When it comes to the 1980s, besides the glorious fashion, the 80s were known for their music. When it comes to 80s dance songs, the music of the decade hits like nothing else you’ve ever heard. And no matter where you are, when the beat comes on, you know you’re gonna start grooving!
Some of the best 80s dance songs came from the biggest stars the world has ever seen, all the way down to the obscure one-hit wonders that have seemed to disappear into the abyss. So what were the best dance songs of the 1980s?
80s Dance Songs
Whether you’re looking to throw your next 80s themed party, or just looking for songs to add to your playlist for your morning commute, you can’t go wrong with the list that we have compiled below.
Here are our picks for the best dance songs from the 1980s:
1, Into the Groove (Madonna)
Into the Groove is a great song for playing at an 80s-themed party. It’s upbeat, fun, and easy to remember, so it’s sure to get everyone on the dance floor. The lyrics are also about dancing, which makes sense—the song was released in 1985 as part of Madonna’s True Blue album.
The music video for Into the Groove features some pretty wild choreography that you can use as inspiration for your own moves at your next 80s party. Even if you don’t know how to dance, this song will help you find your inner groove!
2. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
Billie Jean is a dance song from Michael Jackson’s album Thriller. The song was released as a single on September 5, 1983. It’s one of the best-selling singles of all time and it won several Grammy Awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
3. Everybody Wants To Rule the World (Tears For Fears)
Everybody Wants To Rule the World is a song by Tears For Fears, taken from their 1985 album Songs From The Big Chair. It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at #2 in Australia and New Zealand, while peaking at number four on both the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and Canadian RPM chart.
The song was written by Roland Orzabal and Ian Stanley during their time as part of an electro group called Graduate. They decided that they needed something more musically interesting than electronic drums, so they added Chris Hughes (who had played with them in Graduate) to play guitar for the song.
Everybody Wants To Rule The World is about wanting power over everything else in life: power over other people; control of yourself; fame; money etc…
4. Express Yourself (Madonna)
Released in 1989, this song is from the album Like a Prayer. The lyrics are about Madonna’s message to her fans.
The music video features her performing in front of a backdrop of American flags and symbols (such as white crosses). It reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number nine on the UK Singles Chart. In 1990, it won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video.
5. Funkytown (Lipps Inc.)
This song was released in 1980, and it was about a fictional town called Funkytown. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1980, making it both the first song to top the charts for that year and also the first song to reach number one on the Hot 100 chart without using a music video as a promotion.
6. Love Shack (The B-52s)
The song was released in 1989 and is the first single from The B-52’s album Cosmic Thing. It was written by Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Ricky Wilson.
Love Shack peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for two weeks beginning on September 13th, 1989; it also reached number one on both the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart as well as the Top 40 Mainstream chart. In addition to being a huge hit in America, it also became a top ten hit in Australia (#3), Canada (#1), and Ireland (#9).
7. Material Girl (Madonna)
Material Girl is a great dance song! It was released in 1984 and is the first single from Madonna’s debut album. The song became a huge hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Material Girl was written by Madonna, Stephen Bray, and Pat Leonard. It was produced by Nile Rodgers who also appeared on drums for the recording session.
8. Moonlight Shadow (Mike Oldfield)
Moonlight Shadow, by Mike Oldfield, was released in 1983. It was a cover of a song by the band Shadow that originally came out in 1982.
The song hit number one on the UK Singles Chart and was also very popular in Australia, but it did not chart as well in the US.
9. Point of No Return (Nu Shooz)
“Point of No Return” by Nu Shooz is the perfect song to play at your next 80s-themed party. The song is about a relationship that is going nowhere and falling apart, so it can easily be used as an anthem for your guests to sing along with if you choose to do that sort of thing.
It’s also about a relationship dying or ending, so it’ll fit in perfectly with the theme of your event without being too depressing for anyone in attendance.
10. Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood was a British band that formed in Liverpool, England in 1980. They became known for their controversial single “Relax”. The song was first released on July 29th of 1984, and it reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
It stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by Wham!’s Last Christmas. The following month it went back up to number one again where it stayed for another two weeks before being replaced yet again by Bananarama’s Venus.
In total Relax spent 20 weeks at the top of the charts in 1984 and 1985. This song wasn’t just popular in England though; it was also played heavily at clubs all over Europe including France, Germany and Italy!
11. Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley)
Arguably one of the most memorable songs of the 1980s, Never Gonna Give You Up is a certified banger when it comes to 80s dance music! Rick Astley’s deep voice combined with his boyish good looks made this song a massive #1 hit in the 1980s.
You could even make the case that the song is just as popular today, being introduced as part of a viral meme a few years ago that brought millions of new listeners to Astley’s music. In fact, the YouTube video for the song has over 1 billion views and counting!
12. I Ran (A Flock Of Seagulls)
I Ran (so far away) is one of the most iconic dance songs of the 1980s and with good reason. As soon as you hear the intro, you already know things are gonna start popping off!
A Flock Of Seagulls often tops the lists of 80s one-hit wonders, and the song often makes the top 10 of greatest songs from the 1980s. It has also been used to advertise the Grand Theft Auto video game, and is definitely a must have song for any good 80s themed party.
13. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (Wham!)
This upbeat jam will get your feet moving within the first 10 seconds. As soon as you hear “Jitterbug” you know that you’re in for a good time.
One of Wham!’s most memorable songs, it has been featured in numerous movies and commercials since its debut in 1984. It is also a song you will definitely want to add to your 80s dance mix.
14. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)
Some would argue that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is the greatest woman’s anthem ever, but we will settle for it being one of the best songs to add to your 80s dance mix. Cyndi Lauper is an 80s icon, and no 80s dance music list would be complete without one of her songs.
This song is great because most people will recognize it and even know most of the words (at least to the chorus), as after all, the official YouTube video has over a billion views! It’s a great song that will bring back some fun memories and get the crowd singing at your next event.
15. Walk Like An Egyptian (The Bangles)
One of the oddest yet catchiest songs of the 1980s Walk Like An Egyptian has a fabulous beat and makes a great selection for any 80s themed party. The lyrics are nonsensical, the beat is catchy, and the song is just full of good vibes.
The Bangles were one of the premier girl groups of the 1980s, and this song is one of their best when you need to pump up the crowd and get them dancing!
Final Thoughts On 80s Dance Songs
So those are our picks for some fun 80s dance songs that can be played at your next 80s-themed party, or really just any occasion where you need to kick the mood up a notch! These songs are great for dancing and listening to with friends, or even just grooving in your car on the way to work. These songs are also great for parties, especially if you need to get a lot of people dancing!
As you can see, there are a lot of great 80s dance songs out there. And hopefully this list has given you some ideas for your next event. Did your favorite 80s dance song make the list?