A power ballad is a type of song typically characterized by having a slow tempo, long voiced notes, electric and/or acoustic guitars, and deemphasized percussion and bass. Some sections of the song may include strong percussion and bass that are more typical of the hard rock and heavy metal genres for increased emotional effect, and often the electric guitar comes back in the song's climax. Common power ballad themes include (but are not limited to) emotional pain, need, love and loss.
In other words, power ballads are where otherwise hard rockin' bands get to show their emotional side. A less charitable view might be that power ballads enabled hard rock and metal acts to change the demographic of their audience. As for me, I've always had a soft spot for power ballads. I don't associate them with their heyday, as I hadn't discovered half of the songs to be featured back then. Rather, I'm enthralled by the minor keys and sentimental lyrics. I'm of the opinion that even as a musician in a heavy metal band you can't be angry all the time, so the power ballad is an opportunity to play a bit softer. My recent re-aquaintance with the genre came courtesy of my son. Two weeks ago, I had my first extended alone-time with him, and at some point there was no comforting him - the li'l dude was melting down alll over. In an act of sheer desperation, I tried singing to him, and it actually worked. The catch is that I don't know any children's songs whatsoever. The closest I get is power ballads, of which I apparently knew a boatload.
So; every day in September I'll post a power ballad video according to the following guidelines:
- Only one song per band. Otherwise known as the "Poison clause"
- The song should be from a period when the term "power ballad" was marketable, which means up until the very early 90's.
- The song should have a video or live performance available on YouTube, but..
- ..said YouTube-clip should be from when the band or artist was still relevant within the context of that song. Also known as the "no hand-held video from the Malls of North Dakota tour of Warrant 2006 clause"
- The song must be from heavy metal or hard rock band. If not for this condition, Cutting Crew with "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" would've been a kick-ass power ballad.