10 Best Ballads Of The ’70s

What are the 10 best ballads of the '70s? Everyone has a different opinion, but there are some songs from this era that stand out from the rest. See if you agree with this assessment of the 10 best ballads of the '70s.

  1. "Stairway to Heaven"-Led Zeppelin-1971: "There's a lady who's sure, all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven." With those opening lines, Led Zeppelin began the best ballad of the '70s. The song, which runs over 8 minutes long, was released in 1971 but didn't gain popularity until 1973. It won many honors, including "best guitar solo" from Guitar World, and has been broadcast on American radio over 3 million times.

  2. "Dream On"-Aerosmith-1973: The bluesy first single from their debut album would go on to become one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s. This song catapulted Aerosmith from being a popular Boston band to becoming a famous American band. It is now part of the 500 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

  3. "Free Bird"-Lynyrd Skynrd-1973: Another hit from a debut album, "Free Bird," which is now known as a Karaoke staple, is one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s. It is also on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and can last over 14 minutes when Lynyrd Skynyrd plays it live.

  4. "Love Hurts"-Nazareth-1975: Although this ballad was first recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1960, Nazareth's cover of "Love Hurts" undoubtedly put the band on the map and turned the song into one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s. It has also been covered Roy Orbison and Cher.

  5. "Imagine"-John Lennon-1971: Lennon once called this song as good as anything he'd written with the Beatles, and many would agree. It is definitely one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s. Its message of hope, love and peace was exactly what '70s audiences wanted to hear, and it still resonates in today's world.

  6. "All My Love"-Led Zeppelin-1979: From the band's final album, this ballad was written by Robert Plant as a tribute to his son who had died of a stomach infection at age 5. Its lyrics are mystical, adding to its mass appeal, and helping to make it one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s.

  7. "American Pie"-Don McLean-1971: This song recounts "The Day the Music Died," in 1959 when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash. McLean's narrative storytelling in "American Pie" has made it his signature song and helped earn it a spot among the 10 best ballads of the '70s.

  8. "Wish You Were Here"-Pink Floyd-1975: Many Floyd fans consider this to be the band's best song ever, relating to Roger Waters' lyrics expressing his feelings of being alienated from others. It ranks at #300 of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of all Time, and is one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s.

  9. "Sometimes When We Touch"-Dan Hill-1977: Although some may consider this song to be a bit too sappy, it embodies the ballad spirit of the 1970s: a love song that's full of gut-wrenching emotion. It has been made fun of often throughout the years, but it's an undeniable fact that this song is one of the 10 best ballads of the '70s.

  10. "All By Myself"-Eric Carmen-1975: Carmen borrowed from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor for this hit, being forced by Rachmaninoff's estate to credit him for the song. It has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to the cast of TV's "Glee" over the years, and certainly ranks among the 10 best ballads of the '70s.



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