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The signature sound from the 1980s comes with unique dynamics that are almost always distinguishable, even today. Although every genre was experimenting with new sounds due to new technology and sonic influences at the time, love songs had a chokehold on mainstream music and created some timeless jams.
Keep reading on as I break down the ten best 80s love songs that are still on repeat today!
1. Every Breath You Take by The Police
With one of the most signature voices and melodies from this era, The Police dropped this hit of a love song in 1983. “Every Breath You Take” offers a fairly repetitive clean guitar melody that’s extremely calming and quickly puts you in a relaxed mood.
The band cranks up the energy for their hook, and there are many airy backing vocals throughout the whole track. It also delivers the perfect amount of reverb in the mix, giving the right amount of room for each individual vocal and instrument.
2. (I Just) Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew
Easily one of the best 80s love songs, Cutting Crew created one of the most memorable songs from that decade. The song was immortalized through its infectious production quality, in addition to all of the media attention it garnered for decades to come; appearing in movies, commercials,
The hook can’t be missed, and it has become so recognizable over the years that multiple generations will instantly pick up on the song within mere seconds. It also holds a great BPM and was a dancefloor go-to throughout the 1980s.
3. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
The instrumental offers lighthearted melodies with orchestral influences, an excellent slow jam from this era. The vocals provide a classic feel, and the backup vocals are angelic, to say the least.
From their album Everything, this song is one of my favorites by far. The band’s direction in this production has a timeless feel that never gets redundant no matter how much time passes.
4. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You by Michael Jackson
Being the king of pop, he’s known for many uptempo jams that get the heart racing, but he also has plenty of slower songs in his discography. The man’s voice is unmistakable, and although the instrumental is very soothing, his vocals are even smoother.
He layers his vocals perfectly when the hook comes in, and the use of synths and elevator-music style drum kit exudes all of the elements of a laid-back 1980’s hit. Considering Michael’s genius, his tracks shined bright when it came to the pop era of the 80s.
5. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
Another signature voice from that I would add to the group of the best 80s love songs, Cyndi Lauper, knows how to craft her melodies. “Time After Time” is full of nostalgia for many generations, whether they listened to the song as kids or heard their parents playing it around the house.
This era of music made some of the best hooks in pop music that will outlast a lot of modern music you hear today. The production may be pretty simple, but the rippling guitar melodies have an incredibly catchy ring to them that keeps your ear tuned in.
6. Take My Breath Away by Berlin
I feel that “Take My Breath Away” gave us one of the best I’ll 80s love songs, and the vocals couldn’t hit any better. The slow guitar plucks are the most iconic part of the production, aside from the hook that offers a broader dynamic range to send a tingling feeling down your spine.
A staple love song from this era, Berlin is full of quality songs, and this one is a long-standing favorite for many listeners. It’s another slow jam that’s been immortalized through fans and many different forms of media over the years.
7. One More Night by Phil Collins
The soft tone of Phil Collins never gets old, and “One More Night” lets his vocals do all of the work. The instrumental is a beautiful wobbling Rhode melody with a slow tremolo, and he does a great job of giving the song a sensual feel.
Some of the best love songs don’t have a lot of instrumentation but rather come off more as a ballad. The overall vibe of this song is still a staple to the sound of the 80s, and you can’t remember music from this era without bringing up Phil Collins.
8. Last Christmas by Wham!
Quickly becoming a Christmas classic, every holiday season, it can seem almost hard to escape “Last Christmas.” The groups’ upbeat approach to the song is highly infectious and offers a smooth production with light synth chords that give the track a little bounce.
The song keeps a danceable tempo, and the reverberated vocals make you want to sing along, and if you don’t cave to it, the hook will definitely break you. It’s hard to ignore the impact this record has had on pop music.
9. All Out Of Love by Air Supply
This song brings a sensual acoustic melody with powerful vocals laid on top. Starting with a more ballad approach, it has a gentle start and leads into a cinematic chorus.
Arguably one of the best 80s love songs, the song actually has a fairly sad tone based on the context of the lyrics. Although it may be a running joke, it’s more than likely true that many have listened to this song when dealing with a recent breakup, as it was a go-to choice for a lot of broken hearts.
10. I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
Pad-like Rhode chords tremolo throughout one of Foreigner’s best hits from their discography. The production is full of ethereal melodies with contrasting distorted synths that complement the track in every way.
Many fans would quickly say this song is one of the best hits to come out of the 80s. The vocals are layered just right and provide an anthemic sound to record as a whole that really brings every dynamic together like a symphony.
Alexandra loves playing the piano and guitar. She has always been a music lover, but it wasn’t until she was in high school that she realized how much she loved to play. It allowed her to express herself without having to be verbally expressive, which is something she found very empowering.