This one goes out to my big sister, Miss Ali B: karaoke wizard and awesome human being.
One of my biggest pleasures in life is karaoke. Not the posturing, ‘well how unexpected of you to say so, I never noticed I had such an astounding voice’ kind, but rather, the eyes-closed, fist-clenched ‘I’m going to lose my voice in the morning and make a right willy of myself in the process’ sort. There’s nothing more gleeful than singing loudly, singing badly and not giving a darn who hears.
Now, everyone has their own personal karaoke staples. Dusty Springfield, The Righteous Brothers, Girls Aloud (you know who you are)… For me, nothing beats a power ballad. A song so powerful it can physically hurt you. A song so moving, there’s no holding back the tears. A song so epic, that it destroys the need to appear ‘cool’ and renders the listener at the mercy of raw, back-combed hair, guitar-shredding emotion.
So when my darling sister suggested we all troupe to Ultimate Power for my birthday celebration, I came pretty close to an excitement induced coronary. Hand on somewhat weakened heart, I can genuinely say that I have never had a funner time at a club night. Mass microphoneless karaoke/air-guitar championship/phenomenal cheese fest, Ultimate Power combines the requisite components that make karaoke the awesomest thing a human being can do; permission to belt out every song some with serious welly, space to dance, no judgement whatsoever, and a playlist containing nothing but cheesy delights.
The next day, whilst nursing my epic hangover, I got to thinking about what makes a good power ballad, and by my zillionth cup of tea, I’d nailed it. The joy of power ballads is that they are not meant to be listened to. They are meant to be performed. They are meant to be FELT. A good power ballad has a key change. A good power ballad provides ample opportunity for power grabs, air guitar solos and genuine belting. A good power ballad should literally bring you to your knees.
Because I love you all so dearly, I’ve put together my top 5 lady-made power ballads. So close your eyes, plant your feet hip-width apart, clench that fist, and sing it like you mean it.
5. The Pretenders | I’ll Stand By You
4. The Bangles | Eternal Flame
3. Roxette | Listen To Your Heart
2. Alannah Myles | Black Velvet
1. Bonnie Tyler | Total Eclipse Of The Heart