1980s ballads

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This list has 47 members. See also 1980s songs, Ballads by decade, 20th-century ballads

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  1. Hallelujah

    Hallelujah (1994)


    "Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that "Cohen spent years struggling with his song 'Hallelujah.' . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down."

  2. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain (1986)


    "Purple Rain" is a power ballad by Prince and The Revolution. It is the title track from the 1984 album of the same name, which in turn is the soundtrack album for the 1984 film of the same name, and was released as the third single from that album. The song is a combination of rock, pop, gospel, and orchestral music. It reached #2 in the U.S., and is widely considered one of Prince's signature songs. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, shipping 1 million units in the United States.

  3. Total Eclipse of The Heart

    Total Eclipse of The Heart (1982)


    "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is a song written and produced by Jim Steinman and recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler for her fifth studio album, Faster Than the Speed of Night. Released as a single in 1983, it was the first release from the album and became Tyler's biggest hit reaching number one in several countries including the United States, making her the first and, to date, only Welsh singer to reach the top of the Billboard Charts.

  4. Superwoman

    Superwoman (1988)


    "Superwoman" is the second single from R&B singer Karyn White's self-titled debut album, Karyn White (1988). It became her second U.S. top ten hit and second U.S. R&B number-one hit.

  5. Man In The Mirror

    Man In The Mirror (1987)


    "Man in the Mirror" is a song recorded by Michael Jackson and written and composed by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. It peaked at number one in the United States when released as a single in January 1988 off his seventh solo album, Bad. It is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. The song peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Charts in 1988, but in 2009, following the news of Jackson's death, the song peaked at number two, behind Cascada's "Evacuate the Dancefloor," having re-entered the chart at 11 the previous week as his top song on the singles chart. It also became the No. 1 single in iTunes downloads in the U.S. and the U.K.

  6. Love Song

    Love Song


    "Love Song" is a power ballad by the rock band Tesla, from the album The Great Radio Controversy, released in 1989. When the video was placed in heavy rotation on MTV, the song rocketed to number ten on the U.S. charts, becoming one of the group's biggest hits.

  7. I Just Can't Stop Loving You

    I Just Can't Stop Loving You (1987)


    "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is a popular ballad by singer Michael Jackson featuring a duet with Siedah Garrett. He created "Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu", a spanish version of the song. Written and composed by Jackson, it was originally intended to be a duet between Jackson and his woman of choice: either Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston. Even Aretha Franklin and Agnetha Fältskog (formerly of ABBA) were offered the song, but all four had other obligations.

  8. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You

    Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (1985)


    "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser. It was originally recorded by American artist George Benson for his 1985 album 20/20.

  9. Redemption song

    Redemption song (1982)


    "Redemption Song" is a song by Bob Marley. It is the final track on Bob Marley & the Wailers' ninth album, Uprising, produced by Chris Blackwell and released by Island Records. The song is considered one of Marley's greatest works. Some key lyrics derived from a speech given by the Pan-Africanist orator Marcus Garvey.

  10. The Heart of The Matter

    The Heart of The Matter (2006)


    "The Heart of the Matter" is a song recorded by American rock singer Don Henley from his third solo studio album, The End of the Innocence (1989). Written by Henley, Mike Campbell, and J. D. Souther and produced by Henley, Campbell, and Danny Kortchmar, the song was released as the album's third single, reaching number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in early 1990. A radio edit version of this single, which is played on airline radio and on-air broadcast has the "I'm learning to live without you now, but I miss you baby" omitted and skipped directly to "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter". In 1994 Henley, along with the Eagles, played an acoustic version of the song at their reunion concert; the performance was omitted from the Hell Freezes Over live album, but was included in the concert DVD.

  11. When The Children Cry

    When The Children Cry


    "When the Children Cry" is a ballad performed by the rock band White Lion. It is the third single and 10th and final track on their 1987 album Pride. The single peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #7 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and #88 in the UK in early 1989.

  12. 18 And Life

    18 And Life (1989)


    "18 and Life" is the second single and power ballad from Skid Row's 1989 eponymous debut album.

  13. Please Don't Go Girl

    Please Don't Go Girl (1988)


    "Please Don't Go Girl" is a 1988 ballad single from New Kids on the Block. The lead vocals were sung by Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, and spoken by Danny Wood. Written and produced by Maurice Starr, it was the first release from their second album Hangin' Tough, and also became the group's first commercial hit. "Please Don't Go Girl" first rose from #62 to #46, on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart during the week of July 30, 1988. The single was the first major commercial exposure of the group, resulting in somewhat of a slow, but steady climb. The single eventually peaked at #10 the week of October 8, 1988. In 1997, Aaron Carter covered this song and was featured on his international self-titled debut album.

  14. We Are The World

    We Are The World (1992)


    "We Are the World" is a song and charity single originally recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa in 1985. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) copies worldwide.

  15. Sexual Healing

    Sexual Healing (1999)


    "Sexual Healing" is a 1982 song recorded by American singer Marvin Gaye on the Columbia Records label. It was his first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year, following the release of the In Our Lifetime album the previous year. People described it as "America's hottest pop-culture turn-on since Olivia Newton-John suggested she wanted to get 'Physical'."

  16. I Remember You

    I Remember You (1989)


    "I Remember You" is the third and final single from heavy metal band Skid Row's 1989 eponymous debut album. The power ballad was released in November 1989 and written by bandmates Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. It reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-three on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in early 1990. The song also charted at #36 on the UK Singles chart.

  17. Live To Tell

    Live To Tell (1986)


    "Live to Tell" is a pop ballad by American singer-songwriter Madonna. Originally written by Patrick Leonard for the soundtrack of the film Fire with Fire, the song was shown to Madonna, who decided to use it for then-husband Sean Penn's film At Close Range. It was produced by Leonard and Madonna for her third studio album True Blue, released in mid-1986, later appearing as a remix on the 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection, in its original form on the 1995 ballads compilation album Something to Remember, and most recently on her third compilation album Celebration (again in its original form), released in September 2009.

  18. Home Sweet Home

    Home Sweet Home


    "Home Sweet Home" is a song by the American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. It was originally released in 1985 on the album Theatre of Pain, and again in 1991 for the Decade of Decadence compilation album. It has been recorded as a cover version by several artists, and was released as a single by Carrie Underwood in 2009.

  19. Fade To Black

    Fade To Black (1984)


    "Fade to Black" is the first power ballad by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released as the first promotional single from its second studio album, Ride the Lightning. The song was ranked as having the 24th best guitar solo ever by Guitar World readers.

  20. Patience

    Patience (1988)


    "Patience" is a power ballad by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, which appears on the album G N' R Lies and was released as a single in 1989. The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is played using three acoustic guitars and was recorded in a single session by producer Mike Clink. A music video of the song was shot and appears on the band's music video DVD, Welcome to the Videos. The music and lyrics were both written by Izzy Stradlin.

  21. Come Back to Me

    Come Back to Me (1989)


    "Come Back to Me" is the fifth single from American R&B and pop singer Janet Jackson's fourth studio album, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989).

  22. Sweet Child O' Mine

    Sweet Child O' Mine


    "Sweet Child o' Mine" is the third single by American rock band Guns N' Roses, and the third from their 1987 debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction. Released on August 17, 1988, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band's first and only number-one single in the U.S. It reached number six on the UK Singles Chart.

  23. One

    One (1988)


    "One" is a power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third and final single from their fourth album ...And Justice for All. "One" was also the band's first Top 40 hit single, reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is one of the band's most popular songs and has remained a permanent live staple since the release of the album, making this the most played song from the album ...And Justice for All. Like "Fade to Black", and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", the song starts off slow and clean, but as the song goes on, becomes heavier and faster, leading up to a tapping solo by Kirk Hammett, and a dual guitar section by Hammett and James Hetfield.

  24. Hysteria

    Hysteria (1987)


    "Hysteria" is a power ballad by English hard rock band Def Leppard. It is the tenth track on their 1987 album album of the same name and was released as the fourth single from that album in November 1987. "Hysteria" peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. On VH1 Storytellers: Def Leppard, frontman Joe Elliott revealed that the song title came from drummer Rick Allen.

  25. Don't Go Away Mad

    Don't Go Away Mad


    "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" is a power ballad by Mötley Crüe. It is the tenth track from their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood and was released as the album's fourth single in May 1990. It peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #13 on the Mainstream rock charts.

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