Rod Stewart was born in 1945 in London, England, and has proven to be a true rockstar in the last five decades. He has an extensive discography, to be specific, thirty studio albums and 147 singles. His music career began in the late sixties, and after being superficially brushed off by punk rock, he reinvented himself in the 80s and made a strong comeback. He made an early eighties venture into “disco music,” which saw him become a force to be reckoned with despite being short-lived.
His 80s songs were some of his bestsellers, and the live performances he did that decade are still some of the best shows ever. We have some of the rock legend’s best 80s songs for you to look back at and enjoy.
#1o – Young Turks
Rod Stewart released this single in 1981 in his sort of comeback album named Tonight I’m Yours, which will easily stop you to your tracks the first time hearing it. “Young Turks” is a term that originates from a secular nationalist party named the same in the early 20th century. It is slang for a defiant youth acting contrary to what is expected of them by society. While the title rarely appears in the song, Rod centered the song around the phrase, “Young hearts be free tonight.”
The track brought him into the early 80s era and was coincidentally released the same year MTV launched. It could possibly have compelled Stewart into ensuring the video was a cinematic spectacle, aiming it intentionally at his young audience.
He wrote the lyrics for this one, and it remains one of his best live songs.
#9 – Baby Jane
From his Body Wishes album, “Baby Jane” has to feature in our choices for Rod Stewart’s best songs in the 80s. It’s like he was finally on the comeback trail. Don’t get it twisted; Rod had still enjoyed successful tours in the early 80s, but this track went to number one in the UK after three years of not having a number one track on the UK pop charts. He co-wrote the song, and it still enjoys a lot of radio play to date.
#8 – Downtown Train
“Downtown Train” was originally written and sung by Tom Waits, and Rod Stewart released his version in 1989 from his album Vagabond Heart. If you have a soft spot for Tom Waits‘ lyrics, this track can easily become one of your favorites from Rod in the 80s. He gave the ballad his best, and for a song as sad as the blues can make it, Rod’s lovely husky voice did it justice. Tom Waits must have been proud!
#7 – Every Beat of My Heart
“Every Beat of My Heart” was from Rod Stewart’s 1986 album named the same. Even though Gladys Knight wrote and sung a song with the same name in the early 60s, Stewart did write the lyrics of his single.
I wouldn’t lie if I said Rod Stewart is a ballads master. Give him a good song, and he’ll get you in tears. This particular track seems to be about longing for family and his home; he was probably missing Britain after being a US resident for over a decade by that time.
All the same, the lyrics to this song are great, and his vocal performance on this one is one of his best ever!
#6 – Lost in You
Rod Stewart’s confident comeback to his rock and roll roots with his 1988 album, Out of Order, is probably the reason for its huge success.”Lost in You,” a track from this album, has a solid guitar base, and Rod Stewart’s persona helped the song fit in the pop scene. Not many artists of the 80s were able to get away with lines like the ones on this tune, “I’m comin’ home real soon, Be ready cuz when I do, I’m gonna make love to you like 15 men.” However, Rod was able to bring off such sexual boldness without coming off as a jerk. Instead, he filled his vocals with his usual raspy expressions of desire and genuine romantic emotion.
#5 – Infatuation
Rod Stewart took the 80s with so much gusto, probably because he had been nothing short of a flashy performer throughout his music career. He embraced huge sound with this single and featured busy orchestration, bold guitars and incorporated some of the gaudy, sex-obsessed fascinations he had long favored.
Contemporary ears may find the result painfully outdated. Still, Rods fans and American record-buying audience of the time readily snapped it up, pushing the track to the sixth position in the pop charts.
#4 – Passion
This track was released in 1980 from Rod Stewart’s album Foolish Behavior. It has a catchy melody line, paired with a little bit of the 80s rock guitar.”Passion” brought Rod right back into the pop top five hits, and it reached the top twenty on the UK pop singles chart.
#3 – Forever Young
“Forever Young” was released in 1988. When it was first written, it was hard to ignore its similarity to a song by Bob Dylan named the same. The two ultimately came up with a royalty-sharing agreement for the new song. Rod Stewart says this track is one of his personal favorites of all the songs he recorded. He calls it a heartfelt song about his children, whose five years of childhood he missed due to his busy touring schedule. Despite only reaching number twelve on the US pop singles chart, the song was a fan favorite and managed to get to number three on adult contemporary radio.
#2 – Some Guys Have All the Luck
Rod Stewart takes on this soft rock piece, amplifying his usual lothario personality with so much contrition and humility. Written by Jeff Fortgang, Rod Stewart released this single in 1984, and it hit number 10 on the US pop charts and number thirty-two on the Adult Contemporary chart.
#1- Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)
“Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” is the title track of Rod Stewart’s 1981 studio album named Tonight I’m Yours and one of the three singles in it. The track has a fantastic chorus, synthetic fueled, majestic, with electronic bell sounds striking behind the lead vocal. The song also efficiently manages to sound fresh and distinct enough to satisfy Stewart’s aging audience and appeal to younger record buyers.
Top 10 Top 10 Rod Stewart 80s Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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