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237 voters

The Best '80s Synth Songs

Updated August 22, 2020 1.8k votes 237 voters 11.4k views30 items

What are the best synth songs from the period best known for music created from computers and synthesized musical instruments? To answer that question, let's rank the best '80s synth songs that truly defined the decade and inspired all of the synth music that followed in the '00s and beyond.

One of the very best synth songs to hit the airwaves also has one of the most memorable music videos from the decade with A-Ha's "Take On Me." The '80s is full of amazing music created with synthesizers you've probably been dancing to the groove with since they first came out. Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" helped inspire a new generation of musicians with its catchy lyrics and synthetic beat that took the entire world by storm. The decade featured more hits in this genre than nearly any other sub-genre of pop music with hits like "Just Can't Get Enough," "Sweet Dreams," and "Time After Time" continuing to find a place on the radio more than 30 years since its debut.

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

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  • 1
    74
    28

    Don't You Want Me

    The Human League
  • 2
    90
    43

    Take On Me

    a-ha

    ComposerMorten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy

    More 

    #6 of 30 Songs That Make For Unbelievably Awesome Drinking Games#15 of 82 The Best Love Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 3
    73
    35

    Blue Monday

    New Order
  • 4
    69
    32

    Sweet Dreams

    Eurythmics

    AlbumsSweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

    ComposerAnnie Lennox, David A. Stewart

    ProducerDavid A. Stewart

    Length (seconds)3:32

    More Sweet Dreams 

    #3134 of 3,867 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked#8 of 52 The Best 1980s Music Videos

  • 5
    59
    30

    West End Girls

    Pet Shop Boys

    AlbumsPlease

    ComposerNeil Tennant, Chris Lowe

    ProducerStephen Hague

    Length (seconds)4:35

    More West End Girls 

    #24 of 107 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders#18 of 113 The Best Alternative Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 6
    50
    21

    Don't You Want Me

    The Human League
  • 7
    63
    35

    Tainted Love

    Soft Cell

    AlbumsNon-Stop Erotic Cabaret

    ComposerEd Cobb

    ProducerMike Thorne

    Length (seconds)2:32

    More Tainted Love 

    #2 of 246 The Greatest Pop Songs by One-Hit Wonders#2 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • 8
    48
    24

    AlbumsSpeak & Spell

    ComposerVince Clarke

    ProducerThe Normal, Depeche Mode

    Length (seconds)3:37

  • 9
    50
    28

    Enola Gay

    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

    AlbumsOrganisation

    ComposerAndy McCluskey

    ProducerOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Mike Howlett

    Length (seconds)3:31

  • 10
    43
    24

    Smalltown Boy

    Bronski Beat
  • 11
    33
    17

    Only You

    Yazoo
  • 12
    21
    4

    Cars

    Gary Numan

    Date Recorded1979

    AlbumsThe Pleasure Principle

  • 13
    31
    19

    AlbumsReplicas

    ComposerGary Numan

    Length (seconds)5:20

  • 14
    48
    39

    AlbumsVisage

    ComposerMidge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Payne

    Length (seconds)3:39

  • 15
    33
    24

    Vienna

    Ultravox
  • 16
    30
    22

    The Model

    Kraftwerk
  • 17
    44
    42

    Jump

    Van Halen
  • 18
    24
    18

    Together in Electric Dreams

    Philip Oakey, The Human League

    AlbumsPhilip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder

    ComposerGiorgio Moroder

    ProducerPhilip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

    Length (seconds)3:49

  • 19
    25
    21

    Love Action

    The Human League
  • 20
    36
    38

    Time After Time

    Cyndi Lauper

    AlbumsShe's So Unusual

    ComposerCyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman

    Length (seconds)4:0

    More Time After Time 

    #16 of 73 The Best Classic Rock Songs For A First Dance#6 of 191 The Best Songs with Time in the Title

  • 21
    17
    14

    Hyperactive

    Thomas Dolby

    AlbumsThe Flat Earth

    ComposerThomas Dolby

    ProducerThomas Dolby

    Length (seconds)4:10

  • 22
    30
    34

    1999

    Prince

    Albums1999

    ComposerPrince, Prince

    Length (seconds)6:16

    More 1999 

    #12 of 87 The Best Apocalyptic Songs#2 of 88 The Best Songs For Your New Year's Eve Party Playlist

  • 23

    AlbumsNon-Stop Erotic Cabaret

    ComposerMarc Almond, David Ball

    ProducerMike Thorne

    Length (seconds)5:24

  • 24
    8
    7

    Wonderful Life

    Black box

    AlbumsEngland Made Me

    Length (seconds)2:16

  • 25
    5
    4

    Hymn

    Ultravox

    Date Recorded11/19/1982

    AlbumsQuartet

    ComposerUltravox