TOP 10 BEST (POWER) BALLAD(S) Of The ’80s: READERS’ CHOICE

power-ballads-collage

1980s rock ballads? Now that’s one hell of a topic, isn’t it! Where do we even begin talking? There is just so much to say, so many names to mention, so many breath-taking songs to sing!

That softer, much gentler side of rock turned into an essential component of pretty much every record, released in the ‘80s. All hard rock acts jumped on that well-established bandwagon which would certainly take them on a journey to success and fan recognition. Labels demanded it too – if you wanted to hit it big in the ‘80s, you just had to write a killer ballad! Hard rock aside, blues, pop and even heavy metal musicians were also participants of the phenomenon. Don’t get me wrong, ballads have always been important and they will continue to be, however, the amount of ballads, as well as their importance and wall-to-wall presence was way heavier than it is now, for example. Artists were simply putting more effort and emphasis on crafting that perfect soul-soothing sound which I think turned into one of the reasons why we love ‘80s rock music so much!

The formula for (power) ballads was perfected by the mid-80s. Around that time, some of the staples of the flow were released. From Whitesnake to Def Leppard, from Cinderella to Scorpions – all of these great bands left a great number of strong, unforgettable ballads with an everlasting impact. These classic ballads of the ‘80s are still relevant and loved by every music enthusiast around the world. With this in mind, along with my immense adoration for ballads, I decided to ask my readers and followers on which song do they think is the greatest (power) rock ballad of the ‘80s. For about one month, everyone was able to vote and participate in the poll. The results are in and we can now enjoy this exceptional playlist, you guys created! Also, this might be a good chance for us to get in touch with our emotional side! Let’s listen…

Click Here to See the Results:
[POLL] VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ’80S (Power) BALLAD(S)


10.Skid Row – I Remember You

Skid Row’s 1989 debut spawned an incredible ballad, titled “I Remember You”. This gorgeous tune, written by Rachel Bolan and Dave “the Snake” Sabo, turned into one of Skid Row’s most instantly recognizable and beloved songs of all time. No surprises there! With Sebastian Bach’s near-perfect vocal delivery and that haunting melody, the tune was destined for success. There’s no self-respecting rock fan out there that doesn’t know what follows after “Woke up to the sound of pouring rain…”

Interestingly, the song played a huge part in American popular culture in the year of 1990 – “I Remember You” came to be the most essential component of every prom dance, creating special memories in the hearts of millions.


9. Cheap Trick – The Flame

The highlight of Cheap Trick’s 1988 album “Lap of Luxury” is most certainly the emotional ballad, “The Flame”. The ballad was written by British songwriters Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham and it was first offered to another artist, before Cheap Trick cashed in. “The Flame” is probably one of the most widely-known and profitable rock ballads of all time. Achievements like topping the charts in the USA, Australia and Canada is merely the start of its long legacy. Most importantly, “The Flame” became the life vest of Cheap Trick as they were struggling to stay afloat after the commercial failure of their previous album.

“The band was very skeptical about performing this song live, because we only liked to perform songs written by us. However, a young man from, oh, I don’t know, somewhere, confirmed to us after a show in Florida about a week after the song was released that the song was great and, get this, would be a #1 single. As we joked about the guy’s prediction, we later realized whoa! This guy was right. I thank him for that,” said vocalist Robin Zander.

(quote retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flame_(Cheap_Trick_song) )

[’80s Rock Album Focus] CHEAP TRICK – LAP OF LUXURY


8. Mötley Crüe – Home Sweet Home

8-motley-crue-home-sweet-home

According to some sources, the power ballad “Home Sweet Home” by Mötley Crüe is arguably one of the first of its kind. Nevertheless, the iconic tune held tons of personal relevance to the band and they had to fight with all they got for it to be included in their 1985 album “Theatre of Pain”. Mötley Crüe got the big “no” but still bet everything they had on the song, even funded the music video with their own money. Despite never making it that big commercially, “Home Sweet Home” turned into Mötley Crüe’s signature concert finishing track. Moreover, the iconic music video, featuring pre-concert and stage performing scenes is notable for being one of the most requested MVs on MTV back in the day.

“Bands didn’t have a power ballad and MTV as a vehicle to have a hit. That just wasn’t the way it was. After ‘Home Sweet Home’, every band had the one ballad that came as their second or third single….I think the reason we did it was because it was so anti-Mötley Crüe and it was funny, because it threw us into the mainstream….

Trust me, none of us had the foresight to see that,” said Nikki Sixx for In The Studio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands.

(quote retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3725 )

7. Journey – Faithfully

Journey’s 1983 album, “Frontiers” has tons of brilliant surprises inside and “Faithfully” is certainly one of the highlights. The power ballad, written by Jonathan Cain and portraying the hardships and endless struggles of being married while constantly on the road, became one of Journey’s most beloved and respected songs of all time. Not only that but “Faithfully” ended up conquering charts and influencing a generation of artists, including Bryan Adams whose hit single “Heaven” was inspired by “Faithfully”.

The “on the road” music video created quite the fuss as well and was one of the first of a long line of similar-concept videos, adopted by bands like Genesis, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. Journey started making music videos with the release of “Frontiers” even though they truly disliked it. Nevertheless, thanks to that iconic music video and the exposure on MTV, along with of course the great attributes of the song, “Faithfully” was immortalized.


6. Def Leppard – Bringin’ On the Heartbreak

Def Leppard - High n Dry

Arguably, the finest moment of Def Leppard’s sophomore 1981 album “High ‘N’ Dry” has to be the ballad, “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”. With this song, not only did they set the standard for power ballads, but challenged the perception that these types of songs could only be performed by female artists, such as Bonnie Tyler for instance. Initially titled “A Certain Heartache”, the track, produced by A-class producer Robert “Mutt” Lange, was quickly picked up by the recently launched MTV station where the music video received a heavy rotation and led to the revival of album sales. 2 million copies later, it was more than safe to say that Leppard were the next big and worthy thing on the horizon.

In 1984, “High ‘N’ Dry” was re-issued, featuring a remixed version of “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”. This time, the song finally made it to the charts, peaking at a top70 position. The song got a brand new music video as well! Check it out!

[’80s Rock Album Focus] Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry


5. Cinderella – Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)

cinderella-dont-know

Right in the middle of our top10 (power) ballad song playlist, we have Cinderella‘s “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” which surprisingly is not in the top3, despite its immense popularity. Written by singer-songwriter and co-founder of Cinderella, Tom Keifer and released as a single from their second album “Long Cold Winter” (1988), “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” remains the band’s highest charting single and most successful track of all time. The emotional and highly intense power ballad got a beautiful MV, filmed nearby Mono Lake in California. MTV did justice to it by playing it every couple of minutes on a daily basis (which was totally fine by everyone).

Tom Keifer is an outstanding vocalist and if you question this statement, you most probably haven’t listened to this song yet. This gorgeous human being wrote the most sincere and soul-crushing rock ballad of all time and if it was up to me, it would’ve been in an even higher position.

The Story of CINDERELLA’s – Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)


4. Dokken – Alone Again

dokken-tooth-and-nail

Written by vocalist Don Dokken and bass guitarist Jeff Pilson, the power ballad “Alone Again” was released as a single from Dokken’s 1984 album “Tooth and Nail”. After a highly unsuccessful debut album, it was do or die for Dokken. The label barely agreed to give them a second chance but thank God they did, otherwise brilliant songs such as “Alone Again” would’ve remained on a paper, rotting somewhere under a pile of music notebooks. The track didn’t really hit it that big in terms of chart success, which in my books makes it one of the greatest unappreciated power ballads of the ‘80s ever!

Interestingly, Don Dokken wrote the words of “Alone Again” in the ‘70s when he was barely 25 years old. We can’t but be thankful that the song resurfaced in mid-80s and ended up being an irreplaceable component of “Tooth and Nail”.

The Story of DOKKEN’s Breathtaking Ballad “Alone Again”


3. Scorpions – Still Loving You

scorpions-still-loving-you

Not surprised to see Scorpions “Still Loving You” in a top 3 position on our rock ballad playlist. The 1984 album, “Love at First String” defined their career like no other album did, spawning immortal hit singles like “Rock You like a Hurricane” and of course, “Still Loving You”. The European rockers made quite the statement on the US charts, hitting a top 10 position with the album and a top 70 position with the song. The French gave it the #1, though!
“Still Loving You” is one of the most emotional rock ballads of all time, telling us a story about a broken romance and longing for a second chance.

“…It’s a story about a love affair where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again. It’s the old story; always the old story. I mean, what can we use? We can’t reinvent the wheel. What we always do, is say something which has already been said many times, in our own way,” said Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker.

(quote retrieved from  http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3158)

2. Whitesnake – Is This Love

Whitesnake’s “Is This Love” comes at number two with just a couple of votes behind the number one. When we talk about universal appeal and strength of impact, no other ballad had it as big as this one. Everyone knows it, everyone sings it and is everyone’s favorite Whitesnake song. Written by vocalist David Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes, the idea for “Is This Love” was initially born after they were asked to come up with some good material for a new Tina Turner song.

Whitesnake‘s enormous 1987 album gave birth to a number of hit singles but no other song can actually compete with the legacy of this mind-blowing tune. Just like in our little playlist, “Is This Love” peaked at #2 in the US singles chart. The song, of course, got the music video makeover where Coverdale’s then-girlfriend Tawny Kitaen could be seen, along with a band, playing on a misty stage. Coverdale is the only Whitesnake member to be featured on the video. Now is not the time to explain why, though!  Enjoy the classic!

5 Great Whitesnake Ballads That Taught Us What Love Is…


1. Def Leppard – Love Bites

Number 1 on our ‘80s hard rock ballad playlist is Def Leppard’s “Love Bites”. Coincidentally, this track is also Def Leppard’s only #1 hit so far!

The year is 1987 and the album is “Hysteria” – do I have to say more? It turned out to be the perfect marriage between pop and hard rock that can easily be felt as we go from one song to another. To make the sound of “Hysteria” so unique and essential, producer Mutt Lange went above and beyond by using a variety of technology, vocal and sound layering and adopting numerous other effects to give the tracks a “stadium rock vibe” and “extra solid sound” that pierce your heart and gives you chills the moment you play them.  

Joe Elliott’s gentle but rather extreme vocal delivery techniques crate a beautiful tension which I believe is the reason why “Love Bites” grabbed the attention of so many people. Moreover, the simple, yet painfully truthful lyrics made it universally relatable.

Interestingly, producer Mutt Lange was the one who brought the song to the band. Initially it was a country-style ballad that eventually got the Def Leppard hard rock treatment and turned into this gorgeous power ballad.

“It was just a standard rock ballad but it had something else going for it. Lyrically, it kind of painted a picture, and in a song you always want to do that, paint a picture. ‘On a dark desert highway,’ the first line of ‘Hotel California,’ great song, it just paints an image for you straight off the bat and that’s the sign of a really good song. It takes you right there. ‘Love Bites’ did that as well,” said Joe Elliott.

(quote retrieved from  http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=5114)

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Def Leppard – HYSTERIA


References:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Rock & Roll Interviews Gone Wrong!

It must be so difficult to get an interview from a rockstar! Especially back in the days, when the majority of them were not even able to speak properly due to the heavy amounts of drugs consumed before that. Not to mention the whole “wild, egoistical, bad boy, do-whatever-you-want” attitude that was spreading like a disease among all the rock acts. I’ve watched plenty of interviews that went so wrong, that you can’t but ask yourself why would someone become a public figure when they can’t even sit straight for two minutes and attentively answer a few questions in respect to the fans!? Anyhow, recently I watched this brilliant compilation of rock&roll interviews that went completely rogue and decided to share it with you, guys.

In case you haven’t watched the infamous Sex Pistols interview that lasted for a few seconds or seen how stoned Ozzy and Iggy can get, now’s the chance!

 

 

 

 

[PLAYLIST] 10 Classic Rock Songs About SCHOOL

RockNrollHigh School - RamonesSince my semester starts tomorrow – 1st of September, I decided that it’s only right to prepare this playlist of 10 classic rock songs about school. I’m not sure how I feel about this new beginning, cause on top of everything it’s my final semester before graduation, but why not kick it off with a huge rock blast? To everyone who will start school or university tomorrow or any time soon (cause of course, it depends on the country), I wish a lovely new beginning and many new open doors and opportunities! Don’t forget to study hard, be responsible and dream big! Also, try to make new friends and explore new adventures! University/school times are the best ones, believe me! Cheers to the new semester and getting all the As!


 

Alice Cooper – School’s Out (1972)

Summer is definitely over and I wish it’s vacation time already! Till then, enjoy the killer riffs and energetic vibe, coming out of this 70s classic by Alice Cooper.


Van Halen – Hot for Teacher (1984)

This one comes from Van Halen’s infamous 1984 album and it tells us a story of a young man’s hots for his female teacher. Not so sure about the appropriateness of the music video, however the song rocks quite hard!


The Ramones – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

This one has to be my favorite, not only because I adore The Ramones, but because it’s so energetic and uplifting. The lyrics are, naturally, representing the punk perspective of school – they just want to have their kicks and chicks and not taught “how to be a fool”. The movie is very cute as well, in case you haven’t watched it, you totally should.


Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (1979)

A lot of skepticism and negative representation of teachers and school institutions come from Roger Waters in this track. Teachers, leave them kids alone and let them fly! The whole desperate atmosphere is highlighted by the voices of the children themselves, who sing “We Don’t need no Education!”


Motley Crue – Smokin’ in the Boys Room (1985)

The original version of this track comes from Brownsville Station, released in 1973 but I do prefer this one. Getting caught “smokin’ in the boys room” at school would “surely be the death of us all.”


Nirvana – School (1989)

Another one of my personal favorites on this list. Quite the rocker, actually! School may not be the most pleasant place for some people who are always troubled…


The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980)

Very suggestive song – another one of those, telling the story of a student having a crush on the teacher. You know, Sting was actually a teacher once…Maybe he’s singing from experience.


The Kinks – The Hard Way (1975)

Their entire “Schoolboys in Disgrace”, 1975 album is basically a plotline on real school experiences of Dave Davies. This song is actually written from the perspective of a teacher who says, “Boys like you were born to waste. You never listen to a word I say… No matter what I do or say, You’re much too dumb to educate…”


Sam Cooke – Wonderful World (1960)

School and romance go hand in hand…Just like Sam Cooke sings, some students may not be so good in history or geometry, but they can be pretty good boyfriends 🙂


Chuck Berry – School Days (1957)

This late 50s classic by Chuck Berry simply tells us about a school day – with all of its expectations, adventures, agonies and horrors. “Ring ring goes the bell, The cook in the lunchroom’s ready to sell, You’re lucky if you can find a seat, You’re fortunate if you have time to eat, Back in the classroom open your books, Gee but the teacher don’t know how mean she looks.”


[+] Bonus Tracks

The Replacements – F**K School (1982)

The Beach Boys – Be True to Your School (1963)

 


 

References:
Gimme An F: 20 Classic Songs About Hating School, retrieved from http://www.vh1.com/news/201135/classic-songs-about-hating-school/
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
Cheers~
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.

[Playlist] Classic Rock Songs for (not) Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye might be the hardest thing in life. Whether we have to separate from a friend or someone we love, goodbyes can completely change you and leave an everlasting impact. However, the change doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad one. Sometimes people say goodbye to save themselves and start a new life. Regardless of the situation, the theme of saying farewell to a loved one or to a friend has been a popular music theme for generations. Here is a personal selection of 10 songs that deal with the issue of saying goodbye and experiencing pain when the person you love is no longer here with you. I do hope you enjoy the playlist and remind yourself of those classics! ^^

PLAYLIST:

Def Leppard – Goodbye
Bon Jovi – Never Say Goodbye
Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven
Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
Motley Crue – Time For Change
Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
Ozzy Osbourne – See You On The Other Side
The Guess Who – No Time

+Blues Bonus

Roy Orbison – Cryin
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine


Def Leppard – Goodbye

You won’t ever have to say goodbye
You won’t ever have to say “I’ve wasted all my time”
If the dream you dream ain’t what it seems
Just look into my eyes
You won’t ever have to say goodbye…


Bon Jovi – Never Say Goodbye

Remember how we used to talk
About busting out – we’d break their hearts
Together – forever
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin’ on – we got to try
Holdin’ on to never say goodbye


Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong
And carry on,
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven…


Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you…


Motley Crue – Time For Change

The lines on their faces so deep, yeah
A revolution, or reach out
And touch the day
We’re overdue, child
Change
Now it’s time for change
Nothing stays the same
Now it’s time for change…


Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me

…Love’s strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on
Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby
Don’t You Forget About Me
Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t
Don’t You Forget About Me…


Ozzy Osbourne – See You On The Other Side

Leaving, I Hate To See You Cry
Grieving, I Hate To Say Goodbye
Dust And Ash Forever, Yeah
Though I Know We Must Be Parted
As Sure As Stars Are In The Sky
I’m Gonna See You When It Comes To Glory
And I’ll See You, I’ll See You On The Other Side
Yes, I’ll See You, I’ll See You On The Other Side…


The Guess Who – No Time

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change and so did I
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There’s no time left for you
No time left for you…


Roy Orbison – Cryin

Oh, you wished me well
You, you couldn’t tell
That I’d been crying over you
Crying over you
When you said, “So long”
Left me standing all alone
Alone and crying, crying
Crying, crying…


Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

…Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
But ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Only darkness every day.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home…


References:
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[Mixtape] This Week in Classic Rock Songs

 

Hello, everyone! Happy new week!

Time to kick things off with some of my favorite rock tunes, chosen directly from my music library and delivered to you through the magic of YouTube and blogging! I hope you would enjoy this week’s selection and will get reminded of some great classics! This week, we will travel back to the 60s with Bob Dylan’s most important song and Steppenwolf’s ultimate hit, which also happens to be one of the first metal songs!; then we shall enter the 70s with Ramones, YES and Electric Light Orchestra; we will then move on to the 80s with AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe – some of the most celebrated bands during the 80s; finally, we will wrap the mixtape with some 90s sound – Van Halen and Def Leppard will do the trick!

Happy Listening!

 

Playlist:

AC/DC – Hells Bells ( 1980 )
Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone ( 1965 )
Def Leppard – Make Love Like A Man ( 1992 )
Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down ( 1979 )
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle ( 1987 )
Mötley Crüe – Wild Side ( 1987 )
Ramones – I Just Want To Have Something To Do ( 1978 )
Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild ( 1968 )
Van Halen – Judgment Day ( 1991 )
Yes – Roundabout ( 1971 )


 

Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone ( 1965 )


Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild ( 1968 )


Yes – Roundabout ( 1971 )


Ramones – I Just Want To Have Something To Do ( 1978 )


Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down ( 1979 )


AC/DC – Hells Bells ( 1980 )


Mötley Crüe – Wild Side ( 1987 )


Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
( 1987 )


Van Halen – Judgment Day ( 1991 )


Def Leppard – Make Love Like A Man
( 1992 )