The Best of 80’s Electronic Dance Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for a blast from the past? Check out our roundup of the best 80’s electronic dance music. From classics like Depeche Mode to new wave hits like New Order, there’s something for everyone.


The 1980s saw the rise of electronic dance music, a genre that defined a generation and continues to influence popular culture today. From the early days of techno and house to the explosion of rave culture in the late 80s, electronic dance music has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity.

In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best 80s electronic dance music, from classic tracks that defined the genre to lesser-known gems that are worth seeking out. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just getting into EDM, this guide will help you find the best of what this decade has to offer.

The Birth of Electronic Dance Music

According to Billboard, electronic dance music, also commonly referred to as EDM, “describes the rise of a new generation of music stars who are creating sounds that defy easy genre categorization.” This new style of music is a fusion of various genres, including house, techno, trance, and more.

The First Wave of Electronic Dance Music

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new wave of electronic music emerged. This new style was influenced by disco and pop music, but it also had a more futuristic sound. This new electronic dance music (EDM) quickly became popular in clubs and on the radio.

The first wave of EDM was led by artists like Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, and Donna Summer. These artists created catchy, danceable songs with synthesizers and drum machines. Their music was often featured in movies and TV shows, which helped to increase its popularity.

As EDM became more popular, other artists began to experiment with different sounds and styles. This led to the development of different subgenres of EDM, such as techno, house, and trance. Each of these subgenres has its own distinct sound and popularity.

Today, EDM is more popular than ever before. DJs like TiĆ«sto and Skrillex have brought the genre to mainstream audiences, and festivals like Tomorrowland attract hundreds of thousands of fans each year. With its catchy beats and immersive world, it’s no wonder that so many people enjoy dancing to EDM.

The Second Wave of Electronic Dance Music

In the early 1980s, electronic music began having a significant impact on popular culture. Although the first wave of electronic dance music (EDM) was led by artists like Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, it wasn’t until the second wave of EDM that the genre truly began to take off.

During the second wave of EDM, a number of different subgenres emerged, each with its own distinct sound and style. These subgenres included acid house, techno, trance, and drum and bass. Furthermore, this was also the era when rave culture began to take hold in the UK and Europe.

Rave culture was defined by all-night dance parties that featured pulsing lights and loud, repetitive beats. Raves quickly became popular among young people who were looking for an alternative to traditional clubs and bars. This newfound popularity led to increased media coverage of EDM, which in turn helped to make the genre even more popular.

By the mid-1990s, electronic dance music had become one of the most popular genres in the world. Thanks to the second wave of EDM, artists like The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, and The Crystal Method were able to find mainstream success.

The Golden Age of Electronic Dance Music

The 80’s was a golden age for electronic dance music. The music was new, fresh and exciting. The DJs were pioneers, innovators and trailblazers. They took the music to new heights and created some of the most iconic tracks of all time. Let’s take a look at some of the best DJs of the 80’s.

The Chicago House Scene

In the mid to late eighties,Chicago’s Warehouse and Music Box were ground zero for the birth of House music. Penny Jarret, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Frankie Knuckles, Tyree Cooper, Ron Hardy, and Lil Louis all played pivotal roles in shaping the genre. House music would eventually spread worldwide, but it all started in Chicago.

The Detroit Techno Scene

The Belleville Three, also known as The Wizard, The Innovator, and The Originator, are a group of electronic music producers from Belleville, Michigan, consisting of Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May.

The Legacy of 80’s Electronic Dance Music

The 1980’s was a time of great change in music. Electronic dance music began to take form and found its place in society. This was a time of great exploration and creativity. The best of 80’s electronic dance music is still celebrated today.

The Influence of 80’s Electronic Dance Music

80’s electronic dance music was a genre that was created by fusing together elements of disco, new wave and synth-pop. This fusion led to the creation of a new sound that became popular in nightclubs and on the radio. The popularity of this new sound gave rise to the first wave of electronic dance music artists, who were able to achieve mainstream success with their music.

The influence of 80’s electronic dance music can still be felt today, as many modern EDM artists have cited the genre as an influence on their own music. The popularity of the genre has also led to the creation of numerous subgenres, including house, techno, trance and drum & bass.

The Resurgence of 80’s Electronic Dance Music

The Resurgence of 80’s Electronic Dance Music: In recent years, there has been a resurgence of popularity in 80’s electronic dance music. This is due in part to the success of movies such as “Drive” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, which featured tracks by artists such as Kavinsky and Giorgio Moroder. This resurgence has also been fueled by the growing popularity of synthwave, a subgenre of electronic music that takes its inspiration from the sound and aesthetics of 80’s pop culture.

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