40 Great Love Songs for Your Romantic Playlist
Love songs without "love" in the title - Looking for that perfect song to play for your next romantic evening? Maybe you have a special date coming up, or an anniversary, or want to choose just the right music for Valentine's Day? Here is a list of some of the best love songs to create a great playlist for your special date.
I've set a little challenge for myself to choose only songs without the word "love" in the title. I've included a mix of well known songs and some lesser known ditties over a cross of genres. They are listed in no particular order, but I've placed these songs in four general categories (Rock & Pop, Slow Songs, Classic Favorites and Dance Music) just to organize things. I hope you enjoy these romantic song suggestions!
Rock & Pop
1. "Two Hearts Beat As One" - U2
Most of my song lists start with U2 songs and there's a reason for this - everyone loves U2 and they have a lot of great songs. This song, off of their third album War, is perfect for this list. It's an uptempo, fun love song that puts you in a great mood.
2. "In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel
Another classic, who doesn't remember this song from the movie, Say Anything?
3. "Because the Night" - Patti Smith Group/10,000 Maniacs
Written by Bruce Springsteen, this is a song about pouring out your heart. Originally recorded by Patti Smith, it was covered again by 10,000 Maniacs during their MTV Unplugged performance.
4. "Yellow" - Coldplay
The song that introduced Coldplay to American audiences, this is a simple tune that says so much.
5. "Helpless" - Big Head Todd and the Monsters
A bit of a blues rocker, this song features Todd's amazing guitar playing and lyrics that would melt any girl's heart.
6. "Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Fallin)" - Lone Justice
Ah, Lone Justice...what to say? An amazing band that broke up way too soon. Generally considered an "alt country" band, I decided to put this uptempo ditty under Rock & Pop. Maria Mckee's strong voice carries this song, and makes you want to sing along.
7. "Just Like Heaven" - the Cure
Often labeled as a punk band, the Cure has probably released more love songs than a lot of other groups. This song is certainly one of their more charming tunes, and one of their most popular too!
8. "Untouchable Face" - Ani Difranco
It's hard to put a label on Ani Difranco's music, and it was difficult to decide which category to put this song in. Sprinkled with a certain four letter word, this song features Ani's brilliant songwriting and special insight into relationships.
9. "The Sweetest Thing" - U2
Another great one from U2, this love song was written by lead singer Bono as a present to his wife.
10. "If I Fall, You're Going Down With Me" - the Dixie Chicks
A crossover hit for the Dixie Chicks, this fun and infectious tune features Natalie Maines powerful voice, clever lyrics, and a twangy fiddle.
11. "Jersey Girl" - Bruce Springsteen
Written and recorded by Tom Waits, I prefer Bruce Springsteen's softer and sweeter cover of this song. But what makes it a charming love song is Wait's amazing and touching lyrics.
12. "Beautiful Sorta" - Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams always has a unique way to saying things, and he rarely just says "I love you". Such is the case with this song. As Ryan says, "I feel alright when I think about you."
13. "Forever in My Life" and "Adore" - Prince
I had a tough time choosing between these songs from Prince's excellent 1990 album Sign O' the Times, so I decided to include both. Prince is not generally known for his softer side, but when he shows it, he doesn't hold back.
14. "Ice Cream" - Sarah Mclachlan
A sweet song comparing love to the best stuff on earth - ice cream!
15. "I Go to Sleep" - the Pretenders
Often overlooked as a band, The Pretenders have a long history of great songs. Lead singer Chrissie Hynde is one of the best songwriters and has never been afraid of wearing her heart on her sleeve.
16. "More Than This" - Roxy Music
There was a time when if you wanted to get a girl in the mood, all you had to do is put on some Roxy Music. For some, this may still be the case. "More Than This" is a great example of Ferry's magical power with women and one of the band's best known songs.
17. "Hold You in My Arms" - Ray LaMontagne
There's something about Ray LaMontagne's voice that feels like a big, warm hug. All of his songs are wonderful, and this one is a particular favorite.
18. "Windswept" - Bryan Ferry
After leaving Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry embarked on a successful solo career with his first album Boys and Girls. And this song, "Windswept", shows he still knows how to write an amazing love song. This one just makes me melt.
19. "Come Away with Me" - Norah Jones
In 2002, Norah Jones burst on to the music charts with her special blend of pop, soul, blues, and jazz. This song, and her album of the same name, soon became huge hits.
20. "When the Stars Go Blue" - Ryan Adams
You might know this beautiful song from Tim McGraw's cover, but it was originally written and recorded by Ryan Adams. This song has since been sung by a lot of people (including Bono and the Corrs), but Ryan's version remains my favorite.
21. "Nothing Compares 2 U" - Sinead O'Connor
Written by Prince for another band, Sinead's recording of this song made it a mega-hit. Bolstered by a great video, this beautiful song seems perfectly suited to Sinead's ethereal voice.
22. "The Blower's Daughter" - Damien Rice
Damien Rice may not be a household name, but this song became an indie hit on alternative radio. Featured in a number of movies, you can hear this song in the films Reservation Road and Closer.
23. "I Hear a Symphony" - The Supremes
The lyrics to this song say it all, "I'm lost in a world made for you and me."
24. "Have I Told You Lately" - Van Morrison/Rod Stewart
Two amazing voices, both recording a beautiful song. Written and recorded by Van Morrison in 1989, you wouldn't think anyone else could touch this song. Then Rod Stewart re-recorded the tune in 1991 and made it a hit again.
25. "Something" - the Beatles
Love songs are often inspired by the songwriter's romantic interest. Written by George, this song was inspired by Harrison's wife at the time, Pattie Boyd.
26. "Wonderful Tonight" - Eric Clapton
This beautiful song by Eric Clapton was written for his girl Pattie Boyd, the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. George Harrison. She really must have been something special to inspire two amazing love songs! (Actually, three songs if you consider "Layla," written by Clapton and recorded by his band Derek and the Dominos).
27. "Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
Originally written and recorded by Al Green in 1972, Tina Turner gave this song an update in 1982 for her album Private Dancer. Whichever version you choose, both are great.
28. "You're All I Need to Get By" and "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Love songs are particularly suited for duets, and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell made a great team. The pair released a compilation album in 1970 filled with R&B hits, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," which could also be included on this list.
29. "We've Only Just Begun" - the Carpenters
This song never seems to go out of style or lose its meaning. Maybe that's why so many people choose it as their first dance at their wedding. Karen Carpenter's voice has a way of staying with you, yet this song was given a great remake by Grant Lee Buffalo for the Carpenter's tribute album, If I Were a Carpenter.
30. "You're in My Heart" - Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart has had a long career that has transversed a lot of musical styles. Yet some of his best moments feature just his powerful voice and a beautiful love song. He always sings it like he means it.
31. "Baby, I'm Amazed" - Paul McCartney & Wings
Another classic love song which speaks for itself. Once you hear it, you get it.
32. "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line" - Johnny Cash
See above. I simply couldn't choose between these two songs.
33. "For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder
If this song didn't make you want to dance, it might bring tears to your eyes. Wonder's overwhelming joy at finding that special someone is something we all hope to feel and share.
34. "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" - Barry White
The Godfather of Love, Barry White knows what he's talking about. And with his deep and funky voice, everybody listens.
35. "Moondance" - Van Morrison
Van Morrison's stunning voice just wraps around you when you hear this song. How can you not lose yourself and be taken away for a "Moondance"?
36. "Irresistible B*tch" - Prince
Prince brings his own style and his funky beat to this unconventional love song. Despite the title, you can tell he's a smitten kitten.
37. "Fallin" and "If I Ain't Got You" - Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys came onto the music scene in 2001 with her first (brilliant) album, Songs in A Minor. Her music is hard to put a label on, but you can definitely hear the influence of the four men listed above. With so many great love songs, I had to include two of my favorites.
38. "Rock Your World" - Justin Timberlake
Despite his manufactured boy band beginnings, Justin Timberlake has proven himself as a true artist in my book. This song, from his first solo album, pays homage to Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" (another great song), but replaces the disco beat with a little bit of funk.
39. "She Drives Me Crazy" - Fine Young Cannibals
If this sounds like a Prince song, there's a good reason. It was produced by Prince's collaborator David Z. And it became an unexpected dance hit for the Fine Young Cannibals in 1989.
40. "You're the One That I Want" - Olivia Newton John and John Travolta
If you are over a certain age, you'll definitely know this song from the end of the movie Grease. And you probably sing along whenever you hear it (even if you won't admit it).
Copyright © 2016 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.