On a late work night here at Hop Studios, Susie became defective and started listening to Poison’s Every Rose Has Its Thorn over and over and over. This escalated into a devious and destructive music duel between Susie, Travis and myself. We were taking turns, looking for the ultimate expression of that much maligned musical masterpiece, the Rock Ballad. Rules quickly evolved:
Rock Ballad Competition
- It’s gotta be rock, baby!
- It’s gotta have that slow build and soaring arc.
- It’s gotta wholeheartedly commit to a seeming existential but essentially dumb (or at least simplistic) idea.
- It’s gotta go overboard, we want tears and clasped hands.
- Classic rock helps. A guitar solo would not be out of place (Bonus if it’s a drum solo instead).
- If the phrase “torch song for dime-store philosophy” works, you’re golden.
After several hours of fierce competition, no clear winner emerged, and with this premise, one was not likely, either. We did, however, jot down the best examples from our auditory battle-royal for your edification:
Total Eclipse of the Heart—Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler Beats out I’ll do anything for love (but I won’t do that) because of the faint whiff of irony.
Somebody to Love—Queen Now this is commitment, when you’ve hired a full choir, you know it’s on.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn—Poison Dumb idea masquerading as a profound realization by an over-paid moron in tight pants? Check.
We Belong—Pat Benatar Narrowly beating out “love is a battlefield” because of the “arc” issue, as well as the “tear in the eye of a clown” factor.
Shooting Star—Bad Company (but Travis likes the Poison cover, too) Apparently the heavenly bodies are big on sleeping pills.
Summer of ‘69—Bryan Adams Yeah, he liked high school, and now he’s sad.
Tusk - extended version—Fleetwood Mac Fan pandering.
Walk of the Wild Side—Lou Reed Careful lobbying by Travis got this little genre-bender (gender-bender?) in under the line.
Where The Streets Have No Name—U2 I added this one last second, sounds like Boston.
But we need a 10th song for the list. Any suggestions?