21 Best 80s Dance Songs
The best 80s dance songs are pop classics that simply made you get up and shake your thing. Or throw some shapes. Or whatever it is you do best on the dance floor. While dance had morphed into something a little different by the 90s, 80s dance music was simply about making you move.
So what were the best 80s dance hits to get you up and out of your seat? The finest 1980s dance music was uplifting, and the top 80s dance songs were those people of all ages could enjoy. They were, to put it simply, the best 80s songs to dance to.
So let’s jump right in. Here are 21 of the finest tracks to add to your list of 1980s dance music songs.
21 of the best 80s dance songs
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
The beat. Jackson’s sharp as a tack dance moves. The fictional beauty Queen. It’s all about what happened on the dance floor. We may not be able to moonwalk, but does that really matter when the music takes over?
West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
I recently discovered that this truly is a tune for any occasion. It was played at a friend’s funeral, as she felt about the Pet Shop Boys the way I feel about INXS. As the music kicked in, I was immediately transported back to 1986, when the duo topped the charts with it and were featured weekly on Top of the Pops. See it you can resist tapping your toes…
Faith – George Michael
Speaking of toe tapping ditties, this one from George’s first solo album is a cracker. Another of those 1980s dance songs that everyone knows. And who could forget the gorgeous George? A very sad loss indeed on Christmas Day 2016. This tracked marked a move into funkier stuff for George, like Too Funky that was released during the 90s. You’re such a…
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
One of Whitney’s more upbeat tracks is next on the list of disco songs of the 80s. Big hair? Check. Fluorescent legwarmers? Check. Oversided white t-shirt with black slogan? Stonewashed denim? Check. It’s time to dance with somebody (who loves you).
You Spin Me Round – Dead or Alive
This is one of the 80s dance music hits from right in the middle of the decade. It’s been covered various times since, but you cannot beat the original. Dead or Alive were something of a one hit wonder, but this was probably all they needed. Sadly we lost frontman Pete Burns, also in 2016.
Footloose – Kenny Loggins
I couldn’t resist playing this one on the Google Nest as I wrote! How could a title track from an 80s dance film not belong on this list of 80s dance tunes? Especially one that makes you fling yourself around as much as this one does. Let’s tear up this town!
Flashdance – Irene Cara
How can anyone not feel the rhythm? Another from one of the classic 80s dance movies that everyone’s seen (multiple times). Some of the best 80s dance music is thanks to the film industry of that time. Irene also recorded the Fame theme song.
Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
Love this one. 80s electronic dance music didn’t get much better. It’s a great one to dance and sing along too, especially towards the end of the night when you might be a little bit tipsy…
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
They do though, right? This belongs on any 80s dance music playlist. One of the best 80s dance songs for weddings, so the bride can boogie with her girls.
1999 – Prince
Prince was way ahead of his time with this. In more ways than one. He was a master of cutting edge music – and is another top artist we sadly lost in 2016. He might have been dreaming while he wrote it, but we’re dancing as it’s played for sure.
White Wedding – Billy Idol
Another fabulous one for a wedding. Not the most obvious choice – for this list or a reception – perhaps, but a great dance floor ditty. A little edgier than some 80s dance club music too.
Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles
If you just want to throw some silly shapes, then surely there’s no better 80s track than this for doing just that. It belongs on any 80s dance songs list just to see what people do, frankly. Of course during those days, no one could capture it on film quite as readily as they can now. Thankfully.
Celebration – Kool and the Gang
Taking to the dance floor is in many ways a celebration of life. So what better track than this to add to your collection of dance music, 80s music, or both?
Holiday – Madonna
Madonna belongs on any list of 80s dance classics. Holiday is my pick for this list, because like Kool and the Gang’s track it’s all about celebrating life.
I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters
We’re on a roll here. This was one of the earliest popular 80s dance songs that has stood the test of time. Go on, lose control. You know you want to…
Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
Another one I adore. Not the cover that whatever boy band it was released, though (it was Westlife, and a travesty). I love the fact that it was supposedly about Christie Brinkley, his second wife (of four). Or was it Elle Macpherson? Either way, it was a beautiful supermodel. And it is, still, a fabulous dance tune.
I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
Sometimes great vocals are just what you want to get your groove on to. If that’s the case, you cannot go wrong with Chaka Khan. Particularly if there’s someone you feel for, and you get the chance to join them under the glitterball.
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
I like to think this is one of the cooler tracks on this compilation of 80s club music. Feel free to beg to differ. Who hasn’t had a tainted, teasing love at some point in their lives? Surely most of us can relate. Don’t touch me, please.
Funky Cold Medina – Tone Loc
This is an example of late 80s dance music that led the way for the disco hits of the 90s. Or club hits, I should say – the term disco was rather outdated by the time we entered the last decade of the 20th century. One of those hybrid 80s hip hop songs with a dance vibe, from a forward-thinking artist. Ta very much, Tone.
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Slip your red shoes on. Bowie’s here to say Let’s Dance. Who’d have thought that several tracks on this list would come from those we so sadly lost in 2016? This is another of those timeless eighties dance music tracks.
Push It – Salt ‘n’ Pepa
Another one with a hip hop vibe – and that was also ahead of its time. Also among the best disco songs of the 80s because it’s pretty cool, and a little bit cheeky. Nice from Salt ‘n’ Pepa, plus Spinderella, their vinyl spiralling sidekick.
80s Dance Songs – FAQs
What was the most popular 80s dance style?
Breakdancing was big in the 80s, as was the Moonwalk. The latter was publicised by Michael Jackson, who could glide seemingly effortlessly across the stage. 80s breakdance music came from a style of street dance which originated among Afro-American communities in America.
What music was played in clubs during the 80s?
As always, different kinds of clubs played different kinds of track. Popular 80s dance hits on Spotify today include Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, George Michael’s Faith, Celebration by Kool and the Gang, Push It by Salt ‘n’ Pepa and many more.
Which 80s dance songs make your playlist?
These 80s dance tracks should make any 80s party, wedding or birthday celebration come to life. Especially, perhaps, if you were born or grew up in the 80s. But even if not, this decade had so much music to offer the world. Maybe those of us who witnessed it first time around should count our lucky stars.
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