They’re A Hard Habit To Break. Oh Yes They Are.

When Melanie and I were in Charlotte a few weeks ago, we somehow started talking about power ballads. Not ballads like kids listen to today where some four-note-range somebody sings the same two words over and over for sixteen measures – POWER BALLADS. Songs that physically hurt you when you tried to sing them while you were driving around in your parents’ 1988 Buick Skylark. Songs that contained notes beyond the range of most mortals, unless of course a pre-Bobby B. Whitney was the one doing the singing. Songs that were made all the better by the presence of Sheena Easton and/or Marilyn Martin. Come on.

Most of my favorite power ballads are duets, but as Melanie reminded me that day in Charlotte, there are some very fine power ballads by solo artists (yes, we mean you, Kenny Loggins). And while I’d like to think that there are singers in the current musical climate who could hang with the big voices of the 80s and 90s, I feel like they’re missing a certain earnest innocence that’s helpful when belting lyrics like “it’s a paradox / full of contradiction / how I got from there to here / it defies all logical explanation.”

Oh, Peter Cetera-era Chicago. You never disappointed. Not even one time.

So over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a good bit about my favorite power ballads. After all, we’re talking about our musical legacy, people – a heritage for our children and our children’s children. We need to remember and document these things so that people will be able to identify a power ballad written and arranged by the incomparable David Foster for generations to come, amen.

Here are my 10 favorites.

1) “Search Is Over” – Survivor – DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED about being 14 years old and Identifying Deeply with the lyrics to this song. Because even though I’d never been in love in my life, this song captured all the angst and drama that I hoped with all my heart would eventually be within my romantic reach. Good times.

2) “Something To Believe In” – Poison – I wasn’t typically a fan of the hair bands, but this song – OH, THIS SONG. It hit at just the right moment in my pseudo-intellectual phase. And on the off chance that you’re doubting my use of the word “pseudo,” then let me just remind you that it’s an entirely appropriate adjective because I was in fact a person WHO THOUGHT POISON LYRICS WERE VERY MEANINGFUL. I rest my case.

3) “To Be With You” – Mr. Big – At this point I was older and much more sophisticated. And this song was the second exception to my No Hair Bands rule. Granted, it’s a little more up-tempo, but that’s how I fancied myself at that stage in my life: very enthusiastic and with it and now. Delusion is a powerful thing.

4) “Separate Lives” – Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin – I think my affection for this song is best summed up in the following excerpt: “Oooh, it’s so typical / love leads to isolation / so you build that wall / yes, you build that wall / and you make it stronger / -er -er -er.” Thank you. Thank you so much.

5) “Forever” – Kenny Loggins – I’d forgotten about this song until Melanie reminded me of it. And may I just say? Ever since that Saturday afternoon when she reminded me? My life has been all the richer.

6) “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” – Chicago – I listened to the whole “America’s Top 40” with Casey Kasem on my GPX stereo system so that I could record this song on my cassette player whenever Casey played it on the countdown. After I listened to my recording about 92 times, I asked my mama to drive me to the record store so that I could buy the album. She did and I did. It was a defining musical moment.

7) “Can’t Fight This Feeling” – REO Speedwagon – Okay. So. The stuff that I wrote about the first song on my list? DITTO.

8) “Run To You” – Whitney Houston – If my 22 year-old self could’ve written a power ballad, this song would’ve been the end result. I loved this song so much that I wanted to sing it in a pageant. Preferably Miss Mississippi. But that never happened because 1) I’m not a very strong singer and 2) there is no pile of cash money big enough to get me to walk across a stage in a swimsuit.

9) “And When She Danced (Love Theme From Stealing Home)” – David Foster & Marilyn Martin – Listen. This song holds precious memories for me. David and I used to sing it all the time when we were just friends and would entertain ourselves by driving to neighboring towns and then driving back home again. And then – AND THEN – when we were in North Carolina last fall, we sang it all over again with our friends Travis and Angela while we rode down the highway in a minivan. It was like the completion of a 20-year musical circle. With the lovely Ms. Marilyn Martin as our guide.

10) “All By Myself” – Celine Dion – Let me tell you something: if someone googles “power ballad,” Celine’s picture and a recording of this song should be top result. It’s PERFECTION – and my favorite part is that in order to sing along, I have to HOLLER. Which makes my version of this song sound sort of like the horn on an 18-wheeler. It’s quite charming, really.

Okay. Those are mine. What are some of yours?

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  1. Kelly Kulich says:

    I don’t know how this missed your top ten, but Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Air Supply!

  2. I’m a fan of most of yours, but I would have to add Faithfully by journey – my favorite power ballad EVER. Oh and while I’m on my Journey kick – I’d add Open Arms also. Oh – and Against All Odds by Phil Collins. I could go on and on – I should probably stop now.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane – I’m going to iTunes now.

  3. and Almost Paradise (Heart, I think…)
    Glory of Love (of course it’s Peter Cetera)
    Somewhere Out There (Linda Ronstadt & …)
    and really, don’t we just need to say “Chicago’s Greatest Hits 1982-1989 and be done? i think we do.

  4. I’m horrible with the names of songs and who sings them, but if it was in the Breakfast Club or another John Hughes 80’s teen flick, chances are that I loved it. The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears . . . ah, yes. Oh how I loved the 80’s music! Still do! :)

  5. I don’t think it qualifies as a power ballad, but courtesy of Glee and my daughter’s marching band program, I am unable to get “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey out of my head. Nothing like spontaneously belting out the words “smokey room” and “cheap perfume” while walking through the supermarket.

  6. What a great list of songs I need to add to my i-pod. I remember hiding under my bed with 2 tape recorders taping my friend’s Chicago tape (yes, such music was BANNED in my baptist home!) It’s a bit later, but Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi. Of course, anything with Peter Cetera/Chicago. Almost Paradise and Up Where we belong by Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes.

  7. “Hello” by Lionel Richie. I heard this song for the first time in 1985 on the first date with my to-be husband. I took it as some sort of prophecy. I don’t know if it’s technically a power ballad, but to me it was VERY powerful.

    Also, anything by Air Supply totally messes me up! I bought that album as a Christmas gift for my first serious boyfriend. We had a big fight a few days before Christmas and broke up (we were always on and off). I was so upset that I didn’t give him the album but spent my entire Christmas vacation in my room crying, and listening to this album on my compact Sears stereo with a turntable on top. When I hear Air Supply now I have an urge to grab a box of Kleenex, a bag of mini-Snickers, and isolate myself in my bedroom.

  8. The girls I went to college with used to have EPIC singalongs to Celine’s “It’s All Comin’ Back to Me Now.” SO much angst.

    I for one am shocked that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is missing from your otherwise PERFECT list.

  9. You must add Foreigner…I Wanna Know What Love Is…I can still belt that one out. Off key of course but still.

  10. Okay, I am disheartened that you have something against hair bands. I could have an entire list of great hair band power ballads…and I will.
    1. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” Poison
    2. “Is This Love” Whitesnake
    3. “Heaven” Warrant
    4. “Sister Christian” Night Ranger
    5. “When I’m With You” Sheriff
    6. “Carrie” Europe
    7. “Fly to the Angels” Slaughter
    8. “Love Song” Tesla
    9. “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Til It’s Gone)” Cinderella
    10. “Miles Away” Winger

    Classics, all classics…

  11. My all time favorite? Glory of Love by Peter Ceteria from the Karate Kid 2 Soundtrack.

    I think it was because I always thought I’d marry Ralph Machio. *sigh*

  12. I LOVE Stealing Home. It is so good. I need to go watch it right now. If I just didn’t have to work today, I would be on the couch watching William McNamara – who was completely dreamy back in the day.

    Favorite ballads –
    Mr. Big, “To Be With You”(also my favorite karoake song but that is a whole nother post)
    Poison, “Every Rose As Its Thorn”
    Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin'”

    Pandora is not going to know what to do with me today.

  13. I am a Journey fan myself… umm, it’s in the cd player of my truck right now (my poor children).

    I’d have to add Bryan Adams “Everything I Do” to the list. I listened to that song on repeat for my entire 13th year of life…
    I’m pretty sure I wore that tape out, much to chagrin of my mother :)


  14. Oh nostalgia, how are you? Good to see you today.

    LOVE these songs! Poison is concert with Def Leppard tonight in, by the way. Like you really needed to know that. I don’t need to go. I’m perfectly content singing a karaoke version of Talk Dirty to Me to my husband.

    Chicago, Air Supply, Phil Collins, I could listen ALLL DAY!

  15. This may be my favorite discussion subject ever. And that is sad.
    1. The Glory of Love, Peter Cetera. (We made up a dance to that one.)
    2. The Next Time I Fall in Love, Peter Cetera and Amy Grant.
    3. When I See You Smile, Bad English
    4. I’ll Be There For You, Bon Jovi
    5. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson

    I could go on and on…but it just gets more and more embarrassing…

  16. Carrie in NYC says:

    First, I have to talk a little bit about “To Be With You” by Mr. Big. I VERY CLEARLY remember this song when it came out. It must have been 1991, and I will refrain from saying what grade I was in because I know I’m young, but I had a situation with two boys that was so perfectly described in these lyrics that it became OUR SONG, well at least my song. And I remember dancing to it (at my first boy/girl party, no less) with the new boy who had been “waiting on a line of greens and blues just to be the next to be with you” — well, with me. AMAZING.

    I am shocked that no one has mentioned Richard Marx on here yet! “Right Here Waiting,” “Hold On to the Nights,” and “Now and Forever” were all amazing and SO FULL OF MEANING. Ha.

    Others that need to be mentioned:

    Eternal Flame, Bangles
    Africa, Toto (recent addition to my iTunes)
    When I See You Smile, Bad English
    Broken Wings, Mr. Mister

    Oh, and I have to put it out there — “Everything I Do, I Do for You.” Again, same era as the Mr. Big song. Bryan Adams just knew what was in my heart and sang it right on the Robin Hood soundtrack.

  17. It’s so funny that you bring this up. My hubby and I just digitized our entire CD collection, so I have been listening to all our old music.

    My hands down favorite… “Faithfully,” by Journey. Best power ballad ever.

  18. Anything Old Chicago

    We performed #7 in high school band. You never saw a girl twirl a flag and dance with such passion.

  19. I must say that Power Ballad and Hair Band are synonymous terms. Without the hair, bad boys and screaming guitar, it’s just a ballad. :-)

  20. How can you include “Search Is Over” and not include the greatest song of all time “Open Arms”? It’s even better now that Journey has the strange Filipino sound-alike singing it.

  21. Air Supply
    Air Supply
    Air Supply

    Need I say more?

  22. Yes, ma’am, they ARE a hard habit to break! My favorite of all time is “Faithfully” by Journey. LOVE. IT. So much!

    I also have a soft spot for “I Can’t Fight This Feeling.” It said everything I felt after one fateful trip to the renaissance fair, when a certain boy let me wear his coat. Oh, the memories.

    (Please, please do not ask me if I ever actually went on a date with that boy. The good memories only go as far as the fair and the REO.)

  23. Hmmm…going to have to get out the Chicago’s Greatest Hits later today to get it out of my head now!

  24. Great List!
    I would also add:
    Eternal Flame by the Bangles
    Faithfully by Journey
    Anything, and I do mean anything, by Chicago.

  25. Wow. Perfect timing on your question. Last night I found a whole box of cassette tapes. In my attempt to get organized I started listening to them to see what I could toss out. Most of them were mix tapes recorded from the radio from 1994-1997. I belted out Whitney’s I have nothing. The cat came over to see if I was dying. My 2 year old repeated my hand motions as she pretended to sing along. It was a great time.

  26. Right there with you. I used to sing LOUD to those tunes & I even liked Michael McDonald & I think I even went to an Anita Baker/Luther Vandross concert when we lived in Detroit & I was about 10.
    I was also into Taylor Dayne, but I’m thinking that was more 90’s.

    i. love. your. blog.

  27. Definitely need Journey’s “Faithfully”, hair band lover or no :)

    And Whitney’s “Greatest Love of All” is etched into the soundtrack of my memories of that time – the right-before-you-turn-teenager time. Lord I hope I never have hair like that again …

  28. How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?

  29. “To Be With You” – Mr. Big. Wowzers. I had TOTALLY forgotten about that song and now my children will thank you sometime next week for me singing it to them at bed time.

    SO LONG JESUS LOVES ME! Welcome Mr. Big.

    I didn’t read the other comments before me, mostly b/c I’m afraid my brain would take a time travel trip back to 1990, but I gotta say that anything Debbie Gibson would be on my list. This comment will now get lengthy, but who cares? (Besides you maybe.)

    I remember sitting outside of “Cato’s Fashions” back when Cato’s was the most fashionable store around, in my grandmother’s 1988 Electric Blue Ford Mustang, watching my Mom & Grandmother shop while I listened to and then promptly rewinded “Lost in Your Eyes” 7,398 times. I remember it like it was yesterday, which is saying something b/c I can’t really remember what I ate for dinner last night.

    So there you go. The short answer to your question: Debbie Gibson songs. I heart them.

  30. Oh. My. Lanta. I forgot the Bangles!

    Holy Sweet Cookies. My day is so totally shot now. TOTALLY.

  31. Some others that I don’t think have been mentioned:
    Don’t Want to Miss a Thing- Aerosmith
    I’ll Be There for You- Bon Jovi
    Missing You- John Waite
    Amanda- Boston
    Only Time will Tell-Asia
    Babe- Styx (along with many others)
    Un-break my Heart- Toni Braxton
    Vision of Love- Mariah Carey

  32. Anything by Air Supply with work for me. I also love Alone by Heart.

  33. Anything by Chicago. But especially “Glory of Love”.

    And Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” I can’t listen to this song and 1) not sing along and 2) get my arms down by my side.

    Oh, and totally agree with bpinks’ suggestion of Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There For You.”

  34. That’s it. I’m digging out my “Monster Ballads” cds right this very moment. While I dig out my school yearbooks, a box of Kleenex, and a bag of chocolate.

    Ready for a musical treat?!

    You’re welcome! ;)

  35. We have a 2-disc collection of 80’s & 90’s Power Ballads. The last time I looked for it, it seemed to have gone missing. I think Hubs has it at work, but he denies it.

  36. I can’t believe you mentioned the movie, “Stealing Home.” My friend Jen and I have watched it waayy too many times. And we LOVE that song. None of our other friends have heard of it.

  37. Air Supply and Chicago – espcially the greatest hits album.

    “I Will Be Your Man” is that the name of it? – my hubby proposed using that song.

  38. Don’t think I’m loose or anything, but I do like me some “Alone” by Heart. Not the message, just the way ole Ann and Nancy Wail on that Business.

    I also knew this kid who went to my college. He was a tad bit dramatic. in fact, he blared “All Out of Love” by Air Supply as he burned his ex-girlfriend’s things.
    When I heard that, it officially ended my love of Air Supply.

  39. I like the list and a lot of the additions in these comments… especially Gina’s.

    Two more I don’t think have been mentioned:
    “Angel” by Aerosmith
    “Without You” by Motley Crue

    I think I need to go buy that Monster Ballads collection!

  40. Hmmm…the power ballad. It’s so hard for me to compile a list of favorite ballads and not include Karen Carpenter. But I’m not sure her alto voice could be put in the same category as some of these:

    1. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi – I still turn the volume up way too loud at the key change!

    2. Pamela – Toto – I sometimes forget about Toto, but they had some great songs.

    3. Lights – Journey – I just want to go get a bic lighter everytime this song plays.

    4. Oh Sherrie – Steve Perry – Steve had THE BEST range EVER!

    5. Is This Love – Whitesnake – Can you tell I’m an 80’s girl??

    6. I Would Do Anything for Love – Meat Loaf – does anyone know what he meant when he said “but I won’t do that?” I do.

    7. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner – loved me some Foreigner

    8. The Power of Love – Laura Brannigan – if you do not remember this and wonder if it qualifies, go to and give it a listen! It qualifies, people.

    9. The Search is Over – Survivor – I’m sure this has been mentioned over and over, but you can’t deny its most excellent power-ballad-nicity! :)

    10. Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler – this woman comes out with with a power ballad every decade. Isn’t it about time for a new release from her??? All I remember is that creepy video for this song with the people and their alien blue eyes, but everytime you turned on the radio this was playing!

    I could really come up with many, many more but those would have to be some of the most memorable for me.

    Oh and here is a bonus that is actually not an 80’s song:

    11. It’s All Coming Back to Me Now – Celine Dion. One of my favorites of her’s.

    This was fun!


  41. Firehouse-Love of a Lifetime, anyone?
    I almost gave my mom a heart attack when I insisted she listen to this and then proceeded to tell her that song was totally going to be played at my wedding. Sweet mom that she is, she just said that would be great. She knew my 23 year old self would overrule my 13 year old self.

  42. The movie Stealing Home just OWNS me when that song begins. I still have that casette somewhere around here, and I have the DVD. Just love it.

    How about also:
    Heaven (Bryan Adams)
    Glory of Love (Peter Cetera)
    Faithfully (Journey)
    Angel Eyes (remember? No clue what the guy’s name is, but I’m thinking he was blind?? anyone know?)

    I could go on and on… definitely a favorite music genre of mine. Thanks for the memories!

  43. Several of yours I love. I still love 80’s music especially the hair bands (and especially Bret Michaels of Poison saw him finally in concert a couple months ago- it was a dream come true. And yes I am in my 30’s.) Anyway, Meatloaf-Anything for Love, Bon Jovi- I’ll be there for you, Patrick Swayze-She’s like the Wind, Randy Travis- I told you so. Just to name a few.

  44. Okay, so I know this is my THIRD comment. I promise I’m not stalker-ish. Anyhoots, I had time to go back & read the other comments.

    Can I just say?:

    1) Open Arms was “THE song” for a friend of mine and her boyfriend and I was SO FRIGGIN’ jealous.

    2) I forgot how much I adored Bryan Adams.

    3) I wish I had Netflix so I could order me some Karate Kid. Maybe I’ll just download the soundtrack on iTunes.

    4) I’m clearly your hugest fan since I’ve only commented on your love for Bojangles and (now 3 times) on your love for 80’s & 90’s music. I think secretly we were twins separated at birth. Or not.

  45. Oh, #7, such memories. :) REO Speedwagon was from my home state, so they were BIG on the radio locally. I can sing along to oh so many of their songs…and when I do my daughter laughs and mocks me! She has the nerve to think their songs are “cheesy” because every line rhymes.

    Well…yah! At least the lyrics make sense…none of this “Roman cavalry choirs were singing…” business. :)

    But my favorite ballads are all by Journey. Bless Steve Perry and his incredible octaves and his skinny little butt and his pouffy mulleted hair…

  46. Ok, so I didn’t know those songs, BUT- your descriptions were hilarious! And that explanation for #10? Had me laughing out loud. For a LONG time! :-)

  47. Oh gosh – I echo what everyone else has said, but I’ll have to add two more:

    Take My Breath Away – from the Top Gun soundtrack…

    I’ve Had the Time of My Life – from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack….I loved every song on that tape.

  48. Holly,

    Jeff Healey was the one who sang Angel Eyes! (actually, it was “The Jeff Healey Band”…) And if y’all like Bluegrass, have you ever heard that rendition from New Grass Revival?! It’s lovely. If you like that kind of thing!

  49. Oh how you’ve helped bring back some GREAT memories. Thanks so much for a ‘look back in time’!
    Loved “New Orleans Lady”…Louisiana LaRue (sp?)
    And “Long and Winding Road”…Paul McCartney and Wings
    Will stop at that (for now) but this will definitely be ‘on the brain’ the remainder of the day (:)).
    Blessings today and always,

  50. The Divine Miss M! She defines power ballads. The Rose, Wind Beneath My Wings, God is Watching Us. Bette can flat out bring it!

  51. I was with you till we got to Celine!

    Air Supply and REO Speedwagon would need to be in there somewhere too.

  52. Love your blog! I love “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, by Van Halen and of course there has to be a Chicago favorite and mine is “You’re the Inspiration”.

    These are some greats in an era of great music!

  53. What? No Michael Bolton? He could turn “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” into a power-ballad!

    “Your Love” by The Outfield! What 13 year old girl didn’t sing the lyrics “I don’t wanna lose your love to-niiight” while at home on Friday night after watching
    “Friday Night Videos” with hunky John Stamos. What? Was that just me?!

    And as others have said, you can’t forget Journey! “Faithfully”, “Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin'” – you know, the songs my kid hears on her uncle’s iPod and says “Hey Mama that’s the song from ‘Bedtime Stories'”! Gah!

    The good news is, that so long as guys our age are the ones making movies, our music will never die!

  54. When I read the intro, I thought “Can’t fight this feeling anymore” had to be on the list. Thank you, BooMama, for not letting me down.

  55. Oh, my gosh! I’m swept back to school dances, clinging to that certain boy out on the floor, hoping and dreaming he was feeling what I was as Chicago sang out, “I am a man who will fight for your honor…”

    Or after a break-up, hurting and yearning to “Every rose has it’s thorn… just like every night has it’s dawn…”

    But, I do have to bring something into the comments. You may not like me for it.

    Garth Brooks. The Dance. I still get chills.

  56. “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” by Poison.
    “We Belong” by Pat Benatar.
    “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar.
    Or pretty much anything by Pat Benatar.

    And I have a sad confession to make: I still can’t tell the difference between Air Supply, Journey, Chicago, or REO Speedwagon.

    I know. It’s sad. But to me those bands are all clumped together under “angsty power ballad bands” and they sound so darn similar.

  57. Leah Anderson says:

    Stealing Home….the whole soundtrack takes me back to 1980something. LOVE IT!!!!

  58. Oh my goodness, I do believe I need to make a visit to the iTunes! We must totally have grown up in the same era because every one of those songs speaks to me too! I do not hear them nearly enough in my 2009 life, hence the need for the iTunes visit! Thanks for taking me back!

    P.S. Someone already suggested it, but you have to add “Sister Christian” to your list! And Air Supply, please add Air Supply!

  59. ohhhhhhhh, yes! great topic i haven’t read the comments yet because I don’t want to be tainted by the opinions of others.

    Top Three for me:

    1) Every Rose Has Its Thorn (poison)
    2) Sweet Child of Mine (Guns and Roses)
    3) I Drove All Night (Celine)

    sooooo many good ones though. i think i’ll be firing up the ol’ i tunes now.

  60. I am suddenly back in 8th grade singing Air Supply with my friend who is crying her eyes out over her boyfriend.

  61. Steve Perry sang just for me. Didn’t all you people KNOW that. It’s true. He wrote an entire song with ME as the subject. Or. not.

    Faithfully, hands down.

    With honorable mentions going to:
    I Want to Know What Love Is
    Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

  62. Love all of these!

  63. OK Boo. You inspired me to write about this topic because I love me a good POwer Ballad as much you. Maybe more. (gasp.) :) Hope you don’t mind I linked to ya, too. Can I just say that finding someone who knows the Love Theme to Stealing Home was like finding someone with the other half of my broken heart necklace. You are my musical BFF.

  64. I don’t think I can disagree with a single song on here. Did anyone mention “I’ll be over you” by Toto? Perfect song. I just pulled up iTunes to listen to the Stealing Home soundtrack–I had totally forgotten about that movie. As I was playing “And When She Danced”, my four year old came up and asked me to turn it off and “play a better song.” OH! I can’t believe he said that. How could my very own son not understand the goodness that is David Foster? Well, I guess I have my homeschool music curriculum set for this year!

  65. Cindy Mc says:

    I have to add “Wasted Time” by the Eagles. Really, how could you get through a break-up without it?
    Anything by Journey
    The whole sound track to St. Elmos Fire

  66. Could possibly be anything by Journey which my son is a big fan of now. My alltime favorite duet? You’r The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly. Priceless but still real and romantic. First country duet ever done on video.

  67. I love this! I’ve had a hard day – to be reminded of these fun songs has cheered me up. Thanks!

  68. “Carry On Wayward Son” Kansas
    “Living on a Prayer” Bon Jovi

    By the way: I loved Air Supply through many decades,but I saw them in concert about a year ago. The years are not a friend to older men in spandex. Knocks some of the power right out of those ballads.

  69. I’m so glad you included To Be With You. It took me years to decipher, “Waiting on a line of greens and blues- {background}: Waaaatin’ on the li-he-yi-yine”. I still have no ever lovin’ idea what it means, but you made me need to google it.
    Thank you.

  70. Well…I do believe you’ve summed things up quite well. Honestly, most anything that involved Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Air Supply or Journey was solid gold in my book. Peter Cetera was just magical.

    I don’t really think these qualify as Power Ballads per se, but Lionel Richie’s “Stuck on You” and Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero” could have knocked me right out of my rolled jeans!! I drove for hours in my 1980 Mustang (the ugly years as far as Mustangs go..) listening to both of these songs. I proudly display both on my iPod now to pay homage to the glorious decade of the 80’s. Lionel got me through some hard times. Oh, yes.

    And we would all be remiss if we didn’t mention one Mr. Phil Collins and “Against All Odd’s”. And raise your hand if you did and air drum solo on your steering wheel to “In the Air Tonight”!! Oh yes. I did.

  71. I can’t handle “To Be With You.” It’s the line “just to be the next to be with you.”

    It’s always reeked of the-girl-every-boy-loved-and-every-other-girl-talked-about, if you know what I mean.

    Sort of like, “okay, boys, get in line….now, who’s next?”

    Maybe I need to stop over-analyzing songs…

  72. Bliss. SHEER BLISS. I will be back for an 80s tunes listen-a-thon, just makin’ my way through the songs.

  73. How about…

    “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by KIX
    “More Than Words” by Extreme
    “I Remember You” by Skid Row
    “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue

    What can I say… I was a rocker :)

  74. Well gosh, I was thinking of power ballads I loved while reading the comments and then someone mentioned … “digitizing their entire CD collection”.

    And now I will spend the rest of the day wondering what that is and if I am supposed to do it and realizing that just because I finally learned how to upload my digital pictures to the computer doesn’t make me very cutting edge.

  75. “The Flame”–Cheap Trick

  76. I can’t believe no one has mentioned “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. 80’s Gold Perfection!

  77. I just can’t get over the memory of waiting for songs to play on the radio so that i can press record on my tape player! I truly think our children are missing out.

  78. What about “More Than Words,” by Extreme? To this day, if that song comes on the radio, I MUST sing along. Even if it means staying in the car after I’ve reached my destination.

  79. Journey, Journey, Journey. We had a fake karaoke Journey party one night in my early 20’s, did the whole JOurney’s Greatest Hits. “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” & my personal all time favorite “Oh, Sherry.” I wail on that one, literally that’s what it sounds like to everyone else, wailing or caterwalling maybe…

  80. Ok, #10… the holler, the horn… Too crazy! It’s why your readers love you so much.

  81. This is an awesome list!!! I completely agree!!

  82. Oh, I forgot to add: Bryan Adams, Everything I Do I Do It For You. haha :)

  83. Chicago’s Greatest Hits 1982-1989 is in my car CD player as we speak! It’s amazing how I can listen to the same songs over and over and never get tired of them! They just don’t make music like that anymore….

  84. Anita Jo says:

    Great list!

    How about “Hands to Heaven” by Breathe? Maybe not so much power, but what a ballad! This was my most swoony, melancholic, favorite song ever in high school.

    And, just to round it out, “Love Bites” by Def Leppard. Maybe more power than ballad, but very cathartic to belt out at times when things weren’t going so well in the romance department…which, let’s face it, was pretty much the entire ’80s for me.

  85. Sally Green says:

    LOVE THEM! But what does it say that NOW we sing these songs at the top of our lungs in a Minivan/SUV as opposed to when we were “slightly” younger and singing in some cute car (for me Datsun 510 so maybe not a cute:) car)
    You can’t forget Journey!!!!
    Now I must go cook dinner while singing “I can’t fight this feeling” and my kids wondering what has happened to their mother or rather what exactly is their mother cooking? Thanks!:)

  86. Walker has been wanting me to do a post on how if you listen closely to some of those old 70s and 80s songs, the lyrics are so incredibly dirty, it’ll make you blush. Never knew it.

  87. Helllooooo???? I love almost EVERYTHING mentioned here, but seriously…no one mentioned Best Of My Love…The Eagles!!
    I actually could compile a list of a couple of hundred songs for my ‘favorites’ list…oh wait, I already have…it’s called an ipod.

    Oh, here is a newer one…sort of…The Gift…Susan Ashton and Colin Ray with Jim Brickman. Ahhh…sweetness

  88. Jennifer says:

    My friend and your friend, Jamie, used the lyrics to Almost Paradise by Heart in an English class in high school …

    It seems like perfect love’s so hard to find.
    I’d almost given up, you must’ve read my mind.
    And all these dreams I saved for a rainy day,
    They’re finally coming true.

    I’ll share them all with you.

    I laugh so hard every time I think about it.

  89. You know, a couple of these I actually did not know.

    But I am surprised you left off Total Eclipse of the Heart. Me & Trevor Garb’s song. Either grade. Oh, how I wept.

  90. i meant eighth grade

  91. Don’t stop believing…Journey!

  92. Lyiiing beside you
    Here iiiiiiin the dark
    Feeling your heart beat with mine.
    Softly, you whisper
    You’re sooooo sincere
    “How could our love be soooooo bli-ind?”

    Sing it with me now, Sophie:

    So now I coooooooooooome to yooooooooou
    With oooooooooopen a-aaarms
    Nothing to hide
    Believe what I say
    So heeeeeeeeere Iyam
    With oooooooopen a-arms
    Hoping you’ll see-ee
    Whatcher love means to mee-ee
    Open arms.

    Aaah. Not quite the same without my purple legwarmers and a pair of roller skates, but still gets my heart goin’ thumpity thump.


  93. Mina Smolinski says:

    “More Than Words” by Extreme is still my absolute FAVORITE, and any time I hear it I HAVE to sing along. Love your list…totally takes me back!

  94. “Almost Paradise” is not a Heart song; Ann Wilson wrote and sang it, but it’s not Heart.
    But I ‘fess that this is a top ballad. This one makes me cry.

  95. More than Words, Extreme

    Its a must on any list of this sort in my book.