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The Best Electro Pop of the 80’s: From ABC to Yazoo

The best electro pop of the 80’s: how do you choose when so many artists emerged on the music scene at the time?

I have put together my own list of 20 songs that I chose to represent electro pop 80s songs which I have been enjoying listening to since they had been released more than 30 years ago.


 Electro Pop Bands: 80’s Rocks!

As I’m writing this article I am listening to Depeche Mode (find a great list of similar bands here!)The singles 86-98 to recapture those memories of being a teenager in the 80’s.

80’s electro pop artists were breaking away from the rock and pop tradition to embrace and celebrate new technologies: although now their analogue instruments seem ancient in comparison to today’s music production technology, synthesisers were the height of sophistication and avant-garde.

Synthesisers made it cheaper to put songs together without the need to employ several musicians: just like today you can become a best-selling artist with only a computer, in the 80s you could get away with a synthesiser, someone who knew how to program it and a lead singer.

For the sake of fairness, I have put this list of 80’s electro pop artists in alphabetical order and chosen a song that I believe is representative of their best work (and, in the case of Visage, their only major hit).

  1. ABC Poisoned Arrow
  2. Bronski Beat Smalltown Boy
  3. The Cure Lullaby
  4. Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence
  5. Duran Duran Planet Earth
  6. Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon
  7. Eurythmics Here Comes the Rain Again
  8. A Flock of Seagulls Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)
  9. Gary Numan Are Friends Electric
  10. Heaven 17 Temptation
  11. Human League Don’t You Want Me
  12. Japan  Ghosts
  13. New Order Blue Monday
  14. Pet Shop Boys West End Girls
  15. Simple Minds I Promised You a Miracle
  16. Siouxsiee and the Banshees Cities in Dust
  17. Soft Cell Tainted Love
  18. Tears for Fears Pale Shelter
  19. Visage Fade to Grey
  20. Yazoo Don’t Go

A little background on these choices: in the early 80’s a new form of music emerged called New Wave – some bands like Duran Duran were named the New Romantics for their flamboyant style and electronic sounds.

Those early years were characterised by a more gothic and experimental sound.

By 1984 electro music was changing into more mainstream pop, which was more TV- and radio-friendly.

You will probably recognise some of these songs if you were born after 1990 because they have been included in movie soundtracks or commercials.

Hands up if you are a fan of 80’s electro pop: tell me your favourite songs in the comments section.


I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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