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Setting The Mood 80's Style

  • Dec 13, 2010
Some of the best songs to come from the 1980's were ballads.  Face it, if you attended any high school or junior high dance during that decade, chances are you slow danced to tunes like Drive by the Cars or Angel Eyes by the Jeff Healey Band.

Of course, hair bands dominated the decade with a ton of power ballads, and I have to admit that I danced plenty of steps to songs like When I See You Smile by Bad English and Is This Love by Whitesnake.

So, with that in mind, I offer up a few of my favorite 80's mood setting and slow dancing tunes.

Go ahead, break out that old lettermen's jacket, hop into that 1985 Mustang, and spend a little time parking with the one you love....just like old times.
Angel Eyes
Some songs sound perfect the moment you first hear them.  The Jeff Healey Band's Angel Eyes is one of those songs.  From lyrics that tell the story of a man who clearly believes that he doesn't deserve the one he's with, to the brilliant musicianship of Healey and his bandmates, Angel Eyes ranks as one of my favorite tunes from the 1980's.

Not only does this song set the mood for a great evening, it's also a wonderful song to cruise to.  How fitting it is, then, that Drive is one of The Cars' biggest hits?  Now I know how Ric Ocasek landed Paulina Poriskova!

Is This Love
Okay, most guys liked this tune because of Tawny Kitaen's appearance in the video.  Many would argue that Whitesnake owes a lot of their success to her appearance in this video and in the Here I Go Again video.  However, few tunes from the 80's drove the ladies wilder than Is This Love.
I'll Be There For You
I probably could have just plastered a photo of Jon Bon Jovi in this slot and all of the female readers of this list would have been perfectly happy.  While Bon Jovi has cranked out quite a few power ballads over the years, I offer up I'll Be There For You because it's my favorite.
When I See You Smile
When former members of The Babys and Journey teamed up to form the group Bad English, you just knew that they'd crank out power ballad after power ballad that would move the audience.  While their stint as a group was brief, they managed to release plenty of excellent songs.  Here's their best ballad in my opinion, When I See You Smile.
Faithfully Journey album cover
Break out the lighters and sway to the music, Journey was THE band for power ballads.  Frontman Steve Perry's voice drifts across the lyrics like magic on the legendary Faithfully.  I wonder how many children were conceived to the sounds of this song?
Right Here Waiting
I have to admit that I'm a sucker for a piano intro, and Richard Marx' Right Here Waiting hits all of the notes perfectly when it comes to pianos.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I own Repeat Offender and Marx' Greatest Hits album!  This guy knows how to set the mood.
Take My Breath Away
The guys didn't have all the fun making ballads in the 1980's.  In fact, one of the biggest ballads of the decade came from the Terri Nunn-fronted Berlin.  The song was the flagship tune for the Top Gun soundtrack, and has been a staple at proms ever since.
I'm On Fire
There's a dirty aspect to this song that just seems to drive certain people crazy.  I'll admit that I'm On Fire is a bit different than most of the other tunes on this list, but the forbidden, raw power of the tune forced me to put it on here.  Enjoy.
Sweet Child O'Mine
Guns n' Roses has always been known for their tough tunes fusing punk and hard rock, but they have put out some great ballads.  If you're special someone leans a bit more to the harder spectrum of rock n' roll, put on Sweet Child O'Mine and see what happens.

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December 22, 2010
im a pure child of the 80s and until now ive NEVER heard the song Angel Eyes...didnt miss much...2,4,6,8,9,10!!! Especially 10! #10 is great! 10 brings back awesm memories! 10 rocks!
December 16, 2010
You're really taking me back, man! Love #8 and #10 :D
December 16, 2010
I think you're missing Bryan Adams' RECKLESS album from your summary of 80's music, especially ballads. That record had a huge impact on 80's music.
About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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