If We Give You the โ€™80s Lyric, Can You Tell Us Who Sang It?

By: Brittany Rowland
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
If We Give You the ’80s Lyric, Can You Tell Us Who Sang It?
Image: Columbia

About This Quiz

The 1980s ushered in many changes to the world of music. From the early years of the decade, when disco was still going, to the later years, when techno, rap and hip-hop became more popular, the sounds and styles of the '80s were constantly evolving. And, of course, the decade had big names in rock, such as Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Journey and Van Halen. If the '80s proved anything, it's that pop and rock stars could pack arenas just as well as the big names from the previous decades.

The '80s were notable for another major development in music: the introduction of MTV in 1981. Now songs could become popular not just due to radio airplay, but also thanks to music videos. Dire Straits even acknowledged the significance of the new TV channel with the song "Money for Nothing," which includes Sting in the background, singing, "I want my MTV."

If the sound of synthesizers gets your heart pumping, then you were made to take this quiz! The '80s included many big hits with unforgettable lyrics. See how many of the songs you recognize by naming the band or musician behind the lyrics. The '80s were a while ago, but don't stop believin' you can rock this quiz!

Madonna Who sings, "I hear your voice, it's like an angel sighing / I have no choice, I hear your voice / Feels like flying"?
Madonna
Madonna released "Like a Prayer" in 1989 on her fourth album. The song's lyrics are ostensibly religious in nature, although critics have pointed out that they contain sexual innuendos as well.
Def Leppard
Tina Turner
Survivor

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Prince This '80s artist sang, "Animals strike curious poses / They feel the heat / The heat between me and you." Can you name him?
Bruce Springsteen
Rick Springfield
Rick Astley
Prince
"When Doves Cry" is a single from Prince's 1984 album "Purple Rain." The hit song, for which Prince played all the instruments, saw a surge in popularity again following his death in 2016.

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The Police Stalker alert! Can you name the band that sings, "Every smile you fake / Every claim you stake / I'll be watching you"?
The Police
Sting from the Police wrote "Every Breath You Take" in 1983, during a breakup with his wife. He notes the irony that many people consider it a love song, given the creepy nature of the lyrics!
Survivor
Wham!
Madonna

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Wham! Are you enough of an '80s music fan to identify who sings, "I'm never gonna dance again / Guilty feet have got no rhythm"?
Van Halen
Wham!
Wham!, the pop duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, released "Careless Whisper" in 1984 on the album "Make It Big." Famous for its saxophone riff, the song plays during the end credits of "Deadpool."
Whitesnake
Tina Turner

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Bonnie Tyler Which singer croons, "I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark / We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks"?
Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler released "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in 1983, and it quickly became the biggest hit of her career. The power ballad, which is over seven minutes, had to be shortened for the radio.
Cyndi Lauper
Jon Bon Jovi
Tina Turner

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David Bowie Who sang these lyrics: "Let's dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues"?
David Bowie
David Bowie's 1983 single "Let's Dance" became a big hit and helped Bowie find new fans in the '80s who weren't familiar with his '70s music. The funky song includes a guitar solo by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
A-ha
The Police
Metallica

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Bruce Springsteen "You can't start a fire / You can't start a fire without a spark" are lyrics by which musician?
R.E.M.
Bruce Springsteen
In 1984, Bruce Springsteen's album "Born in the U.S.A." included the hit single "Dancing in the Dark." The music video famously depicts Courteney Cox dancing on stage with Springsteen.
New Order
Madonna

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Bon Jovi "Woah, we're halfway there / Woah, livin' on a prayer!" sings what '80s rock band?
Whitney Houston
Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi brought crowds to their feet with the 1986 hit song "Livin' on a Prayer." The song describes the working-class couple Tommy and Gina and how they hold onto their dreams amid life's struggles.
Queen
Guns N' Roses

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Guns N' Roses "She's got a smile it seems to me / Reminds me of childhood memories." Can you name who sings these lyrics?
The Human League
Eurythmics
Bon Jovi
Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses released "Sweet Child o' Mine" in 1988 on their album "Appetite for Destruction." According to the band, they wrote the song quickly, not thinking it would become their number one hit.

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Queen You can feel the beat with these lyrics: "But I'm ready, yes, I'm ready for you / I'm standing on my own two feet." Do you know who sings it?
Prince
Blondie
Queen
Even today, at nearly every sporting event you attend, you're likely to hear Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust." The 1980 single became one of Queen's best-known hits with its unmistakable beat.
Def Leppard

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Cyndi Lauper "Oh daddy dear, you know you're still number one / But girls, they wanna have fun." Do you remember who sings this '80s hit?
Blondie
Simple Minds
Cyndi Lauper
Although Robert Hazard first released the song in 1979, it was Cyndi Lauper's 1983 version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" that became the smash hit. The song gained acclaim as a feminist anthem.
U2

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Salt-N-Pepa "Oooh baby, baby / Baby, baby" are the lyrics to a song by which group?
Metallica
Salt-N-Pepa
A major hip-hop hit, "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa was first released in 1987 and climbed to the top of the charts after the group performed it at a concert for Nelson Mandela's birthday.
KISS
Pet Shop Boys

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Journey Are you enough of a music buff to identify the singer of "For a smile they can share the night / It goes on and on and on and on"?
Journey
"Don't Stop Believin'" is a single from Journey's album "Escape." The song reached No. 9 on the charts, but it has since grown more popular from its use in movies and TV shows, like "Glee."
Men Without Hats
Dire Straits
Salt-N-Pepa

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Tina Turner "It may seem to you that I'm acting confused / When you're close to me" are lyrics by which singer?
Tina Turner
"What's Love Got to Do with It" is a single from Tina Turner's 1984 album "Private Dancer." The No. 1 hit also lent its name to the biopic about Turner and her marriage to Ike Turner, which came out in 1993.
Pat Benatar
Bobby Brown
John Mellencamp

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Whitney Houston "Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody / With somebody who loves me," are lyrics sung by which '80s pop star?
Cyndi Lauper
Kim Carnes
Madonna
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston released "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" in 1987 on her self-titled album. The dance song soon reached No. 1 on the charts, cementing its place as an '80s fave.

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The Bangles You're a true '80s music buff if you can recognize who sang these lyrics: "All the kids in the marketplace say / Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh."
Eurythmics
Duran Duran
Van Halen
The Bangles
The Bangles' song "Walk Like an Egyptian" became the biggest hit of 1987. The music video depicted the band playing the song and people on the streets of New York dancing "like an Egyptian."

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Rick Springfield We detect some jealousy with the lyrics "Jessie's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine"! Can you name the singer?
Bruce Springsteen
David Bowie
Rick Astley
Rick Springfield
Australian rocker Rick Springfield wrote "Jessie's Girl," which is about a guy pining for his friend's girlfriend. According to Springfield, he changed the name of his friend for the song โ€” it could have been "Gary's Girl."

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Katrina and the Waves The lyrics "I used to think maybe you loved me, now baby I'm sure" come from a song by which '80s band?
Salt-N-Pepa
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Wham!
Katrina and the Waves
The peppy "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves remains an upbeat song of the '80s. It's been covered by Dolly Parton and Aly & AJ and is now popular in TV advertisements.

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Kenny Loggins "Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees / Jack, get back, come on before we crack." Whose lyrics are sure to get everyone dancing?
George Michael
Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins wrote "Footloose" for the 1984 movie of the same name. The song was a success and was even nominated for an Academy Award. Blake Shelton recorded a new version of the song for the "Footloose" remake.
Bryan Adams
Prince

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John Mellencamp Can you name the singer that sings, "Oh yeah, life goes on / Long after the thrill of living is gone"?
John Mellencamp
Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp released the hit song "Jack & Diane" in 1982. The rock song peaked at No.1 on the Billboard chart, making it a major hit of the '80s.
George Michael
Rick Astley
Madonna

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Kim Carnes "She's pure as New York snow / She's got Bette Davis eyes," croons which '80s singer?
Robert Palmer
Bobby Brown
Kim Carnes
Kim Carnes made the song "Bette Davis Eyes" popular in 1981, when it spent nine weeks at the top of the charts. The actress Bette Davis reportedly thanked Carnes and the songwriters for the tribute.
Bruce Springsteen

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AC-DC Rock out with these lyrics and then tell us who sang them: "Working double time / On the seduction line / She was one of a kind, she's just mine all mine."
KISS
AC/DC
Australian band AC/DC first released "You Shook Me All Night Long" in 1980 on the album "Back in Black." The rock song remains one of the band's best-known hits and features an intense guitar solo.
Metallica
Guns N' Roses

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The B-52's Get your groove on and tell us who sings these lyrics: "I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty / So hurry up and bring your jukebox money."
R.E.M.
Tina Turner
The Cranberries
The B-52's
After experiencing a slump in the mid-'80s, the B-52's made a comeback with the 1989 hit "Love Shack." The new wave song was inspired by a cabin the band stayed at, located near Athens, Georgia.

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Eurythmics Can you identify the singer of these lyrics: "I travel the world / And the seven seas / Everybody's looking for something"?
The B-52's
Whitney Houston
Blondie
Eurythmics
Eurythmics' breakthrough single "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" propelled them into the spotlight in 1983. The new wave song allowed Lennox and Stewart to experiment with new synthesizers.

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Tears for Fears You're an '80s music fan if you know who sang the lyrics, "We will find you acting on your best behavior / Turn your back on mother nature."
Tears for Fears
The English band Tears for Fears released "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" in 1985, and it became one of their signature songs. Audiences could relate to the song's theme of the desire for control!
The Bangles
Rick Springfield
INXS

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Dexys Midnight Runners "Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye" are lyrics in a song by which band?
A-ha
Dexy's Midnight Runners
"Come On Eileen" ranks as one of the top songs of the '80s. The British band Dexy's Midnight Runners incorporated an Irish lullaby into the chorus and asserts that there is no actual Eileen.
The Police
Soft Cell

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U2 Can you identify who sang these lyrics: "And it's true we are immune / When fact is fiction and TV reality"?
The Police
Genesis
David Bowie
U2
The Irish band U2 released "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in 1983 as a political song protesting the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The song is memorable for its intense drumbeat and wailing vocals.

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Phil Collins "Well, if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand." Yikes! Who sings these ominous lyrics?
John Mellencamp
Phil Collins
Phil Collins' first solo album, "Face Value," contains the hit single "In the Air Tonight." The 1981 song is popular for its powerful drum break โ€” in addition to singing, Collins is known for his drumming!
Cutting Crew
Katrina and the Waves

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Toto Can you name the '80s group that sings, "Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti / I seek to cure what's deep inside / Frightened of this thing that I've become"?
Pet Shop Boys
INXS
The B-52's
Toto
Toto's 1982 song "Africa" remains a popular hit of the '80s. According to David Paich, he wrote the song despite never having visited Africa; he used National Geographic magazines to help him describe the land.

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Men Without Hats "Ah, we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind" are lyrics by which band?
Men Without Hats
The Canadian new wave band Men Without Hats released "The Safety Dance" in 1982, and it soon crossed the border to become a hit in the U.S. too. The song reached a younger audience when it appeared on "Glee."
The Cure
Journey
Culture Club

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Simple Minds "Slow change may pull us apart / When the light gets into your heart, baby." These are lyrics by which '80s rock band?
Blondie
Duran Duran
Modern English
Simple Minds
"The Breakfast Club" popularized the rock anthem "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds. In fact, the music video of the song includes images from the iconic John Hughes movie.

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Modern English This '80s band sings, "I'll stop the world and melt with you / You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time." Who is it?
Modern English
"I Melt with You" was a hit single from Modern English's 1982 album "After the Snow." Vocalist Robbie Grey says he wrote the song while imagining lovers together during an atomic bomb drop.
Guns N' Roses
The Cure
Journey

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Survivor Get pumped up listening to these lyrics: "Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past / You must fight just to keep them alive." Now can you name the band?
Survivor
Sylvester Stallone asked the band Survivor to write "Eye of the Tiger" as the theme for "Rocky III." The rock song is appropriate as a workout song to get athletes primed for competition!
The Police
Tears for Fears
The Human League

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R.E.M "Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline," sings which '80s band?
Soft Cell
R.E.M.
R.E.M. modeled the 1987 song "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" after Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." The lyrics ramble in a stream of consciousness.
Eurythmics
Duran Duran

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Echo and the Bunnymen "Under a blue moon I saw you / So soon you'll take me." If you can name who sang these lyrics, you're a true '80s music fan!
Tears for Fears
The Cranberries
Echo and the Bunnymen
Echo and the Bunnymen's 1984 song "The Killing Moon" remains a mystifying track that explores the question of fate versus free will. It also appears appropriately in the opening scene of "Donnie Darko."
INXS

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