Quiz about Top 100 Songs of the 1980s 20  11
Quiz about Top 100 Songs of the 1980s 20  11

Top 100 Songs of the 1980s (20 - 11) Quiz


This quiz features ten of the 100 most popular songs in the U.S. as determined by the Billboard Hot 100 charts from the 1980s. Find out how much you know about these songs that touched and affected so many lives.

A multiple-choice quiz by bottle_rocket. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
293,648
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
10701
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 51 (9/10), Guest 83 (5/10), boof123 (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Song Number 20: "Some girls are sadistic, materialistic, looking for a man makes them opportunistic"

This song's 20 weeks in the Top 40 made it the most popular song of the last half of the decade and, as a fixture in many a Hollywood teen flick, it's popularity has endured through today. What 1989 rap became the biggest hit for Young M.C.?
Hint

Wild Thing
Gold Digger
Baby Got Back
Bust A Move

2. Song Number 19: "Was it something that they said? Are the voices in your head calling..."

...this the biggest hit of the 1980's never to reach number one? Well if they are, they're right. Do you know who Laura Branigan was talking to in her number two smash?
Hint

Rosanna
Gloria
Sybil
Jesse

3. Song Number 18: "So bring your good times and your laughter too"

Prior to 1981, I like to think that wedding receptions had three minutes of silence, waiting patiently for this song to fill the gap. What staple of nuptials across the nation was the only number one song for Kool and the Gang and may be the most instantly recognizable classic of the 1980's?
Hint

Electric Slide
Shout
Celebration
Jungle Love

4. Song Number 17: "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true"

The Human League took this song to number one in the U.K. for five weeks in 1981. The following year it was exported to America and brought with it a music style that would become a mainstay of the 80's pop scene: synthesizer-based new wave. What ground-breaking tune spent three weeks at number one in the U.S. in July, 1982?
Hint

Fascination
One Thing Leads To Another
Sugar Shack
Don't You Want Me?

5. Song Number 16: "Our life together is so precious together. We have grown."

One of the great tragedies of the 1980's was the senseless murder of John Lennon on December 8th, 1980. This song, from his album "Double Fantasy", was climbing the charts at the time and wound up at number one for five weeks. Can you name the record that helped soothe a world in mourning?
Hint

(Just Like) Starting Over
Me and Bobby McGee
Watching The Wheels
Short People

6. Song Number 15: "Respectfully, I say to thee, I'm aware that you're cheating"

Music historians have claimed that this may have been the last number one song of the disco era. What a bang to end on--a song that spent four weeks at number one and would eventually become the biggest solo hit for the diva who sang it. What catchy song did Diana Ross take to the top in 1980?
Hint

Bad Girls
Your Cheatin' Heart
Upside Down
Love Hangover

7. Song Number 14: "Once upon a time I was falling in love but now I'm only falling apart"

It was a big voice out of Wales that haunted America in the fall of 1983 with a melodramatic tale of unrequited love and desperation. What song did Bonnie Tyler belt all the way to number one?
Hint

I Will Survive
Independent Woman
It's A Heartache
Total Eclipse of the Heart

8. Song Number 13: "Standing here, baptized in all my tears, baby through the years, you know I'm crying, boo hoo hoo"

Coming off the heels of "Thriller", this duet by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney was destined to be a surefire smash. The good-natured video featuring them as old time hucksters conning rural folk sure didn't hurt. Can you name their duet that spent six weeks on top in 1983?
Hint

Say Say Say
Crying
The Girl Is Mine
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)

9. Song Number 12: "Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear"

This male tale of unrequited love came from country superstar Kenny Rogers. He describes "so many ways" he loves his former lover that when he croons she's "the love of his life" every woman in America swooned. Do you remember this tender ballad?
Hint

Lady
Maniac
Woman
Kiss

10. Song Number 11: "She showed a photo, my baby cried, his eyes were like mine"

Arguably the most famous pop music moment of the 80s was when Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage at Motown's 25th anniversary special. This was the song he was dancing to. Spending seven weeks at number one in 1983, what song helped define the sound of the eighties?
Hint

I Kissed A Girl
Billie Jean
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Bad


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Song Number 20: "Some girls are sadistic, materialistic, looking for a man makes them opportunistic" This song's 20 weeks in the Top 40 made it the most popular song of the last half of the decade and, as a fixture in many a Hollywood teen flick, it's popularity has endured through today. What 1989 rap became the biggest hit for Young M.C.?

Answer: Bust A Move

"Bust A Move" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 29th, 1989 at number 81. In only its tenth week on the chart the song was certified gold by the RIAA. It peaked at number seven on October 14th, 1989 in its twelfth week. From here the song had one of the slowest chart descents of the decade, due in large part to the song peaking in popularity over different regions of the country at different times. The song finished its chart run with 39 weeks on the Hot 100 and wound up becoming a platinum-certified single.

Young M.C. was born as Marvin Young on May 10th, 1967 in London, England and was raised in Queens, New York. He graduated with an economics degree from the University of Southern California before recording his debut album "Stone Cold Rhymin'" in 1989. Besides "Bust A Move" the album spawned the number thirty three hit "Principal's Office". Young M.C. was an accomplished songwriter having penned Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" and his number two smash "Wild Thing".

"Baby Got Back" spent five weeks at number one in 1992. Kanye West along with Jamie Foxx took Gold Digger to number one in 2005.

FUN FACT: "Bust A Move" won a Grammy for "Best Rap Recording" in 1990.
2. Song Number 19: "Was it something that they said? Are the voices in your head calling..." ...this the biggest hit of the 1980's never to reach number one? Well if they are, they're right. Do you know who Laura Branigan was talking to in her number two smash?

Answer: Gloria

"Gloria" hit number two on November 27th, 1982 and held that spot for three weeks kept out of the top by Lionel Richie's "Truly" and Toni Basil's "Mickey". The song was originally written and recorded by Italian Umberto Tozzi who had a hit with the song in his home country. Laura Branigan recorded an English version of the song in 1982 and the single first broke into the Hot 100 on July 10th, 1982. It took a leisurely four and a half month trip to its peak position and wound up with 22 weeks in the top 40 and 36 weeks on the Hot 100. In 1983's yearend countdown Billboard named it the ninth biggest hit of the year despite most of its weeks on the chart being in 1982. It was certified a platinum selling single and helped garner Branigan a Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocal of the year. The Aussies loved "Gloria" too. It was number one there for seven weeks in 1983.

Laura Branigan was born on July 3rd, 1952 in New York State. During the 1970's she sang for the group "Meadow" and at one time was a back up singer for Leonard Cohen. She signed with Arista Records in 1979 and released her first album "Branigan" in 1982. The first release was a song titled "All Night With Me" which reached number 69. The second release was "Gloria" which became her biggest hit. She followed that success with two more top ten hits, "Solitaire" and "Self Control". She continued to release albums over the next two decades with moderate degrees of success. She was suddenly taken from us in August of 2004 when a undiagnosed brain aneurysm burst. She was only 47 years old.

"Rosanna" was a number two hit for Toto in 1982. Carly Simon took "Jesse" to number 11 in 1980. "Sybil" was a 1976 TV movie starring Sally Field.

FUN FACT: Laura Branigan's hit "Shattered Glass" was the last song ever played on "Dick Clark's American Bandstand".
3. Song Number 18: "So bring your good times and your laughter too" Prior to 1981, I like to think that wedding receptions had three minutes of silence, waiting patiently for this song to fill the gap. What staple of nuptials across the nation was the only number one song for Kool and the Gang and may be the most instantly recognizable classic of the 1980's?

Answer: Celebration

"Celebration" debuted on the Hot 100 on October 25th, 1980. It took a long 16 weeks before it hit number one, even losing its superstar at one point while it was climbing through the teens. The song also hit number one on the R & B and Dance charts. It topped the pop chart on February 7th, 1981, stayed there for two weeks and remained in the Top 40 for 21 weeks.

Kool and the Gang was formed in 1964 in Jersey City, N.J. Kool was the nickname of the bassist Robert Bell who along with his brother Ronald Bell and through the years over ten other members became well known for their diverse music stylings including jazz, R & B, soul, funk, disco and eventually pop. Their first top ten hit occurred in 1974 with the number four smash "Jungle Boogie" which was quickly followed up with "Hollywood Swinging", a number six hit. Their next venture into the top ten was with the 1980 hits "Ladies' Night" and "Too Hot". Their heyday on the pop charts occurred after "Celebration" with such hits as "Joanna", "Cherish" and "Fresh". Kool and the Gang still wow audiences in concert tours with a sound that endures.

"Shout" was written and recorded by the Isley Brothers who took the song to number 47 in 1959. The Time took "Jungle Love" to number 20 in 1985. The Electric Slide is not a song but a dance craze from the early 90's. The actual song title of the tune used to dance the Electric Slide is Electric Boogie by Marcia Griffiths which was first recorded in 1976 and then re-released in 1989 getting as high number 51 on the charts.

FUN FACT; "Celebration" was the uplifting song that greeted the American hostages when they were released from captivity from Iran on January 26th, 1981.
4. Song Number 17: "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true" The Human League took this song to number one in the U.K. for five weeks in 1981. The following year it was exported to America and brought with it a music style that would become a mainstay of the 80's pop scene: synthesizer-based new wave. What ground-breaking tune spent three weeks at number one in the U.S. in July, 1982?

Answer: Don't You Want Me?

"Don't You Want Me" was the first top 40 hit for the Human League. It debuted on the Hot 100 at number 86 and after a slow and steady climb took over the number one spot on July 3rd, 1982. Initially the song was intensely disliked by lead singer Phil Oakey who got into a row with producers about releasing the song at all. He reportedly wrote it after reading a story in a tabloid and was inspired to make a duet in the vein of the movie "A Star Is Born". It was the fourth single released in England from the album "Dare!". While the first three records all hit the top 15, "Don't You Want Me" was the one that became their biggest in England and America. In the U.S. the song spent three weeks on top and logged 21 weeks in the top 40 and 28 weeks on the Hot 100. The song was certified gold and was named by Billboard the sixth biggest record of 1982.

The Human League were formed in Sheffield, England in 1977. The band took its name from a science-fiction game that the band liked to play called "Starforce". In 1980 two members of the original band split from the group to form the successful U.K. band Heaven 17. Showmanship became the principal virtue of the band behind Oakey's lead. He added two females to the band not only for their backing vocals but also for their ability to dance. Following the band's success with "Dare!" they had two more ventures into the U.S. top ten with the number eight tune "Fascination" and their number one song "Human" in 1986.

"Sugar Shack" was a number one song for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs in 1963. The Fixx took "One Thing Leads To Another" to number four in 1983.

FUN FACT: "Don't You Want Me" is the 25th biggest selling single of the all time in the United Kingdom.
5. Song Number 16: "Our life together is so precious together. We have grown." One of the great tragedies of the 1980's was the senseless murder of John Lennon on December 8th, 1980. This song, from his album "Double Fantasy", was climbing the charts at the time and wound up at number one for five weeks. Can you name the record that helped soothe a world in mourning?

Answer: (Just Like) Starting Over

"(Just Like) Starting Over" was released only days after John Lennon's fortieth birthday and debuted high on the chart on November 1st, 1980 at number 38. This followed his five year hiatus from the music industry following the birth of his son Sean. The song rocketed up the charts and was at number six when he was assassinated. Three weeks later the single reached the top and wound up spending 14 weeks in the top 10, 19 weeks in the top 40 and 22 weeks in the Hot 100. After being certified gold, the song was named by Billboard as the fourth biggest hit of 1981.

John Lennon's solo chart career began even before The Beatles had broken up. His first solo single "Give Peace A Chance" reached number 14 in 1969. Over the next few years he had two top ten smashes, "Instant Karma" and "Imagine". His first number number one post the Beatles came in 1974 with "Whatever Gets You Thru The NIght" which had Elton John singing backing vocals. "(Just Like) Starting Over" was the first release off of Lennon's comeback album "Double Fantasy". "Double Fantasy" sold over three million copies, was a number one album for eight weeks and was honored with a Grammy Award for Best Album. It also spawned the hits "Woman" which hit number two and "Watching The Wheels" which climbed to number ten.

"Me and Bobby McGee" was the posthumous number one song for Janis Joplin. Randy Newman took "Short People" to number two in 1978.

FUN FACT: A copy of "Double Fantasy" autographed by Lennon for Mark David Chapman sold for $525,000 in 2003, making it the most valuable record of all time.
6. Song Number 15: "Respectfully, I say to thee, I'm aware that you're cheating" Music historians have claimed that this may have been the last number one song of the disco era. What a bang to end on--a song that spent four weeks at number one and would eventually become the biggest solo hit for the diva who sang it. What catchy song did Diana Ross take to the top in 1980?

Answer: Upside Down

"Upside Down" was the first release off the Diana Ross album entitled "Diana". She had not had a top ten hit in four years and turned to the hottest production team of the day, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of the group Chic, to help her back to the top. Initially, Ross was not happy with the mix of the tracks by Edwards and Rodgers. She felt she was more of a guest singer on a Chic record than the solo star she was. She and Motown producer Russ Terrana remixed every track on the album in the hopes of bringing her vocals forward. In a Billboard interview, Nile Rodgers said of the new mix, "I'm not as happy as I would be if it was the way we mixed it, but I'm happy with the album because Diana is happy with it." The album hit number two on the Billboard Top 200, becoming her highest charting solo album and was a platinum seller. It produced two more top ten hits, "I'm Coming Out" which hit number five and "It's My Turn" which reached number nine.

"Upside Down" was a monster hit. It was the only song in the 1980's to debut in the top ten the same week it debuted in the top 40 when it catapulted from number 49 to number ten in one week. It reached number one on September 6th, 1980 and spent 14 weeks in the top ten and 29 weeks overall on the Hot 100. The song also spent five weeks on top of the Hot Dance Club Play chart and four weeks atop the Soul chart. It was a gold record and garnered Diana Ross a Grammy nomination for Best R & B Vocal Performance. The single was also quite successful overseas reaching number one in Norway, Italy and Switzerland and number two in England.

"Love Hangover" reached number one for Diana Ross in 1976. Donna Summer took "Bad Girls" to the top in 1979. "Your Cheatin' Heart" is a 1952 classic written and recorded by Hank Williams.

FUN FACT: Diana Ross was the recipient of the prestigious 2007 Kennedy Center Award.
7. Song Number 14: "Once upon a time I was falling in love but now I'm only falling apart" It was a big voice out of Wales that haunted America in the fall of 1983 with a melodramatic tale of unrequited love and desperation. What song did Bonnie Tyler belt all the way to number one?

Answer: Total Eclipse of the Heart

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" spent four weeks at number one starting on October 1st, 1983. The song was the brainchild of writer Jim Steinman who had an established history of writing songs for big voices. At that time he was most well known for writing and producing Meat Loaf's album "Bat Out Of Hell". He brought together diverse talents for the song: drummer Max Weinberg and keyboard player Roy Bittan from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, guitarist Rick Derringer and singer Rory Dodd who provided the haunting background vocals "turn around...". The song became a hit worldwide reaching the top in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In the United States, the record spent eleven weeks in the top ten, 18 weeks in the top forty and 29 weeks on the Hot 100 which helped it become the 14th biggest single of the 1980s. In the yearend countdown for 1983 "Total Eclipse of the Heart" came in at number six and later earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Bonnie Tyler was born on June 8th, 1953 in Skewen, Neath, Wales. She was born Gaynor Hopkins into a family with five siblings, a coal miner father and a mother who loved music. That love inspired Bonnie to embrace music herself and landed her a singing gig in Welsh nightclubs at 17 after she had won a local talent contest. Within two years, she developed nodules of the throat which hindered her ability to perform consistently. In 1976 she underwent surgery to have them removed and this left her with that distinctive husky voice. Her first top ten in England came at the end of 1976 with the song "Lost in France". Her first international smash was "It's A Heartache" which hit number three in the U.S. in 1978. Her next two albums were unable to duplicate the success of "It's A Heartache" but that changed with the 1983 album "Faster Than The Speed Of Night" which became the first album by a solo female to debut at number one on the British charts. Jim Steinman also penned Bonnie Tyler's only other top 40 U.S. hit "Holding Out for a Hero" from the "Footloose" soundtrack.

"I Will Survive" spent three weeks at number one for Gloria Gaynor in 1979. Destiny's Child took "Independent Woman" to number one in 2000.

FUN FACT: For three of the four weeks "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was on top, Air Supply's "Making Love out of Nothing At All" held the number two spot, a song also written by Jim Steinman.
8. Song Number 13: "Standing here, baptized in all my tears, baby through the years, you know I'm crying, boo hoo hoo" Coming off the heels of "Thriller", this duet by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney was destined to be a surefire smash. The good-natured video featuring them as old time hucksters conning rural folk sure didn't hurt. Can you name their duet that spent six weeks on top in 1983?

Answer: Say Say Say

"Say Say Say" debuted on the Hot 100 on October 15th, 1983 at number 26, the highest any song had entered the chart since John Lennon's "Imagine" in 1971. In eight short weeks the tune took over the top spot and held that position for six weeks at the end of 1983 and the beginning of 1984. It totaled 13 weeks in the top ten, 18 weeks in the top 40 and 22 weeks on the Hot 100. In Billboard's yearend countdown the song placed at number three among 1984's biggest hits. The video caused quite a sensation at the time. It featured McCartney's wife Linda as Paul and Michael's accomplice in crime and Jackson's sister LaToya as his romantic interest.

Michael Jackson initiated contact with Paul McCartney on Christmas Day while Paul was in England. At first Paul didn't believe it was Michael on the phone but eventually warmed to the idea of the two of them making music together. Their first released single came from Jackson's "Thriller" album, "The Girl Is Mine" which spent three weeks at number two in the beginning of 1983. Two more collaborations appeared on McCartney's album "Pipes of Peace" which included "Say Say Say" and the unreleased "The Man". Sadly, the two had a falling out not long after when Jackson purchased the publishing rights to the Beatles music library.

"Crying" was originally recorded by Roy Orbison and remade as a top five hit in 1981 for Don McLean. George Michael and Aretha Franklin teamed up on the number one song "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) in 1987.

FUN FACT: "Say Say Say" was Michael Jackson's seventh top ten hit in 1983, the most anyone had achieved in a calendar year since the Beatles' 11 top ten hits in 1964.
9. Song Number 12: "Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear" This male tale of unrequited love came from country superstar Kenny Rogers. He describes "so many ways" he loves his former lover that when he croons she's "the love of his life" every woman in America swooned. Do you remember this tender ballad?

Answer: Lady

"Lady" debuted on the Hot 100 on October 4th, 1980. In less than a month and a half the single reached number one and held sway over the country for six weeks. It spent 13 weeks in the top ten, 19 weeks in the top 40 and 25 weeks on the entire Hot 100 survey. For the year it was named by Billboard as the third most popular record of 1981.

After finding tremendous success on the country chart, Kenny Rogers was looking to take his music in a new direction. He reached out to the writer and frontman for the Commodores, Lionel Richie, to provide him with a song. At the time Richie was on tour but when fortuitously the tour became postponed he headed out to Vegas to meet Rogers. He offered Rogers two songs, "Lady" and "Goin' Back to Alabama", which he had written a couple of years back. In an eight and a half hour session Rogers recorded both songs in a simple style without any gimmicks. The end result confirmed Rogers as a crossover pop superstar and introduced Richie to solo success outside of the Commodores.

Kenny Rogers was born in Houston, Texas on August 21st, 1938. He began his career in the 1950's singing in doo wop groups such as the Scholars and moved on to other bands the Bobby Doyle Trio and New Christy Ministrels in the sixties. He had his first top ten pop hit in 1967 with the group the First Edition entitled "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)". He recorded a number of country hits with the First Edition until 1976 when the group disbanded. This began a successful solo career with such legendary hits as "Lucille", "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County". His only other number one hits on the pop chart were his duet "Islands In The Stream" with Dolly Parton in 1983 and as part of U.S.A. for Africa's "We Are The World". Even after his hits waned his presence in American culture has remained, namely as proprietor of the fast food chain "Kenny Rogers Roasters".

"Woman" was a number two hit for John Lennon in 1981. Michael Sembello took "Maniac" to the top of the charts in 1983. Prince and the Revolution released the first version of the number one hit "Kiss" in 1986.

FUN FACT: "Lady" was the first record of the 1980's to chart on all four of Billboard's single charts at the time (Hot 100, Soul, Country and Adult Contemporary).
10. Song Number 11: "She showed a photo, my baby cried, his eyes were like mine" Arguably the most famous pop music moment of the 80s was when Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage at Motown's 25th anniversary special. This was the song he was dancing to. Spending seven weeks at number one in 1983, what song helped define the sound of the eighties?

Answer: Billie Jean

"Billie Jean" began its seven week run at the top on March 5th, 1983. It was the follow up song to his duet with Paul McCartney "The Girl Is Mine" and the second release from his blockbuster album "Thriller". It debuted on the Hot 100 on January 22, 1983 at number 47. It leapfrogged up the chart to 37 then 27 to 23 to 6 to 4 and then to number one. It spent a total of 24 weeks on the Hot 100, 17 weeks in the top 40 with eleven of those in the top ten. The song also topped Billboard's R & B chart for nine weeks and became a worldwide smash hitting number one in England, Canada and Australia. It was the second biggest hit of 1983 in Billboard's yearend survey.

Amazingly, the vocal on "Billie Jean" was performed by Jackson in just one take. He came up with the basic rhythm of the piece in 1981 on a drum machine and with the help of Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson found the right bass for the haunting bass line. According to Johnson, they settled on a Yamaha because it was "really live, with a lot of power and guts." Producer Quincy Jones was responsible for weaving a lyricon solo in the background of the mix which Quincy referred to as "ear candy". The result became the centerpiece of one of pop's most famous videos. Directed by Steve Barron, the video featured Michael dancing along a street that glowed wherever he stepped while outmaneuvering a trenchcoat-wearing stalker. It is now remembered as one of the first videos by a black artist to receive heavy rotation at MTV.

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was Michael Jackson's number one hit in 1979. Michael Jackson took "Bad" to the top in 1987. "I Kissed A Girl" was the 2008 chart topper by Katy Perry.

FUN FACT: "Thriller" spent 37 weeks at number one on the Billboard album chart, more than any other rock album in history.

Hard to believe there are ten hits bigger than "Billie Jean" but at least according to Billboard's week to week charts there are ten singles that outperformed it.

Thanks so much for taking my quiz and be on the look out for the top ten songs of the 1980s coming soon.
Source: Author bottle_rocket

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