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Thread: Best Rock Ballads...

  1. #1
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Question Best Rock Ballads...

    OK, I know this is a strange one here, but there are always a few rock tunes that kind of catch your attension despite their UNGODLY length and carry you along them until the end.

    I just had one of them on my mix CD on the car in this morning, one I haven't heard in years:

    Jane's Addiction - 3 Days.

    AWESOME piece, steadily heightening and mounting until it gives you the quick let down at the end. One of the songs you have to sit in the car and listen to the end even when you have reached your destination (yes I am car commuting now... ).

    Are there any other songs you guys can think of that are like this? There are a few story line songs that may fit the category (like Paradise by the Dashboard Light) but they just don't seem to grip quite as much. A few tunes by Zep definitely fit the bill, as well as, I think, maybe Mountain Jam (although that is more of a Jam than a Ballad). I think Boehemian also fits the bill, although it is not quite as long as some of the others (but, as the old addage puts it, size doesn't matter......much).


    Any other additions?

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    These are all 6:30 or longer. I'd throw them ll into the rock ballad category, except maybe Heroin. The nature of the song is to mimic the pulse of the heart and effects of a heroin trip. Anywho...

    "Captain Jack" - Billy Joel
    "Having To Let Go" - Rookie of the Year
    "Heroin" - Velvet Underground
    "Hellhole Ratrace" - Girls
    "I've Got To Go Now" - Toni Childs
    "Miracles" - Jefferson Starship
    "Taxi" - Harry Chapin
    "Troy" - Sinead O'Connor
    "Bad" - U2 (from Wide awake In America EP)
    "Will You Be There" - Michael Jackson (a new sentimental favorite of late)

    Did you mean good ballads or good storylines.. like "Jesus of Surburbia" by Greenday or "Land" by Patti Smith. If you don;t know either of these (clocking in over 9:00 minutes), they are absolute classics for any student of rock.

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    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    I somehow don't think many of these are what you mean? Nothing like JA's 3 Days, anyway (I wouldn't have called that a ballad). All the top 100s (or other countdowns) I've ever heard on the radio here always have Imagine as number 1.

    Heroin...LOL...still a great song . Pale Blue Eyes is a poignant ballad by the Velvets. How about Sweet Jane ?

    Ballads, by definition, don't really have a story line, so, yeah, not sure, but favourites offhand:

    Far too short, but stunning:

    Trip Through Your Wires, U2
    Lightning Crashes, Live

    And:

    Hey Jude, Beatles
    On the Turning Away, Pink Floyd
    The End, Doors
    Looking Glass, La's

    and, of course :

    Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I meant that the song would either have a lyrical or just plain musical story line.

    Certain tunes shift several times during the course of their own length but do so in a way that fits. They do not make you feel like you are in a new song, but they are definitely not going in the same direction.

    3 Days kind of gave me that impression in that it starts very slow and almost depressing, but meanders through several verses and slowly builds until you have a very stong... bridge?... at the end that catches you up.

    I think the Green Day tune fits as well (JoS), although a bit less so than 3D. Others that would fit would probably be the Beatles Abby Road (side 2), Pink Floyd's Sheep is also interesting, One of These Days is another, albeit short. I believe The Who with Quadrophenia is possible. Zep has a few more ones like Kashmir that might be worth mentioning as well.....


    But I guess what I am getting at is a longer song that breaks with the Verse Verse Chorus Verse cookbook formula, does not keep repeating itself and seems to tell a story, however disjointed, while at the same time takes you through several musical movements. I guess that kind of disqualifies a few I have mentioned already!
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; February 5th, 2010 at 10:57 AM. Reason: speelink

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    "A Shot In The Arm" by Wilco

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    "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger is pretty good. I love that song Boogie Nights.

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    Not sure if Konstantine by Something Corporate fits.. but it's over 9 minutes.

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    Can't think of any off hand, but a lot of good picks here!!

  9. #9

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    I don't know if this piece qualifies as a ballad, but it is one of the oddest, most compelling songs I have ever come across--and it has been a favorite of mine since I can remember--Dire Straits' "Private Investigations"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    I meant that the song would either have a lyrical or just plain musical story line.

    Certain tunes shift several times during the course of their own length but do so in a way that fits. They do not make you feel like you are in a new song, but they are definitely not going in the same direction.

    3 Days kind of gave me that impression in that it starts very slow and almost depressing, but meanders through several verses and slowly builds until you have a very stong... bridge?... at the end that catches you up.

    ...

    But I guess what I am getting at is a longer song that breaks with the Verse Verse Chorus Verse cookbook formula, does not keep repeating itself and seems to tell a story, however disjointed, while at the same time takes you through several musical movements. I guess that kind of disqualifies a few I have mentioned already!
    > You Can't Always Get What You Want.

  11. #11

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    A couple of these are on the short side & may not qualify as ballads in the traditional sense, but they sound like it:

    'Layla'-Clapton
    'Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone)'-Cinderella
    'Hey Jude'-You know!
    'I'm Your Captain'-Grand Funk Railroad (Maybe?)
    'The Air That I Breathe'-The Hollies
    'Stairway To Heaven'-Yep, that's right
    'Freebird'-Lynyrd Skynyrd
    'Imagine'-If you don't know, shoot your computer & pick up a book
    'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad'-Meat Loaf
    'Bridge Over Troubled Water'-Simon & Garfunkel
    'Love Reign O'er Me'-The Who
    'November Rain'-Guns N' Roses
    'Tuesday's Gone'-Skynyrd
    'Like A Rock'-Bob Seeger
    'Jungleland'-Bruce Springsteen
    'Roll It Over'-Oasis
    'Little Girl's Eyes'-Lenny Kravitz
    'Champagne Supernova'-Oasis
    'Magic Pie'-Oasis
    'The End'-The Doors
    'The Rain Song'-Led Zeppelin

  12. #12

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    On this thread there are songs that are great (many from a milion years ago) but the actual definition of a ballad is this:

    bal·lad (bal′əd noun

    -a romantic or sentimental song with the same melody for each stanza

    -a song or poem that tells a story in short stanzas and simple words, with repetition, refrain, etc.: most old ballads are of unknown authorship and have been handed down orally in more than one version

    - a slow, sentimental popular song, esp. a love song

    I usually think of a ballad as being a love song. This sweet and simple unabashed loved song (see below) is also from a million years ago and has been played to death, but it still holds up after all these years.

    A very young, cute&adorable Elton John. We are in Amsterdam 1971.

    The cool quotient here is off the charts:

    Last edited by Fabrizio; February 19th, 2011 at 02:29 PM.

  13. #13

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    Good point, & good song, but I wonder when you add the word 'rock' to it, how it changes that definition?

  14. #14

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    Is he lip syncing?

  15. #15

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    Staying with a music theme, what is the LONGEST rock song?
    A friend called me ( from a barroom trivia contest) and, using me as a lifeline, asked that question.
    The criteria are simple--no opus sides like "Revolution #9", no "Free Bird" concert jams or long dance remixes-- just the song as it was freshly released.

    My answer won him a pitcher of beer, but only after lengthly give-and-take with the moderator of the contest.
    I had the answer immediately and confirmed it with a Google.

    Without resorting to the Google Gods, what's the longest rock song?...who can answer this? And it's not "Hey, Jude".

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