30 Best '80s Songs for a "Stranger Things" Themed Party or Wedding

Updated on September 5, 2019
Treva Leigh profile image

Treva is a pop culture fan who has been writing about the entertainment world for over a decade.

Stranger Things has brought the ‘80s back in a big way. The retro Netflix series is turning a whole new generation on to some of the decade’s best music. However, I’d actually like to hear more music on the show. There’s so much dark stuff going on all the time, so I think what it needs are more songs about love and having fun (much like the tunes you’d play at a wedding or party).

We haven’t seen anyone on Stranger Things get married yet, so we don’t know what songs our favorite Hawkins characters would ask a DJ to put on a wedding playlist. (However, we know that Dustin will definitely serenade his future bride with "The Neverending Story.") We also haven’t seen a lot of partying on Stranger Things, likely because everyone has been too busy battling Demogorgons and people-melting monsters from the Upside Down to have a good time. However, it’s fun to imagine what tunes the Stranger Things crew would play at a wedding or party. They’d probably bust a move to at least some of the awesome ‘80s songs below, and if you’re a fan of the show, you might also want to play a few of them at your next big shindig.

So, whether you're throwing a Stranger Things-themed party or are just a fan of the ‘80s and want to celebrate your marriage by dancing to some tunes from your favorite era, I hope you choose to play some of these great songs at your event.

These songs will get your Stranger Things-themed party rockin'.
These songs will get your Stranger Things-themed party rockin'. | Source

Songs for an '80s Themed Party or Wedding

Song
Artist
1. “The Safety Dance”
Men Without Hats
2. “Bust a Move”
Young MC
3. “Let’s Dance”
David Bowie
4. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
Wang Chung
5. "All She Wants to Do Is Dance"
Don Henley
6. "Kiss"
Prince
7. "Need You Tonight"
INXS
8. "Faith"
George Michael
9. “Like a Virgin”
Madonna
10. “Push It”
Salt-n-Pepa
11. “Addicted to Love”
Robert Palmer
12. “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”
Dead or Alive
13. “Super Freak”
Rick James
14. “Abracadabra”
Steve Miller Band
15. “Come On Eileen”
Dexys Midnight Runners
16. “Take My Breath Away”
Berlin
17. “Hold Me Now”
Thompson Twins
18. “The Promise”
When in Rome
19. “You Make My Dreams”
Hall and Oates
20. "Boys Don't Cry"
The Cure
21. “I Melt With You”
Modern English
22. “Waiting for a Girl Like You”
Foreigner
23. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"
Cutting Crew
24. “Time After Time”
Cyndi Lauper
25. “Every Breath You Take”
The Police
26. “White Wedding”
Billy Idol
27. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
Def Leppard
28. “You Shook Me All Night Long”
AC/DC
29. "I Love Rock N' Roll'
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
30. “Start Me Up”
Rolling Stones

Songs About Dancing and Having a Good Time

Let’s get this party started with some tunes that will encourage everyone to hit the dance floor.

1. “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats

Album: Rhythm of Youth

Release Year: 1982

This song lets your party or wedding guests know that they’re no friends of yours if they don’t get into the groove and move to the music.

2. “Bust a Move” by Young MC

Album: Stone Cold Rhymin'

Release Year: 1989

It may not be one the nicest songs on this list (see the lyric "Come on, fatso, and just bust a move"), but it is one of those tunes that inspires everyone to get out on the dance floor. The song also has a happy ending that takes place at a wedding, making it perfect for a newlyweds’ reception playlist. By the time Stranger Things makes it to 1989, maybe Nancy and Jonathan will be playing it at their wedding.

Steve and Nancy know how to throw an '80s party.
Steve and Nancy know how to throw an '80s party. | Source

3. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

Album: Let's Dance

Release Year: 1983

Unlike the artists above, David Bowie doesn’t use threats to get people out on the dance floor. His simple request is irresistible, especially if you’re wearing red shoes or partying outside beneath some “serious moonlight.”

4. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung

Album: Mosaic

Release Year: 1986

This upbeat song will put everyone in a celebratory mood, but I’m still not sure what this new wave group is asking people to do when they tell them to “Wang Chung tonight.”

5. "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" by Don Henley

Album: Coyote Ugly Movie Soundtrack

Release Year: 1985

Whatever you do, don’t use this song for cocktail inspiration at your wedding or party (unless you need a fiery weapon to fight a Demogorgon). However, do let its infectious beat get you out of your seat.

The Sexiest '80s Songs for a Party or Wedding

The songs in this section are some of the hottest tunes of the '80s, and many of them are automatic self-esteem boosters; they’ll make any woman feel like Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

6. "Kiss" by Prince

Album: Under the Cherry Moon Movie Soundtrack

Release Year: 1986

The kiss is one of the biggest events at a wedding, so be sure to celebrate it with one of the sexiest songs ever written on the subject. Since Eleven and Mike have become so fond of making out, I'm sure the lovebirds will love this one when it comes out in the Stranger Things universe.

7. "Need You Tonight" by INXS

Album: Kick

Release Year: 1987

What woman wouldn’t melt after hearing the line, "There's something about you, girl, that makes me sweat?" If a future groom has any sense, he'll make sure this one gets on the wedding reception playlist.

8. "Faith" by George Michael

Album: Faith

Release Year: 1987

For the second sexiest line from an '80s song, I submit the George Michael lyric, "Not everybody has a body like you." If strike-out Steve is still single by the time 1987 rolls around on Stranger Things, he might try serenading a love interest with this song.

9. “Like a Virgin” by Madonna

Album: Like a Virgin

Release Year: 1984

This could be one of the most ironic songs you play at a wedding. Some people would get a kick out of it, but it might make the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom a bit uncomfortable. For its Madonna tribute, Stranger Things paid for the less sexual ode to shopping, “Material Girl.” This one might be better for a bride who spent a ton on her wedding.

Source

10. “Push It” by Salt-n-Pepa

Album: Hot, Cool & Vicious

Release Year: 1987

Salt-n-Pepa will spice up your ‘80s party or wedding with their sexy lyrics. Have fun watching everyone trying to dance to this one in their formal wear.

11. “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer

Album: Riptide

Release Year: 1986

Why exactly are you getting married? Because you're addicted to love, of course. And, if you’re at a party, you’re likely looking for some form of it. The line, “You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff,” makes me think of Will on Stranger Things, because he’s the only member of his group of friends who hasn’t yet fallen for someone. However, I doubt this will be the case for long.

12. “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive

Album: Youthquake

Release Year: 1984

Vinyl is making a comeback, right? But even if you don't listen to records, this dizzying tune is still fun to spin around on the dance floor to.

13. “Super Freak” by Rick James

Album: Street Songs

Release Year: 1981

If your party playlist needs a little more funk, Rick James is just the man for the job. This super freaky song is perfect for a Stranger Things-themed party because the show is full of super freaks.

14. “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band

Album: Abracadabra

Release Year: 1982

Talk of black panties may be a bit much for Aunt Mildred and Uncle Earl, but I just love this sexy Steve Miller song. If you want to add a little magic to your wedding, this is one of the best ‘80s songs for the job.

15. “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

Album: Too-Rye-Ay

Release Year: 1982

A song that talks about removing clothing might also be too risque for some people, but how can you resist that vivacious violin music? Underneath all the sexual innuendo, there’s also a sweet love story about two lovers growing up together.

Slow-Dance Songs and Sweet Love Songs of the '80s

Some of the tunes in this section are perfect to insert between the more upbeat dance songs on this list so that everyone can get a bit of a cooldown. They’re also great songs for a bride or groom to dedicate to one another.

16. “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin

Album: Count Three & Pray

Release Year: 1986

Top Gun fans have to put this romantic song on their wedding playlists. I can also see this one being played during a future episode of Stranger Things when someone falls in love (or is watching the movie). Maybe it will be the next duet Dustin and Suzie perform on the show.

17. “Hold Me Now” by the Thompson Twins

Album: Into the Gap

Release Year: 1983

This song paints a picture of a relationship that’s not perfect, but whose is? It should appeal to newlyweds or hormonal teens in serious relationships because it’s about trying to mend one that’s “tattered and torn;” the goal is for partners to get back to a place where they can “let loving start.” The “fussing and fighting” lyric definitely reminds me of more than one Stranger Things couple.

18. “The Promise” by When in Rome

Album: When In Rome

Release Year: 1987

This sweet song is perfect for a groom who struggles to write his vows. It's about a man who wants to tell a woman how much he cares about her, but he just can’t find the right words to properly express his feelings.

19. “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates

Album: Voices

Release Year: 1980

This gleeful Hall and Oates hit is another great song for a new husband to dedicate to his wife. It lets her know that she’s his dream girl and that she’s improved his life.

20. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

Album: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

Release Year: 1987

We’ll switch musical genres up a bit with this endearing alt-rock song. Wordsmith Robert Smith reminisces about a heavenly romance, and he paints such a vivid picture of the amorous encounter that it’s almost like you’re living it. The music is cheery and uplifting, and this song might give you the same giddy feeling that you get when you’re in love.

21. “I Melt With You” by Modern English

Album: After the Snow

Release Year: 1982

Sure it's been used in fast food commercials, but I still contend that this song is one of the sexiest and sweetest songs of the '80s. It’s perfect for a romantic wedding moment (or a great celebration of the appetizers). It was played during the party at Steve’s house during season 1 of Stranger Things.

22. “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner

Album: 4

Release Year: 1981

This rock ballad also got some love during season 1 of Stranger Things (it’s the song that’s playing when Nancy decides to go all the way with Steve for the first time). Sure, Nancy and Steve didn’t last, but their failed romance shouldn’t scare a groom away from serenading his bride with this song that lets her know that she’s the one.

23. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew

Album: Broadcast

Release Year: 1986

This sensual song is perfect for couples who really want to wrap their arms around each other while they slow dance. On Stranger Things, it was the tune that was playing while Mrs. Wheeler was preparing to be Billy’s Mrs. Robinson.

24. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Album: She's So Unusual

Release Year: 1984

Stranger Things fans who are about to tie the knot will definitely want to add this to their wedding playlist because it was one of the tunes played at the Snow Ball school dance on the show.

25. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

Album: Synchronicity

Release Year: 1983

Mike and El also danced to this song at the Snow Ball. Sure, the lyrics are a bit stalker-ish and possessive, but Sting's heart is in the right place.

‘80s Songs That Rock

These wedding and party songs are perfect for music fans who prefer rock over synth pop.

26. “White Wedding” by Billy Idol

Album: Billy Idol

Release Year: 1982

This is one of the quintessential wedding songs of the ‘80s, and the color white has never seemed so dark.

27. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard

Album: Coyote Ugly Movie Soundtrack

Release Year: 1988

You may consider this diabetes-inducing tune one of the sexiest songs of the ‘80s or one of the cheesiest, but one thing's for sure; it gets people on the dance floor. As an added plus, it often inspires some of the most hilarious dancing you'll ever see. The lyrics about being sweet and sticky make it a perfect cake-cutting song for a wedding.

28. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC

Album: Back in Black

Release Year: 1980

Who knew comparing a woman to a machine could be so sexy? For those who want more songs that rock on their party or wedding playlist, this classic headbanger fave is essential listening.

29. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Album: I Love Rock 'n Roll

Release Year: 1982

Joan Jett definitely had one of the sexiest voices of the '80s, and this song featuring her sultry, rebellious snarl has become one of the best party songs for those who want to rock. I can totally picture El and Max rocking out to this one.

30. “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones

Album: Tattoo You

Release Year: 1981

This Stones' classic is great for getting the party started, and it will have everyone showing off their moves like Jagger.

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