Top 20 Power Ballads
So they other day Mrozek and I were sitting down discussing some music and a few power ballads came up. I have decided to compile a list of some of the best power ballads past to present. Lighters Up! Now we all know that the 80’s were full of some of the best power ballads in the world. Bands like Bon Jovi, Slaughter, Tesla and many others sold out show after show based on them. I am a metal head at heart but I am a sucker for a good power ballad. Power Ballads didn’t stop in the 80’s, you just may not consider them to be “power ballads” anymore. Needless to say their are some current bands on this list. If your not singing along with some of these you sir are a liar. Shall we begin the countdown?
I love Buckcherry, they are in your face and when on stage they really know how to kick ass. So when they slowed things down for Sorry it grabbed my attention. Not only to these guys rock your face off but they can also pull on your heart strings. That is why #20 belongs to the boys of Buckcherry.
19. Whitesnake- Is This Love
Can’t deny that David Coverdale is a great front man and it really shows on Is This Love. Dude sings his ass off, plus the video has a pre-crazy super hot Tawny Kitaen.
18. Bon Jovi- I’ll Be There For You
Bon Jovi is one of those bands that can pull off a power ballad with their eyes shut. And why not? The girls love to hear Jonny sing to them and gladly toss the under garments on stage. I’ll Be There For You is one of those songs that you know the words to and don’t even realize it.
17. Mr. Big- To Be With You
What can I say about this one? Love the acoustic jam feel of the song, plus Eric Martin has a great voice for it. But what kind of girl is this? Waited on a line to be with you? Better watch out man, 2 letters come to mind. VD.
16. Damn Yankees- High Enough
I once heard Ted Nugent say he wasn’t a big fan of ballads. I guess Uncle Ted forgot about his little stint in Damn Yankees. I love the harmonies throughout the song, and the fact that every single guy has on sun glasses. Did they cut some deal with Ray Ban or something?
15. Creed-With Arms Wide Open
Creed has had their ups and downs, but one of their biggest ups was when they released With Arms Wide Open off of 1999’s Human Clay. It was a massive hit for them hitting number 1 on the billboard hot 100 and modern rock charts. Unfortunately the success of this song may have led to Scott Stapps alcohol problem which ultimately broke them up in 2004.
14. Faster Pussycat- House of Pain
What a perfect song to raise a lighter to. Sway with me and sing the words if you know them. Faster Pussycat doesn’t get the recognition the deserve when it comes to hair bands, so I have decided to put them on my list with one of my favorite ballads, House of Pain.
13. Lita Ford with Ozzy Osbourne-Close My Eyes Forever
I love the team up of Lita Ford and Ozzy. I think Ozzy is one of the best rock vocalists and his part in this song is so well done. Lita brings her kick ass style too it too as one of the bad girls of rock.
12. Hinder-Lips of an Angel
This is another current song that screams power ballad. Put this song out in 1986 and add soem big hair, bam! You have yourself a smash hit power ballad. The song is about having an affair which I don’t condone, but I guess that’s pretty rock n roll.
11. Slaughter- Fly to the Angels
Now this one is one of my all time favorites. I saw Slaughter not to long ago with Quiet Riot and Cinderella and they are still awesome. Mark Slaughter still belts it out night after night. Rock on.
10. Queensryche-Silent Lucidity
Geoff Tate is one of the best rock vocalists to come out of the 80’s, maybe even the best. Silent Lucidity is some of his best work, and also there most well known song. If you aren’t familiar with the rest of Queensryche’s work, do yourself a favor and start listening.
Warrant will forever be known as the Cherry Pie band whether they want to or not, but in their defense they have so many other great tunes. Heaven is one of them. I know that Jani Lane still breaks it out during his acoustic shows.
8. Scorpions -Still Loving You
The best rock band out of Germany! One of the best vocalists and of course we can’t forget about Schenker on lead guitar. Song is pretty bad ass for a ballad.
7. Cinderella-Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
Discovered by Jon Bon Jovi straight out of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. They bring that kind of Philly roughness to their music too. I love Tom Kiefer’s raspy voice. By the way is their an instrument this guy can’t play?
6. Ozzy Osbourne-Mama I’m Coming Home
This song is so good from start to finish. The Prince of Darkness really wears his heart on his sleeve on this one written to and about his wife Sharon. Lemmy from Motorhead even had a hand in writing this one. Plus he has Zakk Wylde ripping up on guitar. Great, timeless song.
5. Aerosmith- Don’t wanna miss a thing
In the bands 30 plus years in the business this is their biggest hit. The theme song to Armageddon, the band took some heat for it. Many of their rock n roll friends called them sell outs for reaching top 40. I think Joe Perry said it best when he said ” If selling out is gaining 10x more fans and selling a sh*t load of albums, then yes we sold out.”
4. Motley Crue-Home Sweet Home
The Crue is the band that parties harder than anyone. Maybe they have settled down now, but If you read The Dirt, you know they did some crazy stuff. Nikki Sixx is the primary song wirtter in the band and this one may have been a cry for help in hind site. Theater of Pain was put out during the height of his heroine addiction. He doesn’t even remember most of the tour. I love that they incorporated it into Hot Tub Time Machine.
3. Skid Row- I Remember You
The first Skid Row album is great. The guys wrote some great songs. I Remember You was the required power ballad of the day, and thank god for it. Sebastian Bach had just the right voice for it. You sometimes forget they are a heavy metal band. If you don’t believe me, give their second album Slave to the Grind a listen.
2. Tesla-Love Song
Probably one of the best written songs of the 80’s and it came at the tail end. Tesla is loved by millions of people but are totally underrated. Love Song has some great guitar work on it from Frank Hannon, and the album version has an awesome classical intro.
1. Poison-Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
I know, what your thinking, Poison? Yes, Poison. Who doesn’t know the words to this one? Now that Miley Cyrus has done her own version of it it has reached new people. It is the classic heart wrenching song of love found and lost. Powerful and proves that Bret Michaels is pretty damn good at writing a song. So #1 belongs to Poison.
I have to include a couple honorable mentions.
-Saigon Kick-Love is on the Way: This one is for you Mrozek. Great song and the harmony in the chorus is terrific.
-Guns N Roses-November Rain: I love this song and it was so hard to not include it, so I’ll put it here, but it deserves to be mentioned.