100 Greatest Songs From 1986

Criteria: Songs listed are from Rock 'n' Roll and related sub-genres. Rankings are based on initial and lasting popularity and on acclaim received from critics and musicians.

Note: Yearly song lists go by earliest 'release date' (Single, Album, or Country of first release). Not necessarily the year a song peaked in the U.S. charts.

1. Walk This Way
Run-D.M.C. & Aerosmith
2. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Beastie Boys
3. Kiss
Prince & The Revolution
4. Livin' On a Prayer
Bon Jovi
5. Nasty
Janet Jackson
6. Push It
7. Papa Don't Preach
8. Sledgehammer
Peter Gabriel
9. Take My Breath Away
10. Don't Dream It's Over
Crowded House
11. The Final Countdown
12. What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Janet Jackson
13. (I Just) Died In Your Arms
Cutting Crew
14. Higher Love
Steve Winwood
15. The Way It Is
Bruce Hornsby & The Range
16. Live To Tell
17. Manic Monday
18. Open Your Heart
19. When I Think of You
Janet Jackson
20. In Your Eyes (Theme From "Say Anything")
Peter Gabriel
21. Land of Confusion
22. Looking For a New Love
Jody Watley
23. Venus
24. You Give Love a Bad Name
Bon Jovi
25. I Can't Wait
Nu Shooz
26. True Colors
Cyndi Lauper
27. La Isla Bonita
28. C'est La Vie
Robbie Nevil
29. Sweet Love
Anita Baker
30. Lean On Me
Club Nouveau
31. Rumors
Timex Social Club
32. Bizarre Love Triangle
New Order
33. Human
Human League
34. Why Can't This Be Love?
Van Halen
35. The Rain
Oran "Juice" Jones
36. Danger Zone
Kenny Loggins
37. Wanted Dead Or Alive
Bon Jovi
38. Graceland
Paul Simon
39. Don't Give Up
Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush
40. On My Own
Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
41. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
Aretha Franklin & George Michael
42. Shake You Down
Gregory Abbott
43. Harlem Shuffle
Rolling Stones
44. The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
Timbuk 3
45. Keep Your Hands To Yourself
Georgia Satellites
46. Breakout
Swing Out Sister
47. Tuff Enuff
Fabulous Thunderbirds
48. You Keep Me Hangin' On
Kim Wilde
49. Let's Wait Awhile
Janet Jackson
50. If You Leave
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

51. Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)
Glass Tiger
52. Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Wang Chung
53. The Lady In Red
Chris De Burgh
54. Invisible Touch
55. There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)
Billy Ocean
56. Big Time
Peter Gabriel
57. Don't Get Me Wrong
58. Amanda
59. Dancing On the Ceiling
Lionel Richie
60. Love You Down
Ready For the World
61. Candy
62. Brass Monkey
Beastie Boys
63. True Blue
64. The Pleasure Principle
Janet Jackson
65. Only In My Dreams
Debbie Gibson
66. Notorious
Duran Duran
67. You Can Call Me Al
Paul Simon
68. Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But the Rent
Gwen Guthrie
69. Glory Of Love (Theme From "The Karate Kid")
Peter Cetera
70. Somewhere Out There
Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram
71. Stuck With You
Huey Lewis & The News
72. Sweet Freedom
Michael McDonald
73. Throwing It All Away
74. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
75. Missionary Man
76. Dreams
Van Halen
77. Take Me Home Tonight
Eddie Money
78. Sweet Sixteen
Billy Idol
79. Wild Wild Life
Talking Heads
80. Caught Up In the Rapture
Anita Baker
81. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
82. Back In the High Life Again
Steve Winwood
83. Don't Leave Me This Way
84. Suburbia
Pet Shop Boys
85. It's Tricky
86. Stripped
Depeche Mode
87. No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Beastie Boys
88. Typical Male
Tina Turner
89. Like a Rock
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
90. Peter Gunn
Art of Noise & Duane Eddy
91. Control
Janet Jackson
92. Touch Me (I Want Your Body)
Samantha Fox
93. Love Can't Turn Around
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk
94. (Bang Zoom) Let's Go Go
Real Roxanne
95. Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
96. Who Wants To Live Forever?
97. Something So Strong
Crowded House
98. Fall On Me
99. Dear God
100. Panic
20 more worth mentioning.
101. Digging Your Scene
Blow Monkeys
102. Give Me the Reason
Luther Vandross
103. Bigmouth Strikes Again
104. My Adidas
105. Blood and Roses
106. Red Rain
Peter Gabriel
107. Smoking Gun
Robert Cray
108. Eric B. Is President
Eric B. & Rakim
109. Welcome To the Boomtown
David & David
110. Ship of Fools
World Party
111. Behind the Wall of Sleep
112. Master of Puppets
113. Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)
Marshall Jefferson
114. Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)
Paul Lekakis
115. Hold It Now, Hit It
Beastie Boys
116. Holiday Rap
MC Miker & DJ Sven
117. Caravan of Love
118. Come Go With Me
119. Jack Your Body
Steve "Silk" Hurley
120. Angel of Death
DigitalDreamDoor Editor Picks for 1986
An unheralded great record from 1986
Jeff's choice:
Greatest Single Re-entry:
* Stand By Me (#9 US in 1986, #1 UK, 3 weeks in 1987)
Ben E. King

Jeff's choice:
* Great Gosh A'Mighty (It's a Matter of Time)
Little Richard
Lew's choice:
* On The Beach
Chris Rea
Bruce's choice:
* Strokin'
Clarence Carter
Brett's choice:
* Didn't We Have A Nice Time (And All My Friends Are Here)
Ryan's choice:
* Steaming Train
Talulah Gosh
    1985   |   1987

Edited By:
Last Updated: 2014-05-15