Ten Popular Songs From the 80’s to Add to Your Throwback Playlist


Olivia Galbraith

The 1980’s is filled with a variety of sounds that are worth revisiting.

Olivia Galbraith, Staff Reporter

Throwback playlists — we all have one.

Playlists composed of old favorite songs can be used in so many different scenarios. Whether it be car rides or music to listen to during homework, there’s a song for everything. One of my favorite musical decades is the 1980’s because of the variety of upbeat pop songs, the thrilling sounds leaning towards rock, and the quieter, more relaxing tunes.

From Wham! to Prince, here are just 10 songs from the 80’s that will get you in the mood for listening to throwback playlists.

Love Shack – The B-52’s

Release year: 1989

From The B-52’s fifth album “Cosmic Thing,” “Love Shack” combines upbeat sounds with lyrics that will leave you wanting to go on a warm summer getaway. This song is one that you will not be able to resist singing along to.

We Built This City – Starship

Release year: 1985

With powerful vocals that blend together in a satisfying manner, Starship has the talent to create an immediate impression with the song “We Built This City.” The rock song’s plea for acknowledgement, in the midst of feeling put down, pulls you into a trance. The powerful daze the song can influence is perfect for reminiscing.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!

Release year: 1984

In this pop hit from Wham!, smooth yet upbeat vocals tell a story of what it’s like to be left behind from a party. With snaps in the music, and the mention of dancing the jitterbug, this song suits anybody who wants a break from the stress of everyday life. It brings back carefree retro vibes that anyone could appreciate.

1999 – Prince

Release year: 1982

Prince brings funky electronic sounds to vibrant lyrics with a meaning not understood at first listen, lying somewhere between an upbeat dance song and a chill pop song. While addressing the fears of a doomsday, this song brings a groovy feel to any activity, and just might get you up on your feet as well.

8675309 Jenny Jenny – Tommy Tutone

Release year: 1981

Tommy Tutone, which includes member Tommy Heath, who has lived in Portland, had their biggest hit with this song. It tells the story of a man who can’t work up the courage to call Jenny, whose number was found rather than exchanged in person. The pop song has brought in countless phone calls to the number supposedly belonging to ‘Jenny’, and decades later can still get you tapping your foot along to the catchy and relaxed chorus.

Come on Eileen – Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners

Release year: 1982

With changing tempos and an alternative/indie twist, this single is perfect for singing karaoke and dancing. The Irish folk-inspired song includes the fiddle, accordion, and the piano, keeping you cheerful and ready to get up and sing along.

It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

Release year: 1988

If you’re looking for something in the genre of hip-hop, this spunky song might be perfect for you. Its infectious lyrics are bound to get you dancing with your friends, or even by yourself as you groove to this old-school hit.

Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

Release year: 1987

After listening to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” it will be hard to get the catchy guitar riffs and endearing lyrics out of your head. This rock hit from Guns N’ Roses highlights the band’s intense talent on the electric guitar.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

Release year: 1985

With relaxed and smooth pop sounds, Tears For Fears sings about a serious message of how a longing for power can lead to unfortunate consequences in a light, seemingly pretty style. The airy feel of the skilled guitar in this song makes it perfect for filling quiet space or long car rides.

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Release year: 1982

From Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller,” “Billie Jean” mixes chill beats with Jackson’s unique, intense voice. Its well-known, catchy chorus can get you in the mood for dancing in your seat or singing along with the idea of love that’s not reciprocated.