This isn’t your average batch of sappy love songs. Okay, some of them may be just slightly cheesy, but we’ve carefully selected this mix to represent rock artists (some of them under the radar) who deserve a little, well, love. Feel free to use this mix for V-Day to impress your significant other.
“Space Age Love Song,” A Flock of Seagulls (A Flock of Seagulls)
A synth-filled track from one of the signature bands of the early MTV years. It’s not like you could call this a pretty song, but it has some really nice harmonies and killer, if understated, guitar work.
“Love Time,” the Insiders (Not for Sale)
This acoustic number from the Chicago rock band is possibly the best love song you’ve never heard. Check out these simple yet awesome lyrics: “People passing / Passing people / People running they go running by / Me and my baby, we’re operating in love time.”
“Love Is a Blessing,” Steve Dawson (Sweet Is the Anchor)
This emotive singer/songwriter grew up in Idaho, but with just the right amount of falsetto and right amount of soul, you’d think he was from Motown.
“Love Walks In,” Van Halen (5150)
Diehard VH fans may have scoffed at this track, one of the first singles after Sammy Hagar took over as lead singer, because it’s soft by the band’s standards. But really, Hagar belts out the verses, and the choruses are just plain pretty.
“Crazy Love,” Van Morrison (Moondance)
For my money, this is Morrison’s best work, better than any track named “Moondance” or “Brown Eyed Girl.”
“Right Next to You,” Elizabeth & Catapult (Taller Children)
This song has a Sarah McLachlan feel to it, but Lizzie is one of those cool indie pop artists with that breezy, intelligent New York City vibe going on.
“Drowning in Your Eyes,” Ephraim Lewis (Skin)
If this song doesn’t put you in a trance, I’ll jump through your computer screen and eat your mouse. It will seriously make you feel like you are falling in love on a tropical island.
“Warm Ways,” Fleetwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac)
This song was overshadowed on the album by Stevie Nicks’ classic “Landslide,” but Christine McVie proves on this love song that she can play in the big girl sandbox too.
“What Is Life,” George Harrison (AllThingsMustPass)
It’s easy to forget what an incredible songwriter George Harrison was in comparison to his Beatles mates. But on this mega-album, Harrison does a lifetime’s worth of proving what he can do. And how about this for simple sentiment? “What is my life / Without your love?”
“She Makes My Day,” Robert Palmer (Heavy Nova)
When he wasn’t surrounded by hot women in videos, Robert Palmer was busy being one of the most underrated rock songwriters ever. And he could effectively turn the volume down, as he did on this one.
“DND,” Semisonic (Feeling Strangely Fine)
Once you realize what the title stands for, “Do Not Disturb,” there really is no further explanation needed, is there?
“Wanna Be,” Nine Days (The Madding Crowd)
Everyone knows this band as a one-hit wonder (“Story of a Girl”), but buried on the same album is one of the prettiest songs you’ll ever hear.
“The Luckiest,” Ben Folds (Rockin’ the Suburbs)
This is not your typical love song, but in it, Ben captures the sentiment of spending the rest of your life with your soul mate.
“Is This Love,” Whitesnake (Whitesnake)
If you’re not picturing Tawny Kitaen dancing in front of David Coverdale right now, you need to brush up on your rock history. Or watch the video.
“She’s the One,” World Party (Egyptology)
I don’t think this song was ever in a movie soundtrack, but it should be. If you’re going to download one track from this entire mix, this should be it. It’s just stunning.