Top 80 Songs from the 80s with LOVE in the Title
If there is one theme that seems to inspire more music than any other, it has to be "love". Love is a very powerful word and it finds its way into the title of many songs. Not all of these songs are necessarily about love as romantic affection, though many are. Some are about the pain and heartache that can be caused by love. Some are about platonic love, physical love or simply describing a strong liking for something. I am a sucker for a sappy love song, but what constitutes a love song can be so subjective. I decided to focus on the far less subjective topic of songs which simply use the word "love" somewhere in the title which were released sometime between 1980 and the end of 1989. I made the decision not to include variations of the word, so "lover", "loving" or even "loves" did not qualify. If there were multiple songs by the same artist, I combined them together for ease. As you'd expect, there are lots of candidates so I'm giving you really a Top 80 and including some anecdotes on many of them. With all that being said, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SONGS OF THE 80s WITH THE WORD "LOVE" IN THE TITLE (+ Bonus 70):
80. "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley" (1988) by Will To Power – This was the last medley to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 combining the Peter Frampton and Lynyrd Skynyrd classics.
79. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (1980) by Joy Division
78. "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (1984) by Stevie Wonder – I always remember the 1986 episode of The Cosby Show (season 2, episode 18) which guest-starred Stevie Wonder and they ended up singing this song in his studio.
77. "Love Bites" (1988) by Def Leppard – It was released as a single a year after its album, Hysteria, was released and became the first and surprisingly only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the band.
76. "Sea of Love" (1984) by The Honeydrippers – The Honeydrippers was a super-group including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers and Paul Shaffer among others.
75. "Love Stinks" (1980) by J. Geils Band
74. "Baby Love" (1986) by Regina – The song was written by Regina with Steve Bray (who had written several hits for Madonna) and was originally intended for Madonna, with Regina only deciding to record the song herself when Madonna declined.
73. "Put a Little Love In Your Heart" (1988) by Al Green & Annie Lennox – A cover of the 1968 Jackie DeShannon original that was featured in the Bill Murray film Scrooged.
72. "65 Love Affair" (1981) by Paul Davis
71. "Space Age Love Song" (1982) by A Flock of Seagulls
70. "Soldier of Love" (1989) by Donny Osmond – Fearing that the public were not going to buy a new Donny Osmond record, his label decided to release the single with no indication of who the artist was, and radio stations advertised it as being from a "mystery artist".
69. "Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) by David Foster – The only instrumental on this list, there was also a version on the soundtrack with lyrics called "At This Moment"
68. "Love Me In a Special Way" (1984) by DeBarge – This song was written and produced by El DeBarge and features his recognizable falsetto as well as a harmonica solo by none other than the great Stevie Wonder.
67. "Piece of My Love" (1988) by Guy – From the band's self-titled debut album which really helped to put new jack swing on the map.
66. "Shake Your Love" (1987) by Debbie Gibson
65. "Real Love" (1989) & "Looking for a New Love" (1987) by Jody Watley
64. "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (1988) by Paula Abdul - As revealed in my interview with the song's writer, Oliver Leiber, both Paula Abdul and Chaka Kahn got this song within a week of each other through different means and Leiber had the opportunity to cut it with either artist. He made the very counter-intuitive decision to go with the unknown Laker girl which helped change both of their lives.
63. "Prove Your Love" (1988) & "I'll Always Love You" (1988) by Taylor Dayne
62. "I Love a Rainy Night" (1980) by Eddie Rabbitt – I remember listening over and over to the 45 of this song which went on to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Country Singles and Adult Contemporary Singles charts in 1981.
61. "Is This Love" (1987) by Whitesnake – This power ballad was written by vocalist David Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes and was originally intended to be recorded by Tina Turner.
60. "That Ain't Love" (1987) by REO Speedwagon
59. "Woman in Love" (1980) by Barbra Streisand – This song was actually written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees and went on to be one of Babs' most successful singles and her fifth and last to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it held the top spot for three weeks.
58. "Jump (For My Love)" (1984) by The Pointer Sisters – This song wouldn't have qualified for this list if they went with the original title of just "Jump". It was modified to add the parenthesis part prior to its release to avoid confusion with the Van Halen song "Jump", which was released earlier the same year
57. "I Need Love" (1987) by LL Cool J -The only rap song on the list, this really helped LL and rap continue its crossover into the mainstream.
56. "What About Love" (1985) by Heart – The song which returned Heart to prominence (giving them their first Top 40 hit in three years and first Top 10 hit in five years) includes additional backing vocals from both Starship's Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas.
55. "Will You Still Love Me?" (1986) by Chicago – This song was Chicago's first Top 10 hit following the departure of Peter Cetera and it featured new singer and bassist Jason Scheff on lead vocals.
54. "You're Lookin' Like Love to Me" (1983) & "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" (1983) by Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
53. "Love in an Elevator" (1989) by Aerosmith – Just as the title states, Steven Tyler claims the song's lyrics were inspired by an experience he had at a hotel, in which he was making out with a girl in the elevator and they started having sex as the doors opened.
52. "One Night Love Affair" (1985) & "It's Only Love" (1985 w/ Tina Turner) by Bryan Adams – "One Night Love Affair" was featured in the film Real Genius.
51. "In the Name of Love" (1982) by The Thompson Twins
50. "Freeway of Love" (1985) by Aretha Franklin – This single from her Who's Zoomin' Who album became Aretha's fifteenth Top 10 pop hit in the U.S. (first of three to come in the 80s) and features the saxophone of the late, great Clarence Clemons.
49. "Is It Love" (1986) by Mr. Mister – Discussed briefly in my interview with Richard Page.
48. "Turn Your Love Around" (1981) by George Benson
47. "Shower Me With Your Love" (1989) by Surface
46. "Love Somebody" (1984) by Rick Springfield – After it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, this was the final Top 10 hit (of five in the 80s) for Springfield who is also well known for playing Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.
45. "Method of Modern Love" (1985) by Hall & Oates
44. "I've Been In Love Before" (1986) by Cutting Crew – Find out more about this song in my interview with Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew .
43. "I Love Rock n Roll" (1982) by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – The song was written and first recorded by The Arrows in 1975, but this version would reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and hold that position for seven weeks.
42. "Love Shack" (1989) by B-52's – The song's inspiration was a cabin that Kate Pierson lived in around Athens, Georgia, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived "Rock Lobster", a single from their first album. The line at the end wailed by lead singer Cindy Wilson, "tin roof…rusted," was originally an outtake but has become the song's most memorable.
41. "Stop to Love" (1986), "Any Love" (1988) & "There's Nothing Better Than Love" (1987 w/ Gregory Hines) by Luther Vandross
40. "Love is a Battlefield" (1983) by Pat Benatar
39. "Love You Down" (1986) by Ready for the World
38. "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You" (1987) by Glenn Medeiros – He was just 17 years old when he had a hit with his cover of this song originally recorded by George Benson in 1984. Find out a little more in my interview with Medeiros .
37. "Sweet Love" (1986) by Anita Baker
36. "On the Wings of Love" (1982) by Jeffrey Osborne
35. "Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer" (1980 w/ Kim Carnes) & "Love Will Turn You Around" (1982) by Kenny Rogers
34. "Endless Love" (1981 w/ Diana Ross), "My Love" (1983 w/ Kenny Rogers backing) & "Love Will Conquer All" (1986) by Lionel Richie
33. "Higher Love" (1986) by Steve Winwood – This song which features Chaka Khan on vocals with Winwood was his first single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned two Grammy Awards (for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance).
32. "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" (1985) by Sting – This was the first single released from Sting's solo debut album The Dream of the Blue Turtles.
31. "Not Enough Love in the World" (1985) by Don Henley
30. "Addicted to Love" (1986) by Robert Palmer – This was originally intended to be a duet with Chaka Khan but her label at the time wouldn't grant her release to work on it. It features Andy Taylor on guitar and I always remember it because of its iconic music video and the scene in Cocktail where Tom Cruise has the entire bar singing along.
29. "Is This Love" (1986) by Survivor – Discussed briefly in my interview with Jimi Jamison.
28. "Jungle Love" (1984) by The Time – This song is featured in the film Purple Rain and was released on their Ice Cream Castle album.
27. "Love Touch" (1986) by Rod Stewart – This song is featured in the Robert Redford film Legal Eagles.
26. "Lawyers in Love" (1983) by Jackson Browne
25. "Tender Love" (1985) & "Love Is A House" (1987) by Force MDs – "Tender Love" was written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis was featured in the soundtrack for the film Krush Groove.
24. "I Don't Want Your Love" (1988) by Duran Duran
23. "You Give Love a Bad Name" (1986) by Bon Jovi – This was the first single released from the Slippery When Wet album and became the band's first #1 (of 4 during the 80s) on the Billboard Hot 100.
22. "Why Can't This Be Love" (1986), "Love Walks In" (1986) & "When It's Love" (1988) by Van Halen – The first two are both from the album 5150 which is the first released after Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth on lead vocals.
21. "Love Plus One" (1982) by Haircut 100
20. "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" (1983), "Lost In Love" (1980), "All Out of Love" (1980) & "The One That You Love" (1981) by Air Supply – The Australian duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock have made a career off of love songs including eight Top 10 hits.
19. "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (1989) by Tears for Fears – Curt Smith said this was probably the most complete song they'd done as far as writing AND production working so well together in my interview with him.
18. "Love My Way" (1982) by The Psychedelic Furs
17. "If It Isn't Love" (1988), "Helplessly in Love" (1987), "Lost in Love" (1984) & "Popcorn Love" (1983) by New Edition
16. "You Can't Hurry Love" (1982) & "Groovy Kind of Love" (1988) by Phil Collins – Both are cover versions of the 1966 Supremes and 1965 Mindbenders songs respectively.
15. "The Glory of Love" (1986) by Peter Cetera – This was the first single released after he left Chicago to pursue a solo career and was featured in the film The Karate Kid Part II.
14. "I Want to Know What Love Is" (1984) by Foreigner – The song, written by Mick Jones, was the first and only to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the band and features backing vocals by Jennifer Holliday, Tom Bailey (of The Thompson Twins) and the New Jersey Mass Choir of the GMWA.
13. "What's Love Got To Do With It" (1984) by Tina Turner – This song was a huge success serving notice of Turner's comeback and received three Grammy Awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
12. "Bizarre Love Triangle" (1986) by New Order
11. "Look of Love" (1982) by ABC
10. "Chains of Love" (1988) by Erasure – After much success in the UK, this became Erasure's mainstream breakthrough in the U.S. peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
9. "Pride (In the Name of Love)" (1984) by U2 – The first single released from the Unforgettable Fire album, most listeners know it was written about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but many might not know that The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde actually sings backing vocals on the track.
8. "The Greatest Love of All" (1985), "Saving All My Love For You" (1985) & "You Give Good Love" (1985) by Whitney Houston – All three of these songs rank on my recent Top 10 Whitney Houston Songs of the 80s list.
7. "What Is Love" (1983) & "Everlasting Love" (1989) by Howard Jones
6. (tie) "Tainted Love" (1981) by Soft Cell – Ranks at the top of my Top Cover Songs of the 80s list where you can find out more about this iconic hit.
6. (tie) "I Love You" (1980) by Climax Blues Band - Discussed thoroughly in my interview with Derek Holt, the song's writer from Climax Blues Band
5. "Lessons in Love" (1986) by Level 42 – In my interview with Mark King, he confirmed that they rushed this song to be released because a female German artist was going to release her version before them and the Level 42 version ended being #1 in Germany for seven weeks.
4. "Do You Believe In Love" (1982) & "The Power of Love" (1985) by Huey Lewis & the News
3. "Modern Love" (1983) by David Bowie - Rest in Peace
2. "Let My Love Open the Door" (1980) by Pete Townshend – This song came from his first totally solo album, Empty Glass, which also was his most successful outside of The Who and peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1. "Your Love" (1986) by The Outfield – The second single released from their triple-platinum debut album, Play Deep, it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has always been one of my favorite songs of the decade despite a subject matter I do not personally relate to. All I need to hear is the first couple of notes and I am immediately transported back to 1986 and that is just one example of the magic of music.
There's my list. They are all special in their own way. I included the videos for the top 5, but you can surely find many of the others on YouTube. These are based on my personal preferences and the order could very well change a little depending on my mood on any given day. I'm sure I might have missed some all together. Are there any 80s songs with the word "love" in the title that you feel I have overlooked? If so or if you'd rank any differently, please leave them in the comments section below. There are several songs that just missed being in the 80s which would've surely made the list like "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen and "After the Love Has Gone" by Earth, Wind & Fire from 1979 or many in 1990 like "Cradle of Love" by Billy Idol or "Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne. This does not even include the songs about love that don't use the word in the title or the ones using variations of the word like loving or lovers. They say that love makes the world go 'round. Well at least now you have 80 songs from the 80s that help prove that is the case when it comes to music. "Love is a many splendored thing" and as the Beatles so eloquently sang back in 1967, "All You Need is Love". It goes without saying, I LOVE the 80s.
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