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25 Random Songs That Instantly Transport Me Back To The 80s

03 May 2021

In another life I would have gone to college to become a psychiatrist and research the absolute power that music has to instantly transport us back to any moment of our lives. Music is one of the most powerful forces that shapes our lives and enhances all the experiences by creating last memories that are easily dialed up with just a few notes of a song. Whether it's a song you were listening during that intense first crush or had on in the background during your first kiss, music played a role to create those indelible memories. Music is my "legal" drug of choice that is in plentiful supply, and one that I study on a daily basis.  It should be pretty obvious to you if you spend any extended period of time on my website and blog that I am one of the most prolific 80s DJs on the internet. Not only did I grow up during the 80s and get to experience all of this music, but I ventured (unexpectedly) into broadcasting. This venture into broadcasting allowed me to play this awesome music as I hosted 80s Nostalgia shows on air. Be sure to learn more about me by clicking over to my About page.  The songs we'll explore on this particular post are one's that I don't get tired of, but also ones that instantly take me back to those moments when I heard them for the first time.

What can I say? I'm an 80s child and if I died tomorrow, I would take with me to my grave some amazing memories of absolutely the best decade in music.  I hope to be around for many, many years as a top wedding DJ, but sometimes I wonder if we'll ever see another decade like the 80s?  Back in 2020, I made a decision to focus solely on being wedding DJ so that I could continue to hone my skills and provide my clients with the absolute best service.  For more information on this post, be sure to check out this archived post about my sole focus on DJing weddings. <---Click HERE.   Almost all of the songs you'll find on this selection of songs are perfect for an 80s cocktail hour at your wedding.
Be Transported Instantaneously Back To The 80s Right Now At My Spotify Profile
You know so many modern brides and grooms have come to me with their music already "pre-selected" on a Spotify playlist.  After meeting with so many clients who were making their playlists like this, I decided to put together a profile of my own that showcased a lot of the musical themes that are needed to put together the best wedding playlist. And now over 120 playlists later, I'm still going strong and are really just getting started.  Just head over to Spotify and do a search for DJ Mike Bills. I hope you enjoy these songs that instantly take me back to the 80s. 

"West End Girls" | Pet Shop Boys
The spring of 1986 saw me rounding out the turns on my 6th grade year. , and I first heard this 80s classic on WKQB 107.5 while I was in my bedroom playing video games.  Originally recorded in 1984, the song was re-recorded at the end of 1985. "West End Girls" would be released in March of 1986, and make it all the way to Number 1 in May 1986.  Shep Pettibone, who is one of the best music producers recorded an excellent mix of this song. For more of The Best Songs From 1986 For Your Wedding <---Click HERE

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" | Tear For Fears
For this song, we rewind back to the spring of 1985 where we actually had the launch of a brand new radio station in Charleston. Lite Rock 97FM was playing an excellent mix of the 60s, 70s, and current music from the 80s.  That station signed on and was responsible for hearing a lot of the great songs from the 80s for the very first time. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Shattered Dreams" | Johnny Hates Jazz
If you've just found this blog and are a huge fan of the Sophisti-Pop Era Of The 80s, <---Click HERE.  I absolutely never get tired of this song. It's a song that possesses that quintessential 80s sound.  It's just one of those songs that has a cool, slick 80s sound that takes me back to the middle of my 8th grade year. "Shattered Dreams" would peak at #2 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the adult contemporary chart.

"Baby Don't Forget My Number" | Milli Vanilli
I was just talking the other day to the guy who got me into the radio industry. We like to flip around on Spotify and You Tube and recall some of the best eras in music like the 80s and 90s. We both agree that Milli Vanilli had some of the best music in the late 80s and early 90s. There are some people who laugh at Milli Vanilli for their lip sync debacle. Who cares?  In the spring of my freshman year in high school, this song would debut and be filling dance floors through out the summer of 1989. For more of the Best Songs From 1989 For Your Wedding Playlist <----Click HERE

(I've Had) The Time Of My Life | Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
I've been binge watching HBO Max over the past month or so and "Dirty Dancing" is in their selection of available movies. Whenever I watch this movie, I'm always thinking about 1987 and a more innocent time. (the 80s).  I'm not sure if a movie like this would as well received as it was back in the 80s.  But with a soundtrack that has sold over 30 million copies, it remains one of the most iconic movies of the 80s.  For more of The Most Requested Songs From Dirty Dancing For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE

"The Safety Dance" | Men Without Hats
You'll find that I am a lover of the extended remix, something that dominated practically every single during the 80s. "The Safety Dance" was one of those iconic videos you saw during the early years of MTV. The song would be released in the summer of 1983 and peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Contrary to what a lot of people  believe but Men Without Hats was NOT a one-hit wonder. They broke into the Top 20 in 1987 with Pop Goes The World.

 "Your Love" | The Outfield
This song by The Outfield is one of the most popular 80s songs requested by modern brides and grooms. <--Click HERE for more. "Your Love" is one of the songs that brides and grooms and their guests can easily sing along to.  When I hear this song, I am taken back to the middle of my 6th grade year. "Your Love" would peak at #6 on the Hot 100 chart.

"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" | Timbuk 3
Ah yes, the fall of 1986. I was just beginning my 7th grade year. In October 1986, this one hit wonder would be released and break into the Top 20. The future is bright for you as you are marrying your best friend. For more of the The Most Requested 80s One Hit Wonders, <---Click HERE

"Venus" | Bananarama
The original 60s version of this song might just be one of my all-time favorite songs of the 60s. When I hear this version released back in 1986 by Bananarama, my sights are set on the beach in the summer. It's definitely a goto song when getting ready for the beach. I used to get listeners calling me on my radio show wanting to hear this song while they were sipping on their fruity cocktail of choice. "Venus" would hit the Hot 100 at the end of June in 1986 and make it all the way to Number 1 later that summer.

"Freedom" | Wham
Put this song in the category of happy songs from the 80s.  Released in the summer of 1985 (in America), "Freedom" would peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  In the summer of 1985, I was getting ready to head into my 6th grade year.  Spotlighting this song has reminded me that I need to spotlight the year 1985 in one of my posts as well. For more of the Most Popular Songs By Wham, <--Click HERE

"Sweet Child O'Mine" | Guns N' Roses
Would you believe that I've had some clients want to hear this song as their recessional song at their wedding ceremony? Yep, just make sure you choose this version instead of the Sheryl Crow version. Sheryl's version has a TOTALLY different vibe to it.  "Sweet Child O' Mine" was really coming on strong as I started my freshman year in high school. When I hear it, I'm sometimes transported back to the halls of Summerville High School.   The song would be released in June 1988 and make it all the way to #1 on the Hot 100, but only crack the Top 10 on the Mainstream rock chart.

"Together Forever" | Rick Astley
If this song doesn't put a smile on your face, I'm not sure what will. Back in the summer of 1988, I was taking a lot of trips to western North Carolina and doing a lot of hiking. While we were in the van, this song would come on the radio. It's actually a song that is featured on my Best Pre-Wedding Playlist For The Modern Bride <----CLICK HERE "Together Forever" would be released in April of 1988 and peak at #1 on the Hot 100 chart that summer.

"The Reflex" | Duran Duran
Dusting this song off from inside my catalog has made me realize that I need to do a featured blog post on Duran Duran. Duran Duran were one of the biggest bands of the 80s (especially in the 80s British invasion). "The Reflex" would hit the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1984 when I was wrapping up 4th grade. It would become of the biggest songs of 1984, peaking at #1. For more of The Best Songs From 1984 For Your Wedding <---Click HERE

You Got It (The Right Stuff) | New Kids On The Block
I'm not afraid to admit that these bad boys from Boston are one of my favorite boy bands of all time.  In my freshman year of high school, NKOTB mayhem was started to come on strong. All the girls in my school were decked out with their NKOTB schwag.  The song would enter the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1988 and make it all the way to #1 in the early part of 1989. For more of The Best Bands And Musicians From Boston <-----Click HERE

"Walk Like An Egyptian" | The Bangles
Back in the fall of 1986, we were enjoying the best music of the 80s as we rounded out 1986. The Bangles would have us all "walking like an Egyptian".  Released in September of 1986, the song would peak at #1 on the Hot 100 in early 1987.

"Kiss" | Prince
You certianly can not ever leave Prince out of any discussion when it comes to the best music of the 80s. "Kiss" happens to be one of the most requested Prince songs by modern brides and grooms.  "Kiss" was released in February of 1986 and would peak at #1 on the Hot 100 chart, as well as the dance club chart.

"It's My Life" | Talk Talk
"It's My Life" was later covered by No Doubt in 2003. For those people who are seeking another one of those quintessential sounding 80s songs. Released in March of 1984, "It's My Life" would be the band's highest charting song, peaking at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Close To Me" | The Cure
Originally released in 1985 from their album, the song would be remixed in 1991 and re-released but would not do much on the chart. "Close To Me" is one of the more fun songs by The Cure and instantly takes me a back to an era of hot Goth looking girls in my school.

 "Time After Time" | Cyndi Lauper
This follow-up to her signature song, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is one of my favorite soft rock songs of the 80s, and has actually been on the requests lists of many modern brides and grooms in recent years. The appeal and popularity of 80s Soft Rock Songs For Wedding Playlists (<<---Click HERE) is very apparent as this post is one of the most popular ever on my blog.

"Good Thing" | Fine Young Cannibals
"Good Thing" is one of those songs I never get sick of.  When I first heard this song back in the summer of 1989, it was instantaneously infectious and addictive. "Good Thing" would become one of the Biggest Songs From 1989.  The song would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian music chart.

"I Can't Wait" | Nu Shooz
I've got a ton of respect for Nu Shooz, so much I've included them on Songs With Maximum Funk For Your Cocktail Hour.  "I Can't Wait" would peak at #3 in 1986 on the Hot 100 chart, as well as #1 on the Dance Club chart.

"Into The Groove" | Madonna
If you are into Madonna and the 80s, you've got to watch Desperately Seeking Susan. Madonna is in the movie! "Into The Groove" was never released as a single because Madonna had so many other songs on the charts at that time. However, it remains one of her signature songs from the 80s. For more of The Best Songs From Madonna For Your Wedding Playlist <----Click HERE

 "Big Love" | Fleetwood Mac
Back in the spring of 1987, I would be rounding out my 7th grade year when one of my favorite 80s Fleetwood Mac albums would be released. I saw Lindsey Buckingham in the summer of 2012 and he would perform this song by shredding his acoustic guitar. "Big Love" would be released in March of 1987 and peak into the Top 5 on the Hot 100 chart.

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" | Eurythmics
Not too long before the publishing of this post, I put together my selections for some of The Best Songs From 1983 For Your Wedding Playlist   Released in January of 1983, the song would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Wishing Well" | Terrence Trent D'arby
While I've labeled this song as being written and released by Terrence Trent Darby, I did not know until I started to put the content together that he changed his name to Sananda Maitreya. "Wishing Well" entered the Hot 100 in January 1988 and would peak at #1 in the Spring.

 Interesting In Talking To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
I sure hope you enjoyed this quick transport back to the 80s with some of the best tracks of that amazing decade in music.  If you are a fan of 80s music, I invite you to click all over my blog and head back over to my Spotify for even more playlists from the 80s. Adding some 80s music to your wedding playlist is never a bad thing. Thank you so very much for making it all the way to the end of this post. I absolutely love putting together this content for you and would love to speak with you about your wedding. All you need to do is click the link up above to be taken over to my contact form. There, you'll be asked for a few details and we'll then set up a time to speak. I look forward to speaking with you about your wedding.