The 1980's - it was the time of my childhood - a time of innocence - a time of discovery - my time for coming of age.
I'm talking about childhood crushes , first loves & even first heartbreaks
These are some classic soul love songs that helped to define my formative years aka the wonderful decade of the 1980's
1) TENDER LOVE - FORCE MD's
This smooth track from their second album 1985's CHILLIN was written and produced by the legendary Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the tune appeared in the film KRUSH GROOVE & was featured on the film's soundtrack - T.C.D , Stevie D , Jesse D. , Trisco & Mercury come together to give us some of the most amazing harmony ever on this iconic slow jam & a personal note - This is my favorite song of all time !!!
2) SECRET LOVERS - ATLANTIC STARR
Sung as a duet between Atlantic Starr members Barbara Weathers and David Lewis, "Secret Lovers" is the story of a man and a woman who are having an affair with each other even though they are both married to other people. Although they know their actions are wrong and are forced to keep their relationship secret as a result (hence the title of the song), they love each other too much to let the affair end. They also justify the affair by trying to convince themselves that maybe their spouses have their own "Secret Lovers" as well - Now I
personally have never went through such a scenario or would I ever condone such scandalous behavior , but what a great song - a certified 80's classic & a true must have !!!
3) I MISS YOU - KLYMAXX
This hit single recorded by the legendary all female band KLYMAXX is off their fourth album 1984's MEETING IN THE LADIES ROOM & was written and co-produced by Klymaxx keyboardist Lynn Malsby, the song was released as the album's third single. "I Miss You" eventually reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart becoming the group's top charting single - A truly heart wrenching song for anyone thats ever missed a loved one that they are no longer with.
4) BABY COME TO ME - JAMES INGRAM & PATTI AUSTIN
The song was performed by Patti Austin and James Ingram, with Michael McDonald contributing background vocals & was produced by Quincy Jones, the song appears on Austin's 1981 album EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE ONE When first released as a single, it charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 for just four weeks, peaking at number 73 on May 8, 1982
But later that year it gained new exposure as the romantic theme song for LUKE SPENCER a leading character on the ABC soap opera GENERAL HOSPITAL . ABC received so many inquiries about the song that Warner Bros. decided to re-release "Baby Come to Me" as a single. On October 16, 1982, the song re-entered the charts where It reached No. 1 on February 19, 1983 & spent seven months on the Hot 100. It also hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1983 - it's a wonderful tale of two lovers going through
the trials & tribulations of a relationship , but fighting to keep it together.
5) IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT - ALEXANDER O'NEAL
Released as the second single off ALEXANDER O'NEAL's 1985 self titled album - it was a moderately successful single (much bigger in the UK) but over the years it has become a
staple of QUIET STORM RADIO SHOWS across the country - it is a song fueled with the emotions of a man that just wants one more chance with his lost love - this one will cut deep for anyone thats ever been there .
6) CAN YOU STAND THE RAIN - NEW EDITION
Released as the third single from their fifth studio album, HEARTBREAK, this love soul classic
was written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and Ricky Bell on lead vocals and Michael Bivins with a spoken piece, "Can You Stand the Rain" is about a relationship presently going well, but the man is asking the woman if he can count on her to remain by his side, in case things should ever become stormy - It's an easy relatable song for anyone that's ever been in a relationship.
7) WEEKEND GIRL SOS BAND
This SOUNDS OF SUCCESS (SOS) 1984 power duet features the beautiful vocals
of MARY DAVIS & ABDUL RA'OOF & is yet another great slow jam produced
by the incomparable JIMMY JAM & TERRY LEWIS. The song was inspired by the concept of couples whose work life took up more time than one's personal life to where the couple could only see each other on the weekend. Time management has always been a struggle for anyone in a long term relationship & this track definitely outlines the struggle that many of us has been through
8 ) RONI - BOBBY BROWN
RONI is the third single released from BOBBY BROWN'S second studio album DON'T BE CRUEL - The song was written & produced by KENNY "BABYFACE" EDMONDS - The track reached number 3 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1988 & has become a legendary track that is still played regularly on R&B stations across the country
9) TIME WILL REVEAL - DEBARGE
Time Will Reveal is a single by DeBarge and released in September 1983 as the first single off the group's third album In a Special Way . It was also the group's biggest hit prior to the group's 1985 hit Rhythm of the Night - The song reached #1 on the R&B Charts & #18 on the
US Pop Charts & features EL Debarge's legendary falsetto - This track will definitely take you back - A definite must have.
10) SEND FOR ME - ATLANTIC STARR
This is ATLANTIC STARR's second contribution to this must have list - It comes from the 1981 album "RADIANT" that went on to reach #5 on the R&B charts - The WAYNE LEWIS led track might not have obtained massive success on the charts - I still had to add it to the list because I once saw this song sung live & the effect that it had on a live crowd definitely made it a must have from that moment on - this one right here will definitely have you all up in your feelings.
11) JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE - MELBA MOORE & FREDDIE JACKSON
Just A Little Bit More is a R&B song by singer Melba Moore featuring R&B legend Freddie Jackson - The second single released from her album A Lot of Love & was also featured on Jackson's second album Just Like the First Time. It was most successful on the R&B Songs charts where it spent one week at #1 - if you're like me & love a good duet - then this is one that you definitely need to add to your collection today
12) OVERJOYED - STEVIE WONDER
From his 1985 album In Square Circle. The single peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1986 - remaining in the Top 40 for six weeks. In addition OVERJOYED was a No. 1 hit on the adult contemporary chart - In the liner notes for the song - crickets, nightingale & additional bird sounds, ocean, pebbles in pond, stone dropped, crushing leaves are listed under environmental percussion. The song was first performed live on the May 7, 1983, episode of Saturday Night Live, where Wonder was the host and musical guest.
We have our very own soundtracks that we live our lives too & there's never any right or wrongsongs to choose - its whatever songs move you personally - These were just a few of mine - I hope you add these to your collection & enjoy them as much as I have over the years - A special thanks go out to the wonderful people at GREAT SOUL RADIO & ADONIS DESIGN DIGITAL & of course thank you to everyone that took time to check out this article - So until next time - STORMY ROCKWELL IS OUT