The 100 Best Workout Songs from the '80s

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/5/2013 6:00 AM   :  420 comments   :  474,316 Views

Today, I am happy to deliver the mother of all '80s music lists: 100 awesome '80s hits that are perfect for exercising.

There's a lot of variety here, from dance and pop hits to a little rap and rock. These are truly the best '80s workout songs of all time.

After I created this top 100 list, I asked members of SparkPeople.com, America's #1 weight loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites, too. Find out which song took the top spot and whether your favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio workout mix of the top 15 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)!

Go ahead and make a new mixtape--er, I mean update your iPod or mp3 player--with a blast from the past using these "made in the '80s" tunes next time you exercise.

No. 1 Workout Song from the '80s:
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)

No. 2: Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980)
No. 3:  Survivor – Eye of the Tiger (1982)
No. 4: The B-52's – Love Shack (1989)
No. 5: Michael Jackson – Beat It (1982)
No. 6: Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer (1986)
No. 7: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Love Rock N' Roll (1982)
No. 8: Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
No. 9: Van Halen – Jump (1984)
No. 10: Journey – Don't Stop Believin' (1982)
No. 11: Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine (1983)
No. 12: Prince – Kiss (1986)
No. 13: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (1987)
No. 14: Kool and the Gang – Celebration (1980)
No. 15: Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1983)



Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 15 most popular 1980s workout songs on iTunes for $9.99, or at amazon.com for just $8.99!

Here's the rest of the list (in alphabetic order). Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at amazon.com.

A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away) (1982)
a-ha – Take On Me (1985)
The Bangles – Manic Monday (1986)
Billy Idol – Mony Mony (1981)
Billy Idol – White Wedding (1981) (1982)
Blondie – The Tide is High (1980)
Bobby Brown – My Prerogative (1988)
The Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star (1981)
Cameo – Word Up! (1986)
The Cars – Shake It Up (1981)
Culture Club – I'll Tumble 4 Ya (1982)
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon (1983)
The Cure – Just Like Heaven (1987)
David Bowie – Let's Dance (1983)
David Bowie – Modern Love (1983)
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (1985)
Depeche Mode – Just Can't Get Enough (1981)
Depeche Mode – People Are People (1987)
Deniece Williams – Let's Hear It for the Boy (1984)
Duran Duran – Girls on Film (1981)
Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf (1982)
Duran Duran – Rio (1982)
Eddie Money – Take Me Home Tonight (1986)
Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue (1983)
Erasure – A Little Respect (1988)
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus (1986)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax (1983)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (1984)
The Gap Band – You Dropped a Bomb on Me (1982)
George Michael – Faith (1987)
The Go-Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed (1981)
The Go-Go's – Vacation (1982)
The Go-Go's – We Got The Beat (1981)
Grandmaster Flash – The Message (1982
Guns N' Roses – Paradise City (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Sweet Child O' Mine (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (1987)
Janet Jackson – Control (1986)
Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation
Kenny Loggins – Footloose (1984)
Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen (1982)
Madness – Our House (1982)
Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride (1983)
Madonna – Borderline (1983)
Madonna – Holiday (1983)
Madonna – Into the Groove (1985)
Madonna – Like a Prayer (1989)
Madonna – Lucky Star (1983)
Madonna – Material Girl (1984)
Madonna – Papa Don't Preach (1986)
Men At Work – Down Under (1981)
Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1982)
Michael Jackson – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (1982)
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982)
Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
Naked Eyes – Always Something There to Remind Me (1983)
New Kids on the Block – Hangin' Tough (1988)
New Kids on the Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff) (1988)
New Order – Blue Monday (1982)
Pat Benatar – Love is a Battlefield (1983)
Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl (1988)
Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract (1988)
Philipp Bailey ft. Phil Collins – Easy Lover (1985)
Prince – 1999 (1982)
R.E.M. – It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) (1987)
R.E.M. – Orange Crush (1988)
R.E.M. – Stand (1988)
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)
Rob Base – It Takes Two (1988)
Sammy Hagar – I Can't Drive 55 (1985)
Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane (1984)
Shannon – Let the Music Play (1983)
Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life (1984)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love (1981)
Talking Heads – Burning Down the House (1984)
Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam (1989)
Tone-Loc – Wild Thing (1989)
Toni Basil – Mickey (1982)
U2 – New Year's Day (1983)
U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love) (1988)
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983)
Van Halen – Hot for Teacher (1984)
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun (1983)
Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984)
Yaz – Situation (1983)

Are any of your '80s favorites missing from this list? Share them below!



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Comments

  • BERRYVOX
    420
    No Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical"? - 8/29/2014   3:45:50 AM
  • 419
    I'm laughing because I was born in the 90s, but I knew more of these than the one on the 90s list! - 8/19/2014   2:33:31 AM
  • 418
    Having major flashbacks here! LOL The funny thing is we do several of these in my zumba class! - 8/18/2014   10:57:04 AM
  • GRATEFULLUZ
    417
    Love it! I am definitely a product of the 80's- great list :) - 8/18/2014   8:01:39 AM
  • 416
    I purchased these from iTunes and was totally disappointed. The songs aren't by the original artists. :( - 8/12/2014   7:08:10 PM
  • 415
    All great songs. Have them all on my mp3 with a few from today's music. cupid shuffle, pump it, i gotta a feeling, cha cha slide, black suits are coming, locked out of heaven, Move your body, or anything with a good beat - 8/2/2014   3:06:19 AM
  • 414
    I take issue with the Motley Crue selection; I'd go with just about anything off "Too Fast for Love" or "Shout at the Devil" before I'd pick anything off "Girls, Girls, Girls". Bleah!
    Also: come on, guys! No Iron Maiden? Whitesnake? Pre-Hysteria Def Leppard? KIX??
    *sigh*
    My gym playlist all those plus lots of Rammstein. And DIO!! - 7/16/2014   3:44:15 PM
  • JOYOUSCALM
    413
    Not a bad list. I don't like all these songs but I like quite a lot of them, mostly ones in the top 15. - 2/25/2014   8:33:49 PM
  • 412
    Good list.
    - 1/4/2014   3:35:18 AM
  • SPAYNE34
    411
    No Poison? I used to love GNR back in the day! - 11/8/2013   9:41:12 PM
  • GLITTERQUEEN99
    410
    Love the 80s! How about "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash and "E=MC2" by Big Audio Dynamite? Also - 8/6/2013   2:23:46 PM
  • 409
    Good list!!!!!!!!! - 8/2/2013   6:27:59 PM
  • 408
    Great list!!! - 8/1/2013   3:09:47 PM
  • RB_RAJKUMAR
    407
    the killers - 7/31/2013   3:00:56 PM
  • 406
    Whilst I like most of these songs, only a handful are on my workout playlist; they others are too slow and they bring down my time :( - 7/31/2013   12:31:22 PM
  • 405
    hate, hate, hate that this is not by the original artists, there are enough up tempo songs without using lame remixes - 7/31/2013   11:20:45 AM
  • CHOCOCOCOAZUL
    404
    Some 80s tunes I have on my playlist at the moment:

    Stacey Q - Two of Hearts
    Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
    Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me
    Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
    Chaka Khan - I Feel For You - 7/9/2013   8:26:58 PM
  • SUNDANCER4589
    403
    thanks - 6/26/2013   10:23:54 AM
  • 402
    This is a great list, but how did you miss ""Just A Touch Of Love (Everyday)" by CC Music Factory? That is the ultimate workout song! - 6/23/2013   9:37:55 PM
  • 401
    Good list. Thanks, Coach Nicole - 6/12/2013   6:20:12 AM
  • 400
    I have added some songs to this list on my workout playlist.. Jessie's Girl and Stand Up - Rick Springfield: Once Bitten Twice Shy - White Snake: and Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
    Great List! and Great Memories, reminds me why I was so thin back then! - 6/8/2013   12:37:54 PM
  • GIZMOGIRL622
    399
    Props on the NKOTB! :-) - 6/8/2013   9:55:46 AM
  • 398
    Most of the era's of music have their favorite songs - some songs just take us longer to realize how good they are at the time. Then we grow older and claim there is "nothing like the songs of _0's".

    Growing up in the late 50's and early 60's (yes, there are some people that old on Spark!), I go to those oldies when I need to feel some comfort. But then there are a number of 70's songs that have proven they have legs. This list from the 80's is a good start for the times. 90's music has a shorter list that I care about - but they are still there.

    After we survived the Y2K crisis, songs from the 00's stand out, and now the songs from the 10's are starting to add up.

    No wonder my computer is slowing down - I currently have 62 gigs of strictly music in memory. I have it backed up on a big old 80 gig hard disk, but maybe I should start a cloud account and store it there, too. I'm not going to tell the exact number of CD shelves I have that are full of once played and once recorded CDs, but when the kids moved out, I converted the smallest bedroom into an office. I have a 20' wall, 9' floor to ceiling, alphabetized, that is completely full and 8' of another wall that has only 2 shelves left to fill.

    Each shelf is just 8" high. I think I have almost as many CD's as the local branch of our Library does, and mine are in much better condition - and better organized. - 6/7/2013   8:31:05 PM
  • SILENTSGIRL
    397
    This list desperately needs some Rick Springfield - just about every hit he had in the 80s had a great beat for a workout, as my MP3 and calorie burn will attest. - 6/7/2013   9:16:51 AM
  • 396
    Hate Love Shack! Can't imagine walking to it. Otherwise the list is good. There are a lot of good songs for the 80's! - 6/6/2013   4:13:47 PM
  • 395
    Aerosmith, "Love in an Elevator" - 6/6/2013   1:39:15 PM
  • 394
    I'd add Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Control by Janet Jackson, and Maniac (from Flashdance). (Edit) just found Relax on the list. So I'll substitute Psycho Killer by Talking Heads and Walk Like an Egyptian. - 6/6/2013   12:55:41 PM
  • 393
    Great list!!! - 6/6/2013   10:16:47 AM
  • 392
    Great list! - 6/6/2013   7:52:47 AM
  • 391
    Frank Stallone - Far From Over - 6/5/2013   1:33:20 PM
  • YACOLTGIRL
    390
    Songs I can actually sing along with because I know the words!!! yeah!!! - 6/5/2013   12:37:04 PM
  • ANDIRUNS1
    389
    LOVE this list! - 6/5/2013   11:54:23 AM
  • DELLMEL
    388
    Love the 80 music better than what they have now. - 6/5/2013   11:41:23 AM
  • 387
    This is a pretty good list of songs. I just may have to pay the $9.99 to download it from iTunes. - 6/5/2013   11:38:54 AM
  • 386
    This is a great list of songs I love most of the song on the list - 6/5/2013   11:27:56 AM
  • 385
    Thanks for the great blog! It brought a smile to my face just remembering all these songs-happy music! Love the picture, too; we had an 80s party at my dance studio a couple of months ago and I had to do a double take because it looks so much like one of the instructors. My only gripe-no Stray Cats! It's hard to NOT move to "Rock This Town"! - 6/5/2013   11:05:55 AM
  • 384
    i like it!
    - 6/5/2013   9:20:35 AM
  • 383
    I think I have the majority of these on my iPOD...I love 80s music....hmmm perhaps I am dating myself

    Too bad Bow wow wow...W.O.R.K isn't on there... - 6/5/2013   9:04:46 AM
  • 382
    LOL, this is my daughter's playlist! Then and now! And no Cher! If I could turn back time from '89 is one of my favorite workout songs. - 6/5/2013   8:49:34 AM
  • 381
    Great List! The really sad thing is that I HAVE a lot of these songs on my iPod. I am going to make me a new mix today! This will be a great playlist to take on vacation for my morning hikes! Thanks!
    - 6/5/2013   8:06:47 AM
  • 380
    I LOVE 80's MUSIC!! - 6/2/2013   5:53:15 PM
  • 379
    love this list. Thanks
    - 4/17/2013   1:41:02 AM
  • 378
    I love the 80's music. People at work make fun of me! - 3/3/2013   3:37:15 AM
  • GLENMORRISGIRL
    377
    I have to say, i just purchased this playlist and am BITTERLY disappointed that the songs are not by the original artists - not cool at all! - 2/19/2013   10:55:09 PM
  • VIDYARP
    376
    How about BoneyM - daddy Cool and Sunny?
    Abba - Money money money, Gimme gimme
    And all the OST for "Top Gun"? - 1/9/2013   6:34:14 AM
  • 375
    Almost all 80's songs work for great workouts. I love it.

    Kaijagoogoo is missing. "Too Shy" and "Do I" are good ones! - 12/21/2012   12:35:03 PM
  • 374
    Where is ACDC and Def Leppard? - 12/11/2012   10:10:30 PM
  • 373
    I think I have most of these songs on my iPod! Child of the 80's here!

    I would add to the list a couple of my current 80's shuffle songs-
    Simple Minds-Alive and Kicking
    Thompson Twins-Hold Me Now
    Pet Shop Boys-What Have I Done to Deserve This & West End Girls
    General Public-Tenderness
    Bananarama-Cruel Summer

    Dang, I have so many! - 12/4/2012   8:54:01 PM
  • 372
    Love the 80's Music !!!!!
    Specially Freestyle Music ! Memories of my childhood growing up.... 80's Rocked !!! - 12/3/2012   11:14:26 PM
  • 371
    Missing songs from Def Leppard and Top Gun Soundtrack!! - 12/3/2012   7:39:28 PM

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