Top Songs of the 1980’s to the 2000’s

Jackie and younger brother Phil in 2011. (Jackie Ammirato)

Currently, I’m sitting in my townhouse avoiding studying for an exam; after all it’s my senior year. In planning for this year’s Parents and Family Weekend Archway issue, I realized it was exactly thirty years ago when my parents experienced their senior year of college, “always studying while working two jobs and walking through two feet of snow to get to class uphill both ways.”

As I listened to my Taylor Swift CD on repeat, I started to wonder what music they were listening to thirty years ago. So, I did some investigating and found some of the most popular songs of 1981 and 1982 and compared them to the most popular songs of 2010 and 2011.


“Endless Love” – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield

“Celebration” – Kool and the Gang

“Keep on Loving You” – REO Speedwagon

“Hit me with Your Best Shot” – Pat Benatar


“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor

“I Love Rock and Roll” – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

:Ebony and Ivory” – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

“Jack and Diane” – John Cougar Mellencamp

“Hurt so Good” – John Cougar Mellencamp

Patty and Phil Ammirato circa 1981. (Jackie Ammirato)

And now here’s a look at some of the most downloaded songs of 2010 and so far in 2011.


“Tik Tok” – Ke$ha

“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

“Hey Soul Sister” –  Train

“California Gurls” – Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg

“OMG” – Usher featuring


“Moves like Jagger” – Maroon Five featuring Christina Aguilera

“Someone like You” – Adele

“Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO

“Cheers (Drink to That)” – Rihanna

“Without You” – David Guetta featuring Usher

Jackie and younger brother Phil in 2011. (Jackie Ammirato)

I don’t know about you, but I see a definite difference in quality between the decades. The songs from 1981 and 1982 are all easily recognizable by people today and are catalogued as classics. They are songs that my parents grew up with as well as songs I sing today. They are still featured in today’s movies and continue to be played at sporting events across the country. Endless Love was ranked by Billboard as the best duet of all-time.

The most popular songs of our college years are of a different caliber than those of the 1980s. When I have kids are they going to be singing Tik Tok? Yikes. Are your kids going to grow up with Jack and Diane or Party Rock Anthem?