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Top 10 ♥ 80s Power Ballads... and Wedding Songs

Updated on January 8, 2017

My Favorite 80s Power Ballads and... Wedding Music?

My first thought when I hear "Power Ballad" is a love song that originate from hard rock bands like Poison and Nazareth. I'm now thinking that any Monster love song hit is applicable to to the term. John Waite's "Missing You" (hear and see it below) is one of those examples that comes to mind just by hearing the emotion behind the music and words. Amazingly these songs have replaced the old standards for bridal dances and wedding reception slow dancing numbers, too.

This is my selection of the best of the best. As always I may be swayed by a song I've forgotten, so if you don't see or hear one of your favorites on this page, please let me know by leaving the song and band name in the guest books comments. If you can remind me of one that takes the place of my selections, I'll be happy to include it, and credit you by profile page or your relevant lens or web page. I've said it before... I'm fickle when it comes to my favorites listings, so you might just change my mind. :D

Enjoy the sounds of the 1980s Power Ballads! It was a great era for music.

Photo and Banner Credit: Me. :D

Get the CD albums of these Power Ballads songs...

Open Up and Say Ahh
Open Up and Say Ahh

Includes the hit song "Every Rose has it's Thorn".


Every Rose has it's Thorn ~ Bret Michaels of Poisen - 1988

This is the latest of this collection, and I do think it's my favorite of all the 80's power ballads. However, the lyrics are not a good example of a romantic wedding song, but could be considered a warning that you need to work to make being together great.

Missing You ~ John Waite - 1984

This is another song that is a cautionary tale... but it still makes my list. :D

Amanda ~ Boston - 1986

A wedding bride named Amanda? Perfect!

"You and I

I know that we can wait

And I swear, I swear it's not a lie girl

Tomorrow may be too late

You, you and I girl

We can share a life together..."

I Want to Know What Love is ~ Foreigner - 1984

Simple, but heartfelt lyrics for a wedding...

"I want to know what love is

I want you to show me

I want to feel what love is

I know you can show me"

I have a little extra loyalty for Lou Gramm (Grammatico) since he's a local guy from Rochester, NY which is just north of where I live in the Greater Rochester suburbs. But he and Foreigner definitely deserve my loyalty cuz they really did rock!

Side note: I am often loyal just out of locality... so since we do not have a football team, my loyalty belongs to the Buffalo Bills no matter how well or badly they do. Now careful with the comments, cuz I do moderate. :D

Search is Over ~ Survivor - 1985

Can you name one wedding where this wasn't part of the slow dance play list?

"I was living for a dream, loving for a moment

Taking on the world, that was just my style

Now I look into your eyes

I can see forever, the search is over

You were with me all the while"

CD Albums for the rest...

We Belong ~ Pat Benatar - 1984

I think the music moguls must have talked Pat into the almost "power suit" jacket.

If I'm not mistaken this song has also turned turned into an solidarity anthem for group gatherings as well as being a great Bridal dance song.

"We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder

We belong to the sound of the words we've both fallen under

Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better

We belong, we belong, we belong together"

Love Bites ~ Def Leppard - 1987

Um, this may be best as the last bride and groom send-off song. It's more for the wedding night. :D

Open Arms ~ Journey - 1982

A prerequisite for wedding dancing. :D

"So now I come to you, with open arms

Nothing to hide, believe what I say

So here I am with open arms

Hoping you'll see what your love means to me

Open arms"

More than Words can Say ~ Alias - 1989

Warning: The sound isn't the best, but it is live.

Another "gotta have" for wedding receptions.

"I need you now

More than words can say

I need you now

I've got to find a way

I need you now

Before I lose my mind

I need you now"

Can't Fight this Feeling ~ REO Speedwagon - 1984

Long engagement? This is the song for you!

"I tell myself that I can't hold out forever

I say there is no reason for my fear

'Coz I feel so secure when we're together

You give my life direction, you make everything so clear"

What's your Favorite 80's Power Ballad?

See results

How did I do? Do you agree with my selections?

NO? Then write 'em in and share your choices with us...

Anyone can leave a comment, so please do. Also Facebook Like, Twitter, and Google +1 .

Lyrics clips used here...

belong to original song copyright and are provided by...

Please sign my Top 10 80's Power Ballads Guest Book - Anyone can leave a comment, so please do.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello everyone !! Edward Snowden here ,

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 4 years ago

      If would married again I would pick one from your list.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 4 years ago

      If would married again I would pick one from your list.

    • Loganor profile image

      Loganor 5 years ago

      I was pretty much a baby when these came out. Hmmmm - maybe I was conceived to one of them ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I miss the 80s. The songs were great back then.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • petelovestoread profile image

      petelovestoread 5 years ago

      they play so much Boston on the radio but never Amanda...What's up with that?Great lens!

    • WebGenova profile image

      WebGenova 5 years ago

      I saw red - Warrant is my fav ballad in both versions, acoustic and electric

    • GrowthSpark profile image

      GrowthSpark 5 years ago

      omg, this totally took me back in time. Many thanks, it brought back a lot of good memories.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      What a shame "Amanda" doesn't yet have a vote?

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      I love 80s music and I still enjoy listening to them more than the latest ones... :)

    • profile image

      DracsWolfy 6 years ago

      The 80's were definitely the best decade! I'd give anything to build a time machine just to go back there. As for choosing the best power ballad, I don't think I could settle for just one. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N Roses and Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi are two of my favourite 80's ballads :)

    • profile image

      JCEverett 6 years ago

      For best survivor ballad I'd have to choose 'Is This Love'. Great post thank you power ballads don't get enough attention.

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 6 years ago from United States

      The romance, the hairspray, the spandex. *sigh*

    • Infact profile image

      Infact 6 years ago

      Metal Ballads are great for romantic evenings!Thumbs Up!

    • profile image

      DougHouse 6 years ago

      sweet songs...falling in love

    • banapple profile image

      banapple 6 years ago

      Every rose has it's thorn has to be my all time favorite 80's song! Love 80's songs and love the 80's. Great lens.

    • KokoTravel profile image

      KokoTravel 7 years ago

      Nice job! Love the 80's music... memorable!

    • profile image

      Alohagems 7 years ago

      wow! this is absolutely perfect for Ballad lovers and those who are searching for wedding music.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Some great selections coming in from commenters, too. Thanks for featuring my GN'R lens - they had some great ballads in the late 80's to early 90's that were released the same time as a lot of these other tracks.

    • profile image

      Positivevibestechnician 7 years ago

      you hit the main ones here thanks for the lens on 80's music

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 7 years ago

      brings to mind the good old times! cheers

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great list. I like seeing Search is Over especially, as much as I like the others. I sometimes feel others overshadow it sometimes. Not a bad thing, but I like all of the ones mentioned here :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great list!! Here's some other suggestions: Alias co-founder Sheriff's "When I'm With You" (with it's stretched-out Yoo-oo-oo-oo-oooooooooooo" ending). How about Whitesnake (Here I Go Again, Is this Love), Scorpions (Wind of Change)

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      I've gotta go with Poison. Even if you don't like the band, most people like that song. For the record, Aerosmith is usually credited with the first power ballad with "Dream On". Personally, I think their song "Angel" pretty much defines what an 80's power ballad is. Nice picks!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Some great selections here. Pat Benatar is my favorite of this lot. Tweeted it out.

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      You certainly have picked some wise choices for power ballads. Thanks for rolling my lens here and I'm rolling this one to Rush (YYZ), My favorite guitarist (Jimmy Page) and Slow dance songs. Good work.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      No Chicago music? "You're the Inspiration" was played at so many of my friend's weddings. You have a great selection of song listed though. "Open Arms" has always been a favorite, too.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Cool List. I love the 80s music! I always enjoyed Pat Benatar so I voted for "We Belong". Great Work on your Lens!

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Love these!