The Most Essential Electronic Dance Music of the 80s

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The 80s were a golden era for electronic dance music. From the early days of synth-pop to the rise of house and techno, there were countless essential tracks that shaped the genre. In this blog post, we take a look at some of the most essential electronic dance music of the 80s.


The 1980s was a defining decade for electronic dance music, with a host of genres and subgenres emerging that would go on to become hugely popular in the years that followed. From the early days of warehouse parties in Chicago and Detroit to the acid house explosion in the UK and Europe, there was a lot of ground covered in a relatively short space of time.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of what we consider to be the most essential electronic dance music tracks of the 80s. These are the tracks that defined the sound of their respective genres, and which continue to be influential today.

The birth of electronic dance music

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new type of music emerged from the underground clubs of Europe. This new sound, which came to be known as electronic dance music (EDM), was characterized by its heavy use of synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments.

EDM quickly gained popularity in the United States, thanks in part to the popularity of disco music. In the mid-1980s, EDM artists such as Afrika Bambaataa and Planet Rock became household names. By the late 1980s, EDM had become one of the most popular genres of music in the world.

Today, EDM is more popular than ever before. Thanks to the internet and social media, EDM has become a global phenomenon. From massive stadium shows to intimate club nights, there is an EDM event for everyone.

The most essential electronic dance music of the 80s

The 1980s was the golden era of electronic dance music. This was the decade when genres like house and techno were born, and when artists like Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder laid the foundations for EDM as we know it today.

There are countless classic tracks from the 80s that any self-respecting EDM fan should know, but in this article we’re going to focus on the most essential tracks of the decade. These are the tracks that defined the sound of electronic dance music, and that continue to influence artists today.

So without further ado, here are the most essential electronic dance music tracks of the 1980s:

1. Kraftwerk – “Computer World” (1981)
2. Giorgio Moroder – “Electric Dreams” (1984)
3. New Order – “Blue Monday” (1983)
4. Depeche Mode – “Personal Jesus” (1989)
5. Front 242 – “Headhunter” (1988)
6. Nitzer Ebb – “Murderous” (1987)
7. Front Line Assembly – “Digital Tension Dementia” (1989)
8.Skinny Puppy – “Dig It” (1989)
9. Front Line Assembly – “Killing Game” (1991)


In conclusion, the most essential electronic dance music of the 80s can be divided into four categories: light roasts, medium roasts, medium-dark roasts, and dark roasts. Each category has its own unique flavor profile and caffeine content. Choose the roast that best suits your taste preferences and enjoy!

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