Ah, love. Love rules. It’s a scientific fact that when you’re in love, the sun shines a little bit brighter, people are nicer, and your car gets better gas mileage. People in love, according to a song by the Feeling, get special treatment. They know of what they speak. And yet, so few truly great songs have been written about the subject. For every “We’ve Only Just Begun,” there are 10 songs like “Everything I Do (I Do It for You).” Because of that, this is officially declared a Bryan Adams-free zone. Feel better already, don’t you?
“You're the Best Thing,” The Style Council (My Ever Changing Moods)
Shameless homer pick, this one. My wife and I danced to this at our wedding.
“La La Love You,” The Pixies (Doolittle)
Because there aren't enough love songs with monster drum tracks that have someone shouting “Shake your butt!” in the background.
“(They Long to Be) Close to You,” The Carpenters (Close
Okay, so the bit about sprinkling moon dust is pretty silly. But this is one of the greatest melodies in the history of pop. Period.
“Here, There and Everywhere,” The Beatles (Revolver)
Picking one Beatles love song is like choosing to keep only three toes on each foot. My apologies to “Michelle,” “Something” and “And I Love Her,” among others.
“Your Song,” Elton John (Elton John)
The simplest songs are always the best: “How wonderful life is while you're in the world.”
“I Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love,” Everything but the
Girl (The Platinum Collection)
When my then-roommate was planning his wedding, he and his bride-to-be could not find a song that they liked enough to be “their song.” I gave him this one, and he brought it to her place. “What did she think?” I asked when he came back home. “She cried,” he said. Problem solved.
“It Must Be Love,” Madness (Madness)
Owning a Madness album should be required by law. There's just no way you can be unhappy or angry if you have Madness within reach. They also made some of the best videos of all time.
“Do I Love You,” Aztec Camera (Red
Hot & Blue)
I could have littered this list with Cole Porter songs, since few people wrote so eloquently, and so prolifically, about love. But Roddy Frame's aching performance, plus a beautifully sparse arrangement, wins the prize.
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” The Police (Ghost
in the Machine)
“Do I have to tell the story of a thousand rainy days since we first met / It's a big enough umbrella, but it's always me that ends up getting wet.” I have no idea what it means, but it might be my favorite lyric of all time.
“Message to My Girl,” Split Enz (Conflicting Emotions)
Neil Finn ignores his paranoid tendencies to pen a dazzling love song. Five years later, he would write “Into Temptation,” a song that so disturbed his wife that she thought he was having an affair.
“The Air That I Breathe,” The Hollies (Epic Anthology)
Everyone loves to sing this song, but no one besides the Hollies knows how.
“Charmed Life,” Divine Comedy (Absent Friends)
Technically, this song is about DC singer Neil Hannon's daughter, but this could very easily be about anyone you love. Had the song existed when I got married, I probably would have danced to it instead of the Style Council. Sorry, Mr. Weller.
“Crazy Love,” Bryan Ferry (She's Having a Baby)
It's like chocolate and peanut butter put together: a song better than the ones Bryan Ferry usually writes, sung by a guy with a better voice than Van Morrison. It's a win-win.
“Please Forgive Me,” David Gray (White Ladder)
Speaking of Van Morrison, couldn't this pass for a Van the Man song? You know, if he dabbled in drum ‘n bass?