Sorry, had to do it.
What makes a power ballad? The criteria I used was simple. One, it had to come from a hard rock band. It's nice if it actually has power chords. If the video has slow motion concert footage, that gives it more pep. Being a chart topper helps. If the song is about the sad state the world is in, that's great, but if it's about the world making a change for the better, well, that's even better. If the song title is a horrible cliche, props, and lastly, if it's about broken love, you have found your power ballad.
Some serious cuts had to be made, so I used the Hall of Fame argument with many songs, and that is, if there's any doubt a song is a power ballad, it was cut. Notable songs cut for this reason are:
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
Waiting For a Girl Like You - Foreigner
Sister Christian - Night Ranger
To Be With You - Mr. Big
I Wanna Know What Love Is - Foreigner
Don’t Cry - Guns N Roses
Cats in the Cradle - Ugly Kid Joe
Hysteria - Def Leppard
November Rain - Guns N Roses
30. Still Loving You - Scorpions
Didn't even crack the Top 50 in it's day, but it has aged well, well for a power ballad.
29. Alone - Heart
Till now, I always got by on my own. I never really cared until I met you.
28. Bringin on the Heartbreak - Def Leppard
A power ballad that owes a lot to the creation of MTV. The power ballad didn't hill full corporate stride until about '86.
27. Don't Close Your Eyes - Kix
IN THE MIDDLE OF A SUICIDE!!!!!
26. Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Can you believe these jokers did a sell out power ballad? This is pretty much right when their careers ended.
25. Carrie - Europe
Things they change, my friend.
24. Headed For a Heartbreak - Winger
The ballerina knows power ballads, though "Miles Away" not only missed the cut, it was also rejected as the theme song for Sideways.
23. Without You - Motley Crue
Tommy Lee knocking down stones!!!
22. I Won't Forget You - Poison
Wonderful slow motion concert footage in this one.
21. Never Say Goodbye - Bon Jovi
Came out in the video are, Bon Jovi was bigger than life, and for some reason, they never made a video. Hmmm.
20. I Remember You - Skid Row
I never liked Skid Row.
19. Silent Lucidity - Queensryche
Every guitar player in the world knows the intro to this song.
18. Is This Love? - Whitesnake
Who's aged worse, Tawny Kitaen or David Coverdale? (Surprisingly, it's Coverdale).
17. What It Takes - Aerosmith
For instance, Steven Tyler and other members of Aerosmith have aged better than Coverdale.
16. Something to Believe In - Poison
Bret Michaels is kind of taking a cliche, and turning it into a hit power ballad.
15. Angel - Aerosmith
Come and save me tonight.
14. I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
Steal the sun from the sky for you.
13. Beth - Kiss
Kind of a trailblazer in the power ballad department.
12. When the Children Cry - White Lion
All that we've destroyed, we must build again. Take note President Obama! This means you!
11. Winds of Change - Scorpions
See Mr. Obama, you could've been the George Bush Senior of change, like the Scorpions!
10. Love Bites - Def Leppard
I really wish they just called it "Love Sucks"
9. Love Song - Tesla
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY!!! Look at Jeff Kieth, trying to cheer you up at the end.
8. Patience - Guns N Roses
Axel whistles and says "Shhhh" in the same video, classic.
7. Home Sweet Home - Motley Crue
This defined how a power ballad video should go. Slow motion shots from the tour, and groupies, lot of groupies.
6. Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone) - Cinderella
This song has either gotten much better, or much worse with age. Can't tell.
5. Heaven - Warrant
While doing this list, I learned Warrant didn't write thing song and lost a court battle so they have to pay royalties to the person who did. Take that Jani Lane!
4. When I See You Smile - Bad English
Arguably the cheesiest song in the history of life, so points for that.
3. More Than Words - Extreme
When I worked at a grocery store in my youth, this song would come on for shoppers. This is bad.
2. Love Hurts - Nazareth
The father of them all. This power ballad came out in 1976.
1. Every Rose Has It's Thorn - Poison