Best of the '80s Redux, Poll — April 1, 2019 at 6:59 am

Top 100 Songs of 1984: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s Redux — Part 5

April fools? No, it’s true, we’re back — finally, belatedly, etc. — with the results of the fifth installment of our Best of the ’80s Redux series, the sporadic Slicing Up Eyeballs readers poll in which our readers have now ranked the Top 100 songs of 1984.

A quick refresher: The Best of the ’80s Redux song polls were launched a few years ago following our wildly popular Best of the ’80s year-by-year album polls, but slowly petered out after we conducted the Top 100 songs of 1980 and 1981 surveys. (This whole site went dormant for near two years.)

RELATED: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Top 100 songs of 1984 playlist on Spotify

We resurrected the polls last year, and completed balloting on the 1982 and 1983 surveys.

Now comes the results for 1984.

For the ’84 poll, readers were asked to vote for up to 25 of their favorite songs that first were released in some form (single, album track, etc.) during that calendar year.

We received 5,587 total votes, and, after weeding out songs from the wrong year — including a whopping 15 songs that initially made 1984’s Top 100 despite having already appeared on 1983’s Top 100 — and flipping a coin to break ties, we created this list.

So thank you all for voting and sharing your thoughts. Take a look at the Top 100 list below — and feel free to offer your own take on the results, good or bad, in the comments below.

 

 

SLICING UP EYEBALLS READERS POLL: TOP 100 SONGS OF 1984

 

1. Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon”
2. R.E.M., “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now”
4. Talk Talk, “It’s My Life”
5. The Psychedelic Furs, “The Ghost in You”
6. New Order, “Thieves Like Us”
7. Killing Joke, “Eighties”
8. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Dazzle”
9. The Smiths, “What Difference Does it Make?”
10. Prince, “When Doves Cry”

 

11. Depeche Mode, “People are People”
12. Depeche Mode, “Blasphemous Rumours”
13. The Cure, “The Caterpillar”
14. Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy”
15. R.E.M., “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville”
16. General Public, “Tenderness”
17. Ministry, “(Every Day Is) Halloween”
18. Alphaville, “Forever Young”
19. Tones on Tail, “Go!”
20. U2, “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

 

21. The Go-Go’s, “Head Over Heels”
22. Depeche Mode, “Master and Servant”
23. Prince, “Purple Rain”
24. The Psychedelic Furs, “Heaven”
25. Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls”
26. The Replacements, “I Will Dare”
27. Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”
28. The Smiths, “Reel Around the Fountain”
29. U2, “Bad”
30. Echo & The Bunnymen, “Seven Seas”

 

31. R.E.M., “Pretty Persuasion”
32. Tears For Fears, “Shout”
33. Ultravox, “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes”
34. David Bowie, “Blue Jean”
35. Hoodoo Gurus, “I Want You Back”
36. Billy Bragg, “A Lover Sings”
37. The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods”
38. Billy Bragg, “The Saturday Boy”
39. The Smiths, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”
40. Simple Minds, “Up on the Catwalk”

 

41. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Two Tribes”
42. A-ha, “Take On Me”
43. Alphaville, “Big in Japan”
44. The Cars, “Drive”
45. Cocteau Twins, “Lorelei”
46. Depeche Mode, “Somebody”
47. Duran Duran, “The Wild Boys”
48. Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”
49. Cocteau Twins, “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops”
50. The Replacements, “Unsatisfied”

 

51. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “Tesla Girls”
52. The Cure, “Shake Dog Shake”
53. The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
54. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, “Are You Ready to be Heartbroken?”
55. Romeo Void, “A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)”
56. The Special AKA, “Nelson Mandela”
57. Human League, “The Lebanon”
58. Husker Dü, “Pink Turns To Blue”
59. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Perfect Skin”
60. Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer”

 

61. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Swimming Horses”
62. The Go-Betweens, “Bachelor Kisses”
63. Bruce Springsteen, “Dancing in the Dark”
64. Nik Kershaw, “Wouldn’t It Be Good?”
65. R.E.M., “7 Chinese Bros.”
66. The Replacements, “Answering Machine”
67. Thomas Dolby, “Hyperactive!”
68. U2, “The Unforgettable Fire”
69. Band Aid, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
70. Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”

 

71. Hunters & Collectors, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”
72. Simple Minds, “Speed Your Love To Me”
73. Berlin, “No More Words”
74. The Chills,”Pink Frost”
75. Blancmange, “Don’t Tell Me”
76. Echo & The Bunnymen, “Silver”
77. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, “Rattlesnakes”
78. The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Upside Down”
79. Time Zone featuring John Lydon, “World Destruction”
80. Animotion, “Obsession”

 

81. Prefab Sprout, “When Love Breaks Down”
82. Echo & The Bunnymen, “Ocean Rain”
83. Prince, “I Would Die 4 U”
84. Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah”
85. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “From Her To Eternity”
86. Queen, “Radio Ga Ga”
87. Spandau Ballet, “Only When You Leave”
88. The Bangles, “Hero Takes a Fall”
89. Cocteau Twins, “Ivo”
90. Depeche Mode, “Lie to Me”

 

91. Eurythmics, “Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)”
92. Lou Reed, “I Love You, Suzanne”
93. Bronski Beat, “Why?”
94. Midnight Oil, “Best of Both Worlds”
95. Cabaret Voltaire, “Sensoria”
96. Modern English, “Hands Across the Sea”
97. INXS, “I Send a Message”
98. Los Lobos, “Will The Wolf Survive”
99. The Blue Nile, “Tinseltown in the Rain”
100. The Stranglers, “Skin Deep”

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. Gavin O'Neill

    I was 15 years old in Napa, CA listening to college radio. Every one of these songs changed my life. Listening to this music meant making a dangerous choice to step outside of the heard, and there would be a price to be paid in violence and intimidation. I eventually dropped out of high school. I still maintain that finding this music was the best thing that ever happened to me. It got me young and in the heart. Thank you for the list. -Gavin

  2. No way PSBoys “West End Girls” is #25, has to be in the top 5.

    And absolutely no way should Don Henley be in the top 100.

    • Nels Highberg

      I think a lot of people thought “West End Girls” was released with their first album in 1986 and didn’t know it was actually released as a single two years earlier. When I voted, I checked that more than once because it did seem odd.

    • Don Henley, perhaps, but “The Boys of Summer,” yes.

      It’s simple. A great song is a great song.

  3. Tried super hard to make sure my picks were first released in 1984, so I was a little surprised to see these didn’t make the cut:
    Close (To the Edit) – Art of Noise
    The More You Live, the More You Love – A Flock of Seagulls
    NeverEnding Story – Limahl (total guilty pleasure but so totally 1984)
    The Beautiful Ones – Prince
    The Paris Match – The Style Council
    Dum Dum Girl – Talk Talk
    A Sort of Homecoming – U2

    • I really, really, wanted to vote for “A Sort of Homecoming” but because of the “no more than two songs from one artist” rule it got ditched in favor of “Pride” and “The Unforgettable Fire.”

      Glad to see at least one song from Eurythmics forgotten (and unused) 1984 soundtrack make the cut.

      Altogether 12 of the 25 songs I voted for ended up on the final list.

  4. “When love breaks down” and “pink frost” are top 10 in my book.

  5. No. 47 was a giant shark-jump (although they soon recovered), but the rest of this playlist is spinning at a really good party in some alternate universe right now.

  6. Love that Prince is on this list several times!!

  7. I also remember west end girls being huge when it came out.

  8. The 84 version of west end girls is not the version everyone knows from 1985. It’s weaker and more demo-ish and rightfully isn’t ranked high on the list.

    The Don Henley song is rather dark, glad to see others know it. Its a crossover song; doesn’t happen often we’re all too stubborn. :)

  9. The 1984 version of “Take On Me” is not the album version that reached #1 with the rotoscopic video. THAT song was released in 1985. The 1984 version fell flat and is quite different in style and production.

  10. What a great year! just reading this list takes me back to so many great memories of high school.

    Great job, all who voted!!

    Love this!

  11. 1984 was the pinnacle year for the Thompson Twins. They released 4 singles on both sides of the Atlantic, made one of the most definitive albums of the decade (#1 UK, #10 US), toured the world twice (costing @12K per day), made a music film, and yet they don’t appear on this chart?

    • I agree, plus nothing from XTC’s “Big Express” which was an amazing album full of great choices. Nothing from Pretenders “Learning to Crawl” (though many of the bigger songs were released as singles before ’84, still… Time the Avenger?) Great list, but very interesting what DIDN’T make it.

  12. I’m really enjoying this list, especially seeing Lloyd Cole and the Commotions take 3 slots. Not surprised by Killing Moon taking the number one spot, it was the song I saw on nearly everyone’s list. I’m really wondering about the numbers. Any chance of getting a few examples… like how many votes for the top five compared to number of votes received by the bottom five? Or maybe the numbers for 1, 10, 20, 30, etc. up to 100?

    And I can’t wait for the arguments about West End Girls and Take on Me, since both should be high in 86 and 85 respectively, but will this poll pollute those results?

    On to ’85!

  13. Michael Hopf

    Guys must really like Echo+ the BM. Not a bad band, but better than When Doves Cry? Better than How Soon is Now? Not a chance.

    • Since there is no weighting, the high spots are simply raw number of times the song appeared in the Top 25. So, Killing Moon simply appeared on more lists than any other song… even if it was #25 on every list, that didn’t matter.

      If there was weighting (more work for Matt, not going to happen) to give 1, 2, 3 place more points or something, you’d see such a different list. Wish we could get the raw data dumped, so we could play with it ourselves. Just a simple Excel sheet would be cool.

  14. I was more concerned how R.E.M made it to #2 ahead of the rest of the top 5. Blasphemy

  15. 16 of my 25 picks made it. Definitely disappointed that Lake of Fire by the Meat Puppets missed the cut.

    Definitely could’ve done without Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen and Queen. Also, a few less Depeche Mode songs would’ve been nice. Decent list for the most part.

  16. Great List ! Exotic.

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