Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 7

This week marks the seventh and final installment of my Essential Power Ballads series, at least as far as the classic songs are concerned. Next Tuesday, a bonus edition will be posted with some more modern power ballads!

Boston- “Amanda”

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The first track off of the band’s third album, the aptly-titled Third Stage, “Amanda” eventually became Boston’s highest-charting single in the United States. The band’s lead singer, the inimitable Brad Delp (who committed suicide in a bizarre fashion in 2007) passionately sings about telling the song’s namesake for the first time that he loves her. He relates in no uncertain terms what a nerve-wracking challenge that is for most men, so hopefully she returned the sentiment. The song also features a wailing solo from guitar genius Tom Scholz, who along with Delp’s vocals, provides much of the band’s signature sound. Continue reading

Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 5

Volume 5 of this continuing series on the tear-jerking rock songs you need in your life is here!

Aerosmith– “Angel”

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Kicking off with a cascade of sound from the legendary Joe Perry’s guitar and Joey Kramer on the drums, this huge hit from Aerosmith’s 1987 album Permanent Vacation features impassioned vocals from frontman Steven Tyler, and an all-around emotional sonic landscape that you’d expect from any great power ballad. Seriously, you’re going to want to listen to the opening of the song over and over again. The 80’s rock music scene was obsessed with keyboards, and in this song, the band used the instrument to synthesize violin music.  Continue reading

Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of my guide to essential power ballads!

Journey– “Faithfully”

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Let’s just all agree that there has never been a voice out there quite like that of Steve Perry…except for that of Journey’s current lead singer, Arnel Pineda, who sounds EXACTLY LIKE HIM. Anyway, this beautiful power ballad slowly builds to a big finale as Perry ponders his life as a touring musician, but makes a vow of faithfulness to his significant other. Undoubtedly my favorite Journey song.  Continue reading

Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 3

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!

Europe- “Carrie”

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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.  Continue reading

Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 1

Since I love 80’s music, and since I’m also a huge sap, I have decided to start a series for like-minded readers of The No Seatbelt Blog. Welcome to my guide to essential power ballads! Each volume will feature five tearjerkers that are loaded with lyrics of love and heartbreak, loud choruses and louder guitars. If you’re a fan of those songs from the 80’s (and a few stragglers from the first couple years of the 90’s) that made you pull out your lighter (or cell phone, nowadays) and sway while you sing along at the top of your lungs, take a trip down memory lane with me. Volume 1 of Essential Power Ballads begins now… Continue reading

Book Review: Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life In Rock by Stephen Pearcy

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Everybody has heard about the excess and debauchery for which the 80’s were known, myself included, but never before have I seen it presented in such gritty, shocking, and honest detail. Stephen Pearcy, the former lead singer of the hair metal giants Ratt, puts forth his memoir, Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life In Rock, which chronicles the span of his life thus far. He tells of everything from his humble beginnings in Southern California, to dealing with an abusive, drug-addicted father, to developing his love for music, to the drive and persistence that led him to build a band that nearly took over the world, to spiraling downward into his own addiction, and beyond. Anyone who lived through the 80’s, or is a fan of the rock music of the time, is undoubtedly aware of the wanton sex and drug use that went on within the scene’s biggest bands, and Stephen Pearcy is here to tell you that every last bit of it is true.

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