The 25 Best Synthpop Tracks Ever

just-cant-get-enoughWhen we asked Synthtopia readers what songs are the best synthpop tracks ever, you responded with an amazing number of comments.

We appreciated the feedback – we just can’t get enough – but we thought readers might also be interested in a list of the best synthpop songs of all time.

Here are the The 25 Best Synthpop Tracks Ever, as picked by Synthtopia readers. We’ve included music videos for the top 10, embedded below.

Check out the list and let us know what you think!

10 Synthpop Classics, As Picked By Synthtopia Readers

New Order – Blue Monday

Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough

Visage – Fade to grey

Yazoo – Don’t Go

Giorgio Moroder feat. Donna Summer – i Feel Love

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams

Human League – Don’t You Want Me

OMD – Enola Gay

Yazoo – Situation

Telex – Moskow Disco

The 25 Best Synthpop Tracks Ever

  1. New Order – Blue Monday
  2. Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough
  3. Visage – Fade to grey
  4. Yazoo – Don’t Go
  5. Giorgio Moroder feat. Donna Summer – i Feel Love
  6. Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams
  7. Human League – Don’t You Want Me
  8. OMD – Enola Gay
  9. Yazoo – Situation
  10. Telex – Moskow Disco
  11. Kraftwerk – Das Model
  12. Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
  13. A-ha – Take On Me
  14. Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
  15. Human League – Being Boiled
  16. John Foxx – Europe After The Rain
  17. Fallout Club – Dream Soldiers
  18. Erasure – A Little Respect
  19. Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
  20. Robert Gorl – Mit Dir
  21. Thomas Leer – Private Plane
  22. Trevor Herion – Love Chains
  23. Erasure – Sometimes
  24. Erasure – Victm of love
  25. Erasure – Stop

via Subsens

65 thoughts on “The 25 Best Synthpop Tracks Ever

  1. Vince Clarke features on seven of those. My ‘Vince Clarke is a synth-pop genius’ hypothesis continues to hold water.
    Also – those two Human League tracks (one from each incarnation, I note) are not even the best Human League tracks – from either incarnation.

    1. I discovered Vince Clarke’s music with Yazoo’s “Don’t go” and since then I’ve been following his work with Depeche Mode, Yazoo, The Assembly, Erasure, … For me, a genius of electronic music!!! Now enjoying his collaboration with Jean-Michel Jarre, another genius and idol of me…
      Agree with 90% of the list, but… no Pet Shop Boys’ theme in there???

  2. Considering that this is a list of pop tracks , the list is fair enough if pops your thing.
    It is not floating my boat , but can’t believe Bronski beat aren’t on there. Or Magic Fly by Space/

  3. A Flock Of Seagulls and so many others are missing. I don´t think there´s such a thing as “The best…” because more often than not it simply depends on the mood.

    1. Please, no rants! It was me “who compiled this list”. This wasn’t supposed to be a competition in the first place. It was compiled from the reader’s comments on the previous post from 2013, just have a look at the link. I just took the time to scan through all the comments up to that point and organized the song suggestions made by the readers themselves. In total, there were 163 different song entries. Each song mentioned and each like counted as a vote. Here is my original comment, just in case:

      Subsens on January 29, 2015 at 3:24 pm said:

      I have taken the initiative to compile the votes for every song mentioned in this post so far (Jan 2015). Posts that mentioned more than one song were given separate votes each. Here it is:

      New Order – Blue Monday +48
      Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough +46
      Visage – Fade to grey +41
      Yazoo – Don’t Go +38
      Giorgio Moroder feat. Donna Summer – i Feel Love +33
      Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams +33
      Human League – Don’t You Want Me +31
      OMD – Enola Gay +26
      Yazoo – Situation +24
      Telex – Moskow Disco +23
      Kraftwerk – Das Model +22
      Depeche Mode – Everything Counts +20
      A-ha – Take On Me +19
      Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence +18
      Human League – Being Boiled 13
      John Foxx – Europe After The Rain +13
      Fallout Club – Dream Soldiers +13
      Erasure – A Little Respect +13
      Duran Duran – The Chauffeur +13
      Robert Gorl – Mit Dir +13
      Thomas Leer – Private Plane +13
      Trevor Herion – Love Chains +13
      Erasure – Sometimes +12
      Erasure – Victm of love +12
      Erasure – Stop +12
      Erasure – Blue Savannah +12
      Erasure – Chorus +12
      Erasure – Breath of Life +12
      Erasure – Always +12
      Erasure – Don’t Say Your Love is Killing Me +12
      Ultravox – Vienna +12
      Gary Numan – Cars +11
      Hot Butter – Popcorn +11
      Erasure – Oh L’Amour +11
      Heaven 17 – (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang +11
      Doctor Who Theme +11
      Devo – Beautiful World +11
      Space – Magic Fly +11
      Kraftwerk – The Robots +11
      Kraftwerk – Autobahn +11
      Kraftwerk – Computer Love +11
      John Foxx – Underpass +10
      Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye +10
      The Knife – Heartbeats +10
      Yazoo – Only You +10
      Alphaville – Sounds Like a Melody +10
      OMD – Joan of Arc +9
      Depeche Mode – Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead +9
      Trans X – Living on Video +9
      Bronski Beat – smalltown boy +9
      Propaganda – Duel +8
      Gary Numan – Are Friends Electric +8
      Kraftwerk – Musique Non-Stop +8
      Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf +8
      Goldfrapp – Strict Machine +8
      Colourbox – Breakdown +7
      Laurie Anderson – Superman +7
      Propaganda – Dr.Mabuse +7
      MGMT – Kids +7
      Soft Cell – Tainted Love +7
      Ymo – Rydeen +7
      Gary Numan – Metal +6
      Kraftwerk – Neon lights +6
      Kraftwerk – Numbers +6
      Plastic Bertrand – Tout petit la planète +5
      Duran Duran – Save a Prayer +5
      Alexander Robotnick – C’est la Vie +5
      Kavinsky – Nightcall +5
      Landscape – Einstein a Go Go +5
      OMD – Messages +5
      OMD – Souvenir +5
      Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls +5
      Soft Cell – Torch +5
      Daft Punk – One More Time +4
      Donkeyboy – City Boy +4
      Jona Lewie – Kitchen at Parties + 4
      Los Prisioneros – Tren Al Sur +4
      Propaganda – P-Machinery +4
      The Postal Service – Such Great Heights +4
      Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend +4
      Soft Cell – Bedsitter +4
      Yello – Botisch +4
      Ultravox – Sleepwalk +4
      E.L.O. – Twilight +3
      Eurythmics – Here comes the rain again +3
      Giorgio Moroder – The chase +3
      Animotion – I enginner +3
      Depeche mode – Precious +3
      Peter godwin – Images of Heaven +3
      Real Life – Send me an angel +3
      Soft Cell – Memorabilia +3
      Sound of Science – Hydrodome +3
      Talk Talk – Today +3
      The Tornados – Telstar +3
      Thomas Dolby – Blinded by Science +3
      Ladytron – Playgirl +2
      Human League – Heart Like a Wheel +2
      Ad Visser & Daniel Sahuleka – Giddyap A Gogo +2
      Alphaville – Forever Young +2
      Anything Box – Living in Oblivion +2
      Cetu Javu – Have In Mind +2
      Chvrches – Lies +2
      Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star +2
      Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round +2
      Depeche Mode – See you +2
      Howard Jones – What is Love +2
      Madonna – Into the Groove +2
      Men Without Hats – Safety Dance +2
      Duran Duran – Girls on Film +2
      Human League – Love Action +2
      Missing Persons – Words +2
      Mi-sex – Computer Games +2
      Raf – Self Control (More well-known cover by Laura Branigan) +2
      Talk Talk – It’s My Life +2
      Telepopmusic – Breath +2
      The Korgis – Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometimes +2
      Trio – Da Da Da +2
      When in Rome – The Promise +2
      Dominatrix – The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight +1
      Devo – Whip It +1
      Heaven 17 – I’m Your Money +1
      Herbie Hancock – Rockit +1
      Japan – The Art Of Parties +1
      Mirage – Lake of Dreams +1
      OMD – The Messerschmitt Twins +1
      Propaganda – Wound In My Heart +1
      Rational Youth – Close To Nature +1
      Scritti Politti – Absolute +1
      Scritti Politti – Small Talk +1
      Severed Heads – Dead Eyes Opened +1
      Sparks – No.1 Song In Heaven +1
      Switched on Bach – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring +1
      Tears For Fears – Mad World +1
      Thomas Dolby – Leipzig +1
      Tuxedomoon – What Use +1
      Yazoo – Nobody’s Diary +1
      Berlin – Metro +0
      Bis – Dead Wrestlers +0
      Buggles – Living in the Plastic Age +0
      Cornelius – Star Fruits new +0
      Cristina – Ticket to the Tropics +0
      DAT Politics – Bad Dream Machine +0
      Depeche Mode – Photographic +0
      Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again +0
      Human League – Seconds +0
      Gary Numan – I Die you Die +0
      Gary Numan – Down in the Park +0
      Ghengis Khan – Moscow +0
      Howard Jones – Hunt the Self +0
      Kim Wilde – View from a Bridge +0
      Lena Lovich – New Toy +0
      Light Asylum – A Certain Person +0
      M – Pop Muzik +0
      Neon Judgement – Chinese Black +0
      NIN – Head Like a Hole +0
      Our Daughters Weddin – Lawn Chairs +0
      Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia +0
      Plastics – Deluxe +0
      Takahashi Yukihiro – Extra-ordinary +0
      Tenchi Muyo – Ryoko’s Theme +0
      Units – High Pressure Days +0
      Urbangarde – ??????? +0
      You Lover Her Coz She’s Dead – Sunday Best +0

  4. Does anybody outside DK know Spleen United? -They would easily have made it twice on my top 25 synth hits list – not that I’m complaining, I’m just curious.
    …great list btw

    1. It seems like the U.K. appreciates new genres than the U.S.

      Rock and roll, disco, synth pop, techno – they all came from the U.S., but UK audiences blew it up when it was underground in the U.S.,

      Why is the U.S. so bad at appreciating its own artists? Most people wouldn’t know any of the techno pioneers, for example.

  5. I’m missing Howard Jones (New Song, What Is Love), Pet Shop Boys (Westend Girls), Ultravox (Vienna) and Bronski Beat (Smalltown Boy) here. I have never heard any of the songs 20 – 22. And what’s with all the Erasure anyway?

  6. I realize this is votes from reader comments — my guess is that there are quite a few cases of a reader spotting that someone had already been named, and skipping just saying “me too.” Gary Numan should absolutely be on the list, and I’d put in plugs for Yello and Thomas Dolby.

    Propellerheads, Moby, Chemical Brothers, and Fatboy Slim didn’t seem to get a mention earlier. Not exactly synth pop, but big influences on how I see the use of electronics in music.

  7. I agree with most of the comments about omissions, especially about Numan and Dolby, but this kind of list is interesting as a snapshot. I’d never heard of Telex and glad to have gotten the tip.

    Personally, I think Ladytron’s “Seventeen” would make my top 25. I might also add a track from Holy Ghost! a band from this decade that plays live with several synths including some modular.

  8. I second t uproar against the absence of Numan in that list. I also think that John Foxx’s solo career would be better represented by Underpass. Europe After The Rain is a great song, but if I am not wrong is more an Ultravox song.

  9. Not one Minimal Wave track? When I was younger I ate up ALL the synthpop. The years went by, I thought there was nothing left to discover. Thanks to the internet, I found this wasn’t the case at all. Now some of my favorite synthpop tracks of all time happen to be from lost tapes in the 80’s I never knew existed until the last 5 years or so.

  10. I dunno, I think of so many recent hits, whether soft synth or otherwise

    Just a random modernisthselection:
    Bulletproof – la roux
    Such great heights – postal Service
    Heartbeat – the knife
    One more time – daft punk
    I love it (I don’t care). A icons pop
    Dancing on my own – Robyn

    And then there’ the old classics I grew up with
    Video killed the radio star – the buggles
    Moscow – ghengis khan
    Boney M anything – though I admit I dunno if any of that was synthesized
    Whip it – devo
    Popcorn – hot butter
    Oh lamour – erasure
    Love in the first degree – bananarama

    But I do agree that Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics should be number one.

  11. Oh yeah, and never mind hall & oates

    Man eater
    Out of touch
    I could go on and on and on…

    Oh and ELO!

    And goldfrapp! Alive is the best synth song hands down!

  12. Lists like this usually leave something vital out. But no Gary Numan, no Thomas Dolby, no Ultravox, no Art of Noise (though arguably you could omit them on the basis of being sampling pioneers rather than synthpop), and only one Kraftwerk track? Preposterous, especially when considering some of the very questionable choices that did make the list.

  13. The list is generaly good, but unfortunately the modern synthpop is missing. Here are some modern synthpop songs that I like:

    The Knife – Heartbeats
    The Knife – Silent Shout
    Ladytron – Playgirl
    Ladytron – Seventeen
    Ladytron – Destroy Everything You Touch
    Ladytron – Ghosts
    Hot Chip – Ready For the Floor
    Hot Chip – One Life Stand
    Royksopp – Poor Leno
    Royksopp – What Else Is There
    Chvrches – The Mother We Share
    Chvrches – We Sink
    M83 – Kim & Jessie
    M83 – Midnight City
    Grimes – Oblivion
    Grimes – Nightmusic
    Grimes – REALiTi
    John Maus – Head For the Country
    La Roux – Bulletproof
    La Roux – Uptight Downtown
    Cut Copy – Lights and Music
    Goldfrapp – Strict Machine
    Goldfrapp – Number 1
    Goldfrapp – Ride a White Horse
    Marsheaux – Wait No More
    Marsheaux – Can U Stop Me?
    Marnie – The Hunter
    Apoptygma Berzerk – Eclipse
    Apoptygma Berzerk – Paranoia
    Mesh – It Scares Me
    Mesh – Crash
    Mesh – Born to Lie
    Miss Kittin – Kittin Is High
    The Nine – Dreamland
    Camouflage – I Can’t Feel You
    Crystal Castles – Celestica
    Crystal Castles – Crimewave
    Thermostatic – Driving
    Client – The Price of Love
    Soft Metals – Voices
    Robyn – Dancing on My Own
    Robyn – Hang With Me
    Robyn – With Every Heartbeat
    Little Boots – Stuck on Repeat
    Holy Ghost! – I Will Come Back

  14. No Yellow Magic Orchestra. Not the best OMD track etc. but I actually like some of the others and thats a first for this type of list.

  15. What not enough 90’s stuff worth a mention?

    Altern 8, no Prodigy? the Orb little fluffy clouds? 808 State? Future Sound of London? Massive Attack? Sweet mercy, not even the Beloved? YOU’RE NOT ALONE?

    You people make me sick.
    (Not really).

  16. I would have to add the following songs to this list (Not including anything I have already seen mentioned in the comments)

    Animotion’s “I engineer”
    Real Life – Send me an angel

  17. Where is Gary Numan “who compiled this list” ?? Godfather of Synth, Are friends electric or Cars Come on not even listed. Synthopia try again!

  18. There are so many strong contenders that might be included. I like how this list reflects that there are some classic synth pop tracks by acts not usually thought of as synth pop bands. A top 100 list would also be a good thing, along with a list of the 50 or 100 best less well-known or overlooked synth pop songs. Some favorites:

    “The Metro” – Berlin
    “If You Were Here” – Thompson Twins
    “The Picture” – Hubert Kah (English version of “Wenn der Mond die Sonne Berührt”)
    “Together in Electric Dreams” – Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder
    “Empire State Human” – Human League
    “Nothing to Fear” – Depeche Mode

  19. Being a loyal synth guy, I grew up in the 70’s. Gary Wight was my inspiration back then. Being an R and B and Funk guy, I knew if that crowd got into synths, they would utilize the synths for bass sounds etc., ala George Clinton, Cameo, and other bands. Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver, and I really wanna know you,” still stands up very well after all these years. Even though I live in the States, one must reach beyond their horizons to see what is out there. The British use of synths is legendary, that’s why back in the day I wanted to hear as much music from that part of the world because to me they seemed to be very innovative. It’s not surprising the list has 80% British acts. Howard Jones, The Cars, Gary Numann and others have blazed a trail. It is my hope individuals continue to produce the type of music we all can enjoy and appreciate. It is true that America seems to not appreciate many singers, bands and groups as say the British crowd. I guess that’s why many bands continue to perform overseas rather than here. To the British synth guys and girls, keep them coming. I for one appreciate it!

  20. You put 80s new romantic, new wave, eurodisco and italo disco songs and call them synthpop… haha You must be like 16 years old.
    Synthpop is basically everything after 2000.

  21. I feel like almost every Japan song should be on this list. But there’s not even one. That’s unfortunate because they were an exceptional, unique band.

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