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Songs of the Year

Songs of the Year: 1985

Since Bruce Springsteen, Madonna/ Way before Nirvana / There was U2 and Blondie / And music still on MTV / Her two kids in high school / They tell her that she’s uncool / ‘Cause she’s still preoccupied / With 19, 19, 1985

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Ah, 1985. We Are the World, Live Aid, the launch of VH1, Van Halen breaks up, that song by Bowling for Soup.

And the year that Rocky Balboa singlehandedly ended the cold war.

What a year!

The Billboard Top 100 was filled with songs from Wham!, Madonna, Prince, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Tears for Fears, Eurythmics, Sting, Whitney Houston and even Kate Bush. In other words, it was another year for great pop music. If you didn’t like pop music, then dig Tim from The Replacements, The Smith’s Meat is Murder, New Day Rising from Hüsker Dü or Head on the Door by The Cure. In other words, you’re covered. Unless you like metal, then it’s pretty much just Slayer and Megadeth … or Stryper.

It’s a simple concept. We pick five of our favorite songs that made the Billboard Top 100 (established in 1958) during any time that year. We also select five “wildcards” that can be any songs released as a single or on an album or EP that year. Finally, we also pick our “worst” song of the year, just for fun.

We started in 1958 and we’re going until we run out of years.

Standings So Far …

If there ever was an artist to win in 1984, it was the Purple One. Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy catapults Joe to larger lead as it fended up a surprisingly frisky Thompson Twins to take 1984. Jason’s Cars pick, Hello Again, was a very distant third. After dominating the 70s, Joe looks to continue building upon his lead with a classic from 1985. Kramzer goes with a Minnesota band’s classic release (maybe not the Minnesota band you’re thinking) and Jason picks a very, VERY Jason-y pick. Maybe the most Jason pick you can get.

Joe: 14
Jason: 11.5
Kramzer: 7.5

Vote

Which Was the Best Song of 1985?

  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears (67%, 143 Votes)
  • Celebrated Summer by Husker Du (24%, 51 Votes)
  • Pretending to Care by Todd Rundgren (9%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 214

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Best Songs of the Year Playlist

Best Songs of the Year | 1985 | Spotify Edition

Best Songs of the Year | 1985 | YouTube edition

Worst Songs of the Year Playlist

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Dan O

My favorite songs of 1985:
Rank-Title-Artist
1. SOMEBODY – BYAN ADAMS
2. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – TEARS FOR FEARS
3. WOULD I LIE TO YOU – EURYTHMICS
4. DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME) – SIMPLE MINDS
5. VOICES CARRY – ‘TIL TUESDAY
6. INSIDE OUT – PHIL COLLINS
7. ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR – BRYAN ADAMS
8. ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS DANCE – DON HENLEY
9. LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME – THOMPSON TWINS
10. DO IT AGAIN – KINKS
11. SUMMER OF ’69 – BRYAN ADAMS
12. TONIGHT IT’S YOU – CHEAP TRICK
13. THE HEAT IS ON – GLENN FREY
14. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO (THUNDERDOME) – TINA TURNER
15. RASPBERRY BERET – PRINCE
16. INVINCIBLE – PAT BENATAR
17. RUN TO YOU – BRYAN ADAMS
18. TERRITORIES – RUSH
19. HEAD OVER HEELS – TEARS FOR FEARS
20. POWER OF LOVE [FROM “BACK TO THE FUTURE”] – HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS
21. DON’T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE – TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS
22. AXEL F – HAROLD FALTERMEYER
23. INTO THE GROOVE – MADONNA
24. RADIOACTIVE – THE FIRM
25. SOUTH FERRY ROAD – HOOTERS
26. SAY IT ISN’T SO – OUTFIELD
27. DON’T LOSE MY NUMBER – PHIL COLLINS
28. GLORY DAYS – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
29. SHOUT – TEARS FOR FEARS
30. LITTLE BY LITTLE – ROBERT PLANT
31. CAN’T STOP ROCKIN’ – ZZ TOP
32. ALIVE & KICKING – SIMPLE MINDS
33. NEVER – HEART
34. THE BORDERLINES – JEFFREY OSBORNE
35. LOVE THEME FROM ST. ELMO’S FIRE – DAVID FOSTER
36. COMMUNICATION – POWER STATION
37. YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) – DEAD OR ALIVE
38. GOTTA GET YOU HOME TONIGHT – EUGENE WILDE
39. JUNGLE LOVE – THE TIME
40. LOVERBOY – BILLY OCEAN

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1985:
Rank-Title-Artist
41. BE NEAR ME – ABC
42. TAKE ON ME – A-HA
43. PERFECT WAY – SCRITTI POLITTI
44. EASY LOVER – PHILLIP BAILEY & PHIL COLLINS
45. TAKE ME WITH YOU – PRINCE
46. SIDEWALK TALK – JELLYBEAN
47. ALONE AGAIN – DOKKEN
48. LOVERGIRL – TEENA MARIE
49. WIRE – U2
50. MIAMI VICE THEME – JAN HAMMER
51. THE OLD MAN DOWN THE ROAD – JOHN FOGERTY
52. DRESS YOU UP – MADONNA
53. TURN UP THE RADIO – AUTOGRAPH
54. HEAVEN – BRYAN ADAMS
55. BORN IN THE U.S.A. – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
56. THROUGH THE FIRE – CHAKA KHAN
57. CRAZY FOR YOU – MADONNA
58. THE BOYS OF SUMMER – DON HENLEY
59. MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING – CYNDI LAUPER
60. LONELY OL’ NIGHT – JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP
61. IF YOU LOVE SOMEBODY SET THEM FREE – STING
62. BROKEN WINGS – MR. MISTER
63. A VIEW TO A KILL – DURAN DURAN
64. THAT WAS YESTERDAY – FOREIGNER
65. SMUGGLER’S BLUES – GLENN FREY
66. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER – HOWARD JONES
67. FRESH – KOOL & THE GANG
68. LIFE IN ONE DAY – HOWARD JONES
69. TENDERNESS – GENERAL PUBLIC
70. ROCKIN’ AT MIDNIGHT – HONEYDRIPPERS
71. WALKING ON SUNSHINE – KATRINA & THE WAVES
72. SLEEPING BAG – ZZ TOP
73. LIVING ON THE BORDERLINE – SMASH PALACE
74. KNOCKING AT YOUR BACK DOOR – DEEP PURPLE
75. I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME – LISA LISA & CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE
76. SMOOTH OPERATOR – SADE
77. FREEWAY OF LOVE – ARETHA FRANKLIN
78. FORTRESS AROUND YOUR HEART – STING
79. MISLED – KOOL & THE GANG
80. DRIVER 8 – R.E.M.
81. I WOULD DIE 4 U – PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION
82. FOREVER MAN – ERIC CLAPTON
83. SAY YOU’RE WRONG – JULIAN LENNON
84. BLACK CARS – GINO VANNELLI
85. PLEASURE SEEKERS – THE SYSTEM
86. FOOLISH HEART – STEVE PERRY
87. SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID – DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES
88. OPERATOR – MIDNIGHT STAR
89. WHAT ABOUT LOVE – HEART
90. OBSESSION – ANIMOTION
91. STRONGER TOGETHER – SHANNON
92. SEA OF LOVE – HONEYDRIPPERS
93. JUST ANOTHER NIGHT – MICK JAGGER
94. SOLID – ASHFORD & SIMPSON
95. AND SHE WAS – TALKING HEADS
96. OBJECT OF MY DESIRE – STARPOINT
97. CENTERFIELD – JOHN FOGERTY
98. MAN WITH TWO HEARTS – MEN AT WORK
99. I’M GOIN’ DOWN – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
100. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY – JOHN PARR

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1985:
Rank-Title-Artist
01. SUNSET GRILL – DON HENLEY
102. PART TIME LOVER – STEVIE WONDER
103. ONLY THE YOUNG – JOURNEY
104. CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING – REO SPEEDWAGON
105. WE BUILT THIS CITY – STARSHIP
106. AND WE DANCED – HOOTERS
107. TOO LATE FOR GOODBYES – JULIAN LENNON
108. YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN (SECOND WIND) – BILLY JOEL
109. SHAME – MOTELS
110. HIGH ON YOU – SURVIVOR
111. THE TOUCH – KIM WILDE
112. NEVER SURRENDER – COREY HART
113. NEVER LEAVE THIS PLACE – PAUL HYDE & THE PAYOLAS
114. SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU – WHITNEY HOUSTON
115. SUSSUDIO – PHIL COLLINS
116. COUNT THE DAYS – SMASH PALACE
117. BREAK THEM DOWN – GRAHAM PARKER & THE SHOT
118. YOUR LOVE IS KING – SADE
119. WE BELONG – PAT BENATAR
120. POP LIFE – PRINCE
121. TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. – WANG CHUNG
122. SAY IT AGAIN – SANTANA
123. ONE OF THE LIVING – TINA TURNER
124. I WANT YOU BACK – HOODOO GURUS
125. THE SEARCH IS OVER – SURVIVOR
126. EVAN – JAN HAMMER
127. ST. ELMO’S FIRE (MAN IN MOTION) – JOHN PARR
128. WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO – ARETHA FRANKLIN
129. STATE OF THE HEART – RICK SPRINGFIELD
130. HOW SOON IS NOW ? – SMITHS
131. NEUTRON DANCE – POINTER SISTERS
132. IN MY HOUSE – MARY JANE GIRLS
133. ONE MORE NIGHT – PHIL COLLINS
134. UNDERSTANDING – BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND
135. THE WORD IS OUT – JERMAINE STEWART
136. HURTS TO BE IN LOVE – GINO VANNELLI
137. ELECTION DAY – ARCADIA
138. ROCK AND ROLL GIRLS – JOHN FOGERTY
139. EVERYTIME YOU GO AWAY – PAUL YOUNG
140. THIS TIME – INXS
141. 7 YEAR BITCH – SLADE
142. SUGAR WALLS – SHEENA EASTON
143. ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK – MURRAY HEAD
144. MONEY FOR NOTHING – DIRE STRAITS
145. YOU’RE THE INSPIRATION – CHICAGO
146. PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE – DEPECHE MODE
147. FIND A WAY – AMY GRANT
148. PRIVATE DANCER – TINA TURNER
149. NEW ATTITUDE – PATTI LABELLE
150. WHEN YOUR HEART IS WEAK – COCK ROBIN
151. CALIFORNIA GIRLS – DAVID LEE ROTH
152. ONE WORLD – DIRE STRAITS
153. WHO’S HOLDING DONNA NOW? – DEBARGE
154. SOME LIKE IT HOT – POWER STATION
155. CALL TO THE HEART – GIUFFRIA
156. SWEAR – SHEENA EASTON
157. ALL YOU ZOMBIES – HOOTERS
158. CALL ME MR. TELEPHONE (ANSWERING SERVICE) – CHEYNE
159. VALENTINE – JOHN HUNTER
160. SENTIMENTAL STREET – NIGHT RANGER
161. INJURED IN THE GAME OF LOVE – DONNIE IRIS
162. LOVE LIGHT IN FLIGHT – STEVIE WONDER
163. HOME SWEET HOME – MOTLEY CRUE
164. YOU BELONG TO THE CITY – GLENN FREY
165. DON’T RUN WILD – DEL FUEGOS
166. ALONG COMES A WOMAN – CHICAGO
167. CHANGE – JOHN WAITE
168. EVERYTHING SHE WANTS – WHAM
169. THE SECOND TIME (GO FOR IT) – KIM WILDE
170. SAVE A PRAYER – DURAN DURAN
171. WHY CAN’T I HAVE YOU – CARS
172. ISOLATION – TOTO
173. STIR IT UP – PATTI LABELLE
174. RAGE TO LOVE – KIM WILDE
175. WRAP HER UP – ELTON JOHN
176. CHERISH – KOOL & THE GANG
177. MATERIAL GIRL – MADONNA
178. THIS IS NOT AMERICA – DAVID BOWIE & PAT METHENY GROUP
179. FOREVER YOUNG – ALPHAVILLE
180. CELEBRATE YOUTH – RICK SPRINGFIELD
181. LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE OF IT – LOVERBOY
182. ONE FOOT BACK IN YOUR DOOR – ROMAN HOLIDAY
183. VALOTTE – JULIAN LENNON
184. ALL EYES – HEART
185. CHARM THE SNAKE – CHRISTOPHER CROSS
186. METHOD OF MODERN LOVE – DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES
187. JUST A GIGOLO/I AIN’T GOT NOBODY – DAVID LEE ROTH
188. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS – FOREIGNER
189. CHAIN REACTION – DIANA ROSS
190. ONE LONELY NIGHT – REO SPEEDWAGON
191. RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT – DEBARGE
192. LOOK MY WAY – VELS
193. RELAX – FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
194. FIRST NIGHT – SURVIVOR
195. SHOW SOME RESPECT – TINA TURNER
196. I MISS YOU – KLYMAXX
197. ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK – ROBEY
198. WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE – LOS LOBOS
199. GETCHA BACK – BEACH BOYS
200. I’M ON FIRE – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

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