Top 30 Songs of the 1980s Countdown

It seemed like an enormous amount of fun to start with but, just like the 60’s and 70’s countdowns, these are really difficult. In the 1980’s, almost exactly 2000 songs entered the Australian charts – from Rupert Holmes sipping on a Pina Colada in January 1980 to The Sweetest Thing by U2 almost ten years later. Some were great – let’s face it, many were great – and many stuck their nose into the charts and dropped out again within a week.

Let us be very clear – this is very much Neil’s OPINION – there’ll be some songs in the list that will surprise you and others that will surprise you by NOT being there. The key criterion is that, unless the song is quite a stand-out song, it will have charted nationally at some stage during the 1980’s – at this stage, there is only one song in the countdown that did not appear in the national charts. When you see what it is (at number 6 on 26 July), I suspect you’ll feel that it is worthy of inclusion in this countdown.

Lots of work went into this – to start with, there is a trawling through our favourite reference book for such matters – The Book: Top 40 Research by Steven Scanes and Jim Barnes – identifying potentials inclusions, with a need to be ruthless as we went through. In the end Neil brought it down to 50 and to kick us off (below), we’re going to list the twenty that didn’t quite make it – listed in date entry (the date shown through the countdown is the date that the song entered the top 40).

  • You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – Long John Baldry & Kathi MacDonald – 21 May 1980
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC – 1 October 1980
  • Down Under – Men At Work – 18 November 1981 (re-enter the charts in October 1983)/li>
  • It Started With A Kiss – Hot Chocolate – 27 January 1983
  • Don’t Pay The Ferryman – Chris De Burgh – 7 April 1983
  • Message To My Girl – Split Enz – 2 February 1984
  • Hold me Now – Thompson Twins – 15 March 1984
  • Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper – 10 May 1984
  • Careless Whisper – George Michael – 6 September 1984
  • Hard Habit To Break – Chicago – 17 January 1985
  • Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon – 18 April 1985
  • So Far Away / Walk Of Life – Dire Straits – 7 June 1985 (Walk of Life re-enter the charts in March 1986)
  • Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams – 9 October 1985
  • Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi – 25 March 1987
  • Run To Paradise – Choirboys – 21 October 1987
  • Make Me Lose Control – Eric Carmen – 27 July 1988
  • One Summer – Daryl Braithwaite – 8 March 1989
  • Young Years – Dragon – 26 April 1989
  • Talk It Over – Grayson Hugh – 13 September 1989
  • Listen To Your Heart – Roxette – 1 November 1989

The Top 30 songs will start to appear below – one new song announced at 10:00am Melbourne time every day from now until 31 July.