The 25 best Classic Rock songs of 1984

8 June 2024, 08:00

Big rock hits from '84 including Queen, Prince, U2, Billy Idol, Van Halen and more...
Big rock hits from '84 including Queen, Prince, U2, Billy Idol, Van Halen and more... Picture: Press

Take a trip back to the glory days of soft rock, power ballads and heavy metal, with big tunes from Queen, Prince, U2, Billy Idol, Van Halen and more...

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  1. Pat Benatar - Love Is A Battlefield: release date 6th January 1984

    Released in September 1983 in the US, this all time rock classic was a studio cut that appealed on the singer's first live album, Live From Earth. Incredibly, the song only scraped to Number 49 in the UK on its inital release, but a reissue in March 1985 saw the track peak at Number 17.

    Pat Benatar - Love Is A Battlefield (Official Music Video)

  2. Van Halen - Jump: release date 27th January 1984

    The lead single from the band's album 1984, this rock favourite was powered by a synth riff and was issued in the US at Christmas 1983. Released in January 1984 in the UK, the tune peaked at Number 7 in March 1984.

    Van Halen - Jump (Official Music Video)

  3. Slade - Run Run Away: released 27th January 1984

    Having rebranded themselves from glam superstars to heavy rock specialists, this was the third single drom Slade's album The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, making Number 7 in the UK charts. It was the band's biggest hit in the US, peaking at Number 20 on the bIllboard chart.

    Slade - Run Runaway 1984

  4. Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane: release date 6th February 1984

    The German hard rockers issued this track as the lead single from their ninth album, Love At First Sting and it quickly became an MTV favourite.

    Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane (Official Music Video)

  5. Billy Idol - Rebel Yell: release date 17th February 1984

    The title track from the former Generation X frontman's second solo album stopped short of the Top 40 on its initial release, but peaked at Number 6 when ressued in September 1985.

    Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

  6. The Pretenders - Middle Of The Road: release date 20th February 1984

    The third single from Learning To Crawl, which saw a new line-up for Chrissie Hynde's band after the deaths of original members James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon.

    Pretenders - Middle Of The Road HD

  7. Ozzy Osbourne - So Tired: release date 21st May 1984

    Taken from the former Black Sabbath man's third solo album, So Tired was one of Ozzy's biggest UK hits, peaking at Number 20 in June 1984. Great video, too.

    Ozzy Osbourne - So Tired (Official Music Video)

  8. Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It: released 21st May 1984

    Not to be confused with The Who's song of the same name, this was Twisted Sister's biggest hit in the US. The following year, the Parents Music Resource Center included We're Not Gonna Take It on their "Filthy Fifteen" list of the most violent or sexual songs they considered to be a threat to America's children, alongside Prince's Darling Nikki and AC/DC's Let Me Put My Love Into You.

    Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It (Official Music Video)

  9. John Waite - Missing You: released June 1984

    The former frontman with British rock band The Babys had a huge international hit with this soft rock classic, which topped the Billboard Top 100 and broke the UK Top 10. It was later covered by Tina Turner.

    John Waite - Missing You

  10. Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It: released 4th June 1984

    Written by the British team of Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, this became Turner's signature song and eventually gave its title to her 1993 biopic. What's Love Got To Do With It remains Tina's biggest international hit.

    Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It (Official Music Video)

  11. The Cars - Drive: release date August 1984

    Originally recorded for the Boston band's fifth album Heartbeat City, this Ric Ocasek-penned track gained fame in July 1985 when it was used as the soundtrack to a moving film about the Ethiopian famine during the Live Aid concert. The song had peaked at Number 5 in the UK on its initial release in August 1984, but went one place higher on its re-release a year later.

    The Cars - Drive (Official Music Video)

  12. U2 - Pride (In The Name Of Love): release date 3rd September 1984

    The first single from the Irish band's Unforgettable Fire album, this tribute to the civil rights giant Martin Luther King Jr went to Number 3 in the UK charts.

    U2 - Pride (In The Name Of Love) (Official Music Video)

  13. Queen - Hammer To Fall: release date 10th September 1984

    The final single to be taken from the band's career highlight album The Works, this heavy rock song written by Brian May was one of the tracks played at Queen's momentous Live Aid set the following year.

    Queen - Hammer To Fall (Official Video)

  14. Prince - Purple Rain: release date 14th September 1984

    Prince proved he was the master of many genres by penning this epic rock ballad as the title track to his first movie and its accompanying soundtrack. The single made Number 6 in the UK and Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it was held off the top spot by Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.

    Prince - Purple Rain (Official Video)

  15. ZZ Top - Gimme All Your Lovin': released 1st October 1984

    Originally released in August 1983, this was ZZ Top's first UK hit, breaking the Top 10 in November 1984 after its parent album Eliminator began to sell in bigger numbers on this side of the Atlantic. The memorable video, featuring the iconic "Eliminator" Ford Coupe car, helped the trio's profile in Great Britain.

    ZZ Top - Gimme All Your Lovin' (Official Music Video) [HD Remaster]

  16. Hall And Oates - Out Of Touch: release date 4th October 1984

    Daryl Hall and John Oates were masters of blue-eyed soul, but this track, from their album Big Bam Boom, was a key track in what we now call "Yacht Rock".

    Daryl Hall & John Oates - Out Of Touch (Official HD Video)

  17. Bon Jovi - Runaway: released 8th October 1984 (UK)

    Jon Bon Jovi's debut single, originally recorded in 1982, made the US Top 40, but failed to make any impression in the UK - Britain wouldn't get on board until the Slippery When Wet album in 1986.

    Bon Jovi - Runaway (Official Music Video)

  18. Bryan Adams - Run To You: release date 18th October 1984

    Taken from Adam's hugely successful album Reckless, this rock anthem was a huge hit in the US, but began its British chart career loitering around the bottom end of the Top 100 in December 1984, before creeping up to Number 11 in February 1985.

    Bryan Adams - Run To You

  19. Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer: release date 26th October 1984

    This nostalgic classic from the former Eagles man remains his biggest hit in the UK, peaking at Number 12. Mike Campbell, guitarist with the Heartbreakers, originally wrote the tune for Tom Petty, who turned it down.

    Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer (Official Music Video)

  20. Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA: release date 30th October 1984

    The Boss was man of the moment in 1984, with his Born In The USA album debuting at Number 9 on the American charts, and becoming that country's first commercially-available compact disc title. A scathing attack on the treatment of Vietnam veterans in the US, it's one of the most misunderstood songs ever written.

    Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A. (Official Video)

  21. Chicago - You're The Inspiration: release date 31st October 1984

    Written very quickly for Kenny Rogers, Peter Cetera recorded his song with his own band Chicago when the country superstar turned it down.

    Chicago - You're the Inspiration (Official Music Video)

  22. Metallica - Creeping Death: release date 23rd November 1984

    The only single to be culled from the thrash metal pioneers' second album, Ride The Lighting. Creeping Death is still being performed live by Metallica, forty years later.

    Metallica - Creeping Death (HD)

  23. Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is: release date 30th November 1984

    The lead single from the band's Agent Provocateur album was a huge international hit, topping the charts in the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland, Canada and Australia. In Britain, the single knocked Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas off the top spot in January 1985.

    Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is (Official Music Video)

  24. REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling: release date 17th December 1984

    The Illinois rock band followed up their British hits Keep On Loving You and Take It On The Run with this epic power ballad. It was taken from their eleventh album Wheels Are Turnin'.

    REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling (Official HD Video)