Best “Singable” ’80s Songs

OK, this is REALLY weird. Just this morning I was talking about wanting to do a post about the best “singable” ballad-type songs from the ’80s. And this morning my news feed tells me that I shared THIS photo exactly one year ago today. This particular photo (from the mid 2000s) was taken on someone’s cell phone, David is the most likely person to have taken this photo, at a bar whose name I don’t recall in Ypsilanti, MI (located on Cross Street near “the” phallic water tower). Without further ado, let’s got on with the list of the best “singable” ballads from the 1980s! You know…those songs that you just HAVE to sing when they come on in the car? Or sing in a karaoke bar, if you’re a little more bold? Here we go!
1. “Here I Go Again,” Whitesnake, which is the song I’m singing in this grainy photo. This song’s video features auburn-haired beauty Tawny Kitaen lolling about on the hood of a car in a white dress, which for most male teenagers of the time, was not that unpleasant of a thing to see! For a guy, David Coverdale had pretty good range, got into some very girly heights in this particular song, which makes it good for both men and women to sing.
2. “It Must’ve Been Love,” Roxette. This one was actually released in 1987, although the ironically named 1990 film “Pretty Woman” helped make it really popular. This song just feels really good to belt out, the singer has a really nice range that makes it a challenge to sing. And my husband says the singer is pretty hot, so there’s that, too! Her name is Marie Fredriksson, BTW…
3. “Sweet Child of Mine,” Guns ‘n Roses. I actually sang a bit of this song to a blue-eyed toddler about a year ago, specifically the line, “She’s got eyes…of the bluest skies…” In addition to that adorable little girl, this song reminds me of a time in high school when I was trying to get a friend home in time for her curfew and I got a little mixed up on the Flint-area freeways. The line in the song, “Where do we go now?” was very fitting for that moment. Yes, I got my friend home, but I had to break the speed limit to do it! That time, I didn’t get caught (cough). #confessionsofaleadfoot
4. “Careless Whisper,” Wham. Everything. Just EVERYTHING about this song is about the singing. With lots of feeling. Don’t even attempt to sing this song otherwise. And now it’s a nice tribute to the late singer George Michael, who, imho, was one of the best male singers from the 1980s. I may love singing, but I’ll never be able to emulate what he does on the song “Kissing a Fool,” which is on his solo album “Faith.” Just amazing lounge singing, which proved that he was at the top of his game.
5. “Eternal Flame,” The Bangles. I went to high school with a girl who kind of looked like this band’s lead singer, Susanna Hoffs. Another ’80s singer my husband proclaims to be “hot.” And this girl was a cheerleader. Now you’re probably going to start thinking about ’80s era Susanna Hoffs in a cheerleader outfit now, aren’t you? Should I leave the room? 🙂 But I digress…great torch song. You want to be the person she’s singing about in this song. You know you do!
6. “Foolish Beat,” Debbie Gibson, whom I believe goes by the more adult “Deborah” now. When I was a teenager, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were both kind of a big deal, because of their young ages when they had their hit songs. But I always had more respect for Ms. Gibson, because unlike Tiffany, she actually wrote her own songs. There is actually a horrible TV movie with both of these singers in it, it’s called Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. I’m not making that up. A bit of trivia, this song made Gibson the youngest female artist to write, produce, and perform a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single. And you probably know I totally lifted that from wikipedia, right? Producing your own music is kind of impressive, Prince was well known for producing his own stuff throughout his career, but the “big” acts, such as The Beatles and Michael Jackson, to name a couple, are almost as well known for their producers (George Martin and Quincy Jones, respectively) as they were for being themselves. Martin was referred to as the “Fifth Beatle” because of how involved he was with the band when producing their songs. And Quincy Jones’ mad skills as a producer helped give “Thriller” the “sound” it needed to make Michael Jackson a megastar. And did you know Quincy Jones wrote the theme song for ‘Sanford and Son?” Of course you did!
7. “Alone,” Heart. Very passionate song with great range. Ann Wilson is just such an amazing singer (she even sang at the Super Bowl recently), and this is another song you want to be about you. It’s that good!
I know there are other “singable” songs I could blather on about, but this is it for now!

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