In the mood for some 1980s classics? Feeling nostalgic about an upcoming class reunion? Either way, we’ve got you covered with our late ‘80s playlist. Here’s a preview of what you’ll hear:
Classmates’ Best of the Late ‘80s Spotify Playlist – A Track-by-Track Look
“The Power of Love” (Huey Lewis & The News)
The main theme from 1985’s blockbuster movie Back to the Future, it’s hard to hear this without picturing young Michael J. Fox riding around on his skateboard and wearing that orange vest.
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (Simple Minds)
Another hit from a blockbuster movie. Anyone who was a teen in the late ‘80s will always associate this song with Judd Nelson strutting off across the football field with his fist raised.
“Into The Groove” (Madonna)
The Material Girl was huge in this decade. Ranking high on many “best” lists, this upbeat tune is infectious and just makes you feel like dancing.
“Higher Love” (Steve Winwood)
This track was Winwood’s first number-one single as a solo artist. It also won 1987’s Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
“Walk This Way” (Run-D.M.C. – featuring Aerosmith)
This landmark single launched both hip hop and Run-D.M.C. into mainstream popularity and helped Aerosmith to stage a huge comeback. It also became more popular than Aerosmith’s original version of the song (released in 1975).
“Glory of Love” (Peter Cetera)
Whether you love him or find his music to be too sappy, you’ve got to admit that Peter Cetera is master of the soft-rock ballad. This one is from the soundtrack of The Karate Kid Part II and became his first number-one single.
A number one hit from 1986, this song jumped back into the charts after Prince passed away in 2016. Fun fact: Tom Jones (who shares Prince’s birthday) has performed this song in his Vegas live show.
“Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles)
A reference to hieroglyphics is an odd topic for a song, but it sure worked for the Bangles. This ended up being Billboard’s top tune for 1987.
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston)
Houston’s record producer had to be convinced that this song was right for her. The wistful, yet upbeat, dance tune became her first platinum single in the U.S.
“Livin’ On A Prayer” (Bon Jovi)
This rocker topped charts in 1987 and remains Bon Jovi’s signature song. In 2006, the tune about Tommy and Gina was voted to the top spot in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ‘80s.
“Everybody Have Fun Tonight” (Wang Chung)
Nobody knows what “Everybody Wang Chung tonight” really means, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Although the band actually did have a second top ten single, this song was featured in an episode of VH1 Classic’s One Hit Wonders series.
“Lean on Me” (Club Nouveau)
This R&B/dance cover of the 1972 Bill Withers classic landed on the charts in 1987 and reached number one for two weeks. It also appeared in the soundtrack for 1989’s film of the same name.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” (Michael Jackson)
There’s no way we could have a late ‘80s playlist without Michael Jackson. This pop tune was the third single from his 1987 blockbuster album, Bad, and reached number one in early 1988.
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes)
“Nobody puts baby in a corner.” And nobody can deny the popularity of this tune, the theme song from 1987’s Dirty Dancing. Accolades include an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy.
“Oh Yeah” (Yello)
For 1980s kids, it’s virtually impossible to hear this without picturing Ferris Bueller. The super-catchy new wave tune has also made frequent appearances in TV shows, commercials, and other movie soundtracks.
“Heaven Is a Place on Earth” (Belinda Carlisle)
This power ballad topped charts around the world in late 1987 and early 1988. Many people don’t know that actress Diane Keaton directed the music video.
“Welcome To The Jungle” (Guns N’ Roses)
“Sha na na na na na na na na na na na knees, knees!” We’re not sure if this song is about L.A., New York, or somewhere else entirely. Either way, it totally rocks. VH1 has ranked it as both the greatest hard rock song of all time and the second greatest heavy metal song.
“Faith” (George Michael)
With an attention-grabbing intro that transitions from church organ to acoustic guitar, this tune was one of Michael’s first solo hits. Appearing on the album of the same name, it reached the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 and ended up as 1988’s top single in the U.S.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” (Rick Astley)
Astley’s biggest hit, this catchy tune topped many charts in 1987. For better or worse, today it’s nearly synonymous with the concept of “Rickrolling” (where internet users are tricked into viewing the song’s video). The singer/songwriter is reportedly a good sport about it.
“The Flame” (Cheap Trick)
When it comes to 1980s power ballads, this song is exhibit A. Between the mournful vocals, the acoustic guitar, and the driving chorus, it checks all the boxes. The band was initially unenthusiastic about performing it but ended up with a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100.
What tunes would you add to this playlist?
Information source: Wikipedia