Top Bonnie Tyler Solo Songs of the '80s

Welsh chanteuse and theatrical '80s artist Bonnie Tyler enjoyed only a brief run as a major pop music superstar, but her signature song has become legendary as a bombastic emblem of '80s arena rock. Blessed with a passionate, raspy voice full of power and presence, Tyler remains an important icon of the era not only measured against contemporary female artists and their many successors but also for general pop music fans at large. Here's a chronological look at the best '80s songs from the unforgettable, still-active Bonnie Tyler.

of 05

"Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Bonnie Tyler
Gianni Ferrari/Getty Images

Tyler released her fourth solo album, , in 1981, but following up the massive success of her 1978 LP that spawned her first hit had proven far more difficult than expected. In fact, ever since "It's a Heartache," Tyler's career had in many ways stalled, unfocused. This full-tilt power ballad extraordinaire changed all that in 1983, quickly becoming one of the most massive and unforgettable worldwide hits of the early '80s. Single-handedly responsible for the platinum showing of , the track has earned an unshakable stronghold as one of the most iconic pop singles of the last 30 years. "Forever's gonna start tonight" indeed, whatever (if anything) that might actually mean.

of 05

"Take Me Back"

Single Cover Image Courtesy of Columbia

Though it failed to crack the U.S. Top 40 as the unenviable follow-up single to "Total Eclipse," this rootsy, soulful track presents a more balanced portrait of Tyler's complete sound. Hearkening back to the country pop and soft rock appeal of "It's a Heartache," this tune again showcases the artist's rousing vocal delivery but does so in a more organic, less heavy-handed package. Songwriter Billy Cross had collaborated previously with Steinman-fueled phenomenon Meat Loaf, but other than that personnel connection this tune strikes a completely different and utterly welcome contrast with its predecessor.

of 05

"Holding Out for a Hero"

Single Cover Image Courtesy of Columbia

Tyler returns to pure bombast with a fury on this 1984 single from the soundtrack. The throwback yearning of the song's traditional lyrical tropes - which celebrate an idea of masculinity with brushstrokes broad and overblown enough to inspire parody - don't neatly fit the dated and busy electronic production of the track. Nevertheless, this jarring contrast hardly detracts from the all-in imagery of a lyric ripe for illustration on the cover of a romance novel. Tyler somehow manages to carry off the difficult task of lending some class and elegance to the overwrought proceedings, but overall songwriter Steinman strikes again in a generally favorable way. Even if the single strangely fell far short in America of its No. 1 U.K. peak.

of 05

"Here She Comes"

Single Cover Image Courtesy of CBS/Columbia

This 1984 track takes on a Pat Benatar or Joan Jett vibe in terms of vocal delivery and attitude, an approach that combines oddly well with the futuristic synthesizer foundation on display. Released on the soundtrack for a restored version of the 1927 German film classic , the song certainly failed to connect with audiences at a level to which Tyler had become accustomed. Nevertheless, this is a sleeper gem of the era, built unmistakably on the passionate vocals of Tyler but also providing its own unique vibe far ahead of its time.

of 05

"Don't Turn Around"

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Columbia

Tyler's association with Steinman continued on her next LP, 1986's Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire, but the results were far less successful at hiding their songwriting artifice and extremely overwrought, unintentionally comedic elements. That's generally why "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job" and "If You Were a Woman and I Was a Man" don't make this list, while this track, from 1988's Hide Your Heart, makes the grade. While a bit dated, this is a great slow-burn anthem that makes the most of Tyler's fist-clenching, dramatic style. Strangely, this song became most successful when covered by forgettable Swedish pop group Ace of Base in 1994. But this is a great, underrated late '80s power ballad in this version.