Dark times right now amidst this global pandemic, but perhaps we can offer some diversion as we finally deliver the seventh installment of our Best of the ’80s Redux series, the sporadic Slicing Up Eyeballs poll in which our readers have now ranked the Top 100 songs of 1986.

A quick refresher: The Best of the ’80s Redux song polls were launched five 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 nearly two years.)

RELATED: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Top 100 songs of 1986 playlist on Spotify

We resurrected the polls in 2018, and completed balloting on the 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985 surveys.

Now comes the results for 1986.

For the ’86 poll, readers were asked to vote for up to 25 of their favorite songs that first were released in some form — as a single, B-side, on an album, etc. — during that calendar year.

We received 6,528 total votes, and, after weeding out songs from the wrong year — including eight that already appeared on previous years’ rankings, such as “Cities in Dust,” “What You Need” and “West End Girls” — and flipping a coin to break ties, we created this list. And, invoking the so-called “Radio Free Europe” rule, we’ve included one song that previously charted in 1981: The Psychedelic Furs’ “Pretty in Pink,” since it was re-recorded for the 1986 film.

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.





1. New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
2. The Smiths, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”
3. R.E.M. “Fall On Me”
4. XTC, “Dear God”
5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “If You Leave”
6. Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
7. Public Image Ltd., “Rise”
8. The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
9. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
10. The Housemartins, “Happy Hour”


11. Prince and the Revolution, “Kiss”
12. Depeche Mode, “Stripped”
13. The Psychedelic Furs, “Heartbreak Beat”
14. Duran Duran, “Notorious”
15. Hüsker Dü, ”Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely”
16. Skinny Puppy, “Dig It”
17. Billy Bragg, “Greetings To the New Brunette”
18. Depeche Mode, “Black Celebration”
19. They Might Be Giants, “Don’t Let’s Start”
20. The Smiths, “Panic”


21. Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”
22. Depeche Mode, “But Not Tonight”
23. Billy Bragg, “Levi Stubbs’ Tears”
24. The Chameleons, “Swamp Thing”
25. The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Some Candy Talking”
26. The Smithereens, “Blood and Roses”
27. R.E.M., “Superman”
28. The Smiths, “Ask”
29. The Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
30. Pet Shop Boys, “Suburbia”


31. The Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
32. Erasure, “Oh L’Amour”
33. World Party, “Ship of Fools”
34. The Human League, “Human”
35. New Order, “Shellshock”
36. The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty in Pink”
37. Depeche Mode, “A Question of Time”
38. Love and Rockets, “Kundalini Express”
39. Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11”
40. Ministry, “The Angel”


41. Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
42. Big Country, “Look Away”
43. Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”
44. The Smithereens, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”
45. Peter Gabriel, “Don’t Give Up”
46. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Candyman”
47. Gene Loves Jezebel, “Desire (Come and Get It)”
48. The Bangles, “Manic Monday”
49. Peter Gabriel, “Red Rain”
50. Love and Rockets, “All In My Mind”


51. Depeche Mode, “A Question of Lust”
52. Erasure, “Sometimes”
53. R.E.M., “Begin the Begin”
54. Suzanne Vega, “Left of Center”
55. The The, “Infected”
56. Julian Cope, “World Shut Your Mouth”
57. Midnight Oil, “The Dead Heart”
58. Big Audio Dynamite, “C’mon Every Beatbox”
59. Beastie Boys, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
60. David Bowie, “Absolute Beginners”


61. The Stranglers, “Always the Sun”
62. The Smiths, “The Queen is Dead”
63. XTC, “Earn Enough For Us”
64. The Call, “I Still Believe (Great Design)”
65. Bananarama, “Venus”
66. Billy Bragg, “Help Save the Youth of America”
67. Eurythmics, “Missionary Man”
68. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, “(Forever) Live and Die”
69. Berlin, “Take My Breath Away”
70. New Order, “As It Was When It Was”


71. Hüsker Dü, “Sorry Somehow”
72. Prince and the Revolution, “Mountains”
73. The Smiths, “Cemetry Gates”
74. Love and Rockets, “Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)”
75. New Order, “Paradise”
76. Run-DMC, “It’s Tricky”
77. New Order, “All Day Long”
78. John Taylor, “I Do What I Do (Theme for 9½ Weeks)”
79. Ministry, “All Day Remix”
80. David + David, “Welcome to the Boomtown”


81. Run-DMC, “Walk This Way”
82. Crowded House, “World Where You Live”
83. Howard Jones, “No One Is To Blame”
84. New Order, “State of the Nation”
85. The Mission, “Wasteland”
86. R.E.M., “I Believe”
87. a-ha, “I’ve Been Losing You”
88. Cocteau Twins, “Love’s Easy Tears”
89. Duran Duran, “Skin Trade”
90. Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”


91. Eurythmics, “Thorn In My Side”
92. Furniture, “Brilliant Mind”
93. Sonic Youth, “Starpower”
94. Belinda Carlisle, “Mad About You”
95. Andy Taylor, “Take It Easy”
96. Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”
97. Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”
98. Paul Simon, “The Boy in the Bubble”
99. Primal Scream, “Velocity Girl”
100. Madonna, “Live to Tell”