What are the Best 1980s Wedding Songs? – Podcast E5

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Episode 5

The 1980s had a great list of wedding songs and party songs to play at your wedding. Here’s my list of the 100 best wedding songs of the 1980s.

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Podcast Transcript

(00:18):
Hi everybody, I’m Matthew Campbell. Today I will talk about the one-hundred greatest wedding songs of the 1980s. Yeah, totally, for real. And just so you can follow along, just in case you created your own list, I’ve alphabetized these by artist and then song title. That way, if you have a song that’s not on my list you think should be there or you don’t agree with one of the songs, just leave us a comment or reach out to us through our Facebook page. So let’s get started with the first five with a-Ha’s “Take On Me in 1984. AC/DC’s on the list twice with “Back in Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” both from 1980. Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right” in 1987. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” in 1987. Now a-Ha’s “Take On Me” was probably more well-known for its music video.

(01:04)
It’s one of the greatest music videos of all time because it brought together cartoons and real life in its video. Next is AC/DC with two songs. You know “You Shook Me All Night Long” is probably one of the greatest rock party songs of all time. “Back in Black” could describe your groomsmen and your groom so it could fit in with any rock party set. Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right” was a huge rock-rap song in the 1980s and filled the dance floor with the right crowd. “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” was first introduced in the movie Dirty Dancing and it’s a great way to end any wedding with the couple being surrounded by all of their wedding guests singing along to this song. The next five start off with two songs by Billy Idol “Mony Mony” in 1987 and “White Wedding” in 1982.

(01:52)
Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” in 1983. Blondie’s “Call Me” in 1980. Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” in 1988. Now some of you may be thinking that I’m crazy to have two Billy Idol songs, but “Mony Mony” was a great group dance song and if the wedding couple or the guests at your wedding know the dance moves to this, then it’s gotta be included on your dance set. “White Wedding” doesn’t have the perfect wedding theme or story, but “White Wedding” has been included in many weddings throughout the years. Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” could be played as a bouquet toss song or dedication to the girls that are in attendance. Blondie’s “Call Me” was a huge new wave dance hit in the early 1980s. Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” was a huge R&B dance hit even though his character has been challenged throughout the decades. I would challenge you to play this because a lot of people will know this song and dance to it.

(02:45)
The next five start off with Bon Jovi’s “Living On a Prayer” in 1986. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in 1983. Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” in 1984. Brian Adams’ “Summer of 69” in 1985. Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot” in 1987. Now for all of those hairband fanatics, I would say Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” is at the top of that list to dance to and sing along to. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is not for every wedding, but if the wedding couple or the guests at the wedding know this song, it’s a great sing-along song. Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” I would say was his best dance hit of the 1980s. Brian Adams’ “Summer of 69” for those pop rock fanatics I would say will have everybody dancing and singing along. Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot” is a great conga line song.

(03:37)
If you don’t wanna play “The Conga” by Gloria Estefan, the next five start off with Cameo’s “Word Up” in 1986. Chris de Burgh’s “The Lady in Red” in 1986. Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon” in 1983. Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” in 1983. David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” in 1983. So, Cameo’s “Word Up” may not be known by everybody, but I would say I love this to dance to. If you don’t think it’s gonna go off well, you can definitely play it as a background song during the cocktails or during dinner. Chris de Burgh’s “The Lady in Red” is a classic love song even though the bride is wearing white. I would say a lot of people will know this song and dance to this song if you’re looking for a 1980s love song. Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon is a classic new wave song that will have new wave fans dancing to at your wedding.

(04:27)
Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a woman’s anthem that will have the women singing along or could be used as a bouquet toss song as well. David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. He passed away fairly recently and this could go over very well for David Bowie fans. The next five start off with Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round Like A Record” in 1984. Def Leppard’s “Poured Some Sugar On Me” in 1988. Devo’s “Whip It” in 1980. Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” in 1982. Diana Ross with “I’m Coming Out” in 1980. Dead or Alive really hit the mark with “You Spin Me Round Like A Record”. It’s a huge dance hit that will have fans of the 1980s dancing at your wedding. Def Leppard is another hairband from the 1980s with “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. You can play this as a cake-cutting song or as a dance tune.

(05:19)
Devo’s “Whip It” is one of those songs that doesn’t have the perfect theme for weddings, but a lot of people know it and will dance to it. Dexys Midnight Runners is one of my favorite new wave songs with “Come On Eileen” just because I have an aunt named Eileen and I always like playing this song as a dedication to her. But it will also have many people dancing to this. Finally, if you’re into disco, I would say “I’m Coming Out” is a huge dance hit by Diana Ross. The next five are Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Let’s Groove” in 1981. Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” in 1986. Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gale’s “You and I” in 1982. Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” in 1982. Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” in 1983. Probably the best song by Earth, Wind and Fire is most known for weddings is “September’.

(06:10)
But “Let’s Groove” I think is a favorite dance hit from the early 1980s and gets that funk really going on as well. Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” is a classic way to end the night for the wedding. Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gale’s “You and I” was a classic first dance love song from the early eighties that could still be played today. Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” was one of those songs that have the perfect beat to get people dancing or you can play it as a background song. Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” can be remixed by a good DJ and can fill the dance floor. The next five is Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran So Far Away” in 1982. Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is” in 1984. Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” in 1980. Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” in 1982. Guns N Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” in 1988.

(07:03)
Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran So Far Away” is a classic singalong song but can also fill the dance floor with the right crowd. Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is” is a classic rock love song that could be used as a first dance song or throughout your wedding. For all of those New Yorkers that are listening, you gotta play Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. But if you’re living in Boston, you may skip this song. The Gap Band has a huge funk hit with “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” for those funk fans. “Sweet Child o’ Mine” could be played as a father-daughter song or just to fill the dance floor too for those rockers. Alright, next up we have Hall and Oates with “You Make My Dreams” in 1980. Huey Lewis & the News’ “The Power of Love” in 1986. INXS’ “Need You Tonight” in 1987. Irene Cara’s “Flash Dance…What a Feeling” in 1983.

(07:51)
J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold” in 1981. Hall and Oates really had a huge hit with “You Make My Dreams Come True” and makes for a classic recessional song at the ceremony. Huey Lewis and the News’s song “The Power of Love” was featured in Back to the Future and it’s a great song to sing along to. INXS’ “Need You Tonight” is a great song to get the wedding couple dancing. Irene Cara’s “Flash Dance…What a Feeling” is a great song to get people pumped up. You can play it right before the entrance of the wedding couple and the wedding party. Or you could save it for the introductions as well. J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold” was one of their most well-known hits and could be played to get people dancing. Alright, the next five starts off with Joan Jett and The Black Hearts’ “I Love Rock and Roll in 1981.

(08:38)
John Cougar Mellencamp has two songs with “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane” both from 1982. Journey has three songs on the list with “Any Way You Want It in 1980, “Don’t Stop Believin'” in 1981, and “Faithfully” in 1983. So Joan Jett’s song “I Love Rock and Roll” is a great sing-along song. John Cougar’s “Hurts So Good” was a dance song that it could be played for rock fans. “Jack and Diane” is a great sing-along song to be played as a background song during cocktails or during dinner. Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” could be a funny song that you played during the garter removal. “Don’t Stop Believin'” is probably one of the most popular final songs to be played at weddings, but you could also play it any time of the night to get people singing along.

(09:25)
“Faithfully” is one of the best love songs of all time and a personal favorite of mine. Next up we have Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine” in 1985. Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” in 1984. Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” in 1980. Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” in 1980. So, Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine” could be used as a recessional song or a processional song. Either way makes for a great moment. Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” is still a very popular dance tune today. Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” makes for a great love song for those country fans. Kool and the Gang’s song “Celebration” in 1980 is a huge hit that is played at many weddings. So you have to watch out to make sure it doesn’t hit the cheese factor just because it has been played at a lot of weddings. So, if you really love this song, go ahead and play it.

(10:15)
Next up is Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down Tonight” in 1981. Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” in 1983. Then, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross with “Endless Love” in 1981. Lipps Inc with “Funkytown” in 1980. Madonna’s “Into The Groove” in 1985. So, Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down On It” is a little funky if you wanna have some funk going on at your wedding. Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” was a popular dance tune to “Dancing on the Ceiling” and others as well. Lionel Richie and Diana Ross came together as a duet for the classic love song “Endless Love” which could also be used as a slow dance for any wedding. Lipps Inc’s “Funkytown” is another disco song on the list that could fill the dance floor at weddings. Madonna’s “Into The Groove” in 1985 was a huge hit for her and is a personal favorite of mine in her massive list of songs that she released throughout the years.

(11:09)
Number 56 is Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” in 1989. Marcia Griffiths’ “Electric Boogie” in 1989. Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” in 1982. Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance” in 1982. The first song by Michael Jackson “Beat It” in 1983. The second song on the list by Madonna is “Like A Prayer” in 1989. I know she has other hits like “Holiday”, but this is a personal favorite that many people will sing along to. One of the best songs on the list for group dancing and line dancing is Electric Boogie by Marcia Griffiths that has been played at many weddings throughout the years. Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” may not be for every wedding, but is a classic R&B song that you could play. Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance” is a classic new wave song for those fans of the eighties new wave genre. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” was definitely a great dance tune of the 1980s.

(12:04)
So the next five, we will continue with Michael Jackson with “Billie Jean” in 1983, “Rock With You” in 1980, and “Thriller” in 1984. Modern English’s “I Melt With You” in 1982. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishing in the Dark” in 1987. So Michael Jackson continues with ‘Billie Jean” and I would say if I pick any song to play at a wedding by Jackson, it would be “Billie Jean”. It’s always a floor filler. “Rock With You” is another great dance tune and “Thriller” has its own dance moves. If the wedding party or wedding guests know the dance moves to this, I would definitely play it. Another new wave hit with “I Melt With You” will fill the dance floor or get people singing along. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin in the Dark” could get people singing along to this classic country song. Next up at number 66 is Outfield’s “Your Love” in 1986.

(12:55)
Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” in 1986. Prince with “1999” in 1982, “Kiss” in 1986, and “Purple Rain” in 1984. So we got three songs by Prince. The Outfield’s “Your Love” is a great sing-along song to play at weddings. Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” I remember playing this back in the day when it first came out for a father-daughter song just because it had a special meaning between the father and the daughter. But you can play this throughout your wedding and will have people singing along. Next up, we have three songs by Prince. So “1999” is a classic party song to play. I love the song “Kiss” to play during the dinner hour just because I don’t like the clinging of the glasses. I’ll play this song to try to get the couple to kiss during the dinner hour.

(13:46)
Finally, “Purple Rain” is a classic party song. Next up we have Queen with two songs. The first one is “Another One Bites the Dust” in 1980 and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” in 1980. Queen with David Bowie “Under Pressure” in 1981. Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever Amen” in 1987. Rick Asley with “Never Gonna Give You Up” in 1987. So, Queen has three songs on the list with “Another One Bites the Dust”. I know some people don’t like the theme of this song to play at weddings, but you know what? It has a great tune and will have people singing along. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is one of my favorite songs to play. Queen’s “Radio Gaga” is another one. But I personally like this one just because of the message that it gives off for weddings and love. “Under Pressure” is another classic dance tune by Queen and David Bowie coming together. A classic country song by Randy Travis’ forever and ever.’ “Forever and Ever Amen” has the perfect wedding theme that you could play as a recessional song or throughout the wedding reception.

(14:43)
I like playing Rick Asley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” if you want a more uptempo song to play during dinner or cocktail hour. People will definitely be singing along to this song and tapping their toes. For me it just makes me smile just because it’s just goofy. Next up, we have Rick James with “Super Freak” in 1981. Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” in 1981. Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock’s “It Takes Two” in 1988. Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” in 1987. Steve Earl’s “Copperhead Road” in 1988. So if you have some funk fans at your wedding reception, I would say “Super Freak” would be great to get people to get their freak on on the dance floor. “Jessie’s Girl” still goes over extremely well by Rick Springfield and will have people singing along.

(15:35)
Even though the message may not be great for a lot of weddings, it still fills the dance floor. “It Takes Two” has a great message for the hip hop fans, will fill the dance floor and has the perfect message for weddings because it takes two to get things right. Next up is probably the most well-known song by Salt-N-Pepa with “Push It” with the right crowd it could go over, but you have to know the couple and you have to know the guests because you don’t want to offend anybody. Finally, we have Steve Earl’s “Copperhead Road”. For those of you who like to line dance, this is a classic country song that will have people line dancing to. At number 81, we have The Stray Cats’ with “Rock This Town” in 1982. The B-52’s “Love Shack” in 1989.

(16:18)
The Bangles’ “Walk “Like An Egyptian” in 1989. The Fixx’s “One Thing Leads To Another” in 1983. The Knack’s “My Sharona” in 1980. Just for the rockabilly fans, I really like “Rock This Town” by The Stray Cats. It has a great tune to it and could get people dancing on the dance floor or you could save it for a background song as well. “Love Shack” has been a huge party hit for the B-52’s since 1989 and will have many people singing ‘Rusted Roof’. “Walk Like An Egyptian” was a huge hit for the Bangles in the late 1980s and could be played at your wedding reception with the right theme. New Wave continues to be on the list with “One Thing Leads To Another” by The Fixx. Finally, “My Sharona” by The Knack is a huge sing-along song that many people will get out on the dance floor and shout ‘My Sharona’.

(17:05)
At number 86 is The Pointer Sisters’ “Jump For My Love” in 1984. The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” in 1983. The Romantics’ “What I Like About You” in 1980. The Spinners’ “Working My Way Back To You” in 1980. Tommy Tutone;s ” 867-5309/Jenny” in 1981. So, The Pointer Sister’s song “Jump For My Love” is a huge R&B hit that you could play during the reception for dancing. The next song, “Every Breath You Take”, I know many of you think of this as a stalking song, but I tell you what, it’s a song that everybody will know and will dance tol. The Romantics had a huge party hit with “What I Like About You” and will have everybody sing along and on the dance floor. “And “Working My Way Back to You” by The Spinners is a huge R&B hit that I’d love playing as a background song during dinner or cocktail hour.

(18:00)
867-5309, you know I know it’s not the perfect message with leaving your number on the bathroom stall. But I have to tell you that it’s one of the best songs that people love to sing along to. So, the next five starts off with Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” in 1989. Toto’s “Africa” in 1982. UB40 “Red Red Wine” in 1983. Van Halen’s “Jump” in 1983. Wang Chung’s “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” in 1986. Now, Tone Loc’s song “Wild Thing” is not perfect for every wedding, but if you have hip hop fans at your wedding reception, you could save this for later in the night. Toto’s “Africa” is a pop rock song that many people will know and could sing along to or dance to at your reception. UB40’s “Red Red Wine” you could play as a background song during dinner or while people are sipping on their Merlott or their Cabernet Sauvignon.

(18:49)
Van Halen’s “Jump” is a huge rock song that will have everybody jumping during the wedding reception. Now, Wang Chung’s “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” could be a great way to start off the evening as the cocktail hour song. Now let’s get started with our final five songs with Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” in 1984. Whitney Houston has two songs with “How Will I Know” in 1985 and of course “I Want To Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me” in 1987. Young MC’s “Bust a Move” in 1989. ZZ Top with “Sharp Dressed Man” in 1982. If you have a lot of pop rock wedding guests at your wedding, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” will get people on the dance floor and singing along. “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston is a great dance tune of hers, but “I Want To Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me” as probably one of the best party songs of all time that will have everybody singing along and dancing to. For hip hop pop fans, I love Young MC’s “Bust a Move” and everybody loves to bust a move on the dance floor to this song. Lastly, we have ZZ Top with “Sharp Dressed Man” released in 1982. I love this song that you could play for the groomsmen or the groom and you can play this during the garter toss as well. So there you have it. There’s my list of 100 greatest wedding songs of all time that were released in the 1980s. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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