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My Top Ten Favorite Power Ballads

Cari Jean resides in North Dakota, where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.

The rock band Tesla.

The rock band Tesla.

If you listened to music in the 1980s and early 90's, you were sure to here several power ballads on the radio. These slow, soft rock songs were packed with both emotion and an amazing guitar solo.

If you're a child of the 80's like me, there are probably certain power ballads that transport you to a different time and place. For me, I'm taken back to my high school days when my only challenges in life were getting my driver's license and passing AP Calculus. When fun times consisted of a day at the bowling alley or an evening at the lake. When my friends and I cruised Main endlessly, with songs from the 80's and the early 90's blaring through the speakers.

Though my taste in music has changed over the years, these 10 power ballads will forever hold a special place in my heart.

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"

Released in 1988 by Poison, it was their first and only number one hit ever in the U.S. The song was written by the band's frontman, Brett Michaels. He reportedly wrote the song as a way to cope with the breakup of his then-girlfriend, Tracy Lewis. Band members, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall, and Rikki Rockett also have writing credits."Every Rose Has Its Thorn" has been covered by Miley Cyrus. In season 9 of American Idol, third-place finisher Casey James sang the popular ballad.

"I Remember You"

Released in 1989 on Skid Row's debut album. This power ballad was the number one prom song of 1990. Bandmates Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan wrote the song. The band almost didn't put the ballad on their debut album as they didn't want to be known as a "chick band." Thankfully lead singer Sebastian Bach, along with the record label, saw huge potential in the song. That year, "I Remember You" hit number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.


The song "Hysteria" was released on Def Leppard's multi-platinum album, Hysteria in 1987, which is their best-selling album to date. Lead singer Joe Elliott, along with band members Rick Savage, Phil Collen, and Steven Clark wrote the song. Mutt Lange is also credited for writing the track. The song charted at number 26 in the U.K. and 10 in the U.S.


Released on their 1987 album, Permanent Vacation. Angel was written by Aerosmith's lead singer, Steven Tyler along with songwriter, Desmond Child. The song is not considered typical of the hard rock band. However, "Angel" is one of their most successful songs. It climbed to number 3 on the U.S. charts in 1988. The power ballad also helped pave the way for other slow songs by Aerosmith, such as "Amazing" and "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing."

"Love Song"

Released in 1989 on their album, The Great Radio Controversy. After the video was placed on MTV, the song soared to number 10 on the U.S. charts, becoming one of Tesla's biggest hits. Lead vocalist, Jeff Keith and keyboardist/guitarist Frank Hannon wrote the popular tune. The band calls "Love Song" their signature song, one that they will play every time they perform.

"I'll Be There for You"

Released on their 1988 album, New Jersey. The song quickly rose to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, along with lead guitarist, Richie Sambora wrote the popular ballad. As of 1989, it was Bon Jovi's fourth number one single. "I'll Be There for You" also charted in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK.


Released on Guns N' Roses album, G N' R Lies in 1988, "Patience" was written by band members Steven Adler, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, and Axl Rose. The acoustic song was the band's only release on their sophomore album. The song, for which Axl Rose does the whistling parts, shows an unusual tender side of Guns N' Roses. In 2006, country superstar, Carrie Underwood began performing this song during her concerts.

"Coming Home"

Released on Cinderella's album, Long Cold Winter in 1988, the song was written by lead vocalist Tom Keifer. He wrote the song to reflect all of the emotions of constantly being on the road and waiting to come home to his friends and loved ones. The ballad became Cinderella's third best selling single and hit number 20 on the U.S. charts. In 2007, "Coming Home" was used on the TV series October Road.

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"Love of a Lifetime"

Released on Firehouse's debut album in 1990, "Love of a Lifetime" was written by lead vocalist, CJ Snare. The romantic power ballad became a popular wedding song and was also the band's most successful song. It peaked at number 5 on the U.S. charts. Country music singer Katie Armiger covered the song for her first album in 2007.


Released on Stryper's 1987 album, To Hell with the Devil. "Honestly" became one of the most requested songs on MTV. Lead singer Michael Sweet wrote the song. "Honestly" was the only song by a Christian metal band to hit the top 40. Besides that, Stryper was the only hair band at the time to throw Bibles from the stage. Michael Sweet also performed with the rock band Boston from 2007 to 2011.

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thomseye on January 05, 2014:

impressive list.

it's rare that i agree with so much with someone on a list like this.

especially Hysteria, Love Song, Angel, I Remember You, Honestly and Coming Home.

If I really think hard, I might add Sometimes She Cries by Warrant, Is This Love by Whitesnake, I Won't Forget You by Poison and The Ballad Of Jayne by LA Guns.

Well done.

Evil Stepmother from New Jersey on July 29, 2011:

I didn't go to prom, but we would never have had that interesting a song. Maybe I would have gone if we did lol.

I did, however, have my first dance with my boyfriend to Without You (at a Motley Crue concert). Try beating that for romantic at the wedding though (I'm sure Motley Crue won't play it for us there). It's between that and Firehouse's Love of a Lifetime for our wedding song.

I cannot imagine getting sick of any of those songs, even though I like to play them over and over too. :O)

No one does romantic songs like the 80s hair bands.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 28, 2011:

Evil Stepmother - thanks so much for your comment - yes, I like all those songs as well. WE had Without You as our prom song in 1990 and it played over and over and over so I was tired of it for a while!

Evil Stepmother from New Jersey on July 25, 2011:

I love them all, but my other faves are:

Motley Crue: Without you

Firehouse: When I look into your eyes

Whitesnake: Now you're gone

White Lion: When the children cry

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on December 24, 2009:

Disturbia - I know! I rock out to them everytime I hear them!

Disturbia on December 03, 2009:

I will always love Def Leppard.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 30, 2009:

eovery - thanks for stopping in!

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on November 29, 2009:

That's some good music

Keep on hubbing!

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