Today, the biggest music survey in Europe, which polled over 11,000 people, reveals that the 1980s is still the most popular music decade of the last 40 years.

The results, from a survey by leading digital music broadcaster Music Choice, found that almost one in three people (31 per cent) prefer to sing along to music from the era of synthetic pop, which beat the music of the 1990s (27 per cent) to the top spot as well as that from the 1970s which came third (23 per cent).

The era also saw one of the biggest aid relief concerts of all time, Live Aid, which was voted the most important music event of the last 30 years (21 per cent). The re-release of the Band Aid single Do They Know it's Christmas by Band Aid 20 in 2004 is further testament to the appeal's importance and the popularity of the music from this bygone era.

The popularity of 1980s tunes is also reflected in our choice of song for the first dance at weddings, with Van Morrison's 1989 hit Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? voted as our second favourite (11 per cent), kept out of the top spot by the 1973 hit You Are The Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder (13 per cent). Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's classic 1981 duet Endless Love came fourth with 9 per cent of the vote.

It is unsurprising then that the reformation of famous 1980s bands such as Spandau Ballet in March 2009 and the reunion of Duran Duran during the early part of the last decade were met with appreciation, and alongside the release of the Pet Shop Boys' latest album Pandemonium last week, the survey highlights the importance of the 80s and its undying influence on pop culture today.

The relevance of the 80s can also still be seen as the motivation of many modern music artists such as Lady Gaga whose performance at The Brits last week only highlights her style and sound inspiration from such cult legends as Madonna and David Bowie.

Synthesizers, drum machines and electronic keyboards formed the "New Wave" sound that was popular in the music of the early 80's and continue to inspire many more popular current artists such as Little Boots and Daft Punk.

The music of La Roux and LadyHawke also uses the 80s sounds of synthetic keyboards as the base of their well known songs and with the success of Call on Me (Eric Prydz's remixed Steve Winwoods' 1982 hit Valerie) the results demonstrate than many still love to listen to the music of two decades ago.

Most popular decades of music in the last 40 years
1. 1980s = (31 per cent)
2. 1990s= (25 per cent)
3. 1970s= (23 per cent)
4. 1960s= (19 per cent)
5. 2000s= (2 per cent)

Top 10 most influential occurrences in music in the last 30 years
1. Live Aid (21 per cent) - most important event
2. Launch of downloadable music (19 per cent) - most important innovation
3. Launch of the iPod (17 per cent)
3 Death of Michael Jackson (17 per cent) - most important death
5. Death of John Lennon (8 per cent)
6. Launch of music videos and music video TV channels (8 per cent)
7. Nelson Mandela Concert (4 per cent)
8. Death of Kurt Kobain (3 per cent)
9. Talent shows such as Pop Idol and X Factor (2 per cent)
10. Spice Girls Splitting up (1 per cent)

The survey was available in 12 languages and was open to consumers across Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.