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100 Best Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s

Updated on February 23, 2020
Ansel Pereira profile image

I have been an online writer for over four years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

Love songs in the realms of rock music gathered momentum in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The term ‘rock ballads’ started being associated with varied forms of rock music in the ‘80s. Some of the most breathtakingly beautiful sounds in balladry emerged in this decade mesmerizing listeners the world over. While every decade in music has had something special to offer, the ‘80s and ‘90s remain iconic years for ballads.

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What are Rock Love Songs?

The term rock love song is often used as an umbrella term to describe rock music with varied elements of balladry shaped by strong acoustic sensibilities. It’s the unique melodic time signatures and emotive elements that give these songs their distinctive feel. Typically a rock love song is a slow-tempo song that builds momentum with an acoustic intro and leads the song into a melodic verse or chorus. Through lyrics ballads express a plethora of sentiments associated with love, life, romance, and relationships. Rock ballads, acoustic rock ballads, slow rock, power ballads, soft rock, hair ballads, sentimental rock, metal ballads and slow rock ballads, are sub associations of rock love songs with each form generically bringing a unique expression through balladry.

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Rock Love Songs in the ‘80s

The music experimentation of the ‘70s paved new musical directions that found unique identity with a slick and polished sound in rock ballads of the ‘80s. The soft rock sound of the late ‘70s got heavier bringing to life expressive power ballads in the ‘80s. The AOR scene became magnanimous in the decade fueling a new wave of bands associated with melodic rock. Bands with an epic rock sound and classic rock embellishments came to the forefront gaining ground in mainstream. A number of hair metal bands reached their pinnacle of success in the ‘80s. Some of the best rock love songs have attained epic status because of hair metal bands of this decade. There’s no denying the ‘80s showcased ballads in a brand new avatar that established a link with commercial stardom for many rock bands.

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Rock Love Songs in the ‘90s

While hair metal witnessed its decline with the onslaught of grunge and alternative in the early ‘90s, a number of hard rock bands continued to enjoy considerable success with rock ballads in the decade. Rock love songs branched into non-mainstream territories bringing to the spotlight a number of bands with their unique compositional skills. While ‘80s ballads had major influences of classic rock, ‘90s ballads were distinctively different in terms of sound and influences. A number of rock songs of the ‘90s drew influences from diverse genres bringing an unconventional sound to mainstream. Ballads with a rock oriented sound became aesthetically tasteful in many non mainstream genres, alternative in particular.

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While rock songs have gone through a significant change in modern rock music post 2000, the ‘80s and ‘90s remain the definitive years of diverse rock ballads that changed soundscapes in music. The lines below showcase an epic list of rock love songs from the inspirational decades gone by.

If you are a fan of ballads from this magical era you will have something to say. Feel free with your views and opinion in the comments section.

Top 10 Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s

  1. “November Rain”—Guns N’ Roses
  2. “Is This Love”—Whitesnake
  3. “Faithfully”—Journey
  4. “More Than Words”—Extreme
  5. “Nothing Else Matters”—Metallica
  6. “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”—Poison
  7. “Sweet Child O’ Mine”—Guns N’ Roses
  8. “I Want To Know What Love Is”—Foreigner
  9. “The Flame”—Cheap Trick
  10. “Still Loving You”—Scorpions

Best Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s # 11—20

11. “I Remember You”—Skid Row

12. “The Unforgiven”—Metallica

13. “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”—Aerosmith

14. “Love Bites”—Def Leppard

15. “Can’t Fight This Feeling”—REO Speedwagon

16. “When I See You Smile”—Bad English

17. “Love of a Lifetime”—Firehouse

18. “Patience”—Guns N’ Roses

19. “Iris”—Goo Goo Dolls

20. “Heaven”—Warrant

Best Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s # 21—40

21. “Broken Wings”—Mr. Mister

22. “When the Children Cry”—White Lion

23. “Right Here Waiting”—Richard Marx

24. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”—Bryan Adams

25. “With Or Without You”—U2

26. “Don’t Cry”—Guns N’ Roses

27. “Silent Lucidity”—Queensryche

28. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”—Starship

29. “Open Arms”—Journey

30. “To Be With You”—Mr. Big

31. “Angel”—Aerosmith

32. “I’ll Be There For You”—Bon Jovi

33. “Don’t Close Your Eyes”—Kix

34. “Save Your Love”—Great White

35. “Carrie”—Europe

36. “Keep On Loving You”—REO Speedwagon

37. “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)”—Steelheart

38. “Heaven”—Bryan Adams

39. “Amanda”—Boston

40. “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”—Cinderella

Best Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s # 41—60

41. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”—Meat Loaf

42. “Miles Away”—Winger

43. “Waiting for a Girl Like You”—Foreigner

44. “Send Me An Angel”—Scorpions

45. “Have I Told You Lately”—Van Morrison

46. “Drive”—The Cars

47. “Never Tear Us Apart”—Inxs

48. “Bed of Roses”—Bon Jovi

49. “Harden My Heart”—Quarterflash

50. “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”—Cutting Crew

51. “Alone”—Heart

52. “Love Is On The Way”—Saigon Kick

53. “Forever”—Kiss

54. “Close My Eyes Forever”—Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne

55. “I Live My Life for You”—Firehouse

56. “Africa”—Toto

57. “Heaven In Your Eyes”—Loverboy

58. “Up Where We Belong”—Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

59. “Love Will Keep Us Alive”—The Eagles

60. “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”—Bonnie Tyler

Best Rock Love Songs of ‘80s and ‘90s # 61—80

61. “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?”—Bryan Adams

62. “Biggest Part of Me”—Ambrosia

63. “The Search Is Over”—Survivor

64. “Everybody Hurts”—R.E.M.

65. “More Than Words Can Say”—Alias

66. “Take My Breath Away”—Berlin

67. “She’s Gone”—Steelheart

68. “Black Velvet”—Alannah Myles

69. “Runaway Train”—Soul Asylum

70. “When It’s Love”—Van Halen

71. “Weather With You”—Crowded House

72. “Now And Forever”—Richard Marx

73. “Tears in Heaven”—Eric Clapton

74. “Almost Paradise”—Mike Reno and Ann Wilson

75. “High Enough”—Damn Yankees

76. “When I’m With You”—Sherriff

77. “I’ll Stand By You”—Pretenders

78. “Lost In Love”—Air Supply

79. “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”—Nelson

80. “Hard To Say I’m Sorry”—Chicago

Best Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s # 81—100

81. “Anytime”—McAuley Schenker Group (MSG)

82. “Love Song”—Tesla

83. “I See You in My Dreams”—Giant

84. “Crazy”—Aerosmith

85. “Heat of The Moment”—Asia

86. “Still Got the Blues (For You)”—Gary Moore

87. “Don’t Stop Believin’”—Journey

88. “Home Sweet Home”—Motley Crue

89. “Alone Again”—Dokken

90. “Can’t Stop Loving You”—Van Halen

91. “Big Log”—Robert Plant

92. “Little Lies”—Fleetwood Mac

93. “Oh Sherrie”—Steve Perry

94. “Never Say Goodbye”—Bon Jovi

95. “Love Walked In”—Thunder

96. “Bird of Paradise”—Snowy White

97. “Goodbye”—Night Ranger

98. “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”—Glass Tiger

99. “Where You Goin’ Now”—Damn Yankees

100. “Honestly”—Stryper

Other Notable Rock Love Songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s

  • “Shape of My Heart”—Sting
  • “The Actor”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “Wind of Change”—Scorpions
  • “The Day I Met You”—Lillian Axe
  • “Dreamer”—Europe
  • “Always Gonna Love You”—Gary Moore
  • “House of Pain”—Faster Pussycat
  • “Shine”—Collective Soul
  • “Mama, I’m Coming Home”—Ozzy Osbourne
  • “I Believe In You”—Stryper
  • “Let’s Make a Night To Remember”—Bryan Adams
  • “You’re The Inspiration”—Chicago
  • “What Love Can Be”—Kingdom Come
  • “Angelia”—Richard Marx
  • “Straight From The Heart”—Bryan Adams
  • “I Won’t Forget You”—Poison
  • “Rosanna”—Toto
  • “Jessie”—Joshua Kadison
  • “Dreaming (Tell Me)”—Yngwie Malmsteen
  • “These Dreams”—Heart
  • “You’re The Only Woman (You and I)”—Ambrosia
  • “Seventeen”—Winger
  • “Chanel”—Saigon Kick
  • “One In A Million”—Trixter
  • “Save the Weak”—Britny Fox
  • “Windmill”—Heloween
  • “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”—Simple Minds
  • “Time”—The Alan Parsons Project
  • “Big Love”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Even The Nights Are Better”—Air Supply
  • “Take Away My Pain”—Dream Theater
  • “Never Ending Nightmare”—MSG
  • “On and On”—Stephen Bishop
  • “When You Love A Woman”—Journey
  • “Take It Easy On Me”—Little River Band
  • “Don’t Let It End”—Styx
  • “Only Time Will Tell”—Nelson

  • “Love Kills”—Vinnie Vincent Invasion
  • “Without You”—Motley Crue
  • “Eternal Flame”—The Bangles
  • “What Keeps Me Loving You”—XYZ
  • “25 Days From Home”—Loudness
  • “Here I Am”—Air Supply
  • “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”—U2
  • “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”—Def Leppard
  • “Womankind”—Little Angels
  • “Always”—Bon Jovi
  • “Your Turn”—Heloween
  • “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”—Asia
  • “In My Dreams”—Dokken
  • “How Much Love”—Vixen
  • “Another Day”—Dream Theater
  • “You Can Do Magic”—America
  • “I Won’t Hold You Back”—Toto
  • “Two Steps Behind”—Def Leppard
  • “Walking In Memphis”—Marc Cohn
  • “Don’t Walk Away”—Danger Danger
  • “Price of Love”—Bad English
  • “Sometimes She Cries”—Warrant
  • “When Love and Hate Collide”—Def Leppard
  • “In It For Love”—Richie Sambora
  • “Think of Laura”—Christopher Cross
  • “Baby, You’re The Greatest”—Enuff Z ‘Nuff
  • “Hungry Eyes”—Eric Carmen
  • “You’re In Love”—Ratt
  • “Fields of Gold”—Sting
  • “Sailing”—Christopher Cross
  • “Tears of a Dragon”—Bruce Dickenson
  • “Wait”—White Lion
  • “I’ll Cry For You”—Europe
  • “End of the Summer Days”—Tyketto
  • “Chance”—Big Country
  • “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”—Patty Smyth and Don Henley
  • “Headed For a Heartbreak”—Winger

  • “Classic”—Adrian Gurvitz
  • “Make Me Lose Control”—Eric Carmen
  • “You and I”—Scorpions
  • “I Still Think About You”—Danger Danger
  • “The Ballad Of Jayne”—L.A. Guns
  • “You Belong To The City”—Glenn Frey
  • “Please Forgive Me”—Bryan Adams
  • “I Love You”—Climax Blues Band
  • “Missing You”—John Waite
  • “Fly To The Angels”—Slaughter
  • “Screaming in the Night”—Krokus
  • “That’s Why (You Go Away)”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “Just Take My Heart”—Mr. Big
  • “Poison”—Alice Cooper
  • “Everytime You Go Away”—Paul Young
  • “The Best of Times”—Styx
  • “Lavender”—Marilllion
  • “You’re All I Need”—White Lion
  • “Cool Night”—Paul Davis
  • “Lonely Is the Night”—Air Supply
  • “Tears Of Fire”—Keel
  • “It Might Be You”—Stephen Bishop
  • “Foolish Heart”—Steve Perry
  • “Throwing It All Away”—Genesis
  • “I Love You”—Saigon Kick
  • “In a Darkened Room”—Skid Row
  • “Amazing”—Aerosmith
  • “Talk To Me”—Stevie Nicks
  • “When I Look Into Your Eyes”—Firehouse
  • “Sister Christian”—Night Ranger
  • “The Deeper the Love”—Whitesnake
  • “Burning Heart”—Vandenberg
  • “The Heart of the Matter”—Don Henley
  • “Sleeping Child”—Michael Learns To Rock
  • “Cloud Number 9”—Bryan Adams
  • “Hurts To Be In Love”—Gino Vannelli
  • “Take It Easy On Me”—Little River Band
  • “Just Between You and Me”—April Wine

  • “Love Walks In”—Van Halen
  • “Steal Away”—Robbie Dupree
  • “More Than I Can Say”—Leo Sayer
  • “Street of Dreams”—Rainbow
  • “Hard Habit to Break”—Chicago
  • “The End of Innocence”—Don Henley
  • “Why Not Me”—Fred Knoblock
  • “On The Line”—Tangier
  • “Always The Last To Know”—Del Amitri
  • “The One You Love”—Glenn Frey
  • “Long Way To Love”—Britny Fox
  • “Living Inside Myself”—Gino Vannelli
  • “Sara”—Starship
  • “I Wonder Why”—Curtis Stigers
  • “Don’t Let It End”—Styx
  • “This Could Be The Night”—Loverboy
  • “Bette Davis Eyes”—Kim Carnes
  • “Days Gone By”—Slaughter
  • “It’s a Long Way There”—Little River Band
  • “Call Me”—Dennis DeYoung
  • “Too Much Too Young”—Little Angels
  • “Missing You”—Chris de Burgh
  • “We’re Ready”—Boston
  • “I’ll Be Over You”—Toto
  • “I Don’t Want To Live Without You”—Sleez Beez
  • “Will You Still love Me?”—Chicago
  • “Run For the Roses”—Dan Fogelberg
  • “Take Me for a Little While”—Coverdale/Page
  • “Hold On My Heart”—Genesis
  • “Fly High Michelle”—Enuff Z’nuff
  • “In Too Deep”—Genesis
  • “When I Find Love”—XYZ
  • “Kayleigh”—Marillion
  • “Remember My Name”—House of Lords
  • “Midnight Blue”—Lou Gramm
  • “Givin’ Yourself Away”—Ratt
  • “Tender Is the Night”—Jackson Browne
  • “In The House of Stone and Light”—Martin Page

Which is the Best Rock Love Song of the ‘80s and ‘90s?

See results

© 2019 Ansel Pereira

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