20 Best Love Songs of All Time in Rock

2021-02-11

Album art from Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Creed, Nickelback, Def Leppard and Staind.

The 20 Best Love Songs of All Time in Rock – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photos

From Whitesnake to Aerosmith, read on for the 20 Best Love Songs of All Time in Rock as rated by Audio Ink Radio

The greatest songs of all time are often relatable, and possibly nothing is more relatable than romantic love. After all, everyone has fallen in, and out, of love, so it’s a universal experience.

With love such a shared emotion and experience, it makes sense that some of the most popular songs out there are about finding that true love. From Whitesnake to Aerosmith, read on for the 20 Best Love Songs of All Time in Rock, in alphabetical order, as rated by Audio Ink Radio.

20 Best Love Songs of All Time in Rock

Aerosmith, “Angel”

“Angel,” off 1987’s “Permanent Vacation,” was one of Aerosmith’s highest charting singles of the late-1980s, and for good reason. The song should make any girl’s heart melt, with Steven Tyler crooning, “Come and save me tonight,” amid soft rock instrumentals. While Aerosmith are fun as the bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll, “Angel” shows their softer side, which is heartfelt and difficult to resist.

Creed, “With Arms Wide Open”

By the time Creed released “With Arms Wide Open,” which appears on 1999’s “Human Clay,” they were already one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, but the success of the song took things to the next level. “With Arms Wide Open,” off “Human Clay,” tells the story of a father’s love for his child. It’s a very moving, emotional song that’s still one of the band’s most recognizable.

Def Leppard, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”

Def Leppard are known for their breakup songs more than their love songs, as apparent with songs such as “Love Bites” and “Too Late for Love,” but they scored an anthemic love song in “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” The sexy track, off their 1987 album “Hysteria,” is considered Def Leppard’s most popular, with catchy riffing, fun lyrics and a pop sensibility.

Extreme, “More Than Words”

Extreme notched one of the most popular love songs of all time with 1991’s “More Than Words.” The emotive ballad, buoyed by acoustic guitar (and harmonies) from Nuno Bettencourt and lead vocals from Gary Cherone, topped the charts worldwide and is still a regular on classic rock radio.

Foo Fighters, “Everlong”

Those looking for a modern love song with a grunge edge will find it in Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” The song, which appears on the Foos’ 1997 “The Colour and the Shape” album, has Dave Grohl singing about a pure, real love, crooning, “If everything could ever be this real forever.”

Foreigner, “Waiting for a Girl Like You”

Sometimes, the best things truly come to those who wait- especially when it comes to love. Foreigner sings of this phenomenon in the power ballad “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” In his autobiography, Lou Gramm says the song was inspired by a beautiful woman who appeared in the control room when he was recording, but Gramm was never able to find out her identity. How romantic!

Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

Those looking for a full-fledged rock number about love, not a ballad, will find one in Guns N’ Roses’ quintessential hit, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” off 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction.” From Slash’s sporadic guitar introduction to Axl Rose’s devoted lyrics, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the late-1980s, is the perfect love song for the true rocker in your life.

Heart, “Crazy on You”

Sometimes, falling in love can seem crazy. After all, love doesn’t always make sense. That’s the inspiration behind the Heart classic, “Crazy on You,” which appears on 1975’s “Dreamboat Annie.” The song opens with that memorable guitar riff and Ann Wilson’s recognizable vocals, as Ann sings, “There’s nothing left to do at night but go crazy on you.” The song is still played incessantly on classic rock radio stations worldwide.

Motley Crue, “Home Sweet Home”

Motley Crue weren’t known for their ballads until 1985’s “Theatre of Pain” was released. The album featured the massive rock ballad “Home Sweet Home,” which is about the band’s extensive touring and simply wanting to be home with their loved ones.

Nickelback, “Far Away”

Nickelback have heaps of chart-topping rock hits, and one of their most romantic is “Far Away.” The song, off 2005’s “All the Right Reasons,” has vocalist Chad Kroger singing, “I love you / I have loved you all along.” It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

Pearl Jam, “Just Breathe”

The guys of Pearl Jam aren’t known for their love songs, but if there’s one true romantic song in their discography, it’s “Just Breathe.” Musically, the song features soft, acoustic guitars and emotive strings. Lyrically, Eddie Vedder sings about just being in the moment together with your sweetheart, breathing the same air and enjoying each other’s presence.

Poison, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

Not every love song is a happy one. Take Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” for example. Bret Michaels reportedly wrote the song after calling his girlfriend at the time and hearing a male’s voice in the background. That would rip out anyone’s heart. So, Michaels took that real-life pain and wrote what would be one of the biggest ballads of the 1980s. What a way to make lemonade out of lemons.

Queen, “You’re My Best Friend”

Some of the best romantic relationships start as friends first. Queen bass player John Deacon penned “You’re My Best Friend” for his wife Veronica after the two married in 1975. The song, which was released following “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is a tribute to that bond of not just romantic love but also friendship.

Staind, “It’s Been A While”

The post-grunge movement isn’t known for its love songs, but Staind were able to “Break the Cycle,” pun intended, with their 2001 single, “It’s Been A While.” The song stood out on rock playlists at the time with its stripped-down, acoustic character and Aaron Lewis’ emotive vocals, as he sang, “I can still remember just the way you taste.”

Styx, “Lady”

Styx certainly have a romantic side, and with 1973’s “Lady,” they caught the attention of, well, ladies everywhere with this romantic rock number. The power ballad reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s still a fan favorite.

Tonic, “If You Could Only See”

Tonic ruled the year 1997 with their single “If You Could Only See,” which captures the jangle-rock of the era. Emerson Hart has stated that the song was written about his romantic relationship with an older woman, which his family did not welcome, leaving him to beg, “If you could only see the way she loves me, then maybe you would understand.”

Telsa, “Love Song”

Tesla scored one of their biggest rock hits with “Love Song,” off 1989’s “The Great Radio Controversy.” As the title implies, “Love Song” is a simple love song with full-bodied guitars, earnest vocals and an anthemic chorus. It’s one of Tesla’s most celebrated songs to date.

U2, “One”

U2’s music is often themed around universal love, not necessarily romantic love, and one shining example is the song, “One.” The single, which arrive on 1991’s “Achtung Baby,” is about a general love that Bono yearns for in the world- one that brings people together instead of tears them apart. It’s a theme that never gets old.

Warrant, “Heaven”

Warrant hit the big-time with “Cherry Pie,” but before all that hoopla, the band released a heartfelt rock ballad called “Heaven” off 1989’s “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich.” The song’s theme really hit home for many, as it highlights a father’s desire to be a positive role model for his child. It’s a tear-jerker.

Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again”

Some of the best love songs carry a lonely theme, and Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” is one of them. In it, David Coverdale croons about a breakout that leads him to question if he’s simply meant to be alone. That theme resonated with so many people that the song became a No. 1 Billboard hit and inescapable in the 1980s.


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