List of the Best All-Time Slow Rock/Rock Ballads
The Best Rock Ballads of All Time
Hello, rock lovers. Do you remember Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and White Lion? Looking for the best rock ballads of all time? You've come to the right place. In this article, I will share my list of the best rock songs—specifically ballads—in history.
11. "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi
"Never Say Goodbye" was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The song was the fourth single off the 1987 album, Slippery When Wet, and features a slow beat and drawn-out vocals, in contrast to the other tracks on Slippery When Wet, which are more upbeat. The song describes the relationship between two young lovers, and their desire to stay together.
Fun fact: This song is often used as the class song on prom nights, especially in New Jersey.
10. "When the Children Cry" by White Lion
"When the Children Cry" is an antiwar ballad. Lead singer Mike Tramp felt that an antiwar message was more important than other music being put out, saying, "Singing about big cocks is alright if you write it in one song, but it's always the same thing."
Fun fact: While this song did well in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Japan, it was noticeably less successful in the UK.
9. "Crazy" by Aerosmith
This song is about a girlfriend who packs up and leaves. The narrator misses her so much it makes him "crazy."
Fun fact: Though "Crazy" was released in 1994, it was written in the '80s along with "Angel." However, because the songs were so similar, the band decided to space out their releases. "Angel" was the song that made the cut for the 1987 album.
8. "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica
Singer James Hetfield wrote the song for his girlfriend while talking to her on the phone. He told Mojo magazine in December 2008:
It's about being on the road, missing someone at home, but it was written in such a way, it connected with so many people, that it wasn't just about two people, it was about a connection with your higher power, lots of different things... This means a lot more than me missing my chick, right? This is brotherhood. The army could use this song. It's pretty powerful.
Fun fact: There are over 40 recorded covers of this song.
7. "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses
The group Gun N' Roses formed in Los Angeles in June 1985, when pop was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Guns N' Roses brought raw, ugly rock & roll crashing back into the charts. Guns N' Roses' unique style consists of punk, blues, and thrash.
Fun fact: "November Rain," at 8:57, is only the third-longest song on the album. "Coma" and "Estranged" both topped it, at 10:16 and 9:24, respectively.
6. "Still Loving You" by Scorpions
This song came out in 1984 on the album Love at First Sting. Guitarist Rudolf Schenker explained the concept of the song to SongFacts:
It's a story about a love affair where they recognized it may be over, but let's try again. It's the old story; always the old story... What we always do is say something which has already been said many times, in our own way.
Fun fact: This song was especially popular in France, where the single sold 1.7 million copies.
5. "She's Gone (Lady)" by Steelheart
This power ballad was released on Steelheart's debut album in 1990. The band went through several iterations, with a lengthy hiatus following an onstage accident involving the main singer.
Fun fact: The first day it came out, "Steelheart" sold 33,000 copies in Japan alone.
4. "More Than Words" by Extreme
Nuno Betterncourt, who plays acoustic guitar in "More Than Words," explained to the Albany Herald that the song was written as a warning about the phrase "I love you":
People use it so easily and so lightly that they think you can say that and fix everything, or you can say that and everything's okay. Sometimes you have to do more and you have to show it—there's other ways to say "I love you."
Fun fact: While this song sounds far from extreme, the name of the band is easily explained: It originally formed as a funk metal group.
3. 'We Are The Champions" by Queen
This power ballad written by Freddie Mercury is one of the most famous songs of all time.
Fun fact: A group of researchers actually concluded that "We Are the Champions" is the catchiest pop song of all time. The scientists based their judgement off of four key elements that correlate with how strongly people feel inspired to sing along with a song.
2. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams
This was actually written to be part of a soundtrack. It was featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Fun fact: it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1991, but lost to "Beauty and the Beast."
1. "When I See You Smile" by Bad English
This touching song was released by Bad English on their eponymous debut album in 1989. The song rocketed the band to fame, and spent two weeks at the top of the charts as the only number one hit by Bad English.
Fun fact: While the members of the band wrote 11 out of the 13 songs on the album, "When I See you Smile" was not one of them. The song was actually written by Diane Warren.