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Any Major Power Ballads Vol. 1



This mix, dear reader, is going out to Any Major Dudette, who expressed her wish for a mix of power ballads. And with the critical rehabilitation of the genre lately, I shall feel free to share the fruits of her request with you.

And here we don’t need to concern ourselves with the inconvenient truth that her desire was expressed upon hearing a Céline Dion song on the radio (not the Titanic one. The other one). It doesn’t matter, since the stylings of Ms Dion are not to my taste, and therefore do not feature on this mix.

Also very much excluded are Jennifer Rush’s Power Of Love, which I loathe with a special depth of repulsion.  The same applies to Chris de Burgh’s Lady In Red, which I wouldn’t call a power ballad anyway.

The long-time reader may wonder: “But, Any Major Dude With Half A Heart, did you find a place for Michael F. Bolton?” And funny that you should ask, but… no. Having said that, the same wretched radio station which Any Major Dudette tunes into recently played Bolton’s breakthrough hit “How Am I Supposed To Love Without You”. And, I must confess, I was sort of singing along. Not so enthusiastically that I’d include it here, nor to turn me into one of the Bobs from Office Space. Still, I suspect that had it been sung by somebody else, it might have… no, enough. Shudder.

But that is the key to the good power ballad: it allows you to like something by an artist you’d otherwise not engage with.

Surveying the present collection of songs, I find that I own albums by only nine of them; just over half. Half of my total collection of REO Speedwagon’s catalogue is represented here. The other one is also a power ballad.

Let’s not forget: power ballads are white people’s baby-making music. People conceived to Track 4 might have conceived their offspring to Tracks 13, 15 and 16.

So, yes, the power ballad is pop music’s joker: the occasion when even the purist can get out that lighter and wave it from side to side without having to write an excuse to the taste police.

I have enough power ballads for a second volume, if there’s a demand for it. But tell me your favourite power ballads in the comments.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-powerchorded covers. PW in comments.

(2023 EDIT: Get Volume 2 of this series)

1. Aerosmith – I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (1998)
2. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart (1983)
3. Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) (1984)
4. Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin (1967)
5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man (1973)
6. Boston – Amanda (1986)
7. Styx – Babe (1979)
8. REO Speedwagon – Keep On Loving You (1981)
9. Heart – Alone (1987)
10. Journey – Open Arms (1981)
11. Whitesnake – Here I Go Again (1987)
12. Meat Loaf – I’m Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us (1981)
13. Maria McKee – Show Me Heaven (1990)
14. Toto – I’ll Be Over You (1986)
15. Roxette – It Must Have Been Love (1990)
16. Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville – I Don’t Know Much (1989)
17. Prince – Purple Rain (1984)


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  1. Hey-ItsMike
    May 28th, 2020 at 17:49 | #1

    This’ll be fun! Plenty of others out there for Volume 2: Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, Badfinger’s “Without You”, Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”, Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”, the Nazareth version of “Love Hurts” …that’s off the top of my head.

  2. Lynchie
    May 28th, 2020 at 18:59 | #2

    Rod & The Faces did the best version of “Maybe I’m Amazed”.

  3. Plaicemat
    May 28th, 2020 at 19:21 | #3

    How about “Europe – The Final Countdown” and by the way I’m glad to see you hold Jennifer Rush in as much esteem as I do. I simply cannot stand that record.

  4. May 28th, 2020 at 22:13 | #4

    As always, Dude, you’re a man of exceptional taste. Even more so in the ones you chose NOT to feature. After you’ve ruled out Celine, Jenny Rush, Chris DB and Michael F. Bolton, anything else is fair game. Well done.

  5. johnster_monster
    May 29th, 2020 at 03:20 | #5

    For powerful ballardry, Foreigner’s “I want to know what love is” is undeniable.
    As for Celine D, a reading of “Let’s Talk About Love: journey to the end of taste” will certainly give a new perspective on her body of work.

  6. dramref
    May 30th, 2020 at 18:38 | #6

    Not sure about inclusion of ” Nights in White satin ” . I’d second the inclusion of Foreigner ” I want to know” etc.
    Also Starship ” Nothings gonna stop us now” ; Bon Jovi ” Livin on a prayer”; Seal ” Killer”; Cutting Crew ” I just died in your arms “; Survivor ” Eye of the Tiger” ; Boston ” More than a feeling”; Scorpions ” Wind of change”; Richard Marx ” Hazard” and BOC ” Dont fear the Reaper

  7. Barrie Minney
    May 31st, 2020 at 10:10 | #7

    I would like to nominate Magnum’s Start Talking Love. Meat Loaf’s For Crying Out Loud is a better baby making foreplay song than I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us.

    Great series suggestion by the way!!

  8. Chance
    May 31st, 2020 at 20:35 | #8

    Cheap Trick: “Voices” “The Flame”
    Heart: “What About Love” “Alone”
    KISS: “Forever” “Reason To Live”
    Steve Perry: “Oh Sherrie”
    Styx: “Lady”

  9. Pim
    May 31st, 2020 at 21:34 | #9

    Much as I loathe powerballads, this piece of text almost made me want to change my tune. Fortunately I resisted the temptation. It would have ruined my sunday evening. Not your fault of course, just a matter of taste (or lack thereof). The article though I’ve read about 3 times now, it gets better everytime I read it. So in that respect: another volume? Yes please!

  10. Don Clyde
    June 8th, 2020 at 05:38 | #10

    Great set, thanks

    My two cents:

    Sheriff – When I’m With You
    Bad English – When I See You Smile

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