It's Valentine's Day again so time to round up some of the greatest lurve songs EVAH. To help you along love's winding path, we've broken the undefinable thing that is love down its six scientifically proven stages . . . have a read and a listen!
Love - it is the greatest of all themes in art but none more so than in music and given that music is the food of love, there have been countless songs about this crazy little thing called grá, amour and liebe.
For Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some of our all-time favourites but we’ve done it thematically because while love is a many splendoured thing, it can also break your heart as well as make it sing.
They say there are three stages to breaking up - denial, anger, and acceptance - but we've gone deeper and explored the other stages too, from those initial butterflies to the final soul-destroying, ventricle-jangling realisation that he or she is a complete b . . . (that’s quite enough of that. Get on with it - Ed).
Something Tells Me by The Cookies and Earl-Jean
Ah! Those early days when you've caught someone's eye across a traffic jam/water cooler/coffee queue/dance floor at your boring cousin's wedding. Your mind is boggling with the anticipation, your heart is doing back flips and other parts of your anatomy are acting kinda weird (this is a family website, ok?). Hermann’s Hermits turned this song into a prime slice of cheese in 1964 but we like the perky innocence of the original version by The Cookies and Earl-Jean a lot better. And it’s got a sax solo! See also: Zoom by Fat Larry’s Band.
Theme From S-Express by S-Express
Or the schoolyard equivalent of "my mate fancies you!" So you’ve had the first few dates and it turns out pretty well. Better than that, in fact, as this song amply illustrates. It still sounds amazing all these years later. See also: The Dogs of Lust by The The.
Crazy in Love by Beyoncé ft. Jay-z
This is it! The knee-trembling realisation that he or she gets your jokes, thinks it’s ok to listen to seventies soft rock and, well, does that thing. Crazy in Love is not only one of the greatest pop songs of the noughties but so brilliant that even the r `n’ b love machine that is Bouncy becomes positively undone! See also: Feels Like Heaven by The Cure.
God Only Knows by Beach Boys
Possibly the best song from one of the best albums ever, this teenage symphony to God may suit all of love’s many moods but somehow we reckon it best captures that moment when you realise that, gosh darn it, you can’t live without The One. Careful now! Nobody likes the clingy type! See also: I Never Loved a Man by Aretha Franklin.
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Neil Young
It’s over? That arcing firework of romance has come crashing back down to earth and now it looks like a black and broken heart trampled underfoot? The great rocket (ooer missus!) of your love has a decaying orbit and has now broken up on re-entry (ooer missus!)? Don’t worry! Listen to this genuinely hopeful and rather beautiful number from grizzled great Neil Young! See also: Without You by Harry Nilsson.
The One I Love by R.E.M.
Time to dismantle that shrine to the one you love! Time to move on and find your next The One. R.E.M.’s breakthrough 1987 hit was woefully misinterpreted at the time as a paean of undying love but listen closely and you’ll hear that it is a deeply cynical take on romance. It’s also a damn fine love hangover tune. See also: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.
Alan Corr @corralan