I searched far and wide for lists of best 80s songs of all time. Criteria included the songs being ranked, not just listed, and generally created by groups, whether teams or committees or based on general public voting (like Ranker.com). Lists that had limits, like certain styles or moods, were not included.

I was able to find 14 lists. I took the 14 lists and added all their content into a spreadsheet, noting the rank of every song. The total number was over 1,800 including all the repeats. I experimented with different formulas, trying to balance the value of being ranked high on any list and being included on the most lists. I ended up averaging the rankings each song got (there were 387 that were on at least 2 lists) and dividing that average by a factor of the number of lists that it was on. The lowest score meant a top ranking average on many lists. The complete spreadsheet is attached at the bottom.

The songs that were on the most lists (out of 14) were:

  • When Doves Cry by Prince – 13 lists
  • Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses – 11 lists
  • Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners – 11 lists
  • With or Without You by U2 – 11 lists
  • Jump, by Van Halen – 11 lists
  • Every Breath You Take by The Police – 10 lists
  • I Love Rock N’ Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – 10 lists
  • Take On Me by A-ha – 10 lists
  • Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds – 10 lists

Here are links to the lists I used along with dates the lists were created: