1980! Looking to a Synthesized Future with a New Decade

The ’80s. We did it! In this episode of Hall of Songs, we begin our journey through this turbulent decade by highlighting 12 songs that reflect the changing sound and landscape in popular music. We have old standbys like country, reggae, and arena-sized rock, but we also have more electronic-based songs from the likes of Talking Heads and Joy Division.

These are our picks for the top-12 songs of 1980. The songs join others already nominated for the Hall of Songs in our ballot.

After listening to Tim and Chris, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1980, plus tunes from 1979, ’78, ’77 and ’76 are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now at hallofsongs.com and come back on April 22, 2022, to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1980 nominees (spoilers below; highlight to reveal):

  • “He Stopped Loving Her Today” as performed by George Jones
    • Written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman; recorded fall 1979; released April 1980
  • “Breaking the Law” as performed by Judas Priest
    • Written by Rob Halford, KK Downing and Glenn Tipton; recorded January 1980; released April 1980
  • “I’m Coming Out” as performed by Diana Ross
    • Written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers; recorded December 1979; released May 1980
  • “Could You Be Loved” as performed by Bob Marley and the Wailers
    • Written by Bob Marley; recorded early 1980; released June 1980
  • “Redemption Song” as performed by Bob Marley and the Wailers
    • Written by Bob Marley; recorded early 1980; released June 1980
  • “The Breaks” as performed by Kurtis Blow
    • Written by Kurtis Blow, Robert Ford Jr., James B Moore, Russell Simmons and Larry Smith; recorded spring 1980; released June 1980
  • “Love Will Tear Us Apart” as performed by Joy Division
    • Written by Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner; recorded March 1980; released June 1980
  • “You Shook Me All Night Long” as performed by AC/DC
    • Written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson; recorded April 1980; released July 1980
  • “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” as performed by Pat Benatar
    • Written by Eddie Schwartz; recorded spring 1980; released August 1980
  • “Once in a Lifetime” as performed by Talking Heads
    • Written by David Byrne, Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth; recorded July 1980; released October 1980
  • “Romeo and Juliet” as performed by Dire Straits
    • Written by Mark Knopfler; recorded summer 1980; released October 1980
  • “Ace of Spades” as performed by Motรถrhead
    • Written by Eddie Clark, Lemmy and Phil Taylor; recorded August 1980; released October 1980

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down to vote. Then, come back on April 22, 2022 to find out the voting results, and April 24, 2022 for our discussion on 1981.

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