If you haven’t noticed, we like to sing in our house. We’re also not afraid to laugh at ourselves. That combo makes Penn and I a pretty formidable duo when it comes to karaoke [Cough. Humblebrag. Cough]. It’s been far too long since we’ve been in a crowded karaoke bar, so we reminisced about our favorite sing-a-long genre: THE POWER BALLAD. These over-the-top tunes were made for belting out during the good times and the bad. Smoke machine optional (but encouraged).
1. “We Are The Champions” by Queen (1977)
I can’t think of a better power ballad/anthem after everything we’ve been through. The next time you or someone you know needs a pick-me-up, just channel your inner Freddie Mercury.
Best Lyric: “I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face / But I’ve come through.”
2. “Alone” by Heart (1987)
This one may be a cover, but to me, it’s the best version of this ‘80s classic. It was also made to sing as a duet, so grab your partner and get overdramatic.
Best Lyric: “Till now I always got by on my own / I never really cared until I met you”
3. “All Out of Love” by Air Supply (1980)
Whenever this song starts up during karaoke, the reaction is always the same: No one is really sure what’s going on during the verses, but once the chorus starts, everyone joins in.
Best Lyric: “I wish I could carry your smile in my heart / For times when my life seems so low”
4. “We Belong” by Pat Benatar (1984)
Will she leave? Won’t she? So much back and forth in this one, it’s like a soap opera in song form. And just try not to think about the ending of Talladega Nights while you’re singing.
Best Lyric: “We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder / We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under”
5. “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner (1984)
At the heart of this power ballad is the message that falling in love takes courage. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, I’m sure you can agree.
Best Lyric: “I’ve got nowhere left to hide / Looks like love has finally found me”
6. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (1983)
The kind-of-creepy call and answer element makes this song a bit bonkers but is also what makes it so great. If you’ve got one of those new shag haircuts, you’re ready to hit the stage.
Best Lyric: “I don’t know what to do and I’m always in the dark / We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks”
7. “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by Cutting Crew (1986)
Power ballads are nothing if not melodramatic and you don’t get more melodramatic than the lyrics of this song. But when it’s love you know, right?
Best Lyric: “I followed my hands not my head, I know I was wrong”
8. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf (1993)
It’s been a punchline too many times to count, but this epic from the man named after a TV dinner remains a hit. If your pipes can handle it, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Best Lyric: “And some nights you’re breathing fire / And some nights you’re carved in ice”
9. “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” by Michael Bolton (1983)
Another one high on the emotion, it also makes you wonder if Michael Bolton has recovered from this heartbreak yet? Curl your hair, put on your best boxy blazer, and take the mic.
Best Lyric: “And I don’t wanna know the price I’m gonna pay for dreaming / When even now it’s more than I can take”
10. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles (1989)
This song’s lyric “I watch you when you are sleeping / You belong with me” definitely gives us Misery vibes. But if you can hit those high notes, it’s karaoke gold.
Best Lyric: “Close your eyes, give me your hand, darlin’ / Do you feel my heart beating / Do you understand”
I’m ready for another power ballad era. How about you? Share your favorites in the comments.