10 Best Classic Rock Ballads

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to favorite songs, but these ten best classic rock ballads have proven themselves over time. Again and again, these songs appear in collections, compilations, and catalogs of some of the best rock ballads ever recorded. You will likely disagree with some of the choices, but that’s okay. Let these songs take you back in time, and enjoy remembering the music that never dies.

  1. "Ruby Tuesday." "Who could hang a name on you? / When you change with every new day / Still I’m gonna miss you." England’s The Rolling Stones released "Ruby Tuesday" in 1967. Keith Richards wrote the song, and Mick Jagger sang the vocals, about a free-spirited woman, perhaps a groupie Richards knew.
  2. "Stairway To Heaven." "And if you listen very hard, the truth will come to you at last." Led Zeppelin, the English rock band, released "Stairway to Heaven" in 1971. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant composed the song for their untitled fourth album. Jimmy Page’s guitar solo ranks among the greatest of all time.
  3. "Free Bird." "If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded "Free Bird" for their 1973 debut album. It is the American southern rock band’s best-known ballad. Although the song has lyrics, it ranks among the greatest guitar solos of all time.
  4. "Baby, I Love Your Way." "But don’t hesitate ’cause your love just won’t wait." English musician Peter Frampton recorded "Baby, I Love Your Way" for his 1975 album, "Frampton." A year later, he released a live version for "Frampton Comes Alive!" This hit song has been covered by many artists and many music genres–Big Mountain and Will To Power, for example.
  5. "Feel Like Makin’ Love." "Baby, when I think about you, I think about love." "Feel Like Makin’ Love" is a ballad from the English band, Bad Company. It is the most popular song from their 1975 "Straight Shooter" album and remains one of the best hard rock songs of all time. Philip Claypool released a country music cover in 1995.
  6. "More Than a Feeling." "I lost myself in a familiar song / I closed my eyes and I slipped away." Boston, an American rock band, recorded "More Than a Feeling" for their 1976 debut album, "Boston." The song, a classic rock staple, frequently appears in "best rock ballads" collections.
  7. "Winds of Change." "Hang on / Can you hear the strange cry? / Winds of change are blowing by." "Winds of Change" is the title song from Jefferson Starship’s 1982 album. It is the first song on the first album produced after Grace Slick rejoined the band.
  8. "I Want To Know What Love Is." "In my life there’s been heartache and pain / I don’t know if I can face it again." "I Want To Know What Love Is," is Foreigner’s most successful single. The British-American band recorded the song for their 1984 album "Agent Provocateur." The power ballad ranks among the best songs of the 80s, as well as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
  9. "Sister Christian." "You’re motoring / What’s your price for flight? / In finding Mr. Right?" The American rock band Night Ranger recorded "Sister Christian" for their 1984 "Midnight Madness" album. The power ballad ranks among the greatest songs of the 80's. Kelly Keagy, the band’s drummer, wrote and sang it for his younger sister, Christy. The "motoring" reference describes cruising around for casual sex.
  10. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." "Although we both lie close together / We feel miles apart inside." "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is a power ballad by Poison, an American metal band. The song was a 1988 release for their album, "Open Up and Say…Ahh!" Bret Michaels, the band’s lead vocalist, wrote the song after a failed love affair.
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