Here’s another guest post from Aleksander Pichkur:
What is a rock ballad? An extremely emotional and touching song with a great solo and deep meaning? Yes, but it can be fast or slow, quiet or noisy, acoustic or electronic. The main thing that must be present in it is a special spirit of ballad rock, the feeling of which is almost impossible to explain with words. That is why, the basis of this kind of charts was bound to be made up of groups whose fame came in the years 60-70, that is, the golden age of rock.
In the work of almost every rock band, even the most brutal and heavy ones, there is at least one composition written in the genre of rock ballad. Musicians try to express themselves in this direction, sometimes going far beyond the framework of the usual creativity.
Rock ballads are a special genre of music that finds its listeners far beyond the “target audience” of rockers. Rock ballads affect the soul of almost any person; this is the kind of music that everyone likes. There are a lot of compositions written in this genre. But, of course, there are those that deserve special attention among them. These are the songs that follow the lives of many people around the world. These are the rock ballads that have no expiration date. They do not cease to affect the souls of their listeners; they will never lose their uniqueness and relevance. In other words, these are the best rock ballads that every person who is not indifferent to the beautiful art called music should listen to. We should point out that this, like all the other lists, is completely based on our subjective opinions, to evaluate such a thing as music is extremely difficult and perhaps quite pointless. Lots of people will get all sorts of different emotions from listening to the same song. The only way in which we can objectively evaluate these rock ballads is by popular opinion, various top charts of the year of release and other lists about the greatest songs of all time.
So, let’s not waste any more time and get to our list top 10 rock ballads about love.
1. In the Army Now
This song was written and released in 1981 by the Dutch duo Bolland & Bolland (Rob and Ferdi Bolland) on their record The Domino Theory, entirely devoted to military topics in general and American interventions in international conflicts, describing them from an ordinary point of view. The song has a pretext of love to it, soldiers being gone from home for long and painful years.
The group Status Quo sang this song five years later with almost no changes, but only this version became an international hit. The original version of the song hit the top ten of the charts only in South Africa, where at that time there were military recruit units all over the country.
2. Behind Blue Eyes
The permanent leader of the band called The Who Pete Townshend is called as the founder of the rock opera genre. He is also considered as the author of this term, which first appeared on the cover of the album “Tommy,” which the band recorded in 1969. A project of this type was released a bit earlier by The Pretty Things, but it did not earn fame, unlike “Tommy.”
Pete decided to build on the success of the new rock opera, which he called “Lifehouse” but later abandoned it, taking up the album “Who’s Next.”
The finished songs written for Lifehouse were then released as singles and were included in Townshend’s other projects. One of them was the song called “Behind Blue Eyes”, and it is one of the most famous songs of “The Who,” released in the “Who’s Next” album.
Most fans of The Who’s creativity have no doubt that “Behind Blue Eyes” is based on Townshend’s personal experiences, but it’s hard to say which ones. Pete himself once said that this is a song about “how lonely it is to be influential.”
3. Don’t Cry
I wonder if there is at least one person among the fans of Guns N’ Roses who doesn’t know how the song “Don’t Cry” was written. This song is incredibly pleasant not only to the ardent admirers of Axl Rose and the company. So many people will probably be interested to know which events preceded “Don’t Cry,”
Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose liked the same girl, Roxy. She preferred Izzy. Roxy and Axl had a conversation, during which Axl cried. It was then that the girl said to him: “Don’t Cry,”
These words inspired Rose. The next day, he and Stradlin composed the lyrics “Don’t Cry” in a matter of minutes (Axl once said that it was their first song). Subsequently, two more versions of the composition were recorded, which differ significantly from the original.
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4. Catch the Rainbow
This is a delightful song that evokes the idea that Blackmore still managed to “catch the rainbow.” There are very few words here, but everything seems to be clear, and the “man in black” guitar is more than eloquent. In general, this is the shining pearl of the early Rainbow and the duo of Dio/Blackmore in particular. The creative union of the latter, in our opinion, is one of the best things to ever happen to music. No offense to Candace Knight.
5. Stairway to Heaven
The first versions of “Stairway to Heaven” appeared in 1970 when, after the fifth concert tour of the United States, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were in the estate of Bron-Yr-Aur. Page carried a cassette tape recorder with himself, on which he recorded musical passages that he came up with from time to time. As a result, they formed the melody for “Stairway to Heaven.”
“Rolling Stone” magazine put “Stairway to Heaven” at the 31st place in the list of 500 greatest songs of all time, and VH1 channel took it to the third line of the rating of a hundred greatest rock songs. All the achievements of the composition can be listed for a very long time: the best guitar solo in the opinion of readers of “Guitar World,” one of the most played on the radio and best-selling songs, and so on.
6. Nothing Else Matters
The first albums of the legendary American rock band were very heavy, but over time their repertoire became softer and deeper in meaning. This led them to write in 1991 one of the most popular ballads, which earned the recognition of the public. In addition, it became the cause of the emergence of a new round of popularity of the band c called Metallica, which greatly expanded its army of fans. James Hetfield – the vocalist of the collective doesn’t seem to
remember the original idea behind the song. But his famous guitar solo was invented during a telephone conversation by pure luck.
7. Wish You Were Here
This legendary ballad of the legendary group. It was written in 1975 and entered the top 500 songs of the Rolling Stone. The song of authorship of Roger Waters tells about the contradictions tormenting many people on Earth. It vividly expresses the struggle of idealism with egoism. It is described so deeply that there is still some debate about the meaning of the lyrics, but we believe that there is a great message about love and world peace. The composition is quite original. Initially, the sound of a tuned radio is heard, and only then a song plays. It seems that the performers, sitting in the car, simply play along with the melodies emanating from the radio. Here’s an interesting fact: an ordinary car receiver was used to record the song.
This is one of the best songs about love in history; it is beautiful and unique. If you are still looking for love in life, then be sure to check out this dating site: yourbrides. You won’t be disappointed.
8. White Dove
This group has earned world fame thanks to the voice of the great Klaus Meine, their diverse repertoire, and great songs. “White Dove” ballad was written specifically to the melody of one of the many songs of the equally popular band Omega; the song is called “Girl with Pearl Hair.” It brought this group more popularity, but could well be lost among the rest of the hits if it were not for the Scorpions. They took the musical arrangement and created the White Dove – one of the most recognizable compositions of the rock’s history.
9. Hotel California
The famous composition called “Hotel California” makes the Eagles the so-called “one hit group.” Not one of their songs were able to eclipse or at least partially get closer to the success of the Hotel California. But I must say that the fact that this ballad has gained a resounding success is absolutely deserved. The arrangement, melody, and vocals can evoke only words of praise and admiration. Also, the lyrics of the song are wonderful, which fully corresponds to the mood of the music. And it is the lyrics of the famous ballad that has long been the most discussed topic for fans. Someone argued that the California hotel is a center for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, someone spoke about a hospital for the mentally ill, and someone even thought about the Playboy castle. But Don Henley put an end to the controversy, saying that the California Hotel is just a metaphor. He explained that the song speaks of “a delicate balance between art and commerce,” and in general “Hotel California” is “their interpretation of the life of secular society in Los Angeles.”
This composition of Europe is known to every rock ballad lover out there. The heartfelt song unwittingly makes me feel sad along with its performance by Joey Tempest, the melancholic mood of the composition evokes relevant thoughts, which the musicians wanted from the listeners. This ballad was included in the incredibly successful album called “The Final Countdown.” Despite the popularity of another composition, the same-name hit, which is part of the album, it was “Carrie” that is considered to be the signature song of the band. It became the group’s main achievement in the charts of America – the single climbed to third place on the Billboard Hot 100, leaving the title track of the album far behind.
All the songs listed above have affected our lives in one way or another. It is even possible that we still know and remember the names of some musicians and bands only due to their ballads. And this list can be continued indefinitely because a huge amount of beautiful rock ballads has been written over the years. And this means that absolutely everyone can find for themselves those ballads that will affect every part of their soul. Those that will sound in the speakers again and again. Those songs that will cause goosebumps every time you hear them. This is the magic that rock ballads bring into our lives; they are the magnum opus of music.