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The Best '80s Dance Songs

Updated April 5, 2020 8.2k votes 718 voters 59.3k views115 items

What are the best dance songs from the period best known for mullets, jelly bands, and jean jackets? To answer that question, let's rank the best '80s dance songs that truly defined the decade and inspired all of the dance music that followed in the '90s and beyond.

"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung is one of those songs that doesn't just earworm into your brain for hours, it's something you can move to! The single is one of the best known songs the group released, and a great place to start when ranking the best dance songs from the '80s. Salt-N-Pepa helped define the generation for dancers across the world with "Push It," but you don't have to look much further than the King of Pop's incredibly popular classic "Beat It," which helped launch Michael Jackson's solo career. Other popular hits from the decade that just force a listener to move include Madonna's "Into the Groove," Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance," and Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)."

Vote up your favorite '80s dance songs on this ranked list, and add any tracks that aren't here already.

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  • 1
    126
    97

    Billie Jean

    Michael Jackson

    AlbumsHIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Bad, Thriller

    ComposerMichael Jackson

    ProducerQuincy Jones, Michael Jackson

    Length (seconds)4:49

    More Billie Jean 

    #37 of 95 History's Greatest Disco Songs, Ranked#65 of 122 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals

  • 2

    AlbumsThe Game

    ComposerJohn Deacon

    ProducerQueen, Reinhold Mack

    Length (seconds)3:35

    More Another One Bites The Dust 

    #3 of 77 The Best Pop Songs About Death#11 of 20 The Best Bouquet Toss Songs

  • 3
    107
    81
  • 4

    AlbumsYouthquake

    ComposerPete Burns, Dead or Alive, Wayne Hussey, Steve Coy, Mike Percy

    ProducerPete Waterman

    Length (seconds)3:14

    More You Spin Me 'Round (Like a Record) 

    #6 of 20 LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem Video Syncs Up With A Shocking Number Of Different Songs#76 of 113 The Best Songs with You in the Title

  • 5
    101
    76

    Beat It

    Michael Jackson

    AlbumsHIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Thriller

    ComposerMichael Jackson

    ProducerQuincy Jones, Michael Jackson

    Length (seconds)3:49

    More Beat It 

    #10 of 133 The Best Workout Songs#5 of 30 The Best Eddie Van Halen Guitar Solos Of All Time, Ranked

  • 6
    88
    64

    Celebration

    Kool & The Gang

    AlbumsCelebrate!

    ComposerKool & the Gang, Eumir Deodato, Robert Bell, James "J.T." Taylor, Claydes Charles Smith

    Length (seconds)4:59

    More 

    #14 of 29 The Best Songs for a Family Slideshow#26 of 97 The Best Songs About Winning, Ranked

  • 7
    85
    60

    Kiss

    Prince & The Revolution

    Date Recorded1986

    AlbumsParade

  • 8
    100
    78

    Let's Dance

    David Bowie
  • 9
    67
    43

    AlbumsRio

    ComposerDuran Duran

    Length (seconds)5:10

    More Hungry Like the Wolf 

    #49 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked#17 of 179 The Best Pop Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 10
    101
    81

    Blue Monday

    New Order
  • 11
    76
    57

    Relax

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    AlbumsWelcome to the Pleasuredome

    ComposerHolly Johnson, Peter Gill, Mark O'Toole

    ProducerTrevor Horn, Stephen Lipson

    Length (seconds)3:8

    More Relax 

    #17 of 107 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders#23 of 62 The Greatest Alternative Rock Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • 12

    AlbumsWhenever You Need Somebody

    ComposerPete Waterman, Mike Stock, Matt Aitken

    Length (seconds)3:29

    More Never Gonna Give You Up 

    #44 of 246 The Greatest Pop Songs by One-Hit Wonders#25 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • 13
    67
    47

    AlbumsDifferent Light

    ComposerLiam Sternberg

    ProducerDavid Kahne

    Length (seconds)2:0

    More Walk Like an Egyptian 

    #17 of 52 The Best 1980s Music Videos#17 of 22 These Pop Songs Describe The Plots Of Your Favorite Horror Movies

  • 14
    42
    21

    Take On Me

    a-ha

    ComposerMorten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy

    More 

    #6 of 30 Songs That Make For Unbelievably Awesome Drinking Games#13 of 56 The Most Difficult Songs To Sing At Karaoke

  • 15
    37
    15

    Walking On Sunshine

    Katrina and the Waves
  • 16
    87
    69

    Let's Go Crazy

    Prince
  • 17
    71
    52

    Push It

    Salt-N-Pepa

    AlbumsA Salt With a Deadly Pepa

    ComposerRay Davies, Hurby Azor

    Length (seconds)3:28

  • 18
    81
    65

    Into the Groove

    Madonna
  • 19

    AlbumsWhitney

    ComposerShannon Rubicam, George Merrill

    ProducerNarada Michael Walden

    Length (seconds)4:49

    More I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) 

    #76 of 193 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked#16 of 88 The Best Songs For Your New Year's Eve Party Playlist

  • 20
    86
    73

    Pump Up the Jam

    Technotronic

    AlbumsPump Up the Jam

    ComposerYa Kid K

    Length (seconds)3:36

  • 21

    AlbumsBrotherhood

    ComposerBernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert

    Length (seconds)4:22

    More Bizarre Love Triangle 

    #2872 of 3,867 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked#4 of 113 The Best Alternative Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 22
    53
    36

    Nasty

    Janet Jackson

    Date Recorded1986

  • 23
    55
    40

    All Night Long (All Night)

    Lionel Richie
  • 24
    53
    39

    AlbumsBad, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1

    ComposerMichael Jackson

    ProducerQuincy Jones, Michael Jackson

    Length (seconds)4:57

    More The Way You Make Me Feel 

    #63 of 82 The Best Love Songs Of The '80s, Ranked#7 of 131 The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time

  • 25
    48
    33

    I'm So Excited

    The Pointer Sisters

    AlbumsSo Excited

    ComposerJune Pointer, Anita Pointer, Ruth Pointer, Trevor Lawrence

    Length (seconds)3:48