RIP disco -- the '70s are over and it's time for a fresh new decade of music. With the dawn of the 1980s, music lovers traded in their platform shoes and jumpsuits for a whole new style. Pop music developed a dance focus, with new wave and electronic beats topping the charts. Synthesizers were so popular that synth-pop became a thing for the first time, as digital recording changed the way artists worked in the studio and gave albums -- and those cutting-edge cassette tapes -- a whole new vibe.
Chart toppers include fun pop acts like Cyndi Lauper and Paul Abdul, boy bands like New Kids on the Block, British acts from David Bowie to Phil Collins and enigmas like Prince -- who was still embracing that name at the time. And of course, there was the rise of Madonna, who went on to become one of the bestselling female artists of all time, and this guy named Michael Jackson, who killed everyone else's chances for chart-topping success with a little '80s album called "Thriller."
In addition to all these great acts and new tech, the '80s brought one more innovation that would change music forever -- a little channel called MTV. Starting in 1981, they played music videos around the clock, giving fans a never-before-seen look at their favorite singers. Think you can sing along to every great '80s hit? Prove your '80s music IQ with this lyrics quiz, and don't forget your scrunchie!
It was that smell of sweet perfume that left MJ's head spinning in "Billie Jean." The tune was the second single from Jackson's 1982 album, "Thriller," which has since become one of the bestselling albums of all time. It was during a performance of "Billie Jean" in 1983 that Jackson debuted his moon walk.
Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" was featured on their 1986 album, "Slippery When Wet." In this classic tune, a pair of working class kids named Tommy and Gina will do anything to make their love work, with Gina putting in long hours at the diner and Tommy hocking his beloved guitar.
This obsessively creepy song by The Police appears on their 1983 album, "Synchronicity," and even won a Grammy for Song of the Year. If you really listen though, it sounds like the vocalist, with his achin' heart, is a little bit too into the object of his affection.
The songwriter of "Walk Like an Egyptian" was inspired to write the song after seeing people struggling to maintain their balance on a ferry. The song became a major hit for The Bangles when it was released as the third single from their 1983 album, "Different Light."
Foreigner had a major hit on their hands with the 1984 power ballad, "I Wanna Know What Love Is." This lead single from their fifth album, "Agent Provocateur," became the band's only No. 1 pop song on the U.S. charts.
Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha was coming for your love, if that's OK, in their 1984 hit, "Take On Me." This new wave hit took advantage of all that synthesizer power in the '80s to craft an upbeat song with a fast tempo and plenty of fun falsetto.
Cyndi Lauper was already a pop star in 1984 when she released her second single, "Time After Time," if which she promises to catch you every time you fall. The tune came from her album, "She's So Unusual," which earned a 1985 Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.
Every girl in the late '80s dreamed of a kiss from the New Kids on the Block, even one with a twist, as in the lyrics to their song, "You Got It (The Right Stuff." Donnie, Danny, Joe, Jordan and Jon were stealing hearts and selling millions of those giant buttons to fans by the dawn of the '90s.
Even if you've never seen the 1983 Jennifer Beals flick, "Flashdance," you've probably heard its theme song "Flashdance (What a Feeling.)" The tune became Irene Cara's only No. 1 song, but listeners still remember how she was dancing for her life.
Tina Turner made people believe when she referred to love as a second-hand emotion in her 1984 hit, "What's Love Got to Do with It?" The song appeared on her fifth album, "Private Dancer," and was her first No. 1 hit on the U.S. charts.
Men at Work had a hit on their hands with the 1980 single, "Down Under." Apparently, back in Australia, men are busy plundering while the women sit around glowing.
Duran Duran made girls swoon with their 1982 new wave hit, "Hungry Like the Wolf," from their second album, "Rio." It didn't hurt that the music video for the song featured a sexy Simon Le Bon running wild in the forests of Sri Lanka.
So today it's a great way to Rickroll someone, but in the '80s, "Never Gonna Give You Up" was a seriously cool song. It appeared on Rick Astley's debut album, "Whenever You Need Somebody," and included Rick's promise to never run around.
Madonna had a huge pop hit on her hands with "Like a Prayer." The No. 1 song was the lead single on her fourth album, "Like a Prayer," which came out in 1989.
Australian singer Rick Springfield coveted his best friend's woman in the '80s favorite, "Jessie's Girl." The song appeared on Springfield's "Working Class Dog" album, and picked up a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
George Michael begged his lover not to leave him hanging on like a yo-yo in Wham!'s hit song, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." This perfect piece of '80s music glory came out in 1984 and became the band's first No. 1 in both the U.S. and U.K.
With hits like "All Night Long," it's no wonder former Commodore Lionel Richie was such a stud in the '80s. His hit, "All Night Long," from his album, "Can't Slow Down" helped fans find the rhythm in their feet in 1983.
Music lovers could feet "it" coming in the air in the 1981 Phil Collins song, "In the Air Tonight." Released as the lead single on the album, "Face Value," the song was Collins' attempt to capture the emotions he felt after divorcing his first wife.
Madonna referred to music as a revelation in her 1985 single, "Into the Groove." The feel-good island-inspired dance classic was written for the film, "Desperately Seeking Susan," in which Madonna co-starred opposite Rosanna Arquette.
The 1982 hit, "Under Pressure," was a joint effort between David Bowie and Queen. It appeared on the 1982 Queen release, "Hot Space," and compared the pressure of living to a terror."
British band Whitesnake first released the power ballad, "Here I Go Again," in 1982, but it wasn't until it was re-released in 1987 on the album, "Whitesnake," that it became a mega hit. The song's vocalist isn't afraid to live like a drifter, walking alone once again.
Salt-n-Pepa had a hit single with the 1987 release of "Push It." The song, which also appeared on the re-issued version of the duo's album, "Hot, Cool and Vicious," urged listeners to push it good -- whatever "it" was.
This, right here is what sweet dreams are made up of -- at least according to the British duo, Eurthymics. Their 1984 song, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," flew up the charts, largely due to the captivating androgynous appearance of Annie Lennox in the song's music video.
Soft Cell had a hit with the 1981 single, "Tainted Love." Recorded in just a day and a half, the final version of this '80s synth-pop classic used the very first vocal take recorded.
"Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners just might be one of the biggest one-hit wonders of the '80s. This 1982 single from the band's album, "Too-Rye-Ay," became their first and only No. 1 hit in the U.S.
Scottish band Simple Minds had a hit with their 1984 single, "Don't You (Forget About Me)." The song played alongside the credits in the 1985 flick, "The Breakfast Club," and includes the line, "I'll be alone, dancing, you know it baby."
U2 has had many hits in their decades-long career, but perhaps none are as memorable as "With or Without You." This single from the 1987 album, "The Joshua Tree," has Bono crooning that he can't live with or without his love. He later said the song was about his struggles to balance his career with family life.
Prince pulled off yet another major hit with the single, "When Doves Cry," off his 1984 album, "Purple Rain." While the song itself is a classic, its popularity was probably helped a bit by its memorable music video, which featured flying white doves and Prince himself relaxing in a bath tub.
Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler had her biggest ever hit with the '80s ballad, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The 1983 single came from her fifth studio album, "Faster Than the Speed of Night," and served as the perfect breakup tune for countless couples during the decade.
Believe it or not, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was first released in 1979 by an artist named Robert Hazard. It was Cyndi Lauper who made the song a hit, however, when she released it as the first single off her 1983 album, "She's So Unusual."
It's almost hard to believe there was any room left on the music charts for any other artists to have a hit in the '80s, given how many great songs Michael Jackson put out during the decade. He scored a hit yet again with the release of "Beat It" as the third single from "Thriller" in 1983, which includes the line, "No one wants to be defeated."
"Eye of the Tiger" was a single from the 1982 Survivor album of the same name. The tune was a huge hit, appearing on the "Rocky III" soundtrack and winning a Grammy in 1982 for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.
Queen was living large in the '80s, and Freddie Mercury and the gang weren't afraid to take chances in the studio. The rockabilly tune, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," appeared on Queen's 1980 album, "The Game," and was a huge hit despite featuring a whole new sound for the group.
"Don't Stop Believin'" has become Journey's signature hit since it was released as the second single off the band's 1981 album, "Escape." The lyrics tell the story of a small town girl hopping on the midnight train, searching for a thrill, and going anywhere.
Axl Rose based lyrics like these, with blue eyes thinking of rain, on his girlfriend, Erin Everly. He penned the words to go along with a tune with which Slash was playing around during warmup, and the song became "Sweet Child O' Mine," one of the biggest Guns N' Roses songs ever released.