Although there are examples of many types of music from the 1980s, many people associate it with being the era of the power ballad. During this decade, many solo artists and groups released power ballads, regardless of the typical genre of music with which they were associated. Some have remained popular and well-known despite the passing of the decades. There are almost too many from which to choose, but here are the 10 best 80s power ballads of all time.
10. Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Chicago
‘Hard to Say I’m Sorry’ was a power ballad released in 1982, written by Peter Cetera and performed by the group Chicago. The song was a huge success and became Chicago’s second number one hit. This single was also the ending theme for the movie ‘Summer Lovers.
9. Broken Wings, Mr. Mister
Mr. Mister was a rock band from Phoenix, Arizona. The group began performing together in 1982 and disbanded in 1990. The lead singer of the group was Richard Page, who was also the bass guitarist. One of the group’s most successful singles was the 1985 single ‘Broken Wings,’ which topped the charts in the United States. The single was inspired by a book of the same name.
8. Power of Love, Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush is an American singer who was at the height of her fame in the mid-1980s. She is probably best known for the power-balled ‘Power of Love,’ which is still an iconic power ballad of the era. Rush co-wrote this song, and it was released in the United States in 1984 and then in Europe the following year. In the UK, it was the biggest selling single of the year. Due to the popularity of the track, it has since been covered by multiple artists, including Celine Dion.
7. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Starship
‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ was on the soundtrack of the 1987 film ‘Mannequin’. The track was performed by Starship, a group that was originally called Jefferson Starship, and the vocalists on the single were Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas. Not only did the track reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, but it also topped the charts in the UK, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland. At the 60th Academy Awards, the single received a nomination for Best Original Song.
6. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake
Whitesnake was one of the most successful British rock bands of the late 1970s and 1980s. They also released some music during the 1990s. One of their most famous power ballads from the 1980s was ‘Here I Go Again,’ which was a single from their self-titled 1982 album. The album sold more than eight million copies worldwide.
5. Up Where We Belong, Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
‘Up Where We Belong’ was a diet power ballad recorded in 1982 by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman.’ Warnes had some previous success recording soundtracks for movies, so she was recommended to record something for the film. It was her idea to do a duet with Joe Cocker, and she chose the song from several scores. She also added some lyrics about life and love that would tie in with the movie. It was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in several other countries. Not only did the single sell more than one million copies, but the Recording Industry Association of America recognized it as one of the Songs of the Century. Furthermore, it won the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for the Best Original Song.
4. Is This Love, Whitesnake
Originally, Whitesnake was a band formed in England as a backing band for David Coverdale. However, the band developed its own identity, and the group became successful without Coverdale. Although they are an English group, they also achieved success in the United States during the 1980s. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1987, and it spawned several successful singles, one of which was ‘Is This Love.’
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
Poison is an American heavy metal band that was commercially successful throughout the 1980s. Their success continued until the mid-1990s. They have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. One of the band’s most famous singles is ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn,’ a 1988 power ballad on the group’s second album, ‘Open Up and Say… Ah!’ It is the only one of Poison’s singles to reach the top of the charts in the United States, and it became their signature song.
2. Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
While many songs fade into history, ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ is a power ballad that has stood the test of time, as even people born after the 1980s know this song. Bonnie Tyler was at the height of her fame from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ is one of her best-known and most iconic songs. The track was on the 1983 album ‘Faster Than the Speed of Night,’ and the single remains the Welsh singer’s biggest success.
1. Alone, Heart
According to Weekend Notes, the best 80s power ballad of all-time is Alone by Heart. During the 1970s, Heart became known for their rock music. However, their image changed somewhat during the 1980s. Alone, which was released in 1987, is probably their best-known song and the first track that people think of in terms of power ballads. The single was on their album ‘Bad Animals,’ and it was a number one hit in both the United States and Canada. Celine Dion covered the song in 2007.