Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time

Script Written by Q.V. Hough. Hold up those lighters, Mojoholics. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time. For this list, we’re focusing on rock songs that conjure up intense emotion deep within the soul for listeners and musicians alike. Special thanks to our users Godslayer79, Lars Mikalsen, Jacoangel, OldSchool is the Bes, wearethefallenmusic, Gilbert Naguit Catorce, robocopcadena, Philip Folta, Andrew Warren, Taylor Pechter, blockjok, Jessica Suling Ortiz and LadyCPlum for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time

Hold up those lighters, Mojoholics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time.

For this list, we’re focusing on rock songs that conjure up intense emotion deep within the soul for listeners and musicians alike.

#10: “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” (1993)
Meat Loaf


Ok, let’s be clear: not all power ballads require an epic music video to become legendary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. For this 1993 hit, Meat Loaf actually recorded a 12-minute album version of the song, in which he passionately, and perhaps obsessively, details out his crippling loneliness, a fondness for both fire and ice, and of course, his fair set of standards for love. From the opening piano to the intense final act, this song would be absolutely nothing without the wrenching vocals of the man known as Meat Loaf.

#9: “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” (1981)
Def Leppard


Produced by Shania Twain’s ex Mutt Lange, this monster ballad is notable for its powerhouse music video released during the early days of MTV. In other words, lovers suffering from the horrors of heartbreak could not only listen to a mildly depressing jam, but also see their pain come to life though the oddly shaped guitars of Def Leppard and their power mullets. This chorus was specifically designed to make listeners sport their most badass leather jacket, smoke a Marlboro Red and embrace their passing pain. This all coming from the band that also taught us that “Love Bites”.

#8: “November Rain” (1992)
Guns N’ Roses


You know it’s about to get real when Axl Rose steps away from the mic stand and cues the orchestra. It’s time for an agonizing power ballad that will gently rip away at your soul and make you sort through old photos of your ex. Let’s face it: “November Rain” wasn’t created for couples enjoying a picnic at the local park. It’s for recently broken-up lovers to lip-synch into the mirror with the passing chance that a cold winter romance could blossom into something more. At almost nine minutes in length, GNR had early nineties rock fans bawling their eyes out to this emotional epic.

#7: “Love Hurts” (1974)
Nazareth


While “love” itself is an objective concept, most people do agree that love can, in fact, hurt. While older Mojoholics may remember the original 1960 rendition of “Love Hurts” by The Everly Brothers, it was a mid-seventies release by the Scottish group Nazareth that turned the classic song into an even more classic power ballad. With several changed lyrics that make the song a little hotter, the song went number one in multiple countries including Canada, Belgium and Norway.

#6: “Bed of Roses” (1993)
Bon Jovi


Anyone who doubts Bon Jovi as a frontman has not listened to the emotional power ballad that is “Bed of Roses”. It’s not everyday that you’ll hear a man admitting to a French Kiss with the morning, but in “Bed of Roses,” Bon Jovi not only gave us surrealistic imagery but also a music video featuring Richie Sambora on a mountain top, which is indeed closely associated with the song. Consisting of lyrics about booze, holy ghosts and a bed of roses, this song was created with all the passionate lovers in mind.

#5: “Home Sweet Home” (1985)
Mötley Crüe


It’s no secret that Mötley Crüe consumed a heavy amount of hard drugs and alcohol, but they were also passionate storytellers, with “Home Sweet Home” as their most poetic example. Through contrasting themes like “high” and “low,” along with “right” and wrong,” Mötley Crüe showcased their ability to demonstrate the long and winding road of life. Even if their home was a tiny studio off Sunset Boulevard, this power ballad struck a chord with listeners and became one of the definitive videos of the MTV generation.

#4: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (1988)
Poison


While some of the entries on our list are best listened to AFTER a break-up, this one is best enjoyed during the MAKE-up. Acoustic guitar. Classic '80s guitar solo. Existential lyrics about an unknown DJ. What’s not to like? In a time when rock stars and their fans were straight up getting buckwild on a nightly basis, Poison dropped this power ballad and essentially offered everybody a time out from the madness.

#3: “Still Loving You” (1984)
Scorpions


You want a heavy dose of power ballad drama, you say? Well, here it is. Behold: heavy opening whispers…followed by a killer riff. Yes, this Scorpions classic contains an ebb and flow of power ballad emotion, as the lyrics touch on the concept of building a psychological wall, only to tear the sucker down with unconditional love. “Still Loving You” takes us on a journey over six stirring minutes, as lead singer Klaus Meine delivers vocals filled with anxiety, pain and unhealthy obsession.

#2: “I Want to Know What Love Is”
Foreigner (1984)


Well, here’s a heavy burden to bear for any would-be lover, since it’s one thing to ponder the idea of love, and another to want someone to show you actual love. Ok, you get the idea of this Foreigner hit, well, because it’s all in the title. “I Want to Know What Love Is” came at a crucial moment in music history, as music videos allowed musicians another medium to express their utter confusion in regard to romance, and thus channel their energy to a world of equally troubled listeners.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Is This Love” (1987)
Whitesnake

“Open Arms” (1982)
Journey

“I’ll Stand By You” (1994)
The Pretenders

“Heaven” (1985)
Bryan Adams

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (1998)
Aerosmith


#1: “Alone” (1987)
Heart


Well, the moment has come, and here is the quintessential example of a classic power ballad. It’s not our #1 because the title references a universal feeling that everyone can relate to, or even that the band’s name is “Heart,” it’s because of the deeply unsettling lyrics about an individual completely wrapped up in love. Oh, and it’s also because of the irresistible chorus that has inspired countless karaoke renditions around the globe. The lyrics of “Alone” allow listeners to long for their potential lovers, and it’s the perfect companion piece to Heart’s equally potent single “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You.”

So, do you agree with our selections? Who is your favorite power ballad of all time? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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