Valentine’s Day playlist: 80s Edition

Julia Burns, Contributing Writer

Valentine’s Day is here, along with the traditions of flowers, chocolate hearts and date nights. The 80s were well known for their love songs and power ballads, so why not create some Valentine’s Day memories with a few classic throwbacks? Here are some great songs to get you and your Valentine singing along.

“Bad Medicine” – Bon Jovi

A spitfire introduction to our playlist, “Bad Medicine” was released in 1988, featuring lyrics relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Bon Jovi peppers in many tongue-in-cheek medical analogies, comparing his symptoms of love to a contagious, incurable disease. Hopefully love is the only symptom you will be feeling on your Valentine’s Day night.”

“If You Leave” – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Next, a fan favorite from “Pretty in Pink,” “If You Leave” was released in 1986, sharing a story of one’s inability to fathom a bearable life without their love, not wanting to let go of what they once had. From the powerful lyrics to the iconic orchestral beat of OMD, this song will have you holding on tight to your Valentine.

“How Will I Know” – Whitney Houston

Released in 1985, “How Will I Know” paints a truly relatable picture of Whitney wondering if the boy she likes will ever feel the same about her. This upbeat, dance tempo jogs the memory of wholesome young love, which seems fitting for the anxieties felt in working up the courage to ask somebody on a first date.

“I Think We’re Alone Now” – Tiffany

Continuing along the theme of young love, Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” relays the innocence of teenage love, as well as the playful sneaking around behind their parents’ backs. Released in 1987, this song opens with a beat to get your foot tapping, and is followed by a chorus that will surely get you and your Valentine singing along.

“Hold Me Now” – Thompson Twins

Released in 1984, Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now” broke away from their signature electronic instruments, calling to action warmer tones from the piano, marimba, and guitar. The bass-line drives this song as it paints the picture of a loving relationship that was taken for granted, yet yearns to be fixed.

“Hungry Eyes” – Eric Carmen

This next song is for all of you “Dirty Dancing” fans. Released in 1987, “Hungry Eyes” brought Carmen back as not only a songwriter, but performer, as well. This song describes the strong physical and emotional feelings one gets when they see that special someone.

“I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner

Foreigner’s 1984 power ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” features the narrator heavy with burden and begging to know what it feels like to be loved, as well as how to love somebody else. This song features the journey that two people embark on when they devote themselves fully to each other. If none of the previously mentioned ballads had you slow dancing with your Valentine, this one surely will.

“You’re the Inspiration” – Chicago

“You’re the Inspiration” is debatably one of Chicago’s most underrated hits. Released in 1984, this song emphasizes how somebody’s love for another gives them meaning in their life, as their world revolves around that person. When you love someone so much, they have the ability to inspire you to be a better person and accomplish great things.

“I’ll Be There For You” – Bon Jovi

This next song, released in 1988, will tug on your heartstrings as Bon Jovi sings of the end of a relationship. Accompanying this anthem with electric guitar, “I’ll Be There For You” will take you on an emotional ride as he begs his lover for a second chance, promising that this time, he will be there for them.

“Need You Tonight” – INXS

Last but certainly not least and a spunky conclusion, “Need You Tonight” was released in 1987. The lyrics describe a strong longing and desire to be with a certain someone. This song is driven by a funky, gritty under-beat, which emphasizes the courage needed to tell someone they’re “one of your kind.”