A power ballad is a song characterized by having a slow tempo, long
voiced notes, electric and/or acoustic guitars, and less emphasized percussion and bass. By the Mid-1980’s
hard rock and heavy metal bands began to release power ballads in hopes of gaining mainstream radio success. The technique
worked extremely well in many instances. Here is a list of some of the top power ballads of all time.
- More than Words
Extreme is a rock band headed by front men Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt.The band has released five
albums and were one of the most successful rock bands of the early 1990’s selling 10 million records.More
than Words was released on the 1990 album Extreme II Pornograffiti.The song reached #1 in the U.S. and
#2 in the UK.It was by far the biggest hit for the band and is a great ballad surrounded by an incredible
- Fly to the Angels
Slaughter is a band that was formed in Las Vegas and is led by vocalist Mark Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum.The band hit mainstream success in 1990 after the release of their first album Stick It to Ya.The
album had three top 40 hits in the United States; Spend My Life went to #39, Up All Night hit #27, and the power ballad Fly
to the Angels reached #19.
- Listen to Your Heart
Roxette is a Swedish music duo consisting of Marie
Fredriksson and Per Gessle.The band was extremely popular from the late 1980’s
to the middle of the 1990’s.They had four #1 singles in the United States during this era.To date they have sold 45 million albums and 25 million singles worldwide.Listen to Your Heart
was the third single released off the band’s 1988 album Look Sharp!The song reached #1 in
the U.S. and the top 10 in Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
- Silent Lucidity
Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal band that was formed in Bellevue, Washington.
The band has released ten albums and continues to perform concerts today.They have sold over 20
million records worldwide with a majority coming in the early 1990’s.Silent Lucidity was the fifth
single released on the band’s 1990 album Empire. The lyrics of the song seem to be based around lucid dreaming.
6. Damn Yankees - High
The band was formed in 1989 with members Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, and Michael Cartellone.
High Enough was a power ballad released by the band in 1990.It features a duet between Shaw and Blades.The song reached #3 on the U.S. charts and became the first top 10 pop single in Ted Nugent’s career.
- Never Tear Us Apart
INXS is an Australian band originally formed in Sydney as The Farriss Brothers
in 1977.For twenty years the band was headed by lead vocal Michael Hutchence.His
stage presence, good looks, and lyrical prowess propelled the band towards international success.INXS has won six Australian Recording Industry Association awards including three for Best Group in 1987, 1989 and
1992.The band has sold more then $30 million records worldwide.
1997 Michael Hutchence was found dead in a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney.He was found hanging
by his belt, but many feel the case was not a suicide but autoerotic asphyxiation.He was only 37 years
old.Never Tear Us Apart is a power ballad released in 1988 and is featured on the band’s sixth studio
album.The song reached #7 in the U.S. and #24 in the UK.It also did well in Australia,
Canada, France, and Germany.
Crüe - Home Sweet Home
Mötley Crüe was formed in Los Angeles,
California in 1981.The band was originally founded by bass
guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee.They were joined by guitarist Mick Mars and singer
Vince Neil.Mötley Crüe has sold more then $80 million records worldwide.Home Sweet Home was released on their 1985 Theatre of Pain and is noted as one of the first power ballads ever
created.The video was extremely popular on MTV and the song reached #89 in the U.S. charts.
3. Skid Row
- I Remember You
Skid Row is a band that was formed in 1986 in Toms
River, New Jersey.They have changed band members on numerous occasions over the years, but were most successful
in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when lead singer Sebastian Bach and drummer Rob Affuso were part of the group.
I Remember You became a massive hit for the band and a cherished prom tune. It reached #6 on the U.S. charts.
2. Guns N’
Roses - Sweet Child o’ Mine
Guns N’ Roses is a band that
was formed in California and has released six studio albums.They are one of the most successful rock bands
of all time and have sold more then $150 million records worldwide.Sweet Child o’ Mine was the third
single released off their 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction.The song topped the U.S. charts and
reached #6 in the UK. It was written by Axl Rose and Slash.The lyrics are about Roses
girlfriend and eventual wife Erin Everly. The guitar solo that Slash performs is considered one of the best of all time.
- Here I Go Again
Whitesnake is an English rock band founded in 1977 by David Coverdale, who is the
former vocalist of rock legend Deep Purple.In the middle of the 1980’s the band decided to move
towards a more commercial hard rock style. VH1 has recently named the band #85 on a list of the Greatest Hard Rock Bands
of All Time.Here I Go Again was originally released in 1982, but re-recorded in 1987. The 1987
release was an international hit and reached #1 on the U.S. and Canadian charts.
Honorable Mention Boston
- More Than a Feeling
Boston is an American rock
band from Boston, Massachusetts.They achieved mainstream success in the 1970’s and 80’s selling
over $50 million records worldwide.The group is centered on guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer
Tom Scholz.More Than a Feeling is a song that was released by Boston in 1976.