1986! Dance the Night Away with Our Top-12 Songs

We’re past “We Are the World” and Live Aid. Hall of Songs enters 1986, when we hear pop and adult contemporary beginning to merge as rap and dance music branch out into totally new places.

This is a year of big movie soundtrack hits, plaintive pop that strikes a chord nationwide, and new sounds emerging out of big cities like New York and Chicago. Follow Tim and Chris as they chronicle this interesting year of music and pick their top-12 songs of 1986. 

After listening to Tim and Chris, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1986, plus tunes from 1985, ’84, ’83 and ’81 are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! VOTE BELOW and come back on August 12, 2022, to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1986 nominees (spoilers below; highlight to reveal):

  • “Nasty” as performed by Janet Jackson
    • Written by James Harris III, Terry Lewis and Janet Jackson; recorded September 1985; released February 1986
  • “Kiss” as performed by Prince
    • Written by Prince; recorded April 1985; released February 1986
  • “If You Leave” as performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
    • Written by Andy McClusky, Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper; recorded February 1986; released February 1986
  • “Sweet Love” as performed by Anita Baker
    • Written by Anita Baker, Louis A. Johnson and Gary Bias; recorded late 1985; released March 1986
  • “Live to Tell” as performed by Madonna
    • Written by Madonna and Patrick Leonard; recorded December 1985; released March 1986
  • “Walk This Way” as performed by Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith
    • Written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry; recorded March 1986; released May 1986
  • “In Your Eyes” as performed by Peter Gabriel
    • Written by Peter Gabriel; recorded late 1985; released May 1986
  • “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” as performed by The Smiths
    • Written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey; recorded fall 1985; released June 1986
  • “Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)” as performed by Marshall Jefferson
    • Written by Marshall Jefferson; recorded summer 1986; released July 1986
  • “Don’t Dream It’s Over” as performed by Crowded House
    • Written by Neil Finn; recorded early 1986; released August 1986
  • “True Colors” as performed by Cyndi Lauper
    • Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg; recorded March 1986; released August 1986
  • “Bizarre Love Triangle” as performed by New Order
    • Written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner; recorded January 1986; released September 1986

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 August 12, 2022 to find out the voting results, and August 14, 2022 for our discussion on 1987.

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