Top 5: 80’s Power Ballads

For my money, it doesn’t get any better than the 80’s. I loved the fashion, the TV, movies, and music. No matter where you went, or what you did, shit was kicking ass. The only problem, of course, was Reagan. But, hell, we were all too coked up to really be that bothered.

I really dig metal, and pop-metal. And, of course, where there’s 80’s pop metal, there’s power ballads. These cheesy ass songs that were extremely generic and sappy, but made a ton of cash and sounded great. The formula for every band that came out after 85′ was

– Rocking party song
– Power ballad

You could set your watch to it. But that shit made a ton of cash. Since there’s so many of’em, I thought I’d do you, the people, a favor and let you know which were the best. Let’s dig it, shall we?

5. Warrant – Heaven
Album: 1989’s Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich
Chart Position: #2
Cheesiest Line: “I don’t need to be a Superman, as long as you’ll always be my biggest fan”

Ah Warrant, one of the many W pop metal bands to come out [Warrant, Whitesnake, White Lion, Winger]. Will more or less be remembered for their big hit, Cherry Pie. But it’s their hit ‘Heaven’, that we’re here to talk about. Funny enough, Heaven charted higher than Cherry Pie did [it only went to number 10]. Heaven is a super sappy, super corny song where you can clearly tell that Jani is just trying to cash in on the wave, and doing his best to rip off Living on a Prayer. It’s the same ol’ about two people, in love, struggling against the odds to make it in life. He talks about old gray photos and such, despite being the ripe old age of 25 at the time. But, of course, it’s the cheese that makes us dig it. It has an awesome chorus, and sweet acoustic guitarness. So, for that, we dig it. In the video it shows a fan with a Warrant tattoo, I wonder where that guy is now. Probably sitting some where, pissed off about his Warrant, Aha, and Chubawumba tattoos.

5. Cinderella – Don’t Know What You Got [Till It’s Gone]
Album: 1988’s Long Cold Winter
Chart Position: #12
Cheesiest Line:
“Never know what I got, just this song”

In the video, the lead singer is playing the piano on the beach, so you know he’s hulla hurt. That’s really the star of the song, is the piano. I love piano. It’s also pretty obvious how much they love the damn chorus, because honestly, the song could be 3 minutes, but then they just repeat the goddamn chorus for like, a week. It’s got a neat little message, and it’s classic cheese. So, you really can’t go wrong.

3. Poison – Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Album: 1988’s Open Up And Say…Ahh!
Chart Position: #1
Cheesiest Line:
“like every cowboy, sings a sad, sad song”

This is probably the most famous, and quientisential power ballad. I use to play it all the time at parties, and yup, it brings the house down. It’s a decent song, but it’s so goddamn corny, which is a big reason why I like it. After Bon Jovi, every one was trying to rip them off, hence the line “every cowboy, sings a sad, sad song”. I mean, the whole song is cheesy, comparing heart break to a knife wound and the scar and such. Not to mention, Bret seems unable to go 5 minutes without telling the story of how it came to be. Which, he lies about. He says he was dating a stripper, but alas no. He was dating a 16 year old when he was like, 22. Perv. He also says he wrote it with the intention of it never being released, you big fucking liar. Everything from the opening breath, to him saying “yeah it does” puts the pieces together on perhaps the 80’s most corny love song. But also, one of it’s best.

2. Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Album: 1986’s Slippery When Wet
Chart Position: #1
Cheesiest Line: “Once upon a time, not so long ago”

As far as I’m concerned, after this song came out, every song someone wrote in the 80’s, this is the song they’d want to write. It has a huge, awesome chorus, and the always awesome talk box effect. The great thing about this tune, is that it isn’t actually all that cheesy. The opening line is a bit weak, but the rest is just damn good. Everyone pretty much knows that Jon didn’t even like the song that much when they wrote it, he thought perhaps they could throw it on a soundtrack. Thankfully, Richie talked some sense into him, and the song made Bon Jovi one of the biggest bands of the 80’s. It’s an awesome song either the original, or the slowed down acoustic version, which kicks just as much ass.

1. Motley Crue – Home Sweet Home
Album: Theater of Pain
Chart Position: #89, re-released in ’91, then #37
Cheesiest Line: “You know I’m a dreamer”

As far as your boy is concerned, if it wasn’t for Home Sweet Home, there would have been no power ballad craze. This was the first, and in my opinion, the best. The piano melody is just fucking nuts. It all fit so well with Motley’s new image and what not. It’s just a great song about alienation, and feeling alone. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is going home. The chorus is giant and awesome, and Mick’s solo is one of the best of the 80’s. Another reason that I trump this one, is that this song isn’t about a girl. It just makes it that much more original. Plus, in the video, or something I’ve seen, Tommy is at the piano playing it in ass-less chaps. Rock on, man.

Well, there you kids have it. You can now tell people what the Top 5 power ballads are, and they’ll quit bugging you about it. Thank me later. Or now. I prefer now, ingrates.


~ by Caliber Winfield on July 28, 2010.

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