Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, but true love is everlasting. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to express how you are feeling.
If you need to express your excitement but struggle to find the words, we get it. That’s why we’ve put together a collection of 25 of the best love songs of all time, from classic pop hits to contemporary R&B, to help you get your point across.
Light a few candles, take out the fine china and pour a glass of red wine, because it’s time to have your love.
B-52’s “Love Shack”, 1989
Of all the songs on our list, this one is probably the least romantic, but it remains an iconic love song almost 30 years after its release. Love shack reignited the B-52’s flame of glory years after the band lost energy following the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson, and the clip is about as’ 80s as it gets.
I can’t help but fall in love is the ultimate slow dance ballad, written for the 1961 film The King’s Hawaii Blue. The whole movie is basically just a bunch of women arguing over the happy surfing character of Elvis, who probably wouldn’t fly today (though he was admittedly dreamy enough). The song became a staple of Presley’s sets, often in the finale (including in the film Elvis in concert and his last performance on stage in Indianapolis).
With all due respect to Dolly Parton, who first recorded I will Always Love You in 1973 as a farewell to his mentor Porter Wagoner, Whitney Houston’s version is downright spectacular. The song, recorded for the soundtrack of the 1992 Houston film The bodyguard, spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 (a record at the time) and even returned to the top 10 after his death in 2012. This key change, though!
Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” (with Jay-Z), 2003
Following her departure from R&B supergroup Destiny’s Child, Queen Bey (as she is now known) was ready to explode, but she needed a big solo hit. Enter Crazy in Love, who paired Knowles with her hip-hop husband Jay-Z for a funky, indelible pop track that smashed the charts and propelled her to stardom. VH1 named it the best song in the world, which seems fitting.
“Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, 1977
This classic love song about a beautiful partner and how love transcends outfits has helped Eric Clapton win over fans around the world for decades. A sensual ballad from acclaimed Clapton’s Slow hand album, the song remains one of his most memorable, even among his countless other hits.
Oddly enough, Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard wrote this track at age 29 after he felt like he was complacent. He wanted to explore more mature themes in order to prepare for the inevitability of age and death. I will follow you in the dark is a touching song about loyalty and loss, one that did not ignite the charts when it was released, but eventually gained notoriety as a cult hit over the years.
There is no mountain was the song that made songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson famous, earning them a spot with Motown records and concert writing for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell until the late 1960s. don’t like this song, maybe you should check your pulse.
“Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, 1965
If you’ve seen the 1990 love thriller Phantom, you’re probably rolling your eyes already. Wacky pottery sex scenes aside, this is an iconic mid-century love ballad; four (!) different versions of Raging melody ranked in the UK Top 20 in 1955, but the Righteous Brothers version is unbeatable. My apologies to Simon Cowell for this one.
R&B star Mario was only months away from his 18th birthday when Let me Love You pulled him to the top of the tune of American pop times. Although he wasn’t there very long – only one of his last singles even made it to the top 20, in 2009 – this cut is still one of the catchiest and sweetest love songs you ever had. have never heard of it.
This playlist wouldn’t be complete without the appearance of a boy group, and despite consideration for O-Town, Backstreet Boys, and One Direction, NSYNC is the obvious choice here. This is what I promise you did not receive as much attention as the others No strings attached singles like It’s gonna be me and Goodbye goodbye, but its mellow guitar sequences and falsetto harmonies make it a winner.
Sometimes it’s better to ditch the cutesy lyricism and let the music (and, sometimes, the robots) do the talking for you. The 2001 Daft Punk Album Discovery is a masterpiece, and both Digital love and Something about us deserve to be mentioned as emotionally charged arrangements – especially if you’ve seen Interstella 5555: The Story of the Secret Star System. Something about us is a bit more understated and delicate, offering a shy and funky take on love.
“Your Song” by Elton John, 1970
Compared to the dramatic, overproduced, declarative ballads that dominate lists like this, the ordinary yet extraordinary songs of Elton John Your song is a breath of fresh air. “It might be quite simple,” but the basic piano arrangement and unpretentious vocal performance give this song a unique feeling of authenticity and intimacy.
Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, 2008
It can be difficult given her status as a superstar today, but try to remember T-Swift when she was just an aspiring pop-country singer. Love story can be incredibly cheesy – okay, it’s really incredibly cheesy – but it’s a sweet, romantic melody that just can’t get out of your head. In addition, it is about Romeo and Juliet. Go on.
If you’ve never heard this song before, listen carefully, as its placement on this list may not be apparent at first glance. Hidden under layers of polished pop-punk veneer, Say Anything paints a living, heartbreaking picture of two lovers torn apart by the Holocaust. The band’s lyrics contrast sharply with a cheerful, rhythmic instrumentation, culminating in a song that feels uplifting despite its subject matter.
Probably more than half of the Beatles songs are considered love songs, which made it even more difficult to select a song for this playlist. While we could have literally added dozens, I just saw a face is bubbling with boyish craze (and a deadly groove), describing the kind of ‘love at first sight’ many of us fall victim to.
Frank Ocean has become one of the most famous R&B artists in the world thanks to his magnificent and unpretentious tenor voice and songwriting. Both are exhibited on I think of you, the first single from Orange channel and the song that propelled him to stardom. Frank’s faux crochet here is spellbinding to say the least.
I just called to say I love you topped an absurdly 19 charts when it was released and remains Stevie Wonder’s best-selling single to this day. Written and performed for the soundtrack of The woman in red, it’s easily the best choice if you want to call your partner on D-day and just listen to music through the receiver.
Doo-wop style music doesn’t have enough love these days. Accompanied by a simple bass guitar and snare brushes, Billy Joel sang all four parts for The longest time, telling the story of a man who had abandoned love to find it unexpectedly in his life. It’s a bit of a wink, sure, but something about Joel’s harmonies is just magical.
The 1990s were an emotionally dark time for music – as you can see by the lack of tracks from that period on this playlist – but Friday I’m in love is most certainly an exception to this rule. On a quintessential guitar riff, Cure frontman Robert Smith poetically recounts how a little love can make up for a lot of melancholy.
Common’s “The Light”, 2000
Despite her stage name, Lonnie Lynn Jr. is anything but “common” as a songwriter. The light is a shining example (understood?), the Chicago rapper showing his appreciation for the complex relationship he shared with hip-hop icon Erykah Badu (his girlfriend at the time). Clever puns and sincere, respectful love are distributed in equal measure here.
Johnny Cash’s musical genius lies in its deceptive simplicity, and I walk the line is perhaps the best example of its catalog. Cash wrote the song backstage in a small town in Texas shortly after his marriage to his first wife, Vivian Liberto. While the veracity of Johnny’s claim to ‘follow the line’ (read: stay true) is questioned, the song remains a legendary track and is part of Cash’s legacy for both country and rock. ‘n’ roll. And beyond the message, Johnny’s impressive voice racing around the circle of fifths as the song modulates the keys is just money.
‘Lady of Styx’, 1973
Lady is pure hair-rock ballad at its best. The delicate piano counterbalanced by Dennis DeYoung’s vocals is about as romantic as it gets, and the hard-rock crescendo inspired upcoming bands in the late 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, that of Def Leppard Pour sugar on me was grossly too inappropriate.
“Flagship” by Jason Isbell, 2015
It takes tact to create a tasteful country ballad these days. Jason Isbell has the goods, however – detailed and lively lyricism accompanying an unusual but calming voice – and in Flagship, everything is linked. It’s not a song that will blow your mind with crisp vibrato or slide guitar interludes, but it’s simple and it’s smooth and feels good.
‘My daughter’ by temptations, 1964
The Temptations discography is like a long list of legendary love songs, but it’s the pinnacle. Perfect harmonies. An unforgettable bass line. Words. The key change. Swoon.
’21 Questions’ by 50 Cent (with Nate Dogg), 2003
Rapper 50 Cent isn’t known for his sweet side – he’s a guy whose motto is “get rich or die trying,” after all – but 21 questions is a funny, heartfelt cut where Fiddy wonders if his daughter would still love him if he wasn’t rich and famous. In addition, of course, there is this sentence: “I love you like a fat kid loves cakes.