I was recently inspired to write this post, thanks to my friend Drew. He posted a Facebook status about his dislike for a particular song that’s been popular for several decades, and that sparked a conversation about the 1980s, and our favorite songs from that decade.
In addition, I saw this video from MetroLyrics on Facebook, and I loved how the creator(s) showcase(s) so many songs!
Now, I want to go decade by decade, and list a handful of my favorite songs and artists from each one!
Come along and enjoy!
“Rock Around The Clock” (Bill Haley & His Comets, 1952)
- Automatic favorite!
“Sh-Boom” (The Chords, 1954)
- My parents had a generic “Best of the 1950s” CD that I frequently borrowed after I received my first portable CD player – This was one of the songs listed!
“Earth Angel” (The Penguins, 1954)
- I think this song was also on that CD!
“Heartbreak Hotel” (Elvis Presley, 1956)
- It was hard to not list a ton of Elvis songs!
“Bye Bye Love” (The Everly Brothers, 1957)
- This was another song that I grew up listening to!
“At the Hop” (Danny & The Juniors, 1958)
- This song makes me think of sock hops, dancing, and excellent music!
“Beyond The Sea” (Bobby Darin, 1959)
- This song has been in so many movies!
- It reminds me of fancy clubs and restaurants – The old days.
“Unchained Melody” (The Righteous Brothers, 1965)
- My parents played this on our stereo at home a lot. I remember my mom singing along.
- Plus, Ghost (1990) is one of my favorite movies!
“Good Vibrations” (The Beach Boys, 1966)
- The Beach Boys is one of my parents’ favorite bands!
- If you haven’t seen Love & Mercy (2014), I highly recommend it – It’s an excellent movie. I gained a greater appreciation for Brian Wilson, and the band.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, 1967)
- I grew up hearing this song, but I remember it most from Remember The Titans (2000).
“What A Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong, 1967)
- This song immediately lifts my spirits!
“Carolina In My Mind” (James Taylor, 1968)
- My parents are also big James Taylor fans – They’ve seen him live several times.
- However, this song is special – My dad played this song when he proposed to my mom. Then, in 2015, we surprised Mom by dancing to this song during our father-daughter dance at my wedding.
“Fire And Rain” (James Taylor, 1970)
- I think this was the first James Taylor song I remember hearing!
“Baba O’Riley” (The Who, 1971)
- I’ve always loved this song – The synthesizer always gives me goosebumps.
- It’s also the theme song to CSI: NY, one of my favorite shows.
“Saturday in the Park” (Chicago, 1972)
- This song always makes me dance and sing along.
- I also had the opportunity to see Chicago live, in Portsmouth, in the early 2000s – I think I was either 13 or 14. I went with my parents, and their friends Phil and Diane. What an awesome memory!
“Hooked on a Feeling” (Blue Swede cover, 1974)
- I heard this song here and there growing up, but absolutely fell in love with it when it was featured in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
- Al and I entered our wedding reception to this!
“Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” (Elton John, 1974)
- I started listening to Elton John more in high school, while driving the 15 miles back and forth to school.
“Isn’t She Lovely” (Stevie Wonder, 1976)
- My mom has loved Stevie Wonder for years. I think this one is my favorite.
“Don’t Stop” (Fleetwood Mac, 1977)
- Fleetwood Mac was another favorite in my parents’ house. This one tops my list.
- I also love the cover that the cast of Glee did in 2010.
“Old Time Rock n Roll” (Bob Seger, 1978)
- I heard this song a lot growing up, but associate it now with Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983).
“Come On Eileen” (Dexys Midnight Runners, 1982)
- This song is awesome! It automatically makes me dance and sing!
“Eye of the Tiger” (Survivor, 1982)
- This was the theme song of my high school football team. Go Tigers!
“Uptown Girl” (Billy Joel, 1983)
- I remember borrowing Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Vols. 1 & 2 on CD from the local library, and then putting all of them on my iPod.
- We’re hoping to see him live at Madison Square Garden next summer!
“Footloose” (Kenny Loggins, 1984)
- Although I grew up listening (and dancing) to this song, I actually never saw the original movie until 2010!
- I also enjoyed the movie re-boot – Footloose (2011) – Al was such a good sport and offered to take me to see it!
“Ghostbusters” (Ray Parker, Jr., 1984)
- Automatic favorite. I also associate this song with Halloween. I love the Ghostbusters costume I bought several years ago!
- Although I didn’t see the full movie until 2010, I’ve visited the firehouse in New York several times!
“You’re The Inspiration” (Chicago, 1984)
- This was one of the first songs I loaded on my first iPod!
“The Power of Love” (Huey Lewis and the News, 1985)
- Back to the Future (1985). Need I say more?
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, 1987)
- Dirty Dancing (1987).
- I’ve been to Mountain Lake three times, where they filmed part of the movie!
“Smooth Criminal” (Michael Jackson, 1987)
- It was SO HARD to not pick a ton of Michael Jackson’s songs. I love this one.
- This is another one that Glee covered that I adore!
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston, 1987)
- Same story with Whitney – So hard to not pick multiple songs.
- Like the title, it makes me want to dance the whole time!
“Never Gonna Give You Up” (Rick Astley, 1987)
- Yes, it’s cheesy and campy, but I will never stop loving it.
“Baby Got Back” (Sir Mix A Lot, 1992)
- Whenever I hear this song, I’m immediately transported back to elementary school, and the Plaza Skating Center in Portsmouth. So many skating parties!
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Mariah Carey, 1994)
- Yes, it’s cheesy, but this is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. The local radio stations start way too early, but hearing this song always gets me in the mood for the holidays, and Christmas spirit.
“Wannabe” (Spice Girls, 1996)
- I was introduced to the Spice Girls by my friends Karen and Michaela Leigh, who are sisters. We played this song a ton at their house in Norfolk. Karen also had the dolls!
“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” (Shania Twain, 1997)
- I don’t remember the first time I heard this song, but I instantly liked it! The music video is totally awesome, too.
“Tearin’ Up My Heart” (*NSYNC, 1997)
- I think I fell in love with *NSYNC with this song. I’m definitely a ’90s child!
“…Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears, 1999)
- I remember outright begging my parents for this CD. I was so excited when I got it, I nearly cried!
“Larger than Life” (Backstreet Boys, 1999)
- I definitely sang into my hairbrush, in front of my mirrored closet doors, to this song. Over and over and over!
- I shameless danced when this song came on the radio in the car a few months ago. Al was driving, and he saw me freak out a little.
“Stronger” (Britney Spears, 2000)
- I loved this song early on, but it took on a new meaning for me in college.
“Bye Bye Bye” (*NSYNC, 2000)
- This song was on repeat for a while! I remember trying to learn the dance moves!
“Come Away with Me” (Norah Jones, 2002)
- I associate coffee shops and dark jazz clubs with this song. It’s one of those that relaxes me and makes me feel good.
“Invisible” (Clay Aiken, 2003)
- When Clay Aiken was runner-up on the second season of American Idol, I knew I wanted any and every CD that he released.
- I remember many trips to Florida where this song, and the rest of Measure of a Man, was on repeat on my blue portable CD player.
“The Way” (Clay Aiken, 2003)
- The first time I heard this song, I nearly cried. It’s so sweet and sentimental.
- I remember watching the music video over and over on YouTube. And, occasionally, I play it again.
“Dancing Through Life” (Wicked soundtrack, 2003)
- I love almost all of the songs on the Wicked soundtrack, but this one is my favorite. When I had the opportunity to see the show in Norfolk in 2009, I bought a red tank top with this printed on it, and I loved it. I’m sad that I grew out of it!
“Walk Away” (Kelly Clarkson, 2004)
- I was a late-bloomer with Kelly Clarkson. But, I’ve loved this song from the beginning. It’s edgy, and I almost used the lyrics to tell off my ex-boyfriend when I broke up with him in 2010.
“I Gotta Feeling” (The Black Eyed Peas, 2009)
- This is a quintessential dance / party song.
2010s (So far)
“Rolling in the Deep” (Adele, 2010)
- When Al and I saw I Am Number Four (2011) in theaters, I heard this song for the first time. I immediately wanted more! Adele is now one of my all-time favorite artists!
“Mine” (Taylor Swift, 2010)
- I felt an instant connection with this song. It felt like it was telling the story of Al and I.
- I got up the courage to sing this song to Al at our rehearsal dinner. I practiced in the car, alone, every chance I got. My bridal party helped me make posters that read “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine,” and they held them up as I sang. My knees were shaking the entire time, and I know Al was embarrassed, but it was completely worth it.
“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” (Kelly Clarkson, 2011)
- This was my anthem for a few years!
- Kelly has such a powerful voice – I love it!
“Domino” (Jessie J, 2011)
- I always feel sexy when I sing along to this song.
“Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012)
- I love Carly Rae. This is one of those songs that instantly makes me dance and sing.
- Also, I love the video that the cast of The Big Bang Theory did with this song!
“Who I Am with You” (Chris Young, 2013)
- Like “Mine,” I felt an instant connection to this song. I first heard it on the radio in 2013, as I was driving back to my apartment one night. I pulled over in my neighborhood to listen to it, and immediately re-played it when I got home. It’s been one of my all-time favorite songs since then. We danced to this song for our first dance at our wedding.
“Word Crimes” (“Weird Al” Yankovic, 2014)
- Al introduced me to “Weird Al” – I love his parodies!
- This is one of my all-time favorites. If you’re a grammar nerd, like me, I think you’ll appreciate this one.
“Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift, 2014)
- I love Taylor Swift. This song makes me dance, even if I’m sitting down. It’s so upbeat and catchy!
“Shatter Me” (Lindsey Stirling featuring Lzzy Hale, 2014)
- I can’t remember when I first fell in love with Lindsey Stirling, but she’s amazing! We had the opportunity to see her live at The NorVA in 2015!
“Lips Are Movin” (Meghan Trainor, 2014)
- Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I usually search for Meghan Trainor on YouTube – It never fails!
- I adore her style, and her musical inspirations!
“Heartbeat Song” (Kelly Clarkson, 2015)
- I cried when I first heard this song, and cried harder when I watched the music video. It’s an amazing song about love!
“One More Light” (Linkin Park, 2017)
- The recent deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, both from suicide, makes this song even more poignant.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun researching. I definitely listened to all of them, too!
What about you? What are your favorite artists / musicians? Do you have any favorite songs? I’d love to see your comments.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂