Can You Name the Rock Ballad If We Give You a Few Lyrics?
By: Lauren Lubas
Image: Wiki Commons by Kevin Nixon
About This Quiz
When the monsters of rock are tamed, the masses are delivered the most beautiful rock ballads that have ever made their way to the top of the charts. These ballads tell stories of heartache, loss, love and attempting to understand death. Even the heaviest of metal fans can't turn their ears away from the poetic and symphonic melodies they hear.
What makes a rock ballad so important is that it's a chance for the band to show their range. They aren't limited to just screaming into the microphone; they aren't bound to creating loud noises with electronic instruments. They are given the opportunity to prove themselves, and the result defines them as more than just hardcore rockers.
If you're a lover of all things rock, then you definitely know a thing or two about the ballads that have been released over the years. This quiz is going to take you back to the original smooth sounds that people were surprised to hear from their favorite bands. It's also going to take you on a journey through the evolution of rock ballads as a whole. If you're ready to take a step back in time, see if you can name all 35 of these ballads from the lyrics alone.
Which ballad includes the lyrics, "How my poor heart aches with every step you take"?
"With or Without You" by U2
"You're All I Need" by Motley Crue
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
Though many note the power of this song (especially when Puffy sampled it on "I'll Be Missing You"), when you read through the lyrics, it can be a little creepy. It covers everything from love to obsession.
"Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?" is a question asked in which rock ballad from the 1970s?
"Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith
"Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd
In a song about pain and loss, we see Pink Floyd give one of the most unexpected ballads a band could produce. This is one of those songs that people often listen to when they want to reminisce about a lost friend or loved one.
"Goodbye, Norma Jean" are the first lyrics in which ballad that was written about Marilyn Monroe?
"Anybody Listening" by Queensryche
"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
"Candle in the Wind" by Elton John
Though Elton John may be one of the few who can rock out on a piano, his ballads are what everyone really looks for. He released "Candle in the Wind" in 1973, and it remains one of his most popular songs.
A popular '80s rock band starts their ballad with these lyrics: "You know I'm a dreamer, but my heart's of gold." Can you name the song?
"Heaven" by Warrant
"18 and Life" by Skid Row
"Love Bites" by Def Leppard
"Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crue
Motley Crue is notorious for being one of the dirtiest bands to ever go on tour. However, their song lyrics speak to a generation of lower-income rebels who have to fight to survive. That is why "Home Sweet Home" was such a shock to their fans. It's intense but in a different way from the rest of their music.
Do you know which ballad included the lyrics, "Well I see him on the TV, preachin' 'bout the promised land"?
"Something to Believe In" by Poison
Brett Michaels noted that this was one of the most difficult songs he ever wrote because it is about the death of his friend and bodyguard, Kimo. Upon hearing about his friend's death, he locked himself in a room and wrote this song.
The video for this ballad includes a wedding and a funeral. Can you name it by these lyrics: "We've been through this such a long long time, Just tryin' to kill the pain"?
"November Rain" by Guns N' Roses
While Guns N' Roses has a few memorable ballads, it's difficult to deny that "November Rain" as one of the most powerful ballads of the early 1990s. The band had such powerful anti-establishment songs that this ballad shocked audiences (who loved it).
Can you name the song that begins with these lyrics: "We walked the loneliest mile. We smile without any style"?
"Is This Love" by Whitesnake
"Imagine" by John Lennon
"Only The Lonely" by The Motels
You may have heard "Only The Lonely" by The Motels in several different movies. However, The Motels are the type of band that worked hard before their stardom, mostly covering the Los Angeles music scene.
"Where you goin', what you lookin' for" are lyrics in which ballad from 1983?
"Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
Not all rock ballads have to be about love or loss or death. As a matter of fact, "Sister Christian" was about the lead singer's sister growing up too fast. The song ended up being the band's biggest hit.
"There's a place I like to hide, a doorway that I run through in the night," are lyrics to which ballad?
"Every Rose Has It's Thorn" by Poison
"Patience" by Guns 'N' Roses
"Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche
If you're looking for song lyrics that are pure poetry, you will find it in "Silent Lucidity" (1990). Though the song is about lucid dreaming, listeners who have experienced loss and grief apply the lyrics to the fact that the dead never leave, so long as we remember them.
This song begins with the lyrics, "Sometimes I wonder how I'd ever make it through." Do you know which ballad it is?
"When I See You Smile" by Bad English
"When I See You Smile" is a cross between a love song and a song of appreciation. It's all about gaining confidence through love and understanding while it still delivers the jams that Bad English is known for.
Which Beatles ballad has these lyrics: "When the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer"?
"In My Life"
"Let It Be"
Telling bands to "slow it down" to attract more audiences was a common thing in the 1960s. The Beatles were the type of band that liked to explore music in every way, so they actually have quite a few ballads that are popular.
Can you name the alternative rock ballad that ends with the line, "You are not alone"?
"Listen To Your Heart" by Roxette
"Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.
Though R.E.M. is most well known for its innovative alternative style of the 1990s, the band was actually formed in 1980 and had sounds that most people weren't familiar with at the time. In the 1980s, they were placed in the pop music category, even though their songs were faster and a little more difficult to dance to.
This ballad from a popular '70s rock band starts like this: "Measuring a summer's day, I only find it slips away to grey." Do you know the song?
"Without You" by Bad Finger
"Tangerine" by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin wasn't necessarily known for its simple songs or simple music. This ballad is rather basic when boiled down to the lyrics. However, the method in which it was sung as well as the 12-string guitar play brings it up to Zep level.
Which ballad by Poison starts with, "We both lie silently still in the dead of the night"?
"Something to Believe In"
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
Poison has an exceptional and unique sound to their music. They sample from blues, country and rock all at the same time. It wasn't necessarily a new concept, but for some reason, this band brings these three sounds together in a way that audiences can hear them distinctly and seamlessly all at the same time.
These lyrics come from the vibrant rocker, Elton John. Can you name the song? "Jesus freaks out in the street, handing tickets out for God."
"I'll Stand By You"
Not all love songs have to be about first loves or the perfect, most unattainable person. As a matter of fact, they can simply be about the seamstress for the band. "Tiny Dancer" was written about Elton John's writing partner Bernie Taupin's girlfriend at the time, and the song became a huge hit.
Do you know which rock ballad includes these lyrics: "I know a thing or two, I learned from you"?
"Love Hurts" by Nazareth
The 1976 ballad "Love Hurts" by Nazareth doesn't pull any punches. It blatantly destroys the concept of love and how people always talk about how great that concept is. This song gives us the hard truth.
Which rock ballad starts with these lyrics: "And I'd give up forever to touch you, 'cause I know that you feel me somehow"?
"More Than Words" by Extreme
"Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goo Dolls began as a punk band. When their music went mainstream, they actually lost quite a few fans. The song "Iris" was created for the movie "City of Angels" (1998), making the band skyrocket into popularity.
What ballad includes the lyrics "Time can bring you down. Time can bend your knees"?
"Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2
"One" by U2
"Layla" by Eric Clapton
"Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is a well-known rocker in many circles. His work throughout the years has made him an icon in the rock world. However, when his son tragically died, he penned "Tears In Heaven" to help him cope with the grief.
Foreigner sings "Now this mountain I must climb, feels likethe world upon my shoulders," in which ballad?
"Feels Like the First Time"
"Say You Will"
"I Want To Know What Love Is"
Foreigner was a rock band that might be considered a little soft for the 1980s, but the music was approachable, and they had several jams that people followed religiously. However, this ballad truly showed their range.
Do you recognize this ballad? "Turning and returning to some secret place to hide."
"Take My Breath Away" by Berlin
Any fan of the movie "Top Gun" (1986) knows this song like the back of their hand. It's a true love song that has been given a lot of attention lately, as the second installment of the "Top Gun" series is set to be released in 2020.
"Time is sure to mend your broken heart" are lyrics in which ballad?
"Love Song" by The Cure
"This Ain't A Love Song" by Bon Jovi
"Love Song" by Tesla
Tesla's "Love Song" is not a remake of "Love Song" by The Cure. As a matter of fact, this song is about overcoming love and moving on. It's less about falling in love and more about how to get over the fact that your love has ended.
Which ballad about loss has includes these lyrics: "I can't clear my heart of your love, it falls like rain"?
"Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" by Cinderella
Cinderella sings "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" in a way that changes the band's entire persona for just a few minutes. The song talks about the loss of love and the terrible regret that follows.
"Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" by Warrant
"Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" by Skid Row
"Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" by Tesla
This '80s rock ballad has the lyrics, "I'd stare a lifetime into your eyes so that I knew that you were there for me." Can you name it?
"Life Goes On" by Poison
"I Won't Forget You" by Poison
"18 and Life" by Skid Row
"I Remember You" by Skid Row
Sebastian Bach (lead singer of Skid Row) has a unique voice, and when the band's ballads are played, that voice comes through in an even more unique way. He hits notes no one thought he could hit, and he sings of heartache like no other '80s rocker could.
Can you name the ballad that has these lyrics: "The more you care, the more you fall"?
"More Than a Feeling" by Boston
"Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton
"Alone" by Heart
"Miss You In a Heartbeat" by Def Leppard
Def Leppard was incredibly popular in the 1980s, and their fame came at a young age (some members weren't even old enough to sign their own contracts when the band formed in 1977). They blew up in popularity with the "Hysteria" album that was released in 1987.
Can you name this ballad by INXS? "But if I hurt you, I'd make wine from your tears."
"Never Tear Us Apart"
Though many love songs talk about how falling in love isn't always easy, "Never Tear Us Apart" was all about what happens when you find someone and instantly know that you are going to spend the rest of your life with them.
The mid-1990s gave us an alternative rock boom that we loved. Do you remember this song from the time period? "The angel opens her eyes, pale blue colored iris."
"Lightning Crashes" by Live
In the 1990s, music changed quite a bit. However, alternative rock emerged and gave us songs we could jam to and cry to all at the same time. Live was one of those bands that gave us multiple songs that were radio-friendly while being revolutionary at the same time.
Metallica might be metal, but can you name their ballad that goes like this: "New blood joins this earth and quickly he's subdued"?
"Nothing Else Matters"
"Unforgiven" by Metallica has both a clear surface message as well as underlying hints into the lead singer's life. The song is about being held back as a child, and that loss of freedom seeping into adulthood.
The Rolling Stones are a rock band through and through. Can you name the ballad that goes like this: "I watched you suffer a dull aching pin, now you've decided to show me the same"?
"As Tears Go By"
Though The Rolling Stones have quite a few ballads under their belt (with a five-decade career, it's expected), "Wild Horses" seems to be the one people always go back to. It has been remade by several artists over the years.