Rapture. All of that changed with "What Have You Done for Me Lately," the lead single from her third effort, Control. Top songs of the 1980's is updated by the minute by Gigbuilder - The world's most popular Event Management System. It would be easy to be consumed by envy if we weren't all being lulled into a dopey, two-stepping, love-drunk stupor. That’s thanks in no small part to Neil Tennant’s coolly annunciated delivery, a hypnotic take on the hip-hop flows of the era. We get so used to the sleek, funky side of Michael Jackson that it's easy to forget how hard "Beat It" actually legitimately rocks. Listen out for "drifter" in the chorus, which replaced an earlier recording using the word "hobo," after lead singer David Coverdale worried that it sounded too much like "homo." Then they [the choir] got round in a circle, held hands and said the Lord's Prayer. Serving up a heady—occasionally otherworldly—mixture of Afrobeat, funk, pop, rock, disco and psychedelia, the chorus of this existential anthem is huge enough to have stuck around for more than three decades. During the 1980s the chart was based collectively on each single's weekly physical sales figures and airplay on American radio station. Sade is just so damned smooth. The song’s bittersweet sentiment is perfectly matched by the music—at turns delicate and yearning, then surging and desperate. But the greater loss is Biz’s sense of self-deprecation. The first single ever recorded by the indie-rock outfit, “Tugboat” consists of only two chords, some scant lyrics about not wanting to do much of anything, save being a tugboat captain (a reference to the Velvet Underground's Sterling Morrison, a clear hero), and...that’s about it. As much of a dance-floor killer as it is, "Beat It" is a genuinely heavy song, psychologically as much as sonically. Commented Mick Jones, of the recording process: "We did a few takes, and it was good, but it was still a bit tentative. Check out our guide to the best ’80s movies. Thanks for subscribing! And it seemed to inspire them, because after that they did it on one take. So though Stewart Copeland could be a florid, flashy drummer, and though Sting was known to dash a few extra flicks on his grooves, “Every Breath” measures each note microscopically, as if arranged with OCD, which makes the stalking vibe that much subtly creepier. (It won six MTV Video Awards.) Roxy Music’s most played song on Spotify by a country mile (the runner up, “Avalon,” draws about half the audience) didn’t even crack, Has a drum introduction ever sounded this. Thankfully, the lotion-slick groove reeks more of coconuts than crisp money. And there aren’t many songs from the era that come with an important warning about fire safety in the chorus. There’s something to be said for having a boss. It’s just that they spent a butt-ton of money on everything. Fine Young Cannibals were so much weirder and cooler than you remember. Oh, it’s so easy to mock U2: the bombast, the shades, the pomp… But the band’s 1987 opus, The Joshua Tree, contains three of its mightiest songs in a row, of which “With or Without You” is its most affecting. Sometimes all you really need for a truly memorable hit is economy, as proved by this stone-cold classic from 1988. “Nineteen eighty-nine…” The first five syllables of Public Enemy’s most zeitgeisty hit, made at the request of Spike Lee for his groundbreaking film Do the Right Thing, pack a ton of punch. The following artists were featured in top of the chart for the highest total number of weeks during the 1980s. In 1984, husband and wife duo John Smith and Valerie Day recorded the tune, which was remixed in the Netherlands a couple years later—and it’s this clean, clipped, super funky version of the song that landed the Shooz their record deal and influenced a generation of “chillwave” aspirants some 25 years later. Jones liked it so much he sampled the track a decade later in “The Globe.”. “Africa” was their contribution to the wave of telethon pop that clogged the Reagan era, another patronizing plea for charity like “We Are the World” and Band Aid. But the hit album Private Dancer and its chart-topping single, “What’s Love Got to Do with It”—her first top-10 song in more than a decade—made the tough soul icon a solo superstar. Even that sampling by MC Hammer can't diminish its greatness. Maybe not surprising, coming from a band named after an amphetamine, but the U.K. group propels the juddering rhythms of its classic 1982 single like a dynamo, chugging through tempo changes while picking up steam for the big finish. The message was clear: Turner’s career still had fabulous legs. The song’s masterfully infectious synth riff, sampled back to glory by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera in 2013’s “Feel This Moment,” would be enough to secure it a spot on any list of ’80s classics. Always a party starter and roof-igniting karaoke jam, the song become a bittersweet rallying cry in the years since her death. A New Order single is like if architecture was flush with hormones. Don’t let Puff Daddy ruin this for you. That’s why the band will be a dance-floor killer until a comet demolishes us. Catchier than a flytrap, more sordid than your craziest night out, Rick James hit the summit of his career with the wild funk of "Super Freak." Sung by Christine McVie, this delectable swoon of a song appears on the band’s 1987 album Tango in the Night, and it’s the kind of track that needs to be played at least three times in a row, preferably on a roadtrip involving lots of singing along, to reach satisfaction saturation. Those unforgettable snare snaps comes courtesy of producer Steve Albini, and it’s one of the many touches the band’s most popular song (one that wasn’t even released as a single in ’88) has going for it: Among the many others, there’s Kim Deal’s haunting, reverb drenched backing vocals that so many indie-rock groups would go on to ape, a cracked-voiced Black Francis spitting out cryptic-cool lyrics, and deceptively simple lead guitar and bass combo that still gives us goosebumps.
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