Music

The Best '80s Dance Songs 

Ranker Music
Updated December 30, 2019 2.7k votes 354 voters 29.7k 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
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Queen

Albums: The Game

Composer: John Deacon

Producer: Queen, Reinhold Mack

Length (seconds): 3:35

2
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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
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Let's Dance David Bowie
4
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Let's Go Crazy Prince
5
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Michael Jackson

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

Composer: Michael Jackson

Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Length (seconds): 4:49

6
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Whitney Houston

Albums: Whitney

Composer: Shannon Rubicam, George Merrill

Producer: Narada Michael Walden

Length (seconds): 4:49

7
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Pump Up the Jam Technotronic

Albums: Pump Up the Jam

Composer: Ya Kid K

Length (seconds): 3:36

8
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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

9
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Blue Monday New Order
10
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11
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Dance Songs
reynolds.levaron added Kiss Prince & The Revolution

Date Recorded: 1986

Albums: Parade

12
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Michael Jackson

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

Composer: Michael Jackson

Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Length (seconds): 3:49

13
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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 183 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders #17 of 115 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders

14
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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

15
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reynolds.levaron added I Think We're Alone Now Tiffany

Date Recorded: 1987

Albums: Tiffany

16
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Rick Astley

Albums: Whenever You Need Somebody

Composer: Pete Waterman, Mike Stock, Matt Aitken

Length (seconds): 3:29

17
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Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

Albums: It Takes Two

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

Length (seconds): 4:58

18
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Into the Groove Madonna
19
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Young MC

Albums: Stone Cold Rhymin'

Composer: Young MC, Michael Ross, Matt Dike

Length (seconds): 4:23

20
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MoonshadowRachel added Duran Duran

Albums: Rio

Composer: Duran Duran

Length (seconds): 5:10

More Hungry Like the Wolf 

#6 of 59 The Best 1980s Music Videos #9 of 118 The Best Alternative Songs Of The '80s, Ranked #13 of 146 The Best '80s New Wave Songs

21
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Tone-Lōc

Albums: Lōc-ed After Dark

Composer: Young MC, Michael Ross, Matt Dike

Producer: Matt Dike, Michael Ross

Length (seconds): 4:22

22
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Men Without Hats

Albums: Rhythm of Youth

Composer: Ivan Doroschuk

Length (seconds): 2:45

More The Safety Dance 

#2,626 of 4,108 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #7 of 115 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders

23
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The Bangles

Albums: Different Light

Composer: Liam Sternberg

Producer: David Kahne

Length (seconds): 2:0

More Walk Like an Egyptian 

#15 of 59 The Best 1980s Music Videos #13 of 19 Music Videos That Introduced the World to New Dance Moves #14 of 22 These Pop Songs Describe The Plots Of Your Favorite Horror Movies

24
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The Go-Go's

Albums: Beauty and the Beat

Composer: Jane Wiedlin, Terry Hall

Length (seconds): 2:46

25
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reynolds.levaron added I Want Your Sex George Michael

Date Recorded: 1987

Albums: Faith