by Kate Evans
With Valentine’s Day coming up, here are some classic love songs to put on that playlist to get in the mood with your special someone, or on your own.
Modern music offers a lot of new choices, but these classic tunes are a timeless soundtrack for romance.
“This Magic Moment”
“This Magic Moment” was first recorded in January, 1960 by the Drifters. Ben E. King’s tender lead vocals backed by the group’s soulful harmonies and strings entranced lovers young and old.
“This magic moment so different and so new, was like any other until I kissed you… ..”
“Be My Baby”
Ronnie (Bennett) Spector enchanted the music world on the Ronettes’ love tune “Be My Baby,” which reached number two on the U.S. charts in 1963. She sang from the start that “I needed you so” and was never letting go onto the pleading chorus of “So won’t you, please (Be my, be my baby) Be my little baby….” It was the Ronettes biggest hit.
“Just One Look”
Rhythm and blues singer-songwriter Doris Troy recorded the rocking torch song “Just One Look” in 1963 that was a huge hit. Linda Ronstadt did a powerful version of the song on her “Living in the USA” album.
“Just one look and I fell so hard in love with you…. Just one look and I knew that you were my only one….”
Singer-songwriter Sam Cooke released his hit “(What A) Wonderful World” in April 1960. Cooke revised the song’s lyrics to include more education:
“Don’t know much about history, Don’t know much biology, Don’t know much about a science book, Don’t know much about the French I took…But I do know that I love you, And I know that if you love me, too, What a wonderful world this would be.”
“Unchained Melody,” made famous by the Righteous Brothers in 1965, is one of the most recorded and performed love songs. Singer Bobby Hatfield’s solo stirs the soul as he sings “and time can do so much, are you still mine? I need your love, I need your love, God speed your love to me.”
The Chantels “Maybe” was a rousing love song that was powerfully done by blues singer Lou Ann Barton on an early album.
“Maybe, if I pray every night
You’ll come back to me
And maybe, if I cry every day
You’ll come back to stay Oh, maybe.”
More rhythm and blues
Ben. E. King’s 1961 hit “Stand By Me” says that the sky might fall and the mountains crumble, but he won’t be afraid “just as long as you stand, stand by me.”
In “For Your Precious Love,” Jerry Butler sings of his deep devotion-“for as long as you’re in love with me, our love will grow wider, deeper than any sea.”
Smoky Robinson and the Miracles recorded the rhythm and blues standard “You Really Got a Hold on Me. “I love you and all I want you to do is just hold me please, hold me squeeze, hold me,” Smoky wails. The Beatles and Laura Nyro also recorded the tune.
Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman” is one of the most endearing love songs of all time. With gut-wrenching lines like “when a man loves a woman, he’ll spend his very last dime, tryin’ to hold on to what he needs,” Sledge knocks it out of the park with this timeless classic.
“High On A Hill”
A number 1 Pittsburgh slow dance oldie was Scott English’s 1963 hit “High On A Hill.” In this heartbreaking tune, the man laments that he can’t go on “since you’re gone-you’re gone and I’m alone.” He wonders if there’s still a chance for forever love “cause I need you, I do.” “Till you come back to me here I will be high on a hill.”
“Let It Be Me”
The Everly Brothers recorded the poignant love song “Let It Be Me” with heart-filled lyrics like “So never leave me lonely,
Tell me you love me only, and that you’ll always let it be me.” The Everly Brothers version of the tune hit number seven on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1959.
Folk singer-songwriter John Denver wrote his beautiful love song “Annie’s Song” for his then-wife Annie: “You fill up my senses like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain…You fill up my senses, come fill me again.”
More folk, country
Elton John’s “Your Song” has beautiful lines like “Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen” and “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.” “I Need You To Turn To” is another of his great romantic tunes: “Well, I said I knew, that my reason for living was for loving you.”
Willie Nelson’s moving love song “Always On My Mind” tells of the little things he should’ve said and done but he just never took the time-”I guess I never told you I’m so happy that you’re mine…but you were always on my mind.”
Here are some more classic love songs to enjoy as you gear up for Valentine’s Day:
Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” “Something”-The Beatles, “Maybe I’m Amazed”-Paul McCartney, “I Want to Know What Love Is”- Foreigner, “Never My Love”-The Association, “At Last”- Etta James, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”-Elvis Presley, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”- Roberta Flack, “Crazy Love”-Van Morrison,Patsy Cline-”Crazy,” and “Baby I Need Your Loving”-The Four Tops.