The 12 Best Power Ballads of the '80s

Get out your lighters!

March 23, 2020

Close your eyes. It’s the mid to late ‘80s. Pick a multi-purpose arena that doesn’t exist anymore. Put yourself in the middle of 15,000 sweaty hard rock fans in ripped jeans. Smell the hairspray. The lights go down, the music slows down, and the lighters go up.

The stage is set for your favorite band to take their collective foot off the gas to sing about love. Either how they found it, lost it, or are still searching for it.
It’s time for their most recent power ballad, which is probably on the radio and MTV once an hour while climbing all the music charts.

Hard rock bands slowing it down was not new – see Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven – but in the ‘80s it became the road to almost guaranteed success. All you needed was a singer who could hit the high notes on the emotional ballad he just penned and a lead guitar player who could keep it “rock.”

Not all power ballads are about love, of course. Life on the road, a departed friend and a family member all provided inspiration for some of the songs that make up our list of Top 12 Power Ballads of the ‘80s. Check out the countdown below.

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