The 101 Top Songs of 1983

We're celebrating 40 years of these classics

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Motown Records

1983 was a hell of year in music. A hell of a year. From Michael Jackson exploding with Thriller, to Flashdance and its respective soundtrack, to rock & roll producing classic after classic, some of the best songs to ever be created in music history were released in the year 1983, and guess what? These songs are turning the big 4-0 this year. That's right, these legendary tracks celebrated/are celebrating their 40th birthday, so we're taking a look back to celebrate right alongside them. There were so many hits in the year 1983 that there was no way we could make this list any shorter than 100. So here it is—the 101 top songs from the year 1983.

Enjoy the throwback.

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1. "Billie Jean"

Michael Jackson

2. "Every Breath You Take"

The Police

3. "Flashdance... What a Feeling"

Irene Cara

4. "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Bonnie Tyler

5. "Beat It"

Michael Jackson

6. "Down Under"

Men at Work

7. Maniac

Michael Sembello

8. "Maneater"

Hall & Oates

9. "Baby, Come to Me"

Patti Austin and James Ingram

10. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"

The Eurythmics

11. "She Works Hard for the Money"

Donna Summer

12. "Come on Eileen"

Dexy's Midnight Runners

13. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"

Culture Club

14. "Let's Dance"

David Bowie

15. "1999"


16. "Always Something There to Remind Me"

Naked Eyes

17. "True"

Spandau Ballet

19. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"

Cyndi Lauper

20. "Cruel Summer"


21. "Thriller"

Michael Jackson

22. "Never Gonna Let You Go"

Sérgio Mendes

23. "Candy Girl"

New Edition

24. "99 Luftballoons"


25. "Between the Sheets"

The Isley Brothers

76 more great songs from 1983:

  • "China Girl" by David Bowie
  • "Don't Let it End" by Styx
  • "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads
  • "Far From Over" by Frank Stallone
  • "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby

"Uptown Girl"

Billie Joel

  • "Shaking Hell" by Sonic Youth
  • "Transformer Man" by Neil Young
  • "Overkill" by Men at Work
  • "Dead Giveaway" by Shalamar
  • "Try Again" by Champagne

"All Night Long" (All Night)

Lionel Richie

  • "Jeopardy" by Gregg Kihn
  • "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2
  • "In the Mood" by Robert Plant
  • "Come Dancing" by The Kinks
  • "Get the Balance Right" - Depeche Mode

"Hungry Like the Wolf"

Duran Duran

  • "Juicy Fruit" by Mtume
  • "Time Will Reveal" by Debarge
  • "Cold Blooded" by Rick James
  • "I Need You" by The Pointer Sisters
  • "Choosey Lover" by The Isley Brothers

"Ain't Nobody"

Chaka Khan

  • "Shame on the Moon" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  • "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant
  • "Africa" by Toto
  • "You Are" by Lionel Richie
  • "Mickey" by Toni Basil
  • "You Can't Hurry Love" by Phil Collins
  • "Gloria" by Laura Branigan
  • "Allentown" by Billie Joel
  • "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley
  • "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye

"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Michael Jackson

  • "Our house" by Madness
  • "Promises, Promises" by Naked Eyes
  • "Heartbreaker" by Dionne Warwick
  • "Fall in Love With Me" by Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth
  • "You Got Lucky" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • "Affair of the Heart" by Rick Springfield
  • "Goodie Two-Shoes" by Adam Ant
  • "She's a Beauty" by The Tubes

"Love is a Battlefield"

Pat Benatar

  • "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard
  • "The Girl is Mine" by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
  • "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" by Laura Branigan
  • "Straight From the Heart" by Bryan Adams
  • "I'll Tumble for Ya" by Culture Club
  • "Don't Cry" by Asia
  • "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton
  • "They Don't Know" by Tracey Ullman
  • "White Lines (Don't Do It)"


The Pointer Sisters

  • "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John
  • "Hot Girls in Love" by Loverboy
  • "The Other Guy" by Little River Band
  • "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes
  • "Legs" by ZZ Top
  • "Just Be Good to Me" by The S.O.S. Band
  • "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson
  • "Party Train" by The Gap Band
  • "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo

"Let the Music Play"


  • "All Night Long" by The Mary Jane Girls
  • "Is There Something I Should Know" by Duran Duran
  • "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash
  • "Make Love Out of Nothing at All" by Air Supply
  • "(She's) Sexy + 17" by Stray Cats
  • "Knockout" by Margie Joseph
  • "Bottom's Up" by The Chi-Lites
  • "Red Red Wine" by UB40
  • "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung
  • "Saved by Zero" by The Fixx

"I've Got a Rock 'n' Roll Heart"

Eric Clapton

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