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Ladies of the 80s: A Jana and Erin Playlist

We (Jana and Erin) told you last month, as we looked at the music from the Men of the ’80s, that we are unable to come up with any kind of sensible length of a playlist in the ’80s unless we broke it down for you.  There will be more to come because we will take a look at groups, and hairbands will probably get their own list, too.  So, you’ve probably figured out what today is all about…well, the title kinda gave it away…that’s right…it’s time for The Ladies of the 80s!

Awwwww the ’80s…when the ladies (and the guys) used Aquanet so our bangs could reach heights never seen before.  Spandex was king.  So were shoulder pads and blue eyeliner.  We saw Janet Jackson step out from behind the shadows of her famous brothers.  We saw her choreographer, Paula Abdul, step out from Janet’s shadow and become a pop star too.  Cyndi Lauper just wanted us to have fun.  Madonna wanted to feel like a virgin.  We had artists with established careers shine on the radio and in the movies (Dolly and Cher.)  The ladies danced, they sang, some yielded guitars, and most of them kicked ass. 

Erin’s note:  Before we hit you with our list, I have to give Jana props.  She came up with this ultimate playlist.  I just added a few touches to finesse it.  I wouldn’t have picked all the songs that she did, but as I looked at the total list, I thought she pretty much nailed it. Jana’s note: I really, really like 80s music. This was not hard to do. In fact, it was harder leaving songs off the list. 

As always, some of our picks are obvious ones and others are hidden gems.  We hope you enjoy!

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Madonna – Dress You Up
Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen
Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
Janet Jackson – What Have You Done for Me Lately
Paula Abdul – Cold Hearted
Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot AND Invincible (okay, yes, we normally try to limit ourselves to only one song per artist, but Jana felt strongly about her choice, and Erin did as well, and Pat Benatar is awesome, so, yes, she gets two)


Dolly Parton – 9 to 5 (our mutual love of Dolly continues to shine)
Irene Cara – Flashdance…What a Feeling
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (always reminding Jana of “Old School”. Jana’s note: please tell me it DOESN’T remind you of Old School?)
Toni Basil – Mickey (Jana’s note: I’m the mom of a cheerleader. This is kind of a must-have)
Juice Newton – Angel of the Morning (Jana’s note: her song, Queen of Hearts? A friend and I sang that to the literal Queen of Hearts, right smack in the middle of Disney World. #noshame)
Kim Wilde – You Keep Me Hangin’ On


Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money (Jana’s love for Donna almost rivals her love for Dolly…almost.)
Belinda Carlisle – Heaven is a Place on Earth (don’t worry, the Go-Go’s will be represented in our groups post)
Taylor Dayne – Tell It to My Heart (the original Taylor)
Joan Jett – I Hate Myself for Loving You (Jana’s note: I Love Rock and Roll is too obvious and Bad Reputation is the theme song to one of the greatest shows of all time. This was a hard choice)
Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time

Lita Ford – Kiss Me Deadly
Sheena Easton – Morning Train
Debbie Gibson – Electric Youth
Tiffany – Could’ve Been (fun fact: Jana’s first concert ever was Tiffany and New Kids on the Block…….another fun fact: Erin forgot this song existed, but when listening to it for this playlist sang almost every lyric.  How do our minds remember song lyrics like that?!)
Laura Branigan – Solitaire (Jana’s note: my husband thinks Gloria sounds like the theme song to SportsCenter)
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

Now, it’s your turn.  Tell us your favorite song(s) by The Ladies of the Eighties!

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  1. kathy @ mor

    sooo…I pretty much have all of these songs on my phone LOL

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Me, too (I might or might not have used a pre-existing playlist to pull from)

  2. Linda Sheridan

    Take your passion and make it happen ❣️ One of my favorite lines from any song. Always Stevie Nicks❣️
    Songs evoke memories ❣️ Great list.
    I will be asking Alexa to play some of these today. Carpe diem.
    Love, Steph’s Momma

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Hope you enjoy listening to them!

  3. Audrey

    Usually I’m a terrible critic of these playlists because I just don’t listen to a lot of music from the 50s to the late 70s, but my mom played ALL these songs when I was a kid so I actually know most of them 🙂 I also think it’s her fault that I don’t like 70s music. Lol
    And my grandpa is in love with Dolly, too. Haha.
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    1. Jana (Post author)

      Dolly is the greatest. Your grandpa has good taste.

  4. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    This is the most EPIC playlist ever! Obviously I love the ladies of the 80s! The only one that threw me for a moment was Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet. Not because she wasn’t worthy but I didn’t remember that being an 80s song. Otherwise, so much love. NKOTB was my first concert too but Tiffany was no longer touring with them.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…A Tongue-in-Cheek (sort of) Survival Guide to a Trump PresidencyMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      They OPENED for Tiffany when I saw them, that’s how unknown they were. I even got Joey’s autograph and just about died.

      Black Velvet came out in 1989, or at least the album it’s on did, so it totally counts.

  5. Rebecca Jo

    I legit love the 80’s – takes me back to the good ole days. Where aqua net was tearing up the ozone layer & our hair almost reached it.

    1. Jana (Post author)


  6. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    Seriously the most ultimate playlist for the 80’s ladies! I love that you didn’t necessarily choose the obvious choices for some of these great women in music!

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It’s fun to not pick the expected sometimes.

  7. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I’d have to pick Kid on a Corner for Tiffany and Shadows of the Night for Pat Benatar. I’d have a hard time choosing between When You Were Mine and All Through the Night for Cyndi Lauper.

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Mother of hell. All Through the Night was the song I was thinking of and couldn’t remember the name.

  8. Lauren

    My husband is with you on Old School and Total Eclipse. He sings it that way every time. In public, he mouths it. I had Mickey on a tape from my uncle. It’s the first some I remember playing over and over on my little cassette player with attached microphone 🙂

  9. Nadine

    Paula Abdul forever and ever and ever. She was my favorite!! Also, Fast Car is seriously one of my favorite songs.

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  11. Christina

    Yes, yes, yes! I love every single song!! Although, Total Eclipse of the Heart reminds me of Urban Legends before Old School. And now I feel like I need to listen to a little Belinda Carlisle today! I’d have to add What’s Love Got to Do with It by Tina, Crazy For You by Madonna, and Wind Beneath My Winds by Bette.


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