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.
|21.||Keep on Loving You||REO Speedwagon|
|23.||I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing||Aerosmith|
|24.||Every Breath You Take||The Police|
|25.||With or Without You||U2|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|61.||The Deeper the Love||Whitesnake|
|62.||I Found Someone||Cher|
|64.||You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling||Righteous Brothers|
|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|
|79.||The One That You Love||Air Supply|
|80.||In My Life||The Beatles|
|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|
|96.||Wind Of Change||Scorpions|
|97.||Hurt||Nine Inch Nails|
|98.||Only The Lonely||Roy Orbison|
|100.||The Flame||Cheap Trick|
|101.||You’re Beautiful||James Blunt|
|102.||You and Me||Lifehouse|
|104.||It Must Have Been Love||Roxette|
|106.||Wherever You Will Go||The Calling|
|109.||I Miss You||Blink 182|
|110.||Broken Wings||Mr. Mister|
|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.
|1.||Take My Breath Away||Berlin|
|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|
|9.||Up Where We Belong||Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes|
|10.||Nothing Else Matters||Metallica|
|11.||With Or Without You||U2|
|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.
|3.||Only the Lonely||The Motels|
|4.||Love Song||The Cure|
|5.||I’ll Stand By You||The Pretenders|
|6.||Free Falling||Tom Petty|
|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|
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.
|1.||I’m Yours||Jason Mraz|
|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|
|9.||She Will Be Loved||Maroon 5|
|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|
|18.||Wherever You Will Go||The Calling|
|19.||Trying Not To Love You||Nickelback|
|20.||Last To Know||Three Days Grace|
|23.||Use Somebody||Kings of Leon|
|24.||The Only Exception||Paramore|
|26.||Jet Pack Blues||Fall Out Boy|
|28.||Waiting For You||Grizfolk|
|29.||She Loves Me Not||Papa Roach|
|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|
|37.||I Miss You||Blink 182|
|38.||Chances||Five For Fighting|
|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.
Each song is linked to its music video via the title.
|2.||Love Bites||Def Leppard|
|3.||Edge of Seventeen||Stevie Nicks|
|5.||I Want to Know What Love Is||Foreigner|
|6.||Listen to Your Heart||Roxette|
|7.||With or Without You||U2|
|9.||Sweet Child O’ Mine||Guns N’ Roses|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|52.||Every Rose Has Its Thorn||Poison|
|55.||The Deeper the Love||Whitesnake|
|56.||More Than Words||Extreme|
|57.||Iris||Goo Goo Dolls|
|58.||Only the Lonely||The Motels|
|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!