A good love song can shake up any romantic situation, especially when it’s hard rock. On top of that, intimate power ballads are just fun to listen to – especially when they mix the power of rock instrumentation with the languid words of a lover willing to do anything to be with his partner.
But it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day – or any other day – for a headbanger to throw in on the romantic stuff. Love rock tracks are best served when the mood is right, and there are a lot of things we can think of to do the trick. (That said, October 16 Is happens to be Sweetest day.)
But what are the most romantic hard rock love songs to set one (or two) in the mood? We took it upon ourselves to pick 10 that we think were the best for starting the fire.
Ready to feel the love? Scroll down below for a taste of some romantic rock songs that just can’t be beat. We have an idea that you will be feeling in love in no time.
Nickelback is perhaps best known for their success with hits such as “Rockstar” and “Photograph,” but the group has clearly expressed their romantic talent with All the right reasons single “Far Away”. Sweet without being sweet, the rock song bordering on pop is a devout expression of love. Namely, it would make a fitting dedication to someone’s sweetheart. “I love you / I have always loved you” Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger sings.
3 doors down, “Here without you”
Anyone who has been in love knows what it is like to be away from their partner, especially for an extended period of time. Absence makes the heart more affectionate, some might say, but in the heat of the moment, such platitudes do little to appease. Of course, rock band members know very well what it’s like to miss the lives of loved ones when they’re on the road. 3 Doors Down does a great job of encapsulating that sentiment on their 2003 single “Here Without You”.
Scorpions, “I still love you”
How to talk about power ballads without mentioning Scorpions? German rockers are quite good at upping romance, and their first single “Still Loving You” – from the years 1984 Thunderbolt – is perhaps their most monumental example of the task. “It’s the story of a love affair where they admitted that maybe it was over, but let’s try again,” Scorpions founder Rudolf Schenker once explained. “It’s the old story, still the old story.”
Shinedown, “I’ll follow you”
Echoing the tongue out of the 1996 Gin Blossoms hit “Follow You Down” – and no doubt many others – Shinedown’s “I’ll Follow You” is a heartbreaking tale that probes the idea of going to the end of the world to be with her lover. It’s a courageous notion, of course – whatever happens, wewill stay together – and the booming rock of Shinedown only amplifies the sentiment. “I’ll follow you down / To the eye of the storm”, singer Brent Smith moans. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you warm.
However, not all love songs have to be melancholy. One of the funniest rock love songs is “Here’s to Us” by Halestorm, a tune that celebrates romantic union and that feeling a couple has when it’s them against the world. Hey, if a rocker can make you feel good about your relationship, it has to be Halestorm singer-guitarist Lzzy Hale.
Papa Roach, “No matter what”
Papa Roach is best known for “Last Resort” and his more inflated rock anthems. But the group can write a romantic song that easily hits the chords. “No Matter What” is such a tune, a touching hymn of devotion. “You are so beautiful / It should be criminal” singer Jacoby Shaddix sings. Try this for your next pickup line.
Cinderella, “I don’t know what you got (until it’s gone)”
The 1980s were all about hair metal, and rock love songs seem to be specifically suited to this style. Enter Cinderella, the glam rockers led by Tom Keifer who knew a thing or two about the mighty ballad. Just listen to their classic 1988 issue “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” if you don’t believe us.
Mr. Big, “To be with you”
Surprisingly, the hard rock love song is a bit of a slippery slope. (Hear us out on this one.) If a rock band swaps the loud guitars and drums of the glammy power ballad for a softer acoustic strumming – to serve up a more subdued romantic vibe – they definitely find themselves in soft rock territory. Anyway, there are plenty of good examples of this (Extreme’s ‘More Than Words’ and Guns N ‘Roses’ ‘Patience’ spring to mind), so we think it would be remiss to do not include at least one sample here. In that regard, Mr. Big’s 1991 hit “To Be With You” takes the cake.
Aerosmith, “I don’t want to miss a thing”
Cinephiles can’t help but hear Aerosmith’s 1998 smash “I don’t want to miss a thing” and not bring up scenes from the blockbuster Armageddon. The two went hand in hand when the former was part of the latter’s soundtrack, going on to go on to become No.1 in several music charts around the world. “I don’t want to miss a thing” is a matter of elation, and, frankly, it borders heavily on the hokey without going inside – yet it really inflates those feelings of longing for her sweetheart.
Guns N ‘Roses, “Rain of November”
What can we still say about this one? If there has ever been a hard rock love song to win the proverbial crown, it has to be Guns N ‘Roses’ November Rain, based purely on greatness. Perhaps best known for its epic music video featuring GNR singer Axl Rose’s then girlfriend, Stephanie Seymour, the song itself is a 9-minute opus of unrequited love. “Don’t you think you need someone?” Rose sings without a touch of irony. “Everyone needs someone / You are not the only one.”