20 of the Greatest Songs From 1982

The year 1982 was an incredible one for music. So many different genres and subgenres of music were rising, and the level of talent among the artists was remarkable. It’s hard to narrow it down to just 20 songs, but here are 20 of the greatest songs from 1982:

1. “You Can Do Magic” by America

Starting the list with a magical soft rock song, “You Can Do Magic” by America is a feel-good tune with a great message. “View From The Ground” was a worldwide success, charting in various countries such as Australia and Canada.

The lyrics are all about believing in yourself and your ability to achieve anything you set your mind to. The easy beat and simple melody make it a perfect song to sing along to.

2. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Hard rock fans were headbanging to this high-energy track this year. “Eye of the Tiger” was released as the theme song for the film Rocky III, and it went on to become one of Survivor’s most iconic hits.

The song is about overcoming obstacles and persevering despite the odds being against you. The track led to the band winning a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. The “Eye of the Tiger” is a must-listen when you want to get pumped up and motivated.

3. “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band

The Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra” is about a man who is attracted to a woman. The catchy chorus was one of the most popular hits of 1982, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.

This song, which uses the word ‘abracadabra’ in relation to magic, has been covered by different artists and featured in ‘American Dad,’ a television series. It’s a feel-good tune that is good for summer road trips and barbecues.

4. “Maneater” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

This pop song was released as a single from Daryl Hall and John Oates’ album ‘H2O.’ The song was a commercial success, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains one of the duo’s most popular tracks.

“Maneater” is about a woman who is attracted to bad boys and seems to enjoy playing with men’s hearts. The song has a catchy beat and an unforgettable chorus. It’s the perfect song to dance to when you’re out with the girls.

5. “Rock the Casbah” by Clash

Punk rock also made its mark in 1982 with “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash. The song became an instant hit in the US charts and it is still played regularly on classic rock radio stations. It’s a fun and upbeat track that will get you moving.

6. “Ebony & Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

Two iconic artists singing about racial harmony, this soft rock song was a huge success when it was released in 1982. ‘Ebony & Ivory’ is considered one of the greatest songs ever by Billboard and was a chart-topping success worldwide.

The lyrics of the song are all about how two different colors in the piano can exist together in harmony and can also be related to the different races coming together. It’s a simple beautiful message of unity and acceptance.

7. “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran

This new wave song was released as the third single from Duran Duran’s album ‘Rio.’ The track was a huge success, being played on MTV and helped secure a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.

The song is about being hungry for girls and the various things that the narrator would do to them. The lyrics are suggestive and naughty, but it’s all done in a fun and light-hearted way.

8. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

It’s impossible to have a list of the greatest songs from 1982 without including the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. “Beat It” is one of Jackson’s most iconic tracks and it helped cement his place as a musical legend, earning multiple music awards and Grammys.

The song is about fighting and how sometimes it’s necessary to stand up for yourself. The track became a pioneer for black rock music and Eddie Van Halen has been recognized for his guitar solo in the song. Dancing is a must when listening to this iconic tune.

9. “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” by Culture Club

Reggaeton remixes were popular in the ’80s, and this new wave song is one of them. The track was a huge success, becoming one of the band’s most iconic and well-loved songs.

As part of their platinum album ‘Kissing To Be Clever,’ the track is about being hurt by hiding feelings and the pain of being in love. The song has a catchy beat that will make you want to bob your head along.

10. “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force

One of the pioneers of electronic-infused hip-hop music, this song was a huge success as it helped launch the careers of Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force. 

The lyrics are about dancing and having a good time, and the song has a catchy beat that will make you want to get up and move. It’s the perfect track to get the party started.

11. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago

A heartfelt power ballad about regrets and second chances, this song was a massive success for the band Chicago. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, was a Grammy nominee, and is still loved by fans today.

It is one of their top-selling singles that has been certified gold. The lyrics are simple but beautiful, and the song will tug at your heartstrings.

12. “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

This Celtic-influenced new wave song was a massive success, topping the charts and winning Best British Single in the British Awards.

Featuring the tunes of Celtic fiddle and accordion, the song is about young love and thinking dirty thoughts is a bad idea. The lyrics are playful and light-hearted, making it a great track to sing along to.

13. “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye

This funky song was Marvin Gaye’s comeback hit after leaving his first record label. As one of the greatest songs of all time, “Sexual Healing” has been awarded two Grammy Awards and has sold over 2 million copies.

The song is about feeling good when it comes to love-making and the physical and emotional healing it can provide. This steamy song, crooned by the one and only Marvin Gaye, is sure to get you hot.

14. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

A sultry and steamy song about a one-night stand, “Little Red Corvette” is one of Prince’s most iconic and well-loved tracks. It was a huge success, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song is notable for its post-disco tune. It’s a great track that has sold over 900,000 units in the US alone.

15. “Rosanna” by Toto

A Grammy Award-winning track, “Rosanna” is one of Toto’s most successful songs. The song is about a woman named Rosanna, who embodies the hope and innocence of young love.

The song is known for its mix of keyboard solos and guitar riffs, which create a catchy and unique sound. It’s a feel-good track that will make you want to groove along.

16. “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

As a song for the movie ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ “Up Where We Belong” is a critically-acclaimed song that has won numerous awards. The track is a duet between Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, and it has a soulful and emotive sound.

The lyrics are about how love keeps us going when times are tough. The song has a powerful message, and it will make you feel all the feels.

17. “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by Rick Springfield

A song about the worrying and dangers of talking to strangers, “Don’t Talk to Strangers” is a catchy track that will make you think twice about who you talk to.

While topping the charts, it was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The song was written and performed by Rick Springfield as part of his album ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.’

18.I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls

With the new wave movement in full swing, A Flock of Seagulls released this iconic and well-loved song. “I Ran (So Far Away)” is a synth-heavy track that is driven by its catchy beat. It has notably dominated the charts in Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

The song is about a man who is running away from his feelings toward a woman. The lyrics are simple but effective, and the song will make you want to dance along.

19. “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5

Rap and hip-hop were still underrated in the early ’80s, but this song helped to launch the genre into the mainstream. “The Message” is a socially conscious track that addresses the issues of poverty and crime in urban areas.

The groovy synthesizer beat and funky bass make this song impossible to forget. This track has been used in the game ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It’s a swag track that will make you love hip-hop.

20. “I’m So Excited” by Pointer Sisters

You’d likely get excited to dance along to this feel-good track. The Pointer Sisters released “I’m So Excited” in 1982, and it was an instant hit. It topped numerous music charts and is acknowledged by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The song is about being excited and cannot contain oneself. The high energy and fun lyrics make this track impossible to resist. The track has been used in several movies and has been covered by other artists. It’s a song that will get you pumped up and ready to take on the world.


1982 was a great year for music, with many iconic and well-loved songs released. These tracks span genres, from new wave to R&B to hip-hop, and they have been a key influence in shaping music that is popular today.

If you’re looking for some feel-good tunes from the past, for sure there are great songs from 1982 that will suit your music taste.

You Can Do Magic Front Cover Featured Image (Bottom) by: By http://musiconvinyl.blogspot.com/2009/11/you-can-do-magic-america.html, Fair use, Link