[POLL] VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ’80S (Power) BALLAD(S)

power-ballads-collage

It’s time to crown the GREATEST (power) ballad of the ’80s!

The glory days of rock ballads may be long gone, but all those breathtaking mellow tunes are still relevant and still loved by people from all over the world. As a (power) ballad enthusiast and a huge fan of the ’80s rock music scene, I decided to prepare this little poll for my readers to see which one of these tearjerkers will turn out to be the most beloved one!?

Please feel free to participate in my poll or add a favorite (power) ballad in case it’s not on the list! The results will be announced one month from now in a separate publication!

Happy Voting!

 

 

[PLAYLIST] ’80s GLAM ROCK Through the Music of 10 Great Bands

10-glam-rock-albums

Welcome to the ‘80s – the hair was too big, the fashion was outrageous but the music was GREAT!

Inspired by ‘70s British glam rock artists, such as David Bowie, T.Rex and Roxy Music, glam/pop metal became the biggest monster genre trend on the music scene in the States throughout the ‘80s. Kicking things off with bands such as Cheap Trick, Kiss, Van Halen and of course Alice Cooper and evolving into rock acts, like Cinderella, Ratt, Warrant, Dokken and so many others, the glam/pop metal domination was simply out of control. Not that this was a bad thing – on the contrary. The ‘80s gave birth to some of the most talented and exceptional musicians of all time. The looks played a huge role, I can’t argue with that. However, once you go beyond the heavy make-up and tight spandex pants, all you are left with is awesome music, crashing guitar riffs and catchy melodic hooks that bring you nothing but fun, excitement and tons of feelings and emotions of all kinds. Looks and music aside, places once again were significant for the popularization of a specific musical culture. The LA music scene and in particular that sinful Sunset Strip where all the rock bars and nightclubs were located, turned into the mecca of the entertainment industry. Basically, that “little” 2.4km stretch of Sunset Boulevard became the hottest place to be!

Back to the music talks, the glam rock frenzy was probably the best thing that could’ve happened in the ‘80s, at least to me. I can’t really imagine my life without representatives of the genre, such as Cinderella, Danger Danger and Dokken, for instance. These bands and their electrifying rockers, stunning power-ballads, tough attitude and weird, but still appealing music videos will always play such an important part of my life. Unfortunately, it all came to an end when grunge acts started appearing one after another. Don’t know what you got, till it’s gone, right?

Since I was in the mood for some serious hair metal power, I prepared this little playlist of 10 songs by famous (or not so famous) bands, which I have always considered as the best among all glam rockers of the ‘80s. Some of them are even among my most beloved bands of all time (like Cinderella, for instance). I have gathered tunes that I believe are the perfect example of the glam rock wave that flooded the music scene in the USA, especially in the second half of the ’80s. If you are a dedicated fan, you most certainly know them. If you are making your first steps towards the genre, this is a good place to start. [My Rock Mixtapes] gives you ’80s GLAM ROCK through the Music of 10 Great Bands.


Cinderella – Shake Me (1986)

cinderella-night-songs-2

In 1986, one of the most distinguishable and talented hard rock bands debuted with an album that put to shame even the rock veterans. Vocalist and lead songwriter Tom Keifer is one of the reasons why this world is such a great place! “Shake Me” was their debut single and I thought that it’s a very good place to start our glam rock discussion and playlist. The MV is iconic and the song that accompanies it is just brilliant! Tom is a killer, one-of-a-kind vocalist and “Shake Me” is a great uplifting and energizing tune that begs you to crank it up!


White Lion – When The Children Cry (1987)

white-lion-pride

New York’s White Lion, led by Danish singer Mike Trampand and guitarist Vito Bratta debuted in 1983 but it was their sophomore album, titled “Pride” (1987) that drove them to stardom. I’ve always considered White Lion, along with Cinderella, as two of the most talented and worthy examples of glam rock bands. That sophomore album by White Lion is filled with outstanding rockers, including classics like “Wait” and “Tell Me”. This time, though, the focus would entirely be on the beautiful mellow rocker, “When the Children Cry”. This song proved (and still keeps on proving) my point – glam rock bands created some really meaningful and timeless compositions and it most definitely wasn’t all about the looks and the ladies!


Giuffria – Call To The Heart (1984)

giuffria-giuffria-1984

Giuffria (led by keyboardist Gregg Giuffria) debuted with a splendid self-titled album in 1984. Armed with breathtaking songs, like “Do Me Right”, “Don’t Tear Me Down” and of course “Call to The Heart”, no wonder the impact of that album was so colossal. “Call to the Heart” is I believe the greatest song of their career (not to mention a personal favorite). Vocalist David Glen Eisley should’ve been bigger. His voice strikes quite the resemblance with Steve Perry, actually. Anyhow, I stand by what I said – this album and this tune are amazing and should NOT be forgotten!


Great White – Once Bitten Twice Shy (1989)

great-white-twice-shy

Although it’s a cover version of a popular song by Ian Hunter, I decided to include “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” by Great White because I think it’s much better (and more influential) than the original. On top of it all, it’s the song that defined Great White’s career like no other, reaching top 10 positions in both UK and the States. “…Twice Shy” (1989) was the crown jewel of Great White’s career, I believe. This song, along with classics like “The Angel Song” and “House of Broken Love”, also featuring on their fourth studio album, are absolute staples of the pop rock / glam metal musical phenomenon in the late ‘80s.


Warrant – Heaven (1989)

warrant-dirty-rotten

Power ballads were a must for any hard rock band. No power ballad = no chance of getting signed to a label or releasing an album. Those were the rules of the game and Warrant just knew how to win it. “Heaven” was the second single from their 1989 debut album, “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich”. It didn’t take that long for the track to became a sensation and turn into the band’s most commercially successful song of their career. The fans, the radio stations, the critics – everyone loved it and there’s a reason why, believe me. Jani Lane brought so much passion and beauty into a world full of songs about partying hard and drinking all day and all night. It’s definitely Warrant’s best song one of the best power ballads of the ‘80s.


Ratt – You’re In Love (1985)

ratt-invasion-of-your-privacy

I can’t talk about glam rock and not mention Ratt! Their sophomore album, titled “Invasion of Your Privacy” (1985) is a premium example of an album, following the musical trend and one of the best of its kind, as a matter of fact. Classics like “What You Give Is What You Get” and “Lay It Down” could be heard on that second release of theirs. For this playlist, however, I chose their second single “You’re in Love” because I love the strong vibe that comes out of this tune. One listen and you’re absolutely hooked. Moreover, I wanted to illustrate the various themes and topics, as well as types of songs glam rock bands were producing back in the day. Vocalist Stephen Pearcy is bringing so much to the table on this one. The MV is groundbreaking!


Skid Row – 18 and Life (1989)

skid-row-skid-row-debut

Moving on to Skid Row, I think this song right here is where all discussions about the band should begin. Don’t get me wrong, they have so many songs that deserve recognition (and got way more of it compared to this one), but I think if we have to choose just one, it has to be “18 & Life”. Released as a single from their debut self-titled album, the rocker quickly turned into Skid Row’s biggest hit and ultimately a turning point in their career. I am a huge fan of Sebastian Bach and I even though this tune wasn’t written by him, it’s his vocal performance that made me fall inlove with this band in the first place.


Poison – Nothin’ But A Good Time(1988)

poison-open-up-and-say-ahh

If for a moment there we don’t look at that bizarre and ridiculous album artwork, we can actually find some excellent glam rock gems inside the album. The first single from “Open Up and Say… Ahh!” (1988) carries the laid-back title Nothin’ but a Good Time”. I chose this song, because it sums it up quite well: the ‘80s, the glam metal, the music, the bands – it was all about having nothing but a really good time. It’s a fun tune, capturing the essence of the genre – both lyrically and musically. Vocalist Bret Michaels is doing some pretty decent job too!


Dokken – Into the Fire(1984)

dokken-tooth-and-nail

“Tooth and Nail” (1984) is an absolute masterpiece and one of my most beloved albums of all time. The strength and musical brilliance of the album were born out of the hardships Dokken had to go through before releasing it. It was a tough time to be a glam rock artist in the late 80s – a period dominated by the early grunge movement. Despite all, the album materialized and thank God it did otherwise we wouldn’t have songs like “Into the Fire”. I am highly biased but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. The album and the song are perfect!


Danger Danger – Naughty Naughty (1989)

danger-danger-album

We had a good time, we listened to some gorgeous power ballads and lyrically-rich tunes but now it’s time to wrap things up on a less-meaningful note. Danger Danger are the glam metal band to listen if you just want to have fun and forget about it all! Their self-titled debut album spawned some great songs, designed to bring you nothing but a sweet enjoyment! The debut single of their eponymous album bears the catchy title “Naughty Naughty” and as you suspected, it just can’t be taken seriously. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or unworthy. Not at all – it’s a super fun, sexy and exciting track. The guys are pretty good too! Ted Poley is a great vocalist too!


The playlist contains 10 Glam Metal tracks, selected based on my personal preferences and in accordance with the idea I am trying to deliver through this publication. There are plenty of other bands and artists who are representatives of the Glam Rock scene of the 1980s, but according to my opinion, the above 10 are some of the most notable ones. Please keep an open mind! Cheers

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~

 

[PLAYLIST] This Week in Classic Rock Songs

 

Greetings, everyone and happy new week!

It’s Monday, so it’s time for my weekly mixtape. This week, once again, I collected 10 favorite songs from my music library and came up with this splendid classic rock music playlist. Simply put, it’s a compilation of songs I really enjoy listening to on a daily basis. There’s no particular order or concept behind the “mixtape” I’ve prepared. The only idea behind it is to kick off the new week with some serious rock ‘n’ roll tunes! Also, I think such “mixtapes” are the perfect opportunity to travel back in time, relive the amazing moments or just remind ourselves of some great rock music! Let’s roll! Happy Listening!


 

 

Tina Turner – Steamy Windows (1989)

 

Alice Cooper – This Maniac’s Inlove With You (1989)

 

Helloween – I Want Out (1988)

 

YES – Owner of a Lonely Heart (1983)

 

Poison – Talk Dirty to Me (1986)

 

Rush – Tom Sawyer (1981)

 

Deep Purple – Mistreated (1974)

 

Judas Priest – Better By You, Better Than Me (1978)

 

Dio – Don’t Talk to Strangers (1983)

 

and let’s finish off with a more gentle classic rock song from the late 80s….

The Cure – Lovesong (1989)

 


 

 

 

The Story of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – The Ultimate Power Ballad

It’s Wednesday evening which for me usually means power ballad time! Every person who knows me is well aware of my immense adoration for power rock ballads of the 80s (I have also expressed it in pretty much all publications). These songs are so magical, so gentle – but at the same time possess such a beautiful spirit and intensity that can’t but make you lose yourself in the feeling. I have this long playlist of wonderful and notable power ballads from the 80s and every evening I somehow find myself listening to it – it just calms me down and creates the perfect mood.

Anyhow, I am sure that my readers are well aware of what a power ballad means, but just for the sake of it, I’m going to remind some of the major characteristics of the trend which brought a lot of money and fame to many classic rock bands. It has been estimated that the power ballad trend broke into the mainstream American radio in the beginning of the 70s with songs such as “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin and “Dream On” by Aerosmith. However, the polished versions, ideas and the ultimate peak of this direction were reached in the 80s. Simply put, a power ballad is hard rock/metal songs that usually explore the topics of love and heartbreak. In addition to being excessively emotional and poetic, the power ballad has the ability to portray the soft and gentle side of 80s and 90s rockstars which as we know didn’t appear to be so soft or gentle. Sometimes, they can be too cheesy but the most important thing is that the power ballad is a rock song that combines tender melodies and gentle vocal delivery with heavy guitar riffs and a steady buildup, especially towards the end of it. That’s the essence of it – you can get both sentimental and teary, but at the same time still possessed by the empowerment of hard rock music.

Back to what I was saying (I’m sorry I felt like if I’m going to talk about this song, I may as well give you a bit of background information)…when we talk about power ballads from the 80s, the first songs that come to our mind are “Love Bites” by Def Leppard, “Always” by Bon Jovi, “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses, “When I see You Smile” by Bad English…and of course the ULTIMATE power ballad song – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. I really love and appreciate the true beauty of this song and it always makes me feel a bit nostalgic but it also calms me down at the same time. I know is not necessarily the song that’s supposed to bring out some intense and heavy emotional reactions; however it can indeed make you think about many things. Its great power comes from the beautiful lyrics which to me are the lifeblood of the song…

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is a power ballad song by the American glam metal band Poison. It was released back in 1988 and it immediately made a statement on the charts – #1 on Billboard Hot 100, #8 in New Zealand and Ireland and top 20 positions in many other countries around the world. Furthermore, it was released as Poison’s third single from their second album “Open Up and Say… Ahh!” – It’s a pretty decent album, by the way, you should check it out if you haven’t done it yet. Many notable music institutions such as VH1 and MTV also gave it some huge praises – number 34 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the 80s” and number 7 on MTV and VH1 “Top 25 Power Ballads”. Unfortunately, throughout their career Poison didn’t score another number one hit song, so “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” remained their only number one.

 

Poison lead singer Bret Michaels wrote this in response to a failed love affair with Tracy Lewis. After playing at a bar in Dallas, Texas, Michaels called his girlfriend at her Los Angeles apartment and heard a man’s voice in the background. The next day the disconsolate Michaels took his acoustic guitar with him to a Laundromat and wrote the song right there. He explained in Rolling Stone June 10, 2010: “I remember using a pay phone to call this girl I was dating. We were on the road, touring in our Winnebago, and my relationship was falling apart. I still have the yellow legal pad I wrote it on. There are, like, a bazillion verses that I later edited down.”

(paragraph retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com)

 

Musically speaking, the song is quite quiet and melodic. It features two guitar solos – one of which is more soft and mellow and one that is a bit faster and more solid. Again, what I said before – the power ballad is a combination of delicate melodic rock and raw and even a bit aggressive one.

With this song, what makes things a bit more interesting is the country vibe you get when listening. There’s a reasonable explanation – it was done intentionally! During the time of this song’s release, the band had been playing at a famous cowboy bar in Dallas, Texas. This environment, naturally, influenced them and they generated it all into this song. We can clearly catch the twang in Bret Michaels’ vocals which is probably the main reason why we get this cowboy feeling. By the way, for those who don’t know, twang is a “high frequency singing sound especially affected by country singers”. Doesn’t matter – you don’t have to know what twang is to feel it – he sounds so country. Also, we can sense the whole cowboy theme in the lyrics as well – “Just as every cowboy sings a sad sad song, every rose has its thorn”.

 

“This was back before anyone thought about a crossover. We had ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ at #1 Pop, #1 Rock, and Top 40 Country, which was unheard of,” Bret Michaels said.

 

As much as I love the song, the music video is quite dull, at least to me. It’s one of those videos which pretty much each and every rock band of the 80s has – the frontman (in our case Michaels) sitting down, dramatically playing the guitar while we see some black and white scenes from their concerts. I feel like they could’ve done something else – I have so many ideas about a music video for this beautiful song…

Regardless of the lack of originality in the music video, the song is very sentimental and soulful. To many it may sound very cliché and I can understand why – it explores one of the most talked about issues and characteristics of humans – people may present themselves as beautiful and trustworthy but no one knows what they have hidden deep down inside and what their true motives are. Sometimes, we cannot see it at first – we are simply mesmerized by the other person’s charm, good looks, smiles and promises…but life is full of surprises and one day your world may fall apart… The lyrics of this song perfectly illustrate this point and make us think a little bit deeper about life. What happens to the one that’s left with the broken heart? Even if you have moved on, is still hurts to know that the person you’ve been admiring and cherishing like a delicate rose is now with another one…

Humans are flawed – they have thorns…so be careful not to get pricked…

Hope you guys love the song as much as I do…Don’t forget to play it!

 

xoxox

Lyrics:

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

We both lie silently still in the dead of the night
Although we both lie close together we feel miles apart inside
Was it something I said or something I did?
Did my words not come out right?
Though I tried not to hurt you
Though I tried
But I guess that’s why they say

[Chorus:]
Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn

Yeah it does

I listen to our favorite song playing on the radio
Hear the DJ say love’s a game of easy come and easy go
But I wonder does he know?
Has he ever felt like this?
And I know that you’d be here right now
If I could have let you know somehow
I guess

[Chorus]

Though it’s been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals
But the scar, that scar remains

I know I could have saved a love that night if I’d known what to say
Instead of makin’ love we both made our separate ways
And now I hear you found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife
I guess

[Chorus]

Credits:
Poison Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com

Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com

P.S I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits go to the publishers, owners and/or right holders.
cheers.