Billy Ocean's 10 greatest ever songs, ranked

22 November 2020, 16:40

By Tom Eames

Billy Ocean was one of the most popular and successful solo singers of the 1970s and 1980s, with so many hits to his name.

Billy is still performing and released a brand new album in 2020, and we've collected just a handful of the Trinidadian-born English singer's very best songs, to put together a dream setlist of tracks that any artist would surely be envious of.

  1. The Long and Winding Road

    A brilliant cover version of the Beatles classic, this made it to number 24 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart in the US in 1985.

  2. Loverboy

    Only a number 15 hit in the UK, it gave Billy Ocean another number two smash in the States in 1984 (behind George Michael's 'Careless Whisper').

    Fun fact: it was played during the very first episode of Casualty in 1986.

  3. Love Zone

    The title track for Billy's 1986 album, this gave him a top 10 hit in the States.

    However, it surprisingly didn't reach the UK top 40, stalling at 49.

  4. There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)

    This was the second of three number ones for Billy in the US, and was apparently inspired by an incident involving his song 'Suddenly'.

    Co-writer Barry Eastmond later said that a friend of his wife's - who had recently broken up with a long-term boyfriend - broke down in tears at a party when the ballad came on. 

  5. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car

    This 1988 track gave Billy another number one hit in America, and reached number two in the UK.

    The song was based on a line in the Sherman Brothers' song 'You're Sixteen', and was helped by its cutting edge (at the time) video, featuring cartoons mixed with live-action sequences.  

  6. Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)

    This song helped Billy become the first British artist to win the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1985.

    Co-written with Keith Diamond, the track was a number one hit in the States and a top 10 success in the UK.

  7. Suddenly

    Although he was already a star in the UK, this was the title track of the album that helped Billy break through in the States.

    The ballad reached number four on both sides of the Atlantic.

  8. Love Really Hurts Without You

    Although Billy had released several songs under different names by 1976, this was the first time he actually scored a hit single.

    The Motown-inspired song reached number two in the UK.

  9. Red Light Spells Danger

    This soaring song went to number two in the UK in 1977, but amazingly was never a hit in America.

    More recently, it was used in the second series finale of Peter Kay's Car Share.

  10. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going

    Read more: The Story of... 'When the Going Gets Tough' as told by Billy Ocean

    Probably his biggest and most famous hit, this track reached number one in the UK and number two in the US.

    It was the theme tune to the Michael Douglas movie The Jewel in the Crown and its sequel, and was later a number one for Boyzone in 1999 in aid of Comic Relief.