There are songs, no matter how many times I have listened to them, I always cry a tear or two during the listen.
Bird Of Passage by The Mission UK from the album Carved In Sand (1990)
After the song ends, there’s a long piano outro. Without this, the song would mean nothing.
Broken Home by White Lion from the album Big Game (1989)
Sure When The Children Cry is emotional, but the latter sounds really light compared to this. It’s almost impossible to not cry here. This is definitely the winner here.
I Wanna Go Back by Billy Satellite from the album Billy Satellite (1984) / Eddie Money from the album Can’t Hold Back (1986)
Although the music isn’t so sad here, growing older and older is not a happy thing for sure.
Man Against The World by Survivor from the album When Seconds Count (1986)
Each Survivor album (except their debut) always included some emotional Power Ballad. But Man Against The World wins, because the message is much stronger. I would consider Ever Since The World Began (from the album Eye Of The Tiger) a runner-up.
Mother, Father by Journey from the album Escape (1981)
Maybe the most overlooked (yet the best) song from Escape? I wonder how this never became a hit.
My Father’s Chair by Rick Springfield from the album Tao (1985)
Rick Springfield had a hard time to overcome his father’s death in 1981. And there are also references to him, in other song of his, like for example in the song Tear It All Down from Rock Of Life (1988) ( I look at my boy as he sleeps An innocent facing the lions I wish there was some way I could talk to my father again)…but this one is for sure his most emotional also musically. An acoustic Piano Ballad.
My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen from the album Born In The USA (1984)
Apart from this, The Boss also had Downbound Train, Tougher Than The Rest and The River, but this one wins for me. Ironically, it’s funny when he still sings “I’m 35”. Well he’s 67 now…
November Rain by Guns ‘n Roses from the album Use Your Illusion (1991)
Apart from the music, let’s not forget the memorable video of the song and one of the most recognizable videos of the 90s which was equally emotional.
Prisoners In Paradise by Europe from the album Prisoners In Paradise (1991)
The most emotional song Europe have ever written. Sure Carrie and Open Your Heart are two of the most emotional Power Ballads, but here the meaning is much stronger, lyric-wise.
She’s Gone by Steelheart from the album Steelheart (1990)
There are many Power Ballads around, and Power Ballads are always emotional. But She’s Gone is the winner here. Even if you strip off the lyrics, the music is moving as it is.
Tears Fall (In Memory Of Phil) by Winter’s Reign from the album The Beginning (1987)
This song is perhaps a reference to Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott who died the previous year this album was released. A nice and underrated ballad by an also underrated band.
The Loner by Gary Moore from the album Wild Frontier (1987)
Sometimes you don’t need lyrics, the music works by itself. This one is such an example, and the music can easily bring you to tears.
This Is Our House by Jean Beauvoir from the album Drums Along The Mohawk (1986)
Maybe the lyrics might sound really cheesy (Mister – Go away This is our house My Papa built it you see He built it for my Mom and me), but the meaning of the song is really serious. It tells about some policemen (perhaps those are the men in green uniforms) kicking out the mother and the singer from their house.
We Are The Champions by Queen from the album News Of The World (1977)
I have always linked this song with sporting events. The moment when a team celebrates their victory and this song is playing…
Wind Of Change by Scorpions from the album Crazy World (1990)
I wonder if this song would be what it is, without the guitar solo in the middle. This solo is what makes it so emotional in my opinion.