10 Best 1980’s Ballad Songs

Ballad Songs are short poems for singing that tells a whole or a part of a story. More popular than any other genre, ballad songs have always set records in every decade. Some of the best and the most popular ballad songs of the decade 80 are as follows.

Example #1

Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn
Yeah it does

Sung by Poison, a Mechanicsburg-based American metal band, this ballad song was released in 1988 in its album, Open UP and Say…Ahh! The ballad belongs to the rock and pop genre. It was written by Bobby Dall, Rikki Rocket, and other bandmates. The singer recalls a night when both of them slept together, but he did something wrong, and both parted ways after that. However, he remembers that night and regrets the mistake he committed. The beauty of the song lies in the use of rhyme scheme, lovely diction, and excessive similes. That is why the song has climbed the ladder of our ranking to the top, as this stanza demonstrates it.

Example #2

 Sister Christian by Night Ranger

Sister Christian, oh, the time has come
And you know that you’re the only one to say, “Okay”
Where you going? What you looking for?
You know those boys don’t want to play no more with you, it’s true

You’re motoring
What’s your price for flight?
In finding Mister Right
You’ll be alright tonight

Sung by the hard rocker Night Ranger, this ballad is one of the best among the ballads of eighties. Released in 1984, this ballad was included in the famous Midnight Madness album and proved a great hit. It was also later included in greatest ballads of 80s. The interesting fact about this ballad is that Kelley Keagy, the drummer of the band, wrote it in honor of his sister. The intensity of emotions expressed through rhetorical questions about Christian Sister and the accompanying rhyme scheme have made this song come second in our order of ranking. Its first two stanzas demonstrate the power and strength of its melody.

Example #3

 I Remember You by Skid Row

Sometimes I wonder
How I’d ever make it through,
Through this world without having you
I just wouldn’t have a clue

‘Cause sometimes it seems
Like this world’s closing in on me,
And there’s no way of breaking free
And then I see you reach for me

This ballad was sung by Skid Row, an American heavy metal band. Although the ballad was released quite late in the album of the same title, it won the hearts of music lovers. It was released in 1989. It is also of interest that Dave, the band member, and Rachel Bolan, another bandmate, composed this song when they were thinking about a new ballad. The singer wants to show his beloved that he feels that she is with him to pass through the world, but this sensation runs counter to his dreams, and he feels shackled by the restrictions placed around him by the social fabric. This tone of helplessness continues with the brightness that comes on his face when he sees his beloved. The use of repetitions and metaphors has brought this ballad song to the top of our list, as its first stanza shows it.

Example #4

 The Day Before You Came by ABBA

Must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I’m certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial, no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I’m pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came

Released in 1982, this ballad song was recorded by ABBA, a Swedish band. The ballad was penned by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus in the same year it was released in the album, The Singles: The First Ten Years. The singer presents his emotions about his wait of his beloved on the railway station and enumerates almost all the activities from smoking to reading papers and then doing petty jobs to kill his time. The use of “must” reverberates throughout the song and in almost every lyric until the last verse. That is why the ballad has been placed fourth in our order of ranking. Its first stanza shows its qualities through different literary devices.

Example #5

Heaven by WARRANT

I’ve got a picture of your house
And you’re standing by the door.
It’s black and white and faded,
And it’s looking pretty worn.
See the factory that I worked
Silhouetted in the back.
The memories are gray but man they’re really coming back.

Released in 1989 on the album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, this ballad song has been sung by WARRANT, a US-based metal band. This metal/rock genre shows the musings of a lover who sees the picture of the house of his beloved through his mind’s eyes and claims the intensity of his love comes from what may. The singer continues with these passions saying that he does not care about the world and continues in this strain in standard colloquial language until the end. The beautiful use of repetitions and refrains at the end shows the qualities of this ballad. Therefore, the song has been placed fifth in our order of ranking.

Example #6

What It Takes by Aerosmith

There goes my old girlfriend
There۔s another diamond ring
And all those late night promises
I guess they don’t mean a thing۔

The Boston-based rock band released this song in 1989 in its album, Pump. A children’s pop rock ballad has been placed sixth in our ranking due to its being an original lyrical ballad. Written by Desmond Child, Steven Tyler, and Joe Perry, this beautiful ballad presents a person signing in praise of his girlfriend, asking that he has another diamond ring, but before he presents it, he wants to know her whereabouts. He then continues with his inquiries with “Tell me” and “Let it go” strains that go until the end of the ballad. The use of repetitions, refrains, strains, and other literary devices has made it a ballad worth remembering.

Example #7

 Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue

I’m on my way
I’m on my way
Home sweet home
Tonight, tonight I’m on my way
Just set me free
Home sweet home
Home sweet home
Home sweet home
Home sweet home

I’m on my way
I’m on my way
Home sweet home
Yeah, I’m on my way
Just set me free
Home sweet home.

This beautiful song sung by the American metal band, Motley Crue, was released first in 1985. Sung in a metal glam rock style, this ballad appeared in the album, Theater of Pain. The song presents the dreams of a dreamer who is calling his beloved how much he loves her through his dreams and makes her not feel alone when he recalls her. He thinks that she lives in his bones as well as thoughts. The intensity of passions expressed through different literary devices makes this song placed seventh in our order of ranking. Its features could be evaluated from these last two stanzas.

Example #8

Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi

As I sit in this smokey room
The night about to end
I pass my time with strangers
But this bottle’s my only friend

Rememberin’ when we used to park
On Butler Street, out in the dark
Remember when we lost the keys and
You lost more than that in my backseat, baby

Jon Bon Jovi, a multitalented figure, first sang this ballad in 1986 and released it in his album, Slippery When Wet. Belonging to pop/rock genre, this beautiful ballad presents the first-person narration written by Jovi and his friend Sambova. This first-person narration is of a lover who has lost his beloved, but now he recalls all the moments that they used to pass together from skipping school to sitting in the smoky room or passing by strangers to enjoying life in his car. However, those moments are gone, and he recalls them in his minds’ eyes, saying that they danced together. He implored her not to say goodbye to those moments, but the moments have long passed and gone. Therefore, the song is placed eighth in our order of ranking, as the first two stanzas show it.

Example #9

Love Walks In by Van Halen

Contact is all it takes
To change your life to lose your place in time
Contact, asleep or awake
Coming around you may wake up to find
Questions deep within your eyes
Now more than ever you realize.

An American guitarist, backing vocalist, songwriter, and musician, Van Halen joined hands with his partners, Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, and Alex Van Halen, to write this song. He released it in his album in 5150 in 1986. The song proved an instant hit in the pop ballad category. The thoughts of the singer revolve on and around “contact” with various connotations of its context, place, and time. However, it turns into a change that makes or breaks everything in life. These thoughts reverberate throughout the lyrics, which end with the refrain of “Love comes walkin’ in.” That is why the ballad is placed ninth in our order of ranking. Its first stanza shows its different qualities.

Example #10

Hysteria by Def Leppard

Out of touch, out of reach, yeah
You could try to get closer to me
I’m in luck, I’m in deep, yeah
Hypnotized, I’m shakin’ to my knees

I gotta know tonight
If you’re alone tonight
Can’t stop this feeling
Can’t stop this fight.

Released in 1987 by the English rock band Def Leppard, this ballad song of the 80s comes tenth in our order of ranking due to the popularity that it won, with more than 20 million copies bought worldwide. Written by Robert John Lange and Stephen Clark with the support of other band members, this song beautifully presents the feeling of the lover being “out of touch” when he states that he knows that she is all alone at night. This feeling makes him hysterical. Therefore, he feels hysteria that he expresses through verses. Its first two stanzas show the beauty of the lyrics.