I’m paraphrasing here, but Billy Joel once gave an interview where he said something like “Soft rock sounds too much like soft cock. I want a hard cock!”. Funny statement coming from one of the originators of the modern-day “lite music” sound, but his sentiments echo those of most who consider the dramatic pop ballad the bane of modern-day music.

Not so, say I. A well-sung, melodic ballad can be just as good as any edgy rocker. Case in point, the song that starts off this countdown: “All Out of Love”, by the Australian duo known to one and all as Air Supply.

Graham Russell (the tall blond one) and Russell Hitchcock (the short, dark one) were the kings of adult contemporary ballads in the first half of the Eighties, scoring hit after hit with orchestration-heavy, borderline sappy ballads like “Even the Nights Are Better” and “The One That You Love”. However, “All Out of Love” stands head and shoulders above the rest. Perhaps because it’s one of the few Air Supply hits that has both members sharing vocals. Perhaps because the way Hitchcock’s voice crests at the end of the dramatic brige. Maybe it’s that impressively long note at the end of the song. Any way you slice it, this is one hell of a soft rock gem. You can’t deny it.

Since the song’s original video is nowhere to be found on Yahoo and Youtube has disabled embedding on it, I am forced to show you an abbreviated version of the song from Arista Records’ 10th Anniversary concert, which was at some point in the late Eighties. Bask in the glory of Graham’s Bolton-esque mullet. Wither in the face of the diminutive Hitchcock’s powerful tenor (thank God he got rid of that curly fro). Revel in the cheesetasticness that is “All Out of Love”.

And how’s this for hard cock? One day in the mid-Nineties, I found a familar face on the cover of a tattoo magazine. Who knew that the bite-sized lead singer of one of the most notoriously cheesy pop groups of all time had a body full of ink underneath those suits?