80s pop was the soundtrack to our early lives. We begged our parents to buy us tapes so we could play our favourite songs on our Walkmans again and again. You know you are a child of the 80s when you listened to this 80s music…


1. Madonna


Her first album was released in 1982, and after a string of hits like Lucky Star and Borderline, her star status was clear. Beautiful, talented and impossibly cool, Madonna was the undisputed queen of pop in the 80s.


2. Michael Jackson


If Madonna was the queen of pop, then Michael Jackson was the king. He had huge success in the 60s and 70s (as part of the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist.) But in the 80s, his fame reached new dizzying heights. He was a fashion icon, a dancer, and one of the biggest pop stars in the world.


3. Duran Duran

80s pop

Duran Duran were as famous for their over-the-top videos as pop hits. Dressed in the latest fashions, the boys from Brum always looked good, and we fell in love with them for it. This intoxicating cocktail of looks, style and talent made Duran Duran one of the most successful pop bands of the decade.


4. Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet 80s pop

It’s easy to forget just how big Spandau Ballet were in the 80s. Their 1980 debut single To Cut a Long Story Short reached no5 in the charts. They were on their way to 80s stardom. Spandau Ballet’s 1983 single True is still one of the most loved songs from the decade.


5. A-ha


The Norwegian synthpop trio burst onto the scene in 1985. Their first single Take On Me, with one of the most memorable videos of the decade, propelled the band to fame.

Featuring the impossibly gorgeous lead singer Morten Harket as the half-cartoon, half-man hero, it’s easy to see how the innovative video made such an impact.

A-ha’s hugely successful debut album Hunting High and Low was released in 1985.


6. Bananarama


Looking back, it’s strange to think just how successful these girls were. Bananarama dominated the 80s music scene with hit after hit. By the end of the decade they’d racked up no less than 10 top 10 UK hits.


7. Wham!


This 80s pop duo enjoyed massive success in the decade. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were on everyone’s radar with songs like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Club Tropicana.


8. Kylie Minogue


We loved her as Charlene in Aussie soap Neighbours, so it’s not surprising that Kylie went on to be an 80s singing sensation.

1988 was Kylie’s year. Her first single, I Should Be So Lucky, reached no1 in the singles chart and was closely followed by more hit songs. Her debut album was the biggest-selling album of the year.


9. The Human League

dareThis English electronic band had a number of hits in the early 80s, but they’re best known for their single Don’t You Want Me. It turned out we did want them, and their 1981 album Dare was a huge success.


10. The Bangles

the bangles 80s pop

All-girl band The Bangles were already successful in the mid 80s. They had hits like Walk Like an Egyptian and Manic Monday under their belts, but in 1989 the release of a song from their 3rd album made them superstars. Eternal Flame topped the UK singles charts for 4 weeks and we loved it!


11. Bros

Bros 80s pop

Dressed in denim, leather jackets and gold jewellery, Bros rose to fame towards the end of the decade. Their breakthrough single When Will I Be Famous was released in 1987. It really did make them famous, and their 1988 album Push was a hit. They were also known for their obsessed (mostly young) fans, Brosettes.


12. New Kids On The Block

new kids on the block 80s pop

These kids made it big with their second album Hangin’ Tough. In 1989 their single You Got it (The Right Stuff) was UK no1 for 3 weeks. Along with bands like Bros, these young, good-looking boys became the blueprint for all boy bands to come.

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