Welcome back, once again, for a new crop of sappy rockers that you must get into your ears and hearts! Essential Power Ballads, Volume 3 is here!
Swedish rockers Europe, the same guys who brought you the infinitely cheesy, space-themed “The Final Countdown”, offered up this by-the-numbers power ballad from the same wildly-successful album. Subdued verses, keyboards, big choruses, guitar solo. It’s all there.
Cinderella- “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”
Perhaps the one Cinderella song that EVERYONE knows, this piano-driven number is the quintessential 80’s power ballad. Lead singerTom Keifer’s awesomely raspy and unmistakable vocals lead him through his quest to figure out what went wrong in a failed relationship. A wholly relatable song. The album from which it came, Long Cold Winter is thoroughly amazing. A must-have for any fan of the band, or anyone who wants to be.
Ratt- “Givin’ Yourself Away”
This is the one and only power ballad from Ratt’s entire catalog, which was otherwise made up of short, brash metal songs that enabled them to take over the Sunset Strip, and eventually the world back in the 80’s. “Givin’ Yourself Away”, led by Stephen Pearcy’s gravelly, alcohol and nicotine-tinged vocals, came off the band’s 1990 effort Detonator. With awesome guitar work by Warren DeMartini, huge choruses, and keyboards (!), this tune has it all. Great song, and my absolute favorite from the group.
Winger- “Miles Away”
Winger was more than just the band on Stewart’s t-shirt on Beavis and Butt-head, whose music videos were mercilessly mocked by the idiotic, couch-riding title characters of the show. Led by Kip Winger, a former member of Alice Cooper’s band, the group made quite a name for themselves in the 80’s with monster hits such as “Seventeen” and “Headed For a Heartbreak”. In “Miles Away”, one of the band’s biggest hits, Winger lyrically bemoans the ease with which distance can destroy a relationship.
Mr. Big- “Just Take My Heart”
The catalog of Mr. Big consists mostly of fast-paced rockers due to the fact that legendary guitarist Paul Gilbert and equally famed bassist Billy Sheehan were in the band, and their lightning-fast playing styles could barely be contained. Lead singer Eric Martin’s voice was built for such a style, raspy and powerful, but on the occasion where the band slowed things down, his vocals were downright angelic. Martin croons about the end of a relationship, tries to figure out what happened, and releases his heart to his former flame when she goes, because well, he just doesn’t need it anymore.
If you’re keeping up with the series, I hope you’re enjoying it! If it’s bringing back memories from an awesome musical era, or introducing you to great songs you’ve never heard before, then I’m doing my job here. Volume 4 comes next week!