100 Greatest Rock Ballads

Top 100 Rock Ballads

Since rock music came into prominence melodic ballads have become exceedingly popular. Dwell in a detailed perspective of the best rock ballads.

Ballads have become an integral part of rock music. Over the years many bands and artists have composed ballads that have touched hearts. A ballad is a song often written in a lyrical-poetic style. Ballads weave words into a story that captivates listeners. Although balladry is associated with romance… other themes such as death, jilt, breakup, and loneliness are popular in the realms of rock music. While rock bands of the 60s and 70s that made ballads a global phenomenon, it was bands of the 80s and 90s that took balladry to a whole new level.


Rock ballads are exceedingly popular with listeners globally because they evoke a feeling of nostalgia. Ballads are reflective pieces of music that help listeners cherish moments on an emotional level. The style and format of a ballad composed may differ in accordance with the signature style of a band or artist. Rock ballads have heartfelt warmth that instantaneously connects with listeners. Listeners are able to subconsciously hum tunes of ballads… as the lyrics and instrumentation in these types of songs aesthetically complement each other. The lyrical aspect in ballads is of utmost importance, an entire story is told with few lines in a ballad.

Over the years the use of acoustic instruments is exceedingly popular in ballads. The use of piano and acoustic guitar in many rock ballads is testimony to the fact that acoustic instruments add textural feel to composition taking it to a whole new level. The slow tempos of rock ballads have become popular at weddings and prom parties during the slow dance session. While rock ballads in the 60s and 70s were softer tones, the 80s and 90s brought a raw edgier sound that made way for power ballads. The soft-silken texture of rock ballads has changed over the years, however what remains intact in rock ballads of yesteryears and present years is warmth, heart, and soul.

Every decade in music has had memorable rock ballads. The list below showcases the best rock ballads from different decades.

100 Greatest Rock Ballads

  1. Tears in Heaven- Eric Clapton
  2. Imagine- John Lennon
  3. Love Hurts- Nazareth
  4. Faithfully- Journey
  5. Yesterday- The Beatles
  6. Drive- The Cars
  7. More Than Words- Extreme
  8. Behind Blue Eyes- The Who
  9. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
  10. Hard To Say I’m Sorry- Chicago
  11. When the Smoke Is Going Down- Scorpions
  12. Right Here Waiting- Richard Marx
  13. Wild Horses- The Rolling Stones
  14. Dust In The Wind- Kansas
  15. Still Loving You- Scorpions
  16. Knights In White Satin- The Moody Blues
  17. Desperado- The Eagles
  18. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing- Aerosmith
  19. Waiting For A Girl Like You- Foreigner
  20. Wicked Game- Chris Isaak
  21. Babe- Styx
  22. She- Elvis Costello
  23. Is This Love- Whitesnake
  24. I Live My Life For You- Firehouse
  25. Always- Bon Jovi
  26. Ready For Love- Bad Company
  27. November Rain- Guns N Roses
  28. Iris- Goo Goo Dolls
  29. I Remember You- Skid Row
  30. Still Got The Blues (For You)- Gary Moore
  31. Dream On- Aerosmith
  32. With Or Without You- U2
  33. Free Bird- Lynyrd Skynyrd
  34. Save Your Love- Great White
  35. Love Bites- Def Leppard
  36. Wonderful Tonight- Eric Clapton
  37. When The Children Cry- White Lion
  38. More Than A Feeling- Boston
  39. I Want to Know What Love Is- Foreigner
  40. She’s Gone- Steelheart
  41. Love Is On The Way- Saigon Kick
  42. Soldier of Fortune- Deep Purple
  43. Africa- Toto
  44. When It’s Love- Van Halen
  45. Heaven In Your Eyes- Loverboy
  46. The Scientist- Coldplay
  47. Carrie- Europe
  48. Every Rose Has It’s Thorn- Poison
  49. Keep On Loving You- REO Speedwagon
  50. Beth- Kiss
  51. Heaven- Warrant
  52. Goodbye to Romance- Ozzy Osbourne
  53. To Be With You- Mr. Big
  54. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman- Bryan Adams
  55. Silent Lucidity- Queensryche
  56. Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)
  57. Love Song- Tesla
  58. All By Myself- Eric Carmen
  59. Only Women Bleed- Alice Cooper
  60. When I See You Smile- Bad English
  61. More Than Words Can Say- Alias
  62. Heaven- Bryan Adams
  63. Changes- Black Sabbath
  64. Broken Wings- Mr Mister
  65. I’ll See You In My Dreams- Giant
  66. How Much I Feel- Ambrosia
  67. I’ll Stand By You- The Pretenders
  68. The Flame- Cheap Trick
  69. Open Arms- Journey
  70. Fly To The Angels- Slaughter
  71. (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection
  72. Missing You- John Waite
  73. Before The Dawn- Judas Priest
  74. Alone- Heart
  75. When I’m With You- Sheriff
  76. Come Sail Away- Styx
  77. Honesty- Billy Joel
  78. Sometimes When We Touch- Dan Hill
  79. The Ballad of Jayne- L.A. Guns
  80. Black Velvet- Alannah Myles
  81. All Of My Love- Led Zeppelin
  82. I’m Not In Love- 10 CC
  83. Without You- Bad Finger
  84. The Price- Twisted Sister
  85. Home Sweet Home- Motley Crue
  86. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes- Asia
  87. High Hopes- Pink Floyd
  88. Don’t Close Your- Eyes
  89. It’s A Heartache- Bonnie Tyler
  90. Patience- Guns N Roses
  91. Melissa- Allman Brothers Band
  92. Baby I Love Your Way- Peter Frampton
  93. The Day That I Met You- Lillian Axe
  94. Miles Away- Winger
  95. Another Day- Dream Theater
  96. Love of My Live- Queen
  97. Bed of Roses- Bon Jovi
  98. Sister Christian- Night Ranger  
  99. Honestly- Stryper
  100. Close Your Eyes Forever- Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford

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