When it comes to greatest rock bands of all time, any list would be incomplete without the Rolling Stones. When a Rolling Stones song comes on the radio, you knew you were going to get to listen to a banger for the next few minutes.
They are arguably one of the greatest if not the greatest rock band of all time, and much of that legacy comes from their music they created during the 1980s.
The Best 80s Rolling Stones Songs
The Rolling Stones songs have been popular for decades, but their songs from the 1980s were especially catchy. Here are some of the most popular Rolling Stones songs from that decade.
1. “Start Me Up” (1981)
This song was released on the album Tattoo You and was one of the band’s biggest hits. It reached number one in several countries, and its catchy melody has made it a favorite among fans for years. This song was arguably their best and most memorable song from the 1980s.
2. “Undercover of the Night” (1983)
This song was also from the Tattoo You album and is about political unrest in South America. The lyrics are dark and intense, but the music is upbeat and energetic, making it one of the band’s most popular songs.
3. “Harlem Shuffle” (1986)
This song was clearly influenced by the band’s first hit, “Not Fade Away.” It featured funky blues melodies and was one of the band’s most popular songs. It reached number six on the charts in the US and Canada.
4. “Mixed Emotions” (1989)
This song is from their album Steel Wheels, which turned out to be another of their biggest hits. The lyrics are typically bitter and ironic for a Rolling Stones song, but atypical for this particular decade because it wasn’t as dark as other songs during its time period. Instead, it has more of an upbeat jazz feel to it. Unfortunately, Jagger ended up re-recording the vocals for “Mixed Emotions” because he was unhappy with them.
5. “Rock and a Hard Place” (1989)
This song was also from their album Steel Wheels, but it wasn’t nearly as successful as other songs from the band during that time period. It is a political commentary on race relations in America and has an interesting mix of styles. The lyrics are bitter while the music is upbeat, leading many to consider it one of the Rolling Stones’s more unique songs.
6. “Highwire” (1989)
This song was also from the album Steel Wheels and was one of the Rolling Stones’ more popular songs from that time period. It was praised for its musicianship and has an upbeat, positive energy to it. The lyrics describe a man who is trying to escape his problems and clear his mind by climbing a mountain.
7.”Break the Spell” (1981)
This song didn’t even make it onto Tattoo You but still managed to become one of the Rolling Stones’ most popular songs from their 1980s discography. It was written as a tribute to the band’s old manager, Allen Klein, who died in 2009 after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for many years. It has a fun, jumpy rhythm to it.
8. “She Was Hot” (1983)
This song was also one of the Rolling Stones’ most popular songs during its time period and was released on the album Undercover. It is about an affair between Mick Jagger and Tina Turner in 1983, when she was still with her husband, Ike. They remained friendly after their break-up; in fact, Turner later appeared in two of the band’s music videos (including this one). This song is all about lust and infatuation, making it one of the most notoriously sexual Rolling Stones songs ever written.
So those are our top picks for the best Rolling Stones songs of the 1980s. Do you think we left any out? Hopefully we nailed them all, and again you won’t go wrong adding any of the above Rolling Stones hits to your next playlist.