I’m a ballad person – I’ve said it a million times before and people who follow my blog are probably quite aware of this fact. Recently, someone introduced me to the German hard-rock band Fair Warning – I know, I know, such a shame for not knowing them BUT better late than ever. Now, I cannot stop listening to their music and I’m completely in love with them! I kicked things off with their 1992 self-titled debut album and I have to say It was definitely a love at first listen. Of course, the power-ballad “Long Gone” immediately became a favorite and I really wanted to share this with you, guys! Please have a listen and enjoy the beautiful song!
There ain’t my land in this city lights.. It’s bringin’ back your face sometimes…. Memories of the thousand nights long gone….. And there’s a feelin’ I go by… I still can see your shinin’ eyes.. I can feel my heart’s still holdin’ on..
We didn’t need warnin’.. When we found that love was gone.. We never found the reason.. But that time we buy.. And time’s never wrong… babe…..
Wherever we go..whatever we find.. We never made it till the mornin’.. Whatever we do…we cannot deny…… Believin’ in love would’ve ever strong… Long gone……..
The world is on the turn and tryin’.. Crossin’ with the mornin’ light… To wash away the souls’ absence in the sand… And as I see them risin’ high.. I turn away to close my eyes… I guess one day my heart will understand…
..Now it’s gone…. And we find ourselves free world.. The road…the land… As we’re wishin’ back the time…Long gone… When you….long gone…
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.”
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!
“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
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
A huge portion of my music library is dedicated to power ballads of the 80s (and ballads in general). I am sure many of you guys will agree with me when I say that those songs, usually performed by glam rock bands, are so influential, possess such a special aura and are even “magical”. Characterized with sensual lyrics, hard rock sound and a strong vocal delivery, the power ballads of the 80s appealed to many people and turned into a huge and unforgettable trend (that of course brought a lot of money)… When I think about power ballads of the 80s, probably the first band name that comes out of my mind is Whitesnake. To me personally, they are the kings of power ballads and there’s a reason behind it. The reason is called David Coverdale – who happens to be one of the greatest male vocalists of all time. I’ve listened to many rock ballads, performed by many rock musicians such as Warrant, Poison, Foreigner, etc., however none of those ballad songs have influenced me the way Whitesnake’s ballad songs have. To me, David has the perfect voice for rock ballads and every time I hear him perform those heartbreaking love songs, I get goosebumps. His voice is perfectly designed for a rock ballad and I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the moment he starts singing about love, I completely melt down. Of course, being a huge Whitesnake fan, I love pretty much each and every song of theirs. However, among all, the ballads are my ultimate favorites – even after so many years of listening, I always get these feelings and emotions each time I play power ballads such as “Looking for Love” or “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”. I’m not sure I can find the right adjectives to describe David’s voice but I find his singing very sensual and his voice is definitely one of those “mysterious” and “smoky” voices that captivate your soul immediately.
In order to celebrate my love for Whitesnake’s (power) ballads and David’s brilliant vocal deliveries, I came up with this idea of collecting 5 of my favorite Whitesnake love songs. Also, I hope my readers can be reminded of some of those classics from back in the day. In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I thought it’s a good time to think about love and what better way to do it, than listen to this outstanding artist pouring his soul out into the music…
Looking For Love
I will start things with my favorite Whitesnake song, favorite power ballad from the 80s and one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time (yes, it’s that important to me). The song is part of their self-titled album which also happens to be their most successful album of all time. It was released back in 1987 and later on, the band also introduced a very interesting (?) music video that circulated around MTV. The reason why I adore this song with all my heart is the beautiful lyrics and of course, David’s vocal delivery – it turns from soft and gentle to strong and even a bit aggressive in a matter of seconds. To me, this is just the perfect rock ballad…
“I look in the mirror
Don’t like what I see
In my reflection
A stranger is staring at me
Looking for love”
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
The next rock ballad by Whitesnake is actually not an original song – it’s a cover version of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s song, written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh back in 1974. The original version is more blues and R&B oriented, rather than hard rock. Whitesnake’s interpretation of this song was included in their debut EP – “Snakebite” in 1978 and it actually became one of their most successful and loved songs. Later on, they also included a live performance of this song in their 1980s Live…in the Heart of the City Live album. Needless to say, I absolutely adore this song and their version of it. Once again, David demonstrates how powerful and yet tender his voice can be.
“Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, Ain’t no love in the heart of town. Ain’t no love, sure ’nuff is a pity, Ain’t no love ‘cos you ain’t around. Baby, since you been around.”
Is This Love
I just had to include this song which also happens to be one of the perfect examples of 80s power ballads. Not to mention that they owe a lot of their success and public recognition to this breathtaking power ballad. It is indeed probably the first song that comes to everyone’s mind when we think about Whitesnake. The song was released in 1987 from their self-titled album and quickly reached number 2 in the USA charts. It is a beautiful and very well-written song. The music video is also very distinctive and “very 80s”. Interesting fact, David was asked to think of some ideas for a new Tina Turner song and that’s when he came up with “Is This Love”…Anyhow, I’m glad they kept the song for themselves. As much as I love Tina, this song just fits him and the band so perfectly that I just can’t imagine anyone else singing it… P.S You can check out my previous publication in which the song was also included : – Greatest (Power) Rock Ballads Of The 80s
”I find I spend my time Waiting on your call, How can I tell you, baby My back’s against the wall I need you by my side To tell me it’s alright, ‘Cos I don’t think I can take anymore”
Only My Soul
This is also another one of my favorite Whitesnake ballads. One might say that it’s not as powerful, ground-breaking and wall-shaking as some of their other ballads but what appeals to me are the guitar riffs as well as its atmosphere – a bit more relaxed, calming and even exquisite than some of their other ballads. The violins are also a nice touch. “Only My Soul” is featured in “Snakebite” – their first official release back in 1978. This album produced so many fascinating songs.
“Only my soul, stops me crying, Wondering why I feel alone And only my love keeps me from Weeping, so bad, Giving me strength, to carry on”
The Deeper The Love
The last song from my selection comes from Whitesnake’s 1989 album “Slip of the Tongue” and it’s called “The Deeper the Love”. It’s a very melodic and a bit more dynamic and it happens to be one of my favourite (power) ballads of all time. The song and as a matter of fact the whole album, are a little bit different than their original sound from the early 80s, however I still enjoy listening to it – especially this song. His voice is just so full of soul…it takes my breath away. The lyrics are also very emotional and full of hope – it’s all about how strong a man’s love can be…
“So when the sun goes down An’ those nights grow colder, I will be there Looking over your shoulder An’ the deeper the love The stronger the emotion, An’ the stronger the love The deeper the devotion”
Well, this is it for now – five beautiful (power) rock ballad songs, coming from Whitesnake – one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. The selection was very personal and subjective so I apologize if you didn’t see some of your favorite songs. I would like to make part 2 and include other beautiful ballads of Whitesnake and David because there are so much more… His voice is everything – I hope you guys feel the same way I do and truly enjoy those five breath-taking love songs…
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.