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Billy Ocean is a Trinidadian-British singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s with his unique blend of soul, R&B, and pop music. With his smooth vocals, catchy hooks, and infectious energy, Ocean quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and talented performers of his generation. Over the years, he has produced a string of classic hits, earning him a dedicated fan base and a place in the pantheon of pop music.
In this article, we will be counting down the top 10 best Billy Ocean songs of all time, taking a closer look at the tracks that have defined his career and continue to resonate with audiences today. From his early hits like “Love Really Hurts Without You” and “Red Light Spells Danger” to his more recent releases, we will explore the diverse range of styles and influences that have shaped Ocean’s sound.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to his music, this list is sure to provide a comprehensive overview of Billy Ocean’s greatest hits and most iconic moments. So sit back, relax, and let the smooth sounds of Billy Ocean transport you to a world of timeless pop classics.
1. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going
“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” is a song by British musician Billy Ocean, released in 1985. The track is known for its upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and inspiring lyrics that encourage perseverance in the face of adversity. The song’s iconic music video features scenes from the movie “The Jewel of the Nile,” with Ocean and co-writers Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito dressed as swashbuckling adventurers. “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 in several countries, including the UK, US, and Australia, and earning Ocean a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The song has since become a classic ’80s anthem and is often played at sports events, parties, and other celebrations.
2. Red Light Spells Danger
“Red Light Spells Danger” is a classic hit song by Billy Ocean. The up-tempo disco-infused tune is a playful warning about the danger of falling for a woman who is in a relationship with another man. Ocean’s soulful vocals are complemented by the song’s upbeat rhythm and catchy horn section. The lyrics, which were written by Billy Ocean and his longtime collaborator Ben Findon, tell the story of a man who can’t resist the attraction he feels for a woman, even though he knows it’s a risk. Released in 1977, “Red Light Spells Danger” was a chart-topping hit in the UK and a top 40 hit in the US. The song remains a popular dancefloor filler and a testament to Ocean’s ability to blend soulful vocals with catchy pop hooks.
3. Love Really Hurts Without You
“Love Really Hurts Without You” is a classic hit song by Billy Ocean. It was released in 1976 and became a commercial success for the artist, reaching the top ten in the UK singles chart. The song is a fun and upbeat track that highlights the emotional pain of a failed relationship, with Ocean’s powerful vocals perfectly capturing the heartache. The catchy chorus, upbeat horns and rhythmic guitar riffs make it a timeless dance floor classic that still resonates with audiences today. The song’s energy and soulful sound cemented Ocean’s place as a respected R&B artist, and it remains one of his most beloved hits.
“Suddenly” is a romantic ballad by British singer Billy Ocean, released in 1984 as the lead single from his album “Suddenly.” The song became Ocean’s second top 10 hit in the United States and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It features Ocean’s soulful vocals over a gentle melody, with lyrics that express the joy and unexpectedness of falling in love. The song’s production is classic 80s, featuring lush synths and a smooth saxophone solo. “Suddenly” remains one of Ocean’s most enduring hits and is considered a classic love song of the era.
5. Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)
Released in 1984, “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” by Billy Ocean was an instant hit and became his biggest selling single. The song’s upbeat rhythm and catchy chorus combined with Ocean’s smooth vocals make it a perfect dance-pop tune. The lyrics are about a man who falls for a woman while on vacation in the Caribbean and is captivated by her beauty and charisma. The song’s popularity led to it being re-recorded as “African Queen” for the African market, which also became a hit. “Caribbean Queen” won Ocean the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1985 and remains a classic dancefloor favorite.
6. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
“Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” is a classic hit song by Billy Ocean released in 1988. The song features a catchy chorus and a driving beat, typical of the era’s pop music. The lyrics speak to the singer’s desire to have a woman join him in his car and go for a ride, expressing the excitement and urgency of young love. The song’s playful and upbeat nature has made it a popular choice for dance parties and retro playlists. The track’s successful chart performance, reaching number one in several countries, cemented its place as a beloved classic of 80s pop music.
7. There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)
“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” is a 1986 ballad by Billy Ocean that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song features Ocean’s powerful vocals and emotional lyrics about lost love and heartbreak. The song’s memorable chorus encourages listeners to let their emotions out and cry, as a way to process their pain. The track is known for its memorable saxophone solo and 80s-style production, with a mix of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. The song’s message of letting go and moving on resonates with audiences of all ages and remains a timeless classic.
8. Love Zone
“Love Zone” is a classic 1986 hit by Billy Ocean that showcases his soulful voice and catchy melodies. The song features a smooth and sultry R&B groove, complete with synthesizers, saxophones, and Ocean’s signature vocal style. The lyrics speak of a lover’s paradise, where two people can escape to their own special world and experience the ultimate intimacy. With its romantic message and irresistible rhythm, “Love Zone” became an instant classic and remains one of Billy Ocean’s most popular songs to this day. It’s a timeless love song that captures the essence of romance and the power of music to bring people together.
“Loverboy” is a song by Billy Ocean, released in 1984. It’s an upbeat track with a lively rhythm and catchy chorus that embodies the carefree spirit of the 80s. The lyrics tell the story of a womanizer who finds his match in a girl who doesn’t fall for his charm, and how he is willing to change his ways for her. The song features Ocean’s signature smooth vocals and a blend of pop, soul, and funk elements. “Loverboy” was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 in several countries and solidifying Ocean’s status as a hitmaker of the decade.
10. The Long and Winding Road
“The Long and Winding Road” is a soulful ballad originally recorded by the Beatles, but Billy Ocean’s rendition brings new life to the classic tune. Ocean’s smooth and soulful voice perfectly captures the emotional depth of the song’s lyrics, which speak of the ups and downs of life and the journey we all must take. The song features lush instrumentation, with Ocean’s vocals backed by a full orchestra, including strings and brass. Ocean’s version of “The Long and Winding Road” showcases his incredible vocal range and ability to connect with the listener on a deep emotional level.