Top 100

Best-Selling Songs of the 80s

   1. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?
   2. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
   3. Stevie Wonder - I Just Called To Say I Love You
   4. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes
   5. The Human League - Don't You Want Me?
   6. Wham - Last Christmas
   7. Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
   8. George Michael - Careless Whisper
   9. Jennifer Rush - The Power Of Love
 10. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
 11. Soft Cell - Tainted Love
 12. Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
 13. New Order - Blue Monday
 14. Adam And The Ants - Stand And Deliver
 15. Kylie and Jason - Especially For You
 16. Tight Fit - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
 17. Irene Cara - Fame
 18. Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters
 19. Billy Joel - Uptown Girl
 20. Black Box - Ride On Time
 21. Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers - Swing The Mood
 22. Culture Club - Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
 23. Lionel Richie - Hello
 24. Elaine Page and Barbara Dickson - I Know Him So Well
 25. John Lennon - Imagine
 26. The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me
 27. Black Lace - Agadoo
 28. Barbra Streisand- Woman In Love
 29. UB40 - Red Red Wine
 30. Adam And The Ants - Antmusic
 31. Madonna - Into The Groove
 32. Renee and Renato - Save Your Love
 33. Kelly Marie - Feels Like I'm In Love
 34. Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie
 35. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
 36. Adam And The Ants - Prince Charming
 37. Cliff Richard - Mistletoe And Wine
 38. Communards - Don't Leave Me This Way
 39. Eddy Grant - I Don't Wanna Dance
 40. Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House
 41. Bucks Fizz - The Land Of Make Believe
 42. Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now
 43. Ultravox - Vienna
 44. Goombay Dance Band - Seven Tears
 45. Wham! - Freedom
 46. Michael Jackson - One Day In Your Life
 47. Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
 48. ABBA - Super Trouper
 49. The Tweets - The Birdie Song
 50. Paul Hardcastle - 19
 51. Nick Berry - Every Loser Wins
 52. Joe Dolce Music Theatre - Shaddup Your Face
 53. Madonna - Like A Virgin
 54. Boris Gardiner - I Want To Wake Up With You
 55. Jackie Wilsin - Reet Petite
 56. Ottawan - D.I.S.C.O.
 57. Sister Sledge - Frankie
 58. Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
 59. Blondie - The Tide Is High
 60. David Bowie - Let's Dance
 61. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
 62. Spandau Ballet - True
 63. Diana Ross - Chain Reaction
 64. Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus - We All Stand Together
 65. Yazz & The Plastic Population - The Only Way Is Up
 66. Cliff Richard And The Young Ones - Living Doll
 67. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder - Ebony And Ivory
 68. The Flying Pickets - Only You
 69. Shakin' Stevens - You Drive Me Crazy
 70. Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
 71. Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red
 72. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Geno
 73. Men At Work - Down Under
 74. David Bowie and Mick Jagger - Dancing In The Street
 75. The Jam - A Town Called Malice/Precious
 76. Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky
 77. Fern Kinney - Together We Are Beautiful
 78. Kenny Rogers - Coward Of The County
 79. Chaka Khan - I Feel For You
 80. The Specials - Ghost Town
 81. Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
 82. Phyllis Nelson - Move Closer
 83. John Lennon - (Just Like) Starting Over
 84. David Stewart & Barbara Gaskin - It's My Party
 85. Smokey Robinson - Being With You
 86. The Detroit Spinners- Working My Way Back To You
 87. Billy Ocean - When The Going Gets Tough
 88. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
 89. Sheena Easton - 9 to 5 (Morning Train)
 90. Feargal Sharkey - A Good Heart
 91. Madness -Baggy Trousers
 92. a-ha - Take On Me
 93. Altered Images - Happy Birthday
 94. Ottawan - Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart)
 95. David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes
 96. John Lennon - Woman
 97. King - Love & Pride
 98. The Stranglers - Golden Brown
 99. Lionel Richie - All Night Long (All Night)
100. Paul Young - Love Of The Common People

This Top 100 reflects sales in the UK singles charts

 

Stevie Wonder - I Just Called To Say I Love You (single sleeve)

The 1980's saw a pop video explosion with hundreds of original, innovative and highly entertaining videos being released. You can listen to the entire Top 100 best-sellers in the playlist above, or select the links to take you directly to the artist page (where available) where you you will find extra facts and photos.

Compiling this list brought up a few surprises, and it has also revealed quite a few songs and artists that have yet to be added to the Simply Eighties website.

It seems that the British-buying public had quite a fondness for novelty records. Just why did so many people go out and buy The Birdie Song? Never mind acid, we must have all been on Trill back in the 80s!

No one can complain about the diversity of the list. There's everything from Frankie's "Relax" which was banned by the BBC, to a Eurovision winner by Bucks Fizz with a teatime chorus.

Lionel Richie - Hello (1984 single)
Lionel Richie's Hello was still at No.1 when I got together with my first girlfriend, so every time the song is played on the radio it stirs up some very fond memories for me.

However, as a teenager back in the 80s I also wanted to listen to pop artists that my parents were definitely NOT going to listen to, and would, hopefully, even shock them!

Well, my Dad was shocked, no doubt, by the sight of Jim Kerr wearing eye liner and Adam Ant dressed as the dandy highwayman. But the highlight for me was when Boy George appeared on Top Of The Pops for the first time. Without any warning there he was on our TV screen (in all his glory) which caused my Dad to almost choke on his pink wafer! "Do you really want to hurt me?" I know my dad's answer to that one!

You could just hear bemused Dads up and down the land shouting to their son "Son, wouldn't it be a good idea for you to go and play footie with your mates instead of watching this rubbish?".

The problem for us teenagers, though, was that the songs were so damn catchy. As soon as your back was turned you would find you parents singing along to these "shocking" pop stars. I'm not so sure that the same can be said about much of today's music, as I certainly don't find myself singing along to many new tunes. Maybe I'm just stuck in the 80s!

Most of my favourite tunes came from the first half of the eighties, as the latter part of the decade was dominated by Stock, Aitken and Waterman - I'm pretty sure the trio recycled the same composition over and over for their songs.

Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky (1987 debut single)
After just a week of radio airplay, Kylie's I Should Be So Lucky began to irritate the hell out of us. The bubblegum teeny pop tune was written by the SAW team while she was waiting outside the recording studio (in around 40 minutes), as they had forgotten about her appointment!
9 to 5 - 1980 single by Sheena Easton
9 to 5 was Sheena Easton's second and biggest hit single, reaching No.3 in the UK and topping the US charts where the song was titled "Morning Train".
Cliff Richard and The Young Ones - Living Doll (1986)
There is no shortage of novelty records in the Top 100, and The Young Ones "helping" Cliff to sing Living Doll has to win the award for the funniest song in the list. Well, The Young Ones taking the P**s was amusing for a while, at least, although the joke began to wear thin very quickly. The profits went to Comic Relief and the guest appearance by Hank Marvin was very welcome, too.
Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus - We All Stand Together (1984)

There's no doubting Paul McCartney's skills as a songwriter, but this one certainly sucks. However, as it was written for the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song, you can't really have expected Macca to have penned a classic pop tune, and as songs for children go, it's a pretty decent affair.

Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson - I Know Him So Well (1984 single) from the musical Chess
Who can forget this song by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson. Actually, I can - I've yet to add a page featuring either artist to this site!
Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House (1981 vinyl picture sleeve)
Ah, its the Welsh Elvis himself, and he's in the Top 100 twice!