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The Best Songs From 1980 For Your Wedding Playlist

21 January 2024

As I prepare to put together a "Best Of" about 80s music for wedding playlists over the next few weeks, I've come to realize that I've never shown any love on my blog to 1980. In doing the research for this post about the music of 1980 for your wedding playlist, I think you can easily make the case that music was in a transition period in 1980. At the beginning of 1980, disco was still "in", but quickly fading fast. Michael Jackson was riding high at the start of 1980 with his masterpiece album Off The Wall. MTV was over a year away from introducing America to iconic images of music videos that would forever be etched into our minds. While MTV would also usher in an 80s British Invasion of music, 1980 would introduce us to a lot of those artists that now show up in Yacht Rock playlists. 1980 came with it a lot of "Soft Rock" artists with some country crossovers from Kenny Rogers and Eddie Rabbitt.  Since I grew up in the 80s, 80s music is my jam, but I'm gonna have to say that 1980 might be one of the weakest years of music in the entire decade. You be the judge.

Believe it or not, the musical landscape of 1980 and 2024 have some similarities. You should know that I would turn 7 years old in 1980, so my musical passion had not quite developed.  There have been quite a few instances where country has crossed over to the pop music like we've seen over the past few years (2023 and 2024). 1980 was no exception. Artists like Kenny Rogers, Eddie Rabbitt, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Pure Prairie League would make inroads into the CHR charts. Did you know you can find this playlist, as well as over 150 others on my Spotify? Yes, I set out years ago to put together a Spotify profile designed to provide inspiration for the modern bride and groom as they set out to put together their wedding playlist. All you need to do is head over to Spotify, and do a search for DJ Mike Bills. For more information about Why I Created A Spotify Profile <------Click HERE - To check out this Spotify playlist, you can also click below.



"Working My Way Back To You" | The Spinners

Originally recorded by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons in 1980, the Spinners would release their version in December 1979. The Spinners version definitely sounds as though it could be thrown into rotation by DJs at disco dance clubs. "Working My Way Back To You" would peak at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.

"Biggest Part Of Me" | Ambrosia
It did not take us very long to mention a song in the Yacht Rock genre.  In 1980, Los Angeles-based Ambrosia would release their album One Eighty. You know I was DJing a corporate event recently and threw this song into the mix and it prompted some guests to get out on the dance floor. "Biggest Part Of Me" is a reminder of how great the 80s were in terms of soft rock, and the song would peak at #3 on the AC and Hot 100 chart. For more of The Best 80s Soft Rock For Weddings <----Click HERE

"Sailing" | Christopher Cross
You couldn't turn on the radio in 1980 without hearing Christopher Cross. "Sailing" would become one of his signature songs and be placed on most Yacht Rock playlists. Released in June of 1980, "Sailing" would become one of the top songs of 1980, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 by the end of August.

"Ladies Night" | Kool & The Gang
Depending on the client, this song from Kool & The Gang still manages some requests. Released at the end of 1979, "Ladies Night" would peak at #8 on the Hot 100 in 1980 during disco's last gas.  If you are planning a bachelorette weekend in Charleston with your girlfriends, <---CLICK HERE 

 "More Love" | Kim Carnes
In the spring of 1980, Kim Carnes released her album Romance Dance, which featured this wonderful cover of the 1967 song by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.  Released in June of 1980, "More Love" would peak at #6 on the AC chart, as well as #10 on the Hot 100. I've always liked the job that Kim Carnes did on this song. Her raspy and sexy voice complimented it very well. The song will forever remain in my mix of the best soft rock songs of the 80s.

"Don't Do Me Like That" | Tom Petty
Over the years, I've had clients with eclectic tastes in music place this classic from Tom Petty on their cocktail hour playlist.  Released at the tail end of 1979 of his album Damn The Torpedoes, "Don't Do Like That" would peak at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Off The Wall" | Michael Jackson
The first of two Michael Jackson songs to appear on this Wedding Playlist Of The Best Songs From 1980.  Michael Jackson had a big year in 1980, and we were still almost 3 years away from the release of Thriller. Off The Wall was Jackson's first album after leaving the Jackson 5. The album would be released in the summer of 1979.  The title track was the third single to be released from the album in February of 1980 and would peak at #10 on the Hot 100 chart.  For more of The Most Popular Songs From Michael Jackson For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE

"Give Me The Night" | George Benson
For those modern brides and grooms whose musical tastes run deep and want a little jazz during cocktail hour, you've got to hear this track by George Benson. Released in June of 1980, "Give Me The Night" became one of the biggest songs of 1980, peaking at #4 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Hot Soul singles chart.

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" | Queen
The vibe for "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is the perfect mix that may go well during cocktail hour or even dinner.  The song would make it all the way to #1 on the Hot 100 chart, and become the band's first #1 song on the Hot 100 in America.

"The Rose" | Bette Midler
Long before she starred in the 1988 movie Beaches and would sing a song on the soundtrack to make us all tear up, Bette Midler recorded a beautiful ballad in 1980. The Rose appeared in the movie of the same name in 1979. It was the second single to be released from the soundtrack and would make it all the way to #3 on the Hot 100 chart.

"Rock With You" | Michael Jackson
Perhaps I should create a musical category called "Pre-Dance". "Rock With You" has always been an excellent transitional song for me. Sometimes I find myself mixing it in during cocktail hour or during the transition between dinner and music. It's the perfect song to be mixed in at various times during your wedding reception.  "Rock With You" was the second single to be released from his album Off The Wall, and would make it all the way to the top of the Hot 100 and Hot Soul singles chart in 1980.

"Cars" | Gary Numan
In 1980, we would a song released by Gary Numan that would become one of the best new wave songs of early 80s. Released in February of 1980, "Cars" would make it all the way to #9 on the Hot 100 chart.

"Cruisin" | Smokey Robinson
Toward the end of 1979, Smokey Robinson would release his ninth album Where There's Smoke, which featured "Cruisin". The song would peak at #4 on the Hot 100 in February of 1980. Smokey Robinson would continue to make an impact during the 80s on the R&B charts. I added one of his hits on my Smooth and Sexy Like Silk Jazz Cocktail Playlist <---CLICK HERE

"Upside Down" | Diana Ross
While 1980 may have been the year to see disco fading, Diana Ross was not going to let that happen during the summer of 1980. "Upside Down" was released during the summer of 1980 and would become a staple in clubs across America.  The song would peak at #1 on the Hot 100, as well as Disco singles chart in 1980.

"Please Don't Go" | KC & The Sunshine Band
After years of producing disco music that makes you wanna dance all night, KC & The Sunshine Band would record their first ballad at the end of 1979. Released at the end of 1979, "Pleae Don't Go" would become the very first hit #1 of the 80s on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Call Me" | Blondie
Blondie was a new wave group originating frm New York City. Released as a single in January of 1980, "Call Me" appeared in the movie American Gigolo and would spend a total of six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Shining Star" | The Manhattans
The Manhattans were an R&B group that originated from Jersey City, New Jersey. Their first huge hit in 1976 was "Kiss And Say Goodbye", and in 1980, they would score another Top 5 on the Hot 100 and R&B chart in 1980.

"Stomp" | Brothers Johnson
At the beginning of 1980, everyone would "Stomp" on the dance floor with Number 1 song on the dance chart. "Stomp" can be found on the album "Light Up The Night" and would peak at #7 on the Hot 100 chart.

 "This Is It" | Kenny Loggins
Moving right along with a few more of the Best Songs of 1980 for your wedding playlist we have another Yacht Rock song. "This Is It" was released in the fall of 1979 off the album Keep The Fire. The song would peak at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1980. For The Best Yacht Rock Songs For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE

 "Emotional Rescue" | The Rolling Stones
"Emotional Rescue" was the title track to their album released in the summer of 1980.  When I hear "Emotional Rescue". I hear a song that the DJ may throw on in a disco / dance club right before last call.  The song would peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Ready To Sit Down With DJ Mike Bills To Create The Best Mix Of Music?

By no means am I going to sit here and say that 1980 was a bust when it comes to music. I chose some of the more familiar "wedding-worthy" tracks when I put together this post. In the coming weeks, I will be putting together The Definitive Guide To 80s Music On Your Wedding Playlist, which will be a post that summarizes some of my choices for the best music of each year of the 80s. As a wedding DJ whose sole focus in "music", my blog is frequently visited by people from all over the world who are just as into music as I am. I would like to thank you for making it all the way to the end of this post. If you are recently engaged and are in the hunt for the best wedding DJ who fits you as a couple, please fill out a contact form and let's set up a time to speak. If music is one of your passions, we will become fast friends. Thanks again for visiting my blog and I look forward to speaking with you.