The 80s was the perfect decade for dance music. With the explosion of club music came an experimental flavor of excess and art.
The Top Ten Greatest Tracks
1. Two of Hearts by Stacey Q. Stacey Lynn Swain, also known as Stacey Q., is best known for her song Two of Hearts in 1986. Her music video played on MTV, reaching number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although her other singles were less popular, Two of Hearts was featured in the movie Party Monster and continues to be played in synthpop clubs today.
2. Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode. The British electronic band, Depeche Mode released this song in 1990. With a slightly darker feel, this song mixed both dance and early electronica to create a poetically popular hit.
3. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys. Written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, this song dives deep into class issues in the inner city. In 1985 it reached number one in both the U.K. and the U.S. By blending dance and pop, West End Girls pushed a unique bass line.
4. Take On Me by A-ha. This song was released in 1984 and was one of the first to use synthpop with acoustic guitars. Since they were played consistently on MTV, their popularity soared by 1986.
5. Heart and Soul by T’Pau. T’Pau has a Madonna-like quality to its music and is easy to dance to. Heart and Soul was released in 1987 featuring Carol Decker. While a major hit in the 80s, the song could not be performed live without additional backup singers.
6. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard. While many people assume dance hits from the 80s mean electronic pop songs, Def Leppard had a huge following. The song, Pour Some Sugar on Me, came out in 1987 and was an iconic rock/dance song of the era. In 1988, the song reached number 2 on the U.S. billboard chart.
7. What I Like About You by Romantics. What I Like About You was released in 1980 and considered a hit American rock band. During the early 80s it appeared on MTV on numerous occasions.
8. Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. In 1987, Never Gonna Give You Up was released in the U.S. As a popular dance song, it won the 1988 Brit Awards. The term ‘Rickrolling’ is known as an internet prank that involves broken URLs that randomly redirect to this song.
9. Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic. In 1989, this techno classic became a staple at clubs and raves around the world. By blending hip hop and deep house, this is one of the first tracks of its kind to get the masses moving.
10. 1999 by Prince. Prince released this song in 1982. In 1983, it reached number 2 on the U.S. billboard. Prince brought to life a dance scene filled with art, longing and excess. His dance music was iconic in the New York club scene.
Everybody knows the reign that Madonna and Michael Jackson had in the 80s. Although not as well-known, these popular dance artists created songs that last well beyond the 80s.