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Top ten worst ever rock ballads
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wychburyman
938 posts

Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 11:27
Well, you could say that just about every rock "ballad" is a cheese fest of monumental proprtions, and they always seem to follow the same formula: slow, pondering start, hoary cheesy lyrics, perhaps an acoustic guitar to kick off, some lyrics about standing on the roadside in the rain or waiting for lurve, and then quickly building to a crescendo of unmitigated electric gueetar posturing with inserts of chase-me-around-the-fret-board spandextacular.

For me, the top ten must include November Rain, or should that be November pain? Now, actually, many years ago, I quite liked Foreigner! But my god, "Ive been waiting" and "Cold as Ice" are just unlistenable dirges, music to pebble dash the house by. Personally, I think Led Zep manages to just about get away with it; but Styx are probably the worst proponents and Whitesnake and Bad Co are not without blame.

Oh, and Heart, NO.
keith a
keith a
9124 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 13:02
wychburyman wrote:
Well, you could say that just about every rock "ballad" is a cheese fest of monumental proprtions, and they always seem to follow the same formula: slow, pondering start, hoary cheesy lyrics, perhaps an acoustic guitar to kick off, some lyrics about standing on the roadside in the rain or waiting for lurve, and then quickly building to a crescendo of unmitigated electric gueetar posturing with inserts of chase-me-around-the-fret-board spandextacular.

For me, the top ten must include November Rain, or should that be November pain? Now, actually, many years ago, I quite liked Foreigner! But my god, "Ive been waiting" and "Cold as Ice" are just unlistenable dirges, music to pebble dash the house by. Personally, I think Led Zep manages to just about get away with it; but Styx are probably the worst proponents and Whitesnake and Bad Co are not without blame.

Oh, and Heart, NO.


Bloody hell, Wychburyman! Thanks for reminding me of a horrible, horrible genre!

The first name that comes to mind with me is Whitesnake. Is This Love is power-ballad-by-numbers, as cynical in its construction as anything SAW ever came up with (but nowhere near as good as Never Gonna Give You Up or I Heard A Rumour!) And the video is horrid, too - every rock cliche in the book. Big hair, wind machine, beautiful girl. Of course, the latter then shows a big lapse of taste by fancying the ugly singer, a buffoon who resembles a docker with a poncey haircut. All this leads me to the conclusion that she is either...

a) a gold digger

or

b) a bit simple)

Funnily enough I'm embarrassed to say I don't mind Cold As Ice for some reason, though it doesn't seem like a rock ballad to me. I Wanna Know What Love Is the obvious Foreigner example, the archetypal big rock ballad in many ways. Needless to say it's really, really not my cup of tea, but I can kinda see why can see why people go for it. Ditto Alone (a second cousin of the dreaded Total Eclipse Of The Heart!) by Heart - a misnomer if there ever was one. Tonsils would have been a much more appropriate band name!

Others I hate....

Classic by Adrian Gurvitz, surely one of the worst singles EVER. Personally I wouldn't have let him out of the attic after he'd written that!

As much as I like much of Prince's 80's output, I can't abide Purple Rain. It's so obviously anthemic but it just sounds like bad John Lennon to me.

Hold The Line - Toto. And I hate Rosanna even more, though I'll embarrass myself again and admit that for some reason I don't mind Africa!

I don't think I minded Boston's More Than A Feeling's at the time but it was early days for this soft rock thing and we didn't know what we were letting ourselves on for! It's pretty rubbish when you hear it these days, isn't it.

Styx are the other band that spring readily to mind. I must admit I had a grudging respect for Babe even if part of it is ripped off Everything I Own, but otherwise, well like lost of this genre it was poodle-haired bollocks really.
ricky nadir
ricky nadir
51 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 13:11
I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
The Lady In Red - Chris De Burgh
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
Still Lovin' You - Scorpions
Rosanna - Toto
Beth - KISS
Baby, I Love Your Way - Peter Frampton
Boat On The River - Styx
All By Myself - Eric Carmen
It Must Have Been Love - Roxette

… and I guess this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Are you happy now? ;-)
Toni Torino
2276 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 13:41
All By Myself - Eric Carmen (Cartman?)
Broken Wings - Mr Mister
Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol (I quite like this really)
Every Day Hurts - Sad Cafe
stray
stray
2057 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 13:44
Um... surely it would be less time consuming to list the 'not that bad' rock ballads, as they're all fundamentally terrible what with it being such a ridiculous musical form. ;)
Evergreen Dazed
Evergreen Dazed
1831 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 13:44
Full on agreement with 99% of stuff listed here, especially yer Chris De Burghs and yer Bryan Adams, but I will not have total eclipse of the heart put in the same bracket. A bona fide classic!











of sorts.
Toni Torino
2276 posts

Edited Aug 06, 2012, 14:05
Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 14:04
Excellent, expedience through positivity, it's the way forward! Let's see, err..... um....... err........ eyeswithoutaface.


Fuckin' stupid sub-genre.
Popel Vooje
5312 posts

Edited Aug 06, 2012, 22:35
Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 14:07
keith a wrote:

I don't think I minded Boston's More Than A Feeling's at the time but it was early days for this soft rock thing and we didn't know what we were letting ourselves on for! It's pretty rubbish when you hear it these days, isn't it.



I don't know why, but for some reason I have an inexplicable, lingering fondness for that record. Maybe it's because I was 5 when it came out, and at that age your tastes are purer in a sense because you don't have any concept of what's cool or uncool. Same goes for REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Loving You" - It's a classic example of a genre I usually hate, but that vocal melody is just so darned catchy...!

My most disliked power ballad would probably be "nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship, and it's compounded by the knowledge that the woman who wrote "White Rabbit" and "Two Heads" would be cycnical enough to attach her considerable vocal talents to such fatuous dreck.
IanB
IanB
6762 posts

Edited Aug 08, 2012, 09:07
Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 14:30
While you lot are busy setting fire to the downtrodden and misunderstood street person that is Hair Metal here are some examples of rock ballad sins from a few slightly less easy-to-hit targets ...

You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory - Johnny Thunders
Could have been sub-titled "Sad Eyed Junkie Of The Lowlands". Anyone so taken with all that elegantly wasted nonsense back in 78 to the point of seriously considering dabbling should have been made to listen to this on repeat for as long as it took for their Nils/Keef haircut to grow out.

Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division (and others)
This is to Joy Division what "Jump" is to Van Halen - a record as over-exposed as it is incoherently produced and under-written. Unless you find the self pity of adulterers especially compelling the only thing in its favour is that it didn't get a chance to ruin side two of "Closer". Like many an Art Rocker, Curtis was at his best (and is consdierably less mawkish) when recycling better writers and when it comes to Goth Rock balladry "Something Fast" takes it to the cleaners and has the virtue of also being genuinely funny.

Angie / Beast of Burden / Wild Horses / Waiting On A Friend- The Rolling Stones
Hard to take the Stones seriously when they are playing at being tender let alone when playing at being tender and self-revealing at the same time. I don't believe a single note of any of it. That said I have an irrational affection for "Fool To Cry" and a great love of Mary Chapin Carpenter's version of Jagger's "Party Doll".

Breathe On Me - Ron Wood
I love "Now Look" but this is a lost decade ballad that feels so sorry for itself that it tries to cover its own tracks by pretending to be a Country Rock shuffle. Nick Kent loved it for its so-tender-as-to-be-raw heart back in 1979 but I expect he has thought better of it since. At least I don't remember him mentioning it in print any time since ....

Behind Blue Eyes - The Who
And we were supposed to feel sorry for you why exactly? Hard to believe this is the same writer that turned out the good ballady bits of Quadrophenia. I expect Joey Barton and John Terry like to sing this song. Now that's a football record I would pay to hear!
daddy longhair
11 posts

Re: Top ten worst ever rock ballads
Aug 06, 2012, 15:02
I'm just throwing this one out on the pile right now...
Black Sabbath - Changes
Many will disagree, I know, but I can't stand this bloody song. From when I first purchased Vol. 4 in '72 - always skipped that song
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