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When were the latest pop and power ballad songs done in the style of the 1980's, such as in Journey's "who cries for you", Brenda Russell's "Piano in the Dark" or Chicago's "we can last forever"? I'm wondernig when that style of pop or power ballad came to an end, and I'd like some examples of some of the last ones to have that type of sound to them. note: I do not mean power balads as a genre, i simply mean when did that particular sound stop in terms of what year did it really die out in?

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  • ah, fair points. I thought it would have fit here at pop music on theories and such. feel free to migrate it if you like, as i don't know how to do that. – The Cat-alyst Apr 21 '17 at 18:28
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Power ballads continue to reach the charts. (Lady Gaga's A Million Reasons, Disturbed's The Sound of Silence, Harry Style's Sign of the Times) but the dominance seems to have given way to cozier ballads that came in the wake of Lilith Fair in the mid 90s where smaller ensembles were encouraged for singer-songwriters (a lone or duo of guitars, a piano, etc.) Just prior to that, you had the successful Céline Dion belting out chart topping power ballads.

In the specific examples you posted, the keyboard is the Yamaha DX7. The Yamaha keyboards would be eclipsed by Roland keyboards in roughly 1989. The Yamaha keyboards were difficult to program because you were often mapping oscillators with binary. I managed to program DX7s but it took a lot of time of experimenting to figure out what the User Interface was telling you. Roland and Korg synthesisers, while more rudimentary in synthesis, allowed programmers to easily navigate their digital keyboards which was critical for broadening sound palettes. The earlier songs (1979-1982) would have been using older Fender Rhodes for those similar sounds.

  • so what about in terms of the 1980's sound, i used power balads as I notice the use of those 80's electric keyboards and sort of 80's rock sound in them, hence why I used CHicago's 'we can last forever" as an example. – The Cat-alyst Apr 23 '17 at 19:50
  • It was more a technology shift. Power ballads continue to be produced with less primitive sound design. – Phillip Siebold Apr 24 '17 at 4:25
  • when would you say this technology shift took effect? Because I do think that the 80's sound lasted into the 90's. if you had to pick a year that this shift happened when would it be? – The Cat-alyst Apr 25 '17 at 7:37
  • I think that would be better as a new question. – Phillip Siebold Apr 28 '17 at 2:02
  • just say your edited comment, and i think now it seems to answer my question. thanks. – The Cat-alyst Apr 29 '17 at 12:42

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