Some popular 80s songs include Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” From pop to rock, these hit songs defined the decade and influenced countless artists to come. Other popular 80s songs include "Billie Jean," by Michael Jackson, "Like a Virgin," by Madonna, and "Shout" by Tears For Fears, "With Or Without You," by U2 and "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran.Continue Reading
The bass-free “When Doves Cry” was the lead single from Prince’s decade defining album and film “Purple Rain.” Prince recorded every instrument on the track himself, and the song is a mixture of his perfectly honed pop sensibilities and ear for experimentation.
The Smiths’ brooding, atmospheric single “How Soon Is Now?” became one of the defining songs of the 1980s, combining Morrissey’s tenderhearted, searching lyrics with some of guitarist Johnny Marr’s most unique instrumentation. The song’s mood and tone went on to influence countless rock bands in the 1990s.
The 1980s featured a wide variety of popular songs. The beginning of the 80s featured many popular Punk and New Wave hits, such as "Rock the Casbah," by The Clash, "Once in a Lifetime," by Talking Heads and "The Tide is High" by Blondie. Songs by Michael Jackson were incredibly popular in the early 1980s as well, with hits such as "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Thriller." Jackson's success continued throughout the decade with popular songs such as "Bad" and "Man In the Mirror."
Many popular songs from the late 1980s are loud Rock songs, such as "You Give Love a Bad Name," by Bon Jovi, "Welcome to the Jungle," by Guns n' Roses, and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," by Poison. The late 1980s also saw the emergence of Rap music, which spawned many popular songs. Popular Rap songs from the late 1980s include "Fight the Power," by Public Enemy, "It's Tricky," by Run-DMC and "Shake Your Rump" by Beastie Boys.Learn more about Art & Literature