Sometimes sad songs are just what you need for those moments of solitude because of a failed love, bad day and the like. Lucky for us, there is no shortage of great sad songs. This universal theme is found in songs in any genre.
In the 1950's Rock and Roll targeted the teenage demographic with songs of heartbreak. Elvis Presley's "Are you Lonely Tonight", "Heartbreak Hotel" and other great hits, as well as famous sad songs such as: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" by The Platters, "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers, and "Long Lonely Nights" by Lee Andrews & The Hearts ruled the charts. Top sad songs from the 1960's include: Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely", The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go", Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up is Hard To Do", and The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling".
The 1970's continue the trend but the hits are in a range of genres from rock 'n roll hits such as: "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas, to pop with Elton John's "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" to Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and Joy Division's with "Love Will Tear Us Apart". The 1980's introduced the Monster Ballads with rock songs, such as: Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You", Europe's "Carrie" and Poison's "Something to Believe In".
In the 1990's, self-doubt, loneliness and depression served as material for the best sad songs of this era. The hits include: The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony", R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts", Sinead O'Connor's cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U", Pearl Jam's "Black", Nirvana's cover of David Bowie "The Man Who Sold The World" and Nine Inch Nails's "Hurt", which would also become a big hit years later when Johnny Cash gave it his magic touch.
Sad songs continue to make it big in the new millennium with Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River", Nickelback's "How You Remind Me", Alicia Key's "If I Ain't Got You", One Republic's "Apologize", Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" to name a few. As we can see, sad songs are here to stay to give us comfort when we need it.