27 Best Songs From 1985

21. “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Written by Tom Petty and Dave Stewart from Eurythmics, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was supposedly inspired by a romantic tiff between Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh from The Eagles.

No matter its origins, the song is widely considered one of the strongest in Petty’s catalog. It rose to the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and number two on its Album Rocks Tracks list. The video featured Petty as the Mad Hatter in an Alice-inspired world. It was as weird as that sounds.

22. “Some Like It Hot” by The Power Station

“Some Like It Hot” by The Power Station

Call The Power Station the first New Wave supergroup if you like. It featured John Taylor and Andy Taylor from Duran Duran on bass and guitar, respectively, with Chic drummer Tony Thompson backing up vocalist Robert Palmer.

The other three-fifths of Duran Duran formed Arcadia at the same time, and both projects spelled the end of the original incarnation of Duran Duran, which wouldn’t perform together again until the 21st century.

“Some Like It Hot” led to Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible”-powered solo career and allowed both Taylors to play a harder brand of rock than they’d done with Duran Duran.

23. “You’re the Inspiration” by Chicago

Originally written for Kenny Rogers, “You’re the Inspiration” was a number-one single from the band’s 1984 album 17. The single continued in the same vein as the rest of the album, using David Foster’s production skills and way too many strings for hardcore Chicago fans’ liking.

Still, it was a huge hit for the band and played a large role in introducing Chicago to a new generation—kids whose parents had been Chicago fans in the 70s discovered this “new” band. Gen Xers thought they discovered everything.

24. “Would I Lie to You?” by Eurythmics

It was something of a 180 for Eurythmics, going from the haunting, minor-key synth-fest that was 1983’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” to the chunky guitar riffs and the horn section that drove “Would I Lie to You?”

It was the beginning of a directional shift for the duo as they began rocking a little bit harder. It was a global top-ten hit and topped the charts in Australia.

25. “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free” by Sting

With the de facto dissolution of The Police following the massive success of the band’s fifth album Synchronicity, the three members turned to solo projects. Sting booked a bunch of jazz players and tasked them with playing rock as an experiment.

As experiments go, it went pretty well, since “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free” spent three weeks in the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1985.

Since then, many people default to calling Sting’s solo work “The Police Lite,” but the mature songwriting skills he put on display for five Police albums have only improved over the decades.

26. “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran

Not that Duran Duran needed any reassurance as to their success in the music business, but once you get asked to do the theme song to a James Bond film, you kinda know you’ve made it. “A View to a Kill” was the band’s last number-one hit.

27. “Lonely Ol’ Night” by John Cougar Mellencamp

By the time he released 1985’s Scarecrow, John Cougar Mellencamp was moving more and more toward socially conscious lyrics, taking on the plight of American farmers and much of the middle class.

But “Lonely Ol’ Night” hearkened back to his earlier work, as it was just a song about love and loneliness set to a raucous beat. It was Mellencamp’s second number-one hit (after 1983’s “Hurts So Good”).

Top Songs From 1985, Final Thoughts

It’s hard to cull a list of the best songs from 1985, but we did our best to find the top songs from 1985.

There was so much great music that year (and every other year of that glorious musical decade). Sure, there were some comically bad songs, but we avoided those in favor of some of the greats. Did we miss your favorite one?

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