With the 1980’s, came the advent of the MTV influence, which would change the way our culture would look at music. For me personally, if I didn’t like the video, I oftentimes wouldn’t like the radio play either, even if it was touted as a Top 10 hit. This article will feature my personal Top 10 1980’s Songs That Run the Spectrum of Romance. Many of the following songs are here because of the impressions they made on me through visual presentations via music video, film, or television association. These ten songs are definitely my 1980’s favorite songs about the subject of romance, but are listed in chronological order:
1. Physical by Olivia Newton-John: Teenage fantasy. Have you ever had a very attractive brunette with a sexy Texan accent sing some of the lyrics of Physical to youÃ¢Â?Â¦
“Oh, let’s get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let’s get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talkÃ¢Â?Â¦.”
Okay, maybe it was because she was bored out of her pretty little skull in our high school freshman Earth Science class, but when I simultaneously thought of Olivia Newton-John singing her 1981 smash hit in her work-out gear which nicely highlighted the contours of her body, wellÃ¢Â?Â¦the rest of this account should really be for a college Biology term paper!
2. Love In The first Degree by Alabama: What it’s all about. Some of the most intense feelings that we have as humans are feelings of romantic love for another person. No matter what your age, these feelings can be so intense. This 1982 country hit for Alabama which crossed over from the Hee-Haw charts to be a constant airplay selection on Top 40 pop rock stations may state it as good as any song out there with such lines as:
Baby, you left me defenseless
I’ve only got one plea
Lock me away inside of your love
And throw away the key
I’m guilty of love in the first degree
3. Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago: Deep pain equals the roots of writing. This tear-jerker song was featured in the 1982 movie Summer Lovers about a mÃ?Â©nage a trios involving the sultry Daryl Hannah on the Greek Isles, but can also be found on one of Chicago’s oft-numbered albums; that is, Chicago 16. The second I heard the first note played on this song, I would react by instantly crying for minutes on end. Yet Chicago’s ballad ushered in my love for writing because it was the only way I could keep sane over dealing with a broken heart. Oh well, better to express it than suppress itÃ¢Â?Â¦.then to get published later on in life.
4. Faithfully by Journey: Being apart. This rock ballad from the Journey album Frontiers has the ability to tug at your heartstrings on a multiple of levels (not just romantically) thanks in part to the 1983 video that goes with the song, which is about Journey’s Frontiers World Tour. It artfully conveys how being on the road away from your loved ones can be a strain. This rock ballad still resonates with me when I am on the road in this present day whenever I feel very homesick, missing my family, my kitty cat, and my Wyoming.
5. Think of Laura by Christopher Cross: Daytime escape. In 1983, much of the country, including myself, was still captivated by the daytime soap opera General Hospital because of the saga of the Luke and Laura. Think of Laura would become the theme song as one certain climatic event in their relationship would play out after Luke became mayor of the fictional Port Charles: Laura re-appears after close to two years of being incognito, which initially occurred soon after their marriage on November 16, 1981. That 1981 General Hospital episode became the highest rated hour in soap opera history. Luke and Laura’s pairing would define the new television concept of “supercouple”, and other soaps would begin to copy General Hospital’s successful formula.
6. I Can’t Fight this Feeling by REO Speedwagon: Unrequited love. The video of this song made an appearance at a time when I was the victim of an unrequited love, and seeing lovers growing old together on the video version of this song was just about too much for me to handle. Hearing the radio cut of the song in 1985 had the same effect on me, thanks to the fact that MTV had drilled this video into the recesses of my mind and emotions! On some longer airplays of the video, it ended with the group crying in a mocking way, ruining the emotional effect it had built up. Maybe REO Speedwagon was trying to say that it would get better, that in time I could look back and laugh like the band members were doing in the video.
7. Amanda by Boston: No Escape. You work in a job that plays the same radio station frequency, captive to this oppression because this is what your boss wants to hear. Then a song comes on at least twice during your shift that makes you feel uncomfortable, that reminds you of a love lost, but you just can’t walk away or take a break because there are customers to serve or papers to push. The 70’s super group Boston made an auspicious comeback after going eight years without a album release with this chart-topping 1986 power ballad from their album Third Stage.
8. The Next Time I Fall by Amy Grant and Peter Cetera: Hope for the future. I’ve never heard song that shows so eloquently that hope for the future does exist after a break-up, being dumped, or falling out of love. This was Peter Cetera’s second solo Top 10 hit after leaving an 18 year relationship with the group Chicago (1967-85) to go it alone, and The Next Time I Fall was Amy Grant’s first non-Christian chart buster. Ironically, this #1 song about falling in love again is found on Cetera’s 1986 album called Solitude/Solitaire.
9. Angel by Aerosmith: Cars and Women. When I first started to date this young woman in the spring of 1988, I had just bought my first car, and Angel would be playing on my car’s radio over and over, racing up the pop charts. This song will forever be associated with my first 20-something relationship, which ended sooner than Angel’s run on the countdown shows and my ownership of that 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The particular lyrics from Angel “You’re the reason I live, You’re the reason I die” could very well apply to many guys’ feelings over their automobiles – just ask their better halves!
10. I Get Weak by Belinda Carlisle: Oh, love feels so perfect! I Get Weak is one of those cotton candy songs that makes you glad that you are in love or if you currently aren’t, it has such an energy to it that it can instantly create the feeling that you are in love. This 1988 Top 10 hit was sung by the former lead singer of the all-girl band The Go-Go’s and written by the world-renowned song writer, Diane Warren, whose lyrics turn to solid platinum and solid gold on a continuous basis. And to top it off, Diane Keaton directed the video version of this song!