Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Waiting for a hard rock love song

It’s been a long time since I last heard a great love song by a rock band. From music TV to radio, it’s just not there. There was a time when you really didn’t need to look for one, because it would just find a way to reach you. Often they would come as an oddball in an album which otherwise would be loud and hard on the whole. And if it wasn’t a love song, it would be a ballad about reflections of life or other romantic musings or of loneliness, which could sometimes get philosophical.

Take ‘Soldier of Fortune’ by Deep Purple, for example. The other day I was listening to it on YouTube and was more than surprised to realise how I still love this song after all these years. Though I may not listen to it repeatedly the way I used to once, the song can still cast a spell on me and I am glad for that. I am also glad that nearly 40 years after the song was released (1974, album: Stormbringer), the track continues to win new fans. Thank you, YouTube.

And going by viewers’ comments, one thing definitely stands out: A good song never quite fades away. Also, one can sense the unmistakable feeling among newer fans — that they consider music of the days gone so much better than today’s offerings. It’s understandable when people from the classic era say music then was the real music, but when listeners of today’s generation begin to echo the same view, it’s a validation of the opinion held by the former group.

Another song that never fails to pluck at my heartstrings is ‘Dust in the Wind’ by Kansas — an acoustic track but very intense and ‘heavy’. This 1977 song is ample reason why people can’t shake off what came before.  Then you had ‘Angie’ by Rolling Stones – one of the best love songs ever by a band, ‘Belladonna’ by UFO, ‘Love Me Somebody’ by Bad Company, ‘For Yasgur’s Farm’ by Mountain, etc.

You also had a string of heavy metal ballad from bands like Scorpions (‘Still Loving You’, ‘Lady Starlight’), Black Sabbath (‘Changes’), Nazareth (‘Love Hurts’), Def Leppard (‘Bringing on a Hearbreak’), Judas Priests (‘Before the Dawn’) etc. 

I always liked the fact the long-haired leather-clad wild children of rock and roll would sit down to pen verses on love and glorify it — or do a cover. And they would do it much better than those other cute artists which only sang lovey-dovey stuff.

And as years passed, you had Aerosmith’s offerings ‘Crying’, ‘Amazing’  and ‘Crazy’ (all from the 1993 album ‘Get a Grip’), ‘To Be With You’ by Mr. Big (1991), ‘Always’ by Bon Jovi (1994),  etc … I loved them all.  But then, post-early ’90s I have yet to come across an anthemic power ballad by a rock band. If I have missed out on any, please help me catch up.