Fun Friday–The Power Ballad

**Just for Fun Friday! Today’s post is not meant to be serious or inspiring or enlightening.**

I am not one for the power ballad. They are typically too sticky sweet, too sentimental. I’m not a sentimental kind of girl…never have been. The power part is okay, but the ballad part—no. Also, being a headbanging girl who liked the harder stuff in the 80’s, I don’t like it that power ballads are…slow. They are also synonymous with the late 80’s “hairband” era of which I had no part. By 1986 I was done with what was considered “hard rock” or “heavy metal” by radio stations and MTV. I moved on to Metallica (who I considered real metal), the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jane’s Addiction. I also moved backwards in time, becoming obsessed with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Doors.

For those who are not in the know, here is my explanation of a power ballad. While it started in the 70’s with hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, the power ballad came into it’s own in the mid-80’s when Motley Crue released “Home Sweet Home,” a song and video that hit the roof in terms of sales and MTV video requests. From that moment on, the power ballad (with it’s attendant heartfelt video) became ubiquitous for glam rock bands.

A power ballad is a rock song that starts slowly and softly; the singer sings gently with perhaps a guitar and light drums, perhaps just an acoustic guitar. That’s the ballad part. The song then builds until it reaches a climax when the entire band joins in and the song becomes more forceful. That’s the power part. Some have more power, some less; some go back and forth between soft and hard; some are just love ballads that rock. You get the picture.

I know people who love the power ballad, are suckers for the power ballad. So, in respect for my power ballad loving friends, here is my top 5 list of power ballads I actually like:

Stairway to Heaven—Led Zeppelin. The Father of all power ballads, and the best one in my opinion, with absolutely no contenders.

Dream On—Aerosmith.

Still Loving You—The Scorpions

Too Late for Love—Def Leppard

Nothing Else Matters—Metallica

What do you think about power ballads? Do you have a favorite?

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7 Responses to Fun Friday–The Power Ballad

  1. Alica says:

    I love Nothing Else Matters, it still makes me swoon.

    • kimberlysbarton says:

      I think it’s funny that a Metallica song can make you swoon! We don’t usually associate Metallica with swooning.

  2. john says:

    knights of white satin was my prom theme

  3. debbie says:

    For some reason, the first one that I thought of while I was reading through this was “Beth,” from KISS…

  4. Susan says:

    My favorite-in-the-whole-world power ballad is the parody in the Spongebob episode where the town gets together to be a marching band with Squidward directing. The whole episode is one of the best Spongebob’s, but the power ballad finale is not to be missed.

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