10 Most Romantic Ballads

When words fail to express that loving feeling, songs from the 10 most romantic ballads say it all. Get your sweetie in the mood with music to match those emotions that make your heart thump and your pulse race. Before the night ends, your true love's affection will lie safely in the palm of your hand.

  1. "Close To You" by The Carpenters: There's a reason "Close to You" appears in so many most romantic ballads lists. In addition to expressing pure love, the music and lyrics convey a plaintive note of obsession wrapped around tones of youthful infatuation. No woman (or man) can resist the feelings this song inspires.
  2. "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge: Countless ladies across half a century have fallen prey to the intoxicating effects of Sledge's soulful vocals. With powerful lyrics punctuated by clear, bluesy instrumentation, the song's message of unconditional love has stirred the hearts of many men, as well.
  3. "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner: Who can resist the raw honesty of Lou Gramm's throaty cries for true love? The backing vocals by the New Jersey Mass Choir, Jennifer Holiday and the Thompson Twins, ensures this song will always be one of the most romantic ballads ever recorded.
  4. "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You" by Bryan Adams: During the 1990s, romance was in fashion and Bryan Adams had his finger on the pulse of love-hungry young America. Written for "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", this song shocked everyone by rocketing to the top of the charts. In hindsight, it isn't surprising. After all, who doesn't yearn to hear her lover say he would die for her?
  5. "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin: When it comes to seduction, Zeppelin's "Thank You" remains a mainstay. Along with the sweet, romantic lyrics penned by Robert Plant, the song's title clearly expresses appreciation for having a deep love reciprocated. It's guaranteed to bring out the romance in everyone.
  6. "Still Loving You" by Scorpions: According to Scorpion guitarist and songwriter, Rudolf Schenker, this song is about giving a dying love a second chance. Despite a strong, driving rock beat, the yearning vocals by Klaus Meine catapult this selection into the ranks of the world's most romantic ballads.
  7. “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker: No list of the most romantic ballads is complete without the Cocker rendition of this popular love song. While the lyrics reveal a tender yet fragile love, Cocker's vocal arrangement imbues the song with feelings of awe and adoration that appeal to ladies the world over.
  8. "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin: If Kelly McGillis's character heard this song while Tom Cruise's Maverick courted her in "Top Gun", it's no wonder she fell for him.  Terri Nunn's stirring vocals combined with wispy, ethereal music whisk listeners to a dream-like world of pure romance.
  9. "Faithfully" by Journey: Written by keyboardist, Jonathan Cain, "Faithfully" tells the story of a traveling musician's enduring love for the woman he must often leave behind. The references to faithfulness, rediscovery and love for eternity make this a popular selection in many most romantic ballads lists.
  10. "Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones: The final slot in this list of ten most romantic ballads goes to The Rolling Stones for the haunting melodies and poignant lyrics of "Wild Horses". The song evokes both an awareness of love that endures through pain and pain that lingers through love. Perhaps this mysterious duality makes the tune popular, or maybe it's simply the romance of earnest emotional expression.
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