Music playlist week #26 (The Love edition)
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
The quintessential "getting down to it" song. Marvin Gaye had such a wonderful voice, everyone knows that, but his songwriting was often overlooked. He had so, so many incredible releases, but whenever we listen to his back catalogue, we always find ourselves coming back to "Let's Get It On". Sweet, loving and incredibly sexy, this should be played by everyone, everywhere, at high volume every single Valentines Day for the rest of eternity.
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
What is Whitney Houston's favourite type of co-ordination??...Hand-Eyeeeeeeeee
Aside from being the inspiration for the greatest joke of all time, this is an epic, soaring and incredibly emotional song from the legend that was Whitney. The fact that it is on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, which is widely regarded as a classic romantic movie is no coincidence. Yeah, Dolly Parton did it first, but Whitney did it better.
John Legend - All Of Me
All of Me is easily the biggest hit of John Legends' celebrated career. We all knew he had an incredible voice, but here it is his wordplay that is really celebrated and has been taken to heart by so many people around the world. His lyrics about loving every imperfection on somebody have really resonated with everyone, and rightly so, as its a great message. To prove how good a love song this is, I went to 4 weddings in 2016 and every single one has this as the first dance...
Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life
Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst is probably more well known for the darker undertones in his lyrics, but this is different. It couldn't be any sweeter if a Disney character was singing it to you on your birthday. It has more that a passing resemblance to Elliott Smith, but this isn't a bad thing. What it does have is a sense of hope in it, which is something that Elliott lacked. This is almost the alt-rock favourite love song, and we should imagine will continue to be for years to come.
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Patti Boyd must be some woman to have inspired the music of not only Eric Clapton, but also George Harrison. The story goes that Clapton wrote this for Patti as he was waiting for her to get ready to go to a gala dinner arranged by Paul and Linda McCartney. Even if that's not exactly correct, that's some serious name dropping. What a song.
Otis Redding - These Arms Of Mine
Only the great Otis Redding could have had this as his first-ever musical release. What a way to start your career! Otis sings about getting your heart crushed, but manages to make it seem ethereal. There's no one else in history that has managed to do this, and very unlikely that there ever will be. It's the type of song that makes you want to go out and get your heart broken just so you can listen to this in the right frame of mind.
Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You
Let's be honest, almost everything that Boyz II Men sounds pretty much the same. And they're all cheesy as hell. But that's half the fun, isn't it? This is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Sickly sweet, but at the same time kind of romantic. It topped the charts for a staggering 14 weeks, which is a ridiculously long time. You might pretend to not enjoy this, but you'd be lying.
Beach Boys - God Only Knows
Rumour has it, Brian Wilson was inspired to write this after being totally obsessed with "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes. Whatever the reason behind it, what is for sure is that he wrote one of the greatest songs of all time. This heartbreakingly tender song of yearning, devotion, and fidelity. You can imagine that when this was first released in the 1960s, the fatalism line of "What good would living do me", along with the use of "God" in the title was a bit risky. In the nearly 60 years since it's release its become an almost humanist hymn about all forms of love.
Al Green - Let's Stay Together
(Reverend) Al Green's greatest musical contribution to the world is that he made love funky! It's no surprise that there have been tens of thousands of couples around the world that chose this for their first wedding dance, as the lyrics articulate the solemn vows of marriage. First released in 1971, this was given a new lease of life when Quentin Tarantino featured it in 1994's Pulp Fiction and has been a staple of any soul/love song playlist ever since.
Sam Cooke - (What a) Wonderful World
If there's anybody out there who's heart doesn't melt when they hear the opening of this swoon of a song, we'll eat one of our large selection of hats. "Wonderful World" is lullaby-simple in its structure, but hits all of the right notes, as well as hitting you right in the feels! You can be in any type of mood, and this will make you feel something, which is just the way all great song, love songs or not, should be.
February 13, 2020