Duran Duran (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

See the Top 80 Songs from Every Year 1980-1989

January 1, 2019

By Scott T. Sterling

Everything was bigger in the 1980s: the hair, the shoulderpads on turquoise linen blazers, your cool uncle’s bad-ass Buick GNX. As time marches steadily forward, that massive and oversized decade looks even more glorious in the rearview.

The lineup of iconic artists that created the greatest songs of the ‘80s is packed full of legends: David Bowie, Prince, Blondie, Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop, The Clash, Roxy Music, Joan Jett, New Order, Malcolm McLaren, Duran Duran—a veritable cavalcade of music superstars that blazed trails straight through to Los Angeles, courtesy of the World Famous KROQ.

For the entirety of the big ‘80s, KROQ was the conduit between these sonic wizards and millions of ears throughout Southern California. DJs including Rodney Bingenheimer, Richard Blade, April Whitney and Jed the Fish became stars in their own right as they spun the latest and greatest music from around the world.

It’s not just about the big stars, though. Some of the biggest and most memorable songs of the ‘80s are by artists known only by the hardcore fans. Gary Myrick, Lene Lovich, Josie Cotton, Toto Coelo, Barbie & the Kens—you might not recognize the names, but drop a needle on tunes like “Lunatic Fringe” (Red Rider) and “Anything Anything (Dramarama)—if you were listening to KROQ during those golden years, you know them and you know them well. If not, welcome to a treasure trove of amazing music from one of the biggest, best and most creative decades ever. It’s a scientific fact.

Check out the Top 80 of each year below, or click HERE to get started year-by-year.