Quick! Name your top ten favorite rock ‘n’ roll love songs. Got ’em? Okay, here’s my list. Not in any particular order. It’s a mix of sad and happy (sappy?), rock and soul, mostly dusty old tunes.
1. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys. I truly believe in my heart this is among the best songs ever written. Period. “I may not always love you. But long as there are stars above you, you never need to doubt it. I’ll make you so sure about it. God only knows what I’d be without you.” I rest my case.
2. Crying – Roy Orbsion. A masterpiece of pure melancholy. This guy runs into an old flame and it stirs up a firestorm of emotions in his still broken heart. “Yes, now you’re gone and from this moment on, I’ll be crying, crying, crying, crying. Yeah crying, crying, over you.” Holy crescendo, Batman! By the way, Rebekah Del Rio’s cover of Crying (Llorando) from David Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive is hauntingly awesome.
3. Something – The Beatles. From the moment the Beatles sang Love Me Do until their 1970 breakup, they were all about love. Nothing bearing the Lennon/McCartney writing credit quite matches up to George Harrison’s heartfelt homage to his wife, Patti Boyd. Not even Yesterday. Just my humble opinion. “Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover…“
4. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones. Maybe they didn’t get much satisfaction, but when they did, they didn’t want to let it go. And this song is a reflection of that and so much more. “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away. Wild, wild horses. We’ll ride them someday…” You can almost feel those horses pulling on your heartstrings.
5. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel. If eyes are the gateway to your soul, then this song is the gateway to your heart. I prefer the eleven minute live version on his Secret World Live album. “In your eyes I see the light, the heat in your eyes. Oh, I want to be that complete. I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes…” The Jeffrey Gaines acoustic cover of In Your Eyes is a masterpiece to behold.
6. I Want You – Bob Dylan. I confess to having an affair of the heart with Dylan and his music. In a recent commercial, “Your major themes are time passes and love fades,” IBM’s artificial intelligence software dubbed Watson tells Bob after a computer analysis of his songs. “I want you. I want you. I want you, so bad. Honey, I want you.” Blonde On Blonde contains the definitive version, but the oft-scorned Bob Dylan at Budokan interpretation reveals a wistful Dylan accompanied only by ethereal flute and organ.
7. Moondance – Van Morrison. “Van the Man” captures the perfect autumn evening, perhaps with a campfire and a shared bottle of Pinot Noir. I know. I’ve been there. Guitar in hand, serenading my sweetheart. She knows. She wouldn’t let me forget. “It’s a marvelous night… Can I just have one more moon dance with you, my love? Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?“
8. My Girl – The Temptations. One of the great prom songs. Just about every garage band I knew played their hearts out on My Girl. Some even tried to copy the Temptations’ choreography. Most failed. “I’ve got all the riches, baby, that one man can claim. I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way? My girl. Talkin’ ’bout my girl.“
9. All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers. A guilty pleasure shared between my sweetheart and me. Oh, those long days and weeks between our rendezvous. “When I want you in my arms. When I want you and all your charms. Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream. Dream, dream, dream.” Living two hundred miles apart can leave you dreaming your life away.
10. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green. Arguably the last of the great soul singers, Al Green transforms any cozy evening in front of a warm, glowing fireplace into a romantic tryst in Paris. When no one else can warm your heart, Al can. “Ooh, baby. Let’s, let’s stay together. Loving you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.” Years after the original version, Tina Turner made it her own as well. Al and Tina. Ooh, baby…
❤️ What are your favorite love songs? ❤️