We’ve now crossed the halfway mark of our Best of the ’80s Redux series of year-by-year song polls as we move on to the year 1986, giving Slicing Up Eyeballs readers the chance to vote for their 25 favorites as we rank the 100 best songs released that year.

The Best of the ’80s Redux polls launched in 2015 and covered 1980 and 1981 before fizzling out (the whole site ultimately went on hiatus for almost two years). But in 2018 we kickstarted the series, and relaunched it with polls over the last two years that ranked the best songs of 19821983, 1984 and 1985.

VOTING: For the album polls (and our subsequent artist discography polls), we presented you with a list, sometimes hundreds of titles long, to choose from, plus the ability to offer write-ins. We inevitably missed titles, and some argued this skewed the results. So this time, it’s a (mostly) free-for-all. You may vote for any songs you’d like — singles, B-sides, album cuts, etc. It’s all fill-in-the-blanks, not multiple choice.

A few important things to note:

  • To be eligible, songs must have been released in some format — whether it be on an album, EP or a single — for the first time during the year 1986. That means, for example, that a song that’s released as a single in 1987 will be eligible for the 1986 poll if it first appeared on an album released in 1986. Splitting hairs? Sure, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
  • But wait! There’s an exception. The so-called “Radio Free Europe” rule. Just as we allowed R.E.M.’s twice-released debut single to be voted on in two different years, we’ll let people vote twice for songs that are re-released in re-recorded versions — such as a-ha’s “Take On Me” and Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” which made the 1984 and 1985 lists. That, however, does not mean The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” will be eligible in this poll. Why not? The single re-release in 1986 wasn’t a new recording, simply a remixed version of the original with new vocals.
  • With the album polls, acknowledging the theme of this website, we limited voting to artists that fall under the very loose and ill-defined “alternative” banner, generally acts from the punk, post-punk, goth, college rock, indie, synthpop, industrial, New Wave and related genres. Not the case anymore — although that’s still likely how the results will skew. For the song polls, vote for whatever you want.
  • Well, there is one limit. To prevent one-note fans from, say, simply listing every track off Black Celebration, you may only vote for a maximum of two songs by the same artist when filling out your Top 25. Any ballots submitted with more than two songs by the same artist will be disqualified.

DEADLINE: Voting will be open through 5 p.m. ET Friday, Jan. 17, and results will be posted at some point thereafter — after which we’ll launch the 1987 poll and take it from there.

Sound good? Then vote away via the survey widget posted below. And if you have trouble with that embedded widget, you may vote directly on Polldaddy’s site.

And because there’s not a pre-set list to choose from, we encourage you to lobby for your picks (list your whole ballot if you want), and maybe sway some votes, in the comments below.

Finally, if you’re drawing a blank on what came out that year, take a look back at our Top 100 albums of 1986 poll results, or check out these other resources: