Ahhhh, the 80s. The decade of hope, prosperity, and the synthesizer. The Soviet Union was evil, Billy Joel still had hair, and life was just a lot more fun, it seems.
Disco was finally dead, and people weren’t depressed enough for grunge quite yet. This was a sweet-spot decade, with DJs pumping music into clubs and boomboxes pumping it into the streets. Let's crank up the speakers and dance!
This playlist fits perfectly on a 12” record – just shy of 22 minutes a side. Think of this as a guide for your own '80s playlist, or just inspiration as you build your own. Whatever you decide to put on it, I can't wait to hear your vinyl mixtape!
Faith – George Michael
Kicking it off strong with an all-time 80s classic. George Michael (RIP) may well define the decade better than any other star. And everybody can dance to this one.
How 80s Is It? 10 out of 10 side-ponytails
Safety Dance – Men Without Hats
Better than the Danger Dance amiright?
How 80s Is It? 7 out of 10 teenage Michael Jacksons
Jump – Van Helen
And this is the point where the mix has to jump into some 80s hair band material (see what we did there?). It just isn't the 80s without ridiculous hair, shiny jumpsuits, and crazy guitar riffs.
How 80s Is It? 8 out of 10 Jane Fonda Workout Tapes
Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
One-hit wonders have a place at Freestyle Vinyl! We may best remember this song from Tommy Boy, a decidedly '90s movie, but we're happy shouting COME ON EILEEN at the top of our lungs no matter what decade it comes from.
How 80s Is It? 6 out of 10 Madonnas
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
This song is so iconic, it's been covered by just about everyone under the sun... including Marilyn Manson, a decidedly non-soft-rocker. I guess you can't control who loves your songs when you know your way around a synthesizer like Soft Cell did!
How 80s Is It? 7 out of 10 Ghostbuster ghosts
Beat it - Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is almost too iconic to tie down to just one decade. But the 80s was where he thrived. We prefer to keep him there in our memory, and just pretend the 2000s never happened.
How 80s Is It? 9 out of 10 Mr. T's
Down Under – Men At Work
I've never been to Australia. But when I do, I expect everyone to be exactly like this. It seems scientific.
How 80s Is It? 10 out of 10 Scrunchies
Super Freak – Rick James
Rick James was a helluva singer before he was a helluva punchline on Chappelle's Show - unfortunately, we could only choose one of his all-time 80s classics for this mix!
How 80s Is It? 9 out of 10 Ronald Reagans
You Spin Me Right Round – Dead or Alive
I honestly don't know if it can get more 80s than this. That's all I have to say.
How 80s Is It? 10 out of 10 Dead or Alives
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
Aaaaand we round out our Side B with the classic ode to a buddy's girlfriend... wait, what? Come on Rick, that's not cool...
How 80s Is It? 7 out of 10 Top Guns
There you have it! Now go, build your own 80s mixtape!
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