Best rock ballads

Best rock ballads DEFAULT

The 40 Greatest Power Ballads Playlist

What is a power ballad? In its purest, most drenched? Hyper-emotional? Agonising? In short: it’s a ballad with power. That’s the reason why, when assembling this list, we chose KISS’ massive Reason To Live above the less-than-massive Beth; Journey’s Open Arms instead of Don’t Stop Believin’; Bryan Adams’s Heaven in favour of (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. It’s also why Extreme’s More Than Words didn’t make the list at all.

You’d have thought compiling a list of the Top 40 power ballads of all time would’ve been easy. If only. By the end of a marathon judging session the assembled Classic Rock scribes were tearing their hair out. Thankfully, there was plenty to go around – we’d all had 1980s poodle perms especially for the occasion. The atmosphere got more heated than our curlers.

Eventually we boiled down the essential qualities of a power ballad into five key categories.

THE SURGE (also known as THE CRUNCH). Does the song ebb and flow gently, and then suddenly – when you least expect it – erupt with the gush of a tsunami?

THE SOAR. Does the song fly like an eagle, or does it ponce about like a penguin?

SINCERITY. Is the song gut-wrenching? Tear-drenched? Hyper-emotional? Agonising? In short: does it come from the (ideally shattered) heart?

FLUFFINESS. An essential counter-balance to the surge and the soar.

Finally, THE CHEESE. This relates to over-the-top lyrics sung in a pleading, often tormented, manner. It could apply to couplets such as ‘I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you/It’s the only thing I wanna do’, or to exaggerated statements about plummeting to the ground on broken wings, doing it for the glory of love, holding on and never saying goodbye, et cetera.

We diligently applied those criteria to come up with our 40 greatest power ballads. Which explains why there’s no Queen (too theatrical), Michael Bolton (too wimpy) or Celine Dion (too crap).

And no band has more than one entry. That’s because if certain Classic Rock factions had had their way, our list would’ve contained nothing but Toto and REO Speedwagon songs.

Let us know what you think of our selection. If you reckon we’ve made any glaring omissions, please tell us. In the meantime, grab hold of that lighter and hold it proudly aloft.

Hang on to your handkerchiefs. We’re going in…

40. Badfinger - Without You (1970) 

If you’re only familiar with Harry Nilsson’s version of this band’s song, prepare to be amazed. It’s sparse, haunting and rockier than you might imagine. 

Choice lyric: ‘I can’t live/If living is without you’

39. Eric Carmen - All By Myself (1976)

Sweeping and orchestral, what this lacks in oomph it more than makes up for with Carmen’s mega-melancholic vocals. Based on a piece by Russian classical composer Serge Rachmaninoff. Not a lot of people know that. 

Choice lyric: ‘I think of all the friends I’ve known/ But when I dial the telephone/Nobody’s home’

38. Bryan Adams - Heaven (1985)

Banish those thoughts of Kevin Costner in tights, being catapulted over a wall – this is the real deal. A classic rough-edged vocal performance from Bryan Adams, who sounds believably incredulous when he sings: ‘I’m findin’ it hard to believe we’re in Heaven’. The B-side to this was a tribute to Princess Diana (splutter). 

Choice lyric: see above

37. Boston - Amanda (1986) 

Sweet and majestic, with powerful guitar- driven choruses, this was a No.1 single in the US but didn’t even chart in the UK. Sometimes we Brits have no class. This track is technically flawless in the finest Boston tradition. 

Choice lyric: ‘I don’t want to waste/My whole night through/To say… I’m in love with you’

36. Queensrÿche - Silent Lucidity (1990) 

Proof positive that proggers can preen with the best of ’em. Magnificently melodic, Silent Lucidity escalates dramatically after a velvety opening. A stately art-rock ballad – although lyrics about ‘dream control’ and suchlike might be too sci-fi for some tastes. 

Choice lyric: ‘I am smiling next to you, in silent lucidity’

35. Winger - Miles Away (1990) 

This comes from the Winger album In The Heart Of The Young – which is a prime power ballad title by itself. The wistful Miles Away was adopted as the theme tune by relatives of servicemen involved in the Gulf War. Not that the soldiers over there noticed: they were far too busy keeping their heads down and blasting out Metallica songs at deaf (after the Metallica-on-11 assaults, anyway) Iraqis. 

Choice lyric: ‘Sometimes, just for a moment/I reach out, hope you’re still there’

34. Alias - More Than Words Can Say (1990) 

Two fewer words and this would have the same title as an Extreme song (the one which, as we said in our introduction, is a ballad without the power). It’s amazing what the addition of a ‘Can’ and a ‘Say’ can do…, assisted by yearning vocals and an arrangement puffier than the Pillsbury Dough boy. 

Choice lyric: ‘I need you now/Before I lose my mind’

33. The Darkness - Love Is Only A Feeling (2003) 

The Darkness turn the power ballad formula on its head – and Justin Hawkins’s Wordsworthian lyrics are only the half of it. Rather than beginning softly, this kicks off with pounding drums and an All The Young Dudes-style riff. There’s plenty of light and shade, but then the song fizzles out at the end with some soft bouzouki strumming. Typically perverse. Love Is Only A Feeling proves how well The Darkness assimilated their influences and then moulded them into a unique style. 

Choice lyric: ‘The state of elation that this unison of hearts achieved/I had seen, I had touched, I had tasted and I truly believed’

32. Quarterflash - Harden My Heart (1982) 

Unusually, Quarterflash’s vocalist, Rindy Ross, also played the saxophone. Harden My Heart is a finely judged mix of glossy rock and lush synth-pop, and Ms Ross handles the bittersweet lyrics in a husky, soulful style. One for the connoisseurs. 

Choice lyric: ‘I’m gonna harden my heart/I’m gonna swallow my tears’

31. Cinderella - Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone) (1988) 

Amazingly this is the only track in our Top 40 to contain a pair of brackets (in its title). Thumping keyboards, tortured vocals, and the biggest chorus in Christendom. What more do you wanna know? When Cinderella played Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone) live it would often segue into another massive slowie: Nobody’s Fool. It was almost too much for balladkind to bear. 

Choice lyric: ‘I hear you calling far away/Tearing through my soul/I just can’t take another day’

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Top 100 Rock Ballads of the '80s and '90s

Danny has been an online writer for over fours years. His articles often focus on the music industry and pop culture history.

There's nothing like a rock ballad from the '80s and '90s. Back then, they sure knew how to write and sing slow love songs and power ballads.

As Sammy Hagar (of Van Halen) said, "there were moments, like in some of the ballads, I put my heart and soul into those records. Those lyrics when I sang 'em, I gave myself goosebumps."

Welcome to my video list of top 100 rock ballads of the '80s and '90s. Although it was hard to decide which songs to include and what order to list them in, I have compiled my favorite songs here, limiting myself to the 100 songs I love the most.

I hope you like this list, and feel free to leave me a comment or a suggestion about a song I missed. Who knows, it may end up on the list!

My Top 10 Rock Ballads

  1. "With or Without You" U2
  2. "The Unforgiven" Mettalica
  3. "Father of Mine" Everclear
  4. "Keep on Loving You" REO Speedwagon
  5. "Love Song" The Cure
  6. "The Deeper the Love" Whitesnake
  7. "Wonderwall" Oasis
  8. "Promises in the Dark" Pat Benatar
  9. "Price of Love" Bad English
  10. "The Rose" Bette Midler

1. U2: With or Without You

2. Metallica: The Unforgiven

3. Everclear: Father of Mine

4. REO Speedwagon: Keep on Loving You

5. The Cure: Love Song

What Makes a Rock Song a Power Ballad?

A ballad is a song that tells a story about an emotional situation. More than other songs, a ballad's emotion is super pumped-up, maybe a little exaggerated, but the result is that you feel satisfied, like the song was therapeutic.

Rock ballads and power ballads are the same thing. A typical rock song, with its electric guitars, bass, drums, and intense vocals, becomes a power ballad when it gets all sentimental and gooey about love, or sadness, or any other big emotion. Music journalist Charles Aaron has said that the first rock ballad may be "Stairway to Heaven," which was released in 1971. Other early rock ballads include Aerosmith's "Dream On" and "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Simon Frith, the British sociomusicologist and former rock critic, has written that the power ballads of the '80s were also inspired by soul. Think "Sexual Healing" and "Midnight Train to Georgia." Singers like Ray Charles sang in a soulful way that influenced rockers like Joe Cocker to write slow songs with loud, emotional lyrics backed by electric bands.

In the '80s, big-haired (but macho) rockers started cranking out the slow-tempo, sentimental songs that—and here's the "power" part of power ballad—built up to the crazy, thrilling crescendo of electric guitar, bass, drums, and vocals that we all love.

6. Whitesnake: The Deeper the Love

7. Oasis: Wonderwall

8. Pat Benatar: Promises in the Dark

9. Bad English: Price of Love

10. Bette Midler: The Rose

That's Right. No Aerosmith or Queen.

It was hard to come up with just 100 of my favorite rock ballads. I know there are lots of you out there who will take me to the mat for leaving off Aerosmith's "What it Takes," and "Dream On," not to mention Queen's "Somebody to Love" and the ever-popular "Bohemian Rhapsody."

What can I say except that while I love these songs . . . they're not in my top 100?!? The hard part, but also the fun part, of making this list is that I know it'll stir up some debate.

11. John Mellencamp: Jack & Diane

12. INXS: Never Tear Us Apart

13. Roxette: It Must Have Been Love

14. Stevie Nicks: Edge of Seventeen

15. Lisa Loeb: Stay

"Judas," the First Ballad

Historians believe that one of the very ballads was written in the 13th century and was called "Judas." In that song Christ gives Judas 30 pieces of silver to buy food for the Apostles, but on his way to the market, Judas runs into his sister, who lulls him to sleep and steals the money. Unwilling to confess his loss, Judas sells Christ to the Romans for the same amount of money.

16. Heart: Alone

17. Loverboy: Heaven in Your Eyes

18. Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting: All for Love

19. Poison: Something to Believe in

20. U2: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Best Rock Ballads for Karaoke

  1. "Alone" Heart
  2. "Love Song" The Cure
  3. "Jack & Diane" John Mellencamp
  4. "Wonderwall" Oasis
  5. "Keep on Loving You" REO Speedwagon
  6. "Every Breath You Take" The Police
  7. "I'll Stand By You" The Pretenders
  8. "Disarm" Smashing Pumpkins
  9. "Free Falling" Tom Petty
  10. "Only the Lonely" The Motels

21. Soul Asylum: Runaway Train

22. Eric Clapton: Tears in Heaven

Best Unrequited Love Ballad Lyric

Oh can't you see?

You belong to me.

How my poor heart aches

With every step you take.

— "Every Breath You Take" The Police

23. Foreigner: I Want to Know What Love Is

24. 3 Doors Down: Here Without You

25. Air Supply: The One That You Love

Best Power Ballads by Female Singers

  1. "The Rose" Bette Midler
  2. "Promises in the Dark" Pat Benatar
  3. "It Must Have Been Love" Roxette
  4. "Edge of Seventeen" Stevie Nicks
  5. "Alone" Heart
  6. "Stay" Lisa Loeb
  7. "I'll Stand by You" The Pretenders
  8. "Only the Lonely" The Motels
  9. "Take My Breath Away" Berlin
  10. "One of Us" Joan Osborne

26. Def Leppard: Stand up Kick Love into Motion

27. Bad English: When I See You Smile

28. Cheap Trick: The Flame

29. The Police: Every Breath You Take

30. Bryan Adams: Heaven

What Makes a Great Power Ballad Video?

Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon has said that power ballads are basically folk songs played on electric instruments, with the wattage turned way up.

  • Rock ballad videos feature footage from live performances, in huge venues, with the fans all holding their lighters up.
  • The story of the band is featured. We see them playing on stage and then another story is intercut—maybe a gorgeous woman in high heels who's waiting around for the band.
  • Members of the band have big hair and the singer delivers the lyrics like he's singing an anthem, microphone in one hand and his head back.
  • Look for lots of dry ice, too.

31. Pretenders: I'll Stand By You

We walked the loneliest mile.

We smile without any style.

We kiss all together wrong,

No intention.

— "Only the Lonely" The Motels

32. Chicago: You're the Inspiration

33. Bon Jovi: Always

34. The Motels: Only the Lonely

35. REO Speedwagon: Can't Fight This Feeling

36. Chicago: Look Away

37. Night Ranger: Sister Christian

38. White Lion: You're All I Need

39. Tom Petty: Free Falling

40. Collective Soul: Shine

41. Boston: Amanda

42. Warrant: Heaven

43. Bryan Adams: Please Forgive Me

And I would do anything for love.

I'd run right into hell and back.

I would do anything for love.

I'd never lie to you and that's a fact.

But I'll never forget the way you feel right now,

Oh no, no way.

— "I Would Do Anything for Love" Meatloaf

44. Guns N' Roses: Sweet Child O' Mine

45. Guns N' Roses: November Rain

46. Lita Ford & Ozzy Osborne: Close My Eyes Forever

47. Meatloaf: I Would Do Anything for Love

48. Richard Marx: Right Here Waiting

49. Def Leppard: Love Bites

50. Whitesnake: Here I Go Again

Best Rock Ballads for a Wedding

  1. "Take My Breath Away" Berlin
  2. "Up Where We Belong" Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
  3. "Faithfully" Journey
  4. "Can't Stop Loving You" Van Halen
  5. "Glory of Love" Peter Cetera
  6. "Love of a Lifetime" Firehouse
  7. "Nothing Else Matters" Metallica
  8. "Avalon" Roxy Music

51. Skid Row: I Remember You

52. Slaughter: Fly to the Angels

53. Berlin: Take My Breath Away

54. Extreme: More Than Words

55. Queensryche: Anybody Listening?

56. Alias: More Than Words Can Say

57. Alphaville: Forever Young

58. Howard Jones: No One Is to Blame

59. Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes: Up Where We Belong

60. Creed: Higher

61. Soundgarten: Black Hole Sun

62. Soundgarten: Fell on Black Days

63. Nirvana: Come As You Are

64. Goo Goo Dolls: Iris

When your day is long

And the night

The night is yours alone.

When you're sure you've had enough

Of this life,

Well hang on.

Don't let yourself go.

'Cause everybody cries

And everybody hurts sometimes.

— "Everybody Hurts" R.E.M.

65. Journey: Faithfully

66. Tesla: Love Song

67. R.E.M.: Everybody Hurts

68. Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah

69. Heart: These Dreams

70. Roxette: Listen to Your Heart

71. Van Halen: Can't Stop Loving You

72. Edwin McCain: I'll Be

73. Def Leppard: Two Steps Behind

74. Mr. Big: To Be With You

75. Smashing Pumpkins: Disarm

Rock Ballads in Movies

  1. "Heaven in Your Eyes" Loverboy Top Gun (1986)
  2. "Take My Breath Away" Berlin Top Gun (1986)
  3. "Up Where We Belong" Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  4. "I Want to Know What Love Is" Foreigner Raising Helen (2004)
  5. "Stay" Lisa Loeb Reality Bites (1994)

76. Peter Cetera: Glory of Love

77. Firehouse: Love of a Lifetime

78. Faith No More: Ashes to Ashes

79. Def Leppard: Hysteria (Featuring Taylor Swift)

80. Cinderella: Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)

81. Bon Jovi: I'll Be There for You

Best Rock Ballad Line

Every rose has its thorn,

Just like every night has its dawn.

— "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" Poison

82. Poison: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

83. Cutting Crew: I Just Died In Your Arms

84. Bon Jovi: Livin' on a Prayer

86. Live: Lightning Crashes

87. Metallica: Nothing Else Matters

88. Joan Osborne: One of Us

90. Roxy Music: Avalon

91. Crowded House: Weather With You

93. Scorpions: Wind of Change

94. Nine Inch Nails: Hurt

95. Howard Jones: Everlasting Love

96. The Heights: How Do You Talk to an Angel

97. Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse of the Heart

98. Hootie and the Blowfish: Let Her Cry

99. Queensryche: Silent Lucidity

100. Judas Priest: Before the Dawn

© 2012 dannydeu

Tell me what you think. If I missed you of your favorite rock ballads of the '80s or '90s, I'll try to add it.

Christopher Nowak on November 26, 2019:

Sorry folks. I am wrong. "Nothing at all" was released in 1970.


Christopher Nowak on November 14, 2019:


Christopher Nowak on November 12, 2019:

My all time favourite pop songs of all time are: AFRICA, DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE? and the greatest pop/rock ballad of all time (in my books): DREAM COME TRUE by FROZEN GHOST. Example: "I've been waiting my whole life for you....."

furrylittlepikachu on July 17, 2019:

Some big hair ballads to consider

Ozzy Osbourne - Mama, I'm Coming Home

Motley Crue - Home Sweet Home

Steelheart - I'll Never Let You Go

Kix - Don't Close Your Eyes

Whitesnake - Is This Love

Dokken - Alone Again

LA Guns - The Ballad of Jayne

dana on January 12, 2019:

great playlist....

erich on March 30, 2018:

really amazing

dv on March 10, 2018:

Don't close your eyes KIX!

evelyn on September 29, 2017:

songs by queen, scorpio and the like

toots on July 18, 2017:

nothin by Aerosmith???

Juanda on December 07, 2016:

Can you make it as a playlist in Youtube? It will be a lot easier to watch all the videos.

Japparino on December 05, 2016:

You take my breath away

Jason on August 15, 2016:

That was dead on. Thanks for taking the time to put those great albums in order. I for got about some of the artist until I saw your list.

J on October 03, 2015:

Maybe 20% of those aren't rock songs, but as for the rock, some great forgotten gems listed there.

Zeke on June 12, 2015:

No House of Pain by Faster Pussycat? It's a seriously good song.

Ed on November 21, 2014:

What about honestly by stryper?

anonymous on September 12, 2013:

Great selection! I would have added 2 more..... Chris Issacs ..Don't wanna fall in love & Steelheart Never let you go

ghammond on May 25, 2013:

Very nice selection. I see you have "Love Song" by Tesla. I think you would also like "What You Give" by Tesla.

anonymous on March 26, 2013:

Love of my life-----Freddie mercury (QUEEN)

How did you miss that one??????

anonymous on March 16, 2013:

what about "Beth" by Kiss??? one of my the list!

anonymous on March 16, 2013:

what about Beth by Kiss??? otherwise awesome list

anonymous on January 30, 2013:

you guys forgot: changes black sabbat , i'm still in love with you thin lizzy, goodbye to romance ozzy osbourne and even eyes without a face billy idol! COME OOOOOOON

JJGJJG on December 30, 2012:

Love it, great list and some good ideas for my M3P, and like the voting thing.

RetroMom on November 29, 2012:

Those songs are great! I love it! You have a wonderful lens! Thanks for sharing!

anonymous on November 29, 2012:

great lens :)

Edwardjames81 on February 16, 2012:

You have included some cracking Rock classics there. I don't agree with your order, but then musical tastes are an individual thing, but this is an awesome lens.

nophie lm on February 09, 2012:

You are rock... great lens

navalava lm on February 07, 2012:

Such a great lens! Love those songs!

Freedomftr on January 27, 2012:

Great list! Not the order I would put them, but I'm sure it would be different for everyone. Nice page though. Thanks!

dannydeu (author) on January 24, 2012:

@hughgrissettsr lm: Thank you

hughgrissettsr lm on January 24, 2012:

excellent choices!

dannydeu (author) on January 23, 2012:

@glenbrook: Thanks for the tip. I'll look into them. Maybe I will have to have 102 Rock Ballads.

dannydeu (author) on January 23, 2012:

@greenmind: Thank you for stopping by my lens. This list was compiled by myself, but I did have to search the web to remember them all.

glenbrook on January 23, 2012:

I like Queensryche's "I Don't Believe In Love" and Judas Priest's "Before the Dawn." Don't know if they're considered ballads though.

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 23, 2012:

Wow -- really a complete list! Did you compile this yourself, or find an amazing source to use?

\m/ >.< \m/ (rock on!)

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Best Power Ballads: 45 Lighters-In-The-Air Classics

Ah, the power ballad: 80s radio – and most of our love lives – would have been a lot less colorful without it. This list of the 45 best power ballads is drawn mainly from that era, but we’ve also included a few earlier songs that laid the groundwork. If you put these all on a playlist, you’ve got the best two hours of slow dancing you’ll ever enjoy.

45: Cutting Crew: I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight

With its unmistakable intro of pulsing staccato synths and vocal grandiosity, the Cutting Crew’s anguished ballad was more about succumbing to a regretful tryst with an ex, than a sweeping romance. Landing somewhere at the crossroads of 80s synth-rock, adult contemporary, and hard rock, this power ballad was the band’s debut single, but they would never reach such chart (and emotional) heights again.

44: Tina Turner: We Don’t Need Another Hero

Recorded at the height of Tina Turner’s 80s comeback, this was a beautifully atmospheric record that transcended its Mad Max movie-theme origins. Even though the songwriters dutifully get the word “Thunderdome” into the chorus, its sense of existential dread proves timeless. And Turner characteristically sings the hell out of it, building up to the big mid-song outburst.

43: Cheap Trick: The Flame

Cheap Trick were no strangers to power ballads by the time of this megahit, having already scored minor hits with two Rick Nielsen originals (“Tonight It’s You” and “If You Want My Love”). But this outside tune had the magic touch, and even if you didn’t love the song, it left no doubt about Robin Zander’s status as one of the great voices in rock.

42: Phil Collins: Against All Odds

The backstory on this is just too perfect to believe: Taylor Hackford needed a theme for his new film, and Phil Collins just happened to have a discarded song with the words “against all odds” in the lyric. Boggles the mind that he would have considered throwing one this good away; it’s a torch ballad with a heartfelt lyric and the graceful melodic turns of his usual band Genesis at their pop-era best.

41: The Bangles: Eternal Flame

The Bangles managed to make a classic 80s power ballad without completely letting go of their love for 60s pop; you can still hear hints of the Left Banke and the Mamas & The Papas between the lines. Susanna Hoffs’ vocal is full of yearning; on a song about wanting love to last forever while realizing that may be a dream. But don’t forget that the Bangles had more than one singer, and the Peterson sisters’ harmony parts are the secret weapons here.

40: The Smithereens: Too Much Passion

A nod to the 60s from a band of true believers, this was the Smithereens doing Motown complete with a string arrangement. It was their biggest chart hit and might have been a bigger one if they hadn’t released a ballad during the height of the grunge era. Still, this stands as one of Pat DiNizio’s most charming tunes, and they even got some Byrdsy 12-string into it.

39: The Scorpions: Wind of Change

An inspiring record in its time, this tune took an almost hymnlike approach to celebrate the rise of glasnost and the end of Cold War tensions. But the plot thickened in recent years, as a few researchers floated the idea that the song may have been written by someone in the CIA. We’ll just say that whoever wrote it knew their Scorpions pretty well (the feel isn’t too far from that of the earlier hit “Still Loving You”) and clearly belonged in rock’n’roll full-time.

38: Starship: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

Coming two years after “We Built This City,” this chart-topper brought plenty of derision from fans who still associated the Airplane/Starship with their radical origins. But really: When you’ve got Grace Slick, why not give her a surefire hit to sing? All the late-80s trademarks were here: glossy synths, a movie tie-in (Mannequin), and Diane Warren writing credit. But it’s lifted higher by the romantic chemistry generated by Slick and co-singer Mickey Thomas, who were never a couple in real life.

37:Mötley Crüe: Home Sweet Home

The great irony of 80s hair metal is that the most decadent bands also had to have the sweetest ballads. Often credited with igniting the 80s power-ballad trend, this track is the complete antithesis of Mötley Crüe’s hell-raising image: The lyrics swear they want nothing more than to leave the parties behind and cuddle with their loved ones. If this was the only track you knew, you’d swear that Vince Neil was a perfect choirboy.

36: Ozzy Osbourne: Mama I’m Coming Home

A double-edged ballad if there ever was one, this isn’t quite a sweet reunion song: Lines like:” “Here I come, but I ain’t the same” and “You could have been a better friend to me” both suggest that all’s not well between the singer and his mama. In any case, the song proved that Ozzy could lay down an emotive vocal without fully dropping his guard. It was one of the biggest US hits both for him and for Motörhead’s Lemmy, who wrote the lyrics.

35: Metallica: Nothing Else Matters

This song proved to be the turning point in Metallica’s career. Before “The Black Album,” a ballad with a heartfelt relationship-themed lyric would have been unthinkable. But they carried it off so well that the album became Metallica’s biggest hit, and led to follow-ups that fans were less keen on. But meanwhile, James Hetfield showed how tough a real love song could sound.

34: L.A. Guns: Ballad of Jayne

Hollywood’s tragic heroines always did well in the rock-ballad world: Elton John had Marilyn Monroe covered in “Candle in the Wind,” and L.A. Guns make an equally loving homage to Jayne Mansfield in this tune. But while Elton’s song is very specific, the Guns song is more universally about a lover’s loss – in this case, the singer is Mansfield’s husband rather than a fan. It’s certainly a better memorial than the other song allegedly about Mansfield, Flipper’s “Sex Bomb.”

33: Europe: The Final Countdown

It doesn’t get more grandiose than this floor-shaking power ballad that splits the difference between arena rock and prog. True to their name, Europe was pretty close sonically to Asia. Lyrically it’s something else again: The song never says why we’re leaving the planet, only that we’re headed straight to Venus. The band claimed they were inspired by Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” but it harks back more clearly to another space-prog epic, Styx’s “Come Sail Away.”

32: Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse of the Heart

This 1983 smash was one of Jim Steinman’s masterstrokes, turning romantic desire into something downright apocalyptic. Meat Loaf always claimed it was originally written for him, but even he couldn’t have given it more drama than Tyler manages here, with help from a dream team including two E Streeters and guitarist Rick Derringer. Like many Steinman songs, it was theoretically too long for airplay, but most stations went with the full seven-minute epic.

31: Tesla: Love Song

An accurately titled song if ever there was one, “Love Song” stands apart from the hair-metal pack by virtue of its grit. You can tell that Tesla lead singer Jeff Keith knew his Paul Rodgers and his Rod Stewart inside and out (the original single was actually backed with Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Ain’t Superstitious,” which Stewart had done with the Jeff Beck Group). The guitar break is likewise tougher than the norm.

30: Berlin: Take My Break Away

Even though it was written by a hot German synth-pop producer (Giorgio Moroder) and performed by a Los Angeles new wave band, Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” stands as a classic bit of romantic pop that, with a few tweaks, could have hit in just about any decade. The song almost went to the Motels, whose own version (released on their Anthologyland compilation) was no slouch. But Berlin’s Terri Nunn grabbed the song and secured her place in pop history.

29: Warrant: Heaven

Another case of bad boys going all sweet on their ballad hit, “Heaven” goes for the inspiring angle. The singer is out there struggling to get ahead, but gets home to his lady love and knows he’s got everything he needs. With its acoustic-to-electric build and Jani Lane’s heartfelt vocal, Warrant’s “Heaven” is one of the last classic 80s power ballads, released in June 1989.

28: Mr. Mister: Broken Wings

Inspired by a Kahlil Gibran novel, “Broken Wings” is one of the more ambitious songs on this list – akin less to 80s arena rock than to the moody, rhythm loop-driven ballads of Peter Gabriel. The prog connections continue with a guitar solo that seems King Crimson-inspired; no surprise that drummer Pat Mastelotto later joined that band.

27: Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne: Close My Eyes Forever

Two worlds collided when the ex-Runaways guitarist’s manager Sharon Osbourne, brought her famous husband in for a duet. The PMRC promptly freaked out over the death-pact suggestions in the lyrics, but both parties later admitted they wrote it while drunk and didn’t know what the heck it was about. Lita Ford’s and Ozzy Osbourne’s vocal tradeoffs however are suitably dark and romantic.

26: Slaughter: Fly to the Angels

While this list of power ballads includes plenty of tearjerkers, none of the songs are tearier than “Fly to the Angels,” which Mark Slaughter wrote after attending the funeral of his high school girlfriend. It didn’t hurt that Slaughter had that gravelly Axl Rose style of vocalizing down pat.

25: Styx: Lady

Styx’s first hit sounds like The Hollies with delusions of grandeur – and we mean that as a compliment. Far more majestic than their later ballad hits, even if Dennis DeYoung does manage to turn “all” (as in “all-a-lll your love”) into a three-syllable word.

24: Motörhead: I Ain’t No Nice Guy

Ozzy Osbourne turns up on this duet with Motörhead’s Lemmy, a tongue-in-cheek confessional song that’s by far the funniest power ballad on this list. Both sing of their heartfelt desire to be known as nice guys, before realizing they had zero chance of pulling it off. Kinda gets you right here.

23: Ozzy Osbourne: Goodbye To Romance

This power ballad was a key track on Ozzy’s solo debut album, Blizzard Of Ozz, and was light years away from Black Sabbath. More than anything else, it sounds like Ozzy getting The Beatles out of his system, since he never made a secret of his love for the Fab Four. While the song was reportedly about Ozzy bidding goodbye to his band, you better believe it’s been drunkenly serenaded to many a past lover.

22: Whitesnake: Here I Go Again

‘Here I Go Again’ just edges in as one of the best power ballads, since it rocks pretty well once the band kicks in. But David Coverdale gets to emote for a full minute before that happens, and this tune did a lot to launch the power ballads trend. After all, if a guy who once sang for Deep Purple could have a ballad hit, anybody could. Just hearing the chorus conjures up images of Tawny Kitaen doing car-top cartwheels.

21: Poison: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

One of the great ironies of the Los Angeles metal heydaywas that the most hellraising bands had to have the most sensitive power ballads. And it’s doubly ironic that Poison, a band whose bad-boy image could give Mötley Crüe a run for its money, is now remembered largely for this surprising bit of gentleness.

20: Bon Jovi: Never Say Goodbye

Few songs have ever tried so hard to be that last slow dance you play at your high-school graduation party. ‘Never Say Goodbye’ sounds like an outlier on the otherwise hard rock fare of Slippery When Wet; the lyrics get all the coming-of-age references just right and, when he’s emoting like this, Jon Bon Joviis just the guy you want to take it home.

19: Night Ranger: Sister Christian

This one-shot hit did everything the best power ballads should do: it made everyday struggles sound huge and heroic. At its heart, this is a song that Night Ranger drummer Kelly Keagy wrote about his younger sister’s coming of age, so its support for a female character is unique in this genre. Her name was actually Christy, but making it Christian added to the song’s mythos. If her name was Gladys it surely wouldn’t have been the same.

18: Asia: The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Commercial though they were, Asia still marked the late John Wetton’s peak as a singer and songwriter, and it was ultimately his vocals that made their breakthrough. Their one ballad hit is a bit of an oddity, however, since Wetton sounds like he’s doing his best to be Greg Lake. So it makes perfect sense that Lake really did sing the song, when he briefly took Wetton’s place in the band in 1983.

17: Meat Loaf: I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

At over 12 minutes, this is as “over the top” as it gets, with the grandiosity and wordplay that’s a trademark collaboration between Meat Loafand songwriter Jim Steinman. The song from the 16-times platinum-selling Bat Out Of Hell II, and its accompanying video (directed by Michael Bay, no less!), prompted an unseemly amount of speculation over what Meat Loaf wouldn’t do, even though the answer is right there in the lyric.

16: The Moody Blues: Your Wildest Dreams and I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

The Moodiesarguably helped create the power ballad with ‘Nights In White Satin’ back in1967, but they mastered the 80s trend on these two tracks, which made a romantic lead out of the frontman Justin Hayward. Though originally released on different albums, the songs are forever linked thanks to their connected videos. Together they created the MTV era’s greatest romantic tearjerkers.

15: KISS: Beth

When in doubt, write what you know: KISS’ first sensitive moment came from the need to explain to one’s girlfriend that an all-night rehearsal wasn’t winding down anytime soon. For all the sighing strings, you know they were having more fun than the lyrics lets on.

14: Journey: Faithfully

Yes, there are some far more obvious Journey songs we could pick, but ‘Faithfully’ has one of Steve Perry’s most effective vocals, plus a touching lyric about trying to keep love alive when you’re a rocker on the road. Extra points for writer Jonathan Cain’s oft-told story that Prince asked him permission to use the same chord progression in ‘Purple Rain’.

13: The Cars: Drive

True to form, The Cars added a bit of cerebral intrigue to their classic power ballad; this one’s really about the singer’s attraction to a self-destructive woman. The lush soundscape (thanks to co-producer Mutt Lange) is darkly seductive, while the song proves what a great singer Ben Orr was – and what the best power ballads are made of.

12: Def Leppard: Love Bites

Since Def Leppard’s ‘Love Bites’ (with producer Mutt Lange again) embodied all the grand excess of 80s production and notched them their only No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s surprising that they didn’t do more power ballads. Or maybe they just got it right on this six-minute track off their seminal album Hysteria, which doesn’t shy away from the innuendo of the title.

11: Boston: Amanda

From the nearly-lost classic that is Boston’s Third Stage album, ‘Amanda’ manages to use the words “I love you” in the chorus without sounding trite. The key line from the lyric is “I’m gonna say it like a man,” so it’s about growing into a relationship, summing up the whole theme of the album it opens.

10: Nazareth: Love Hurts

Plenty of classic songs have been reinvented as power ballads, but this is one of the rare cases where the grandiose arena-rock version gets to the heart of the song better than the understated original (by no less than The Everly Brothers, in this case).

9: Yes: If Only You Knew

It took most of their career for the prog kings to get around to a classic-model power ballad, but they nailed it on this one, with Jon Anderson’s unusually straightforward lyrics getting an assist from some of the loveliest late-period Yes harmonies.

8: Genesis: Throwing It All Away

Genesis’ most commercial hits were never all that far from their prog roots. One of the best power ballads the group wrote, ‘Throwing It All Away’ has a sublime melody (courtesy of Mike Rutherford) that stands with their best, while Phil Collins’ vocal is more understated than his norm at that time.

7: Aerosmith: Dream On

‘Dream On’ is the song that started Aerosmith’s career and, to some extent, birthed the power-ballad genre. It goes beyond the usual romantic themes to touch on youthful dreams and angst. Their many later power-ballad efforts don’t even get close to the triumph of this one.

6: Humble Pie: Live With Me

This soulful gem might have topped our list if only it had become a monster hit, which is usually a requisite for the best power ballads. But no rock frontman ever sang better than Humble Pie’s Steve Marriott on these eight minutes of intensity: a song that builds to an ecstatic peak not once but three times.

5: Chicago: You’re The Inspiration

Yes, even Chicago’s best power ballads can get formulaic, but this one transcends the formula. The gospel feel helps, but the song’s secret weapon is that brilliant chord change at “wanna have you near me”.

4: Foreigner: I Want To Know What Love Is

Foreigner’s 1984 hit is as close a pop ballad ever get to gospel testifying, with a soul-tearing vocal from Lou Gramm. The song doesn’t even need its great chorus, that “change this looonely life” delivery is enough of a payoff.

3: Prince: Purple Rain

Prince, of course, wouldn’t settle for a simple love-song lyric: his epic ballad is mythic, cathartic, and otherworldly… and that’s just the guitar solo. Too bad that it’s running the risk of becoming the only Prince song that classic rock radio is willing to play.

2: Heart: Alone

Heart’s more commercial period gets relatively little love, but ‘Alone’ may be the definitive power ballad, not to mention the performance of Ann Wilson’s life. Over-the-top emotive? Check. Unforgettable hook? Check. Responsible for hundreds of impulsive hook-ups? Undoubtedly.

1: Guns N’ Roses: November Rain

In the middle of two albums full of outlaw rock, Axl Rose tapped into his sensitive side. During the Use Your Illusion era, Guns N’ Roses were the most ambitious band in rock, and here they set out to create the ultimate power ballad – and succeeded. Hear the original piano and vocal demo from 1986, when Axl was still cooking up one of the best power ballads of all time.

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25 Best Soft Rock Ballads of All Time

Top Powered Ballads Songs

Soft Rock Ballad is a niche genre of rock music that was mastered in the 80s. This era, also known as the “Hair Band Era” is the time when soft rock ballads really came into the bigger picture. A lot of popular artists started to express their hidden emotions and regrets through some mellow music.

The 80s was the time when Soft Rock Ballads, sometimes also referred to as “Powered Ballads” became very popular. There can be a lot of reasons for this, however, the major ones according to my research are that even the most popular Hard Rock bands started recording sentimental songs. And, anyone who likes hard rock, they are the advocate of the band.

Although the 80s was just the decade when soft rock ballads got popular, it didn’t stop there. We got more tracks and terrific music that turns a frown into a smile. All you have to do is just listen.

With the introduction of soft rock ballads, the none-rock folks learnt another important thing; there is a different side to rock artists. In the end, they are also just humans.

This article features a list of the Top 25 best soft rock ballads to date. The list is completely my perspective. Also, please do not follow the order, I am not ranking them. Music has a different impact on each and every individual. So just listen to it and cry, smile, dance or relax. But first, enjoy your emotions.

List of Top 25 Soft Rock Ballads

1. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
2. Goodbye To Love – The Carpenters
3. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
4. Dream On – Aerosmith
5. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – Bryan Adams
6. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf
7. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
8. We Are The Champions – Queen
9. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
10. Wind of Change – Scorpions
11. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones
12. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Urge Overkill
13. I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner
14. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
15. I’ll be There for You – Bon Jovi
16. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
17. Said I loved You…But I Lied – Michael Bolton
18. Amanda – Boston
19. When It’s Love – Van Halen
20. I Live My Life for You – Firehouse
21. Courage – Manowar
22. Is This Love – Whitesnake
23. Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon
24. Open Arms – Journey
25. Honestly – Stryper

  1. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

November Rain is one of the most promising soft rock ballads on our list. The song was recorded in 1991 and released in 1992 by the hard rock band, Guns N’ Roses. Axl Rose, the band’s lead vocalist wrote the lyrics of November Rain.

The music video depicts a common trend of the 80s, a mini-movie sequence. However, the showstopper of this soft rock ballad is the lyrics and Slash’s guitar solo. It was the first time Axl Rose ever wrote about lamenting lost love, change and loss.

The lyrics of the songs go like this:

Do you need some time on your own
Do you need some time all alone
Everybody needs some time
On their own
Don’t you know you need some time all alone

‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
Even cold November rain

You can listen to the song here:

  1. Goodbye To Love – The Carpenters

Goodbye To Love is a classic soft rock ballad from 1972. This song by siblings – The Carpenters is one of the earliest powered ballads. The lyrics of Goodbye To Love were written by Richard Carpenter. Whereas, the lead vocals features the sister, Karen Carpenter.

The song is quite popular for its remarkable lyrics, fantastic vocals and soothing melody. The song is about a simple message that is relevant even today: Grab a chance at Love when you have it. But, we are too afraid, so, it’s better to say Goodbye to Love.

  1. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders

I’ll Stand By You is a powered ballad by The Pretends that dates back to 1994. This heart-touching song about love, devotion and faith is one of the best on this list. The music video represents a young couple where the lady is assuring her man that anything happens, she is always going to be with her.

Well, that’s what the entire song is about – Unconditional Love, Respect and Faith. The song is a brilliant work focusing on a simple yet tender issue of personal darkness and its impact on the relationship with your loved one.

The lyrics of the songs are written by Chrissie Hynde, the band’s founding member and lead vocalist. It’s a soft rock ballad that you should enjoy for yourself.

  1. Dream On – Aerosmith

Dream On by Aerosmith is one of its kind soft rock ballads. Aerosmith released this song in 1973. Steven Tyler’s vocals and amazing music definitely make Dream On one of the finest powered ballads. The sing has a bit of history and significance in Steven Tyler’s life. This is the only song on the band’s first album where he sang in his original voice. He didn’t try to sound more like other pop artists.

Dream On has a deep emotion behind its creation. It’s a song whose inspiration is a father. Steven Tyler’s father was a Julliard-trained musician, and he remembers the composition of this song ever since he was three. So, a song that is inspired by the singer and lyricist’s father has to be powerful.

The song features a steady built up that ends with Tyler’s signature screaming. A soft rock ballad with inspiring chorus lyrics:

Dream on

Dream until your dreams come true

Yes, every great philosopher says the same thing.

  1. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – Bryan Adams

There are a couple of songs that come to our mind when we hear Bryan Adams, one of which is Everything I Do (I Do It For You). The song was released in 1991. The song is a track from Adam’s album: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. A simple song with deep and real lyrics that go well with any teenager’s heart. Well, that’s what music is all about, transposing you to your deepest memory.

Everything I Do (I Do It For You) is a soft rock ballad talking about affection to your loved ones. Listen to this song and relive your memory of passionate love.

  1. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf

There is usually a significant quality when we talk about soft rock ballads, there is no limit. But I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) is exactly saying to do the opposite. This hit from Meatloaf remains incredibly popular—and confusing. The song was released in 1993 as the first single from the album, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.

The song beautifully narrates a mature man’s love and willingness. Well, that is what the song is all about, the willingness for love. Although it takes about a romantic relationship between a man and a woman, it can still be perceived in any romance. Just like, I’d do anything for success (But I won’t Cheat). Listen to the song and tell us your perceptions in the comment section below.

  1. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

Nothing Else Matters is a soft rock ballad by one of the big fours of Heavy Metal, Metallica. Yes, this is the power of music and the diversity of artists, a pure Heavy Metal band comes out with a top of the line powered ballad track.

The song’s original release dates to 1991. It is one of the most popular songs by Metallica. Year-on-Year and Decade-on-Decade, people love this track. A simple proof is that Nothing Else Matters has more than 756 million views on YouTube.

Like all other songs, even this powered ballad has amazing lyrics:

So close, no matter how far

Couldn’t be much more from the heart

Forever trusting who we are

And nothing else matters

  1. We Are The Champions – Queen

We Are The Champions by Queen was released in 1977. The song was written by Freddie Mercury. The energetic chorus and perfect harmonization of the band give the chorus its own superiority. This soft rock ballad by Queen is a public favourite and grew to prominence due to its simple, deep and profound lyrics. Alongside, the vocals gave another dimension to the song altogether.

The song talks on the line of misfortunes and mishaps that happens in everybody’s life. However, it’s our duty as humans to fight back, because unless we quit and lose, We Are The Champions.

  1. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Stairway To Heaven is another soft rock ballad by a Heavy Metal Band. Led Zeppelin recorded and released this song in 1971. The lyrics of Stairway To Heaven are real, brutal and relevant even to this day. In short, it’s just terrific. The progressiveness of music and vocals makes this a perfect song for any mood.

The song is written by the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page and lead vocalist, Robert Plant. This is a song whose opening lines are a remark to society. Perhaps, I feel the first three lines are loosely inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s film, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Well, at least both spoke about the same thing:

There’s a lady who’s sure

All that glitters is gold

And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven

  1. Wind of Change – Scorpions

Wind of Change is an English soft rock ballad song by the German rock band, Scorpions. The song was recorded and released in 1990. One of the signature attributes of this song is that it connects with anyone instantly. You don’t have to listen to it twice. Ideally, you’ll end up listening to it a thousand times, but, once is enough for a love affair. You know, it’s “Love at first sound.”

The song is written and composed by the band’s lead singer Klaus Meine. Wind of Change has been featured in many top lists, and it will continue to do so. Even I was inquisitive to listen to it after reading about it on many lists of Top Rock Songs. And, well, did I love it, to be honest, it was an enchanting experience.

The song has significance to the entire world as well. The song was composed during the band’s visit to USSR. By the timeline, it was the height of perestroika, when the enmity between the communist and capitalist blocs subsided concurrently in the USSR. Hence, it was a Wind of Change.

  1. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones is often cited as Country Rock; however, with the likes of the other songs on this list, it can be called a soft rock ballad.

The song was recorded in 1971. Wild Horses is about a lover who is sturdy. Call it his passion or emotions, but, he is going to stand there, probably waiting for her. The lyrics clearly symbolize it:

Graceless lady you know who I am

You know I can’t let you slide through my hands

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away

It is many things one realizes after his/her lover has given up on them. A simple way to summarize this song is that it talks about the feelings you get once your loved one is no longer affected by you. Hence, asking us not to repeat the same mistakes. Alongside, country-style rock music sets the tone straight. Although, not a designated soft rock ballad, it surely goes well with the playlist of powered ballads.

  1. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Urge Overkill

Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon was originally recorded by Neil Diamond in 1967. The song again became popular in the 90s when Urge Overkill covered it in 1992. The track was then placed in Quintin Tarantino’s 1994 film, Pulp Fiction. That’s how I know the song, and it’s a delight to listen to.

The song’s signature guitar chords and uneven pace makes it a perfect song for road trips. The lyrics are about a guy proposing to a girl. Well, more than proposing, he’s trying to woo her. A weird soft rock ballad, but a delight to listen to.

  1. I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner

I Want To Know What Love Is is a soft rock ballad by the American-British band Foreigner. The song was released in 1900. A classy song about a person figuring out what love is. The lyrics sound:

In my life, there’s been heartache and pain

I don’t know if I can face it again

Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far

To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is

I want you to show me

The song is sweet, powerful and resembles every aspect of an 80s band, bass, echoing vocals and a soft ending to an energetic song.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody by British band Queen requires no introduction. It’s one of the most recognized rock songs for its diversity. The song consists of multiple sections including a theatrical opening followed by a ballad segment & operatic pass and a hard rock part. The song also features a coda.

Bohemian Rhapsody has multiple meanings to different people. Overall, it’s a song that makes one of the best soft rock ballads.

Enough said, enjoy the song here:

  1. I’ll be There for You – Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi was one of the prominent bands of the 80s. Often referred to as the God of the 80s, they were one of the pioneers of the Hair Band Era.

There are so many quality songs by Bon Jovi, so, it was really difficult to select one. But, across my research and personal opinion, the best soft rock ballad by Bon Jovi is I’ll Be There For You. It’s a shame that millennials are too keen on op music that revolve around EDM. Also, it’s a shame that they’ll only know The Rembrandts’ version of I’ll Be There For You; it was the theme song of the popular TC sitcom “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”

However, Bon Jovi’s version is a classic with powerful vocals, thrilling guitar and lyrics enough to give you Goosebumps. The song was released in 1988. Listen to it here:

Every Rose Has Its Thorn is a soft rock ballad by the American rock band, Poison. The song is about a love affair in which there is just a physical presence, but, both the individuals are lonely. A relationship that is going on just for the sake of fear of not losing each other.

It’s a powerful and meaningful song for everybody. People have spent their lives with their spouses even without really knowing the spiritual connection between them. But, then again, passion is not the only form of expressing love and affection. This Poison song says a lot of things and hides many more. A simple take from this song is that nobody is perfect, and even a sweet-smelling flower can hurt you. That’s what Every Rose Has Its Thorn means, literally.

  1. Said I loved You…But I Lied – Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton is often regarded as one of the best pop artists of the 80s and 90s. However, Sai I Loved You…But I Lied will change your perspective about him. This soft rock ballad’s composition is an apology in a song that will touch you only if you have hurt your lover.

It’s a song about saying the truth, a musical masterpiece about being true and in the end, it’s a confession. Well, we all have made mistakes and lied, sometimes, it feels good to just listen to this song and analyse our deeds, towards others but priorly to ourselves. Hear this feel-good sad powered ballad here:

  1. Amanda – Boston

Amanda is a 1986 soft rock ballad by the American rock band, Boston. The song was released 6 years after the recording.

Amanda is the first powered ballad song on this list written on hope and faith. Here, the singer has hope that “Amanda” his love will not leave him, and he has faith that he will convince him that he loves her. A beautiful song featuring summertime-style love, Amanda is a soft rock ballad for any mood.

  1. When It’s Love – Van Halen

When It’s Love by Van Halen is a soft rock ballad released in 1988. The song is about the inevitable question, “How and when do you know it’s love?” This powered ballad by Van Halen is one of its own kind and does answer the question:

How do I know when it’s love

I can’t tell you but it lasts forever

How does it feel when it’s love

It’s just something you feel together

When it’s love

Sometimes, it’s so simple yet we complicate it. Well, that’s a trait of maturity, I guess. Nevertheless, When It’s Love is a good song for your powerful workout sessions.

Firehouse’s I Live My Life For You is a love poem in the form of a soft rock ballad. I Live My Life For You is the most positive, cheesy and happy song on this list. Besides, this Firehouse song is one of those that you need after a fight with your lover. Just remind them that they mean a lot to you. It’s quite evident when people listen to music together and feel the same thing, they are practically sharing souls.

A romantic soft rock ballad is ideal for you and your loved ones during the current COVID-19 quarantine. Stay indoors, listen to romantic music and be happy to be with your lover. Listen to this graceful song here:

  1. Courage – Manowar

Courage is a positive soft rock ballad by American Metal band Manowar. The song was released in 1996 as a part of the album – Louder Than Hell.

Courage is a feel-good song about the extra piece of bravery that is essential every day. Thus, the song gives an important message, “when you are ready to lose hope, raise your hand and show some courage. “

The message is portrayed by the line:

So For Now Wave Good-bye Leave Your Hands Held High

Hear This Song Of Courage Long Into The Night

  1. Is This Love – Whitesnake

Is This Love is a 1987 soft rock ballad by the British band Whitesnake. The song has crying guitars, throbbing drums and incredible vocals making it a perfect listen for the initial stages of falling in love.

The lyrics perfectly complement the music, perhaps it’s vice versa. But this is a feel-good song about the feeling you get when you’re falling in love. The song is just alright for you to understand whether he/she is the one. Listen to your heart, let your mind speak to you and take that leap of faith; because trust me, you won’t get this chance again and again. Listen to this melody of a racing heart:

  1. Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon

Can’t Fight This Feeling is a 1984 soft rock ballad song by American band REO Speedwagon. The song is about friendship which has blossomed into something more but only for one person. Unrequited love is a strong emotion, it can either make you or break you. So, choose wisely, because your every decision shall be impactful, if not now then in the future.

The music video of Can’t Fight This Feeling is a visual adaptation of “All The World’s a Stage” by William Shakespeare. Do watch this video song and relax:

  1. Open Arms – Journey

Another soft rock ballad on the list is Open Arms by Journey. The song is a powered ballad that attempts to renew a drifting relationship.

The band, Journey was at the peak of its popularity in the 80s, and Open Arms was the band’s most recognized song. Besides powerful vocals, intense guitar and pleading lyrics, this song is one of the best power ballad songs of all time.

  1. Honestly – Stryper

The last soft rock ballad on this list is Honestly by Stryper. This 1987 powered ballad is about friendship and unrequited love. However, the different harmony in this song is that friendship has a foot ahead of love.

This song is a very clear message to everyone, whatever happens, do not let go of your friendship. And, yes, friends stick to each other through thick and thin. So, revive your lost friendship, be friends with your partner and enjoy some solace in Honestly.

Listen to this song here:


You might feel why am I giving a back story of every song? Well, soft rock ballads must have emotions for the impact. As people say:

There can be no will, motivation or strength with emotions

Well, that’s exactly the case.

On this note, I end my list. Some of these songs have an emotional influence on me, so please be gentle with your comments. Alongside, do let me know if there are any other soft rock ballads.

And, here is a bonus: The entire playlist on YouTube:…

Vatsal Vora

Vatsal Vora is the editor in chief of The Speaking Out Loud.

An SEO by profession whose expertise lies in the amalgamation of content, numbers and best technical practices.


Ballads best rock

She taught me how to breathe to cope with headaches. By the way, he was surprised that She knew about his headaches. But this is so obvious. The witch does not often manifest herself, but still does. Then there was just sex.

Best Rock Ballads Songs Of 70s 80s 90s - Rock Ballads Playlist

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