The Official Top 50 best-selling songs of 1980

Featuring classics by The Police, Blondie, Diana Ross and more.

1980 was a tumultuous year for pop music. While exciting moments included Kate Bush becoming the first British female artist to score a Number 1 album, and Ozzy Osbourne released his breakthrough debut Blizzard Of Ozz, the year also saw the tragic deaths of Joy Division's Ian Curtis and John Lennon.

It was also a busy year at the top end of the Official Singles Chart, with 24 songs reaching the summit across 12 months. The longest-running Number 1 of the year, at four weeks, was Don't Stand So Close To Me by The Police, and ranks as the UK's best-selling song of 1980 with estimates sales of 808,000, according to the Official Charts Company.

As revealed on new Channel 5 series Britain's favourite 80s songs, The Police's third UK Number 1 easily claimed 1980's top seller, finishing 28,000 ahead of its closest competitor, Barbra Streisand's Woman In Love (780k). The singer's track, written by Bee Gees brothers Barry and Robin Gibb, was her first and only UK Number 1 single, logging three weeks at the summit across October and November.

MORE: ABBA's Official Top 20 best-selling singles

In third is Scottish singer Kelly Marie with Feels Like I'm In Love (760k). The track, which spent two weeks at Number 1 in September that year, was originally intended for Elvis Presley, who recorded it in 1977 but died before it was released. Close behind in fourth is ABBA's Super Trouper (709k), the band's ninth and final UK chart-topping single, while French duo Ottawan round out the Top 5 with D.I.S.C.O (706k), a hit across Europe and a Number 2 smash in the UK. 

Further down the Top 50, there are multiple entries for Blondie, who scored a trio of chart-toppers that year with The Tide Is High (6) and Atomic (21) and Call Me (48), while Madness also make three entries despite failing to bag a Number 1 that year, with Baggy Trousers (12), My Girl (45), and Embarrassment (50). 

Other big Number 1s from 1980 in the Top 50 best-sellers include Geno by Dexy's Midnight Runners at 7, Kenny Rogers' Coward Of The County at 9, and David Bowie's Ashes To Ashes at 13. 

The UK's Official Top 50 best-selling singles from 1980

1 Don't Stand So Close To Me The Police 1
2 Woman In Love Barbra Streisand 1
3 Feels Like I'm In Love Kelly Marie 1
4 Super Trouper Abba 1
5 D.I.S.C.O. Ottawan 2
6 The Tide Is High Blondie 1
7 Geno Dexy's Midnight Runners 1
8 Together We Are Beautiful Fern Kinney 1
9 Coward Of The County Kenny Rogers 1
10 Working My Way Back To You / Forgive Me Girl The Detroit Spinners 1
11 9 To 5 Sheena Easton 3
12 Baggy Trousers Madness 3
13 Ashes To Ashes David Bowie 1
14 Theme From 'M*A*S*H*' (Suicide Is Painless) M.A.S.H. 1
15 Going Underground/Dreams Of Children The Jam 1
16 Crying Don McLean 1
17 (Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon 1
18 The Winner Takes It All Abba 1
19 Dance Yourself Dizzy Liquid Gold 2
20 There's No One Quite Like Grandma St Winifred's School Choir 1
21 Atomic Blondie 1
22 Upside Down Diana Ross 2
23 Use It Up And Wear It Out Odyssey 1
24 Start The Jam 1
25 Masterblaster (Jammin') Stevie Wonder 2
26 Funky Town Lipps Inc 2
27 I'm In The Mood For Dancing The Nolans 3
28 If You're Lookin' For A Way Out Odyssey 6
29 One Day I'll Fly Away Randy Crawford 2
30 The Special A.K.A. Live! (EP) The Special AKA 1
31 What You're Proposing Status Quo 2
32 Take That Look Off Your Face Marti Webb 3
33 No Doubt About It Hot Chocolate 2
34 Stop The Cavalry Jona Lewie 3
35 Brass In Pocket The Pretenders 1
36 Oops Upside Your Head The Gap Band 6
37 What's Another Year Johnny Logan 1
38 Xanadu Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra 1
39 Special Brew Bad Manners 3
40 King / Food For Thought UB40 4
41 And The Beat Goes On The Whispers 2
42 Turning Japanese The Vapors 3
43 When You Ask About Love Matchbox 4
44 I Could Be So Good For You Dennis Waterman 3
45 My Girl Madness 3
46 Never Knew Love Like This Before Stephanie Mills 4
47 Enola Gay Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark 8
48 Call Me Blondie 1
49 More Than I Can Say Leo Sayer 2
50 Embarrassment Madness 4

©2021 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Please note, this chart may differ from previously published charts as it is compiled using the very latest Official Charts Company sales information now available for the 1980s period. Read more on how the Official Charts were compiled back in the 1980s here.

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Richard M White


Another case of the OCC re-writing history? The complete year-end chart as published in Record Mirror on 21 March 1981 had John Lennon at number 10. Why the sudden revision?


Gary Feld


The chart published in Record Mirror missed out on the last week sales of the year.... ABBA's SuperTrouper went from no. 28 to no. 4 in the recount also.


Richard M White


No Gary, that was the original list that was also broadcast on Radio 1 with sales up to 6 December (with 3 weeks sales missing). RM updated the list in March 1981 which can be found here: ://


Jonnie Dance


you're so right Richard M White. Why has this happened?


Estranged Liberal


Because they have more accurate data now?