When it comes to the world of classic rock, the genre is littered with love songs. In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s show some love to ten love songs that sometimes go unnoticed.
10. Aerosmith – “You see me cry”
Aerosmith has recorded a number of powerful ballads over the course of his illustrious career, but it seems like “You See Me Crying” is still being watched, and that’s a real shame. The high-pitched scream of Steven Tyler’s voice paired with the piano and orchestral accompaniment brings this song, the final track on Toys in the attic, to an epic ending.
9. Heart – “Magic Man”
It’s safe to say that most of us, if not all, have been in love with someone so much that you are seemingly helpless. No other song describes this feeling better than Heart’s “Magic Man”. The song itself was an autobiographical account of Ann Wilson’s relationship with band manager Michael Fisher. Fisher moved to Vancouver in an effort to avoid Vietnam War conscription, and Wilson followed him. Honestly, draft dodging has never had a sexier soundtrack.
8. Led Zeppelin – “I’ll crawl”
Closing Led Zeppelin’s latest studio album, In by the exit door, “I’m Gonna Crawl” contains some of the band’s most intense cries of love. “I don’t have to go by plane. I must not go by car. I don’t care where my darling is. People, I don’t care how far. I will crawl, I will crawl. Oh, wow… Robert Plant got it BAD on this one.
7. Blondie – “The tide is high”
The instrumental reggae is enough to weaken your knees! Blondie’s cover of Paragons’ “The Tide is High” is simply sublime and further proves that in the end, Debbie Harry will still have the guy. Please! She would never give up like that. Oh no!
6. The Ramones – “I want you to be around”
Punks need love too, and it’s no sweeter than on “I Want You Around” by the Ramones. This track was featured in the 1979 cult classic Rock’n’Roll High School and while it certainly isn’t at the forefront of other Ramones songs, it is dripping with heart and could be one of the most worthy punk songs in history.
5. David Bowie – “Kooks”
Not all love songs are about romantic love, and in the case of David Bowie’s “Kooks”, they are about the love a parent has for their child. Bowie wrote “Kooks” for his then newborn son, Duncan, and included it in the 1971s. Hunky-dory. Any parent can relate to the lyrics. Well, with the exception of one for me personally: “Don’t fight with bullies or kids. Because I’m not a cop for hitting other people’s fathers. I don’t tolerate violence per se, but if I had to throw myself out for my child, I would understand.
4. Bruce Springsteen – “I’m on fire”
Some of The Boss’s most popular love songs are his epics, but in just 2:40, “I’m On Fire” gets straight to the point. The pursuit “so sensual it should be a crime.” With lyrics like “Tell me now baby is he nice to you?” Does he do the things I do to you, ”you wanna know what else is on fire? my kidneys !
3. U2 – “All I want is you”
U2’s catalog is full of intense love songs, but few are as beautiful as “All I Want Is You”. The track plays on the credits of the 1988 concert film Rattle and hum and closes his album of original soundtracks. It’s stripped down, the simple lyrics written by Bono are some of the most direct and get right to the heart of it all. And when all the rest fails to create a dreamy vibe, adding a string arrangement helps put things above the edge. (Intentional pun.)
2. Rolling Stones – “Waiting for a friend”
Remember that not all love songs are about romantic love? The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting On A Friend” could be the best example of this. The second single of the years 1981 Tattoo yourself, the lyrics to “Waiting On A Friend” were written by Mick Jagger about friendships within the Stones.
“No need for a whore, no need for alcohol. I don’t need a virgin priest, but I need someone I can cry to. I need someone to protect.
If you are lucky you have a friend who matches these words, and you know full well that this friendship is one of the greatest loves of your life.
1. Elton John – “I want love”
During their 50-year partnership, Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote some of the greatest love songs of all time. Of all, “I Want Love” is perhaps the most stripped down and raw of all.
Out of 2001 West Coast Songs, “I Want Love” paints a picture of the reality of love. By the time many of us find true love, we have gone through the wringer through past relationships. It is very present in the words of Taupin in particular on the bridge:
“So go ahead, I got bruises. Don’t give me a clean, smooth love. I’m ready for the toughest stuff. No sweet romance, I’ve had enough.
True love is not always perfect. It’s not all sun and rainbows. But when you have it, it’s just the best thing ever.
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Erica Banas is a classic rock / rock news blogger who knows the label well and is extraordinarily kind.