Top 5 #1 Songs of the 80s| POP FIX | Professor of Rock

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In the 1980s there were 230 songs that went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Started with Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes and ended with Phil Collins Another Day In Paradise. Michael Jackson, unsurprisingly had the most number 1's of the decade with 9 chart toppers. Followed by Madonna, Whitney Huston and Phil Collins who are all tied at 7 each. This week I'm going to count down my top 5 favorite songs that went to number 1 in the 80s. First of all, this is really subjective. It is incredibly hard to pick just 5 out of 230 songs from, what is really, my favorite decade.

My criteria for picking those is this;
1. Songs that have stood the test of time, transcend the year they came out and continue to gain new fans because of their timelessness.
2. Song that i’ve listened to a thousand times and even if I heard them a thousand more, each listen gives me a new appreciation for them and they never really get old.

Here we go,

#5 Everybody want to rule the world by Tears for Fears. I feel like this song epitomizes the 80s more than any other song. It’s theme speaks to the Greed is Good mantra that Michael Douglas would tout in the movie Wall Street a few years after. It’s phenomenal duo of guitar and keyboard is almost without rival. With the Curt Smith lead vocal and then the collaboration with Roland for the chorus is haunting and transformative to the soul. It’s a song that has been used so many times in tv and film that we can’t possibly cover then all here. Most recently on HBos the Deuce and Big Little Lies as well as Ready Player one and let’s not forget it’s use in the val kilmer comedy real genius. Loved that.

#4 Higher Love Steve Winwood. This song is so unbelievably catchy it’s almost unfair. When you hear that percussion hit at the beginning the chances of having a great day increase ten fold. By the time you get to the horn drizzled, majestic Winwood vocal chorus your 15 feet off the ground. Add in Chaka Khan’s phenomenal backgrounds and you’re rounding third base. It’s just the perfect pop song.

#3 Live to Tell Madonna. I don’t know what it is about this song but it gets me every time. It’s a masterpiece that in a millisecond elevated Madonna from Pop Idol to serious artist. Her vocal was mature beyond her years at the time and it’s lyrics are a mystery that even after thousands of plays still perplexes me. I spoke to Pat Leonard, frequent Collaborator of the Material Girl and co writer of this song and here’s a little reflection from that interview;
the full mini documentary on this song will be coming soon so stay tuned:

#2 Africa Toto This is a song that in recent years finally has finally received the appreciation it so rightly deserves from all generations its tattooed all over our culture from Weezer to Stranger things, From the band that i’ve frequently talked about on this channel as maybe the most underrated band in history, Toto created perfection here. We have a mini documentary on this song on our VEVO channel that you can find the link for in our description below. Here’s a nugget from it.

#1. Billie Jean Michael Jackson Was there ever any doubt? The song that stands side by side with anything from the popular music canon from the king of the decade. Here’s the thing. Billie Jean changed everything. Even after MJ’s legacy has taken a major beating in recent years, no one can deny this song. The jangly funky guitar, the flawless beat, the heavenly vocal, the strings. It’s beyond perfection. I challenge you to think of a song that compares. I’m waiting… Ya I don’t think you can, and we haven’t even gotten to the seminal video, or the historic performance on Motown 25 where he moonwalked for the first time. Billie Jean is one of a kind. Anyway we’ll definitely cover this song and MJ again in the future, Of there you have it my top 5, now i want to hear your five, please comment below let’s debate. Let’s talk music.
Spotify Playlist:

Top Five #1's
Madonna - Live To Tell:

Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World:

Africa - Toto:

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean:

Toto - Africa Mini-Doc:

More Professor of Rock:





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