12 Best Classic Rock Songs About Love

2023-09-09

U2 image

U2 has one of the best classic rock songs about love via Audio Ink Radio – Story by Anne Erickson, photo via Interscope Records

In honor of loving that special someone, Audio Ink Radio presents its list of the 12 best classic rock songs about love

The classic rock genre has some incredible love songs. In fact, head to a wedding, and chances are at least of the few chosen songs for the bride and groom will be classic rock numbers. There’s something nostalgic about these special, tried-and-true classic rock tracks. So, what are the best classic rock songs about love?

The power ballad is really the pinnacle of the classic rock love song. There’s not much as heart-wrenching about hearing a lovely ballad, sung or played by someone who is in love. Many credit American rockers Styx as having the first real power ballad with their 1973 song, “Lady.” Penned by Dennis DeYoung, the song arrived on “Styx II” and features DeYoung crooning about a beloved lady.

To highlight these timeless songs about finding “the one,” or at least being in lust, Audio Ink Radio presents its tally of the 12 best classic rock songs about love. Reach out to us with your favorite classic rock songs about love on social media.

12. Led Zeppelin, “All My Love”

Led Zeppelin aren’t known for their love songs. But, “All My Love,” off 1979’s “In Through the Out Door,” is truly a gem when it comes to classic rock love songs. This song is a bit different than the others on this list, though, in that’s it’s not about romantic love. Robert Plant and John Paul Jones wrote the song in honor of Plant’s son┬áKarac, who passed away during Led Zeppelin’s 1977 North American run.

11. Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here”

Sometimes, being in love is less about that feeling of being with that lover and more about missing them. They say that one sign that you’re truly in love is if you miss that person. Pink Floyd somehow captured that longing feeling with their 1975 song, “Wish You Were Here.” What’s more, it’s one of the most popular classic rock songs of all time, and it’s truly a unique love song.

10. The Cure, “Lovesong”

The Cure might not be the kind of band that gets played alongside staples of the classic rock format, such as Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin. But, they are certainly classic, and their song “Lovesong” is one of the most popular love songs of all time. The track marks the Cure’s only song to hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s also one of the most covered songs of all time.

9. Aerosmith, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”

Aerosmith are hard rockers at heart, but don’t underestimate their heartfelt power ballads. While “Crazy” and “Cryin'” are fantastic, Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” takes the cake when it comes to the band’s love songs. The song is about wanting to spend every waking minute with that special love. It’s a universal feeling, especially for those first falling in love.

8. U2, “All I Want is You”

U2 are a band known for their universal song motifs, and they tend to write about the human experience. That said, it makes sense that the band would have some great love songs. When it comes to romantic love, “All I Want is You” rises above the rest. The track, off their 1988 “Rattle and Hum” album, is about making promises to your loved one and simply wanting them in your life.

7. REO Speedwagon, “Keep on Loving You”

Many people don’t realize that REO Speedwagon’s rise to the top didn’t happen overnight. The Illinois rockers struck gold with their 1980 power ballad, “Keep on Loving You,” off their ninth studio album, “Hi Infidelity.” The song is simply a heartfelt tribute to continuing to love that special person and not wavering.

6. Journey, “Faithfully”

Journey are the kings of the rock ballad, and that means they have a lot of great love songs. Jonathan Cain wrote Journey’s “Faithfully” about the perils of being a popular musician on the road and trying to stay faithful. With groupies throwing themselves at rock stars, he explains, it’s hard to stay true to one’s significant other. The song, of course, appealed to a much larger audience than just rock stars, as it’s one of Journey’s most popular songs.

5. Extreme, “More Than Words”

This is a tricky one, because it’s not a straight-ahead love song. With the Extreme hit “More Than Words,” the band is basically saying that the phrase “I love you” is overused and meaningless without action. It’s true, right? What good is someone professing their love if they don’t show it with their actions. This is an emotional song that is simply timeless. Check out Audio Ink Radio’s interview with Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme here.

4. Foreigner, “I Wanna Know What Love Is”

Classic rock is a huge genre in and of itself, but when a classic rock song hits pop radio and becomes mainstream, then it takes that song to a whole other lever. That’s what happened with Foreigner’s mid-1980s song, “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” off their “Agent Provocateur” album. Moreover, the song became a No. 1 hit and captures the feeling of longing to find that true love.

3. Heart, “Crazy on You”

Sometimes, falling in love is a crazy feeling. Other times, falling in love can feel like you’re totally crazy and head-over-heels about the other person. Heart’s “Crazy on You” captures that feeling of being so in love with someone, that it’s a good-crazy feeling.

2. Eric Clapton, “Wonderful Tonight”

This song has been the background to many high school proms over the years. Eric Clapton wrote the massive hit “Wonderful Tonight” about his then-wife Pattie Boyd. But, even if the relationship didn’t last, the song sure did. Moreover, it’s one of the most celebrated classic rock songs about love of all time.

1. Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

What’s ironic is that on a list filled with ballads, the No. 1 song on this list isn’t a ballad at all. Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is a rocker. It’s a fist-pumping hard rock anthem, but that’s what makes it such a unique love song. Lead vocalist Axl Rose reportedly wrote the song’s famous lyrics around his relationship with her girlfriend at the time, Eri Everly. The song is still a mainstay on rock radio, and it was Guns N’ Roses’ first No. 1 hit off their debut record. Hence, for its statement as a high-octane rock song with sweet lyrics, Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is No. 1 on our list of the best classic rock songs about love.

Find Audio Ink Radio’s list of the best classic rock bands of all time here.

Have an idea for a feature or comment? Contact Audio Ink Radio head writer Anne Erickson at anne@audioinkradio.com.

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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Music, Rock