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Best Ballads Of The 80s

The 1980s were a decade known for its iconic music, with ballads playing a significant role in shaping the sound of the era. From power ballads to emotional love songs, the 80s produced some of the greatest ballads in music history. In this article, we will explore the best ballads of the 80s and delve into the stories behind these timeless classics.

1. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

Released in 1983, “Every Breath You Take” became an instant hit and remains one of the most iconic ballads of the 80s. Written by Sting, the song explores themes of obsession and possessiveness, with its haunting melody and poignant lyrics striking a chord with listeners around the world.

2. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

Written by Jim Steinman and performed by Bonnie Tyler, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was released in 1983 and quickly became a chart-topping hit. The power ballad’s soaring vocals and dramatic orchestration make it a standout track of the 80s, with its emotional lyrics resonating with audiences to this day.

3. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael

Originally released in 1984 as a solo single by George Michael, “Careless Whisper” is a timeless ballad that has stood the test of time. The song’s smooth saxophone riff and heartfelt lyrics make it a classic of the 80s, showcasing Michael’s talent as a singer and songwriter.

4. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

Released in 1984, “I Want to Know What Love Is” is a powerful ballad by rock band Foreigner that explores the longing for love and connection. The song’s emotional vocals and soaring chorus have made it a staple of 80s music, with its universal message resonating with listeners of all ages.

5. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams

Written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, “Heaven” was released in 1985 and became one of the biggest ballads of the decade. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and Adams’ soulful vocals struck a chord with audiences, earning it a permanent place in the pantheon of 80s ballads.

6. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Released in 1984, “Time After Time” is a timeless ballad by Cyndi Lauper that has become a classic of the 80s. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and Lauper’s emotive vocals make it a standout track, with its message of loyalty and love resonating with listeners of all ages.

7. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins

Written and performed by Phil Collins, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” was released in 1984 as the theme song for the film of the same name. The song’s emotional lyrics and Collins’ powerful vocals make it a standout ballad of the 80s, with its message of resilience and redemption striking a chord with audiences.

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8. “Alone” by Heart

Released in 1987, “Alone” is a power ballad by the rock band Heart that became a massive hit in the 80s. The song’s soaring vocals and emotional lyrics make it a standout track of the decade, with its message of longing and heartache resonating with listeners around the world.

Now that we have explored some of the best ballads of the 80s, let’s delve into some interesting facts about these iconic songs:

1. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police was inspired by Sting’s feelings of jealousy and possessiveness towards his then-wife, Frances Tomelty. The song’s haunting melody and lyrics capture the intensity of these emotions, making it a timeless classic.

2. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler was originally written for a musical adaptation of the novel “Nosferatu,” but was later reworked into a power ballad. The song’s dramatic orchestration and Tyler’s powerful vocals have made it a standout track of the 80s.

3. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael was originally written when Michael was just 17 years old, but was later reworked and released as a solo single. The song’s smooth saxophone riff and heartfelt lyrics make it a classic of the 80s, showcasing Michael’s talent as a songwriter.

4. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner features a gospel choir in the background, adding to the song’s emotional impact. The choir was recorded at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, giving the song a powerful and uplifting quality.

5. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams was originally written for the film “A Night in Heaven,” but later became a standalone hit. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and Adams’ soulful vocals struck a chord with audiences, earning it a permanent place in the pantheon of 80s ballads.

6. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper was written as a message of support and encouragement for a friend going through a difficult time. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and Lauper’s emotive vocals make it a standout track of the 80s, with its message of loyalty and love resonating with listeners.

7. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins was written in just two days, with Collins drawing on his own experiences of heartbreak and loss for inspiration. The song’s emotional lyrics and Collins’ powerful vocals make it a standout ballad of the 80s, with its message of resilience and redemption striking a chord with audiences.

8. “Alone” by Heart was originally written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who also penned hits for artists like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. The song’s soaring vocals and emotional lyrics make it a standout track of the decade, with its message of longing and heartache resonating with listeners around the world.

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Now that we have explored the best ballads of the 80s and some interesting facts about these iconic songs, let’s move on to some common questions about 80s music:

1. What are some other popular ballads from the 80s?

Some other popular ballads from the 80s include “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles, “Hello” by Lionel Richie, and “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

2. Who were some of the most influential artists of the 80s?

Some of the most influential artists of the 80s include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and U2, who helped shape the sound of the decade with their innovative music and performances.

3. What role did MTV play in the rise of 80s music?

MTV played a significant role in the rise of 80s music, with its music videos helping to promote artists and songs to a global audience. The channel’s influence on popular culture during the decade cannot be overstated.

4. How did the 80s influence music today?

The 80s had a lasting impact on music today, with many artists and bands drawing inspiration from the decade’s sound and style. The synth-pop, new wave, and rock music of the 80s continues to influence contemporary artists across genres.

5. What were some of the biggest music trends of the 80s?

Some of the biggest music trends of the 80s included the rise of MTV, the popularity of synthesizers and electronic music, and the emergence of new wave and hair metal bands.

6. What were some of the most iconic music videos of the 80s?

Some of the most iconic music videos of the 80s include Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” and A-ha’s “Take On Me,” which helped define the visual aesthetic of the decade.

7. How did technology impact music production in the 80s?

Advancements in technology, such as the introduction of drum machines and synthesizers, revolutionized music production in the 80s, allowing artists to experiment with new sounds and styles.

8. What were some of the biggest music festivals of the 80s?

Some of the biggest music festivals of the 80s included Live Aid in 1985, which raised funds for famine relief in Africa, and the US Festival in 1982 and 1983, which featured performances from top artists across genres.

9. How did the 80s influence fashion and style?

The 80s were known for their bold and colorful fashion trends, including shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans, and neon colors. The era’s fashion continues to inspire designers and trendsetters today.

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10. What were some of the most iconic album covers of the 80s?

Some of the most iconic album covers of the 80s include Prince’s “Purple Rain,” Duran Duran’s “Rio,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” which helped define the visual aesthetic of the decade.

11. Who were some of the breakout artists of the 80s?

Some of the breakout artists of the 80s include Madonna, who rose to fame with hits like “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl,” and Prince, who cemented his status as a musical icon with albums like “Purple Rain.”

12. How did the 80s influence music videos?

The 80s saw the rise of the music video as an art form, with artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna using the medium to tell visual stories that complemented their music. Music videos became an essential part of an artist’s image and promotion during the decade.

13. What were some of the biggest collaborations of the 80s?

Some of the biggest collaborations of the 80s include “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John and George Michael, and “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, which showcased the talent and creativity of these legendary artists.

14. How did the 80s influence dance and electronic music?

The 80s saw the rise of dance and electronic music, with artists like Depeche Mode, New Order, and Pet Shop Boys pushing the boundaries of sound and style. The era’s dance clubs and underground scenes helped shape the electronic music landscape that continues to evolve today.

15. What is the legacy of 80s music today?

The legacy of 80s music lives on today, with artists and bands from the decade continuing to inspire new generations of musicians. The sound and style of the 80s remain influential in contemporary music, fashion, and pop culture.

In conclusion, the 80s were a decade of musical innovation and creativity, with ballads playing a significant role in shaping the sound of the era. From power ballads to emotional love songs, the 80s produced some of the greatest ballads in music history, with iconic tracks like “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, and “Careless Whisper” by George Michael standing the test of time. The influence of 80s music continues to be felt today, with artists drawing inspiration from the era’s sound and style to create new and exciting music for audiences around the world.