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


By: Brittany Rowland

6 Min Quiz

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!

Who sings, "I hear your voice, it's like an angel sighing / I have no choice, I hear your voice / Feels like flying"?

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.


This '80s artist sang, "Animals strike curious poses / They feel the heat / The heat between me and you." Can you name him?

"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.


Stalker alert! Can you name the band that sings, "Every smile you fake / Every claim you stake / I'll be watching you"?

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!


Are you enough of an '80s music fan to identify who sings, "I'm never gonna dance again / Guilty feet have got no rhythm"?

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."


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 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.


Who sang these lyrics: "Let's dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues"?

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.


"You can't start a fire / You can't start a fire without a spark" are lyrics by which musician?

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.


"Woah, we're halfway there / Woah, livin' on a prayer!" sings what '80s rock band?

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.


"She's got a smile it seems to me / Reminds me of childhood memories." Can you name who sings these lyrics?

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.


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?

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.


"Oh daddy dear, you know you're still number one / But girls, they wanna have fun." Do you remember who sings this '80s hit?

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.


"Oooh baby, baby / Baby, baby" are the lyrics to a song by which group?

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.


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"?

"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."


"It may seem to you that I'm acting confused / When you're close to me" are lyrics by which singer?

"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.


"Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody / With somebody who loves me," are lyrics sung by which '80s pop star?

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.


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."

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."


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?

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 — it could have been "Gary's Girl."


The lyrics "I used to think maybe you loved me, now baby I'm sure" come from a song by which '80s band?

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.


"Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees / Jack, get back, come on before we crack." Whose lyrics are sure to get everyone dancing?

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.


Can you name the singer that sings, "Oh yeah, life goes on / Long after the thrill of living is gone"?

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.


"She's pure as New York snow / She's got Bette Davis eyes," croons which '80s singer?

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.


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."

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.


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."

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.


Can you identify the singer of these lyrics: "I travel the world / And the seven seas / Everybody's looking for something"?

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.


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."

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!


"Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye" are lyrics in a song by which band?

"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.


Can you identify who sang these lyrics: "And it's true we are immune / When fact is fiction and TV reality"?

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.


"Well, if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand." Yikes! Who sings these ominous lyrics?

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 — in addition to singing, Collins is known for his drumming!


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"?

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.


"Ah, we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind" are lyrics by which band?

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."


"Slow change may pull us apart / When the light gets into your heart, baby." These are lyrics by which '80s rock band?

"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.


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?

"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.


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?

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!


"Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline," sings which '80s band?

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.


"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!

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."


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at Zoo.com is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on Zoo.com.