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The Best '80s Synth Songs

Updated August 22, 2020 1.5k votes 187 voters 8.5k 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
    Take On Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    75
    40

    Take On Me

    a-ha

    ComposerMorten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy

  • 2
    Don't You Want Me is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    57
    24

    Don't You Want Me

    The Human League
  • 3
    Blue Monday is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    63
    33

    Blue Monday

    New Order
  • 4
    Sweet Dreams is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    52
    28

    Sweet Dreams

    Eurythmics

    AlbumsSweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

    ComposerAnnie Lennox, David A. Stewart

    ProducerDavid A. Stewart

    Length (seconds)3:32

    More Sweet Dreams 

    #65 of 122 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals#2688 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked

  • 5
    Tainted Love is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    52
    33

    Tainted Love

    Soft Cell

    AlbumsNon-Stop Erotic Cabaret

    ComposerEd Cobb

    ProducerMike Thorne

    Length (seconds)2:32

    More Tainted Love 

    #2 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders#2 of 257 The Greatest Pop Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • 6
    West End Girls is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    45
    29

    West End Girls

    Pet Shop Boys

    AlbumsPlease

    ComposerNeil Tennant, Chris Lowe

    ProducerStephen Hague

    Length (seconds)4:35

    More West End Girls 

    #24 of 109 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders#57 of 115 The Best '80s Dance Songs

  • 7
    Just Can't Get Enough is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    39
    23

    AlbumsSpeak & Spell

    ComposerVince Clarke

    ProducerThe Normal, Depeche Mode

    Length (seconds)3:37

  • 8
    Don't You Want Me is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    37
    20

    Don't You Want Me

    The Human League
  • 9
    Smalltown Boy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    35
    22

    Smalltown Boy

    Bronski Beat
  • 10
    Enola Gay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    39
    27

    Enola Gay

    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

    AlbumsOrganisation

    ComposerAndy McCluskey

    ProducerOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Mike Howlett

    Length (seconds)3:31

    More Enola Gay 

    #8 of 13 Songs About Historical Events That Are Surprisingly Accurate#53 of 113 The Best Alternative Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 11
    Only You is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    28
    15

    Only You

    Yazoo
  • 12
    The Model is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    27
    19

    The Model

    Kraftwerk
  • 13
    Are 'Friends' Electric? is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    24
    16

    AlbumsReplicas

    ComposerGary Numan

    Length (seconds)5:20

  • 14
    Fade to Grey is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    39
    34

    AlbumsVisage

    ComposerMidge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Payne

    Length (seconds)3:39

  • 15
    Vienna is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    25
    22

    Vienna

    Ultravox
  • 16
    Hymn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    2
    1

    Hymn

    Ultravox

    Date Recorded11/19/1982

    AlbumsQuartet

    ComposerUltravox

  • 17
    Time After Time is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    31
    31

    Time After Time

    Cyndi Lauper

    AlbumsShe's So Unusual

    ComposerCyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman

    Length (seconds)4:0

    More Time After Time 

    #14 of 73 The Best Classic Rock Songs For A First Dance#42 of 182 The Best '80s New Wave Songs

  • 18
    Cars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    8
    1

    Cars

    Gary Numan

    Date Recorded1979

    AlbumsThe Pleasure Principle

  • 19
    1999 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    28
    28

    1999

    Prince

    Albums1999

    ComposerPrince, Prince

    Length (seconds)6:16

    More 1999 

    #13 of 87 The Best Apocalyptic Songs#5 of 21 Inspiring Prince Songs and Lyrics That Inform How You Live

  • 20
    Love Action is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    21
    19

    Love Action

    The Human League
  • 21
    Jump is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    35
    40

    Jump

    Van Halen
  • 22
    Together in Electric Dreams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    17
    17

    Together in Electric Dreams

    Philip Oakey, The Human League

    AlbumsPhilip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder

    ComposerGiorgio Moroder

    ProducerPhilip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

    Length (seconds)3:49

  • 23
    Hyperactive is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    13
    15

    Hyperactive

    Thomas Dolby

    AlbumsThe Flat Earth

    ComposerThomas Dolby

    ProducerThomas Dolby

    Length (seconds)4:10

  • 24
    Say Hello Wave Goodbye is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs

    AlbumsNon-Stop Erotic Cabaret

    ComposerMarc Almond, David Ball

    ProducerMike Thorne

    Length (seconds)5:24

  • 25
    Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Synth Songs
    5
    5

    Wonderful Life

    Black box

    AlbumsEngland Made Me

    Length (seconds)2:16

SongsMusic1980s80s Musictop 25