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100 Best Rock Love Songs of the '90s and 2000s

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Check out some of the top rock love songs from recent decades!

Check out some of the top rock love songs from recent decades!

Modern Rock's Best Love Songs

Ballads have always been popular in rock music. While every decade has had its share of rock songs, the ‘90s changed the tone and feel of these ballads, blending and mixing genres to create entirely new styles of music. The alternative revolution, which led to the emergence of grunge, diversified the musical landscape and paved the way for new styles and subgenres.

While grunge led to new subgenres, old subgenres began to die off; these included hair metal and glam rock. Rock 'n' roll evolved significantly in the ‘90s, blending several indie genres together into a new musical paradigm.

The list below showcases a variety of incredible love songs from the ‘90s and 2000s. If you are a lover of '90s music, you will definitely have something to say. Feel free to express yourself in the comments section.

Top 10 Rock Love Songs of the ‘90s and 2000s

  1. “The Book of Love”—The Magnetic Fields (Alternative)
  2. “One”—U2 (Rock)
  3. “November Rain”—Guns N’ Roses (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)
  4. “Chasing Cars”—Snow Patrol (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  5. “Last Goodbye”—Jeff Buckley (Alternative)
  6. “Heart Shaped Box”—Nirvana (Alternative)
  7. “More Than Words”—Extreme (Hard Rock/Rock)
  8. “Love Is on the Way”—Saigon Kick (Hard Rock)
  9. “Everlong”—Foo Fighters (Rock/Alternative)
  10. “Hurt”—Nine Inch Nails (Industrial Rock)

The New Wave of Love Songs: Grunge and Alternative Music

Rock ballads and power ballads, which were the essence of ‘80s music, paved the way for a new evolution in the love song category. In the ‘90s, developments in the alternative and indie genres led to new musical soundscapes that required less production. Many '90s bands blended acoustic and electric sounds to create a deep sense of nostalgia in their love songs.

Indie genres changed the audience's expectations about what rock ballads sounded like. Alternative genres brought nostalgic lyrics to the forefront. Many 2000s bands were inspired by these nostalgic lyrics, changing many audience's mindsets about what counted as "radio-friendly." During this decade, the world witnessed a musical revolution that opened minds and laid the foundation for new musical pathways.

While a significant number of music purists are of the opinion that the ‘90s put the brakes on the "classic rock era," the truth is that the decade sparked a revolution in rock music that paved the way for today's popular music.


11. “Nightswimming”—R.E.M. (Rock/Alternative)

12. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”—Bryan Adams (Rock/Soft RocK)

13. “Wherever You Will Go”—The Calling (Rock/Alternative)

14. “To Be With You”—Mr. Big (Hard Rock/Rock)

15. “The Luckiest”—Ben Folds (Rock/Alternative)

16. “First Day of My Life”—Bright Eyes (Indie Rock)

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17. “With Arms Wide Open”—Creed (Rock/Grunge)

18. “High Enough”—Damn Yankees (Hard Rock)

19. “Linger”—The Cranberries (Rock/Alternative)

20. “Glory Box”—Portishead (Alternative)


21. “Disarm”—Smashing Pumpkins (Alternative)

22. “Sorry”—Buckcherry (Rock/Alternative)

23. “2000 Light Years Away”—Green Day (Punk/Rock)

24. “Only in Dreams”—Weezer

25. “Ana’s Song”—Silverchair (Grunge)

26. “Lovefool”—The Cardigans (Alternative/Indie)

27. “With A Little Love”—Harem Scarem (Hard Rock)

28. “Laid”—James (Alternative/Rock)

29. “Friday I’m In Love”—The Cure (Alternative/Rock)

30. “Wonderwall”—Oasis (Rock/Alternative)

31. “So Far Away”—Avenged Sevenfold (Metalcore)

32. “Tears in Heaven”—Eric Clapton (Rock/Blues Rock)

33. “I’ll Stand By You”—The Pretenders (Rock/Alternative)

34.. “The Only Exception”—Paramore (Rock/Alternative Rock)

35. “I Got You (At the End of the Century)”—Wilco (Rock/Alternative)

36. “At My Most Beautiful”—R.E.M. (Rock/Alternative)

37. “Let Her Cry”—Hootie And the Blowfish (Rock/Alternative)

38. “Jinx Removing”—Jawbreaker (Indie/Emo)

39. “Only”—Yellowcard (Alternative/Indie)

40. “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”—Meat Loaf (Rock)

Love Songs of the 2000s: Emo and Indie Rock

In modern times, a number of emo bands emerged in the mid 2000s. These songs had confessional lyrics marked by emotional outbursts. The intensity of these songs became exceedingly popular with youth around the globe. Clearly, the new school of rock ballads had mesmerized young hearts and minds.

As the popularity of emo grew, indie started branching into subgenres, giving rise to a new kind of rock love song. Indie rock gained mainstream popularity in the 2000s, and its popularity continues to this day. While old-school rock ballads and modern rock love songs may be drastically different, one is not better than the other. It’s the passion of their music that will always ring true and find a home with their fans.


41. “Strong Enough”—Sheryl Crow (Rock)

42. “All The Love In the World”—The Corrs (Rock/Celtic Rock/Soft Rock)

43. “Iris”—Goo Goo Dolls (Rock)

44. “There She Goes”—The Las’s (Rock/Indie)

45. “Madness”—Muse (Alternative)

46. “Wind of Change”—Scorpions (Rock/Hard Rock)

47. “This Love”—Maroon 5 (Rock)

48. “Far Behind”—Candlebox (Rock/Grunge/Alternative)

49. “Love of a Lifetime”—Firehouse (Hard Rock)

50. “Always”—Bon Jovi (Hard Rock)

51. “Buddy Holly”—Weezer (Rock/Alternative)

52. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”—Death Cab For Cutie (Alternative/Indie)

53. “When You Love Woman”—Journey (Rock)

54. “The Spirit Carries On”—Dream Theater (Progressive Rock)

55. “Your Guardian Angel”—The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (Indie/Alternative)

56. “Kiss Me”—Sixpence None The Richer (Rock/Indie)

57. “Snuff”—Slipknot (Alternative Metal)

58. “Silent Lucidity”—Queensryche (Progressive Rock/Hard Rock)

59. “All I Want”—Toad The Wet Sprocket (Alternative Rock)

60. “You’re So Last Summer”—Taking Back Sunday (Alternative/Emo/Indie)


61. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”—Aerosmith (Rock/Hard Rock)

62. “Lost In You”—Three Days Grace (Hard Rock/Alternative)

63. “Miles Away”—Winger (Hard Rock)

64. “I’ll Be”—Edwin McCain (Rock/Alternative Rock)

65. “Maps”—Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Alternative/Indie)

66. “Bed of Roses”—Bon Jovi (Hard Rock)

67. “Out of My Head”—Fastball (Rock/Alternative)

68. “The People That We Love”—Bush (Alternative/Rock)

69. “Reason To Love”—Wayland (Rock)

70. “That Kiss”—Courteeners (Alternative/indie)

71. “Best Is Yet To Come”—Red (Rock)

72. “Do I Have To Say The Words?”—Bryan Adams (Rock)

73. “Hearts Burst Into Fire”—Bullet For My Valentine (Alternative Metal)

74. “Into My Arms”—Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Rock/Alternative/Indie)

75. “Fade Into You”—Mazzy Star (Rock)

76. “Yellow”—Coldplay (Emo/Rock)

77. “Thick and Thin”—Tom Keifer (Rock)

78. “Drops of Jupiter”—Train (Rock/Alternative)

79. “Lightning Crashes”—Live (Alternative/Rock)

80. “Can’t Stop Loving You”—Van Halen (Hard Rock)


81. “Stricken”—Disturbed (Alternative/Grunge)

82. “Mama, I’m Coming Home”—Ozzy Osbourne (Hard Rock)

83. “Hell & High Water”—Blackstone Cherry (Hard Rock)

84. “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)”—Steelheart (Hard Rock)

85. “Luna”—Smashing Pumpkins (Rock/Alternative)

86. “Oh, It’s Love”—Hellogoodbye (Indie/Emo/Alternative)

87. “Smile”—Sixx: A.M. (Rock)

88. “Please Forgive Me”—Bryan Adams (Rock)

89. “How”—Daughtery (Alternative/Indie)

90. “When I’m Gone”—3 Doors Down (Post Grunge/Rock)

91. “My Happy Ending”—Avril Lavigne (Rock)

92. “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)”—Vertical Horizon (Alternative)

93. “I Need You”—Saving Abel (Hard Rock)

94. “Love Heals”—W.E.T. (Rock)

95. “Don’t Speak”—No Doubt (Rock/Alternative)

96. “Somebody Loves You”—Eels (Alternative/Indie)

97. “Last To Know”—Three Days Grace (Alternative)

98. “When You’re Gone”—Avril Lavigne (Rock)

99. “Summertime”—My Chemical Romance (Alternative/Indie)

100. “How you Remind Me”—Nickelback (Grunge/Rock)

Other Notable Rock Love Songs of the ‘90s and 2000s

  • “Back When We Were Beautiful”—Bon Jovi (Hard Rock)
  • “Here (In Your Arms)”—Hellogoodbye (Alternative/Indie/Emo)
  • “I Will Possess Your Heart”—Death Cab For Cutie (Indie/Alternative)
  • “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”—Green Day (Punk Rock)
  • “Skinny Love”—Bon Iver (Rock/Indie)
  • “Crazy”—Aerosmith (Hard Rock)
  • “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”—Bryan Adams (Rock/Soft Rock)
  • “One Headlight”—The Wallflowers (Alternative Rock)
  • “Apologize”—The Last Vegas (Rock)
  • “Sex On Fire”—Kings Of Leon (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Fall For You”—Secondhand Serenade (Alternative/Emo)
  • “100 Years”—Five For Fighting (Alternative Rock)
  • “Fly To The Angels”—Slaughter
  • “Skyway Avenue”—We The Kings (Emo/Indie)
  • “Everybody’s Changing”—Keane (Alternative/Rock)
  • “Fix You”—Coldplay (Emo/Rock)
  • “My Friends Over You”—New Found Glory (Emo/Rock)
  • “I’m Yours”—Jason Mraz (Rock)
  • “What If I Was Nothing”—All That Remains (Metalcore)
  • “Oh Messy Life"—Cap’n Jazz (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Don’t Cry”—Guns N’ Roses (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)
  • “Drive”—Incubus (Rock/Alternative)
  • “Without You”—My Darkest Days (Hard Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • “You and Me”—Lifehouse (Rock/Alternative)
  • “Hate Me”—Blue October (Rock/Alternative)
  • “Alive With The Glory of Love”—Say Anything (Alternative/Emo/Indie)
  • “Everglow”—Coldplay (Alternative/Indie/Emo)
  • “Apocalyptic Love”—Slash (Featuring Myles Kennedy) (Hard Rock)
  • “No Matter What”—Papa Roach (Alternative Rock/Hard Rock/Post Grunge)
  • “Send Me an Angel”—Scorpions (Hard Rock)
  • “Use Somebody”—Kings of Leon (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Far Away”—Nickelback (Post Grunge/Hard Rock)
  • “Hey There Delilah”—Plain White T’s (Alternative)
  • “I Miss You”—Blink 182 (Punk/Rock)
  • “Thinking About You”—Puddle Of Mudd (Post Grunge)
  • “That’s What You Get”—Paramore (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Amazing”—Aerosmith (Hard Rock)
  • “My Understandings”—Of Mice & Men (Metalcore)
  • “Don’t Go”—Bring Me The Horizon (Metalcore)
  • “Take Over The World”—The Courteeners (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Ohio is For Lovers”—Hawthorne Heights (Emo)
  • “What Kind of Men”—Florence and the Machine (Indie/Alternative)
  • “In The Cold Night”—The White Stripes (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Here Without You”—3 Doors Down (Rock)
  • “The Love I Live For”—Hinder (Alternative/Grunge)
  • “Baby Loves Me”—Tomorrow Morning (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”—U2 (Rock/Alternative)
  • “Let’s Make a Night To Remember”—Bryan Adams (Rock)
  • “Something To Believe In”—Poison (Glam Metal)
  • “Love Drunk”—Boys Like Girls (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Rebel Love Songs”—Black Veil Brides (Metalcore)
  • “Dear God”—Avenged Sevenfold (Metalcore)
  • “Jet Pack Blues”—Fall Out Boy (Alternative/Indie)
  • “My Heart”—Paramore (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Feel Good Drag”—Anberlin (Alternative Rock)
  • “Waiting For You”—Grizfolk (Indie/Alternative)
  • “The Diary of Jane”—Breaking Benjiman (Alternative Rock)
  • “Here’s To Us”—Halestorm (Hard Rock)
  • “Without You”—Hinder (Grunge/Alternative)
  • “The Bones of You”—Elbow (Alternative/Indie)
  • “She Loves Me Not”—Papa Roach (Post Grunge/Alternative)
  • “The Reason”—Hoobastank (Alternative/Rock)
  • “Through Glass”—Stone Sour (Hard Rock/Post Grunge)
  • “Where You Goin’ Now”—Damn Yankees (Hard Rock)
  • “Toothpaste Kisses”—The Maccabees (Rock)
  • “Hero/Heroine”—Boys like Girls (Indie/Alternative)
  • “Stay (I Missed You)”—Lisa Loeb (Rock)
  • “All for Love”—Bryan Adams, Sting and Rod Stewart (Rock)
  • “Impossible Year”—Panic! At The Disco (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Warmness On the Soul”—Avenged Sevenfold (Metalcore)
  • “Salute Your Solution”—Raconteurs (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Home”—Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Indie Folk)
  • “Say You’ll Haunt Me”—Stone Sour (Hard Rock)
  • “Be like That”—3 Doors Down (Post Grunge)
  • “Such Great Heights”—The Postal Service (Alternative/Indie)
  • “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”—Nelson (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)
  • “Paralyzer”—Finger Eleven (Alternative)
  • “The Scientist”—Coldplay (Emo/Rock)
  • “Now and Forever”—Richard Marx (Rock)
  • “What I Have To Offer”—Eels (Alternative/Indie)
  • “Cocoon”—Catfish and the Bottleman (Alternative/Indie)
  • “That Golden Rule”—Biffy Clyro (Indie/Alternative)
  • “When I Look Into Your Eyes”—Firehouse (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)
  • “Lips of an Angel”—Hinder (Rock/Grunge)
  • “Chances”—Five For Fighting (Alternative Rock)
  • “Just Take My Heart”—Mr. Big (Rock/Hard Rock)
  • “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”—The Darkness (Hard Rock/Alternative)
  • “She Will Be Loved”—Maroon 5 (Rock)
  • “You’re Beautiful”—James Blunt (Rock/Alternative)
  • “I’m Jealous”—Divinyls (Rock)
  • “Everything”—Lifehouse (Alternative/Rock)
  • “In These Arms”—The Swell Season (Indie/Alternative)
  • “Question”—Old 97s (Alternative Country)
  • “Losing You”—Dead By April (Rock)
  • “I’ll Follow You”—Shinedown (Post Grunge/Hard Rock)
  • “Steady, As She Goes”—The Raconteurs (Rock/Alternative /Indie)
  • “Amazed”—Lonestar (Rock/Country Rock)
  • “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”—Def Leppard
  • “You And I”—Scorpions (Hard Rock)
  • “Falling”—Art of Dying (Alternative/Hard Rock)

© 2017 Ansel Pereira


Edmund Benaojan on June 24, 2020:

Thank you so much.

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