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Top Ballads Of The 80s

The 1980s was a decade known for its iconic music, and one of the most popular genres of the time was ballads. Ballads were emotional, heartfelt songs that resonated with listeners and became some of the biggest hits of the decade. From power ballads to soft rock, the 80s produced some of the most memorable ballads in music history. In this article, we will explore some of the top ballads of the 80s and delve into the stories behind these classic songs.

1. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler – Released in 1983, this power ballad became an instant classic and is still a staple on radio stations today. Written by Jim Steinman, the song was originally intended for a Bonnie Tyler album, but was later given to singer Meat Loaf. However, Meat Loaf’s record label did not allow him to record the song, so it was given back to Tyler. The song’s dramatic lyrics and Tyler’s powerful vocals make it a standout ballad of the 80s.

2. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael – This iconic ballad was released in 1984 by George Michael, who was then a member of the duo Wham!. The song’s smooth saxophone riff and heartfelt lyrics made it a worldwide hit, reaching the top of the charts in over 25 countries. The song was actually written when George Michael was just 17 years old, and it reflects the pain of infidelity and regret.

3. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police – Released in 1983, this ballad by The Police became one of the biggest hits of the decade. Written by frontman Sting, the song’s haunting melody and lyrics about obsession and possessiveness struck a chord with listeners. Despite its popularity, the song’s meaning is often misunderstood as a love song, when in reality it is about surveillance and control.

4. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams – Released in 1985, this power ballad by Bryan Adams became one of his signature songs. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the film “A Night in Heaven” and later on Adams’ album “Reckless.” The emotional lyrics and Adams’ raspy vocals helped propel the song to the top of the charts, where it stayed for four weeks.

5. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner – Released in 1984, this ballad by Foreigner became one of the band’s biggest hits. Written by lead singer Mick Jones, the song’s gospel choir and powerful lyrics about the search for love struck a chord with listeners. The song reached the top of the charts in multiple countries and is still a favorite at weddings and events.

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6. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins – This emotional ballad was released in 1984 as the theme song for the film “Against All Odds.” Written and performed by Phil Collins, the song’s lyrics reflect the pain and heartache of lost love. The song became a massive hit, reaching the top of the charts in the U.S. and U.K.

7. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper – Released in 1984, this ballad by Cyndi Lauper became one of her most beloved songs. Written by Lauper and Rob Hyman, the song’s lyrics about loyalty and friendship resonated with listeners. The song became a top ten hit and earned Lauper a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

8. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles – Released in 1988, this ballad by The Bangles became one of their biggest hits. Written by Susanna Hoffs, Tom Kelly, and Billy Steinberg, the song’s dreamy lyrics and haunting melody captured the hearts of listeners. The song reached the top of the charts in multiple countries and remains a classic of the decade.

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

1. Many of the top ballads of the 80s were written by renowned songwriters such as Jim Steinman, Diane Warren, and Desmond Child. These songwriters were known for their ability to craft emotional and powerful lyrics that resonated with listeners.

2. The 80s was a decade known for its larger-than-life music videos, and many of the top ballads of the time had iconic videos to accompany them. From Bonnie Tyler’s dramatic video for “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to Cyndi Lauper’s colorful video for “Time After Time,” these videos helped elevate the songs to new heights of popularity.

3. Power ballads were a popular subgenre of ballads in the 80s, characterized by their emotional lyrics and soaring melodies. Bands like Journey, Foreigner, and Heart were known for their epic power ballads that became instant classics.

4. Many of the top ballads of the 80s dealt with themes of love, heartbreak, and longing. These universal themes resonated with listeners of all ages and backgrounds, making the songs timeless classics that are still beloved today.

5. Ballads were a staple of 80s radio, with stations playing these emotional songs throughout the decade. Artists like Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion became known for their powerful ballads that dominated the airwaves.

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6. The 80s was a decade of excess, and many of the top ballads of the time reflected this sense of drama and theatricality. From the soaring vocals of Bonnie Tyler to the emotional performances of Phil Collins, these ballads were larger than life and made a lasting impact on music history.

7. The rise of MTV in the 80s helped propel many ballads to the top of the charts, as artists like Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson used music videos to promote their songs. Ballads like “Careless Whisper” and “Heaven” became instant hits thanks to their memorable videos.

8. The 80s was a time of experimentation in music, and many ballads of the decade blended rock, pop, and R&B influences to create a unique sound. Artists like Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, and The Bangles pushed the boundaries of traditional ballads and created songs that are still beloved today.

Now, let’s explore some common questions about the top ballads of the 80s:

1. What was the most popular ballad of the 80s?

– While there were many popular ballads in the 80s, one of the most iconic was “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.

2. Who was known as the “Queen of 80s Ballads”?

– Whitney Houston was known for her powerful ballads in the 80s, earning her the title of the “Queen of 80s Ballads.”

3. Which band was known for their epic power ballads in the 80s?

– Journey was known for their epic power ballads in the 80s, with hits like “Faithfully” and “Open Arms.”

4. What was George Michael’s biggest ballad of the 80s?

– “Careless Whisper” was George Michael’s biggest ballad of the 80s, reaching the top of the charts worldwide.

5. Who wrote and performed the hit ballad “Against All Odds”?

– Phil Collins wrote and performed the hit ballad “Against All Odds” for the film of the same name.

6. Which female artist released the ballad “Time After Time” in the 80s?

– Cyndi Lauper released the ballad “Time After Time” in the 80s, earning her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

7. What was the theme of many 80s ballads?

– Many 80s ballads dealt with themes of love, heartbreak, and longing, resonating with listeners around the world.

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8. Who sang the hit ballad “Eternal Flame” in the 80s?

– The Bangles sang the hit ballad “Eternal Flame” in the 80s, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries.

9. What was the signature instrument in many 80s ballads?

– The saxophone was a signature instrument in many 80s ballads, adding a smooth and emotional touch to the songs.

10. Which ballad by The Police became one of the biggest hits of the 80s?

– “Every Breath You Take” by The Police became one of the biggest hits of the 80s, despite its dark and haunting lyrics.

11. Who wrote the hit ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is”?

– Mick Jones, lead singer of Foreigner, wrote the hit ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is” in the 80s.

12. What was the theme of many power ballads in the 80s?

– Many power ballads in the 80s dealt with themes of heartache, longing, and redemption, striking a chord with listeners around the world.

13. Which ballad by Bryan Adams became one of his signature songs in the 80s?

– “Heaven” by Bryan Adams became one of his signature songs in the 80s, earning him international fame and acclaim.

14. What was the emotional theme of the hit ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?

– The hit ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler dealt with themes of heartbreak, loss, and longing, resonating with listeners worldwide.

15. What made the top ballads of the 80s stand out from other songs of the decade?

– The top ballads of the 80s stood out for their emotional lyrics, powerful vocals, and timeless melodies, making them classics that are still beloved today.

In conclusion, the 80s was a decade filled with iconic music, and the top ballads of the time remain some of the most beloved songs in music history. From power ballads to soft rock, the 80s produced a wealth of emotional and heartfelt songs that continue to resonate with listeners today. Whether it’s Bonnie Tyler’s dramatic vocals on “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or George Michael’s smooth saxophone riff on “Careless Whisper,” the top ballads of the 80s have left an indelible mark on music history. These songs have stood the test of time and continue to be cherished by fans around the world, proving that the power of a great ballad knows no bounds.