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80s Pop Radio

by Kim

We all know that the 80s was a decade of musical dominance and we have to realize that this dominance was from pop radio stations. It’s been said many times before, but the 80s in pop radio is what it is today because of the amount of power each station had at the time. This article will list down the most popular pop radio stations in the 80s.

KROQ-FM – Los Angeles, CA

Lifetime Ranking: 15th

Years Active: 1976 – Present

The first thing we need to say about this station is that it’s a bit different from the other pop radio stations on this list. For example, it doesn’t play music strictly based off ‘the hits’ but instead plays more alternative and rock music. It was one of the first stations to play what we now call alternative music (such as punk rock, new wave, and synthpop), in fact it helped create many of those genres. Another thing that makes KROQ-FM different is that it goes back to the late 70s and early 80s when it was known as “K-Rock.”

Top 10 Hits During the 80s: “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, “Rio” by Duran Duran, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, “Say You’ll Be There” by George Michael, “I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger, “Use It Up And Wear It Out” by The Cars, “Video Killed the Radio Star” – The Buggles.

80s Pop Radio

WHFS-FM – Washington DC, DC

Lifetime Ranking: 5th

Years Active: 1976 – Present

This is one of the more unique pop radio stations on this list because it was a top 40 station in the 80s but it also ran an adult album alternative (AAA) format as well. While it’s still popular today under its current name at 105.3 WMMJ-FM , it’s interesting to look back at how far that station has come since its inception.

Top 10 Hits During the 80s: “The Sign” by Ace of Base, “Turn to You” by Christopher Cross, “We Built This City” by Starship, “Heart and Soul” by Patti LaBelle, “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston, “Say You’ll Be There” – George Michael & Wham!, “Crazy for You” – Madonna

KLLC-AM/FM – Los Angeles , CA

Lifetime Ranking: 2nd

Years Active: 1976 – Present

The legendary station that is known as Power 96 to many people today was a top 40 station in the 80s. The station helped popularize rap music during this time, it was the first station to play “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and it is the birthplace of hip hop. It’s an interesting list because there are several pop radio stations on here but none of them were considered top 40 stations at the time.

Top 10 Hits During the 80s: “Hard Habit to Break” by Robert Tepper, “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” by Robert Palmer & Tina Turner, “Heart and Soul” – Patti Labelle and The Bluebelles, “The Message” – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, “Crazy for You” – Madonna, “Take On Me” – A-Ha

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