The season of passion has descended once again. Flowers, candy, romantic dinners and love songs are all part of the Valentine’s Day experience. According to the AARP, the following melodies of sensual tension and titillation have become the “Top Ten Love Songs of all Time.” There may be some debate on the list. It includes songs that are antiquated and one surprising contemporary addition.
What are the Top Ten Love Songs of All Time?
Alicia Keys rings in with “No One.” This relatively new piece is hardly a predictable choice for number ten on the AARP listing. To their credit, they have chosen a sultry, sexy, blues sample that showcases the talents of Keys and her writing abilities. Written in 2008, this surprising entry will captivate and conjure memories of jazz riffs, horn solos and a brilliant voice.
“Earth Angel” by the Penguins made it to number nine. The soft rock and roll ballad was released in 1954 and shot the Penguins to the top of the charts. Doo-wap harmonies and simplistic lyrics are memorable due to the heavy use in movie sound tracks. Horror films “Prom Night Two” and period pieces, “Back to the Future,” are just a few examples.
At number eight,”I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, makes the count down. Parton wrote the song, but it catapulted to world wide acclaim by Whitney Houston. Both Parton and Houston utilized their own styles in movie soundtracks; “The Body Guard” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” by Irving Berlin charms hearts at number seven. Going back to 1936 this melody can be found in the film “Follow the Fleet” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. One of the lesser recognized songs on the list; Berlin deserves his due
Number Six on the love train express is “What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Younger readers may remember the song from the first “Austin Powers” film. Deon Warwick’s’ singing style and affection for the writings of Bacharach and David made this song a multi-platinum single.
Top Five Love Songs of All Time
“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King made the list at number five. Written in 1961, it is most closely associated by the film of the same name. Maybe the list includes love amongst boy-hood friends?
Stevie Wonder could have made AARP’s list several times over, but his song, “I Believe” made it to number four. Remade by Art Garfunkel and Michael McDonald, this song still lacks a stand out quality to make it to this list. What about, “I Just Called to Say I Love You?”
“Something” by George Harrison is considered by Frank Sinatra to be the greatest love song ever written. Again, taste is everything. When looking at the plethora of Beetle’s arrangements, “Something” is an unique choice for number three.
Number two belongs to “Ev’ry time We Say Goodbye” by Cole Porter. Ella Fitzgerald graced the lyrics with her sultry style. One of Porter’s more prolific pieces it deserves a place in the list.
“God Only Knows” by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys ranks number one. That’s right, number one! The angelic harmonies and melodic blend of falsetto, flugelhorns and harpsichord made this number one hit a classic in the Beach Boys repertoire. Number one? The reader will have to decide.
All lists, unless based on sales, are interpretive and open for debate and discussion. “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge comes to mind. There are more love songs than any other genre in music history. Music soothes the savage beast, seduces, cajoles, charms and influences. It is the backdrop of weddings, proms and movie themes. Love songs are personal. Some strike an everlasting chord; others are obscure. This list tends to include both categories