“Power Ballads Gold” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Power Ballands Gold”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 6/26/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

No matter how heavy they were able to be, some of Rocks best performers had their most memorable tunes in the power ballad. These songs would inspire you or even bring a tear to your eye and they definitely gave you something to hold your loved one close during as you stared deep into one another’s eyes. There were bands who excelled at this format such as Poison, Warrant and Cinderella and this release has their notable ballads present but this CD also offers a couple of twists to the listener. I felt the choice of “Lady” by Styx was not so much the ballad as was “Babe”, and the inclusion of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” isn’t a ballad whatsoever in my humble opinion. The prerequisite “Beth” by KISS is here but being so tired of the song after many years I would have preferred they chose “I Still Love You” or “Forever” (two of the bands best ballad numbers). Stryper has their “Honestly” given some play and many who knew rockers when the song was popular can admit to attending a Wedding or two where this was the couples first dance song. I did not understand the inclusion of Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity” as that is not much the ballad in the sense of the whole album here but I was very happy to see contributions by bands like Saigon Kick “Love Is On The Way” and Kix “Don’t Close Your Eyes”.

The sad fact is the Saigon Kick song lumped a very melodic and heavy band as a ballad band, and once pigeonholed as that type of group they lost a good amount of attention when no new ballad happened. Check them out sometime, its good stuff. The Kix track was not a typical ballad as much as a slow rock song, as they speak against giving up on life and giving in to the easy way out. It is heavy stuff to ponder indeed. There are also the expected songs by Skid Row, Whitesnake and L.A. Guns and not only will these jar your memories of 80’s hair band rock but they will also remind you of the videos that almost every one of these songs had. MTV put a lot of these groups on the map during the time of the songs release and the formula worked very well.

There is a nice booklet that goes over some of the bands present and their particular songs which makes for interesting reading and also allows me to close out this review on the statement that this is a worthwhile CD. It is good listen from top to bottom and given the amount of bands that performed these kinds of songs we can probably look forward to a volume 2 and 3 and etcetera. Now, where did I put those tissues – there seems to be something in my eye.

Band Listing:
1. Styx
2. Bad Company
3. Nazareth
4. KISS
5. Foreigner
6. Night Ranger
7. Boston
8. Europe
9. Whitesnake
10. Stryper
11. Great White
12. Kingdom Come
13. Cinderella
14. Poison
15. White Lion
16. Winger
17. Warrant
18. Kix
19. Bad English
20. Tesla
21. Skid Row
22. L.A. Guns
23. Slaughter
24. Damn Yankees
25. Queensryche
26. Extreme
27. Firehouse
28. Nelson
29. Saigon Kick
30. Meat Loaf

Official Website: www.umusic.com

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