The 200 Best Rock Ballads Of All Time

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Ballads in rock music have been popular since the emergence of rock. Inspired by folk and blues ballads, rock ballads gained prominence in the early 1970s and have been a staple in music ever since. The first rock ballad was written by the English rock band “Led Zeppelin” and is called “Stairway to Heaven”. In every decade rock ballads have evolved.

In the early years of rock, ballads were often played with acoustic instruments. From the 80s on, electric instruments were also used. Power ballads became incredibly popular in the 80s and this trend continues today.

But what actually is a rock ballad?

A typical rock song with electric guitar, bass, drums, and intense vocals becomes a power ballad when it comes to the themes of love, Sadness or other big feelings go. So a ballad is a song that tells a story about an emotional situation.

We have divided the countless love songs of rock into five categories. First of all, let’s introduce you to the most popular power ballads. Then we will introduce you to songs that are perfect for a wedding.

The following are songs for a karaoke evening and of course we have also divided the rock ballads by decades.

(For each list, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for you with all the songs listed here.)

The best rock ballads of all time

01. I Would Do Anything For Love by Meat Loaf


I Would Do Anything For Love is one of the most famous and popular rock ballads. The ballad impresses with a meaningful text and rousing music. With this song, Meat Loaf has shown great feelings and shows a very sensitive side.

The rock ballad is about how you would really do anything for love, but if one thing goes against your morals, you may take that step for love as well. The song shows that you don’t have to go over dead bodies for the greatest love of all times and that you can remain true to yourself despite everything!

02. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica


This slow rock ballad shows a lot of feeling and immediately gets under your skin. The song is about being alone on the road and missing someone at home very much. Nevertheless, the song is not only addressed to a specific person but is supposed to represent a connection to a higher power.

So it’s about much more than missing a lover. The lyrics should remind you of the really important things in life and what it is worth fighting for. A powerful song that you just can’t get enough of!

03. We Are The Champions by Queen


Probably the most famous song by Queen is We Are The Champions. The rocking song inspires numerous people after competitions and just makes them happy. Originally it was not expected that the song would lead to such a worldwide success.

But We Are The Champions has become a real anthem and is also used in numerous TV shows, etc. used. The song was written by Freddie Mercury, who wanted the audience to feel the emotion of the shot to sing along to bring. Freddie has certainly achieved his goal because you have to sing along with the hymn almost automatically!

04. Knockin’ On Heavens Door by Bob Dylan


Knockin’ On Heavens Door is also one of the most popular rock ballads of all time and immediately gets under your skin. The song convinces with its great lyrics and fantastic music.

The lyrics of the song refer to the emotions of the aging sheriff Baker, who is shot and awaits death in the presence of his beloved wife. Here, a man reviews his life in the face of death. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door is basically a very sing-along song sad song.

The famous music magazine Rolling Stone included the song in its list of the 500 best rock songs.

05. Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley


With Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley proves not only that he can sing, but that he also understands great feelings. The gentle love song simply offers everything that rock ballads must bring with them: Love, pain, and passion.

Love Me Tender became one of his biggest hits and is still played on the radio today. Not only the lyrics but also the melody of the song are simply timeless. Even today, we continue to experience new Cover versions of the song.

With the song, Elvis has written music history in any case and created a brilliant lyric, which is exceedingly romantic and says so much.

06. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd


Wish You Were Here is also one of the most famous rock ballads. With the song, Pink Floyd managed a mega-hit, which became a timeless classic. Another song that alludes to missing another person very much.

You imagine what the other person is doing right now and you want them by your side. Probably a lot of people can understand these thoughts as well. Pink Floyd hit the bull’s eye with this song anyway.

07. We Don’t Need Another Hero by Tina Turner


This song made world history. We Don’t Need Another Hero was taken from the movie Thunderdome and inspired many people. The song is about the fact that we don’t need another hero on earth, we should just learn from our mistakes and live simply.

Not only the music but also the lyrics behind it are moving and especially meaningful. With this song, Tina Turner achieved her first and only number 1 hit in Germany in 1985. At the end, Tina sings: “Give it all you’ve got, or leave it.”

08. Candle In The Wind by Elton John


With Candle In The Wind, Elton John originally dedicated himself to the life of Marilyn Monroe. The song convinces with a great melody and very thoughtful lyrics.

Elton wonders with the song, how Marilyn Monroe must have felt. In its lyrics, it addresses the fact that she was in fact a very lonely person whose life was lived like a candle in the wind. Later he dedicated the song with new lyrics to Princess Diana and performed it at her wedding Funeral.

So today you can find two versions of the song, which refer once to Marilyn and once to Diana.

09. November Rain by Guns N’ Roses


November Rain is also one of the most beautiful rock ballads. The song was written by Axl Rose, the singer, and frontman of the band Guns N’ Roses. The song has a length of about 9 minutes.

November Rain became probably one of the most legendary songs of the band and broke a digital record a quarter of a century after its first release. The accompanying music video has over a billion views on YouTube by now. The band has probably done a lot right with this song and can be happy about a real-world success!

10. I’m With You by Avril Lavigne


Also, this song belongs to the most beautiful rock ballads of all time. With this song, the Canadian singer Avril Lavigne achieved her international breakthrough. The young singer convinces with the song not only with a great voice but also with an excellent text.

The music is moving, the lyrics are comprehensible for many people and the voice is great. What more could you want from a rock ballad? This song can also be considered timeless for sure and still inspires numerous people today. I’m With You basically describes that everything doesn’t matter as long as you feel connected to a person, even if you don’t really know him.

11. Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill


Sometimes When We Touch is also a wonderful rock ballad that has been extremely popular for decades. This song is also timeless and especially meaningful in its lyrics. There is hardly a person who does not know the song.

The romantic ballad is often used for Weddings, Engagements or other romantic celebrations used and is just beautiful! Dan Hill achieved a hit with the song and wrote a small piece of music history with the song. Sometimes When We Touch is one of the music of the most romantic ballads has to offer.

12. Bed Of Roses by Bon Jovi


Bed Of Roses is one of the most famous songs of Bon Jovi. His unique rock voice is just as convincing as the lyrics and the brilliant music.

Not only numerous women dream of a bed of roses but also Jon Bon Jovi, who would like to put his love in it. The song was written after a wild night and is supposed to describe Bon Jovi’s feelings the next morning. This song also became a worldwide success and made sure that Bon Jovi could also show his romantic side for a change.

13. Alone by Heart


Alone describes a situation in which you are secretly in love and would like to tell your crush, but somehow you just don’t dare. The song describes that at some point you fall madly in love and have never felt the way you feel now.

The more important it becomes for you, the more difficult it is to admit that you are in love. We all know the fear of rejection and most of the time we are incredibly afraid of it. Sometimes this silence goes on for years and you almost go crazy yourself.

Also, this text can certainly understand many people and thus well put themselves in the situation of the singer.

14. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler


This enchanting ballad is one of the world’s most famous songs by Bonnie Tyler. With Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie proves that she has a lot of emotion in her voice and convinces with fantastic music and unique lyrics. The ballad can be seen as a real longing ballad and contains an incredible amount of passion and pain at the same time.

The lyrics describe that you can not only get sick of love but also be torn apart. Total Eclipse Of The Heart is in any case a song for eternity!

15. Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira


This romantic pop-rock ballad by Shakira inspired numerous people worldwide. Underneath Your Clothes is one of the first songs that Shakira wrote and sang in the English language.

The artist scored a worldwide hit with the song and provided a harmonious, stylish rock ballad that people still love to listen to today. The lyrics of Underneath Your Clothes are a bit unusual on closer inspection, but nevertheless very romantic and something different for a change. The singer basically describes that it’s not the external things, clothes, money, and fame that are important, but exactly what’s underneath all that: The person himself.

16. Bring Me To Life by Evanescence


Evanescence achieved its breakthrough with the breathtaking song Bring Me To Life. The gothic rock ballad is one of the most impressive dark ballads of all time and combines the incredibly beautiful voice of Amy Lee with a rocking sound and a yearning, crying for redemption lyrics.

Amy Lee and her band achieved an international breakthrough with this song and still enjoy its popularity today. With this song, Evanescence focused on the dark side of the soul and the hidden passions and feelings. The song can be seen as a cry for help to a loved one or even to a higher power.

17. You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi


You Give Love A Bad Name is one of those songs that always likes to be covered. The song became a worldwide hit at the time and is still very popular today.

You Give Love A Bad Name is about falling in love with a person who basically doesn’t deserve love. Many people fall in love with the seemingly wrong people and are anything but happy during this time. Who knows the suffering in love or. If you know someone because of his love, you will surely take this song immediately into your heart!

18. The Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel


The brilliant song The Sound Of Silence is a worldwide-known rock ballad that takes your breath away. This rather quiet, contemplative ballad is about the thoughts that come to you when you’re alone with yourself and wandering in the darkness. The song reminds me a bit of the western sound.

Even today, this song is very relatable for many people. The Sound Of Silence is more current than ever and can also be considered very timeless. Great ballad, unique lyrics, and a great singer!

19. Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson


Marilyn Manson used this song a classic by Gloria Jones. The song is about the fact that love can sometimes be poisoned.

This song is also about the fact that you only later realize what a person is really like. Tainted Love convinces especially with the lyrics. Marilyn Manson managed to give the song an eerie, beautiful touch and convince with the successful rock song.

20. Poison by Alice Cooper


Poison by Alice Cooper also wrote music history. The song convinces with its unique artist, the successful music as well as the unique lyrics.

This song is also one of the timeless songs of the music industry, which have lost nothing of their magic even today. Alice Cooper succeeded with the song a mega hit.

The most popular rock ballads of all time:

Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.

Place: Song: Performer: Listen:
21. Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon
22. Wonderwall Oasis
23. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing Aerosmith
24. Every Breath You Take The Police
25. With or Without You U2
26. Open Arms Journey
27. Can’t Fight This Feeling Reo Speedwagon
28. Somebody To Love Queen
29. God Only Knows Beach Boys
30. Tiny Dancer Elton John
31. Reason To Live Kiss
32. Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
33. Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd
34. Here Without You 3 Doors Down
35. Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad Meat Loaf
36. Love Bites Def Leppard
37. The Rose Bette Midler
38. You’re The Inspiration Chicago
39. Imagine John Lennon
40. I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner
41. I Remember You Skid Row
42. Love Song The Cure
43. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing Aerosmith
44. Love Me Tender Elvis Presley
45. I Won’t Hold You Back Toto
46. Dust In The Wind Kansas
47. Father of Mine Everclear
48. Is This Love Whitesnake
49. Who Wants To Live Forever Queen
50. Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel
51. I’m Yours Jason Mraz
52. Glory Of Love Peter Cetera
53. Maps Yeah Yeah Yeahs
54. Something Beatles
55. Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin
56. Love Bites Def Leppard
57. Love Is Only A Feeling The Darkness
58. Fly To The Angels Slaughter
59. Hard To Say I’m Sorry Chicago
60. Yesterday The Beatles
61. The Deeper the Love Whitesnake
62. I Found Someone Cher
63. Madness Muse
64. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling Righteous Brothers
65. Desperado Eagles
66. Carrie Europe
67. Let It Be Beatles
68. Apologize The Last Vegas
69. Never Say Goodbye Bon Jovi
70. Piano Man Billy Joel
71. Hey There Delilah Plain White T’s
72. Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison
73. Tears in Heaven Eric Clapton
74. Wild Horses Rolling Stones
75. No Matter What Papa Roach
76. When I See You Smile Bad English
77. As Tears Go By Rolling Stones
78. Crying Roy Orbison
79. The One That You Love Air Supply
80. In My Life The Beatles
81. Heaven Bryan Adams
82. One of Us Joan Osborne
83. All I Have To Do Is Dream Everly Brothers
84. All By Myself Eric Carmen
85. Running Scared Roy Orbison
86. The Only Exception Paramore
87. Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley
88. I’ll Stand By You Pretenders
89. American Pie Don McLean
90. Home Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
91. Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers
92. Goodbye To Romance Ozzy Osbourne
93. Wonderful Tonight Eric Clapton
94. Candle in the Wind 1997 Elton John
95. Without You Badfinger
96. Wind Of Change Scorpions
97. Hurt Nine Inch Nails
98. Only The Lonely Roy Orbison
99. Always Bon Jovi
100. The Flame Cheap Trick
101. You’re Beautiful James Blunt
102. You and Me Lifehouse
103. Angie Rolling Stones
104. It Must Have Been Love Roxette
105. Stay Lisa Loeb
106. Wherever You Will Go The Calling
107. Daniel Elton John
108. Hey Jude Beatles
109. I Miss You Blink 182
110. Broken Wings Mr. Mister
111. The Reason Hoobastank
112. You’re All I Need White Lion
113. Never Tear Us Apart INXS

Die besten Rockballaden für die Hochzeit:

Rock-Liebeslieder sind in den letzten Yearen bei Hochzeiten immer beliebter geworden. Slow rock ballads evoke special memories. The thrill of being in your partner’s arms while slow dancing at the wedding is a special moment.

It’s a beautiful feeling to dance with your partner when the lights on the dance floor are shining dimly. When love songs are played at a wedding, you can feel the passion in every line. You are looking for more wedding songs?

Read also our article: The most beautiful wedding songs of all time.

Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.

Place: Song: Artist: Listen:
1. Take My Breath Away Berlin
2. Marry Me Train
3. You and Me Lifehouse
4. Glory of Love Peter Cetera
5. You Make Lovin Fun Fleetwood Mac
6. You Are So Beautiful Joe Cocker
7. Love of a Lifetime Firehouse
8. Love Song Tesla
9. Up Where We Belong Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
10. Nothing Else Matters Metallica
11. With Or Without You U2
12. Faithfully Journey
13. Thank You Led Zeppelin
14. You and I Scorpions
15. Can’t Stop Loving You Van Halen

The most popular rock ballads for karaoke:

Singing love songs on a karaoke night can create a romantic mood quite quickly. If you’re looking for more karaoke songs, be sure to check out our article on the best songs to sing along.

Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.

Place: song: Performer: Listen:
1. Always Bon Jovi
2. Wonderwall Oasis
3. Only the Lonely The Motels
4. Love Song The Cure
5. I’ll Stand By You The Pretenders
6. Free Falling Tom Petty
7. Alone Heart
8. She Loves You The Beatles
9. I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher
10. It Must Have Been Love Roxette
11. Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon
12. Bed Of Roses Bon Jovi
13. Every Breath You Take The Police
14. The Sweetest Thing U2
15. Jack & Diane John Mellencamp
16. Disarm Smashing Pumpkins

Rock ballads from the 2000s:

Since 2000 some new rock songs have been created. Many modern rock love songs combine acoustic instruments with electric instruments, creating a new sound. Modern rock bands are influenced by different musical genres. These influences can also be heard in modern rock.

A new soundscape emerged and this is also reflected in rock ballads. Discover more Songs from the 2000s!

Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.

Place: Song: Artist: Listen:
1. I’m Yours Jason Mraz
2. The Reason Hoobastank
3. My Happy Ending Avril Lavigne
4. Lost In You Three Days Grace
5. When I’m Gone 3 Doors Down
6. Hate Me Blue October
7. What Kind of Men Florence and the Machine
8. Madness Muse
9. She Will Be Loved Maroon 5
10. How Daughter
11. You’re Beautiful James Blunt
12. Thinking About You Puddle of Mudd
13. Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
14. Love Drunk Boys Like Girls
15. Home Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
16. This Love Maroon 5
17. Everybody’s Changing Keane
18. Wherever You Will Go The Calling
19. Trying Not To Love You Nickelback
20. Last To Know Three Days Grace
21. The Scientist Coldplay
22. That Kiss Courteeners
23. Use Somebody Kings of Leon
24. The Only Exception Paramore
25. Everglow Coldplay
26. Jet Pack Blues Fall Out Boy
27. My Heart Paramore
28. Waiting For You Grizfolk
29. She Loves Me Not Papa Roach
30. Everything Lifehouse
31. Maps Yeah Yeah Yeahs
32. Hey There Delilah Plain White T’s
33. I Need You Saving Abel
34. Somebody Loves You Eels
35. No Matter What Papa Roach
36. Smile Sixx: A.M.
37. I Miss You Blink 182
38. Chances Five For Fighting
39. Far Away Nickelback
40. First Day of My Life Bright Eyes
41. Sex On Fire Kings Of Leon
42. When You’re Gone Avril Lavigne

Rock ballads from the 80s and 90s:

The 80s and 90s were seminal decades in music history. Some of the best rock ballads were released during this period. Here is our playlist of the best love songs from this glamorous age of music.

You want to know more love songs from the 80s and 90s? Click on: 80s love songs und 90er Yeare Liebeslieder.

Each song is linked to its music video via the title.

Place: Song: Performer: Listen:
1. Everybody Hurts R.E.M.
2. Love Bites Def Leppard
3. Edge of Seventeen Stevie Nicks
4. Forever Young Alphaville
5. I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner
6. Listen to Your Heart Roxette
7. With or Without You U2
8. Heaven Bryan Adams
9. Sweet Child O’ Mine Guns N’ Roses
10. Stay Lisa Loeb
11. Disarm Smashing Pumpkins
12. Higher Creed
13. Can’t Stop Loving You Van Halen
14. It Must Have Been Love Roxette
15. Right Here Waiting Richard Marx
16. Something to Believe in Poison
17. Tears in Heaven Eric Clapton
18. Hallelujah Jeff Buckley
19. Father of Mine Everclear
20. Every Breath You Take The Police
21. Stand up Kick Love into Motion Def Leppard
22. I’ll Be Edwin McCain
23. Alone Heart
24. Take My Breath Away Berlin
25. Here Without You 3 Doors Down
26. Glory of Love Peter Cetera
27. November Rain Guns N’ Roses
28. Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon
29. Black Hole Sun Soundgarden
30. I’ll Stand By You Pretenders
31. The Rose Bette Midler
32. Please Forgive Me Bryan Adams
33. These Dreams Heart
34. Never Tear Us Apart INXS
35. Nothing Else Matters Metallica
36. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For U2
37. Two Steps Behind Def Leppard
38. Promises in the Dark Pat Benatar
39. You’re the Inspiration Chicago
40. Up Where We Belong Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
41. Love Song The Cure
42. The One That You Love Air Supply
43. You’re All I Need White Lion
44. All for Love Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting
45. The Flame Cheap Trick
46. Come As You Are Nirvana
47. I Would Do Anything for Love Meatloaf
48. Price of Love Bad English
49. I’ll Be There for You Bon Jovi
50. Love of a Lifetime Firehouse
51. Always Bon Jovi
52. Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison
53. Look Away Chicago
54. Faithfully Journey
55. The Deeper the Love Whitesnake
56. More Than Words Extreme
57. Iris Goo Goo Dolls
58. Only the Lonely The Motels
59. Wonderwall Oasis
60. Can’t Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon
61. More Than Words Can Say Alias

For a song to become a worldwide success, it probably needs not only good music but also successful lyrics that people can still relate to decades later. Especially rock ballads get under your skin and must be able to create excitement not only with a great voice but also with insightful lyrics!

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