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VOICE OVER: Sophia Franklin WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
Don't stop trying to master these 80s songs. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're looking at those 80s tracks that are harder to master than a Rubik's Cube. Our countdown includes “Take On Me,” "Alone," "Purple Rain," and more!

#10: “Don't Stop Believin'” (1981) Journey

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Trust us, we get it. That piano intro starts and the excitement builds and it’s hard not to want to belt this one out. The problem is that belting isn’t as easy as you may remember it being from your childhood days in the 80s. Journey lead singer Steve Perry has a great and often underappreciated voice that is able to deliver this fairly wide range of notes with power and precision. Most of you might sound okay singing about the “small town girl,” but when it’s time to belt out the chorus, well… that’s when we kinda have to stop believing.

#9: “Take On Me” (1985) a-ha

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When most of us think of this song the first thing that comes to mind is the iconic music video about a girl pulled into the world of a comic book. And at over 1.8 billion views on YouTube, we obviously aren’t alone. But what might be getting lost in all that pencil-drawn awesomeness is just how impressive the “Take On Me” vocals are. The range throughout the song is deceiving and even just in the chorus, lead singer Morten Harket starts off pretty low and hits some higher-than-average notes as well. One reviewer called the song “emotionally resonant thanks to Morten Harket's touching vocal delicacy.” Is your voice touching and delicate?

#8: “Back in Black” (1980) AC/DC

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Because of the hard hitting guitar chords and Angus Young’s shorts, many of us may have forgotten just how hard the vocals are in this classic AC/DC track. The “Back in Black” album was the first one featuring Brian Johnson as the lead singer, having taken over for Bon Scott who had passed away earlier in the year. And Johnson wasted no time showing off his impressive pipes in this song, hitting some high notes that have tripped up many who’ve tried to sing this one. You’ll find many who just scream their way through “Back in Black,” but it takes a really talented vocalist to sing it properly.

#7: “Livin' on a Prayer” (1986) Bon Jovi

We’ll assume you don’t have a Talk Box to recreate those iconic “whah whah woe woe” sounds - but they aren’t why this song made the list. Sometimes with rock songs one thinks they can just scream their way through it, but that is generally not going to work. And it definitely won’t work here. Jon Bon Jovi has an underrated voice and the notes he hits cleanly in the chorus aren’t as easy as many aspiring rock singers might think. Basically if you think you’re going to breeze through this track then you’re living on a prayer. Ya, we said it!

#6: “Alone” (1987) Heart

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One of the great 80s power ballads, “Alone” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987 and held onto that top spot for three weeks. This is one of those tracks that might seem doable at first, as Ann Wilson takes a calm, relatable approach to the opening verses with just a piano accompaniment. But then when it’s chorus time, the guitars kick in and so does Wilson’s - as one reviewer put it - “signature billowing, riveting vocal[s]”. We don’t know about you but no one would ever call our vocal abilities billowing or riveting.

#5: “Purple Rain” (1984) Prince

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Great singing isn’t just about hitting the right musical notes, but about hitting the right emotional notes as well. And that’s exactly what you’re going to have to achieve if you have any chance at doing justice to Prince’s 1984 hit, “Purple Rain.” From the get go Prince is feeling this one with a depth that comes through even if you aren’t watching the accompanying music video/scene from his similarly-titled film. Then, while you’re scrounging the depths of your soul, now you also have to hit those notes. Enjoy! And if you manage that one, give “When Doves Cry” a try next.

#4: “Running Up That Hill” (1985) Kate Bush

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Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” tells the story of a man and a woman who make a deal with God to switch places with each other. And if you want to try and sing this song, you might have to make your own deal with the man upstairs in order to have the vocal talent to do it justice. Bush has such a wonderful and distinctive voice it can be intimidating just trying to sing one of her songs. But this one is especially difficult, given the emotional resonance and some of the quick lyrical runs.

#3: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (1983) Bonnie Tyler

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” was written by Jim Steinman, who, as some of you may know, is the man who collaborated with Meat Loaf on his “Bat Out of Hell” albums. And just like many songs on those albums, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a big, dramatic, operatic power ballad that requires you to really put on a vocal show emotionally and range-wise as well. Bonnie Tyler pulls it off perfectly and we have a feeling Meat Loaf would have rocked it also. But the question is…. Can you?

#2: “Didn't We Almost Have It All” (1987) Whitney Houston

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It’s Whitney Houston. We probably don’t have to say more than that, but we will. It should come as no surprise to anyone that a Whitney Houston song is sitting high on this list given that she has one of the greatest voices of all time. The only question is what song was it going to be? Certainly “One Moment in Time” was worthy of the spot, and so was the amazing range displayed on “Saving All My Love for You.” But in the end it was “Didn't We Almost Have It All” that stood out as the hardest of the hard from Houston’s 80s discography. The vocal range, the runs, the emotional force… Houston was one of a kind.

#1: “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” (1982) Jennifer Holliday

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When it comes to this entry we need to add a caveat to the title of our list, and change it to “the hardest songs to sing… unless you’re Jennifer Hudson.” Because as we all witnessed in 2006’s “Dreamgirls,” Hudson can not only sing “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going,” but she can sing it better than almost anyone who's ever tried. Right up there with Jennifer Holliday who made the song famous in the original production of “Dreamgirls” on Broadway in the 80s. As for all us non-Jennifers… this song is a vocal and emotional tour-de-force that is doable only in our dreams. Which of these 80s tracks would you not touch with a 10-foot microphone pole?