With synths and drum machines on one end, and stadium-worthy guitars on the other, the 80s were one of our favorite decades for music. Huge hits were coming from the U.S. and U.K., both from bands that would have long-established careers and some very memorable one-hit-wonders.
We asked some members of our team to share three favorite songs of the 80s that they think you should request at your wedding!
DJ Steven’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs
Let's Go Crazy by Prince & The Revolution (1984)
We’re starting out on a high note. Everyone—and we do mean everyone—-loves Prince. And this particularly awesome 80s dance song is the party jam of party jams. Modern party anthem wannabes can only aspire to this level of greatness.
Don't You Want Me by The Human League (1982)
So it’s technically a breakup song, but we all just love to sing “Don’t you want me, baby?” loudly and badly. Also, you do you girl. Don’t stay in a relationship that you’ve outgrown. That guy just wants power over you.
Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode (1981)
Another synth-jam, Just Can’t Get Enough is an iconic version of that new 80s dance sound and launched Depeche Mode into stardom. Plus, it’s a love song, so it’s totally wedding-appropriate.
DJ Brian’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs
Africa by Toto (1982)
It’s hard to put your finger on what makes this 80s song so great, but it just grooves, you know? The melody is super catchy, and even though most people mumble their way through the lyrics, everyone knows at least part of the chorus.
Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
One of the most famous and catchy smashes of the 1980s is Come On Eileen. Everything from the riffs to the lyrics to the legendary video (not available on YouTube, unfortunately!) have been stuck in our collective unconscious since the song’s release nearly 40 years ago. Play this one at your wedding and everyone will get into it.
All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Ritchie (1983)
Lionel Ritchie’s Caribbean-inspired vacation song All Night Long (All Night) is a chill-type of party anthem. It’s less “drink until you’re sick” and more “hey cool cats, let’s sip a mai thai and enjoy these sweet jams all night long.” We’re all about it.
DJ Jordan’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Whitney Houston (1987)
We have unilaterally decided that no wedding is complete until this all-time favorite 1980s wedding song has played. There will be no send-off, no sparklers, and no decoration removal until we hear from the Queen of the Night, thankyouverymuch.
Shout by Tears for Fears (1984)
When the DJ needs to give the crowd a breather but doesn’t want to play a super slow song, he can start-up Shout by Tears for Fears. Everyone knows the chorus and they can sing along in between swigs of something refreshing.
Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (1986)
By the mid-80s, the hair bands had a firm grip on the decade’s music scene. Bon Jovi was a little less “glam” and a little more “rock” than some of their contemporaries, which may be why they’re the only band of the genre that is still topping charts.
One of their biggest hits was Livin’ on a Prayer, which will get the entire dance floor sing-screaming “Whooaaaaa, we’re halfway there…”
Also, someone needs to tell Jon Bon Jovi that he’s 59 years old and has no business looking as good as he does.
DJ Ryan’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs
Get Down On It by Kool & The Gang (1981)
At the start of the 80s, funk and disco were still riding the wave of popularity. Get Down On It has such a simple chorus that everyone can sing along.
You Dropped a Bomb On Me by The Gap Band (1982)
It’s clear that DJ Ryan has a soft spot for 80s dance songs that hold over some of that 70s sound. You Dropped a Bomb On Me combines funk with the up-and-coming 80s synth sound for one of their biggest hits.
Fun fact! The Gap Band was created by three brothers, and they named it for three streets in their hometown of Tulsa—Greenwood, Archer, and Pine.
Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart (1984)
Combining pop synth and rock guitar, this song is a jam even with lyrics that are a bit...odd. Does anyone know what this song is actually about? Regardless, the video won the first ever Video of the Year Juno award in Canada, so check it out!
Need more 80s jams on your dance floor? There are SO many good ones from this synth-heavy decade. Get in touch and start planning your wedding with Maryland’s DJ!
Photos by Emily Chastain
See more of Brock and Theresa’s wedding!
Friday, April 16, 2021