You only hear them nowadays on late-night compilation commercials or as Muzak at the dentist’s office or at inebriated karaoke nights. Most of them are coated in a thick layer of Velveeta cheese and full of single entendres and metaphors so simple a three year old could have written them. But you know you love them. How can you not? Those “manly” hair bands slowing it down and showing a more sensitive side and often coming up with some of their catchiest and most-career defining hits. From Poison to Journey to Def Leppard, going the route of the power ballad was an absolute given in the 1980s if you were in a hard rock band. And yes, we do take responsibility for keeping these songs popular and the artist’s careers alive. We’ve even employed some of them! But it’s all out of love, just like the songs themselves. Here’s 10 Power Ballads We Just Can’t Stop Loving. And you can’t either. Admit it.
Poison “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
The Bret Michaels-penned balled was apparently written after he called his girlfriend and heard another man’s voice in the background.
Def Leppard “Love Bites”
Despite selling millions of records, this song from the English band’s smash Hysteria album is their only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 to date.
Whitesnake “Is This Love”
The band features one of rock’s greatest voices, David Coverdale, but is perhaps most popular for their videos featuring his then-girlfriend, the red-hot Tawny Kitaen.
White Lion “When The Children Cry”
Not all power ballads are about love. This band had one of their biggest hits with this song, which featured an anti-war message.
Bon Jovi “I’ll Be There For You”
This love song was one of the many hits from these 80s glam-metal titans who are still going strong.
Skid Row “I Remember You”
The New Jersey metal band and Bon Jovi protégés’ hit was featured everywhere and was even the #1 prom song in America in 1990.
The song was Warrant’s most commercially-successful single, appearing in TV shows, commercials, and lives on in the hair metal musical Rock of Ages.
Cinderella “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”
A princess-friendly name and tons of hairspray unfairly got these working class PA rockers thrown into the hair metal milieu though this sappy power ballad didn’t help their case.
Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’”
This inspirational anthem has seen a huge resurgence as of late, appearing as part of political campaigns, pro sports montages as well as every karaoke bar across America, making it the best selling rock song in digital history.
Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
Much to their distress, this song was the band’s biggest hit by far and was written and sung by drummer Kelly Keagy about his younger sister Christy when he was struck by how fast she was growing up.