Music

The Best '80s Dance Songs 

Ranker Music
Updated December 30, 2019 2.3k votes 322 voters 27.2k views 80 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.

list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Queen

Albums: The Game

Composer: John Deacon

Producer: Queen, Reinhold Mack

Length (seconds): 3:35

2
Ranker Video
Dead or Alive

Albums: Youthquake

Composer: Pete Burns, Dead or Alive, Wayne Hussey, Steve Coy, Mike Percy, + more

Producer: Pete Waterman

Length (seconds): 3:14

3
Ranker Video
Let's Go Crazy Prince
4
Ranker Video
Michael Jackson

Albums: HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Bad, Thriller

Composer: Michael Jackson

Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Length (seconds): 4:49

5
Ranker Video
Let's Dance David Bowie
6
Ranker Video
Blue Monday New Order
7
Ranker Video
8
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Dance Songs
reynolds.levaron added Kiss Prince & The Revolution

Date Recorded: 1986

Albums: Parade

9
Ranker Video
Whitney Houston

Albums: Whitney

Composer: Shannon Rubicam, George Merrill

Producer: Narada Michael Walden

Length (seconds): 4:49

10
Ranker Video
Michael Jackson

Albums: HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Thriller

Composer: Michael Jackson

Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Length (seconds): 3:49

11
Ranker Video
Pump Up the Jam Technotronic

Albums: Pump Up the Jam

Composer: Ya Kid K

Length (seconds): 3:36

12
Ranker Video
Young MC

Albums: Stone Cold Rhymin'

Composer: Young MC, Michael Ross, Matt Dike

Length (seconds): 4:23

More Bust a Move 

#54 of 120 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders #94 of 115 The Best Party Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

13
Ranker Video
Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Albums: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

Composer: Holly Johnson, Peter Gill, Mark O'Toole

Producer: Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson

Length (seconds): 3:8

More Relax 

#44 of 196 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders #5 of 45 The Greatest Dance Songs by One-Hit Wonders

14
Ranker Video
Into the Groove Madonna
15
Ranker Video
Tone-Lōc

Albums: Lōc-ed After Dark

Composer: Young MC, Michael Ross, Matt Dike

Producer: Matt Dike, Michael Ross

Length (seconds): 4:22

16
Ranker Video
reynolds.levaron added I Think We're Alone Now Tiffany

Date Recorded: 1987

Albums: Tiffany

17
Ranker Video
You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC

Albums: Back in Black

Composer: Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Malcolm Young

Producer: Robert Lange

Length (seconds): 3:30

18
Ranker Video
Rick Astley

Albums: Whenever You Need Somebody

Composer: Pete Waterman, Mike Stock, Matt Aitken

Length (seconds): 3:29

19
Ranker Video
Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

Albums: It Takes Two

Composer: James Brown, Rob Base, Teddy Riley, Rodney Bryce

Length (seconds): 4:58

20
Ranker Video
Celebration Kool & The Gang

Albums: Celebrate!

Composer: Kool & the Gang, Eumir Deodato, Robert Bell, James "J.T." Taylor, Claydes Charles Smith, + more

Length (seconds): 4:59

21
Ranker Video
reynolds.levaron added I Want Your Sex George Michael

Date Recorded: 1987

Albums: Faith

22
Ranker Video
Push It Salt-N-Pepa

Albums: A Salt With a Deadly Pepa

Composer: Ray Davies, Hurby Azor

Length (seconds): 3:28

23
Ranker Video
The Weather Girls

Albums: Success

Composer: Paul Shaffer, Paul Jabara

Length (seconds): 5:27

24
Nasty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Dance Songs
Mark Lewis added Nasty Janet Jackson

Date Recorded: 1986

25
Ranker Video
MoonshadowRachel added Duran Duran

Albums: Rio

Composer: Duran Duran

Length (seconds): 5:10

More Hungry Like the Wolf 

#8 of 59 The Best 1980s Music Videos #5 of 110 The Best Alternative Songs Of The '80s, Ranked #30 of 74 The Best Rock Music Videos