100 Best Love Songs of the '80s

Updated on May 23, 2019
Ansel Pereira profile image

I have been an online writer for over four years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.


The musical experiments in the ‘70s helped new musical genres and subgenres emerge in the ‘80s. This was a decade known for its glitz and glamour. Indeed, the decade of "spandex, lipstick, and leather" paved the way for many diverse forms of music. While disco beats ruled the dance charts, the hair metal scene took the rock world by storm. R&B soared to a level with a number of bands and artists scoring big with a slick contemporary sound. Love songs evolved in exciting ways. R&B ballads, acoustic rock ballads, and power ballads gained new ground in the '80s. Furthermore, music television channels sprung forth in the ‘80s. Music videos of recording artists struck the right notes with audiences, teens in particular, catapulting many artists to new heights.

The list below showcases a diverse number of love songs from the magical ‘80s. If you feel strongly about music from this decade, feel free to express your sentiments in the comments section.

Top 20 Love Songs of the ‘80s

  1. "I Just Called to Say I Love You"—Stevie Wonder
  2. "Endless Love"—Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
  3. "I Want to Know What Love Is"—Foreigner
  4. "Last Christmas"—Wham!
  5. "Saving All My Love for You"—Whitney Houston
  6. "Hello"—Lionel Richie
  7. "Right Here Waiting"—Richard Marx
  8. "All Out of Love"—Air Supply
  9. "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love"—Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
  10. "Sacrifice"—Elton John
  11. "Is This Love"—Whitesnake
  12. "Cherish"—Kool & The Gang
  13. "Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You"—George Benson
  14. "More Than I Can Say"—Leo Sayer
  15. "Hard to Say I’m Sorry"—Chicago
  16. "(I Just) Died In Your Arms"—Cutting Crew
  17. "Woman In Love"—Barbara Streisand
  18. "I Remember You"—Skid Row
  19. "Heaven"—Bryan Adams
  20. "What’s Love Got to Do With It"—Tina Turner

‘80s Love Songs and Ballads

Many solo artists began their careers during this decade. Many popular ‘70s bands split up in the early '80s, causing their members to embark on successful solo careers. Musicians from diverse music genres started collaborating with each other to come up with fresh new ballads.

The ‘80s is noteworthy for memorable duet love songs. While synthesized beats and polished vocals formed the focal point of R&B love songs, the hard-edged guitar sound, supplemented with high-pitched vocals, gave balladry a new rock soundscape throughout the decade. While mainstream genres peaked in the ‘80s, a number of bands and artists from non-mainstream genres attained cult followings.

Best Love Songs of the ‘80s #21-20

21. "Tainted Love"—Soft Cell

22. "Even the Nights Are Better"—Air Supply

23. "Time After Time"—Cyndi Lauper

24. "Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now"—Starship

25. "Biggest Part of Me"—Ambrosia

26. "With or Without You"—U2

27. "Up Where We Belong"—Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

28. "If You Don’t Know Me by Now"—Simply Red

29. "The Power of Love"—Jennifer Rush

30. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Love Me)"—Whitney Houston

31. "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"—Phil Collins

32. "Suddenly"—Billy Ocean

33. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"—Michael Bolton

34. "Baby, Come to Me"—Patti Austin and James Ingram

35. "One More Night"—Phil Collins

36. "Take On Me"—A-ha

37. "Sweet Love"—Anita Baker

38. "The Power of Love"—Huey Lewis and the News

39. "Drive"—The Cars

40. "The Flame"—Cheap Trick

Nostalgia in '80s Music

Singer-songwriter collaborations worked exceedingly well for love songs during this decade. These nostalgic songs were defined by their relatable lyrics. ‘80s love songs cause listeners to drift away into mental worlds filled with nostalgia. The decade truly produced love songs like no other.

While the ‘80s are long gone, the nostalgia comes alive every time we listen to a heartwarming tune from the era. This decade will always be remembered as a trend-setting decade in music.

This decade had a lot to brag about. From new wave to punk, the '80s produced some of the most interesting music to date. The disco-laden flavor of the '80s helped evolve modern dance music. While some love the music from this decade and others hate it, there's no doubting that the decade broke norms and helped open new pathways in music.

Best Love Songs of the ‘80s #41-60

41. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"—Queen

42. "True"—Spandau Ballet

43. "Have I Told You Lately"—Van Morrison

44. "The Lady in Red"—Chris de Burgh

45. "You’re the Inspiration"—Chicago

46. "Open Arms"—Journey

47. "Glory of Love"—Peter Cetera

48. "I’ll Be There for You"—Bon Jovi

49. "Can’t Fight this Feeling"—REO Speedwagon

50. "Straight From the Heart"—Bryan Adams

51. "Your Love Is King"—Sade

52. "Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)"—Christopher Cross

53. "Just the Two of Us"—Grover Washington Jr.

54. "Love Bites"—Def Leppard

55. "Foolish Beat"—Debbie Gibson

56. "Never Gonna Give You Up"—Rick Astley

57. "Take My Breath Away"—Berlin

58. "I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)"—New Kids On The Block

59. "Alone"—Heart

60. "Never Tear Us Apart"—INXS

Best Love Songs of the ‘80s #61-80

61. "Say You, Say Me"—Lionel Richie

62. "(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life"—Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

63. "Angel"—Aerosmith

64. "Modern English"—I Melt With You

65. "Broken Wings"—Mr. Mister

66. "In Your Eyes"—Peter Gabriel

67. "Eternal Flame"—The Bangles

68. "Guilty"—Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb

69. "Keep on Loving You"—REO Speedwagon

70. "Total Eclipse of the Heart"—Bonnie Tyler

71. "Always"—Atlantic Starr

72. "Straight Up"—Paula Abdul

73. "All This Love"—DeBarge

74. "Lost in Your Eyes"—Debbie Gibson

75. "Sweet Child O’ Mine"—Guns N’ Roses

76. "Higher Love"—Steve Winwood

77. "So Amazing"—Luther Vandross

78. "I’ll Always Love You"—Taylor Dayne

79. "We’ve Got Tonight"—Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton

80. "Listen to Your Heart"—Roxette

Best Love Songs of the ‘80s #81-100

81. "You’re the Best Thing"—The Style Council

82. "Wind Beneath My Wings"—Bette Midler

83. "Together Forever"—Rick Astley

84. "Just Like Heaven"—The Cure

85. "If You Were Here Tonight"—Alexander O’ Neal

86. "Somebody"—Bryan Adams

87. "I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)"—The Proclaimers

88. "Come Into My Life"—Joyce Sims

89. "The Way You Make Me Feel"—Michael Jackson

90. "Caribbean Queen"—Billy Ocean

91. "Love Walks in"—Van Halen

92. "Waiting for a Girl Like You"—Foreigner

93. "Heaven"—Warrant

94. "Crazy for You"—Madonna

95. "Everytime You Go Away"—Paul Young

96. "Love Changes (Everything)"—Climie Fisher

97. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All"—Air Supply

98. "We’re in This Love Together"—Al Jarreau

99. "How Will I Know"—Whitney Houston

100. "Shower Me With Your Love"—Surface

Other Notable Love Songs of the '80s

  • "Hungry Eyes"—Eric Carmen
  • "Secret Lovers"—Atlantic Starr
  • "I Would Die 4 U"—Prince
  • "Ain’t Nobody"—Rufus and Chaka Khan
  • "Head Over Heels"—Tears for Fears
  • "Sexual Healing"—Marvin Gaye
  • "Never Knew Love Like This Before"—Stephanie Mills
  • "Moments in Love"—Art of Noise
  • "Circle in the Sand"—Belinda Carlisle
  • "My One Temptation"—Mica Paris
  • "Candy"—Cameo
  • "All of My Heart"—ABC
  • "Zoom"—Fat Larry’s Band
  • "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You"—Michael Jackson
  • "Every Woman in the World"—Air Supply
  • "Can You Stand the Rain"—New Edition
  • "Bizarre Love Triangle"—New Order
  • "Smooth Operator"—Sade
  • "Outstanding"—The Gap Band
  • "When I’m With You"—Sheriff
  • "Jump (for My Love)"—The Pointer Sisters
  • "When I Think of You"—Janet Jackson
  • "The Search Is Over"—Survivor
  • "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"—The Police
  • "Space Age Love Song"—A Flock of Seagulls
  • "Do You Remember?"—Phil Collins
  • "Solid"—Ashford & Simpson
  • "Lovergirl"—Teena Marie
  • "Rosanna"—Toto
  • "I Feel for You"—Chaka Khan
  • "Missing You"—John Waite
  • "Kiss on My List"—Hall & Oates
  • "Every Rose Has It’s Thorn"—Poison
  • "Heaven Is a Place on Earth"—Belinda Carlisle
  • "Father Figure"—George Michael
  • "Self Control"—Laura Branigan
  • "Thinking of You"—Sister Sledge
  • "Slave to Love"—Bryan Ferry
  • "When I See You Smile"—Bad English
  • "Almost Paradise"—Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
  • "Let Me Be the One"—Expose
  • "Forever Your Girl"—Paula Abdul
  • "Lovesong"—The Cure
  • "The Power of Love"—Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  • "All Night Long"—Mary Jane Girls
  • "Roses are Red"—The Mac Band
  • "Nite and Day"—Al B. Sure!
  • "You Are"—Lionel Richie
  • "Addicted to Love"—Robert Palmer
  • "I Think We’re Alone Now"—Tiffany

  • "Jack & Diane"—John Mellencamp
  • "So Into You"—Atlanta Rhythm Section
  • "You Give Good Love"—Whitney Houston
  • "Mad About You"—Belinda Carlisle
  • "Truly"—Lionel Richie
  • "Kiss You All Over"—Exile
  • "Woman"—John Lennon
  • "Roni"—Bobby Brown
  • "You Make My Dreams"—Hall & Oates
  • "It’s a Love Thing"—The Whispers
  • "Let My Love Open the Door"—Pete Townshend
  • "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye"—Soft Cell
  • "Everytime I Think of You"—John Waite
  • "Groovy Kind of Love"—Phil Collins
  • "Carrie"—Europe
  • "Stay With Me Tonight"—Jeffrey Osborne
  • "Lady (You Bring Me Up)"—Commodores
  • "I’ll Tumble 4 Ya"—Culture Club
  • "Magic"—The Cars
  • "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"—The Smiths
  • "Joanna"—Kool & The Gang
  • "You Got It All"—The Jets
  • "Stuck on You"—Lionel Richie
  • "True Blue"—Madonna
  • "Call It Love"—Poco
  • "Angelia"—Richard Marx
  • "Heaven In Your Eyes"—Loverboy
  • "Upside Down"—Diana Ross
  • "Oh Sherrie"—Steve Perry
  • "I Want to Be Your Man"—Zapp and Roger
  • "Fall in Love With Me"—Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "The Jets"—Crush On You
  • "Sara"—Starship
  • "Islands in the Stream"—Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  • "Cool It Now"—New Edition
  • "Uptown Girl"—Billy Joel
  • "How Bout’ Us"—Champaign
  • "It Might Be You"—Stephen Bishop
  • "Tender is the Night"—Jackson Browne
  • "Friends and Lovers"—Carl Anderson and Gloria Loring
  • "Better Be Good to Me"—Tina Turner
  • "Freeway of Love"—Aretha Franklin
  • "Never Say Goodbye"—Bon Jovi
  • "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"—Billy Joel
  • "Night Nurse"—Gregory Isaacs
  • "You’re the Only Woman (You and I)"—Ambrosia
  • "I’m So Excited"—The Pointer Sisters
  • "Do You Believe in Love"—Huey Lewis and the News
  • "Head to Head"—Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
  • "Somebody’s Eyes"—Karla Bonoff

Which Is the Best Love Song of the ‘80s?

See results

© 2019 Ansel Pereira


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    • profile image

      Kufre Alex Akpabio 

      2 weeks ago

      Memories of yesterday, still alive and fresh for the soul.

    • profile image

      Alexandre Fernandes Alexandria 

      4 months ago

      Anothers love songs of the 80s

      1980: I Never Fall In Love – Davitt Sigerson

      Is It Ok If I Call You Mine – Paul McCrane ["Fame", OST]

      1981: Take Me Now – David Gates (ex-Bread)

      1982: Classic – Adrian Gurvitz

      Cry Softly (Time Is Mourning) – Secret Service

      Words – F. R. David

      1983: Over You – Lane Brody ["Tender Mercies", OST]

      1984: Somebody - Depeche Mode

      1985: The Way You Are – Agnetha Fältskog (ex-Abba) & Ola Hakansson (ex-Secret Service)

      1986: Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House

      Emotion In Motion - Ric Ocasek

      The Miracle Of Love – Eurythmics

      1987: Give To Live – Sammy Hagar

      You Make Me Love You – Roger Hodson (ex-Supertramp)

      1988: Baby Can I Hold You – Tracy Chapman

      1989: Sugar Box – Then Jericho


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