There is simply no mistaking it, the 80s were full of multiple genres of music. From the pop music of Michael Jackson and Madonna to the synth pop of Animotion and the Pet Shop Boys over to the hairbands with Poison and Bon Jovi. We cannot forget 80s hip-hop either, as it was huge back then. The 80s were a party. The 80s were fun. The 80s were happy. This is exactly how you want the vibe of your wedding reception to be, so sprinkling in some of your favorites from the 80s is always a great idea. This list is ONLY 50 songs. Feel free to add your own into the mix. I am actually shaking my head right now knowing that I am probably leaving off some big ones, but I'll let you do your research on the 80s and add your favorites in. As one of the best Charleston wedding DJs, I'd like to give you my professional choice of 50 of the biggest songs from the 80s that are heard all over Charleston at wedding receptions and private events too.
Perhaps I will do a Volume 2 of this list with a future blog post. In the meantime, enjoy these 50 songs from the decade of decadence all the while wearing your parachute pants and jelly bracelets.
Download These 50 Most Requested 80s Songs At Weddings From Spotify NOW
Feel free to spend as much time reading over this post, but if you would like to listen to these 80s songs in their entirety and at your leisure, head over to my Spotify profile and get all 50 of these songs. Just do a search for DJ Mike Bills. After you download this playlist, feel free to look over all of my other wedding playlists for further inspiration.
"Holiday" - Madonna
One of Madonna's signature songs. The perfect song for the bride and her bridesmaids to enter the dance floor and begin a fun non-stop evening of the biggest and most important day of your life. Be sure to add this in for your wedding at the South Carolina Aquarium. "Holiday" would become a #1 song on the U.S Dance charts, but only reach #16 on the Hot 100.
"What I Like About You" | The Romantics
From their self-titled album released in 1980, this track is fast, fun, and still sounds fresh at weddings around Charleston after all these years. You should get your DJ to play it at your Lowndes Grove wedding.
"Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" | Wham
Still saddened by the death of George michael on Christmas Day in 2016, this song has always been active on wedding playlists, even before Georgie died. It's fun and you simply cannot help but having fun and start dancing when you hear. That is what your wedding is supposed to be. FUN. The song was released back in the summer of 1984 and would eventually hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" | Def Leppard
We're coming up on 30 years since it's release. Off their mega hit album "Hysteria". Have your DJ throw this on later in the night for extra fun over at your Daniel Island Club wedding. The song would reach #2 on the Hot 100 charts back in the summer of 1988 and would become one of the greatest songs of the 80s by a VH1 poll.
"Funkytown" | Pseudo Echo
An excellent cover you should add into your wedding playlist. If you are into more of a disco sound, you'll want to add the original version by Lipps into your playlist. However, if you want a more electronic, "synthy" version that sounds like the 80s, this is the version for you. The cover by Pseudo Echo would reach #6 on the Hot 100.
"Push It" | Salt & Pepa
The first female rap group with a platinum record. One of the best B Sides of the 80s too. A song that crowds of all ages still respond to close to 30 years after it's release. "Push It" would only peak at #19 on the Hot 100, but go all the way to #2 on the UK charts.
"Mony Mony" | Billy Idol
Billy Idol took this hit from Tommy James and The Shondells and turned it up a notch and made all sorts of weddings move, shake and have loads of fun. Add it into your playlist at your Historic Rice Mill wedding reception. Released back in the fall of 1987, Billy would eventually score a Number 1 song on the Hot 100 with this great cover.
"Thriller" | Michael Jackson
Anytime that Michael Jackson is added to the playlist you know it's going to be an excellent time, because even though he died in 2009, his music will live on forever at wedding receptions all around Charleston. Michael Jackson's Thriller album produced 7 singles. "Thriller" would be the final single released from the record, and peak at #4 in early 1984.
"Let's Groove" | Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire remains a constant on most wedding playlists. Don't forget to go back to the 70s a little too and add in "September" for your Pepper Plantation wedding reception. Earth, Wind & Fire were hot from the mid / late 70s through the early 80s. "Let's Groove" would peak at Number 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart in 1981.
"Walk This Way" | Run DMC
Their collaboration with Aerosmith on this track is a huge hit at Lowcountry weddings. Get your DJ to add it in for you on your playlist. I will gladly get it played for you. And I might add, the collaboration of Run DMC and Aerosmith in the summer of 1986 to re-record "Walk This Way" was one of the first of it's kind and would score a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
"It's Tricky" | RUN DMC
80s rap at it's finest with this track. These guys are the kings of 80s rap. "It's Tricky" would be the final single to break off their Raising Album, but would not be successful on the chart. Even though it was not a chart buster, the song remains in heavy rotations at a lot of my weddings. You cannot go wrong at your Harborside East Wedding Reception with this hip-hop classic.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" | Whitney Houston
I've seen all people get on the dance floor with this classic from the late Whitney Houston. Grandmas and grandpas included too. Everything that Whitney would release at this time during the 80s would be Number 1. You couldn't turn the radio in the summer of 1987 without hearing this wedding banger. It's still one of the most requested Whitney songs on wedding playlists.
"Footloose" | Kenny Loggins
An infectious desire to dance like Kevin Bacon comes over a lot of folks when I throw this song on. It's always a hit. Throw it on your playlist as you get ready for your Seabrook Island Club wedding. The song was released in early 1984, and would hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks.
"Mickey" | Toni Basil
This cheerleader classic from the early 80s still has legs and gets the crowd pumped. Toni Basil surged to Number 2 with this gem.
"Just Like Heaven" | The Cure
An 80s classic for those prefer an alternative and underground Goth vibe to portions of their wedding reception over at the William Aiken House. This is one of The Cure's signature songs, and although it only peaked at #40 on the Hot 100, the song is on every 80s Alternative playlist.
"Alone" | Heart
How could I possibly forget the summer of 1987? I remember being on a family trip where we were driving to Canada. "Alone" was in heavy rotation on radio stations at that time, and would become a #1 song on the Hot 100 in July 1987.
"Rio" - Duran Duran
Her name is "Rio and she dances on the sand. "Rio" was many of the iconic images that you saw in the early years of MTV in the early 80s. The song would be released in the fall of 1982 and peak at #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Might be a perfect selection for your wedding reception over on the beach on Folly.
"Like A Prayer" | Madonna
Another absolute classic by Madonna that gets folks moving on the dance floor. I like ramping things up a tad and throwing on the Shep Pettibone remix. Look it up and I will get it thrown on for you. Released in the spring of 1989, "Like A Prayer" would top the Hot 100, as well as in several other countries.
"Your Love" | The Outfield
This 80s hit from 1986 is a song that you can crank up and sing along with. The song would go all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Write it down now for your reception over at the Cooper River Room.
"You Make My Dreams Come True" | Hall & Oates
One of the many songs from Hall & Oates you might find yourself adding to your playlist. This one is perfect for the bridal party introduction. Add it into your playlist for your wedding reception at the Cotton Dock over at Boone Hall.
"Let's Go All The Way" | Sly Fox
Throw this song on late in your wedding reception over at the Carriage House at Magnolia Plantation and your crowd will erupt in a frenzy of fun. This was the title track of their 1985 album. Released in the latter part of 1985, "Let's Go All The Way" would peak at #7 on the Hot 100.
"Come On Eileen" | Dexy's Midnight Runners
I'm not sure what gets into people when I throw this track on, but if you watch the video to this song, your wedding guests tend to mimic the people in it. Come on, you know you want to write it down on your playlist. The video to this song was one of the iconic videos you saw during the early years of MTV and would become a Number 1 song in America.
"The Safety Dance" | Men Without Hats
Another one of those songs where your guests are likely to begin mimicking the people in this video. Its an early 80s classic that gets thrown into the mix plenty. The song would become a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.
"Word Up' | Cameo
Word Up is a great track for the crowd and if you'd like to go a little deeper in the Cameo catalog, try "Candy" by Cameo for your garter toss. "Word Up" would be released before the start of the summer of 1986 and would top the Hot Black Singles and Hot Dance Club play chart.
"Wild Thing" | Tone Loc
Old school 80s hip hop will always be an excellent choice. Throwing this track on is highly recommended for your Alhambra Hall wedding receptions in Mt Pleasant. The last year of the 80s would begin with Tone Loc all over the radio and in the clubs. "Wild Thing" would peak at #2 on the Hot 100 charts.
"Hangin Tough" | New Kids On The Block
See my blog post from last week about boy bands on your wedding playlist. This one should also be on that list, but it's here instead. So why don't you go ahead and get it into your wedding playlist right now.
"(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right To Party" | Beastie Boys
An excellent choice to really get the party started at your wedding reception over at Wild Dunes. Great energy in this song to get your wedding guests. The Beastie Boys could do no wrong from about 1986 on. This track would peak at Number 7 on the Hot 100.
"Take Me Home Tonight" | Eddie Money
A beautiful dance from the mid 80s designed for your wedding reception over at the Legare Waring House. Add it to your list now. Released in the summer of 1986, "Take Me HomeTonight" would peak at #4 on the Hot 100 in November 1986.
"Dancing In The Dark" | Bruce Springsteen
A great way to transition from dinner into dancing with this track by the Boss. If you are a fan of the TV show Friends, you'll notice a very young Courtney Cox being pulled up on the stage by The Boss. "Dancing In The Dark" would peak at #2 on the Hot 100, but would top the mainstream rock chart.
"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" | Wang Chung
The title of this song is a great way to think of your wedding night. Write this one down. I promise you will not be disappointed. FUN. This fun 80s song was released back in the fall of 1986 and would peak at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Just A Friend" | Biz Markie
You can find this song on Biz Markie's 1989 album, The Biz Never Sleeps. "Just A Friend" would peak at #9 on the Hot 100. If this song gets thrown on toward the end of the night, it's pretty much a given that everybody will sing along to it.
"Talk Dirty" | Poison
"Talk Dirty" is a great representation of what was going in Los Angeles back in the 80s. It was one big party, which of course your wedding reception will be. If you are gonna throw some Bon Jovi into your wedding playlist, you might as throw some Poison in there too. The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Summer Of '69" | Bryan Adams
Another wedding reception favorite in Charleston. Bryan Adams was on fire back in 1985. "Summer of '69" would be one of the song of the summer of 1985 and peak at #5 on the Hot 100. Please add it into your playlist now. :)
"Karma Chameleon" | Culture Club
Culture Club sounds awesome at weddings all around the Lowcountry, epsecially during your cocktail hour, because it's fun and chill. Released in the UK in the fall of 1983, the song would top the Hot 100 in early 1984 in America,
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" | Dead Or Alive
This dance classic from 1985 is pretty much guaranteed to get all your friends acting goofy and fun out on the dance floor. I'll throw it in toward the end of the night for you. This song did better on the Dance Club charts than the Hot 100, peaking at #4.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" | Cyndi Lauper
One of the most requested songs for the bouquet toss. It's perfect for all your single girls to fight over your bouquet. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" would become Cyndi Lauper' signature song and go all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Electric Avenue" | Eddy Grant
Another great one from 1983 that is a constant request at a lot of weddings at Founders Hall at Charles Towne Landing. The song would peak at Number 2 on the Hot 100 for 5 straight weeks.
"Relax" | Frankie Goes To Hollywood
I really don't have too much to say about this song only that you should add it into your "perfect" playlist, and I'll play it about 9:45pm if your reception is fixing to wrap up around 10. It'll be perfect. "Relax" would peak at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"The Power Of Love" | Huey Lewis & The News
This is a happy go lucky song off the Back To The Future soundtrack that is awesome to use for bridal party introductions to your wedding reception. "The Power Of Love" would be Huey Lewis & The News' first Number 1 song on the Hot 100 in 1985.
"Jack & Diane" | John Mellencamp
The biggest hit for John Mellencamp, who actually called himself John Cougar at the time. A great sing-a-long song for you and your guests. "Jack & Diane" would be released back in the summer of 1982 and would eventually top the Billboard Hot 100.
"Don't Stop Believin" | Journey
Always a crowd pleaser. One of the biggest sing-a-long songs from the 80s at Charleston weddings, and especially out at Kiawah Resort. For as popular as "Don't Stop Believin" is on wedding playlists, the song only peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Sexual Healing" | Marvin Gaye
Released a few years before his untimely death in 1984, this track is perfect for a slow dance to cool your guests off, or maybe heat things up for some extracurricular activities after the wedding reception. The song was released back in September of 1982 and would top out at #3 on the Hot 100 chart.
"Another One Bites The Dust" | Queen
The infectious bass line of this track is just one of the many reasons you should add it into the 80s music portion of your wedding playlist. "Another One Bites The Dust" would become a huge hit worldwide and topping the Hot 100 for 3 weeks.
"Let The Music Play" | Shannon
An epic dance hit in any club in 1984, this track is sure to get dance floor moving and grooving at your wedding at the Wickliffe house in downtown Charleston. Shannon would score a total of four Number one songs on the hot dance charts beginning with this smash hit.
"The Look" | Roxette
I sure love me some Roxette. They were a hit making machine back in the late 80s and early 90s. You might throw this song on during your bachelorette party weekend when you and your bridesmaid are out in the limo and on the town. Special thanks to a foreign exchange student bringing this song back to a Minnesota radio station. The next thing we knew "The Look"would become Number 1 across America.
"Baby Don't Forget My Number" | Milli Vanilli
Lip synch controversy or not, this pop duo from Germany created some incredibly catchy pop music in the late 80s and early 90s. I love the sound of this song. This one is one of my personal favorites, but also feel free to add in "Girl You Know It's True". "Baby Don't Forget My Number" would hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1989.
It's Raining Men" | The Weather Girls
An excellent choice if your are planning on doing a bouquet toss at your wedding reception over at one of my favorite venues, Middleton Place. Reaching #1 in America and becoming a worldwide smash hit, "It's Raining Men" has also become a popular request for the bouquet toss song for modern brides.
"Take On Me" | A-Ha
Pretty much a given on the 80s music section of recent wedding playlists. Originally released back in 1984, the song would be re-recorded for their album in 1985 and become a worldwide success. Back in 2017, A-Ha recorded an unplugged version of the song.
"Catch Me I'm Falling" | Pretty Poison
I really need to do a post about 80s One Hit wonders, because this song would be on there, but it goes forgotten. Crank it up when you play thus You Tube, but more importantly, don't forget to add it to your playlist. The song would be featured in the movie starring Jon Cryer Hiding Out and would enter the Top 10 in the fall of 1987 and would stay on the Top 40 for over 3 months.
"Let's Dance" | David Bowie
An excellent song to get the "dancing" to begin at your wedding over at The Veranda at Magnolia Plantation. Put it on your list right now. "Let's Dance" would peak at Number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.
"Obsession" | Animotion
Featured on Grand Theft Auto and also at your wedding over at Boals Farm in Mt Pleasant. 80s synth pop at it's finest. The song would peak at #6 on the Hot 100 in 1985, and would also chart on the Hot Dance chart in 1986 in the Top 30.
Interested In Seeing If Mike Is Available To Be Your Charleston Wedding DJ?
And there you have it. These are 50 hand-selected tracks from the 80s that are some of the most requested and most popular at weddings all around Charleston. Are you enjoying the content on this blog? Thank you very much for making it to the end of this post. Feel free to look all around the rest of this blog, as will find a ton if great content designed to help you make the best decision on who your wedding DJ will be. Are you just recently engaged and are in the preliminary stages of searching for your DJ? Check out this post for ways to have the best Charleston Wedding ever. You should book your Charleston wedding venue first, then your DJ. I'd love to sit down with you and discuss the music for your upcoming wedding ceremony and reception. Click HERE to schedule a consultation and let's grab coffee soon so I can save your date. I am available via phone for a call, or we can even do a Skype or Facetime to discuss your big day.