30 Best 90s and 80s Music Of All Time

The 90s and 80s were two of the most iconic decades in music history. With the rise of MTV and music videos, the 80s saw a new level of visual creativity in music.

In comparison, the 90s brought a new level of raw energy and emotional intensity. From Michael Jackson to Madonna, Guns N’ Roses to Nirvana, these decades produced some of the most iconic and enduring songs of all time.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the 30 best songs of the 80s and 90s.

 

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30 Best 90s and 80s Music Of All Time

1.”Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson (1982)

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This song is one of Michael Jackson’s most iconic songs. From the legendary moonwalk to the unforgettable bassline, “Billie Jean” is a true 80s classic.

The song is about a woman who claims to be the mother of one of Michael’s children, and the lyrics are a plea for her to leave him alone.

The song was a massive commercial success and helped cement Michael’s status as the King of Pop.

 

2.”Like a Virgin” – Madonna (1984)

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Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is one of the most iconic songs of the 80s. With its catchy hook and upbeat tempo, the song became an instant classic and a defining moment in Madonna’s career.

The song is about the euphoria of falling in love for the first time. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and helped Madonna become one of the most successful female artists.

 

3.”Every Breath You Take” – The Police (1983)

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“Every Breath You Take” is one of the most popular songs of the 80s. Sting wrote the song, and it is about the obsession and jealousy that comes with love.

The song was a massive commercial success and spent eight weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

 

4.”Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses (1988)

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“Sweet Child O’ Mine” is one of the most iconic songs of the 80s. Lead singer Axl Rose wrote the song, a love letter to his then-girlfriend Erin Everly.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song’s guitar solo is considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

5.  “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles (1964)

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“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is one of the most iconic songs of the 60s. The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, about the joy of falling in love.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the Beatles’ first number-one hit in the United States.

 

6.  “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana (1991)

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“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of the most iconic songs of the 90s. Kurt Cobain wrote the song, and it is a commentary on the state of youth culture.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It was the first single of Nirvana’s second album Nevermind and helped to popularize the grunge genre.

 

7.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen (1975)

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of the most iconic songs of the 70s. Freddie Mercury wrote the song, a six-minute epic about a young man who has killed someone and is struggling to come to terms with his guilt.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks, also included in the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera.

The song’s unique structure and operatic elements made it a standout hit and a true classic of the decade.

 

8.”Stairway to Heaven” – Led Zeppelin (1971)

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“Stairway to Heaven” is considered one of the greatest songs of all time. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote the song as a storytelling and musicianship masterpiece.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, also included in the band’s fourth studio album, Led Zeppelin IV.

The guitar solo in the song is considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

9. “Imagine” – John Lennon (1971)

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“Imagine” is a song written by John Lennon, and it is a plea for world peace. The song was a massive commercial success and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including in Lennon’s second solo album, Imagine.

The song’s message of unity and hope made it a defining moment of the decade and remains relevant today.

 

10. “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye (1971)

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“What’s Going On” is a song written by Marvin Gaye, and it is a commentary on the social and political issues of the time.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, also included in Gaye’s eleventh studio album.

The song’s message of peace and understanding made it a standout hit and a true classic of the decade.

 

11. “Living On a Prayer” – Bon Jovi

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“Livin’ on a Prayer” is one of Bon Jovi’s most iconic songs. Jon Bon Jovi wrote the song, an anthem of perseverance in adversity.

The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in the band’s third studio album Slippery When Wet.

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

12.  “Every Little Step” – Bobby Brown (1989)

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“Every Little Step” is a song written by Bobby Brown, and it is an anthem of self-empowerment and determination.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, also included in Brown’s second studio album, Don’t Be Cruel.

The song’s message of perseverance and self-empowerment made it a standout hit and a true classic of the decade.

 

13. “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses (1991)

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“November Rain” is a power ballad written by Axl Rose; it is an epic love song that showcases the band’s musicianship and Rose’s expressive vocals.

It was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it has become one of Guns N’ Roses’ most iconic and enduring songs.

The song’s dynamic and powerful vocals and grandiose and cinematic music video made it a defining moment of the 90s.

 

14. “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston (1992)

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“I Will Always Love You” is a song written by Dolly Parton, and Whitney Houston covered it in 1992.

The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard, which starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.

The song’s dynamic and powerful vocals made it a defining moment of the 90s.

 

15. “With or Without You” – U2 (1987)

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“With or Without You” is a song written by U2, and it is an anthem of longing and emotional intensity. The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in the band’s fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree.

The song’s passionate and powerful vocals made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

16.”I Want to Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston (1987)

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“I Want to Dance with Somebody” is a song written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, and Whitney Houston covered it in 1987.

The song is an upbeat and joyful anthem of wanting to find love and have a good time. The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and winning the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy and being included in Whitney’s second studio album Whitney.

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

17.”Like a Prayer” – Madonna (1989)

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“Like a Prayer” is a song written by Madonna, and it is an anthem of spiritual longing and emotional intensity.

The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in Madonna’s fourth studio album.

The song’s passionate and powerful vocals and controversial music video made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

18.”The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis and the News (1985)

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“The Power of Love” is a song written by John Parr, and Huey Lewis and the News in 1985 covered it. The song is an anthem of the power of love to overcome obstacles.

The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and being included in the band’s fourth studio album Fore!

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

19.”Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – Eurythmics (1983)

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“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a song written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics. The song is an anthem of individuality and self-empowerment.

The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and being included in the band’s third studio album.

The song’s dynamic and powerful vocals made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

20.”Take on Me” – A-ha (1985)

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“Take on Me” is a song written by A-ha, and it is an anthem of longing and the power of love. The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in the band’s debut album, Hunting High and Low.

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

21.”Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor (1982)

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“Eye of the Tiger” is a song written by Survivor, and it is an anthem of perseverance and determination. The song was a massive commercial success and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, included in the band’s third studio album, Eye of the Tiger.

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s and an iconic sports anthem.

 

22. “Every Breath You Take” – The Police (1983)

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“Every Breath You Take” is a song by Sting about the obsession and jealousy that comes with love. The song was a massive commercial success and spent eight weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

The Police’s hit song is a haunting and atmospheric track; its memorable guitar riff and Sting’s brooding vocals make it a timeless classic.

 

23.”The Way You Make Me Feel” – Michael Jackson (1987)

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“The Way You Make Me Feel” is a song written by Michael Jackson, and it is an anthem of the power of love and attraction. The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in Jackson’s seventh studio album, Bad.

The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

24.”Smooth” – Santana ft. Rob Thomas (1999) “

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“Smooth” is a song written by Itaal Shur and Rob Thomas, and Santana and Rob Thomas in 1999 performed it.

The song is an upbeat and catchy anthem of love and connection. The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, winning a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, and being included in Santana’s Supernatural album.

The song’s catchy chorus, upbeat tempo, and the collaboration between Santana and Rob Thomas made it a defining moment of the 90s.

 

25.”All of Me” – John Legend (2013)

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“All of Me” is a song written by John Legend, and it is an anthem of love and devotion. The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, winning a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, and being included in Legend’s fourth studio album, Love in the Future.

The song’s dynamic and powerful vocals and its romantic and heartfelt lyrics made it a defining moment of the 2010s.

 

26.”Summer of ’69” – Bryan Adams (1984)

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“Summer of ’69” is a song written by Bryan Adams, and it is an anthem of nostalgia and coming of age. The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and being included in Adams’ fourth studio album, Reckless.

The song’s catchy chorus, upbeat tempo, and nostalgic lyrics made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

27.”I Want It That Way” – Backstreet Boys (1999)

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“I Want It That Way” is a song written by Max Martin, and Backstreet Boys performed it in 1999.

The song is an anthem of love and longing and was a massive commercial success, reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in the band’s third studio album, Millennium.

The song’s catchy chorus, upbeat tempo, and dynamic and powerful vocals made it a defining moment of the 90s.

 

28.”I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Joan Jett (1982)

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“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker, and Joan Jett covered it in 1982. The song is an anthem of love for rock and roll music.

The song was a massive commercial success, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was included in Jett’s debut album and I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The song’s catchy chorus, upbeat tempo, and powerful guitar riffs made it a defining moment of the 80s.

 

Final Thoughts

These 29 songs are just a tiny sample of the best 90s and 80s music. From Michael Jackson to Madonna, Guns N’ Roses to Nirvana, these decades produced some of the most iconic and enduring songs of all time.

They remind us of the power of music to connect us to our emotions, memories, and each other. Whether you’re listening to them for the first time or the hundredth time, these songs will always be a part of our cultural heritage and will continue to be loved for generations.

 

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Hi, my name is Bruno and I’m a big fan of music. Ever since I started listening to various songs in numerous genres, I just couldn’t get enough of them. Over the years, I’ve had my ears on countless songs and I’d like to share my experiences.

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