Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Top Ten: "Love" Songs

Valentine's Day is Thursday.  Get ready for it, guys.  I'm lucky because my wife thinks Valentine's Day is a crock of shit –- which it is, unless you are in the greeting card, chocolate, jewelry, flower, edible underwear, or overly priced prix fixe menu business.  We don't go to dinner or do anything special, and she doesn't expect me to get her anything.  Don't get me wrong, I still get her flowers every year.  I'm not a total moron.

Following up on the wild success of my post two years ago with the top ten songs with "sex" in the title, here are my top ten songs with the word "love" in the title.  Unlike the "sex" post, I am not including variations of the word, so there will be no songs with "lover," "loves," "loved," "lovely," "loving," "lovin'," "lovefool," or "stanklove" in the title –- only "love."  Even with that limitation, this proved to be a daunting task.  As I went through my music collection and the horrifying depths of my mind, I kept coming across more and more great songs with "love" in the title.  I wouldn't say I –- wait for it –- loved it, ah-thank you.  In fact, there were so many songs, that I couldn't, in good conscience, just have one list.  Instead, for your benefit, I broke it down by my top ten per decade, and then included my all-time top ten, with an embedded mix tape of those songs, so you can play it while you're knockin' boots Thursday night.

These are in alphabetical order by artist.  Bear in mind that these selections are based entirely on my subjective opinion.  Suck it, Bee Gees!

Beginning of time until December 31, 1959
1.  "For Your Precious Love" by Jerry Butler & The Impressions
2.  "Who Do You Love?" by Bo Diddley
3.  "Teenager in Love" by Dion & The Belmonts
4.  "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers
5.  "Words of Love" by Buddy Holly & The Crickets
6.  "Love in Vain Blues" by Robert Johnson
7.  "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
8.  "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" by Elvis Presley
9.  "Somebody to Love Me" by Snooky Pryor
10.  "I Just Want to Make Love to You" by Muddy Waters

Honorable Mention:  "Please Send Me Somebody To Love" by Percy Mayfield

1.  "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles
2.  "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" by Solomon Burke
3.  "Do You Love Me" by The Contours
4.  "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream
5.  "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" by Led Zeppelin
6.  "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin
7.  "That's How Strong My Love Is" by Otis Redding
8.  "Baby, I Love You" by The Ronettes
9.  "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" by Dusty Springfield
10.  "Baby, Where Did Our Love Go?" by The Supremes

Honorable Mention:  "Never Learn Not to Love" by The Beach Boys (co-written by Charles Manson!); "P.S. I Love You" by The Beatles; "Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles; "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles; "Nothing Can Change This Love" by Sam Cooke; "Hello, I Love You" by The Doors; "Love Me Two Times" by The Doors; "The Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders; "Your Precious Love" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; "Turn On Your Love Light" by Grateful Dead; "Bold As Love" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience; "Love or Confusion" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience; "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane; "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley; "Wholesale Love" by Otis Redding; "Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes; "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" by The Supremes and The Temptations; "Love Is All Around" by The Troggs; "You Need Love" by Muddy Waters; "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson; "For Your Love" by The Yardbirds

1. "You Don't Love Me" by The Allman Brothers Band
2.  "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Bad Company
3.  "Love Her Madly" by The Doors
4.  "Radar Love" by Golden Earring
5.  "Love and Happiness" by Al Green
6.  "Don't Pull Your Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
7.  "Calling Dr. Love" by KISS
8.  "Somebody to Love" by Queen
9.  "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World" by The Ramones
10.  "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" by Van Halen

Honorable Mention:  "Love Hungry Man" by AC/DC; "Soul Love" by David Bowie; "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" by The Buzzcocks; "Say You Love Me" by Fleetwood Mac; "I'm Still in Love With You" by Al Green; "The Love You Save" by The Jackson 5; "Love Gun" by KISS; "I'm in Need of Love" by KISS; "One Love/People Get Ready" by Bob Marley & The Wailers; "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison; "Love Hurts" by Nazareth; "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley; "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen; "Love The One You're With" by Stephen Stills; "Still In Love With You" by Thin Lizzy; "Who Do You Love?" by George Thorogood & The Destroyers; "Feel Your Love Tonight" by Van Halen; "Outta Love Again" by Van Halen; "Satellite of Love" by The Velvet Underground

1.  "You Give Love a Band Name" by Bon Jovi
2.  "Too Late For Love" by Def Leppard
3.  "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band
4.  "Used to Love Her" by Guns N' Roses
5.  "What About Love" by Heart
6.  "I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
7.  "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News
8.  "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
9.  "Your Love" by The Outfield
10.  "Love Song" by Tesla

Honorable Mention:  "Let Me Put My Love Into You" by AC/DC; "Love in an Elevator" by Aerosmith; "Makin' Love Out of Nothing At All" by Air Supply; "School Love" by Anvil; "Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar; "Modern Love" by David Bowie; "If You Want My Love" by Cheap Trick; "Love Bites" by Def Leppard; "Sucking My Love" by Diamond Head; "I Love It Loud" by KISS; "Think I'm in Love" by Eddie Money; "Too Fast for Love" by Mötley Crüe; "Ten Seconds to Love" by Mötley Crüe; "Too Young to Fall in Love" by Mötley Crüe; "Love Me Like a Reptile" by Motörhead; "Message of Love" by The Pretenders; "Rhythm of Love" by Scorpions; "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell; "So This Is Love?" by Van Halen; "When It's Love" by Van Halen; "Why Can't This Be Love?" by Van Halen; "Is This Love" by Whitesnake

1.  "California Love" by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
2.  "Real Love" by The Beatles
3.  "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure
4.  "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D & The Boyz
5.  "Cradle of Love" by Billy Idol
6.  "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf
7.  "Evil Love" by Meat Puppets
8.  "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" by Nelson
9.  "State of Love and Trust" by Pearl Jam
10.  "Interstate Love Song" by Stone Temple Pilots

Honorable Mention:  "Where Is the Love" by Hansen; "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston; "Love in Stereo" by Warrant

2000 to present
1.  "Hate It Or Love It" by The Game feat. 50 Cent
2.  "People In Love" by Art Brut
3.  "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness
4.  "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" by Kaiser Chiefs
5.  "I Need More Love" by Robert Randolph & The Family Band
6.  "So This Is Love" by Runner & The Thermodynamics
7.  "Red Light Love" by Those Darlins
8.  "Fell In Love With a Girl" by The White Stripes
9.  "A Martyr For My Love For You" by The White Stripes
10.  "Love Train" by Wolfmother

Honorable Mention:  "True Love Way" by Kings of Leon; "I Gotta Love" by Taddy Porter; "Garden of Our Love" by Township; "Love Explosion" by Weezer; "Love Interruption" by Jack White; "One Love, One Life, One Girl" by The Wildhearts; "Girls Own Love" by Andrew W.K.

All-Time Top Ten (alphabetical by artist)
This was pretty damn hard, so I'll throw in an honorable mention category and include those on the embedded mix tape.  Because I love you.

1.  "California Love" by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
This was recently named the #2 hip hop song of the '90s by VH1, and I think it probably could have been #1.  How can you go wrong with the collaboration of two of the greatest hip hop artists of all-time?  You can't.  You just fucking can't.  If you could see me right now, I would be throwing up two "west sides," which makes it incredibly difficult to type this.

2.  "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" by Solomon Burke
It was a toss-up between this and "For Your Precious Love" by Jerry Butler & The Impressions, but I ultimately went with "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" because it's more upbeat.  What a great early '60s soul song.  It makes you want to tap your feet.  And then your lady.  See what I did there?

3.  "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness
This is my favorite song from the last decade, and probably one of my top ten favorite songs of all-time.  I only ask that when you're making love to this song Thursday night –- platform boots kicked off, mascara smeared, silk sheets torn, hair in a tizzy, hastily removed unitards strewn messily about the room, socks still on –- think about me.  (I assume you wear unitards.)

4.  "Used to Love Her" by Guns N' Roses
This is probably one of my top five GNR songs.  It's a tongue-in-cheek, acoustic ditty about some whiny bitch (Axl's paraphrased words, not mine) who used to be loveable, but at some point became dead at the hands of the narrator, due in large part to the bitchiness.  Here's the kicker:  even though she's buried in his back yard, he can still hear her complain.  I think we can all relate.  Nonetheless, guys, this probably isn't a great song to play on Valentine's Day, unless you are, in fact, intending to send a musical message to your significant other that you plan to murder her.

5.  "Calling Dr. Love" by KISS
First, let's just appreciate the use of the cow bell.  Second, let's just appreciate the content:  a lothario explaining to a woman he would like to (and will) bed that she is helpless to the medicinal value of his kisses and/or dong.  Third, let's just appreciate there was an administrator at my high school named Dr. Love.  How everyone in the school did not know this song and sing it to him constantly is beyond me.  And let's not let the school secretary slide either.  Every time she grabbed that PA mic and paged Dr. Love, she should have just played this song.  These are the things I regret in life.

6.  "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News
This is one of those songs that immediately takes me back to the mid '80s and makes me think of Back to the Future.  Lewis has an underrated rock voice, and this song is probably the band's best, in my opinion.

7.  "Your Love" by The Outfield
"Your Love" has probably one of the greatest falsetto intros ever.  When it comes on, panties drop.  Well, mine do anyway.

8.  "Baby, I Love You" by The Ronettes
I get goosebumps every time I hear this song.  I'm not sure there's a better representation of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound that this one, with its blaring strings, wave of percussion, and Ronnie Spector's powerful vocals.  Crank it up in mono, and make love in stereo.  Yes, I just referenced a Warrant song during a discussion of a Ronettes song.

9.  "Love Song" by Tesla
"Love Song" is my favorite Tesla song.  It sneaks up on you with a slower acoustic intro, before kicking into the meat of the song at about the 1:30 mark with Jeff Keith's soulful opening line, "So you think that it's over /And your love has finally reached the end," and crescendoing into an optimistic take on love and its ability to find a way, specifically its way back to you.

10.  "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" by Van Halen
This is a crushing song off of the band's self-titled debut album.  The riff is unmistakable, raunchy, and fist-pump-inducing, and the song is three and a half minutes of awesome.  Of course, the riff was sampled by 2 Live Crew on its megahit "The Fuck Shop," which is apropos, given that what Van Halen wasn't talkin' 'bout was love, but rather making fuck.

Honorable Mention:  "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Bad Company; "For Your Precious Love" by Jerry Butler & The Impressions; "Do You Love Me" by The Contours; "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream; "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band; "Radar Love" by Golden Earring; "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" by Led Zeppelin; "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order; "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World" by The Ramones; "A Martyr For My Love For You" by The White Stripes

Anything I'm missing?
Top Ten "Love" Songs by GMYH on Grooveshark

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