Commented by Craig Hoffman
Often times, even the best Valentine’s Day plans fail. In a year when going out to celebrate love is difficult, what to do? Luckily, there are tons of great singers out there who can bring some romance into your life even when you’re sitting at home.
What are your favorite love songs? Let the Icon know in the comments!
“Unchained Melody” (1965) – The Righteous Brothers
This song was made famous in the movie “Ghost”. It is hands down the best and most romantic long song of all time. “Unchained Melody” was released as the “B” side of the single “Hung On You” as a follow-up single to “Just Once in My Life”. Radio stations preferred the “B” side and the song became an icon.
“I will always love you” (1992) – Whitney Houston
One of the most iconic songs of all time. The deceased legend brought this Dolly Parton melody to life. It’s a must-see song for any night of romance. “I’ll Always Love You” won the 1994 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Houston.
“I can’t help but fall in love” (1961) – Elvis Presley
The Elvis Presley classic never gets old. It was the last song he performed in concert before his death. It has been picked up by many artists, but this version is by far the best. The melody is based on “Plaisir d’amour”, a popular French love song composed in 1784.
“Roses are red (my love)” (1962) – Bobby Vintom
A struggling Vinton was about to be fired from his label when this song arrived. Vinton found it in a junk pile at the studio. It was recorded as an R&B track, but the studio disagreed with the choice. The arrangement was changed and it became a number one hit for the “Polish Prince”.
“I just called to say I love you” (1984) – Stevie Wonder
This Oscar winning song from “The Woman in Red” is one of Wonder’s best songs. There was a dispute between Wonder, his former writing partner as to who wrote the song. A lawsuit ensues, but Wonder wins.
“She Believes in Me” (1979) – Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers sings that he doesn’t know why those close to him trust him so much. “She Believes In Me” became one of her biggest crossover hits in the late spring of 1979, reaching number one on the charts. Rogers will then be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
“She loves you” (1964) – The Beatles
John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this song on a tour bus in England. Producer George Martin was the inspiration for the chorus of “She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” to start the melody. “She Loves You” is the song that propelled The Beatles into the UK national limelight, and later burst onto the American music scene.
“LOVE” (1965) – Nat King Cole
This Nat King Cole jazz song was a huge hit. It worked so well that the artist recorded it in other languages, including Japanese. The song was covered by several artists, including Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, in Unforgettable … with Love (1991).
“You’ve Lost That Sense of Love” (1965) – The Righteous Brothers
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this song on a rented piano at the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. The original words “You’ve lost that feeling of love” were just meant for a placeholder. But the producer loved them and the history of the music was written.
“Your Song” (1970) – Elton John
Elton John’s beloved 1970s pop song is still popular today. He was featured in the movie Rocketman, the Elton John biopic. Bernie Taupin remarked about the song: “I scribbled the lyrics on a lined notepad at the kitchen table in Elton’s mother’s apartment in the London suburb of Northwood Hills, in London. breakfast time in 1969. That’s it. Clear and simple.
Final shot: No matter how you plan to spend the day, whether it’s getting comfortable for a Valentine’s Day movie or a romantic dinner at home, stay safe. Love: 5/5
Craig Hoffman graduated in music from Ohio Northern University and the University of Akron School of Music. He is also Icon’s correspondent in Japan.