Modern singers such as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry give the love song genre a pretty good try, but some would say the power ballad reached its zenith in the 1980s and 1990s, often in gloriously bad-tasted style. So where better to turn for 10 awesome retro songs that would perfectly accompany your walk down the aisle?.
If it’s good enough for Scott and Charlene on Neighbours then it’s good enough for us. Angry Anderson’s classic has well and truly stood the test of time, even if the wedding fashion hasn’t. And, of course, we couldn’t touch on Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan without throwing in their own contribution to lyrical love – the stunning duet Especially For You.
I’ll be Loving You Forever
Long before One Direction there was New Kids On The Block, who won hearts worldwide with cleancut charm plus obligatory bad boy Donnie – brother of Mark – Wahlberg. Like many bands from the era, they have discovered reunion tours and, we have to stay, this song still stirs the heart as much as it once did.
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Once up on a time this song was No. 1 for what seemed like three years straight. Part of the soundtrack for the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which has long dropped from the spotlight, Bryan Adams apparently wrote it in less than an hour – but could live on the royalties until something like 3017.
All I Wanna Do
The video clip has some of the most glorious ‘80s hair you’ll ever see, but fortunately, the song has not dated anywhere near as badly as the fashions (did we mention the hair!). Besides, who can’t relate to the promise of that magical moment where you turn a corner, lock eyes with someone and feel the chemistry tingle from head to toe?
Crazy For You
Back in the ‘80s Madonna could do no wrong, as she released a string of hits, from Like a Virgin and Express Yourself to Material Girl and Like a Prayer. This slower-paced love song also made the tracklist of her renowned Immaculate Collection and, from our perspective, it’s the best of her ballads.
The Glory of Love
Like a knight in shining armour from a long time ago, the Karate Kid made audiences believe in the ability of good to triumph over evil – courtesy of a well-executed butterfly kick. The second movie stuck to the wax-on, wax-off theme, but this song, by Peter Cetera, made it special in its own right.
How Do You Talk to an Angel?
Remember TV show The Heights from the early 1990s? Don’t worry – neither do we. But we do remember this song, which was sung by a cast including Jamie Walters, who further starred on Beverly Hills 90210, was once engaged to Drew Barrymore and went on to be, among other things, a fireman and paramedic.
Back in the day, it seemed as if every hair band worth its salt was obligated to release some sort of power ballad to cement its legacy. Think November Rain or Every Rose Has Its Thorn. So what makes this one stand out? Well, in the words of the Bloodhound Gang: The drummer from Def Leppard’s only got one arm. And we think that’s pretty cool.
Ah yes, Michael Bolton, he of the powerful voice and even more powerful mullet. Just about any of his songs could do duty as an accompaniment down the aisle, but there’s something about this one we love. By the way, it’s well off topic, but check him out gently making fun of himself with the Lonely Island…
The Power of Love
It was pretty hard to overlook Celine, Whitney and Mariah for this last spot, especially since THAT Bodyguard song may well be the most successful ballad ever released. But Jennifer Rush pre-dated them all and, more than 30 years later, her voice can still bring a shiver. And that’s the core of a power ballad.