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Top 25 Rod Stewart 80s Songs

The history of Rod Stewart goes back a long, long way. He was born in London during the Second World War, and before he met Long John Baldry, he had an “interesting” life, to say the least.

However, what happened in the past has gone, and we are going to concentrate on a different period, as I take a look at the Top 10 Rod Stewart 80s songs. So, why the 80s?

Not All Success

His career had been a series of fits and starts until that point. There had been some successes, but it hadn’t all been plain sailing. In the UK, in the 60s, there were other heroes to get excited about.

He had been with Baldry and Julie Driscoll in the Blues band Steam Packet. Then, he stepped into the Small Faces with Ronnie Wood when Steve Marriott left. 

They changed their name to The Faces and had some notable successes and failures for a while. But, the advent of Punk Rock seemed to stifle all that for a while. He went “Disco” for a time, which many thought was ludicrous and almost embarrassing. But, he kept selling records.


So, we come to the 80s and what can only be called a reinvention. He produced work that was, shall we say, not appreciated by some. Especially cover versions of John Lennon’s “In My Life” and Free’s “All Right Now.” Not something you do with either song, no matter who you are.

But, in other ways, it may also have been his most successful period. So, let’s look back to that period and remember some of the best Rod Stewart songs from the 80s and some of his collaborations with others.

Top 10 Rod Stewart 80s Songs

Top 25 Rod Stewart 80s Songs

[nb]1[/nb] Downtown Train


This is one of the last songs of the 80s that he recorded. It was written by Tom Waits and released on his 1985 album Rain Dogs. Stewart released his version in 1989, and it reached #1 in Canada, #3 in America, and #10 in the UK. A big production for this Rock ballad with strings and multiple instruments. And, the slide guitar playing? Who else but Jeff Beck?

[nb]2[/nb] Passion


In 1980, Stewart released his tenth studio album entitled Foolish Behaviour. “Passion” was nominated as the lead single from the album. It became the best seller of all the tracks released as singles from that album. The album was his first of the decade and reached #4 in the UK and #12 on the American album chart.

“Passion” is a moody song that is trying to create an atmosphere. It is about the power of passion and how it can be a force for bad as well as good. Some nice guitar work adds a sinister feel to the song.

The single reached #17 in the UK and peaked at #5 in America. It also did well in several other countries, including Canada, where it reached #2. As a result, it was one of Rod Stewart’s most successful 80s songs.

[nb]3[/nb] Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)


This is a track taken from the album of the same name, released in 1981. It is one of those songs that makes you think, “What on earth is he doing?” It’s quick and uptempo, but it sounds slightly electronic and not what you might expect.

The “Pop but not quite Disco” reincarnation of Rod Stewart didn’t go down so well in some areas. But that can’t be said of his fans, who all went out and bought it. 

The album reached #8 in the UK and #11 in America. The single also made #8 in the UK but peaked at #20 in America. Not one that I would normally have included, but you can’t argue with its chart placement. So, it’s here among the Top 10 Rod Stewart 80s songs.

[nb]4[/nb] Forever Young


This is a song that he wrote about his kids, along with some help from Jim Cregan and Kevin Savigar. It was included in his 1988 album Out of Order. The single reached #12 in America but wasn’t a commercial success in the UK, where it only made #57.

There is a name missing from the songwriter’s credit I just mentioned – Bob Dylan. To avoid any problems with plagiarism, it was agreed with Dylan that he should share a writer’s credit. It was quite similar in structure to the song Bob Dylan had previously released. His name appears as a songwriter.

[nb]5[/nb] Young Turks


Let’s go back to the Tonight I’m Yours album from 1981. This is a song that brought forth a level of confusion. The title words are never spoken throughout the song at all, and the song relies heavily on its chorus.

A “Young Turk” was an expression given to someone who was rebellious and didn’t follow accepted norms. That was the gist of the song as two young people run away from home to make their own futures. But, it was that chorus that sold the song along with its pulsating beat. Always a big favorite at his concerts.

[nb]6[/nb] Baby Jane


“Baby Jane” was the biggest Rod Stewart song of the 80s, and it was the last time he achieved #1 in the UK. Besides hitting the top spot at home, it also reached #14 in America. It was written by Stewart along with Jay Davis and was included on his album from 1983, Body Wishes.

By this time, he had worked out what made a hit record, and they created one here. It has no big message in the lyrics, just a Pop song designed to be successful. And, it was certainly that.

[nb]7[/nb] Some Guys Have All the Luck


Moving up now to 1984 and a track from his album Camouflage. One of the best-known 1980s Rod Stewart songs, it reached #15 in the UK and #10 in America. The song was also known for The Persuaders’ version from 1974. Their version reached #39 in America.

The song was written by part-time songwriter Jeff Fortgang. He was a Yale student that wrote jingles for TV ads. But he never thought he would write a hit song. Yet, here it is. After a few years of writing, he went back to his studies and earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. A version of the song was also recorded by Robert Palmer in 1982 that reached #16 in the UK.

[nb]8[/nb] People Get Ready (with Jeff Beck)


Moving toward the close of this list now and a couple of collaborations. This is his version of The Impressions’ song written by Curtis Mayfield from 1965.

Stewart and Jeff Beck go back a long way. They worked together in the Jeff Beck Group, producing some very good albums. Beck-Ola is just one. They had their differences over the years for several reasons. But, they never lost touch with each other and often performed together for one-off occasions.

This version of the song was recorded in 1985 and included in Beck’s album, Flash. It is a more positive version than the original and other cover versions. Stewart’s gravelly voice seems to fit the tone and mood of the song. And, of course, Jeff Beck’s playing was on another planet to everyone else.

[nb]9[/nb] This Old Heart of Mine (with Ronald Isley)


Since we are talking about covers of classic 60s songs, here is another one. “This Old Heart of Mine” was recorded with Ronald Isley, the lead singer of The Isley Brothers. The track was included on Stewart’s album Storyteller: The Complete Anthology 1964-1990.

This was his second go at this song, having previously recorded it in 1975. The 1975 version reached #4 in the UK, and the 1989 version with Isley reached #10 in America and #51 in the UK. 

[nb]10[/nb] Twisting The Night Away 


And finally, another song he had two goes at. The first version was in 1973 and included on his album, Never a Dull Moment. That version failed to make a chart impression. The 1987 version was recorded for the film Innerspace. Once again, a disappointing chart performance that failed to do anything in the UK and only made #80 in America. It peaked at #27 in Australia.

Ironically, this is probably Rod Stewart at his best. Taking an old Rock n Roller and giving it the treatment. And, even though he has recorded some memorable ballads, this is what he has always been good at.

[nb]11[/nb]Love Touch


[nb]12[/nb]Every Beat of My Heart


[nb]13[/nb]My Heart Can’t Tell You No


[nb]14[/nb]Lost in You


[nb]15[/nb]Crazy About Her


[nb]16[/nb]In My Life


[nb]17[/nb]Rhythm of My Heart


[nb]18[/nb]Broken Arrow


[nb]19[/nb]The Motown Song


[nb]20[/nb]It Takes Two (with Tina Turner)


[nb]21[/nb]You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)


[nb]22[/nb]Forever Young (from Unplugged…and Seated album)


[nb]23[/nb]My Girl


[nb]24[/nb]Shotgun Wedding


[nb]25[/nb]Sweet Little Rock ‘n Roller


In the Mood for More Great 80s Music?

If so, check out our thoughts on the Most Famous Male Singers Of The 1980s, the Most Famous Female Singers Of The 1980s, the Best 80s Rock Bands, the Best 80s Love Songs, and the Best 80s Rock Songs for more incredible music from that decade.

And you’ll need to listen to them. So, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, and the Best iPhone Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

Top 25 Rod Stewart 80s Songs – Final Thoughts

It has been a long journey for Rod Stewart. He is like some musical Peter Pan, he doesn’t seem to get any older. Well, until you look closely. But he is still doing his stuff today.

True, he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And, if I am honest, he isn’t mine. Although, there are historical reasons for that. However, after every seeming lull in his career, he has bounced back. He has survived all the genre and style changes over 60 years and is still here. You can’t argue with that.

If I have missed anything on this list, then you are likely to find it on the album, The Very Best of Rod Stewart. And the tracks on that album aren’t just the best Rod Stewart 1980s songs, they cover the whole range of his career.

Until next time, happy listening.

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