Top 5 Roller Skating Songs of the 1980s

(My) All Time Favorite Top 5 Roller Skating Songs of the 1980s (with a twist) 

 I was fortunate to grow up and DJ in what I considered to be the best decade of music, the 1980s. Several different types of music were big in the 80s. Even though actual 1970s Disco was fading out, there were several spin off genres that evolved from disco to some degree such as dance pop, electronic dance, techno, house and freestyle to name a few. There was also your standard contribution of popular Rock and Roll, Country and Jazz as well. With the emergence of MTV in 1981, the music video forever changed the scope of how the world “listened” to music and many songs became instant hits due to their creative music videos. 

The resurgence of roller skating rinks in the 1970s spilled over into the 1980s and anyone who laced up their skates and tightened their wheels on a normal basis is quick to remember his/her favorite roller rink songs from that era. 

With a lot of thought and a lot of input from fellow DJs and fellow roller skaters of the 80s, I have compiled a list of my TOP 5 Roller Skating Songs of the 1980s with some Honorable Mentions added as well. Growing up in NJ, my list is skewed toward what was popular on the East Coast. 

5.) “Jam On It”-Newcleus-This song brought out all the poppers who would converge in the middle of the rink showing off choreographed dance moves to this classic.

 4.) “Play At Your Own Risk”-Planet Patrol-The unique rhythmic sounds of Planet Patrol’s classic always seemed to push skaters into the next gear while flying around the rink.

 3.) “Apache”-Sugar Hill Gang-Even though “Rapper’s Delight” may be the most well known song by the Sugar Hill Gang, I think that “Apache” was their most popular tune when it came to air time in the roller rinks. 

2.) “Double Dutch Bus”-Frankie Smith-This song was truly a roller rink classic. Not a night went by when this song wasn’t played at the rink. When it was played, the floor was always packed as well. 

1.)“Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll”-Vaughan Mason-This song to me was the ultimate Roller rink tune as the song is written about roller skating! It also has the classic pounding bass beat that always seemed to get skater’s bodies gliding effortless around the rink. Vaughan Mason also had another hit “Jammin Big Guitar” that was also a roller rink stap 


Honorable Mentions (By Category) Slow Jam Category-“Careless Whisper”-George Michael, “Is This Love”-Whitesnake, “Faithfully”-Journey, “Time After Time”-Cindy Lauper-


No roller rink night was complete without a COUPLE’S SKATE. There were a ton a of great slow jams played during the Couple’s Skate, but here is a list of some of the more popular ones. 

Instrumental Jam Category-“Al Naafiysh”-Hashim, “I’m Ready”-Kano, “Planet Rock”-Afrika Bambaataa-I grouped these songs together because they were 3 of the best primarily instrumental jams of the roller skating era. Many skaters didn’t even know the names of these songs but they were still always on the floor skating to them. 

Rock and Roll Category-“Pour Some Sugar On Me”-Def Leopard, “Living on a Prayer”-Bon Jovi, “Workin’ For The Weekend”-Loverboy, “Jump”-Van Halen-These are only a few of the top Rock tunes that were popular at the rinks in the 80s. 

 Don’t forget to comment below and let me know your favorite! 

Frank L. DiRe Nerdthusiast Content Writer 

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