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22 August 2010

Hanging on the Promises in Songs of Yesterday

MTV and VH1 played almost constantly on the TV at my house during my teenage years. My taste must have been much less eclectic then to have been able to put up with watching the same 50 videos over and over again, ad nauseam, interspersed only occasionally with an '80s hour or (worse) RnB.

I got to know the adverts pretty well too although the one I remember most was for an album called The Most Awesome Power Ballads of All Time -- Seriously! or similar. I can remember Michael Hutchens singing, "they can never...tear us apart," just before Joey Tempest cuts in to announce, "it's the final countdown." And The Pretenders and Bonnie Tyler also featured, of course. Now, a quick Amazon search turns up numerous albums of so-called power ballads, except as well as the expected Europe and Whitesnake, they also include Nickelback (no!), Avril Lavigne (eh?) and (weirder) Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah (in the case of 101 Power Ballads, anyway). None of them are the same as the awesome album they were selling on VH1 in the late '90s.

Although I wouldn't say that the power ballad is my current favourite musical genre, there are a few that I really, really like, and by power ballad, I mean songs that make me sing along loudly, shake my head around and generally make a fool of myself. In fact, singing along with my favourite power ballads is probably the number one thing I miss about having a car.

For a while now, I've had a power ballad earworm: I knew the chorus started with "tonight" or "til now" followed soon afterwards by a lyric that included "on my own." I hadn't got around to trying to transcribe my guestimated lyrics until this evening and when I did, I was worried: I have no problem with liking power ballads but I do object to liking Celine Dion. Fortunately, I soon realised that La Dion's song Alone was actually a cover of a song by some American rockers called Heart; although I know several of their choons, their name was unfamiliar. And now I've compiled my top ten--the ten songs that make me sing the loudest even if others by the same (or different) artists appear on more !PowerBallads! compilations.

  1. Here I Go Again -- Whitesnake
  2. Total Eclipse of the Heart -- Bonnie Tyler
  3. Alone -- Heart
  4. China in Your Hand -- T'Pau
  5. Always -- Bon Jovi
  6. A Moment in a Million Years -- The Scorpions
  7. Cryin' -- Aerosmith
  8. Because the Night -- Patti Smith Group
  9. I'll Stand by You -- The Pretenders
  10. More Than a Feeling -- Boston


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