Billboard Number One Hits 1980-1989

You can get the feel of a decade from the songs that played on the radio at the time. And, no songs were played more than the #1 hits. These songs were the background music to your life in the 80s – the music in the car on the way to school and sports practice, the music in the stores where you shopped, the music on the soundtracks of your favorite movies, and the music you danced alone to in your bedroom. By looking at the number one hits in consecutive order throughout the 80s, you get an immediate sense of how music and culture evolved over those 10 years. We link to music videos where they available. Enjoy!Billboard

Please note that the following charts represent the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

1980  .  1981  .  1982  .  1983  .  1984  .  1985  .  1986  .  1987  .  1988  .  1989


1980

Song Artist Date
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Rupert Holmes Dec 22, ’79 – Jan 4
Please Don’t Go KC & the Sunshine Band Jan 5 – Jan 18
Rock With You Michael Jackson Jan 19 – Feb 15
Do That To Me One More Time Captain & Tennille Feb 16 – Feb 22
Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen Feb 23 – Mar 21
Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) Pink Floyd Mar 22 – Apr 18
Call Me Blondie Apr 19 – May 30
Funkytown Lipps Inc. May 31 – Jun 27
Coming Up (Live At Glasgow) Paul McCartney & Wings Jun 28 – Jul 18
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me Billy Joel Jul 19 – Aug 1
Magic Olivia Newton-John Aug 2 – Aug 29
Sailing Christopher Cross Aug 30 – Sept 5
Upside Down Diana Ross Sept 6 – Oct 3
Another One Bites the Dust Queen Oct 4 – Oct 24
Woman in Love Barbra Streisand Oct 25 – Nov 14
Lady Kenny Rogers Nov 15 – Dec 26
(Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon Dec 27 – Jan 30, ’81

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1981

Song Artist Date
(Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon Dec 27, ’80 – Jan 30
The Tide Is High Blondie Jan 31 – Feb 6
Celebration Kool & The Gang Feb 7 – Feb 20
9 to 5 Dolly Parton Feb 21 – Mar 6
I Love A Rainy Night Eddie Rabbit Mar 7 – Mar 20
Keep On Loving You REO Speedwagon Mar 21 – Mar 27
Rapture Blondie Mar 28 – Apr 10
Kiss On My List Hall & Oates Apr 11 – May 1
Morning Train (Nine To Five) Sheena Easton May 2 – May 15
Bette Davis Eyes Kim Carnes May 16 – Jul 17
Medley Stars on 45 Jul 18 – Jul 24
The One That You Love Air Supply Jul 25 – Jul 31
Jessie’s Girl Rick Springfield Aug 1 – Aug 14
Endless Love Diana Ross & Lionel Richie Aug 15 – Oct 16
Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) Christopher Cross Oct 17 – Nov 6
Private Eyes Hall & Oates Nov 7 – Nov 20
Physical Olivia Newton-John Nov 21 – Jan 29, ’82

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1982

Song Artist Date
Physical Olivia Newton-John Nov 21, ’81 – Jan 29
I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) Hall & Oates Jan 30 – Feb 5
Centerfold J. Geils Band Feb 6 – Mar 19
I Love Rock n’ Roll Joan Jett & the Blackhearts Mar 20 – May 7
Chariots of Fire Vangelis May 8 – May 14
Ebony and Ivory Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder May 15 – Jul 2
Don’t You Want Me The Human League Jul 3 – Jul 23
Eye of the Tiger Survivor Jul 24 – Sept 3
Abracadabra The Steve Miller Band Sept 4 – Sept 17
Hard to Say I’m Sorry Chicago Sept 18 – Oct 1
Jack & Diane John Mellencamp Oct 2 – Oct 29
Who Can It Be Now? Men at Work Oct 30 – Nov 5
Up Where We Belong Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes Nov 6 – Nov 26
Truly Lionel Richie Nov 27 – Dec 10
Mickey Toni Basil Dec 11- Dec 17
Maneater Hall & Oates Dec 18 – Jan 14, ’83

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1983

Song Artist Date
Maneater Hall & Oates Dec 18, ’82 – Jan 14
Down Under Men at Work Jan 15 – Feb 11
Africa Toto Feb 12 – Feb 18
Baby, Come To Me Patti Austin featuring James Ingram Feb 19 – Mar 4
Billie Jean Michael Jackson Mar 5 – Apr 22
Come On Eileen Dexys Midnight Runners Apr 23 – Apr 29
Beat It Michael Jackson Apr 30 – May 20
Let’s Dance David Bowie May 21 – May 27
Flashdance . . . What A Feeling Irene Cara May 28 – Jul 8
Every Breath You Take The Police Jul 9 – Sept 2
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) Eurythmics Sept 3 – Sept 9
Maniac Michael Sembello Sept 10 – Sept 23
Tell Her About It Billy Joel Sept 24 – Sept 30
Total Eclipse of the Heart Bonnie Tyler Oct 1 – Oct 28
Islands In the Stream Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton Oct 29 – Nov 11
All Night Long (All Night) Lionel Richie Nov 12 – Dec 9
Say Say Say Paul McCartney featuring Michael Jackson Dec 10 – Jan 20, ’84

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1984

Song Artist Date
Say Say Say Paul McCartney featuring Michael Jackson Dec 10, ’83 – Jan 20
Owner of a Lonely Heart Yes Jan 21 – Feb 3
Karma Chameleon Culture Club Feb 4 – Feb 24
Jump Van Halen Feb 25 – Mar 20
Footloose Kenny Loggins Mar 31 – Apr 20
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) Phil Collins Apr 21 – May 11
Hello Lionel Richie May 12 – May 25
Let’s Hear It For the Boy Deniece Williams May 26 – Jun 8
Time After Time Cyndi Lauper Jun 9 – Jun 22
The Reflex Duran Duran Jun 23 – Jul 6
When Doves Cry Prince Jul 7 – Aug 10
Ghostbusters Ray Parker, Jr. Aug 11 – Aug 31
What’s Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner Sept 1 – Sept 21
Missing You John Waite Sept 22 – Sept 28
Let’s Go Crazy Prince & The Revolution Sept 29 – Oct 12
Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder Oct 13 – Nov 2
Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run) Billy Ocean Nov 3 – Nov 16
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham! Nov 17 – Dec 7
Out of Touch Hall & Oates Dec 8 – Dec 21
Like a Virgin Madonna Dec 22 – Feb 1, ’85

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1985

Song Artist Date
Like a Virgin Madonna Dec 22, ’84 – Feb 1
I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner Feb 2 – Feb 15
Careless Whisper Wham! Feb 16 – Mar 8
Can’t Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon Mar 9 – Mar 29
One More Night Phil Collins Mar 30 – Apr 12
We Are The World USA For Africa Apr 13 – May 10
Crazy for You Madonna May 11 – May 17
Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds May 18 – May 24
Everything She Wants Wham! May 25 – Jun 7
Everybody Wants To Rule The World Tears For Fears Jun 8 – Jun 21
Heaven Bryan Adams Jun 22 – Jul 5
Sussudio Phil Collins Jul 6 – Jul 12
A View to a Kill Duran Duran Jul 13 – Jul 26
Everytime You Go Away Paul Young Jul 27 – Aug 2
Shout Tears For Fears Aug 3 – Aug 23
The Power of Love Huey Lewis & The News Aug 24 – Sept 6
St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) John Parr Sept 7 – Sept 20
Money For Nothing Dire Straits Sept 21 – Oct 11
Oh Sheila Ready For the World Oct 12 – Oct 18
Take On Me a-ha Oct 19 – Oct 25
Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston Oct 26 – Nov 1
Part Time Lover Stevie Wonder Nov 2 – Nov 8
Miami Vice Theme Jan Hammer Nov 9 – Nov 15
We Built This City Starship Nov 16 – Nov 29
Separate Lives Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin Nov 30 – Dec 6
Broken Wings Mr. Mister Dec 7 – Dec 20
Say You, Say Me Lionel Richie Dec 21 – Jan 17, ’86

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1986

Song Artist Date
Say You, Say Me Lionel Richie Dec 21, ’85 – Jan 17
That’s What Friends Are For Dionne Warwick featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder Jan 18 – Feb 14
How Will I Know Whitney Houston Feb 15 – Feb 28
Kyrie Mr. Mister Mar 1 – Mar 14
Sara Starship Mar 15 – Mar 21
These Dreams Heart Mar 22 – Mar 28
Rock Me Amadeus Falco Mar 29 – Apr 18
Kiss Prince Apr 19 – May 2
Addicted to Love Robert Palmer May 3 – May 9
West End Girls Pet Shop Boys May 10 – May 16
Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston May 17 – Jun 6
Live to Tell Madonna Jun 7 – Jun 13
On My Own Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald Jun 14 – Jul 4
There’ll Be Sad Songs (to Make You Cry) Billy Ocean Jul 5 – Jul 11
Holding Back the Years Simply Red Jul 12 – Jul 18
Invisible Touch Genesis Jul 19 – Jul 25
Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel Jul 26 – Aug 1
Glory of Love Peter Cetera Aug 2 – Aug 15
Papa Don’t Preach Madonna Aug 16 – Aug 29
Higher Love Steve Winwood Aug 30 – Sept 5
Venus Bananarama Sept 6 – Sept 12
Take My Breath Away Berlin Sept 13 – Sept 19
Stuck with You Huey Lewis & the News Sept 20 – Oct 10
When I Think of You Janet Jackson Oct 11 – Oct 24
True Colors Cyndi Lauper Oct 25 – Nov 7
Amanda Boston Nov 8 – Nov 21
Human Human League Nov 22 – Nov 28
You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi Nov 29 – Dec 5
The Next Time I Fall Peter Cetera featuring Amy Grant Dec 6 – Dec 12
The Way It Is Bruce Hornsby & the Range Dec 13 – Dec 19
Walk Like an Egyptian The Bangles Dec 20 – Jan 16, ’87

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1987

Song Artist Date
Walk Like an Egyptian The Bangles Dec 20, ’86 – Jan 16
Shake You Down Gregory Abbott Jan 17 – Jan 23
At this Moment Billy Vera and The Beaters Jan 24 – Feb 6
Open Your Heart Madonna Feb 7 – Feb 13
Livin’ On a Prayer Bon Jovi Feb 14 – Mar 13
Jacob’s Ladder Huey Lewis & the News Mar 14 – Mar 11
Lean On Me Club Nouveau Mar 21 – Apr 3
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship Apr 4 – Apr 17
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) Aretha Franklin & George Michael Apr 18 – May 1
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Cutting Crew May 2 – May 15
With Or Without You U2 May 16 – Jun 5
You Keep Me Hangin’ On Kim Wilde Jun 6 – Jun 12
Always Atlantic Starr Jun 13 – Jun 19
Head to Toe Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam Jun 20 – Jun 6
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) Whitney Houston Jun 27 – Jul 10
Alone Heart Jul 11 – Jul 31
Shakedown Bob Seger Aug 1 – Aug 7
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For U2 Aug 8 – Aug 21
Who’s That Girl Madonna Aug 22 – Aug 28
La Bamba Los Lobos Aug 29 – Sept 18
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You Michael Jackson Sept 19 – Sept 25
Didn’t We Almost Have It All Whitney Houston Sept 26 – Oct 9
Here I Go Again Whitesnake Oct 10 – Oct16
Lost In Emotion Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam Oct 17 – Oct 23
Bad Michael Jackson Oct 24 – Nov 6
I Think We’re Alone Now Tiffany Nov 7 – Nov 20
Mony Mony “Live” Billy Idol Nov21 – Nov 27
(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes Nov 28 – Dec 4
Heaven Is a Place On Earth Belinda Carlisle Dec 5 – Dec 11
Faith George Michael Dec 12 – Jan 8, ’88

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1988

Song Artist Date
Faith George Michael Dec 12, ’89 – Jan 8
So Emotional Whitney Houston Jan 9 – Jan 15
Got My Mind Set on You George Harrison Jan 16 – Jan 22
The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson Jan 23 – Jan 29
Need You Tonight INXS Jan 30 – Feb 5
Could’ve Been Tiffany Feb 6 – Feb19
Seasons Change Exposé Feb 20 – Feb 26
Father Figure George Michael Feb 27 – Mar 11
Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley Mar 12 – Mar 20
Man In The Mirror Michael Jackson Mar 26 – Apr 8
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car Billy Ocean Apr 9 – Apr 22
Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney Houston Apr 23 – May 6
Wishing Well Terence Trent D’Arby May 7 – May 13
Anything For You Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine May 14 – May 27
One More Try George Michael May 28 – Jul 17
Together Forever Rick Astley Jun 18 – Jul 24
Foolish Beat Debbie Gibson Jun 25 – Jul 1
Dirty Diana Michael Jackson Jul 2 – Jul 8
The Flame Cheap Trick Jul 9 – Jul 22
Hold On to The Nights Richard Marx Jul 23 – Jul 29
Roll With It Steve Winwood Jul 30 – Aug 26
Monkey George Michael Aug 27 – Sept 9
Sweet Child O’ Mine Guns N’ Roses Sept 10 – Sept 23
Don’t Worry Be Happy Bobby McFerrin Sept 24 – Oct 7
Love Bites Def Leppard Oct 8 – Oct 14
Red Red Wine UB40 Oct 15 – Oct 21
Groovy Kind Of Love Phil Collins Oct 22 – Nov 4
Kokomo The Beach Boys Nov 5 – Nov 11
Wild, Wild West The Escape Club Nov 12 – Nov 18
Bad Medicine Bon Jovi Nov 19 – Dec 2
Baby, I Love Your Way Will To Power Dec 3 – Dec 9
Look Away Chicago Dec 10 – Dec 23
Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison Dec 24 – Jan 13, ’89

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1989

Song Artist Date
Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison Dec 24, ’88 – Jan 13
My Prerogative Bobby Brown Jan 14 – Jan 20
Two Hearts Phil Collins Jan 21 – Feb 3
When I’m With You Sheriff Feb 4 – Feb 10
Straight Up Paula Abdul Feb 11 – Mar 3
Lost In Your Eyes Debbie Gibson Mar 4 – Mar 24
The Living Years Mike & The Mechanics Mar 25 – Mar 31
Eternal Flame The Bangles Apr 1 – Apr 7
The Look Roxette Apr 8 – Apr 14
She Drives Me Crazy Fine Young Cannibals Apr 15 – Apr 21
Like a Prayer Madonna Apr 22 – May 12
I’ll Be There for You Bon Jovi May 13 – May 19
Forever Your Girl Paula Abdul May 20 – Jun 2
Rock On Michael Damian Jun 3 – Jun 9
Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler Jun 10 – Jun 16
I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) New Kids On The Block Jun 17 – Jun 23
Satisfied Richard Marx Jun 24 – Jun 30
Baby Don’t Forget My Number Milli Vanilli Jul 1 – Jul 7
Good Thing Fine Young Cannibals Jul 8 – Jul 14
If You Don’t Know Me By Now Simply Red Jul 15 – Jul 21
Toy Soldiers Martika Jul 22 – Aug 4
Batdance Prince Aug 5 – Aug 11
Right Here Waiting Richard Marx Aug 12 – Sept 1
Cold Hearted Paula Abdul Sept 2 – Sept 8
Hangin’ Tough New Kids On The Block Sept 9 – Sept 15
Don’t Wanna Lose You Gloria Estefan Sept 16 – Sept 22
Girl I’m Gonna Miss You Milli Vanilli Sept 23 – Oct 6
Miss You Much Janet Jackson Oct 7 – Nov 3
Listen to Your Heart Roxette Nov 4 – Nov 10
When I See You Smile Bad English Nov 11 – Nov 24
Blame It On the Rain Milli Vanilli Nov 25 – Dec 9
We Didn’t Start The Fire Billy Joel Dec 9 – Dec 22
Another Day In Paradise Phil Collins Dec 23 – Jan 13, ’90

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Author: Alli Denning

As the Owner / Editor of Like Totally 80s, Alli is just a little obsessed with all things 80s (well, not ALL things, but most). Alli still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she can be found at denning e-solutions, LLC, her web design business.

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1 Comment

  1. Jack and Diane is possibly the worst song ever sung or written by that Springsteen Wannabe Mellenhead! Not even close to being an 80’s song

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