Music

The Best Ballads of All Time  

Ranker Music
18.1k votes 252 voters 6.6k views 288 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
1
Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvi... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvis Presley
2
Everything That Touches You is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Everything That Touches You The Association
3
The Warmth of the Sun is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beach Boys
4
Here, There and Everywhere is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
5
Blackbird is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
6
You Showed Me is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added You Showed Me The Turtles
7
Overs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Overs Simon and Garfunkel
8
Little Wing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi Hendrix
9
She Talks to Rainbows is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ramones
10
Play With Fire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Rolling Stones
11
Julia is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
12
Candy Says is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Velvet Underground
13
In My Life is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Beatles
14
The Wind Cries Mary, The Jimi ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added The Wind Cries Mary, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
15
Don’t Go, The Ramones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Don’t Go, The Ramones
16
The Needle and the Damage Done is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Neil Young
17
I Am a Rock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Simon and Garfunkel
18
Femme Fatale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Nico, The Velvet Underground
19
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ramones
20
Lisa Says is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Lisa Says Lou Reed
21
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ramones
22
Our Love Was, Is, The Who is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Our Love Was, Is, The Who
23
Beautiful Flyaway, Alice Coope... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Beautiful Flyaway, Alice Cooper
24
Sunrise, The Who is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Sunrise, The Who
25
Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Ston... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ballads of All Time
Mark Lanzarotta added Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones