80s Dance Music

The top dance songs and artists of the 1980s

Dance music through the 80s


The popularity of Disco music waned as the 70s ended and the decade of 80s dance began. There were still some Disco Hits on the 80s dance music charts in the early 80s however. Some of the top dance hits of 1980 included the disco songs Celebration by Kool and the Gang, I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross, Stomp! by the Brothers Johnson, and Funky Town by one-hit-wonder Lipps Inc.


By 1981, Disco's popularity had really started to fade and it was being replaced by the synth sound of New Wave. Some of the top synth based 80s dance hits included Soft Cell's Tainted Love, Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough, and Blondie's Rapture and The Tide is High. 1981 also saw several Funk hits on the 80s dance charts like Prince's Controversy and Super Freak by Rick James. Dance Pop also started to show up on the dance charts with songs like Hall & Oates' I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) and The Go Gos' Our Lips our Sealed.


The Synth sound was all over the 80s dance floors by 1982. Some of the top dance hits included Don't Go by Yazoo (Known as Yaz in the States), 1999 by Prince, Look of Love by ABC, I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls, and In The Name of Love by Thompson Twins. Also popular on the 80s dance floor was the dance pop hit Gloria by Laura Branigan.


80s pop ruled over the dance charts in 1983. Some of the top hits included Lets Dance by David Bowie, Safety Dance by Men Without Hats, Holiday by Madonna, Let the Music Play by Shannon, Say it isn't So by Hall and Oates, Sweet Dreams are Made of This by The Eurythmics, and Lies by Thompson Twins. These were all dwarfed by the biggest dance album of 1983. Michael Jackson's Thriller album ruled the dance floor. Almost every song on the album proved to be a big hit in the dance clubs. The songs included his huge hits Thriller, Beat it, and Billie Jean.


80s Dance Pop continued its dominance on the dance charts in 1984. Top songs included the pop hits Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis, Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins, When Doves Cry by Prince, Caribbean Queen By Billy Ocean, Out of Touch by Hall & Oates, and Big in Japan by Alphaville. '84 also gave us Dead or Alive's high energy 80s dance hit You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). Also released in 1984 was the soundtrack to the 80s dance movie Footloose. The album had many popular dance hits including the title track by Kenny Loggins, Let's Hear it for the Boy by Deniece Williams, and Dancing in the Sheets by Shalamar.


Madonna ruled the 80s dance music scene in 1985. Her Like A Virgin album was full of popular dance hits. These included Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Dress you Up, and Angel. She also had the dance hit Into the Groove off the Desperately Seeking Susan soundtrack. Also popular on the dance floors in 1984 was Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat, In My House by The Mary Jane Girls, Freeway of Love by Aretha Franklin, and Point of No Return by Expose.


In 1986, High energy dance music (Hi-NRG) was really popular on the dance charts. Some of the top songs included Brand New Lover by Dead or Alive, Venus by Bananarama, Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, You Keep Me Hanging On by Kim Wilde and Two of Hearts by Stacey Q. Also popular in '86 & '87 was music from Janet Jackson's Control album, which included the songs Nasty, When I Think of You, The Pleasure Principal, What Have You Done for Me Lately, and the title track.


The Hi-NRG trend continued on the dance floors in 1987 with songs like Come Go With Me by Expose, Fascinated by Company B, Catch Me(I'm Falling) by Pretty Poison, Pump up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S, True Faith by New Order, I Heard a Rumor by Bananarama, and Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. Some of the top dance pop songs included Open your Heart by Madonna, Looking for a New Love by Jody Watley, Lean on Me by Club Nouveau, Head to Toe by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston, and Bad by Michael Jackson


I Want to Be Your Property by Blue Mercedes was a huge hit in the dance clubs in 1988. It spent an entire month at the top of the dance music charts. Other top dance songs in '88 included Prove Your Love by Taylor Dayne, The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson, Pink Cadillac by Natalie Cole, Together Forever by Rick Astley, The Promise by When in Rome, Just Got Paid by Johnny Kemp, and What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy) by Information Society which featured a cameo by Leonard Nimoy of Mr Spock fame.


In 1989 Hip Hop started to make its way to the top of the 80s music dance charts. Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's Get on the Dance Floor, Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance, De La Soul's Me Myself and I, and Tone Loc's Wild Thing were very popular on the dance floor. Also extremely popular was Technotronic's Hip Hop/House Dance mix Pump up the Jam. Other dance hits from '89 included All She Wants Is by Duran Duran, She Drives Me Crazy by the Fine Young Cannibals, Like a Prayer and Express Yourself by Madonna, and Back to Life by Soul II Soul.