The music scene in the 80s is quite influential to the current scene. Some of the music that was popular then is still popular now and will likely continue to be popular.
The major factors of 80s dance music include the rise of house music and disco, the emergence of new dance genres, the influence of hip-hop and funk on chart success in Europe and America, as well as dance club culture around the world – especially in North America.
Here are some of the best 80s dance songs:
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
This song was released in 1982 and it helped to popularize the genre of dance music. It was also one of the biggest hits in the history of music, as well as Michael Jackson’s fastest-rising single since 1970.
Though Billie Jean is not a real person, the song retells an exciting tale of drama surrounding Michael Jackson’s family band, the Jackson 5.
“Physical” by Olivia Newton John
This song features elements of disco and early House music, as well as from the 80s era. However, the main focus is on Olivia Newton-John’s unique vocals. Declared an instant smash hit, it was certified platinum by the RIAA and charted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks.
The song also solidified Olivia Newton-John as one of the most popular pop singers in history, after crossing over and leaving behind her country roots.The scandalous lyrics and music video concept also served as a timestamp as to where Olivia Newton-John shed her “good girl” image and started delving into more mature themes.
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987 and remains one of Whitney Houston’s most popular songs, charting at the top of music boards in eighteen countries. It was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA and sold about 6 million copies or so in the US alone, cementing it by many to be a classic 80s dance song.
The song’s success helped to launch Whitney Houston as a major pop star, though she had already been popular since her debut in 1985 and her previous singles “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love For You”. The song brought her fame and helped to establish her as one of the biggest female stars of the 80s.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
This is the debut single of English singer-songwriter Rick Astley. Rick Astley found success as a pop singer and his popularity increased during fall of 1987 with this single.
It was a chart-topping hit, staying at number one of the UK chart for five weeks. The rest is history – he went on to have big hits from that point on, all thanks to this one smash success. Most notably, it had a resurgence of views due to the Rickrolling meme, involving pranking people on the Internet by giving them misleading links that led to the song or the music video.