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Quintessential 80's song - What is it?

If you had to pick just 1 song  

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Hard to beat Dire Straits "Money for Nothing". Kind of encapsulates the time.

For me it’s a certain sound from early to mid 80s Drive-The Cars Dont You Want Me-The Human League The Killing Moon- Echo & the Bunnymen More Than This-Roxy Music   I

She was a be-bop baby on a hard day's night

15 hours ago, TripItUp said:

LOL at "Don't You Forget About Me" not being on the list.


Great fishing trip or terrible poll.

I think this would be my vote.

Or maybe Van Halen's "Jump".

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16 hours ago, Charlie Steiner said:

I think part of the appeal for Jump was the hype around the debut of the video on MTV: midnight January 1, 1984.  I don't know why I felt so let down by it, but I've held a grudge against that song ever since.

It’s my 5th or 6th favorite song from the album but best captures the 80s for me.  I don’t ever listen to the song on purpose.  

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:33 PM, zamboni said:

Just Once

Not necessarily quintessential ‘80s, but highly memorable for its scene usage.


That movie has a surprisingly good soundtrack.  That song is heartbreaking in that scene.

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Been thinking about a response to this OP ever since it was first posted.

It's hard to think of ONE song that really touches on a bunch of the 80s' various musical movements. Lots of great songs have been nominated, and many have artfully combined contemporary musical styles to offer listeners a reasonably wide sampling of 80s fare.

Now, if we were assembling a song by committee to represent "The 80s". And we were making it a point to take from this genre, and a little from that one, and some more from over there ... what would we end up with? Something that would please everyone? Something that offered a little something to everyone's taste? Or would it be too wide-ranging and thus thin-spread and not all that appealing?

I heard a song today on the radio that has to among the 80s tunes with the greatest stylistic breadth. That song was "Easy Lover" by Philip Bailey & Phil Collins. It's a got a little bit of New Wave synth line to open and close, it's got that persistent 80s pop rhythm guitar, it's got some soul via Bailey's falsetto, it's got Collins' pop sensibilities, and it's got a bridge solo that could've straight off a metal record. So ... could a song like "Easy Lover" be THE quintessential 80s track? Or is it more of a "... nah..."? My vote: I dig what the Phils are doing on "Easy Lover" -- I can get behind it.

Another song with just about as much stylistic spread is Billy Ocean's "Loverboy". It doesn't quite reach as far without having two voices to play off one another, but Ocean's producer threw a lot into the blender on "Loverboy".

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On 4/4/2021 at 11:34 AM, Binky The Doormat said:

whoa ...never heard of this guy ...he is pretty fantastic!  

just heard the Africa cover - sold.  

The bass player is outstanding as well

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