Our Top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads list is a fun look at some of Van Halen’s more tender explosive moments. The term ballad should probably be interpreted a little differently when it comes to Van Halen. Your not going to find you sweet sugary piano based string laced heartbreaking crooner type song from these guys. A Van Halen power ballad is more based on rhythm and tempo. Van Halen has never really been much of a blues based group, Eddie Van Halen’s musical inspirations are more based on classical music than blues. That does have a major effect on his slower tempo music. Its. more Beethoven like that Robert Johnson. We also have to consider the vocals abilities of David Lee Roth were really not conducive to screaming ballad like numbers. It’s a different story with Sammy Hagar who could sing anything.
So why do a Van Halen Power Ballad list? Well first off we just like writing about Van Halen, but that’s probably not the best reason. We first thought of this list when a friend was getting married for the third time and was looking for a first dance song that rocked. She didn’t want any of the typical pathetic wedding dances reserved for first time suckers. We realized there were probably a lot of other people looking for slow rocking songs with meaning that could be used for similar situations,. So why not pick out some Van Halen songs to come to the rescue? This was a fun one to put together.
# 10 – Secrets
We open up our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads list with a song featuring the newly retired David Lee Roth. All our Van Halen ballads will all have a little bit of groove to them, there is just no way around it which we like. This fantastic song “Secrets,” was released on the Diver Down album. The album was released in 1982. It was the fourth track on side one. Diamond Dave delivers some cool falsetto vocals in the chorus as Michael Anthony chimes in on some wonderful backing vocals as always. Eddie get his solo. Eddie always gets his solo. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
# 9 – Little Dreamer
Continuing with our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads list we drop the needle on the grand song “Little Dreamer.” This has always been one of our favorite tracks from the band’s first album entitled Van Halen. The album was released in 1978. Eddie Van Halen sets the groove right up front with his electrifying guitar intro. Alex locks in the tempo with his straight ahead slow stomp. Michael Anthony adds his oohs and baby we have ourselves a slow jam that you can kick back to and smile
# 8 – You’re No Good
In the number eight spot on our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads list we present the song entitled “You’re No Good.” While this may not be the best love song on the list, it most definitely is a power ballad. It’s also one of our favourite David Lee Roth vocals. Eddie’s solo is also spectacular and his riffs are just to die for. Listen to how the guitar riffs match the screams at the end of the song. Yeah this is a far different version from Linda Ronstadt’s huge hit. “You’re No Good,” was the opening track on Van Halen’s second album entitled Van Halen II.
# 7 -Baluchitherium
In the number seven position on our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads list is the lesser know Van Halen track “Baluchitherium.” Anyone who brought the vinyl lp Balance when it came out didn’t get this one because it was omitted from the vinyl. Nonetheless this is a super power ballad instrumental. Listen to the sound of Alex Van Halen’s snare drum and how its cuts right through you heart. Yup, simply perfect music for dining.
# 6 – Right Now
Landing in the number six spot on our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads songs list is the extraordinary musical piece “Right Now.” This is another one of those songs that walks the fine line between power ballad and straight our rocker. The emotion and feel of the chorus screams ballad, but the piano parts and Eddie’s guitar work yells progressive rock. In the end who cares, it’s a great song and should be celebrated every chance we get which is what all these articles are about anyways.
# 5 – I’ll Wait
We were a little on the fence with this one as to whether or not we should classify it as a ballad. It’s a little fast and very intense. But in the world of Van Halen it’s probably slow enough to consider it one of their power ballads. And power it most definitely has. Additionally, David Lee Roth delivered one of the best vocals of his career and Michael Anthony is on fire with his legendary backing vocals on this one. The keyboard work on this one was far more interesting than the keyboards on “Jump.” “I’ll Wait,” was released on the classic 1984 album.
# 4 – Take Me Back (Deja Vu)
At the number four spot on our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads songs list we present the song entitled “Take Me Back (Deja Vu).” We don’t usually hear much acoustic guitar on Van Halen albums so this is a change. We love the sound of Alex Van Halen’s drums on this one as there is so much more open space to really hear him play. “Take Me Back,” almost sounds like it could have been on a Sammy Hagar solo album as Sammy’s influence is pretty strong on this one.
# 3 – Not Enough
Well we finally get to a real hardcore ballad courtesy of the great Sammy Hagar. Eddies beautiful solo piano opening that wraps around Sammy’s vocals in the song’s first verses is simply just rock and roll gorgeous. The entire band plays their roles perfect on this stunning song. The track just builds with emotion with each passing bar. The song was released on the fantastic Van Halen album entitled Balance. The album was released in 1995. “Not Enough,” was also released as the third single from the record. Sadly, this was Sammy Hagar’s final studio album with Van Halen.
# 2 – Love Walks In
You can’t beat Sammy Hagar on the power ballads, sorry Dave, Sammy Hagar is just too good. There may really be no other singer that could match the power of Sammy Hagar from a vocal standpoint. Maybe Steve Perry or Robert Plant during their prime, but Sammy Hagar is seventy years old and he still sounds like he is in his prime. This phenomenal song “Love Walks In,” was released on Van Halen’s first album with Sammy Hagar called 5150. Sammy Hagar was out to prove a point on this album and this song fueled one of his better arguments. And we all know what the argument was……
# 1 – When Its Love
We close our top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads songs list with the song entitled “When Its Love.” Now talk about a power rock and roll ballad. This is one of the best of all time. It’s got all the goods, the super classy and hip keyboard intro, the straight ahead powerful drum groove, the killer lead vocals, the big backing vocals on the chorus and of course the soaring melody line that lifts you of the ground into rock and roll Disneyland. Sammy Hagar just may be the greatest rock and roll singer of all time. Listen to him hit those high notes with such resonance. Want a great first dance for your wedding, this is the one baby.
Top 10 Van Halen Power Ballads article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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