100 Best Soft Rock Songs

Updated on September 18, 2019
Ansel Pereira profile image

I have been an online writer for over two years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

These soft rock songs are great for any party or event.
These soft rock songs are great for any party or event. | Source

The term soft rock started being used in the ‘60s when bands and artists experimented with pop tonalities in rock ballads. This pop-rock synthesis paved the way for a variety of bands. Since the '60s, the genre has evolved in accordance with the changing times.

The list below showcases a diverse number of soft rock songs from different decades. If you are an avid fan of this genre, you will definitely have something to say. Feel free to express yourself in the comments section.

Top 10 Best Soft Rock Songs

  1. “How Deep Is Your Love”—Bee Gees
  2. “(Everything I Do) I’ll Do It for You”—Bryan Adams
  3. “Tears in Heaven”—Eric Clapton
  4. “More Than Words”—Extreme
  5. “Right Here Waiting”—Richard Marx
  6. “All Out of Love”—Air Supply
  7. “I Want to Know What Love Is”—Foreigner
  8. “You’re Beautiful”—James Blunt
  9. “All By Myself”—Eric Carmen
  10. “Desperado”—The Eagles

What Is Soft Rock Music?

The soft rock sound is comprised of smooth musical structures with dynamic vocal registers. It’s their melodies that give these songs their distinctive sound. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, soft rock music received regular airplay on radio stations in the U.S. Since then, a number of bands and artists have evolved soft rock's identity.

Best Soft Rock Songs #11-20

11. “A Horse with No Name”—America

12. “Baby I’m-a Want You”—Bread

13. “The Lady in Red” —Chris de Burgh

14. “Just the Way You Are”—Bruno Mars

15. “Baby I Love Your Way”—Peter Frampton

16. “Waiting for a Girl Like You”—Foreigner

17. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”—Chicago

18. “Wonderful Tonight”—Eric Clapton

19. “On and On”—Stephen Bishop

20. “Drive”—The Cars

Soft Rock in the ‘60s

The folk movement, which influenced musicians from many different genres, paved the way for an experimental amalgamation of rock song structures blended with acoustic sounds. Certain bands associated with the hard rock sound started incorporating pop elements in their rock compositions. This polished sound appealed to rock fans and non-rock fans alike. Suddenly, a number of rock bands were fusing melodic pop with traditional rock.

Soft Rock in the ‘70s

The genre reached its pinnacle in the ‘70s. The decade helped kickstart the careers of many soft rock bands and artists. Radio stations started promoting the genre in a big way, which led to its commercial success. Songs from the genre started making a huge impact on Top 40 and Top 10 countdowns. Tunes with softer sounds started dominating easy-listening charts. Yacht rock, a music style that was influenced by smooth jazz, R&B, smooth soul, disco, and funk, started to be associated with soft rock in the late ‘70s. The popularity of softer tunes compelled many rock bands to adopt a pop rock style that gained them mainstream attention.

Best Soft Rock Songs #21-40

21. “She’s Always a Woman”—Billy Joel

22. “When I Need You”—Leo Sayer

23. “Biggest Part of Me”—Ambrosia

24. “Fields of Gold”—Sting

25. “Now and Forever”—Richard Marx

26. “Make It With You”—Bread

27. “Open Arms”—Journey

28. “Sailing”—Christopher Cross

29. “Babe”—Styx

30. “How Long”—Ace

31. “You’re the Inspiration”—Chicago

32. “Sometimes When We Touch”—Dan Hill

33. “I’m Not in Love”—10cc

34. “Dust in the Wind”—Kansas

35. “Gravity”—John Mayer

36. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”—Rupert Holmes

37. “Best of My Love”—The Eagles

38. “Faithfully”—Journey

39. “Dreams”—Fleetwood Mac

40. “Keep on Loving You”—REO Speedwagon

Soft Rock in the ‘80s

With the dawn of ‘80s synthesized music, soft rock transformed into a popular radio-played format known as adult contemporary. The synthesized sound in these ballads gave them a unique identity. Certain AOR bands asserted their authority over the decade with their epic brand of soft rock. Although the decade was dominated by acoustic rock ballads, power ballads, and hair metal ballads, soft rock still managed to mesmerize fans with its distinctive feel.

Best Soft Rock Songs #41-60

41. “Africa”—Toto

42. “New Kid in Town”—Eagles

43. “Bird of Paradise”—Snowy White

44. “Can’t Fight This Feeling”—REO Speedwagon

45. “Eye in the Sky”—Alan Parsons

46. “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”—England Dan & John Ford Coley

47. “Do That to Me One More Time”—Captain & Tennille

48. “You’re Having My Baby”—Paul Anka and Odia Coates

49. “I’ll Be Over You”—Toto

50. “Sad Eyes”—Robert John

51. “You’re the Only Woman (You & I)”—Ambrosia

52. “Amanda”—Boston

53. “You Are the Woman”—Firefall

54. “If You Leave Me Now”—Chicago

55. “Peaceful Easy Feeling”—Eagles

56. “Sweet Caroline”—Neil Diamond

57. “Is This Love”—Whitesnake

58. “Miracles”—Jefferson Starship

59. “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)”—Phil Collins

60. “We’ve Only Just Begun”—The Carpenters

Soft Rock in the ‘90s

Although the grunge movement and alternative movement reigned supreme in the '90s, soft rock continued to maintain its popularity. A number of bands and artists that had success with the genre continued to release new albums with even softer sounds. The decade also witnessed a new wave of soft rock acts. In the '90s, certain bands and artists in this genre had tremendous chart success.

Best Soft Rock Songs #61-80

61. “Almost Paradise”—Mike Reno and Ann Wilson

62. “Nikita”—Elton John

63. “Steal Away”—Robbie Dupree

64. “Total Eclipse of the Heart”—Bonnie Tyler

65. “At Seventeen”—Janis Ian

66. “Big Love”—Fleetwood Mac

67. “Reminiscing”—Little River Band

68. “You’re so Vain”—Carly Simon

69. “Hold on My Heart”—Genesis

70. “Iris”—Goo Goo Dolls

71. “Alone Again (Naturally)”—Gilbert O’Sullivan

72. “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”—Looking Glass

73. “Walking in Memphis”—Marc Cohn

74. “Magic”—Olivia Newton-John

75. “Please Forgive Me”—Bryan Adams

76. “Baby Come Back”—Player

77. “Hello”—Lionel Richie

78. “Still the One”—Orleans

79. “Have I Told You Lately”—Van Morrison

80. “Kiss You All Over”—Exile

Soft Rock in the Modern Era

Since the year 2000, a number of pop rock bands have incorporated the soft rock sound into their songs. While the soft rock format has changed significantly in the 2010s, the unmistakable warmth associated with the genre has remained.

Best Soft Rock Songs #81-100

81. “Everytime You Go Away”—Paul Young

82. “To Be With You”—Mr. Big

83. “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”—Bryan Adams

84. “Fool If You Think It’s Over”—Chris Rea

85. “One on One”—Daryl Hall & John Oates

86. “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”—Don Henley and Patty Smyth

87. “Lost in Love”—Air Supply

88. “Summer Breeze”—Seals and Crofts

89. “Little Jeannie”—Elton John

90. “Another Day in Paradise”—Phil Collins

91. “Whenever I Call You Friend”—Kenny Loggins

92. “The End of Innocence”—Don Henley

93. “Maybe I’m Amazed”—Paul McCartney

94. “Heaven”—Bryan Adams

95. “Sad Eyes”—Robert John

96. “Eternal Flame"—The Bangles

97. “Hungry Eyes”—Eric Carmen

98. “Sara”—Starship

99. “I’d Love You to Want Me”—Lobo

100. “Precious and Few”—Climax

Other Notable Soft Rock Songs

  • “If”—Bread
  • “Same Old LangSyne”—Dan Fogelberg
  • “Classic”—Adrian Gurvitz
  • “I Started a Joke”—Bee Gees
  • “Who You Love”—John Mayer and Kate Perry
  • “Imaginary Lover”—Atlanta Rhythm Section
  • “Rosanna”—Toto
  • “How Much I Feel”—Ambrosia
  • “Sacrifice”—Elton John
  • “Honesty”—Billy Joel
  • “In the House of Stone and Light”—Martin Page
  • “Thank You for Being a Friend”—Andrew Gold
  • “Just Remember I Love You”—Firefall
  • “I Love You”—Climax Blues Band
  • “Why Not Me”—Fred Knoblock
  • “Living Inside Myself”—Gino Vannelli
  • “Foolish Heart”—Steve Perry
  • “Don’t Stop”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Let’s Make a Night to Remember”—Bryan Adams
  • “Tequila Sunrise”—Eagles
  • “Jessie”—Joshua Kadison
  • “With Your Love”—Jefferson Starship
  • “Moonlight Feels Right”—Starbuck
  • “A Little Bit More”—Dr Hook & The Medicine Show
  • “The Guitar Man”—Bread
  • “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”—Elton John
  • “I Wonder Why”—Curtis Stigers
  • “Angelia”—Richard Marx
  • “I Need You”—America
  • “Stay Awhile”—The Bells
  • “Keep the Fire”—Kenny Loggins
  • “Nice to Be With You”—Gallery
  • “Goodbye to Love”—The Carpenters
  • “She Did It”—Eric Carmen
  • “All I See Is Your Face”—Dan Hill
  • “Chevy Van”—Sammy Johns
  • “A Summer Song”—Chad & Jeremy
  • “Please Come to Boston”—Dave Loggins

  • “Heart of the Night”—Poco
  • “In the Air Tonight”—Phil Collins
  • “Weather With You”—Crowded House
  • “The Actor”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “Only One Woman”—The Marbles
  • “Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend”—Lobo
  • “Lost Without Your Love”—Bread
  • “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer”—Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes
  • “I Am Woman”—Helen Reddy
  • “Dream Weaver”—Gary Wright
  • “It’s All Up to You”—Jim Capaldi
  • “Piano Man”—Billy Joel
  • “It’s a Heartache”—Bonnie Tyler
  • “If You Think You Know How to Love Me”—Smokie
  • “Stranger in My House”—Ronnie Milsap
  • “Against the Wind”—Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  • “Little Lies”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Ride Like the Wind”—Christopher Cross
  • “Hearts”—Marty Balin
  • “Hurts to Be in Love”—Gino Vannelli
  • “Even the Nights Are Better”—Air Supply
  • “That’s Why (You Go Away)”—Michael Learns to Rock
  • “One More Night”—Phil Collins
  • “Sweetheart”—Franke and the Knockouts
  • “My Angel Baby”—Toby Beau
  • “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”—Michael Bolton
  • “Key Largo”—Bertie Higgins
  • “Run for the Roses”—Dan Fogelberg
  • “It’s Sad to Belong”—England Dan & John Ford Coley
  • “Say You Love Me”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Can We Still Be Friends”—Todd Rundgren
  • “Dance with Me”—Orleans
  • “We Just Disagree”—Dave Mason
  • “Straight From the Heart”—Bryan Adams
  • “Cool Night”—Paul Davis
  • “You Needed Me”—Anne Murray
  • “London Town”—Wings
  • “Mandolin Wind”—Rod Stewart

  • “Nights Are Forever Without You”—England Dan & John Ford Coley
  • “It’s too Late”—Carole King
  • “Baby, What a Big Surprise”—Chicago
  • “Paint My Love”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “Stuck in the Middle with You”—Stealers Wheel
  • “Love Will Find a Way”—Pablo Cruise
  • “Auberge”—Chris Rea
  • “Lay Back in the Arms of Someone”—Smokie
  • “What a Fool Believes”—The Doobie Brothers
  • “I Won’t Hold You Back”—Toto
  • “Candle in the Wind”—Elton John
  • “Baker Street”—Gerry Rafferty
  • “Missing You”—John Waite
  • “Here I Am”—Air Supply
  • “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna be Alright)”—Rod Stewart
  • “Lonely Boy”—Andrew Gold
  • “The One You Love”—Glenn Frey
  • “Sara Smile”—Hall & Oates
  • “Not Enough Love in the World”—Don Henley
  • “It Never Rains in Southern California”—Albert Hammond
  • “In Your Eyes”—Peter Gabriel
  • “How Can I Tell Her”—Lobo
  • “Midnight at the Oasis”—Maria Muldaur
  • “Sharing the Night Together”—Dr Hook & The Medicine Show
  • “I Just Can’t Help Believing”—B.J. Thomas
  • “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”—Steely Dan
  • “Couldn’t Get It Right”—Climax Blues Band
  • “It Might Be You”—Stephen Bishop
  • “Lyin’ Eyes”—Eagles
  • “Time Passages”—Al Stewart
  • “Just When I Needed You Most”—Randy VanWarmer
  • “You Can Do Magic”—America
  • “Help Is on Its Way”—Little River Band
  • “Drift Away”—Dobie Gray
  • “Color My World”—Chicago
  • “Fire and Rain”—James Taylor
  • “Longer”—Dan Fogelberg

  • “I Just Wanna Stop”—Gino Vannelli
  • “Bette Davis Eyes”—Kim Carnes
  • “Think of Laura”—Christopher Cross
  • “Follow You Follow Me”—Genesis
  • “Don’t Let It End”—Styx
  • “Somebody’s Eyes”—Karla Bonoff
  • “Believe in Me”—Bonnie Tyler
  • “I Go Crazy”—Paul Davis
  • “Throwing It All Away”—Genesis
  • “Sleeping Child”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “One of These Nights”—Eagles
  • “Magnet and Steel”—Walter Egan
  • “Tender Is the Night”—Jackson Browne
  • “Fallin’ in Love”—Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
  • “Saturday in the Park”—Chicago
  • “Ready for Love”—Bad Company
  • “Daisy Jane”—America
  • “I’m in You”—Peter Frampton
  • “Do It Again”—Steely Dan
  • “With a Little Luck”—Wings
  • “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”—Elton John
  • “I Honestly Love You”—Olivia Newton-John
  • “Bluer Than Blue”—Michael Johnson
  • “Everything I Own”—Bread
  • “Peace Train”—Cat Stevens
  • “Take It Easy on Me”—Little River Band
  • “Separate Lives”—Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
  • “This Is It”—Kenny Loggins
  • “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”—Eric Carmen
  • “Shower the People”—James Taylor
  • “Hey Nineteen”—Steely Dan
  • “Make Me Lose Control”—Eric Carmen
  • “Lonely Is the Night”—Air Supply
  • “Year of the Cat”—Al Stewart
  • “Cloud Number 9”—Bryan Adams
  • “In Too Deep”—Genesis
  • “Love Takes Time”—Orleans

Which Is the Best Soft Rock Song?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Ansel Pereira

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