Top Ten Tunes- 1981

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1981.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980


So 1981, the year that Prince Charles married Diana Spencer (and I won a fancy dress competition dressed as Diana in her wedding dress), Peter Sutcliffe is charged with being the Yorkshire Ripper, Dynasty debuts on TV, Pope John Paul II is shot, but not killed, John McEnroe throws a paddy at Wimbledon and shouts “You cannot be serious” at the umpire for the first time (and my brother won the boys section of the same fancy dress competition dressed as McEnroe with a large plaster over his mouth. The Beasleys were on FIRE in 1981), race riots spread across the UK, Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest (best UK entry ever) and Raiders of the Lost Ark was released. I turned 5 years old.


Yes please

Oh so this is when things get deliciously 80s. There may be some credible tunes here, but yes there is Adam Ant, yes there’s Kim Wilde and yes there’s Bucks Fizz and I’m not apologising for any of it. Enjoy!

  1. Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode


2. Reward by Teardrop Explodes


3. Kings of the Wild Frontier by Adam and the Ants


4. Can You Feel It by the Jacksons


5. Tainted Love by Soft Cell

6. Pretty in Pink by Psychedelic Furs


7. Kids in America by Kim Wilde


8. One in Ten by UB40


9. Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz (If you need cheering up then I implore you to watch this. It’s their Eurovision performance and it evens features our Tel*)

10. Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie


Whilst this has been one of my favourite years so far (I think I say that every week), choosing my favourite was easy. It’s Queen and Bowie. Obvs. Which one is your favourite?

I’ll be taking a break from Top Ten Tunes next week as I’ll be posting my 10 most popular blog posts from this year instead. So see you on Friday 5th January for 1982.

*Famous Irish TV/radio personality Terry Wogan who was hugely popular and bit of legend in the UK and Ireland and who we sadly lost last year.