80 Best 80s Love Songs To Set A Romantic Mood

Photo: conrado / Shutterstock
80 Best 80s Love Songs To Set A Romantic Mood
Love

Much like a smell or a picture, a song can bring back so many memories. Sometimes, it's just the first note that makes you reminisce about the past, especially when it's about relationships long lost or feeling unstoppable in your youth.

If you grew up in the decade that gave us the Brat Pack, Flashdance, and questionable fashion choices, these hits may bring you back to a time when life wasn't so difficult.

The 80 Best 80s Love Songs Of All Time

RELATED: The 50 Best Love Songs Of All Time

So, come take a ride down memory lane as we take on the greatest love songs of the 1980s.

Top 10 80s Love Songs

1. “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Whether it’s about the love for a friend or a romantic partner, knowing they will always be there for you, time after time, is enough to keep your head above water.

2. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

When you’ve faced so much heartache from past relationships, you sometimes find someone to show you what true love is.

3. “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin

Though this song was written for Top Gun, if you’ve ever been so swept away by the love you have for your partner, it literally leaves you breathless.

4. "Hello" by Lionel Richie

Dreaming of the object of your affection? Put this Lionel Richie tune in hopes that maybe, someday, they will dream of you too.

5. "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

Ah, first love. Sometimes, it does last forever. And when you have found your soulmate, there is nowhere else you want to be than with them, for the rest of your lives.

6. "Last Christmas" by Wham!

While it may be a holiday tune, this song is great year round. And it’s a good reminder that even if you’ve had your heart crushed, there is someone out there who will love you.

7. "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder

Remember to tell the person you love how you feel. Because those words have more power than you think. 

8. “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston

Even when your friends know that the one you want doesn’t feel the same way, you hold onto hope. You know better, but love doesn’t work that way.

9. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams

Cascada famously did a cover of this song in the 2000s. But its message still rings true: being with your love feels a lot like heaven.

10. “Is This Love” by Whitesnake

How do you know if you’re in love? Many wonder if that’s the emotion they are feeling, and there is just no way to shake it off.

Popular 80s Love Songs

11. "What’s Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner

When it’s more of a physical attraction than an emotional one, you might want to leave love out of it altogether. 

12. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

Falling into a love that’s so tragically beautiful can turn your life upside down, especially when what once had potential is now the cause of heartbreak.

13. “Love Shack” by The B-52’s

It might not be the most glamorous place to be together, but all you need is each other, right?

14. “Need You Tonight” by INXS

If you’re really into someone, you might convince yourself that you just need a minute alone to get their attention. In the end, you are too afraid to do so.

15. “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News

Love is the most powerful, deepest feeling you can have for someone. And it can change your life. That’s how influential it is.

Cheesy 80s Love Songs

16. "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon

Have romantic feelings for a friend? Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you can no longer hide how you feel!

17. “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” by Michael Bolton

This song is totally cheesy, but definitely strikes a chord. Because when the one you love leaves, it feels like life will never go on.

18. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship

Being with your soulmate means going through life without ever worrying about losing each other. Nothing will stop you.

19. "Glory Of Love" by Peter Cetera

A song about fairytale love, sing this to your partner as a reminder that you will always be there for them.

20. “You're the Best Thing” by The Style Council

The title says it all: your “person” is the best thing you have in your life. So, don’t let them go.

21. “Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You” by George Benson

When your love is this deep, not a thing in the world can change it. As the lyrics say, “The world may change my whole life through, but nothing's gonna change my love for you.”

22. “Heaven” by Warrant

When your friends and family doubt your love, you’re set on proving them wrong. And you’ll do it by just being together.

23. “How Can We Be Lovers” by Michael Bolton

Arguing in any relationship is normal, but at some point, you need to move forward. Get things back to where they were before.

Famous 80s Love Songs

24. “Don't You Want Me” by The Human League

It’s not technically a song about being in love, it’s more so about lost love. Because sometimes, once you find yourself, you outgrow one another.

25. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael

When the one you love breaks your heart, it feels like you’ll never experience that same love with anyone else.

26. “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive

Pursuing a friend or even acquaintance can drive you crazy, especially when you just want them to want you!

27. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

We’ve all been Rickrolled, but this song speaks to loving someone so much that you would never do anything to hurt them.

RELATED: 50 Best Romantic Song Lyrics To Share With Your Love

28. “Love Is A Battlefield” by Pat Benatar

The song title is a metaphor, describing how much love can hurt, but at the same time, bring happiness.

29. “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston

You’re so deep in love with someone, but do they love you back? You can pray and you can pick petals off roses, but you won’t know until you say something.

30. “Sweet Love” by Anita Baker

There’s no sweeter feeling than being in love, and this song fully encapsulates how amazing it is to feel this way.

Early 80s Love Songs

31. "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker feat. Jennifer Warnes

Love can be difficult sometimes, but it’s all worth it when it’s for the one you really love.

32. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division

This song is quite heartbreaking, but still speaks to the power that love holds over us. Because in the end, as wonderful as love is, it can also feel cold.

33. “Fall in Love With Me” by Earth, Wind & Fire

You may love someone and they just don’t know it yet. Could they fall in love with you?

34. “You Weren’t In Love With Me” by Billy Field

Another heartbreaking song about unrequited love, this 80s hit is all about what happens when a relationship you thought would last forever, ends.

35. “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago

Couples fight, but when arguments get hot and heavy, it’s hard to apologize. The only way to move forward is to say sorry, because your love is more important than butting heads.

36. “Waiting For A Girl Like You” by Foreigner

Some people wait their entire lives to find a person they can spend the rest of their life with. Are you going to tell this person how you feel?

37. “Heartbreaker” by Dionne Warwick

Okay, it’s not a happy song about love; instead, it’s a song about the one you love breaking your heart. Just remember that you can pull yourself back up and recover.

38. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

This song is famous for being about a stalker, and Sting himself commented on it being used as a wedding song! Still, if you remove the sinister meaning, it can double as a song about being by your partner’s side.

Late 80s Love Songs

39. "When I See You Smile" by Bad English

What would you do without your partner supporting you? Sometimes, all you need is the touch of their hand to reassure you.

40. “A Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins

A groovy kind of love is what we all aspire to find in this life. Just like this love song describes, nothing in the world matters when you’re together.

41. "With Or Without You" by U2

All about having a strained relationship, this song speaks to the conflicting emotions that come as a result. Can you live without your partner, but also not want to have problems together anymore?

42. "Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne

If your partner left you and you still hold out hope that they will come back, this is the perfect song for you. Maybe one day you can be together again.

43. “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx

Missing your partner when they aren’t near you can tear you apart. But true love prevails, and you’ll be there when they return.

44. “All I Want Is You” by U2

All the promises you make to each other just don’t compare to the feeling of wanting to be with one another, physically in their presence.

45. “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley feat. Jennifer Warnes

Famously played in the final scene of Dirty Dancing, this song joyfully expresses how fulfilling life is with the one you love.

46. “The Flame” by Cheap Trick

A song about first love, you may believe you’ll never love another the same way as this person. And sometimes, it’s unfortunately true.

47. “I Want to Wake Up with You” by Boris Gardiner

Just as the song title suggests, there’s nothing in the world you want more than to wake up next to your one and only.

48. “Sign Your Name” by Terence Trent D’Arby

Starting out as friends can eventually turn romantic. And all you have to do is take that next step.

Sad 80s Love Songs

49. "All Out Of Love" by Air Supply

When a relationship ends, it hurts both partners. How do you fix a relationship when you feel this way?

50. “When Doves Cry” by Prince

The late, great Prince paints a picture of arguing lovers throwing hurtful words, and why it feels like doves, a symbol of peace, can feel so tragic in this moment.

51. "Look Away" by Chicago

After a breakup, you may have your heart set on getting back together. But what happens when your ex finds a new lover?

52. “Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)” by Cinderella

You made mistakes you can’t make back, and now you have to deal with the consequences. It’s true that you really don’t know what you have until it’s no longer there.

53. “Pictures of You” by The Cure

A song about missed chances, high expectations and regret, all that is left are pictures of what once was.

54. “Still Loving You” by Scorpions

Forgiveness is hard to come by, and expecting it from another person can seem impossible. Still, as the lyrics suggest, you’ll do anything you can to fight for their love again.

RELATED: 35 Cheesy Love Songs From The 80s And 90s With Lyrics So Bad They're Good

55. “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper

Used as an anthem in the LGBT+ community, this song is more about seeing a person’s true character, and loving them regardless of their supposed flaws.

56. “Missing You” by John Waite

Whenever you think of the one who left, it leaves you breathless. And there’s nothing you can do but think about them.

57. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths

When you find the love you’ve been searching for, you’ll do anything to keep that good feeling going. Especially when life has been full of despair up until that moment.

58. “True” by Spandau Ballet

A song about writing a song, “True” is about the thought of the one you want listening to it, but struggling to find the words. That much you know is true.

Power Ballads From the 80s

59. “Crazy for You” by Madonna

Being so incredibly in love with someone, especially when it’s new love, is incomparable to anything else. All you need is their touch to remind you.

60. “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon

Years into a relationship or marriage, you’ll still keep your promise to love your spouse forever, even when their actions don’t always return the feeling.

61. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles

With a new love replacing a lonely life, does the one you want feel the same way you do? 

62. “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” by Poison

While your love may be beautiful at times, at others there are “thorns” that cause conflict. Because every relationship has its ups and downs.

63. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins

The devastation felt after a breakup is obvious, but there’s a feeling of helplessness as well. All you can do is think about being with your ex... against all odds.

64. “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA

It’s technically a song about a breakup, but reminds us how much love can change our lives, for good or bad. You can still move on from a relationship while healing from the hurt it caused.

65. “Faithfully” by Journey

Even when two lovers are miles apart, loyalty is never a cause for concern. Not when your relationship is rock solid like that.

66. “Amanda” by Boston

Your partner’s name might not be Amanda, but you still want to express your love to her. But sometimes, the words are hard to find, especially when you aren’t sure if they love you back.

R&B 80s Love Songs

67. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr

While this is a song about cheating, sometimes you can’t help who you love. In the meantime, that love has to be a secret.

68. “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross

What does love feel like? It feels amazing, of course. It’s the highest of highs in this tune.

69. “Is It A Crime?” by Sade

When the one you love has cheated or lied, it’s hard to let go. That’s why Sade asks if it’s a crime to still want to be together, despite the wrongdoings.

70. “If Only for One Night” by Luther Vandross

If a love is forbidden, you may still wish to be with one another, even if it’s just for one night.

71. “Love Come Down” by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King

The lyrics describe being under someone’s spell, unable to break free or control how they feel. And that’s all you really need to know about love.

72. “Never Knew Love Like This Before” by Stephanie Mills

Past relationships may have made you feel inadequate, but that’s nothing to worry about now that you’ve found someone who treats you the way you deserve!

73. “I Feel for You” by Chaka Khan

There’s that overwhelming feeling that you feel for another person, where you just want to hold them, while at the same time wanting that physical intimacy.

74. “Let's Wait Awhile” by Janet Jackson

Starting a relationship over means taking things slow, as Jackson suggests in this song. Because anything worth having comes with difficulty.

75. “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going” by Jennifer Holliday

A powerful song from Dreamgirls, lead character, Effie, sings to her manager, Curtis, that she won’t let him leave her behind, telling him she isn’t going anywhere and he will love her in the end.

Classic Rock 80s Love Songs

76. “Forever” by KISS

You may have had bad relationships in the past, but eventually you find someone you can never live without. And that feeling will last forever with the object of your affection.

77. “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

The person you wanted left, but you still can’t help but love them! And because you can’t let go, you kick yourself for not having a level head.

78. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

What starts as a dreamy song about spending the day together on the seashore turns into a song about heartbreak by the end. This song is a reminder to tell your partner just how much you truly love them, every single day.

79. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC

This sexy song is about having that steamy, passionate connection in the bedroom. And that connection can be earth-shattering!

80. “Alone” by Heart

A song about longing, it describes wanting to be with someone so badly that it’s bone-chilling. How can you get them alone now?

RELATED: 40 Best Songs About Falling In Love (That'll Make You Want To Fall All Over Again)

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who writes trending news and entertainment pieces, and covers zodiac, relationships, and lifestyle topics.