Purple Rain... wow, that does bring back memories. I saw it on HBO, I think, a few years after it came out.
I feel embarrassed (well, technically) to admit that the first album I ever bought was Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits. I loved "Mandy" and "I Write the Songs."
There is also the surreal moment of going to my first prom in a limo, curled up with my date in the backseat, and this nutty song came on -- "I Wanna Be a Cowboy [and you can be my cowgirl]." I can't say I loved the song, but I will never forget that moment.
Middle school dances (and now we're talking about 1980 here) would have never been the same without J. Guiles Band "Freeze Frame" and "Centerfold"; Journey's "Open Arms" (and I still like to crank up "Separate Ways" in the car, my kids will BEG me to do that, they love it too); Air Supply's various ballads; "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."
Billy Joel is another favorite of mine. "She's Always a Woman to Me" and "Just the Way you are" lingers in terms of slower music (and I like a lot of his faster stuff too)... although my favorite song by him overall is "Lullaby."
[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcnd55tLCv8"]YouTube - Billy Joel - Lullaby[/youtube]
But here is a song only the CCM heads would know, off Amy Grant's "Straight Ahead" LP: "Jehovah." I don't know why, but every time I play that song, it evokes the internal senses and memories of how I felt as a teenager. I remember laying in the dark in my bed, even after I left for college, and playing that song in the dark for some reason musically just resonated with me. It's more the music progressions and sound than the lyrics per se, and I know "better" songs musically and lyrically ; but it resonates with who I was and still am on some level.