Remembering Power Ballads

Okay, so we’ll have some fun today.  I’m nothing if not a benevolent, fun-loving guy.

Last night, I was almost asleep when the subject of power ballads popped into my noggin.  I discussed these over the top pop confections with Shawna.  There were some agreements (Def Leppard and Aerosmith both recorded way too many power ballads) and some disagreements (No, Shawna, “Fade to Black” is still not a power ballad).  In the end, however, we mostly looked back fondly on some of those great, silly songs we knew from the eighties and nineties.

So today, I decided to list some of my favorites.

First, some rules.  A proper power ballad must come from a metal or hard rock band, preferably one with a fondness for hairspray.  Also, the ballad must be a love song.  Third, it must sport a fair amount of power.  Extreme’s “More Than Words” and Def Leppard’s “Love Bites” don’t count because they are about as powerful as cold tomato soup. Finally, a power ballad must be wonderfully, deliciously over the top in just about every way.

So here we go…

5.  Poison, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
Would have been a country song without CC Deville’s overwrought guitar solos.  The video of live and studio footage really helped, too.
“Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song…”

4. Alice Cooper “Burning Our Bed”
Alice gets a little out of control while attempting to rid himself of his sweet, sweet memories of lost love.  Hilarious lyrics throughout!
“But one thing I gotta do is torch those sheets and pillows too…”

3. Def Leppard “Have You Ever Wanted Someone so Bad?”
Pure late 90’s crap, but in a wonderful way.  So over-produced and processed you can almost hear the binary code stringing through the vocals.  Still, I love this experiment in cheese.
“Have you ever wanted someone you just couldn’t haaaaaaave…”

2. Aerosmith “Amazing”
Any band that has a greatest hits collection made up entirely of power ballads had better be near the top of this list.  This one probably isn’t a universal favorite, but it contains all the Aerosmith tropes: Steven Tyler starts scatting for no reason, strings swell over the entire song, and Joe Perry solos for just under two hours!  Hell, the video featured Alicia Silverstone making out on a motorcycle while travelling roughly 1000 miles per hour!  Sure, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” might be a better song, but there ain’t no scatting in it!
“It’s amazing, and I’m saying a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight…”

1. Skid Row “I Remember You”
Come on! If there is another song out there that sums up the power ballad better than this Skid Row Magnum Opus, I don’t know what it is.  I think during middle school and high school I spent at least ten hours slow dancing to this song at various functions.  And it doesn’t get better than the final chorus, when Sebastion Bach’s idea of emotive singing is screaming like he’s getting stabbed by a thousand rabid monkeys.
“I remember yoooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

So, was there anything I missed?