Which Maiden songs we should consider as a ballads/power ballads ?

matic22

Ancient Mariner
Coming Home is their best "ballad" for sure. I'm not sure how a ballad is defined though.
If we are speaking strictly about power ballads...

Stereotypical 80's power ballad:

Structure:
Guitar melody/riff - Verse I (Clean guitars) - Bridge (Optional) - Chorus (Huge melody) - Guitar melody/riff (repeat) - Verse II - Bridge (Optional) - Chorus (Huge melody) - Guitar solo - Bridge (Optional) - Chorus x4 (With optional key change after 2nd repeat) - Fadeout
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
There's more to classify a song as a "power ballad" than being quiet or acoustic and having a ... errrr... powerful chorus. Per definition a ballad in Rock is a "slow romantic song".
Let's see some Maiden songs featuring some of those elements:

Strange World : Quiet but bizarre, esoteric and atmospherical... with a grain or 2 of surrealism. Soothing as hell but far from being a ballad.
Prodigal Son : Great semi acoustic theme but there's where the simmilarities stop. For Christ sake... the damn song is about haunting and damnation.
Children Of The Damned : Power chorus and quiet verses are both checks. But regarding the lyrics and the 2nd part labbeling this a ballad is quite the same than saying The Exorcist is a romantic love story.
Infinite Dreams : Nothing that features THAT scream and comunicates the feeling of torment and despair (in music and lyrics alike) while having such a intricate prog structure can ever be a power ballad of any kind.
No Prayer For The Dying : The verses and bridge are quite "balladish". But the remainding of the passages and the lyrics (yes it's about feelings but in a utterly phylosophical/existencial approach) hardly fit the above definition.
Afraid To Shoot Strangers : Slow and calm part but: a) eerie as hell; b) the time signature - 3 by 4 - is absolutely different from any power ballad; c) the lyrics are on the opposite spectre d) the uptempo part is savage as hell!
2 AM : Melodic and calm tune... but dark as hell, aq reflection on human routine, despair, nihilism and depression. So much for a power ballad on this one...
Como Estais Amigos? : It has almost everything a PB should have but deals with quite a dark a brutal matter (trying to forgive the traumas and hatred between two nations that were at war)
Blood Brothers : First of all this is a waltz by definition and TS (3 by 4). The lyrics are quite sentimental but not in a romantic way: instead they work as a reflection on relations of all kind and our conduct as human beings.
Journeyman : A bright acoustic song that happens to deal with matters that power ballads don't: the urge to liberate yourself and turn the page (with it's lyrics being quite similar to the opening track). So... nah!
Out Of The Shadows : Perhaps the only song I could consider a PB... but then again the lyrics: the struggles to build a better tomorrow in a screwed up world isn't quite your PB chit chat.
Coming Home : Quite ballad like but deals more with planes, travelling and being homesick. So...

I think he only true Maiden ballad even pennedis (unfortunatelly) Wasting Love. The melody and structure is 100% PB and its verses are absolutely romantic (althoug a bit tragic... but hey! Romeo and Julieth anyone?)
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
I don't think using the lyrical definition of a ballad is very useful when talking about rock/heavy metal power ballads. The term specifically exists for songs which resemble ballads musically and structurally (featuring various common elements and especially lighter, softer verses with acoustic and clean guitars) but not necessarily lyrically.

People call Metallica's Fade to Black and Sanitarium ballads because they meet those requirements, even though lyrically the former is about suicide and the latter of an uprising in an insane asylum. Both also get noticeably heavier towards the end. Meanwhile, Nothing Else Matters is a ballad by every definition and no real distinction is made between it and the earlier two.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
People call Metallica's Fade to Black and Sanitarium ballads

"People" can call them ballads... but they're surelly not. As for NEM... yep... one can say it is so.
Ballad is a romantic and sentimental composition by defenition. Lyrical definition and musica have the same importance when detecting one.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
but they're surelly not.
To you. Otherwise people wouldn't call those songs ballads. You can't analyze/classify music objectively because genre definitions can (and will) vary from person to person, depending on how they'll process certain songs.
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
Determining a song a ballad is, in my book, a very broad and very subjective thing.

A power ballad, on the other hand, not.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
To you. Otherwise people wouldn't call those songs ballads. You can't analyze/classify music objectively because genre definitions can (and will) vary from person to person, depending on how they'll process certain songs.

ballad
Resultado do dicionário para ballad
/ˈbaləd/
noun
  1. 1.
    a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the next.
    sinónimos: song, folk song, shanty, ditty, canzone; Mais

  2. 2.
    a slow sentimental or romantic song.

.......... words.... they have a purpose.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
That's the definition of the word that's been accepted overtime, but music is and will always be constantly changing, and a dictionary won't stop that. Additionally, there are several words on the dictionary which are rarely used in their original meanings nowadays.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Readress the complaints to the folks that wrote the dictionary. As far as I'm concerned people can call it power ballads, a armchair or a kangaroo. I could care less. It's still wrong regarding one of the most important aspects of our evolution: communication. And in this particular its most important medium: writting (that just happens to be what marks the end of Pre-History. So, no big deal...)
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Readress the complaints to the folks that wrote the dictionary. As far as I'm concerned people can call it power ballads, a armchair or a kangaroo. I could care less. It's still wrong regarding one of the most important aspects of our evolution: communication. And in this particular its most important medium: writting (that just happens to be what marks the end of Pre-History. So, no big deal...)
Quite ironic that you wrote the word "writing" with a spelling error :D
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
By the way, if you insist on using the dictionary:
2. 2.
a slow sentimental or romantic song.
"2 AM" is a slow sentimental song.
"Como Estais Amigos" is a slow sentimental song.
"Blood Brothers" is a slow sentimental song.
"Journeyman" is a slow sentimental song.
"Out of the Shadows" is a slow sentimental song.
"Coming Home" is a slow sentimental song.

What now?
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
"2 AM" is a slow sentimental song.
"Como Estais Amigos" is a slow sentimental song.
"Blood Brothers" is a slow sentimental song.
"Journeyman" is a slow sentimental song.
"Out of the Shadows" is a slow sentimental song.
"Coming Home" is a slow sentimental song.

1- 2 AM and Como Estais Amigos are somber as hell. Yup you're right... despair, deppression, resentfullness and sorrow are sentiments allright! Hey... Slayer's Spill The Blood is slow and sentimental... so it must be a ballad.
2- "And as you look all around at the world in dismay/ What do you see, do you think we have learned?/ Not if you're taking a look at the war-torn affray/ Out in the streets where the babies are burnt"
Ah... the stuff ballads are made of indeed. :p BTW The Blue Danube Johann Strauss is slow and sentimental but people refer to it as a waltz not a ballad. Strange stuff.
3- Journeyman: as I said before: if Wildest Dreams was played in acoustic guitar at a way slower tempo... would it be a ballad?

And I remember to mention that the other two are quite close regarding that definition... But I think they lack a bit the message of passion, enchantment or longing towards SOMEONE (wich was something I forgot to refer to).
So as you can see I'm far from contradicting myself.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Regarding the thread... hey! Once again I stress this point: you're entitled to call a ballad whatever you want (though kangaroo is way cooler).
 

MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
I would consider all of the following to be ballads through and through.
- Strange World
- Prodigal Son
- Wasting Love
- Journeyman
- Coming Home
- 2 am
- Como Estais Amigos
- Tears of a Clown
- Man of Sorrow

Strange world and Prodigal Son are by far the best. Coming Home is OK, Journeyman and Wasting love come next, then Man of Sorrow and Tears of a Clown and a distant last are 2 am and Como Estais Amigos.


I wouldn't consider Remember Tomorrow, Afraid to shoot strangers, Infinite Dreams to be ballads as they have full on metal parts. It's just a structure with slow parts and fast parts. Just because you have a slow part, that doesn't make you a ballad.

Now I don't really know the difference between Ballad vs Power Ballad.

In my opinion Judas Priest are just totally awesome at ballads, Iron Maiden generally not so.
I love JPs Last rose of summer, run of the mill, Before the Dawn, Night comes Down, all very awesome.

Samson's Communion is great.
 
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