My Favorite Power Ballads
Published on February 23, 2014 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I discuss some of my favorite power ballads.

Here's an excerpt:

"I didn’t become familiar with the term power ballad until college, when my roommate introduced it to me. Whenever one of her favorite power ballads came on the radio, she would turn it up and passionately belt out the lyrics. Her enthusiasm helped teach me that there’s no shame in liking power ballads, and that it’s great fun to shout along with them. And I do mean shout.

Anyway, the other day I came across an essay on the pop culture site Badass Digest making the case for Guns N’ Roses’ 'November Rain' as the greatest power ballad of all time. 'That’s a pretty good choice,' I thought. I’ve always loved 'November Rain,' especially all that crashing piano at the end.

But then I got to wondering whether I agreed with this assessment. Sure, 'November Rain' is a great song. But is it the best power ballad OF ALL TIME?

Now, the definition of power ballad is a bit nebulous.

According to the Badass Digest writer, Henri Mazza, 'There are several definitions, usually used to help sell different compilation albums and Time Life CD collections, but for the most part a power ballad is what happens any time a hard rock band slows it down a little bit and shows their soft underbelly so they can sing about love, heartache and emotions.'

This is actually a pretty helpful definition, as it helps distinguish power ballads from ballads, and explains why songs such as George Michael’s 'Father Figure' and Bette Midler’s 'The Rose' are generally left off power ballad compilations and lists — they’re too soft rock-y for inclusion. Of course, there are exceptions to the basic rules of power balladry: Many people consider Tina Turner’s 'We Don’t Need Another Hero' a classic power ballad, even though Tina Turner is hardly known for fronting a hair metal band, or singing hard rock."

Click here to read the whole thing.

Also, my friend J.K. Eisen has put together his own list of favorite power ballads. Click here to read it.

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