Why You Should Listen to Power Ballads

Power Ballads.  Those essential songs of the 80s and early 90s that put a lot of rock bands on the map.  They were there before things got too grungy and after things got punky.  They marked a time in musical history when many songs were about having a good time.  They also served a greater purpose in terms of marketability.  If someone got hooked on the ballad, maybe they would buy the whole record.  Enough about the boring stuff.

You should listen to power ballads because they put you in a good mood.  Whether you like to admit it or not, when Faithfully by Journey comes on the radio, it probably makes you feel happy.  They are also fun to sing to.  Living in today’s world, we are inundated with so many negativity.  A good helping of non-political songs you can sing along to at the top of your lungs could make even the worst day better.  This is of course my opinion, but I challenge anyone to sing Something to Believe In by Poison at full volume in your car and not feel better.

Now, I realize that not everyone has a stockpile of power ballads at their disposal.  So, here is my list of what I think are the Top 10 Power Ballads everyone needs in their playlist.

  •  Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison
    • One of the most identifiable Poison songs.  Usually, people can name this song, even if they cannot name any other Poison songs.  Although this may not be my favorite song from them, its up there.
  • Love Song by Tesla
    • Tesla.  A gravely underrated rock and roll band.  This song put them on the map.  Regardless of its categorization as a ballad, this song is still one of the greatest songs to come out of this time in music.
  • Faithfully by Journey
    • Steve Perry is arguably one of the best vocalists, period.  This song is one of the best in the Journey catalog, and no one can do it like Perry.  A song about being away from your significant other while on the road can pretty much write itself.  Its his voice that makes it.
  • Close My Eyes Forever by Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne
    • The only duet to make the list.  The pairing of Osbourne and Ford always made me wanting more.  I wish they had done another song together, but at least we have this masterpiece.
  • November Rain by Guns N’ Roses
    • Oh where do I begin.  Allegedly, November Rain and this album was technically a pain in the butt to make.  It could also be suggested that the making of Use Your Illusion took a major toll on the band, contributing to the breakup of one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music.  However, this song is their opus.  It has the best guitar solo, some of the best lyrics, and even an orchestral section.
  • Home Sweet Home by Mötley Crüe
    • Now, there are 2 versions of this song.  One is the original on Theatre of Pain.  The other as a reboot (if you will) in 1991.  The difference being that the ’91 version has the intro using an actual piano, instead of a keyboard.  Although the difference is slight, it makes it just better.  With that being said, either version is one of my favorite songs of all time.  This album was this band at its greatest.  This includes Vince Neil at his finest.  All of the goodness of this time period in Crüe history is reflected in Home Sweet Home.
  • More than Words by Extreme
    • Simple and beautiful, this song was their biggest hit.  It is so simplistic that the lyrics just speak for themselves.
  • Don’t You Ever Leave Me by Hanoi Rocks
    • With Hanoi Rocks, it is hard to not think about the tragic death of Razzle, and how the band’s magic was lost with him.  This song is one of my favorite Hanoi Rocks songs and it is a reminder of when the glam metal era was coming of age.  Michael Monroe may not be on many people’s radar, but he is one of the greatest frontmen of all time.  The whole album is also worth a listen.  Period.
  • Heartbreak Station by Cinderella
    • After seeing Tom Keifer last year, I heard the story behind this song.  Keifer met his now wife Savannah years before they got married.  He wrote this song about their first meeting.  Years later, they reconnected and are living happily now.  Although this song is incredibly heart wrenching, knowing that story, it just makes me think that you should never think that happiness is unattainable.
  • High Enough by Damn Yankees
    • This song.  This song will surely make people roll their eyes.  I love this song.  Its fun to sing along to, and evokes that feeling you want from listening to a power ballad.  For myself, it is also my favorite Ted Nugent thing, even more than Cat Scratch Fever.

So, there it is, my Top 10 Power Ballads.  Enjoy!

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Must Listen: Nomads by Love & a .38

nomads-coverart

While so many were flocking to Coachella this weekend, I was home.  And I finally got to dig into the newest album from one of my favorite L.A. bands; Love and a .38.  First, a little love.  I first discovered this band about 3 years ago by accident.  I was at a show for the now defunct Purple Melon.  Love and a .38 was the band before them.  They are rock and roll in all the best ways, and I was hooked.  Now, finally, we have a full length album full of all new songs.  

Every song is fantastic.  And it was worth the wait.  They are Independent by choice, which just adds to what they produce for themselves, and of course, the fans.  They are easy to love for many reasons.  But mostly because the love their fans so much, and they sound amazing.

Nomads could easily rival any rock album in your collection.  Some of my favorite songs are Oh My God (the first single), Abre Las Ojos and Holy War.  But how can you pick just one, when every single one will rock your face off?

Check out the video for Oh My God below.

Oh My God from Love and a .38

 

Los Angeles Hike:  Trail to Jim Morrison’s cave

Los Angeles is famous for lots of things. And one of those things is the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 60s and 70s.  One of the most legendary products of this was Jim Morrison. He was known for his talent and his eccentricities. One of his escapes was a cave high above Malibu. For a long time, it was kind of a secret. But a secret no longer, with the prominence of social media.  If you want to know where it is, you need to figure it out. That’s half the fun 😉

As a music fan, it was an incredible experience. Although this cave is far from Laurel Canyon, you can still feel that Laurel Canyon spirit. I highly recommend doing this.  It’s an easy hike to a cool end point.  

    
   

Must Listen: Panic! At The Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!  

One of my favorite albums of late has been 2013’s Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! from Panic! At The Disco.  P!ATD first came onto my radar with 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.  And I’ve loved them since then.  But, alas, much has changed since their 2005 debut.  The major change is that the leader of the band, the strikingly handsome Brendon Urie, is the only original member of the band left.  And while this could be a sign the band just isn’t as good, this just isn’t the case.  Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! is just sooo good.  Spencer Smith, the original drummer, is still featured on this album (he has since left the band).  However, this is really a Brendon album.  

So what is so great about it, you ask?  Despite the fact that it includes singles Miss Jackson and This Is Gospel, it also includes the pop perfection of the song Vegas Lights.  It’s probably my favorite on the album.  The bottom line is that start to finish, this is a first rate pop album.  It really proves that music doesn’t need to be depressing to get the point across.  Although this album is 2 years old, it hasn’t lost its freshness.  At least to me it hasn’t!  So don’t take life too seriously, have fun and buy this now! 

Must Listen:  Ryan Adams – Self Titled

One of the most famous musicians you’ve never heard of is Ryan Adams.  A true artist with a genuine gift, he brings something to the musical landscape that cannot be duplicated.  

I was originally turned onto Ryan Adams by a friend after hearing a cover of one of songs.  And the rest is history.  His music draws you into his world and it makes you never want to leave.  

His latest studio release Ryan Adams is a great rock record.  From top to bottom, it’s brilliant.  My favorite track is My Wrecking Ball (not a Miley Cyrus cover).  A song that exudes so much emotion you don’t want the ride to end.  

Take a listen and enjoy the ride.