80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


With the arrival of Def Leppard, that leaves Peter Gabriel as the only major 80s pop artist to still hold out on putting his back catalog on Spotify (and since he has acted like a tremendous douche on the subject, I doubt we'll see him cave anytime soon).  Anyway, I decided to take the occasion to post all 1980s Hot 100 Top 10 songs that remain unavailable on Spotify.  This is for reference and perhaps to put pressure on artists and labels for release.  Because my interest lies in the 1980s decade, the list is restricted to that decade.  An asterisk (*) indicates that the song spent a significant amount of time on Spotify since late 2015 or so, but has been removed for an unexplained reason.  Artist-authorized re-recordings will be noted.  If the only thing available is a dubious re-recording with a suspicious label indication, the song is listed as not available.  The list is sorted by peak position.  I may follow up this list by continuing through the rest of the Top 20 or Top 40.  Anyway, here you go:

#1 songs:
"I Love Rock n' Roll"--Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
"Mickey"--Toni Basil*
"Flashdance...What a Feeling"--Irene Cara* (recently sourced from a compilation; the parent album is still unavailable and fakes abound--don't count on its stability)
"Sledgehammer"--Peter Gabriel
"Rock On"--Michael Damian (a very good 2009 rerecording by Damian himself is available)

#2 songs:
"Electric Avenue"--Eddy Grant*
"All I Need"--Jack Wagner
"I Want Your $ex"--George Michael (available, but the charting song is not available in a separate track from its "Part 2" B-side, "Brass in Love")

#3 songs:
All are available, but take Anita Baker's "Giving You the Best That I Got" with a grain of salt.  Most of her hits appear to be available again, but as parts of compilations that may or may not be dubious or authorized by her.  They never play as part of her own albums, and the album art itself does not really show up.  "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" by The S.O.S. Band is sourcing from a compilation (including the compilation album art) with a cut-off fade out as of March 2020.  The parent album has been greyed out with the exception of the hit.

#4 songs:
"For Your Eyes Only"--Sheena Easton

All apparently available

#5 songs:
All apparently available

"Lookin' for Love"--Johnny Lee* (tends to periodically reappear via compliation, then disappear again after a short time--UPDATE March 2020: as of Summer 2019, seems to FINALLY be stable and sourcing from the original album

"Make a Move on Me"--Olivia Newton-John*

"She Blinded Me with Science"--Thomas Dolby*--UPDATE March 2020: now appears to be available and sourcing properly from the original parent album, hopefully stable.

#6 songs:
All apparently available

#7 songs:
"Crimson and Clover"--Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
"Spies Like Us"--Paul McCartney
"Sweet Freedom"--Michael McDonald

#8 songs:
"They Don't Know"--Tracey Ullman
"Breakdance"--Irene Cara*
"Big Time"--Peter Gabriel
"I Remember Holding You"--Boys Club--UPDATE March 2020: the song in its original recording has been made available as a single with a b/w image of the two band members as cover art.  The full album is not available nor is it in the database.  Stability questionable.

#9 songs:
"Don't Shed a Tear"--Paul Carrack* (available again as of March 2020)
"The Doctor"--Doobie Brothers* (has reappeared via compilation, then been removed again.  UPDATE March 2020: now sourcing from the original parent album and available)

Note that "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia has been available in the same version from several different sources, apparently an authorized re-recording.  Recently, a source showed up with an entire B&G album and good album art (unlike the typical "fake compilation" album art that is so ubiquitous on Spotify), but it is still unclear if the recording is the original.  It sounds authentic.

#10 songs:
"Hold on to My Love"--Jimmy Ruffin (it looks like all the available versions of this are re-recordings, even though they are not all indicated as such and they sound very good)
"Baby Love"--Regina (was available, but removed again as of March 2020)
"Where Are You Now"--Jimmy Harnen and Synch
"Cry"--Waterfront--UPDATE March 2020: available and sourcing from the original album

So...all things considered, that's a pretty short list.  Good job, Spotify!  Hopefully someone looks at this to know where work is needed.  All top 10 songs should be available.  In fairness, the entire "What a Feelin'" album from Irene Cara was recently removed without explanation.  Would be nice if someone from Spotify could find out why or work on it.  Gabriel...sigh.  Who knows if he will cave?  Nobody thought Prince's heirs, Seger or Def Leppard would [UPDATE: It happened!].  Some of the albums that have long been unavailable with no explanation, such as Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll," deserve some effort [UPDATE: Finally, Joan Jett's catalog is fully available!].  And so do the really obscure tracks like Boys Club "I Remember Holding You" (half of that act was a member of the Jets, so the song, as a Top 10 hit, should have been included on one of those Jets compilations).  Jack Wagner's "All I Need" is the highest charting song of the decade to not be available in any digital format, including download.  Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" is also unavailable for download at iTunes or Amazon, but it was there at one point and then removed.

Pay attention to this list, Spotify, and get the job done!  The labels and artists (where applicable) need to be "persuaded."

As I said, I may follow up with Top 20 and Top 40 songs.

54 Replies

Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Edited the list above to reflect recent changes.  Good news: Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only" is finally available, part of a recent release of her entire album catalog (formerly, most of her hit singles were only available through a "Greatest Hits" compilation that did not include "For Your Eyes Only," which was listed as a track on a James Bond compilation, but was greyed out--it's fully available now).


Bad news: "She Blinded Me with Science" is now greyed out in all sources, along with most of Thomas Dolby's catalog.  Dolby is known to be active on the internet and has personally created his own Spotify playlist, so it is to be hoped that he is working on whatever licensing issue caused his catalog's removal.


I'm shortly going to continue the list with unavailable 1980s songs that peaked at Hot 100 #11-#20.


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Continuation through 80s Top 20 Songs


#11 songs:

All apparently available, but Sheila E's "A Love Bizarre" is only available in the album version, which lasts over 12 minutes (!)  Because of that great length, the single version should be available.  A similar issue exists for the #7 "The Glamorous Life," which is only available in a 9:00 original version or a 6.5 minute "Club Edit" (which is not the same as the familiar single version).


#12 songs:

"Beach Boys Medley"--The Beach Boys (not as hopeless as it might seem; it shows up as a greyed out track on the 2004 "Platinum Edition" compilation and could presumably be added).

"Beatles Movie Medley" (This, on the other hand, probably is pretty hopeless; it was only ever released on vinyl and has been long buried--Ringo, Paul and the heirs of John and George would surely like to keep it that way [it's not even available on YouTube]--nonetheless, it was a #12 hit and should be available in some form).

"Lights Out"--Peter Wolf

"Just Another Night"--Mick Jagger*

"Thinking of You"--Sa-Fire


#13 songs:

"Pilot of the Airwaves"--Charlie Dore*

"Why Me?"--Irene Cara*

"Another Lover"--Giant Steps


#14 songs:

"Love the World Away"--Kenny Rogers* (reappeared Summer 2019)

"It's Now or Never"--John Schneider


#15 songs:

"Come As You Are"--Peter Wolf


#16 songs:

"Cry"--Godley & Creme (available as of March 2020)


#17 songs:

"Goin' Down"--Greg Guidry


#18 songs:

"Why Not Me"--Fred Knoblock"

"Hey Baby" by Henry Lee Summer is only available in a live version, not the studio recording.


#19 songs:

"All Night Long"--Joe Walsh


#20 songs:

"Without Your Love"--Roger Daltrey

"Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)"--Joan Jett

"Run Runaway"--Slade

"Soul Kiss"--Olivia Newton-John*


Interesting that #15-#19 have one unavailable song each (although Henry Lee Summer's "Hey Baby" actually isn't really available, only existing in a live version--strange because his other hit, "I Wish I Had a Girl" [which actually peaked lower] is available in the original version).


Will possibly continue through the rest of the Top 40 at some point.


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify

Music Fan

What the heck is Slade holding out for? They don’t seem like the pretentious types at all. (No offense TOOL)


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Another edit at #5.  Johnny Lee's "Lookin' for Love" has been unstable on Spotify for a while.  It briefly vanished for about a day a few months ago, but when it returned, it had really weird album art from obscure compilations (which changed over the course of the weeks).  It now appears to have been greyed out again from all sources.  Obviously his biggest hit.  Available on iTunes.  Work on it, Spotify, get it right.  Source it from the "Greatest Hits" album, which is otherwise composed of available tracks.


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Continuation through 80s Top 30 Songs


#21 songs:

"Earth Angel"--New Edition*

"Serious"--Donna Allen*

"Strange But True"--Times Two


#22 songs:

"Modern Day Delilah"--Van Stephenson


#23 songs:

"This Woman:--Kenny Rogers

"Fishnet"--Morris Day (a really terrible live version is available)

All now apparently available


#24 songs:

"Love You Like I Never Loved Before"--John O'Banion

"Take It Easy"--Andy Taylor


#25 songs:

"Fool in Love with You"--Jim Photoglo

"Steal the Night"--Stevie Woods

"Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk"--Dr. Hook

I'm not sure about Jim Photoglo's "Fool in Love with You."  It links from a VERY dubious source, but it sounds like the original recording.  NOTE: Clearly NOT the original recording!


#26 songs:

"In Your Eyes"--Peter Gabriel

"Not Just Another Girl"--Ivan Neville

All now apparently available


#27 songs:

"I'm Happy That Love Has Found You"--Jimmy Hall (available via compilation as of Fall 2019)

"Say It Again"--Jermaine Stewart (this one should be fixable--his earlier album is available and the "Say It Again" album was recently reissued on CD).


#28 songs:

"Killin' Time"--Fred Knoblock and Susan Anton

"Guitar Man"--Elvis Presley (not available in the remixed version that charted at this point--the original version is available).

"All Our Tomorrows"--Eddie Schwartz

"That's Love"--Jim Capaldi*


#29 songs:

"Shock the Monkey"--Peter Gabriel

"What About Me?"--Moving Pictures*

"Holiday"--The Other Ones*


#30 songs:

All apparently available



Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify

Music Fan

They pulled “What About Me?” I had that one saved. 


I know this falls outside the date range but John Stewart ‘s  “Gold” was a big hit in 1979 and has gone missing. For some reason I always hear it playing when I’m at Home Depot.


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Yeah, if it has an asterisk, that means it had been available at some
point since late 2015.

Regarding John Stewart, the whole Bombs Away Dream Babies album had been
available in what appeared to have been an unauthorized needle-drop. The
sound quality was awful and the album "art" laughable. And the "label" was
not recognizable. Not surprised it's gone, but hopefully a legit release
might be coming. I was going to get to "Lost Her in the Sun" at #34, as it
did hit its peak in early 1980. Stewart did a new version in 2005 or so,
but the original is not there.


Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify

Community Legend

What a handy list! And thank you for keeping it updated — sure is nice to know when one of these songs shows back up!



Re: 80s Top 10 Songs Not on Spotify


Thanks so much for your kind words!  It's gratifying that somebody finds the compilation useful.  I'll soon finish up the Top 40 songs with songs that peaked at #31-#40.