Bigger, Better Power Ballads II - Various
It’s been a long wait for fans of Prince, but now they can finally say he’s in the same league as Nickelback and Richard Marx and Roxette with the arrival of Power Ballads Best The Volume 78 Series, Ever!! or whatever this generic rock compilation is actually called. You know the drill by now – a mixture of seventies and eighties tracks with a couple of ‘now’ tracks so the youngsters don’t get too annoyed when it gets played in the car, because make no mistake – this is driving music. The cover even goes so far as to show a vast highway with lightning striking and an open road for those who can’t guess the purpose.
As you’ve probably guessed, this is simply a shoddy excuse for Virgin’s creative marketing department to plunder their extensive back catalogue and licensing agreements in time for father’s day, creating tenuous links in the form of the “power ballad” theme and making an album that, if it were food, would be a vat of lumpy porridge. Too much, too stodgy, too samey. This would have appealed to an eight year old me, wet behind the ears and having just bought “Poison” by Alice Cooper on 7” but nowadays, it’s hard to imagine anyone who likes this kind of music who doesn’t have a good proportion of these (admittedly great individually) songs in one form or another if this is their bag. There is a positive in the value for money side, as this collection manages to last nearly two and a half hours, and includes the full versions of tracks usually cut short on such compilations such as Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell and Prince’s Purple Rain, but really, you’d be better off buying the classic albums that these come from, which at least have a sense of coherence, and are by and large over a lot quicker.