The Best Love Songs of All Time

red paper hearts on music sheetsFebruary 14 is St. Valentine’s Day. Welcome to the one day of the year set aside to show that special someone in your life just how much you care for them.  I’m sure all of us can remember giving and receiving those cute little classroom Valentines with heartfelt sentiments like …

  • “Darn it!  You gotta be my Valentine,” spoken by a well-worn little sock
  • “Let’s strike up a match, Valentine,” featuring two romantic matches in a matchbox, and
  • “I’ll never squeal that you’re my Valentine,” uttered by a smiling, little pink piggy

I’ll assume that for those reading this, you’ve moved beyond those grade school years, and have a more mature regard for Valentine’s Day.  Maybe today you’ll be one of those folks who’ll give or receive a box of chocolates, a teddy bear, red roses, diamond earrings, or possibly a marriage proposal.

Best Love Songs of All Time

If so, and you need a little “mood music” to help set the tone on this romantic day, check out a few contenders that could be the top 20 best love songs of all time –

# 20 – Cyndi Lauper – “Time After Time” (1984)

Cyndi Lauper released She’s So Unusual in 1983. It was her debut studio album and the iconic “Time After Time” was the second single released from it. “Time After Time” became Lauper’s first #1 hit single in the United States and went on to win her many awards and accolades. It’s been included in several “top” and “best of” lists.

# 19 – Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – “The Closer I Get To You” (1978)

This romantic ballad was first released in 1977 on Roberta Flack’s album, Blue Lights in the Basement. It was released as a single the following year and topped the Hot Singles Chart for two weeks before becoming certified Gold.

# 18 – Jackie Wilson – “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” (1967)

Jackie Wilson originally performed this song in 1967 and the single became a #1 R&B hit and a top 10 pop hit. This song is listed in Rolling Stones “Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. In 1999, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

# 17 – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967)

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell performed this original hit single in 1967. It received another round of fame when it was recorded by Diana Ross and released in 1970. It was her first #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit after going solo and gained her a nomination for a Grammy.

# 16 – Sonny & Cher – “I Got You Babe” (1965)

This was the first single from Sonny & Cher’s debut album, Look at Us. Upon release, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart where it stayed for three weeks at #1. It topped charts in Canada and the UK and was certified Gold after selling over 1 million copies.

# 15 – Ashford & Simpson – “Solid” (1984)

“Solid” appeared on Ashford & Simpson’s album of the same name, both of which were released in 1984. It peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and experienced success around the world, including hitting #1 in New Zealand.

# 14 – The Box Tops – “The Letter” (1967)

When The Box Tops released “The Letter” in 1967, it reached #1 in both the US and in Canada. This made it their first record chart hit, and their biggest. It quickly made its way around the globe and broke into the top ten in several countries.

# 13 – Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah” (2007)

“Hey There Delilah” was the third single off of All That We Needed, Plain White T’s third studio album. A year after release, it peached at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has appeared in several TV shows since then and even made it onto their fourth studio album, Every Second Counts, as a bonus track.

# 12 – Oleta Adams – “Get Here” (1990)

Originally written and released by Brenda Russell, this pop ballad became an international hit after Oleta Adams recorded it in 1990. It broke into the top 5 in both the UK and the US.

# 11 – Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack – “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” (1983)

Upon release in 1983, “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and broke into the top 5 on several other charts. It also became popular in the UK, peaking at #2.

# 10 – The Righteous Brothers – “Unchained Melody” (1965)

Although originally written in 1955 and sung for a film soundtrack, the most notable rendition of “Unchained Melody” is from the Righteous Brothers in 1965. It reached international success, peaking at #1 on the charts in several countries.

# 9 – Modern English – “I Melt With You” (1983)

“I Melt With You” was the second single off of Modern English’s 1982 album, After the Snow. It was a big hit in the United States and was the band’s only hit single. It has appeared in several commercials and films and has been covered by various artists.

# 8 – Eric Clapton – “Wonderful Tonight” (1978)

Eric Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” about Pattie Boyd. It appears on his album Snowland, which was released in 1977, and was released as a single the following year. It peaked at #16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached international success, even peaking at #1 on the Japanese International Singles chart.

# 7 – The Beatles – “And I Love Her” (1964)

“And I Love Her” was primarily written by Paul McCartney and appears on A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles’ third studio album. It peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Hot Singles Sales chart. In the UK, it hit #1 on the Vinyl Singles Chart and #2 on the Physical Singles Chart.

# 6 – Snow Patrol – “Chasing Cars” (2006)

“Chasing Cars” appears on Snow Patrol’s fourth studio album, Eyes Open, and was released as the second single from it. To date, “Chasing Cars” is Snow Patrol’s best-selling single. It broke into the top 5 of the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart.

# 5 – Billy Joel – “Just the Way You Are” (1977)

“Just the Way You Are” is the hit single from Billy Joel’s 1977 album, The Stranger. It broke into the top 10 in the US and the top 20 in the UK, a first for Joel in both cases. For the entire month of January 1978, it topped the Billboard Easy Listening Chart. The following year, “Just the Way You Are” won Billy Joel two Grammy Awards – one for Record of the Year and one for Song of the Year.

# 4 – Roberta Flack – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1972)

This song was originally performed in 1957 by Peggy Seeger as a folk song. Various folk singers recorded it throughout the 1960s, but it didn’t reach success until Roberta Flack released it in 1972. Her rendition went on to international success and was named the #1 Hot 100 single of the year. Additionally, it won Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1972.

# 3 – Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed” (1977)

Paul McCartney released this song on McCartney, his 1970 studio album. Although the original recording was never officially released as a single, it did appear on Wings over America, the live album from McCartney’s band Wings. This single broke the top 10 in the US and peaked at #28 in the UK. “Maybe I’m Amazed” also made it onto Rolling Stone’s list for the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

# 2 – Elton John – “Your Song” (1970)

“Your Song” originally appeared on Elton John’s second studio album, which was self-titled. Although it was released in 1970 as a B-side, it quickly took over the airways and broke into the top 10 in several countries. It was included in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and is also on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

# 1 – The Beatles – “Something” (1969)

“Something” appeared on the 1969 Abbey Road album. It was written by George Harrison and was the only song he wrote before the breakup to top the US charts. It was also the first time a song Harrison wrote was released as a Beatles A-side. “Something” broke into the top 5 in the UK and has become the second-most covered Beatles song. “Yesterday” is the most covered Beatles song.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the ones you love.