15 Amazing Power Rock Ballads

Updated July 19, 2021 by Iulian Ionescu | Read Time min.
power rock ballads

As a huge fan of music of all kinds, rock ballads always had a special place in my playlist. There are really dozens of ballads, some more “rockish” than others, that I could include in my top list, so compiling it was not an easy task. I know that some of you will argue that some of the songs I picked can hardly be qualified as “power” or even “rock” ballad, but most of the time, I find there is a fine line between genres, and I chose to group them all under this category based on how I feel. So, obviously, it’s a personal, subjective choice, which I hope you will enjoy… So, without any further due, I give you my top 15 power rock ballads.

Scorpions

Number #46 in VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, Scorpions has earned its rightful place in the rock arena since its early time, at the beginning of the ’70s. The band rose to fame during the ’80s with strong heavy songs and melodic ballads, heard worldwide in the many concerts that Scorpions played over the years. From all their songs, I selected my absolute favorite one, Still Loving You. (Still Loving You Lyrics)

Scorpions – Still Loving You

Axel Rudi Pell

Axel Rudi Pell is a German power guitar player. He is less known in the US but quite popular in Europe. He started with the band Steeler and later on played under the eponymous band Axel Rudi Pell. He actually released three albums entitled Ballads (I, II, and III), so you can imagine that there is quite a number to choose from. Oceans of Time featuring Johnny Gioeli on vocals is one of my favorites, so here it is. (Oceans of Time Lyrics)

Axel Rudi Pell – Oceans Of Time

Metallica

I am sure that Metallica doesn’t need a formal introduction. The group has been playing and entertaining packed stadiums since the beginning of the ’80s. With fast riffs and tempos, aggressive or melodic songs, pretty much everyone knows at least one Metallica song. Even though their style is called thrash metal, or heavy trash, Metallica had their share of power ballads. Nothing Else Matters is the one I selected, and more specifically, the version which they played live together with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on their album “Symphony & Metallica.” (Nothing Else Matters Lyrics)

Metallica with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra – Nothing Else Matters

Guns N’ Roses

As a very controversial band, mostly due to its moody vocal, Axl Rose, Guns N’ Roses rose to fame and quickly vanished from the charts leaving everyone wondering what happened. Unfortunately, the band’s internal misunderstandings made it impossible for them to continue playing. Even though the band is still up and running today, their fame and fortune will forever be linked to 1990-1993. Regardless of their history as a band, G’N’R left a legacy of great albums, amazing songs, and a well-deserved place in the hearts of hard rock lovers. I selected my favorite song from their ballads and possibly one of the first G N’R songs I heard, Don’t Cry. (Don’t Cry Lyrics)

Guns N’ Roses – Don’t Cry

Def Leppard

One of the multitude of hard rock and heavy metal bands originating in England, Def Leppard was a true part of the British Heavy Metal movement. Even though it was struck by a tragic accident when the drummer lost one arm, the band marched on and continued to play. I selected Love Bites from their many songs, an amazing rock ballad from the Hysteria album, and the band’s only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. (Love Bites Lyrics)

Def Leppard – Love Bites

Nightwish

Nightwish is probably one of the youngest bands on this list, but they managed to create a strong name for themselves in the rock community in the short time they’ve been around. That is partially due to the extraordinary vocals of Tarja Turunen, who left the band in the meantime to pursue a solo career. With songs inspired by mythological and fantasy themes, their albums feel very condensed and well structured. For this list, I selected the ballad Sleeping Sun dedicated to the solar eclipse of 1999. (Sleeping Sun Lyrics)

Nightwish – Sleeping Sun

Bon Jovi

Another band that needs no introduction – Bon Jovi – spawned from New Jersey in the ’80s and continues to rock on today as they did in their beginning. Just like other bands on this list, Bon Jovi had their fair share of rock ballads. Always, the song I included in this list was released in 1994 and became the band’s best-selling single. (Always Lyrics)

Bon Jovi – Always

Skid Row

Just like Bon Jovi, Skid Row was formed in New Jersey, USA, but a little later, toward the end of the 80s. Sometimes called a glam metal band, Skid Row had a few good songs only to slowly disappear from the public’s eyes after the first 3 albums. Today, Sebastian Bach, the band’s lead singer, is still touring with his solo project and participates in various rock acts and events. The ballad I selected for this list, I Remember You, is one of the band’s best-known songs. (I Remember You Lyrics)

Skid Row – I Remember You

Evanescence

Evanescence was founded in 1995 in Arkansas, US, by the singer and pianist Amy Lee whose amazing voice and vocal talent took the band on a quick path to success. Their first album, Fallen, saw sales of 15 million and became platinum 7 times. The band included the song My Immortal, or at least one of the multiple versions of this beautiful ballad on this album. (My Immortal Lyrics)

Evanescence – My Immortal

Aerosmith

Trying to describe Aerosmith in a few sentences is synonymous with describing what hard rock is as a whole. And truly, the “Bad Boys from Boston” are rightfully dubbed “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” With style rooted in blues, they were able to take bits and pieces of every other type of genre out there and create a unique sound and an undeniable success over 30 years. They have slow, hard, heavy, easy, and even weird songs, but one thing they do excel in for sure is ballads. Among the many great ones they produced over the years, I selected “Crazy,” one of my all-time favorite songs from Aerosmith. (Crazy Lyrics)

Aerosmith – Crazy

Gary Moore

Gary Moore is an Irish guitarist and singer, and you are probably wondering what is he doing on this list? Yes, his style and roots are deep into blues, often playing alongside B.B.King or Greg Lake. Well, I included him on this list precisely due to the song that I selected, Still Got The Blues (For you), from the album with the same name. I think that this song has one of the best guitar scores and solos ever written. And even though the album itself is some sort of jazz-fusion combined with rock, this song is and forever will be a power rock ballad for me. (Still Got The Blues Lyrics)

Gary Moore – Still Got The Blues

Queensrÿche

Coming from Washington, Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal / progressive metal band with a big international fan base and a long record of successful albums. With 11 albums to date and many concerts worldwide, Queensrÿche gained the hearts of its fans with great songs and a powerful message. Anybody Listening? is a song included on the album Empire from 1990, and it’s probably one of the heaviest songs on this list. The way the song progresses and the power of the guitar and drums combined with the excellent vocals of Geoff Tate make this song a great power ballad. (Anybody Listening? Lyrics)

Queensrÿche – Anybody Listening?

Queen

With 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs, Queen are one of the most commercially successful musical acts of all time. Fans describe the band as the greatest performance live ever, producing the greatest single in history and being the best British band of all times. Exaggeration or not, no one can deny the immense contribution that Queen had to the music scene. We rarely see a band with such a wide spectrum and with so many successful hits. I selected a particularly slow and beautiful song called Love of My Life from their multitude of songs, as played live at one of Queen’s most successful concerts at Wembley 1986. (Love of My Life Lyrics)

Queen – Love of My Life – Live at Wembley 1986

Deep Purple

Together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple is considered among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard-rock. Most of today’s rock bands, styles, guitar riffs, or drum solos can be traced one way or another to these amazing rock pioneers. Deep Purple sold about 100 million albums worldwide with styles including hard rock, classical music, blues, progressive rock, and much more. It isn’t easy to pick only one song from such a gigantic discography, but as always, there is a song that stands out, and, for me, it is Child in Time. Ian Gillan uses his full vocal range and goes from quiet singing to loud, high-pitched screaming. All in all, it is and remains a great power ballad. I included here a live version of this song. (Child in Time Lyrics)

Deep Purple – Child in Time – Live

Uriah Heep

As one of the most popular groups in the early ’70s, Uriah Heep is another band that marched on and is still playing today. They dwelled into various musical styles with a unique guitar and keyboard sound, sometimes combining jazz and blues, but still finding themselves mostly on the progressive rock track. Lady in Black tells the story of a man wandering through war-torn darkness and encountering a goddess-like entity who consoles him. It is often praised as one of the band’s most poetic works to date. (Lady in Black Lyrics)

Uriah Heep – Lady in Black – Live

There you have it, my Top 15 All-Time Best Power Rock Ballads! As I mentioned, this is my own list, and obviously, other people out there created their own. So, I will give credit to others who did a similar job by listing their links below:

19 of the greatest power ballads of all time
20 Greatest Power Ballads of All Time
The 12 Best Power Ballads of the ’80s

Enjoy!

Please share your favorite rock ballads in the comments below.

iulian-ionescu


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music


  • YES! Finally someone who got it right! Still Loving You is absolutely the BEST Rock (love) ballad ever written. Very challenging guitar, as well. Good call Iulian!

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