Top 10 First Dance Songs From the 1980s

Updated on September 23, 2019
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The 1980s produced many wonderful romantic power ballads. Here are my top 10 first dance songs from this decade.

The Romantic Inspiration of the 1980s

The reception festivities begin with the first dance.

It's tradition. You've carefully selected your favourite love song with your partner, and now you are dancing in the middle of a crowded room full of friends, family, caterers, photographers and amateur snappers with their cameras. The song you choose for your first dance says a lot about your personality, and the song lyrics speak on your behalf as you dance. You would have carefully chosen the song.

However, if you're still choosing, don't worry...

If the 1980s were famous for one thing, it would be the power ballad. The '80s were full of romance, ballads, and first dance song inspirations. This article reviews my top 10 first dance songs from this decade.

You may think a few songs are missing, though

Well, I'm sure there are, as there were so many to choose from, but there were some dodgy ones—ones that on the surface appeared to be about love and commitment, but once I listened carefully to the lyrics, I realised they wouldn't work and I couldn't include them. The most famous two songs that I couldn't list here were Every Breath You Take, by The Police, as it's almost like a stalker song, and I Will Always Love You, by Whitney Houston.

Always, by Atlantic Starr (1987)

A man and woman sing to each other, to swaying R&B. Soothingly, they sing about their dedication to each other, and how their love will grow. It's a slow song, but nonetheless, moving and yet inspiring.

Any memorable lyrics?

Ooh your life is sun,

Chasing all the rain away,

When you come around you bring a brighter day

I Want to Know What Love Is, by Foreigner (1984)

I Want to Know What Love Is, by Foreigner, is a rock power ballad. It's all about finally finding someone who has the power to rub out all the hurt and pain from failed loves of the past. That person will show what real love is.

Any memorable lyrics?

In my life there's been heartache and pain

I don't know if I can face it again

I can't stop now, I've traveled so far

To change this lonely life

Eternal Flame, by The Bangles (1989)

When a love is true, you may have to pinch yourself, questioning if it's just a dream. That's what Eternal Flame is about, having someone you love and who loves back, only to ask if it's all real.

Any memorable lyrics?

Say my name, sun shines through the rain

A whole life so lonely, and then you come and ease the pain

I don't want to lose this feeling

You're the Inspiration, by Chicago (1984)

You're the Inspiration by Chicago is a true love song, all about how the love between two people will last forever, how you want the one you love with you, near you. That special one gives meaning to our lives.

Any memorable lyrics?

You're the meaning in my life

You're the inspiration

You bring feeling to my life

You're the inspiration

You're The Best Thing, by Style Council (1984)

You're The Best Thing by Style Council is a jazzy ballad, with smooth bass-lines and a gorgeous guitar all the way through. The lyrics are about having the opportunity to have a lot of other things in your life, but you'd rather just have the one you love.

Any memorable lyrics?

Cause you're the best thing that ever happened to me or my world

You're the best thing that ever happened—so don't go away

Tonight I Celebrate My Love, by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack (1983)

Considering the lyrics in their fullness, you may not consider it a first dance song option, but it's nonetheless, one of the most romantic ballads from the '80s.

Any memorable lyrics?

Tonight I celebrate my love for you

It seems the natural thing to do

Up Where We Belong, by Joe Cocker and Jennnifer Warnes (1982)

Up Where We Belong, by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, has probably one of the most famous beginnings to a song—with a solo single piano playing before the two balladists take turns to sing. It's a climactic song, which suits the words, because it's as if their love is soaring above, untouchable like the peaks of the mountains.

Any memorable lyrics?

Love lift us up where we belong

Where the eagles cry, on a mountain high

Love lift us up where we belong

Far from the world we know

Up where the clear winds blow

Endless Love, by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross (1981)

Another '80s duet, this time, by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross is Endless Love. They sing that there's only one love in their lives, and that they want to share themselves with that special person.

Any memorable lyrics?

And love

I'll be a fool for you

I'm sure

You know I don't mind

Never Thought, by Dan Hill (1987)

Dan Hill sings a straight to the point ballad, saying out right, "I love you". You can't say it simpler than that, how you love someone, and you need them.

Any memorable lyrics?

You are too beautiful for the human eye

You are the dream that never dies

You are the fire that burns inside

True, by Spandau Ballet (1983)

True, by Spandau Ballet, is considered a love song, though the lyrics aren't so convincing. But it's a beautiful song nonetheless. And the words, 'I know this much is true' could well be talking about love.

Any memorable lyrics?

This is the sound of my soul. (This is the sound)

I bought a ticket to the world,

But now I've come back again.

Why do I find it hard to write the next line?

When I want the truth to be said...

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