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160 Killer Workout Songs From the 1980s

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I've blogged before about how music is my workout buddy. My tastes center on 80s, as that was the time period when I graduated high school (technically 1979), and then college and graduate school.

This project began with perhaps 30 songs in mind. Then 40. Then 50. I could not whittle it down. Then 80. Well, we're at 160. If you load your mp3 player up with these and shuffle them, it will be awhile before you are beset with a repeat. If you are a subscriber to Rhapsody subscription music, message me and we'll discuss how to transfer the full list to you, within that service's software.

No quizzes, as I do not have time to research the answer key; just a list. Here goes:

1. Need You Tonight - INXS
2. Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
3. What Have I Done to Deserve This? - Pet Shop Boys
4. Burning Down the House - The Talking Heads
5. Call Me - Blondie

6. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
7. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
8. Cruel Summer - Bananarama
9. Tuff Enough - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
10. Footloose - Kenny Loggins

How we doin' so far? Liking this?...

11. Let's Go Crazy - Prince
12. The Warrior - Scandal
13. Der Kommissar - After The Fire
14. Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds
15. Kyrie - Mister Mister

16. Kids in America - Kim Wilde
17. Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats
18. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
19. We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel
20. Conga - Miami Sound Machine

Not too shabby of a list, huh? Hang on...

21. Cherry Bomb - John Mellencamp
22. Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
23. Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go - Soft Cell
24. Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
25. Our House - Madness

26. If You Leave - Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark
27. I Ran - A Flock of Seagulls
28. I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany
29. Devil Inside - INXS
30. Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and The Waves

Trip Down Memory Lane? Thought it might be. More...

31. It's The End of the World and I Know It - REM
32. Twist of Fate - Olivia Newton John
33. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
34. Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals
35. Gloria - Laura Branigan

36. Love in an Elevator - Aerosmith
37. Straight Up - Paula Abdul
38. Separate Ways - Journey
39. Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
40. Like a Virgin - Madonna

Apparently, Madonna and I are the same age. Also apparently, Madonna has a slightly larger bank account. Alas...

41. Don't You Forget About Me - Simple Minds
42. I Hate Myself For Loving You - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
43. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. - John Mellancamp
44. Don't You Want Me - Human League
45. Jump - Van Halen

46. Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benetar
47. The Heart of Rock and Roll - Huey Lewis & The News
48. Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) - Pet Shop Boys
49. Centerfold - J. Geils Band
50. And She Was - The Talking Heads

Wow, 50 already...

51. I Heard a Rumor - Bananarama
52. Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
53. New Sensation - INXS
54. Your Love - The Outfield
55. My Prerogative - Bobby Brown

56. People are People - Depeche Mode
57. Our Lips are Sealed - The Go Gos
58. Abracadabra - The Steve Miller Band
59. No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen
60. Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes

There are always 80s songs, there on my mp3 player, to remind me...

61. All For You - Sister Hazel
62. The Tide is High - Blondie
63. Pop Goes the World - Men Without Hats
64. Super Freak - Rick James
65. New Year's Day - U2

66. Material Girl - Madonna
67. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
68. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
69. Tell Her About It - Billy Joel
70. Your Mama Don't Dance - Poison

Ah, Poison. Hair bands. Did you have hair like that? Do you, still?

71. Losing My Religion - REM
72. Physical - Olivia Newton John
73. Rockin' in the Free World - Neil Young
74. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
75. Authority Song - John Mellencamp

76. Self Control - Laura Branigan
77. Wrap it Up - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
78. Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
79. Keep Your Hands to Yourself - Georgia Satellites
80. Rhythm is Gonna Get You - Miami Sound Machine

Don't you just break a sweat listening to Gloria Estaban belt that one out?...

81. Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen
82. I've Had the Time of My Life - Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
83. Let's Hear it For The Boy - Deniece Williams
84. Talking in Your Sleep - The Romantics
85. Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday

86. Wanna Be Startin' Something - Michael Jackson
87. One Way or Another - Blondie
88. Life During Wartime - The Talking Heads
89. You Keep Me Hanging On - Kim Wilde
90. What You Need - INXS

Yes, a few artists appear on this list more than once. Think I like INXS?

91. 1999 - Prince
92. Vacation - The Go Gos
93. You Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
94. Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul
95. West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys

96. Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
97. Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
98. Venus- Bananarama
99. Don't Go - Yaz
100 . Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode

So I got to 100, but I just couldn't get enough! So...

101. A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
102. Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones
103. Suicide Blonde - INXS
104. Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
105. Nothin' At All - Heart

106. Whip It - Devo
107. Church of the Poison Mind - Culture Club
108. A Girl Like You - The Smithereens
109. No More Words - Berlin
110. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals

You'd have thought a band with a name like "Fine Young Cannibals" would be a one-hit wonder. Well, they actually have two songs on this list. Yes, the 80s were weird...

111. Funky Town - Pseudo Echo
112. Heartbreak Beat - The Psychedelic Furs
113. Original Sin - INXS
114. Suddenly Last Summer - The Motels
115. It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls

116. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
117. Just a Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody - David Lee Roth
118. Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
119. Centerfield - John Fogerty
120. Take on Me - A-Ha

Ah... Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free. Hey, how come that was never me in the 80s?...

121. 99 Red Balloons - Nena
122. Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Great White
123. We Built This City - Jefferson Starship
124. American Girl - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
125. Tall Cool One - Robert Plant

126. Real Wild Child - Iggy Pop
127. Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles
128. Bang the Drum all Day - Todd Rundgren
129. Don't Leave Me This Way - The Cummunards
130. Sex (I'm a) - Berlin

Video did indeed kill the radio star. They called it MTV.

131. Wild, Wild West - The Escape Club
132. Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung
133. Disappear - INXS
134. Obsession - Animotion
135. Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant

136. You Spin Me Around (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive
137. Send Me An Angel - Real Life
138. St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) - John Parr
139. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
140. Heat of the Moment - Asia

Asia came out in 1982. That was the year that Argentina thought the Falkland Islands belonged to them, and Britain, in response, pretended it was 1805 all over again.

141. Make a Circuit With Me - The Polecats
142. In a Big Country - Big Country
143. Don'y You Forget About Me - Simple Minds
144. I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Houston
145. Modern Love - David Bowie

146. Puttin on the Ritz - Taco
147. One Thing Leads to Another - The Fixx
148. The Look of Love - ABC
149. 867-5309 (Jenny) - Tommy Tutone
150. Missing You - John Waite

I really am missing the 80s...

151. Rock This Town - The Stray Cats
152. Everybody Wants to Rule The World - Tears for Fears
153. Wild, Wild Life - The Talking Heads
154. Kokomo - The Beach Boys
155. The Dead Heart - Midnight Oil

156. The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em Like That Anymore) - Greg Kihn Band
157. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr.
158. Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins
159. Turn the Beat Around - Miami Sound Machine
160. 65 Love Affair - Paul Davis


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It so nice to see a play list with songs on it that I actually recognize!
    2935 days ago
    Hey, here's one I don't see on your list... it's pretty cool. I only discovered it a few years ago but it's allegedly from the 1990's... - it's a great walking song!!

    Proclaimers "I'm gonna be 500 miles"

    tually the words are kinda sweet!

    emoticon emoticon
    Need to go for a walk... my eyes are going buggy. This is gonna be a big project!

    Here's another cool lyrics & inspiring photos - Flock of Seagulls "I Ran"

    2940 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/13/2012 4:21:45 PM
    I'm building the BOSS61 playlist on YouTube - it's private for now, but supposedly I can send the link? or even make it public later.

    So far I've discovered several I didn't care for or wasn't as familiar with (but to each their own!!)...

    The other thing that I'm doing as I make this playlist, I'm selecting videos that have the lyrics on them (since I never knew the words to the songs in the first place...).

    Here's a link to a really cool version of "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel (not one of my favorite singers - he's probably one of the most polarized singers I know of, as he has songs I either absolutely love and the rest I really just don't like or even hate. There's not much in the way of "in between"... don't know what. But oh well.).

    Anyway this is fun, ans is giving me ideas for my own playlist (some of which are on BlipFM if that website is still working - it seems to be more complicated every time I try to access my favorites on that website!!).


    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2940 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5785843
    Most of these were out well before I was even a gleam in my daddy's eye, but I immediately recognized at least one, usually two of every 5 you listed.

    I think the moral of this story is that synthesizers just make great workout songs.
    2945 days ago
    Dude! Your blog totally rocks!
    2948 days ago
    Super list! I have many of these on my iPod.
    2948 days ago
    Great list! I love your blogs.
    2948 days ago
    Great list of songs.
    2948 days ago
    Re: your comment on my SparkPage re: this blog post: You are correct, Sir! In my flusteredness with all of the 80s memories & forgot that these were YOUR favorite WORKOUT songs from the glorious 80s. (So, your favs are a matter of YOUR opinion & can be whatever you choose.) Not everything related to the 80s was right (for example, TV evangelists & New Coke, right? LOL! Gag me with a spoon!)
    2948 days ago
    Ah the 80s.... You're making me feel about 25 years younger. I guess they'll be playing these songs for us in in the rest home in about another 30 years. I may have missed these, but my suggestions to add are: More Prince: "Little Red Corvette", "Raspberry Beret". I only saw one Flock of Seagulls song (the first band I ever saw on MTV) and no Devo (and I believe those two defined the era, for me, at least, along with Michael Jackson, Cindy Lauper & Madonna, of course). Although not an 80s song, one crucial moment of the 80s was when the whole Huxtable family "sang" i.e., (lip-synced) Ray Charles' "Night & Day" for the Grandparents; Anniversary, featuring Rudy in a key role. That always makes me laugh! --And, speaking of lip syncing, what about Milli Vanilli? Really, I'm not being critical. That decade left us so much to reminisce about. I only wish I could go back in time & live it again, and invest in Apple. : /
    2948 days ago
  • LE7_1234
    Fantastic list!!!
    2948 days ago
    So if I send you an MP3 player - could you load it for me ? :) :) GREAT songs by the way !
    2948 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5319862
    I am an 80's baby, born in 1983. I know, and LOVE, a lot of these songs myself.

    I always wanted to do karaoke to "It's Raining Men." It's on my mental bucket list. :) I will be stealing some of these songs for my own.

    Thank you!!!!

    Also, "Wild Wild West" was put on there twice, at #31 and #131. You can sub in just about anything by Warrant, def Leppard, Poison, get the idea. :)
    2949 days ago
  • BOSS61
    The blog has been repaired to address known duplications and imposters from other decades. Please welcome "Its The End of the World and I Know It" at #31, "Losing my Religion: at #71 and "Turn the Beat Around" at #159. Thanks all for your comments. emoticon
    2949 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/5/2012 8:25:59 AM
  • DALMOM2007
    Great list...although, was it really that long ago.....seems like yesterday.

    Except, one correction:
    Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie & The Blowfish came out in 1995. I loved that whole CD.

    The rest of your list gave me some songs which are still missing in my music library. Time to update it a bit. Also, Devo, Stray Cats...great bands in concert! Loved every minute of the 80's! Great times!

    Thanks for another great blog. emoticon
    2949 days ago
    So how do we join Rhapsody thingy? I was a member once upon an antique computer ago, and the two systems didn't really play nice and I gave up on it....
    2949 days ago
    This list is a labor of love! Love the list and the pics! I graduated in 78 and went to college in Athens GA for a time with the REM boys. College radio, new wave, and punk were a big deal to me, but I was also obsessed with the top 40 tunes. TY for sharing!
    2949 days ago
    Yep. That's one heck of a list and a great flashback to when MTV was truly MUSIC TV.
    2949 days ago
    A lost decade!
    2949 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    I'm not even going to tell you how many of these I know (most.) Suffice it to say, I was at that perfect age to dance the night away to these babies. Thanks for the memories!
    2949 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    Awesome list. :-)
    2949 days ago
    Wow, I actually recognize over half those songs! (I was in Liberia 1981-84, then moved to the VI in August 1987 - basically, I was in the US from 1980-81 and then April 84 to August 87 - not quite half the decade.)

    Mostly, I remember Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder doing "Ebony & Ivory" - and Phil Collins going solo - and skiing with "You Can't Hurry Love" in my ears.
    2949 days ago
    Oh boy, great songs! GREAT MEMORIES! Richard (An Officer & A Gentleman) without white hair!

    The hours spent tooling around listening to the Beach Boys.

    Thanks for this list of memories!
    2949 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6966999
    Hey, Conga was on there twice - 20 + 159! ;-)
    2949 days ago
    emoticon for the memories and hard work on the blog i also need to invest in a M3p player may be ask Santa emoticon glad to see back bloging you have been missed thanks for stopping by sparky page and leaving a note have a good week hope things clam down so have have soe me time. emoticon
    2949 days ago
    Great blog! I needed some fresh songs for my running playlist!
    2949 days ago
    Looks like I need to get to buying some MP3s thanks for doing the research.
    2949 days ago
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