2,000 of the best songs from the ‘80s (in a fun “custom order”), check out THE BEST ‘80S PLAYLIST EVER!

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How Were These Songs...



To compile this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S, what I primarily wanted to measure was staying power: Which songs have sustained in popularity since the ‘80s?


First, I had to establish the criteria for inclusion on the list, or there would have been well over 10,000 songs from the ‘80s to narrow to 500. For a song to be eligible for inclusion on this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S, it must have entered the United States Billboard Top 40 between January 5, 1980 and November 30, 1989. (For the January 5, 1980 chart, all songs that were already on the chart and ascending were eligible. Songs that entered the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in a December are considered songs from the subsequent year).​


The “Top 40” comes from the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which is the music industry standard by which a song’s popularity is assessed in the United States. The Hot 100 has been published weekly by Billboard magazine since 1958. (In the ‘80s, the Hot 100 was determined by radio airplay and retail sales data. Today the Hot 100 is determined using both retail and digital sales data, plus radio airplay data, and streaming activity data provided by online music platforms.)

American Top 40 is a weekly radio program that airs internationally and features an ascending countdown of the Top 40 songs on the Hot 100 chart. American Top 40 was created by American disc jockey and radio host Casey Kasem (who hosted the program from its inauguration on July 4, 1970 until August 6, 1988). In the ‘80s, every week I and millions of people all over the world listened to Casey Kasem count down the most popular songs in the United States from 40 to 1.

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There are 2,208 songs that charted on the Billboard Top 40 in the ‘80s. Twelve of those songs are not eligible to be included on this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S because even though they charted on the Billboard Top 40 in the ‘80s, these songs were actually hits in the ‘60s or ‘70s, and are therefore not ‘80s songs. 


Eight of these 12 songs are ineligible because they were descending the first chart of 1980 after reaching their peak popularity in 1979. These are songs from the ‘70s that were decreasing in popularity on the January 5, 1980 chart:

Babe — Styx

Half the Way — Crystal Gayle

Heartache Tonight — Eagles

No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer

Pop Muzik — M

Still — The Commodores

Take the Long Way Home — Supertramp

You’re Only Lonely — J.D. Souther


(Click on a song title to go to a video on YouTube, if one is available.)

Four of these 12 ineligible songs entered the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in the ‘80s, but because they had been Top 40 hits in the ‘60s, they were deemed ineligible for inclusion on this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S. These songs from the ‘60s are the exact same recordings that had been hits previously, not remakes or re-recordings:


Do You Love Me — The Contours

(a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit in 1962 and again in 1988)


Stand By Me — Ben E. King

(a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit in 1961 and again in 1986)


Twist and Shout — The Beatles

(a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit in 1964 and again in 1986)


What a Wonderful World — Louis Armstrong

(a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit in 1967 and again in 1988)


Excluding these 12 ineligible songs leaves 2,196 eligible songs for this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S.


The 2,196 songs were scored and ranked based on the following 20 categories, using United States data gathered through April 30, 2020:


  1. Retail Sales

  2. Digital Sales

  3. Radio Airplay

  4. Online Streaming

  5. Awards and Nominations

  6. Music Critics’ Lists

  7. Music Industry “Best Of” Lists

  8. Rankings On ‘80s Music Charts

  9. Rankings On Music Charts Since the ‘80s

  10. Uses and References In ‘80s Media

  11. Uses and References In Media Since the ‘80s

  12. Social Media Tracking of Song References

  13. Web Monitoring of Song References

  14. Video Hosting Website Views

  15. Cover Versions

  16. Attested Influence On Other Artists

  17. Music Video Plays

  18. Karaoke Demand

  19. Concert Performances

  20. Backlash (This category represents negative points for songs that decreased in popularity.)


Each song was scored based on these criteria, and that is how they were ranked, which is why you can be sure that this is the definitive list of ‘80s pop music.

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 1. MICHAEL JACKSON* – 14 songs

Billie Jean (#6), Beat It (#31), Thriller (#55), Man In the Mirror (#81), Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (#167), The Way You Make Me Feel (#171), Rock With You (#214), P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (#223), Human Nature (#315), Bad (#322), Smooth Criminal (#409), Dirty Diana (#438), and his duet Paul McCartney, Say Say Say (#478); plus Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me (#402), on which he performs vocals


 2. MADONNA – 14 songs

Like a Prayer (#12), Like a Virgin (#28), Borderline (#46), Holiday (#60), Crazy For You (#122), Material Girl (#158), La Isla Bonita (#233), Papa Dont Preach (#235), Lucky Star (#248), Open Your Heart (#257), Live To Tell (#276), Express Yourself (#280), Cherish (#453), and Dress You Up (#483)


 3. PRINCE – 11 songs

When Doves Cry (#2), Little Red Corvette (#27), Purple Rain (#30), Kiss (#40), 1999 (#62), Let’s Go Crazy (#66), Raspberry Beret (#212), Sign O’ the Times (#287), U Got the Look (#321), and I Would Die 4 U (#330); plus Stevie Nicks’ Stand Back, on which he plays synthesizers; but not including songs by other artists that Prince wrote: The Bangles’ Manic Monday (#128), Chaka Khan’s I Feel for You (#153), and Sheila E.’s The Glamorous Life (#390)

 4. PHIL COLLINS** – 9 songs

In the Air Tonight (#48), Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now) (#189), Another Day In Paradise (#331), and Sussudio (#383); plus his duet with Philip Bailey, Easy Lover (#183); two songs with Genesis: Invisible Touch (#169) and That’s All (#199); and songs on which he performs backing vocals and drums: Howard Jones’ No One Is To Blame (#320) and Frida’s I Know There’s Something Going On (#430)

 5. GEORGE MICHAEL** – 7 songs

Careless Whisper (#29), Faith (#51), Father Figure (#132), and One More Try (#188); plus two songs with Wham!: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (#42) and Everything She Wants (#165); and his duet with Aretha Franklin, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (#282)

 6. LIONEL RICHIE* – 7 songs

All Night Long (All Night) (#68), Hello (#179), Say You, Say Me (#201), Stuck On You (#363), Truly (#368), and You Are (#377); plus his duet with Diana Ross, Endless Love (#91)

 7. RICHARD MARX – 7 songs

Right Here Waiting (#109) and Hold On To the Nights (#311); plus three songs on which he performs backing vocals: John Parr’s St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) (#133), and two of Lionel Richie’s songs: All Night Long (All Night) (#68) and You Are (#377); plus two of Whitney Houston’s songs on which he performs backing vocals and guitar: Saving All My Love For You (#120) and Greatest Love Of All (#138)

 8. STEVE PERRY* – 6 songs

Oh Sherrie (#194); plus five songs with Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’ (#1), Faithfully (#56), Open Arms (#151), Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (#155), and Any Way You Want It (#211)

 9. WHITNEY HOUSTON – 6 songs

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (#15), Saving All My Love For You (#120), How Will I Know (#125), Greatest Love Of All (#138), So Emotional (#168), and One Moment In Time (#258)

10. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN* – 6 songs

Born In the U.S.A. (#32), Dancing In the Dark (#76), Glory Days (#225), I’m On Fire (#228), Hungry Heart (#332), and Brilliant Disguise (#418)

11. DURAN DURAN** – 6 songs

Hungry Like the Wolf (#33), Rio  (#232), A View To a Kill (#270), The Reflex (#285), Save a Prayer (#410), and Union Of the Snake (#471)

12. TOTO – 6 songs

Africa (#34) and Rosanna (#388); plus songs on which most members of the band perform: Michael Jackson’s Beat It (#31), John Parr’s St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) (#133), Michael Jackson’s Human Nature (#315), and Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ (#374) 


I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (#69),  Kiss On My List (#102), Maneater (#159), Out Of Touch (#192), You Make My Dreams (#206), and Private Eyes (#310)

14. STEVIE WONDER* – 6 songs

I Just Called To Say I Love You (#100) and Part-Time Lover (#300); plus his duet with Paul McCartney, Ebony and Ivory (#267); and Dionne and Friends’ That’s What Friends Are For (#178); and songs on which he plays harmonica: Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You (#153) and Elton John’s I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues (#247)

15. ELTON JOHN – 6 songs

I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues (#247), Candle In the Wind (Live 1986) (#356), Sad Songs (Say So Much) (#396), Little Jeannie (#408), and I’m Still Standing (#417); plus Dionne and Friends’ That’s What Friends Are For) (#178) [Note: This version of Candle In the Wind was recorded live in Australia in 1986, and entered the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in 1987. It peaked at #6 in early-1988. The original version, which was not released as a single, is on Elton John’s 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Elton John and his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin originally wrote this song about American singer/actress Marilyn Monroe (whose real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson). In 1997, they rewrote the lyrics and released a new version, Candle In the Wind 1997, as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, a member of the British royal family known for her charitable work, who died in a car crash in 1997. Elton John performed the song at Princess Diana’s funeral (click here). The 1997 version is one of the best-selling singles of all-time.]

16. JOURNEY – 5 songs

Don’t Stop Believin’ (#1), Faithfully (#56), Open Arms (#151), Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (#155), and Any Way You Want It (#211)

17. BON JOVI – 5 songs

Livin’ On a Prayer (#3), You Give Love a Bad Name (#50), Wanted Dead Or Alive (#110), I’ll Be There For You (#364), and Bad Medicine (#405)

18. CYNDI LAUPER* – 5 songs

Time After Time (#5), Girls Just Want To Have Fun (#10), All Through the Night (#181), True Colors (#210), and She Bop (#497)

19. DEF LEPPARD – 5 songs

Pour Some Sugar On Me (#7), Photograph (#52), Rock Of Ages (#157), Love Bites (#288), and Hysteria (#498)


20. U2** – 5 songs

With Or Without You (#16), Pride (In the Name Of Love) (#103), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (#111), Where the Streets Have No Name (#137), and Desire (#416)

21. STEVIE NICKS – 5 songs

Stand Back (#59) and Edge Of Seventeen (#135); plus three songs with Fleetwood Mac: Gypsy (#429), Sara (#444), and Little Lies (#485)

22. BELINDA CARLISLE – 5 songs

Heaven Is a Place On Earth (#84) and Mad About You (#428); plus three songs with The Go-Go’s: We Got the Beat (#113), Our Lips Are Sealed (#221), and Vacation (#327)

23. PETER CETERA – 5 songs

Glory Of Love (#251) and his duet with Amy Grant, The Next Time I Fall (#342); plus three songs with Chicago: Hard To Say I’m Sorry / Get Away (#241), You’re the Inspiration (#354), and Hard Habit To Break (#451)

24. THE POLICE – 4 songs

Every Breath You Take (#8), Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (#147), King Of Pain (#317), and Don’t Stand So Close To Me (#379)

25. GUNS N’ ROSES – 4 songs

Sweet Child O’ Mine (#19), Welcome To the Jungle, (#41), Paradise City (#127),  and Patience (#326)

26. TEARS FOR FEARS – 4 songs

Everybody Wants To Rule the World (#21), Head Over Heels (#162), Shout (#208), and Sowing the Seeds Of Love (#422)


Jack & Diane (#24), Pink Houses (#99), Hurts So Good (#101), and Small Town (#382)

28. BRYAN ADAMS – 4 songs

Summer of ’69 (#36), Heaven (#64), Run To You  (#249), and Straight From the Heart (#484)

29. PAT BENATAR – 4 songs

Love Is a Battlefield (#38), Hit Me With Your Best Shot (#106), We Belong (#123), and Heartbreaker (#186)

30. TOM PETTY – 4 songs

Free Fallin’ (#86), I Won’t Back Down (#306), and Don’t Come Around Here No More (#209) with the Heartbreakers; plus Roy Orbison’s You Got It (#445), on which he performs backing vocals and acoustic guitar

31. THE POINTER SISTERS* – 4 songs

I’m So Excited (#131), Slow Hand (#397), Jump (For My Love), (#415), and Automatic (#486) [Note: I’m So Excited was a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit twice in the ‘80s. The original version entered the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in 1982. A slightly remixed 1984 version was the bigger hit.]

32. AEROSMITH – 4 songs

Dude (Looks Like a Lady) (#237), Love In an Elevator (#395), and Angel (#412); plus Walk This Way (#45) with Run-D.M.C. [Note: Aerosmith bandmembers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry perform with Run-D.M.C on this remake of Aerosmith’s original Walk This Way, which was a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit in 1977.]


33. MICHAEL MCDONALD – 4 songs

I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You're Near) (#374); plus his duet with Patti LaBelle, On My Own (#268); and two songs on which he performs backing vocals: Christopher Cross’ Ride Like the Wind (#164), and James Ingram and Patti Austin’s Baby, Come To Me (#217)

34. HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS* – 4 songs

The Power Of Love (#170), Do You Believe In Love (#324), I Want a New Drug (#376), and Stuck With You (#407)

35. BILLY JOEL* – 4 songs

It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me (#220), Uptown Girl (#227), We Didn’t Start the Fire (#318), and The Longest Time (#333)

36. CHICAGO – 4 songs

Hard To Say I’m Sorry / Get Away (#241), Look Away (#275), You’re the Inspiration (#354), and Hard Habit To Break (#451) [Note: Hard to Say Im Sorry was released as a radio edit single that fades before the Get Away portion of the song starts. On the album Chicago 16, Hard to Say Im Sorry segues into Get Away as one song. The full song is also featured in the 1982 film Summer Lovers, but the film’s soundtrack includes only the radio edit, without the Get Away portion of the song. On this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S, Hard To Say I’m Sorry / Get Away is one of four instances of two merged songs that I felt should not be separated. The others are Soft Cell’s Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go at #37, INXSs  Need You Tonight / Mediate at #87, and The Alan Parsons Project’s Sirius / Eye In the Sky at #334. In each case, the first song segues seamlessly into the second song on the original recording, and the band’s intention is for the songs to be a medley.]

37. JANET JACKSON – 4 songs

Nasty (#290), When I Think of You (#316), Miss You Much (#349), and What Have You Done For Me Lately (#403)

38. QUEEN – 3 songs

Another One Bites the Dust (#17), Crazy Little Thing Called Love (#70), and Under Pressure (#44) with David Bowie

39. CULTURE CLUB** – 3 songs

Karma Chameleon (#23), Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (#97), and Time (Clock Of the Heart) (#433)

40. WHAM! – 3 songs

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (#42) and Everything She Wants (#165); Careless Whisper (#29) is credited to Wham! featuring George Michael

41. VAN HALEN – 3 songs

Jump (#43), Panama (#141), and Why Can’t This Be Love? (#352)

42. DAVID BOWIE – 3 songs

Let’s Dance (#93), Modern Love (#114), and  Under Pressure (#44) with Queen

43. EURYTHMICS – 3 songs

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (#49), Here Comes the Rain Again (#255), and Would I Lie To You? (#393)

44. BLONDIE – 3 songs

Call Me (#53), The Tide Is High (#73), and Rapture (#304)

45. REO SPEEDWAGON – 3 songs

Keep On Loving You (#61), Can’t Fight This Feeling (#118), and Take It On the Run (#156)

46. KENNY LOGGINS* – 3 songs

Footloose (#72), Danger Zone (#182), and I’m Alright (#434)

47. THE BANGLES – 3 songs

Walk Like an Egyptian (#75), Manic Monday (#128), and Eternal Flame (#406)

48. TINA TURNER* – 3 songs

What’s Love Got To Do With It (#77), Better Be Good To Me (#401), and Private Dancer (#448)

49. INXS – 3 songs

Need You Tonight / Mediate (#87), Never Tear Us Apart (#260), and What You Need (#386) [Note: Need You Tonight segues into Mediate on INXS’s album Kick, with no break between the songs. Need You Tonight was released separately as a single. The video features both songs together, just like on the album; the video is titled Need You Tonight / Mediate. On this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S, Need You Tonight / Mediate is one of four instances of two merged songs that I felt should not be separated. The others are Soft Cell’s Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go at #37, Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry / Get Away at #241, and The Alan Parsons Project’s Sirius / Eye In the Sky at #334. In each case, the first song segues seamlessly into the second song on the original recording, and the band’s intention is for the songs to be a medley.]

50. HEART – 3 songs

These Dreams (#89), Alone (#121), and Never (#380)

51. DIANA ROSS* – 3 songs

Upside Down (#160), I’m Coming Out (#269), and her duet with Lionel Richie, Endless Love (#91)   

52. POISON – 3 songs

Every Rose Has Its Thorn (#96), Talk Dirty To Me (#336), and Nothin’ But a Good Time (#372)

53. THE GO-GO’S – 3 songs

We Got the Beat (#113), Our Lips Are Sealed (#221), and Vacation (#327)

54. DON HENLEY – 3 songs

The Boys of Summer (#116) and Dirty Laundry (#414); plus I Can’t Tell You Why (#489) with the Eagles

55. THE CARS – 3 songs

Drive (#152), Shake It Up (#239), and You Might Think (#424)

56. CHAKA KHAN – 3 songs

I Feel For You (#153); plus Ain’t Nobody (#348) with Rufus; and Steve Winwood’s Higher Love (#130), on which she performs vocals

57. THE PRETENDERS – 3 songs

Brass In Pocket (I’m Special) (#161), Back On the Chain Gang (#421), and Don’t Get Me Wrong (#440)


Ride Like the Wind (#164), Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) (#177), and Sailing (#245)

59. BILLY IDOL – 3 songs

Eyes Without a Face (#166), White Wedding (#252), and Mony Mony (#266) [Note: White Wedding was originally released as a single in 1982, but it did not enter the U.S. Billboard Top 40. In 1983, it was re-released and became a Top 40 hit. It was again re-released in 1985, but failed to enter the Top 40.] [Note: Billy Idol’s original version of Mony Mony was released in 1981, but it did not enter the U.S. Billboard Top 40. In 1987, this live version of the song became a U.S. Billboard Top 40 hit.]

60. PHILIP BAILEY– 3 songs

Easy Lover (#183), his duet with Phil Collins; plus Let’s Groove (#313) with Earth, Wind & Fire; and Stevie Wonder’s Part-Time Lover (#300), on which he performs backing vocals

61. THOMAS DOLBY – 3 songs

She Blinded Me With Science (#187); plus Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven Is a Place On Earth (#84), on which he performs keyboards; and Foreigner’s Waiting For a Girl Like You (#240), on which he performs synthesizers

62. AIR SUPPLY – 3 songs

All Out Of Love (#253), Making Love Out Of Nothing At All (#329), and Lost In Love (#369)

63. GLENN FREY – 3 songs

The Heat Is On (#367); plus I Can’t Tell You Why (#489) with the Eagles; and Bob Seger’s Against the Wind (#436), on which he performs harmony vocals

64. FLEETWOOD MAC – 3 songs

Gypsy (#429), Sara (#444), and Little Lies (#485)



* These artists were a part of USA For Africa’s We Are the World (#112) which is not included in these song totals.

** These artists were a part of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?  (#236), which is not included in these song totals.

The ranking of the artists with the same number of songs is based on which artist has the highest-ranking song on the list of the THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S.

Most Songs
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On this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S, not only will you find the pop artists you expect, such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna, but you will also find artists you might not expect (listed below), who also had popular U.S. Billboard Top 40 hits in the ‘80s. You’ll find this kind of variety in popular music only in the ‘80s.

Led Zeppelin


James Brown

Beastie Boys

The Kinks

Kenny Rogers

Diana Ross


Tracy Chapman

The Who



Mötley Crüe

Roy Orbison

Guns N’ Roses


The Sugarhill Gang

Steely Dan

Dolly Parton

Kenny G

Depeche Mode

Anita Baker


Grateful Dead

Rick James

Paul Simon


The Rolling Stones


The Beach Boys

New Order




Kate Bush

The Clash

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians


Willie Nelson

Pink Floyd

Marvin Gaye

Aretha Franklin

John Lennon

Blue Öyster Cult


LL Cool J

Bette Midler

Bob Seger

Neil Diamond

Joe Jackson

De La Soul


Dusty Springfield

Los Lobos

Jackson Browne

ZZ Top

Tom Tom Club

Earth, Wind & Fire

Suzanne Vega

Steve Miller Band


Midnight Oil

The Cure

Juice Newton


Smokey Robinson

Adam Ant

Talking Heads

Dionne Warwick

Donald Fagen

Joe Cocker

Musical Youth

Van Halen

Crosby, Stills, & Nash

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80s music
80s music



Fight the Power by Public Enemy


This song by American hip-hop group Public Enemy was released in 1989 at the request of American film director Spike Lee, to serve at the musical theme for his film Do the Right Thing. This song has become an enduring anthem about opposition to abusive authority, especially as it pertains to the civil rights of African-Americans, and the United States’ ongoing struggle with systemic racism.


Fight the Power is Public Enemy’s best-known song, and is highly regarded as one of the greatest songs of all-time. Public Enemy (now called Public Enemy Radio) is known for socially-conscious, harsh critiques that reflect the frustrations of the African-American community with the government, the media, and other power structures.


I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow


This song by English new wave group Bow Wow Wow is a 1982 remake of a 1965 song by American band The Strangeloves (click here). Both versions are well-known for using the Bo Diddley beat, popularized by American musician Bo Diddley, who influenced the integration of the blues with rock and roll music in the ‘60s. The Bo Diddley beat is a syncopated musical rhythm that combines elements of Afro-Cuban and Latin music into a dynamic rock beat, making the music sound more energetic.


Bow Wow Wow’s version of I Want Candy was the first and only single from their debut EP The Last of the Mohicans (a reference to their Mohawk hairstyles). The video was played in heavy rotation on American television channel MTV, which launched in 1981, but the song did not enter the U.S. Billboard Top 40, peaking at #62. The song was a hit in the U.K., peaking at #9, and was also a hit in Belgium, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

Bow Wow Wow formed in 1980, comprising former members of English post-punk band Adam and the Ants and 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. The band became popular for a danceable new wave sound, slightly risqué lyrics, and the unique banshee squeals of the teenage vocalist. In 2012, the band members split from Annabella Lwin, found a new singer, and continued to perform as Bow Wow Wow, all of which was done without the consent of Annabella Lwin. Since then, she has performed as Annabella Lwin of the original Bow Wow Wow.



Fight the Power and I Want Candy are not on the list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S because they did not enter the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and are therefore ineligible for inclusion on that list (explained in the HOW WERE THESE SONGS RANKED? section). However, because these songs have become enduring ‘80s classics, they are included on separate list: THE BEST SONGS THAT WERE NOT POPULAR IN THE 80S. On this list, Fight the Power is song #21, and I Want Candy is songs #13.  The 100 (ranked) songs on this list are some of the most beloved ‘80s songs, despite the fact that they were not “popular” in the 1980s. 

Crucially Iconic Songs


Unfortunately, due to the criteria established (explained in the HOW WERE THESE SONGS RANKED? section), many beloved ‘80s songs were not eligible for inclusion on this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S. These 100 songs have become some of the most popular and iconic ‘80s songs. They are not on the list of the TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S because they did not enter the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and they are therefore not “pop” songs.


This Spotify playlist ranks 100 enduring ‘80s classics that were not “popular” in the ‘80s in the United States. (Please note that even though some of the songs on this list are featured on albums that were released in the ‘70s, these songs were released as singles in 1980, and are therefore ‘80s songs.)

  1. Three Little Birds — Bob Marley & The Wailers

  2. Should I Stay Or Should I Go — The Clash

  3. Last Christmas — Wham!

  4. Comfortably Numb — Pink Floyd

  5. Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne

  6. Boys Don’t Cry — The Cure

  7. Blue Monday — New Order

  8. It’s Raining Men — The Weather Girls

  9. About a Girl – Nirvana

  10. Into the Groove — Madonna

  11. It’s the End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) — R.E.M.

  12. Master Of Puppets — Metallica

  13. I Want Candy — Bow Wow Wow

  14. Straight Outta Compton — N.W.A.

  15. Sharp Dressed Man — ZZ Top

  16. Kickstart My Heart — Mötley Crüe

  17. Sunday Bloody Sunday — U2

  18. Rebel Yell — Billy Idol

  19. Just Can’t Get Enough — Depeche Mode

  20. Tom Sawyer — Rush

  21. Fight the Power — Public Enemy

  22. I Want To Break Free — Queen

  23. Forever Young — Alphaville

  24. Baby Can I Hold You — Tracy Chapman

  25. Still Loving You — Scorpions

  26. Could You Be Loved — Bob Marley & The Wailers

  27. Hey You — Pink Floyd

  28. The Trooper — Iron Maiden

  29. Love Will Tear Us Apart — Joy Division

  30. What I Like About You — The Romantics

  31. Blister In the Sun — Violent Femmes

  32. How Soon Is Now? — The Smiths

  33. Once In a Lifetime — Talking Heads

  34. Jane Says — Jane’s Addiction

  35. It’s Tricky — Run–D.M.C.

  36. Home Sweet Home — Mötley Crüe

  37. I Wanna Be Sedated — Ramones

  38. Talkin’ Bout a Revolution — Tracy Chapman

  39. I Wanna Rock — Twisted Sister

  40. Mad World — Tears For Fears

  41. London Calling — The Clash

  42. No One Like You — Scorpions

  43. Here Comes Your Man — Pixies

  44. End Of the Line — Traveling Wilburys

  45. Hallelujah — Leonard Cohen

  46. There She Goes — The La’s

  47. Tempted — Squeeze

  48. Closer To Fine — Indigo Girls

  49. Rockin’ In the Free World — Neil Young

  50. New Year’s Day — U2

  51. I Melt With You — Modern English

  52. Redemption Song — Bob Marley & The Wailers

  53. Dancing With Myself — Billy Idol

  54. Through the Fire — Chaka Khan

  55. Hot For Teacher — Van Halen

  56. Handle With Care — The Traveling Wilburys

  57. Trouble Me — 10,000 Maniacs

  58. She Sells Sanctuary — The Cult

  59. Situation — Yazoo [Note: Yazoo is known as Yaz in the U.S.]

  60. And She Was — Talking Heads

  61. I Am What I Am — Gloria Gaynor

  62. Burning Up — Madonna

  63. Peek-a-Boo — Siouxsie and the Banshees

  64. I Don’t Like Mondays — The Boomtown Rats

  65. Bad Reputation — Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

  66. Wouldn’t It Be Good — Nik Kershaw

  67. Learning To Fly — Pink Floyd

  68. Apache — The Sugarhill Gang

  69. Orange Crush — R.E.M.

  70. Meeting In the Ladies Room — Klymaxx

  71. Goodbye To You — Scandal

  72. Lunatic Fringe — Red Rider

  73. Shakin’ — Eddie Money

  74. Rockit — Herbie Hancock

  75. Fire Woman — The Cult

  76. Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But the Rent — Gwen Guthrie

  77. Watermark — Enya

  78. Like the Weather — 10,000 Maniacs

  79. The Killing Moon — Echo & the Bunnymen

  80. Head Like a Hole — Nine Inch Nails

  81. Straight To Hell — Drivin N Cryin

  82. Mr. Brownstone — Guns N’ Roses

  83. If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful — Jermaine Jackson & Whitney Houston

  84. Teen Age Riot — Sonic Youth

  85. Girls On Film — Duran Duran

  86. All At Once — Whitney Houston

  87. Bizarre Love Triangle — New Order

  88. White Lines (Don’t Do It) — Grandmaster Melle Mel [Note: This song is often miscredited.]

  89. Dear God — XTC

  90. Fire and Desire — Rick James and Teena Marie

  91. This Woman’s Work — Kate Bush

  92. Just Like Honey — The Jesus and Mary Chain

  93. So Many Men, So Little Time — Miquel Brown

  94. Crash — The Primitives

  95. Goodbye Horses — Q Lazzarus

  96. Strokin – Clarence Carter

  97. Enola Gay – Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark

  98. Let the River Run — Carly Simon

  99. Don’t Go — Yazoo [Note: Yazoo is known as Yaz in the U.S.]

  100. Run To the Hills — Iron Maiden

Morrissey Vegan
Rikki Rockett Vegan


Here is the breakdown of the number of songs from each year that are on the list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S:

1984 – 65 songs (13.0%)

1985 – 61 songs (12.2%)

1983 – 60 songs (12.0%)

1982 – 53 songs (10.6%)

1987 – 51 songs (10.2%)

1986 – 50 songs (10.0%)

1981 – 43 songs (8.6%)

1989 – 41 songs (8.2%)

1988 – 38 songs (7.6%)

1980 – 38 songs (7.6%)

Tom Scholz Vegan



Here are the 200 songs (ranked from 501 to 700) that almost made the list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S. Click on a song title to go to a video on YouTube (if one is available). Click HERE to play the Top 500 songs plus these 200 songs on Spotify!

501. Alive and Kicking — Simple Minds
502. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
 Rupert Holmes 
503. She’s Like the Wind 

         Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser
504. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
 Billy Ocean
505. Wrapped Around Your Finger
 The Police
506. You Give Good Love
 Whitney Houston
507. Train In Vain (Stand By Me)
 The Clash
508. I Want Your Sex — George Michael
509. Love Come Down
 Evelyn “Champagne” King
510. Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

         Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
511. Talking In Your Sleep
 The Romantics
512. Shining Star
 The Manhattans
513. Too Hot
 Kool & the Gang
514. Amanda
515. Lost In Your Eyes
 Debbie Gibson
516. I Hate Myself For Loving You

         Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
517. Never Knew Love Like This Before
 Stephanie Mills
518. Don’t Do Me Like That

         Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
519. Endless Summer Nights
 Richard Marx
520. Sleeping Bag
 ZZ Top
521. The Look
522. Say It Isn’t So
 Daryl Hall and John Oates
523. Ladies’ Night 
 Kool & the Gang
524. Wild Wild Life
 Talking Heads
525. Holding Out For a Hero
 Bonnie Tyler
526. I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart
 Eric Clapton
527. Sara
528. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
529. Solid
 Ashford and Simpson
530. Woman
 John Lennon
531. He’s So Shy
 The Pointer Sisters
532. Joanna
 Kool & the Gang
533. Things Can Only Get Better
 Howard Jones
534. Is There Something I Should Know?
  Duran Duran
535. Let’s Go All the Way
 Sly Fox
536. Ain’t Even Done With the Night
 John Cougar
537. Who’s That Girl
538. Cruisin’
 Smokey Robinson
539. On the Radio
 Donna Summer
540. While You See a Chance
 Steve Winwood
541. What About Love?
542. Land Of Confusion
543. Walk Of Life
 Dire Straits
544. She’s a Bad Mama Jama
 Carl Carlton
545. Only the Lonely
 The Motels
546. Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

         Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin
547. Urgent
548. Stray Cat Strut
 The Stray Cats

549. Tell Her About It  Billy Joel  

550. Oh Sheila  Ready For the World

551. In Too Deep  Genesis

552. Sign Your Name  Terence Trent D’Arby

553. She’s a Beauty  The Tubes

554. Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)  


555. Tomorrow People  Ziggy Marley

         and The Melody Makers

556. Devil Inside  INXS

557. Giving You the Best That I Got  Anita Baker

558. Everyday I Write the Book  Elvis Costello

559. R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A.  John Cougar Mellencamp

560. Don’t Know Much  Linda Ronstadt

         and Aaron Neville

561. Rhythm Nation  Janet Jackson

562. Piano In the Dark  Brenda Russell

         with Joe Esposito

563. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)

         Tina Tuner

564. That Girl  Stevie Wonder

565. Give Me the Night  George Benson

566. Heaven  Warrant

567. Runaway  Bon Jovi

568. Do That To Me One More Time  Captain & Tennille

569. Armageddon It  Def Leppard

570. Woman In Love  Barbra Streisand

571. Poison  Alice Cooper

572. Together Forever  Rick Astley

573. Party All the Time  Eddie Murphy

574. Hands To Heaven  Breathe

575. I Love You  Climax Blues Band

576. Me So Horny  2 Live Crew

577. Hold On Loosely  .38 Special

578. Notorious  Duran Duran

579. Tuff Enuff  The Fabulous Thunderbirds

580. The Warrior  Scandal

581. The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)  

         The Greg Kihn Band

582. Hazy Shade Of Winter  The Bangles

583. Nikita  Elton John

584. Games People Play The Alan Parsons Project

585. Turn Up the Radio  Autograph

586. Didn’t We Almost Have It All  Whitney Houston

587. Tunnel Of Love  Bruce Springsteen

588. Forever Young  Rod Stewart

589. Wild Wild West  The Escape Club

590. Dancing On the Ceiling  Lionel Richie

591. Too Late For Goodbyes  Julian Lennon 

592. Tarzan Boy  Baltimora

593. Tonight I Celebrate My Love  

         Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack

594. Rock Steady  The Whispers

595. Come Go With Me  Exposé

596. Never Surrender  Corey Hart

597. I’ll Always Love You  Taylor Dayne

598. Don’t Mean Nothing  Richard Marx

599. Take Me Home  Phil Collins 

600. Burning Heart  Survivor 

601. You Are My Lady  Freddie Jackson

602. On the Road Again  Willie Nelson

603. Animal  Def Leppard

604. All Those Years Ago  George Harrison

605. New Sensation  INXS

606. Keep On Movin’  Soul II Soul

607. Miss Me Blind  Culture Club

608. All I Need Is a Miracle  Mike + the Mechanics

609. Shattered Dreams  Johnny Hates Jazz

610. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)  Glass Tiger

611. On the Wings Of Love  Jeffrey Osbourne

612. Seventeen  Winger

613. Forever Your Girl  Paula Abdul

614. I Love a Rainy Night  Eddie Rabbit

615. Oh No  The Commodores

616. What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)

         Information Society

617. In a Big Country  Big Country

618. Cuts Like a Knife  Bryan Adams

619. Take Your Time (Do It Right)  S.O.S. Band

620. Simply Irresistible  Robert Palmer

621. Crush On You  The Jets

622. Steal Away  Robbie Dupree

623. Will You Still Love Me?  Chicago

624. Control  Janet Jackson

625. Master Blaster (Jammin’)  Stevie Wonder

626. The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known)

         Juice Newton

627. 18 and Life ​— Skid Row

628. Born To Be My Baby Bon Jovi

629. True Blue — Madonna

630. So Alive — Love and Rockets

631. Heart and Soul — Huey Lewis and the News

632. Seasons Change — Exposé

633. When I See You Smile — Bad English

634. Always On My Mind — Pet Shop Boys

635. Shadows Of the Night — Pat Benatar

636. Guilty — Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb

637. Under the Milky Way — The Church

638. All I Need — Jack Wagner

639. Hip To Be Square — Huey Lewis and the News

640. Somewhere Out There — 

         Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram

641. Perfect Way — Scritti Politti

642. Foolin’ — Def Leppard

643. Lost In Emotion — Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

644. Two Hearts — Phil Collins

645. I Miss You — Klymaxx

646. Everywhere — Fleetwood Mac

647. To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before — 

         Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson

648. Mercedes Boy — Pebbles

649. Suddenly Last Summer — The Motels

650. Downtown Train — Rod Stewart

651. I Wanna Be Your Lover — Prince

652. In the Mood — Robert Plant

653. When Smokey Sings — ABC

654. If Ever You’re In My Arms Again — Peabo Bryson 

655. We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off

         Jermaine Stewart 

656. Only Time Will Tell — Asia

657. One More Night — Phil Collins

658. Anything For You — 

         Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine

659. Kiss Me Deadly — Lita Ford

660. Tender Love — Force MDs

661. Promises, Promises — Naked Eyes

662. Is This Love — Whitesnake

663. Turn Your Love Around — George Benson

664. Rocket — Def Leppard

665. Where Do Broken Hearts Go — Whitney Houston

666. Hold Me — Fleetwood Mac

667. Who’s Crying Now — Journey

668. High On You — Survivor

669. Silent Running — Mike + the Mechanics

670. Don’t Wanna Lose You — Gloria Estefan

671. Double Dutch Bus — Frankie Smith

672. Coward Of the County — Kenny Rogers

673. Gimme All Your Lovin’ — ZZ Top

674. You Got Lucky — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

675. Big Love — Fleetwood Mac

676. Please Don’t Go — KC and the Sunshine Band

677. Two Of Hearts — Stacey Q

678. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going —

         Billy Ocean

679. When I’m With You — Sheriff

680. Wasted On the Way — Crosby, Stills, and Nash

681. On the Dark Side — 

         John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

682. I Can’t Stand It — Eric Clapton

683. Supersonic — J.J. Fad

684. Lonely Ol’ Night — John Cougar Mellencamp

685. Never Gonna Let You Go — Sergio Mendes

686. Some Like It Hot — The Power Station

687. Be Near Me — ABC

688. Wait — White Lion

689. Dreams — Van Halen

690. Juke Box Hero — Foreigner

691. Satisfied — Richard Marx

692. The Search Is Over — Survivor

693. Invincible (Theme From The Legend

         Of Billie Jean) — Pat Benatar

694. Foolish Beat — Debbie Gibson

695. Good Thing — Fine Young Cannibals

696. Somebody — Bryan Adams

697. Sweet Freedom — Michael McDonald

698. Spirits In the Material World — The Police

699. I Can’t Drive 55 — Sammy Hagar

700. Head Over Heels — The Go-Go’s

Songs That Almost Made the List
Richard Marx Vegan
Play the Songs


Below is an alphabetical listing of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S.

Click on the title of a song to watch a video on YouTube!


(Some videos are not available due to copyright issues.)


In most cases, you will be directed to the original music video from the ‘80s. On our Facebook page, when a song is posted, a very detailed description about the song and artist with other interesting information is included, and then added to this list below. New facts and information will continue being added to the songs on this list!

1999 by Prince — Song #62

867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone — Song #198

9 To 5 by Dolly Parton — Song #185

99 Luftballoons by Nena — Song #173

Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band — Song #175

Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer — Song #184


Africa by Toto

Song #34


Right now, this song is playing on a never-ending loop somewhere in Africa. In 2019, a sound installation powered by solar batteries was set up by Namibian artist Max Siedentopf, in an undisclosed location in the Namib Desert (the world’s oldest desert, roughly 55 to 80 million years old), to play the song for eternity. Africa is a timeless pop staple that has surged in popularity in the past few years. If this list of THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S measured popularity only since 2017, this song would probably be #1! Africa is the subject of many internet memes, entire Reddit pages, and relentless millennial pop culture references. It is one of the most streamed and digitally downloaded songs of the past few years. According to Billboard magazine, “Internet culture has kind of taken it and really shot it into the stratosphere...people started bonding over their love of this song.” Many recent pop culture moments (detailed below) have spiked Africa’s popularity to an astonishing degree.


When asked why the song is experiencing such a wild resurgence, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather said, “I haven’t a f*cking clue and you can quote me on that, but it’s got a great groove. I mean it’s a happy thing. The message of the song doesn’t have anything to do with, ‘Oo baby I love you,’ so there’s no depression there. It’s not political, so there’s no depression there. It’s a fantasy song. It’s like a Disneyland song or whatever. We just went in there and had fun and made this record... People latch onto it. It’s kitschy enough and the lyrics are weird enough that people will remember it.”


Africa was recorded by American rock band Toto, and is featured on the band’s fourth studio album Toto IV. Released as the album’s third single, Africa hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in 1983, displacing Australian rock band Men at Work’s Down Under (song #47 on this list), another ode to a continent. Africa was a major hit in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, South Africa, and Switzerland.


Toto formed in 1977. The band broke up in 2008, but then got back together in 2010, and disbanded again in 2019. Toto’s musical style combines elements of pop, jazz, soul, R&B, and rock. The original six members were reputable session musicians, hired for recording sessions and live performances for a variety of artists, which is how they met and decided to form their own band. Members of Toto worked with American jazz rock band Steely Dan (whose Hey Nineteen is song #298 on this list), American soft rock duo Seals and Crofts, American pop duo Sonny and Cher (Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time is song #263 on this list), and American blue-eyed soul singer Boz Scaggs. Four of the Toto guys are featured on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, including two songs on this list: Human Nature, song #315 [see the description of that song for details] and Beat It, song #31. Toto band members also perform on English singer John Parr’s St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion), song #133; American rock band Chicago’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry / Get Away, song #241; and American blue-eyed soul musician Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near), song #374.


The six original Toto members were David Paich (keyboards and vocals); brothers Jeff Porcaro (drums) and Steve Porcaro (keyboards and vocals); Steve Lukather (guitars and vocals); David Hungate (bass guitar); and Bobby Kimball (lead vocals). Mike Porcaro (bass guitar) joined his brothers’ band in 1982. Six additional members were added over the years, as members left and re-joined, and a few of them died. Why the band is named “Toto” depends on which members of the band you ask. In the early ‘80s, some of them said that the band was named after Toto the dog from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. But Jeff Porcaro apparently wrote the word “Toto” on the band’s first demo tapes, in order to distinguish them from other bands who worked in the same studio. And some band members say that “Toto” came from the Latin phrase in toto, which means “all-encompassing” or “in total,” with the significance being that the band members brought together many different styles of music from their extensive experience with other musicians.


Africa was written by David Paich (who performs lead vocals on the song) and Jeff Porcaro, neither of whom had ever been to Africa when they wrote the song. According to Jeff Porcaro, the song is about “a white boy...trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.” David Paich said, “At the beginning of the ‘80s I watched a late-night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn’t leave my head. I tried to imagine how I’d feel about if I [were] there and what I’d do.” Because he’d never been to the continent himself, he based the song’s landscape descriptions on an article in venerable American magazine National Geographic: “I was a big reader of National Geographic. I’ve just always kind of been fascinated with Africa. I just kind of romanticized this story about a social worker that was over there, that falls in love having kind of a paradox, trying to tear himself away from Africa to actually have a life.” David Paich attended Catholic school as a child, where several of his teachers did missionary work in Africa. Their missionary work became the inspiration behind the famous line, “I bless the rains down in Africa.”


But some of the Toto guys were not fans of the song originally. Steve Lukather said, “I thought it was the worst song on the album. It didn’t fit, the lyrics made no sense, and I swore that if it was a hit record, I’d run naked down Hollywood Boulevard! That’s how good I am at picking singles! I mean, I love the song now but, to be honest with you, at the time I thought it was really the oddball song on the album. It almost didn’t make the record, and it was a #1 worldwide single, and still gets played everywhere today. No matter where I go in the world, people know that song. It’s bizarre!” Steve Porcaro described the song as a dumb experiment with goofy lyrics that were just temporary placeholders, particularly the line about the Serengeti: “As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.” Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Tanzania. The Serengeti is an ecosystem, a geographical region in Africa that spans both Tanzania and Kenya. The Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro are both located in the northern part of Tanzania, but you can’t actually see Kilimanjaro from the Serengeti, which is about 200 miles (320 km) away.


Toto has released 14 studio albums, seven live albums, one soundtrack album (for the 1984 film Dune, written and directed by David Lynch), 19 compilation albums, and 65 singles. Only 10 of those singles charted on the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and all except one of those 10 are from the ‘80s. Africa is featured on Toto IV, the band’s fourth (and most commercially and critically successful) album, released in 1982. Rosanna (which is song #388 on this list), was the lead single from Toto IV, and peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Top 40. The second single was Make Believe, which peaked at #30. Africa was the third single, and the final single released from Toto IV was I Won’t Hold You Back, which peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Top 40. Toto’s other hit songs in the United States are 1978’s Hold the Line, 1980’s 99, 1984’s Stranger In Town, 1986’s I’ll Be Over You, 1986’s Without Your Love, and 1988’s Pamela.


Toto IV was the final album with the original Toto lineup, and it received seven Grammy nominations in 1983, winning five of them, including Album of the Year. The other nominees for Album of the Year were American rock musician John (Cougar) Mellencamp’s American Fool, which features two songs on this list: Hurts So Good at #101, and Jack & Diane at #24; American pop musician Billy Joel’s The Nylon Curtain; American jazz/rock musician  Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly; and English pop musician Paul McCartney’s Tug of War, which features his duet with American R&B/pop musician Stevie Wonder, Ebony and Ivory, song #267 on this list. Toto also won 1983’s Record of the Year (which is awarded to the artist, producer, and others who were involved in the actual recording of the song), but not for Africa—The winner of Record of the Year was Rosanna. The other nominees were English jazz/pop musician Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out, song #455 on this list; Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory; American country singer/guitarist Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind, song #450; and Greek composer Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire, song #314. Rosanna was also nominated for Song of the Year (which is awarded to the songwriters), but lost to Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind. The other nominees were Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory, American rock band Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger