Best of the '80s Redux, Poll — February 26, 2018 at 7:44 am

Top 100 Songs of 1982: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s Redux — Part 3

Time’s up, pencils down — the votes, at long last, have been tabulated. We’re back with the loooong-awaited third installment in the new Best of the ’80s Redux series, the Slicing Up Eyeballs readers poll that’s now ranked the Top 100 songs of 1982.

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 fizzled out after we did the Top 100 songs of 1980 and 1981 (this whole site, you may recall, went dormant for near two years).

RELATED: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Top 100 songs of 1982 — minus the 3 that aren’t on Spotify

For this 1982 poll, participants were allowed 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 7,594 total votes, and, after weeding out songs from the wrong year (The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?” ranked No. 34 in the raw vote for 1982, despite coming in at No. 3 on our 1981 list) and entries from impatient people (“I’m not typing in 24 more song titles. Only unemployed fucking dumbasses have time to do the that”), 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.




1. The Jam, “Town Called Malice”
2. New Order, “Temptation”
3. The Pretenders, “Back on the Chain Gang”
4. INXS, “Don’t Change”
5. XTC, “Senses Working Overtime”
6. Modern English, “I Melt With You”
7. Roxy Music, “More Than This”
8. A Flock of Seagulls, “I Ran (So Far Away)”
9. The Clash, “Rock the Casbah”
10. The Psychedelic Furs, “Love My Way”


11. The English Beat, “Save It For Later”
12. The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed”
13. The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
14. Duran Duran, “Hungry Like the Wolf”
15. A Flock of Seagulls, “Space Age Love Song”
16. Yazoo, “Only You”
17. Simple Minds, “Promised You a Miracle”
18. Haircut 100, “Love Plus One”
19. Duran Duran, “Save a Prayer”
20. ABC, “The Look of Love”


21. Madness, “Our House”
22. Duran Duran, “Rio”
23. Yazoo, “Don’t Go”
24. Dexys Midnight Runners, “Come On Eileen”
25. Wall of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio”
26. Peter Gabriel, “Shock the Monkey”
27. Joe Jackson, “Steppin’ Out”
28. Billy Idol, “White Wedding”
29. Yazoo, “Situation”
30. INXS, “The One Thing”


31. The Clash, “Straight to Hell”
32. Depeche Mode, “Leave in Silence”
33. Talk Talk, “Talk Talk”
34. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message”
35. Squeeze, “Black Coffee in Bed”
36. Tears For Fears, “Mad World”
37. The Go-Go’s, “Vacation”
38. R.E.M., “Gardening at Night”
39. Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”
40. Prince, “1999”


41. Roxy Music, “Avalon”
42. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Slowdive”
43. ABC, “Poison Arrow”
44. Duran Duran, “The Chauffeur”
45. The Cure, “The Hanging Garden”
46. Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Back of Love”
47. The Cure, “One Hundred Years”
48. David Bowie, “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”
49. Tears For Fears, “Pale Shelter”
50. The Cure, “A Strange Day”


51. Depeche Mode, “See You”
52. Adam Ant, “Goody Two Shoes”
53. Gang of Four, “I Love a Man in Uniform”
54. Romeo Void, “Never Say Never”
55. Split Enz, “Six Months in a Leaky Boat”
56. The Fixx, “Stand or Fall”
57. Prince, “Little Red Corvette”
58. Adam Ant, “Desperate But Not Serious”
59. Men Without Hats, “The Safety Dance”
60. Berlin, “The Metro”


61. The Fixx, “Red Skies”
62. Ultravox, “Reap the Wild Wind”
63. Simple Minds, “Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime)”
64. Thomas Dolby, “Europa and the Pirate Twins”
65. The The, “Uncertain Smile”
66. A Flock of Seagulls, “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)”
67. The Motels, “Only the Lonely”
68. Heaven 17, “Let Me Go”
69. Blancmange, “Living on the Ceiling”
70. The Associates, “Party Fears Two”


71. Bow Wow Wow, “I Want Candy”
72. Toto, “Africa”
73. Midnight Oil, “Power and the Passion”
74. Eurythmics, “Love is a Stranger”
75. Marshall Crenshaw, “Someday Someway”
76. The Cure, “The Figurehead”
77. Missing Persons, “Words”
78. Translator, “Everywhere That I’m Not”
79. Cocteau Twins, “Wax and Wane”
80. Marvin Gaye, “Sexual Healing”


81. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Melt!”
82. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Beyond Belief”
83. Culture Club, “Time (Clock of the Heart)”
84. Missing Persons, “Destination Unknown”
85. Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me with Science”
86. Bauhaus, “Spirit”
87. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
88. The Church, “Almost With You”
89. Bauhaus, “Third Uncle”
90. R.E.M., “Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)”


91. Thompson Twins, “In the Name of Love”
92. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Fireworks”
93. Simple Minds, “New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84)”
94. Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City”
95. After the Fire, “Der Kommissar”
96. R.E.M., “Wolves, Lower”
97. Rush, “Subdivisions”
98. The English Beat, “I Confess”
99. Missing Persons, “Walking in L.A.”
100. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “You Got Lucky”






  1. Some of the songs I suggested made it on the list! YAY!!!!

  2. Thanks! Streaming it on Spotify now! :D

  3. Thanks so much for doing this. It has to be such a humongoid task to shift through all those votes but it ends up being lots of fun for us!

    About half the songs I voted for made the cut (including our #1.) Can’t wait for 1983!

  4. Paul Carpenter

    Wow, great list, should of thought Party Fears Two should of been higher than 70, and no Elvis Costello, Man Out Of Time, recount, lol

  5. I was surprised to see Bruce Springsteen and Marvin Gaye on this list.
    (Not that they haven’t made some great music)
    Their music seems at odds with others on the list as opposed to David Bowie (belongs on list) and Tom Petty (belongs on list at that point in his career).
    Overall, Thank you for this!

  6. I personally listened to Soft Cell a lot in 82, but a good list none the less

  7. Jason Michener

    Awesome to see this is back. Will be my soundtrack for the next few weeks. Thanks so much !

  8. I am beyond pleasantly surprised to see The Jam in the top spot! Fantastic list (and I’m not just saying that because most of the songs I voted for placed well.)

    • Truly a, “knock me over with a feather,” moment for me too. I thought for sure the Cure, Depeche Mode or the Smiths would have that spot (like so many of the other lists). The Jam have spoken!

  9. Such a great year. Even the stupidest shit on this list was actually pretty good, and looks even better given the sorry state of the pop charts of today.

  10. This is great.
    I remember typing these up a couple of years back and so happy it’s on again. yeahhhhhhhhhhh.

  11. Damar Fillmore

    I’m so glad I was born in 1982. So many great songs on this list really change my life and inspired me to become a black rock musician.

  12. Upon its release in March 1982, _ _ _ _ reached #1 in the US and spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard album chart. It was certified 4x-platinum in the US by the RIAA on 10 February 1995.

    Not a single track from that album made the top 100? Oh you music hipsters! I removed the name of the album out of fear it might trigger someone here.

    • Does anybody still listen to Asia today?

      I mean, seriously.

      • Has anyone listened to After The Fire since 1982?

        What’s amusing about the list is the apparent need that voters have for their favorites to be popular among other voters while also being “off the radar” in terms of “mainstream” popularity.

        Better to have a strong musical compass that doesn’t require validation from others.

        Asia has been a strong, money-making band until John Wetton’s death in 2017. So yes—they continue to have an audience.

        Many bands in the list couldn’t make it to 1983. Doesn’t mean their 1982 track wasn’t wonderful, but staying power can be measured more than one way.

        • Grandmaster Flash – RAP/Hip Hop
          David Bowie Popular amongst all genres
          Prince – R&B, Rock, Pop, Soul
          Toto – AOR
          Marvin Gaye – R&B
          Michael Jackson R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco
          Bruce Springsteen – Rock, AOR
          Rush – AOR, Prog
          Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – AOR, Southern-fried Rock.
          Seems we music hipsters like all kinds of music, not just one we need to be popular/off the radar. Sorry about Asia.

        • I still hear “Der Kommissar” on oldies stations — just a few days ago in fact. Sure the band was a one hit wonder but people still have a fondness for the hit.

          I never hear “Heat of the Moment” or “Only Time Will Tell” (the later song I will confess to sort of liking) anywhere. Not that this means they don’t get played, of course.

          Do I have a point? Maybe not, other than while there a few songs on this list that don’t fit within the 80’s college rock they tend to be songs that are remembered 35 years later

          • I’ll also ad that more than a third of the list were top 40 singles in the US, and more than a dozen were top 10 singles so I’m not sure where one gets the sense that those who voted on this list had a need for their picks being “off the radar.”

        • Dean, you have to remember the audience of this site…fans of the stuff that WASN’T mainstream, for the most part . And I don’t know if I even considered a band’s longevity when I put together my own list of 25…just the songs I loved the absolute most coming out of that year. Isn’t that what most of us did? Sidenote: I still listen to both Asia AND After the Fire. :)

    • Heat of the Moment is on that right? It made it to #4 in the U.S.

    • I love Asia, personally. This first album especially is one of the albums from my youth I go back to regularly. Of all the musicians who have died in the past couple of years, John Wetton hit me hardest.

  13. So there’s enough fans (and not just Jam fans) to get Town Called Malice #1 but no Beat Surrender? How is that not somewhere in the top 100? Toto and Michael Jackson but no Beat Surrender – WTF?!?

  14. Thanks, Matt. Good to have these lists back. Solid results. But no love for two great songs from 1982: “An Interlude” by the Church and “In Shreds” by the Chameleons.

    • Jay Montgomery

      I voted for “An Interlude” (and “You Took”) over better-known Church songs, so it got at least 2 votes.

  15. Out of that list, here’s my top 10 :

    10 Tears for Fears : Mad World
    9. Tears for Fears : Pale Shelter
    8. Bauhaus : Third Uncle
    7. Bauhaus : Spirit
    6. Simple Minds : Promised You a Miracle
    5. Simple Minds : New Gold Dream
    4. Roxy Music : Avalon
    3. The The : Uncertain Smile
    2. Roxy Music : More Than This
    1. New Order : Temptation

    Shout out to CFNY out of Toronto for introducing me to this weird, wonderful music. Seems like a million years ago. God i’m getting old …

  16. “Never Say Never” was #20 on the 1981 list.

  17. I notice that Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” was not included since it was from 1981. Yet I also notice that Tom Petty’s “Refugee” made the 1980 list even thought it was from 1979.

    I do understand the need to establish some specific criteria and I also understand human error can factor into things like this — especially so a massive undertaking like this — but just thought I’d point that out.

    Thanks again for doing this. Can’t wait for the 1983 poll.

  18. Paul Carpenter

    Ive already got my 25 for 1983 and 1984

  19. Was surprised Joe Jackson’s Breaking Us in Two was not in the Top 100. Was NOT surprised Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon wasn’t either. Lovely song, though.

  20. TeenageKicked

    Though my personal tastes tend to lean toward punk and powerpop, I am surprised these didn’t make the list:

    X – Motel Room in My Bed
    The Replacements – Kids Don’t Follow
    Descendents – Suburban Home (VERY surprised about this one)
    Dream Syndicate – Tell Me When It’s Over
    The Plimsouls – Million Miles Away

    • I’m seeing Plimsouls getting voted on in 1983, but thought it was an 82 single myself.

      What is the definitive source for dates of single release for research? Are we just wikipedia-ing this?

  21. Billy Casper

    As a Brit who was a teenager in the 80’s it’s very interesting to see the relatively high placings of UK bands such as Culture Club, Duran Duran, ABC etc. It comes as a real surprise these bands would have been played on US college radio or considered somehow underground or alternative. Here in the UK they were, without question, the most commercial, mainstream & overplayed chart acts around and scoffed at by kids into indie and alternative music.

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