When it comes to love songs, the listening potential is limitless. Yet, the same handful of classic-status love songs are unfortunately recycled, and it’s rare that we’ll go beyond ‘Careless Whisper’ in a quick browse for romantic songs.
The truth is that there are numerous exquisite love songs out there in the vast canon of music, that most listeners will never cross paths with. For instance, ‘Let’s Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye is widely known, but only Gaye’s more dedicated fans will know of his gorgeous orchestral ballad, ‘Just to Keep You Satisfied’, which tops the former song in both its vocal performance and musical arrangement.
Similarly, the George Harrison-penned Beatles track, ‘Something’, is the archetypal love song, capturing genuine romantic expression within the commercial confines of the pop song. Harrison’s later co-write with Bob Dylan, ‘I’d Have You Anytime’, which appeared on his debut solo album, is equally tender, but much less acclaimed.
The following playlist covers every kind of romance, from Tom Waits’ short and tender piano ode to his wife, ‘Johnsburg, Illinois’, to the The Doors’ feverish, ‘You Make Me Real’, and is a great place to discover the lesser-known love song. There are underdog songs by major artists – the spellbinding Queen ballad, ‘You Take My Breath Away’, for example – plus those tracks which deserve greater merit for mastering the difficult love song formula. Whether you are with or without your partner this Valentine’s Day, this alternative love song collection is a comforting way to stay connected: