The music of the 80’s wasn’t just about
hair bands, wailing sax, and
stalker music. We had our share of
songs that celebrated the tenderness and angst of true love, too. I am
so in love with these romantic duets from the 1980’s.
First off, we have the best selling single of Diana Ross’s entire
career: “Endless Love”, her duet with Lionel Ritchie. It was for the
movie of the
same name starring Brooke Shields, but the movie was nowhere near as
this dreamy love song,
penned by Lionel himself. In fact, on Valentine’s Day of 2011,
Billboard magazine named it the top duet, like, EVER.
Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton’s “We’ve Got Tonight” from 1983 still pulls
hard at my heartstrings. Kenny’s raspy, earnest voice, especially, just
kills me. Swoon.
Kenny Rogers was a popular duet-er (duetist?) with other ladies, too. I
love this video with a spoken intro by him. It’s easy to mock his open
collar and blowdried hair nowadays, but I still think Kenny Rogers is
one hot ladies’ man. Here he is with Kim Carnes in 1980’s “Don’t Fall in
Love with a Dreamer.”
Okay, just ONE more Kenny Roger’s song. They’re just all so GOOD! “Islands
in the Stream” was written by the Bee Gees and performed by Kenny and
Dolly in 1983. Fabulous.
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame and the Eagles’ own Don Henley sang
“Leather and Lace”, which became a Billboard #6 single in 1982. Their
powerful, restrained voices make magic together. This song nails that
sweet struggle to remain independent while giving yourself over
completely to the one you love. Added bonus: this video has a great
collection of Stevie Nick’s photos, in all her gypsy woman glory.
Ann Wilson of Heart and Loverboy’s Mike Reno sang “Almost Paradise” for
the 1984 movie “Footloose”. Yet another heart-wrenching, achingly
perfect love song. It makes me want to put on a crinkly hot pink satin
mini-dress, a sweetheart rose wrist corsage, and sway in a crepe-paper
Phil Collins was no stranger to the 1980’s romantic duet scene, either.
Check out “Separate Lives”, his soulful duet (a Billboard #1 hit) with
Marilyn Martin from the 1985 movie “White Nights.”
Amy Grant had been popular on the Christian music charts, but she broke
right out of that mold her 1986 duet with Peter Cetera, formerly of
Chicago. Ordinarily Peter Cetera’s voice chafes me a bit, but it melts
so beautifully with Amy Grant’s rich vocals in this song.
I just played this next song and will happily confess: GOOSEBUMPS. (Hee,
hee, he kisses her right on the nose! Oh, Baby, you lucky girl!) Patrick
Swayze and Jennifer Grey were totally awesome in 1987’s “Dirty Dancing”.
Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes gave us a duet that is pretty much
impossible to listen to without smiling goofily and feeling your heart
swell, am I right?
From 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentlemen,” we had what is one of the most
soaring, earnest love songs EVER: “Up Where We Belong”. Oh my gosh, this
song is so beautiful. Amazing each and every time I hear it. Joe
Cocker’s hot-crazy growl cuts through the sweetness of Jennifer Warnes’s
light soprano and creates a musical masterpiece.
So, now I’m blushing and feeling all a-flutter. I think I’ll doodle some
hearts and a few hundred cursive renditions of “Mrs. James Anderson,”
“Mrs. Julie Anderson,” and “James and Julie Anderson” in my spiral
I hope love lifts you up today, too.
Read Jules' Other Listening To Mix Tapes & Thinking About . . .