Music

The Best Ballads of All Time 

Ranker Music
Updated March 10, 2019 23.6k votes 376 voters 11.2k views 273 items

List Rules Vote up the best ballads from any genre and decade, power ballads included.

Often synonymous with love songs, ballads typically combine stories with music—making for some of the most poetic songs to date. From traditional ballads of old to today's hottest pop ballads, these narratives set to music span a broad range of genres. Regardless of genre, however, the best ballads usually find themselves set to slower accompaniments, telling stories about things like lost love and old friendships. In short, ballads are those tracks we go to when we're down, pondering life, or just need something soft and soothing to calm our troubles. So, love songs or not, what are the best ballads of all time?

Many of the most popular ballads we've come to love today date back hundreds of years, to the point where the origins are almost uncertain. On the other hand, you have more modern takes on the ballad, including songs like "With or Without You" by U2 or Marvin Gaye's ever-sensual "Let's Get It On". Of course, we can't forget those favorite ballads that stray from the common love-infused lyrics, such as Pink Floyd's tribute to Syd Barrett, "Wish You Were Here", among plenty of others you can find on the list of top ballads below.

Now, the question remains: what are the best ballads ever written? Whether they be rock ballads, power ballads, traditional, or even pop, it's up to music fans like you to decide. Check out the list of ballad songs below and vote up your favorites. Also feel free to add your own choices to the list. If you're looking for more ballads, take a look at the best 80s ballads or the best 2000s ballads for more recent love songs.

list ordered by
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26
Overs is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Overs Simon and Garfunkel
27
Ask Me Why is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
28
Everything That Touches ... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Everything That Touches You The Association
29
The Wind Cries Mary, The... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Wind Cries Mary, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
30
If I Fell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
31
Femme Fatale is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Nico, The Velvet Underground
32
Crying is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Roy Orbison
33
Our Love Was, Is, The Wh... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Our Love Was, Is, The Who
34
Beautiful Flyaway, Alice... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Beautiful Flyaway, Alice Cooper
35
Sunrise, The Who is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Sunrise, The Who
36
She Talks to Rainbows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ramones
37
Silence Is Golden is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Tremeloes
38
Love, John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Love, John Lennon
39
You Know What I Mean, Th... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added You Know What I Mean, The Turtles
40
You Were on My Mind is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added We Five
41
I Wanna Be Your Boyfrien... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ramones
42
Don’t Go, The Ramones is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Don’t Go, The Ramones
43
Flowers Never Bend With ... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Simon and Garfunkel
44
Carpet Crawlers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Genesis
45
Pure and Easy, The Who ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Pure and Easy, The Who
46
Surfer Girl, The Beach B... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Surfer Girl, The Beach Boys
47
Candy Says is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Velvet Underground
48
Today, Jefferson Airplan... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Today, Jefferson Airplane
49
I Want You Around, The R... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added I Want You Around, The Ramones
50
Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles