Top 80’s Songs

March 3, 2024

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New wave, glitter, hair metal bands, leg warmers, rap, DeLoreans, electro-pop—the 1980’s had it all! Howl is celebrating the flashiest decade in April with 80’s Night, featuring drink specials, giveaways and more (varies by location)!  Plus, you can enter to win your very own 80’s Night Happy Hour Party. To get you and your song requests ready for the weekend, here is our most era-defining hits from a time that turned music on its head!

Olivia Newton-John: “Physical”
Numbers don’t lie, and with Physical’s impressive run of twenty-one straight weeks in the number one slot, Olivia Newton-John is responsible for the most popular song of the 1980’s. Physical starts off exactly as it should, full of sparkle and Newton-John’s steady vocals driving the bass line right up into an emphatic chorus that’s style would become the template for the pop songs of the decade that followed. Though not exactly the top-of-mind song for the era any longer, the majority of what came after has a lot to owe to this song’s success.

Bon Jovi: “Livin On a Prayer”
A working-class, east-coast love ballad, this reverb-drenched anthem launched Bon Jovi onto the scene where they have remained for over thirty years. Livin’ On A Prayer shot to number one on the charts and stayed there over four consecutive weeks, but the sound of Richie Sambora’s talk-box guitar and Jon Bon Jovi’s endless showmanship will be cemented in our ears forever. The band’s debut album, Slippery When Wet, has since been certified 12x platinum.

Michael Jackson: “Thriller”
Thriller has the ultimate build up of any pop song. It’s almost as if you can hear the excitement of the room you’re in stirring as the recording’s ambiance rises to its triumphant brass peak. Everything after that point, including all the dancing, is well documented history.

Survivor: “Eye of the Tiger”
Survivor did something that very few artists have been able to accomplish. Writing a song that ends up becoming the pump-up anthem of your era is impressive, but writing something that gets played every day over massive stadium P.A. systems for the world’s stars while also being just as meaningful to a kid with a speaker doing drills in a schoolyard? That simply hasn’t been done since.

Van Halen: “Jump”

Like Thriller, Jump’s introduction has proven unforgettable with time. The feeling that is conveyed, however, is a little different. Jump cradles you through all of its Roth-era peaks and synth-softened valleys. It’s not quite Survivor’s exclamation of victory, but a powerful belief that anything could happen. It is the sound of ending a clouded early eighties, and without knowing where to land, making the jump to the last half of the decade (and Sammy Hagar).

80’s Night Happy Hour Party

Whether you are taking it back or walking through the era for the first time, 80’s Night at Howl at the Moon is the ultimate way to experience the decade! Look out for these songs and plenty more of your favorite tracks as our band rocks you back in time—we promise to look the look the part if you do too.

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