100 Greatest Dance Songs of the 80s



Criteria: The songs here are based on popularity and impact with an emphasis on a party atmosphere. Songs that were released in 1979 ("Funkytown," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "On the Radio," "Video Killed the Radio Star," "What I Like About You," "Rock With You," "Cars," "Pop Muzik," "And the Beat Goes On," "Ladies Night," "Computer Games," "Vertigo/Relight My Fire," "Rock Lobster," "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl," "Please Don't Go," "The Second Time Around," "Off the Wall," "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll") do not count here. Also, the song must have been worked significantly to dance clubs to figure a spot here. Since the '80s was a very danceable decade with diverse dance-oriented styles, special sidebar lists are given above.

1. Billie Jean
Michael Jackson
2. Into the Groove
Madonna
3. Don't You Want Me?
Human League
4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Eurythmics
5. Tainted Love
Soft Cell
6. Super Freak Part I
Rick James
7. Beat It
Michael Jackson
8. Celebration
Kool and The Gang
9. 1999
Prince
10. It Takes Two
Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
11. Push It
Salt-N-Pepa
12. All Night Long (All Night)
Lionel Richie
13. Another One Bites the Dust
Queen
14. Flashdance...What a Feeling
Irene Cara
15. Holiday
Madonna
16. Let the Music Play
Shannon
17. Wild Thing
Tone Loc
18. Pump Up the Jam
Technotronic
19. Thriller
Michael Jackson
20. Blue Monday
New Order
21. Upside Down (Inside Out)
Diana Ross
22. It's Raining Men
The Weather Girls
23. Take Your Time (Do It Right)
S.O.S. Band
24. I'm So Excited
The Pointer Sisters
25. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Whitney Houston
26. The Humpty Dance
Digital Underground
27. Love Shack
B-52s
28. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
Michael Jackson
29. Let's Groove
Earth, Wind, and Fire
30. Jump (For My Love)
The Pointer Sisters
31. I Feel For You
Chaka Khan
32. Rapture
Blondie
33. Walk Like An Egyptian
The Bangles
34. Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Cyndi Lauper
35. Our Lips Are Sealed
Go-Gos
36. Situation
Yazoo
37. The Safety Dance
Men Without Hats
38. I Can't Wait
Nu Shooz
39. Electric Boogie
Marcia Griffiths
40. Give It To Me Baby
Rick James
41. In My House
Mary Jane Girls
42. Forget Me Nots
Patrice Rushen
43. Genius Of Love
Tom Tom Club
44. You Dropped A Bomb On Me
Gap Band
45. Rhythm of the Night
DeBarge
46. More Bounce to the Ounce Part I
Zapp
47. When Doves Cry
Prince
48. Let's Dance
David Bowie
49. I'm Coming Out
Diana Ross
50. Heartbeat
Taana Gardner
51. Let It Whip
Dazz Band
52. Kiss
Prince & The New Power Generation
53. Let's Hear It For the Boy
Deniece Williams
54. You Spin Me Around (Like a Record)
Dead or Alive
55. Whip It!
Devo
56. Conga
Miami Sound Machine
57. Pump Up the Volume
M/A/R/R/S
58. Ride On Time
Black Box
59. Like a Virgin
Madonna
60. Me, Myself, and I
De La Soul
61. My Prerogative
Bobby Brown
62. Footloose
Kenny Loggins
63. Fame
Irene Cara
64. Relax
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
65. Goody Two Shoes
Adam Ant
66. Rockit
Herbie Hancock
67. Word Up!
Cameo
68. You're the One For Me
D-Train
69. Planet Rock
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force
70. Sunglasses At Night
Corey Hart
71. Oh Sheila
Ready For the World
72. Stomp!
Brothers Johnson
73. Venus
Bananarama
74. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Wham!
75. Maniac
Michael Sembello
76. Gloria
Laura Branigan
77. Atomic Dog
George Clinton
78. Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me?)
Gap Band
79. She Works Hard For the Money
Donna Summer
80. Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Wang Chung
81. Hungry Like the Wolf
Duran Duran
82. Somebody's Watching Me
Rockwell
83. Electric Avenue
Eddy Grant
84. We Got the Beat
Go-Gos
85. Material Girl
Madonna
86. The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael Jackson
87. She Drives Me Crazy
Fine Young Cannibals
88. The Politics of Dancing
Re-Flex
89. The Glamorous Life
Sheila E.
90. Freeway of Love
Aretha Franklin
91. She Blinded Me with Science
Thomas Dolby
92. Just Can't Get Enough
Depeche Mode
93. Walking On Sunshine
Katrina & The Waves
94. Who Can It Be Now?
Men At Work
95. Nasty
Janet Jackson
96. White Horse
Laid Back
97. Funky Cold Medina
Tone Loc
98. Bust A Move
Young MC
99. When I Think of You
Janet Jackson
100. Mickey
Toni Basil
101. Always Something There To Remind Me
Naked Eyes
102. Too Shy
Kajagoogoo
103. Our House
Madness
104. I Wonder If I Take You Home
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
105. I Can Dream About You
Dan Hartman
106. Never Gonna Give You Up
Rick Astley
107. Two of Hearts
Stacey Q
108. Let's Go Crazy
Prince & The Revolution
109. Fresh
Kool & The Gang
110. Jungle Love
The Time
111. Living In America
James Brown
112. Let's Go All the Way
Sly Fox
113. Nasty Girl
Vanity 6
114. Rumors
Timex Social Club
115. No Parking (On the Dance Floor)
Midnight Star
116. Axel F
Harold Faltermeyer
117. New Attitude
Patti LaBelle
118. Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Indeep
119. Double Dutch Bus
Frankie Smith
120. A Love Bizarre
Sheila E.
121. Get Down On It
Kool & The Gang
122. How Will I Know?
Whitney Houston
123. I Want Candy
Bow Wow Wow
124. So Many Men, So Little Time
Miquel Brown
125. High Energy
Evelyn Thomas
126. 19
Paul Hardcastle
127. Part-Time Lover
Stevie Wonder
128. Bad
Michael Jackson
129. Express Yourself
Madonna
130. Hot Hot Hot
Buster Poindexter
131. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Michael Jackson
132. Break My Stride
Matthew Wilder
133. Dance Hall Days
Wang Chung
134. I Want a New Drug
Huey Lewis & The News
135. Ghostbusters
Ray Parker Jr.
136. (Keep Feeling) Fascination
Human League
137. Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run)
Billy Ocean
138. (Let's Get) Physical
Olivia Newton John
139. Don't Leave Me This Way
Communards
140. Come Go With Me
Expose
141. Give Me the Night
George Benson
142. Love Sensation
Loleatta Holloway
143. The Loco-Motion
Kylie Minogue
144. What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy)
Information Society
145. I'm In Love
Evelyn "Champagne" King
146. People Hold On
Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield
147. Can't Fake the Feeling
Geraldine Hunt
148. Theme from S-Express
S-Express
149. Beat Dis
Bomb the Bass
150. Swing the Mood
Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers
TOP 10 DANCEABLE PARTY ROCKER JAMS
1. Mony Mony (live)
Billy Idol
2. Walk This Way
Run-D.M.C. & Aerosmith
3. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Beastie Boys
4. I Love Rock N Roll
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
5. Addicted To Love
Robert Palmer
6. Call Me
Blondie
7. Jessie's Girl
Rick Springfield
8. Rock This Town
Stray Cats
9. Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol
10. Dancing In the Dark
Bruce Springsteen
• Bubbling Under:
Bang the Drum All Day
Todd Rundgren
TOP 10 NOT QUITE-SO JAMMING
1. Back To Life
Soul II Soul
2. Straight Up
Paula Abdul
3. Keep On Movin'
Soul II Soul
4. Cruel Summer
Bananarama
5. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
Hall & Oates
6. I'll Tumble 4 Ya
Culture Club
7. Lean On Me
Club Nouveau
8. West End Girls
Pet Shop Boys
9. All Around the World
Lisa Stansfield
10. Smalltown Boy
Bronski Beat
• Bubbling Under:
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Bobby McFerrin
TOP 3 REGGAE/WORLD MUSIC JAMS
1. Pass the Dutchie
Musical Youth
2. Ye Ke Ye Ke
Mory Kante
3. Lambada
Kaoma
Michael Jackson
Diana Ross
Donna Summer
Rick James



Billie Jean - Michael Jackson


Last Updated: 2009-08-23

NOTE: Dance music is not always your typical 4/4 rhythm. Dance music is found in all forms of popular music, be it through swing, ragtime, jump blues, and rock. The first real dance music in American history was ragtime, and in the 1980s, dance music peaked pop-wise. These songs represent the greatest electronic dance and jam (dance-based pop-rock) songs of the 1980s.