Jukebox: Favorite Love Songs

Posted February 14, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

True romance: HiFi spans the generations for some of the best love songs

The day of love summons us all to our favorite songs of romance every single year, but love songs are a prerequisite in all forms of music – regardless if it’s Cupid’s big holiday or not. Love songs stretch across all aisles of genre – from Quiet Storm to rock epic ballads – and they prove to the perfect mood designers for those rare intimate occasions. So, the folks at HiFi Magazine have whipped up a bundle of chocolates for the musical sweet tooth just in time for the Valentines’ Day. Oh, but these songs are just as good after the big love day. Be sure to visit your favorite online retail shop (i.e., iTunes. Amazon.com, etc.) and download these flirty tunes for your next intimate shindig.

Listen to the playable JUKEBOX of the featured song selections at the bottom of the page.


“Piece Of My Love”

from the album: Guy (1988)

New Jack swing proved it could slow the tempo long enough for a slow dance. One of its best examples: Guy’s “Piece of My Love.” Teddy Riley performed these treatments on Keith Sweat’s Make It Last Forever LP, but Guy’s Aaron Hall works the song like a young, sorta-subdued Teddy Pendergrass. J MATTHEW COBB

Phil Collins
“One More Night”
from the album: No Jacket Required (1985)

Dreamy ‘80’s sequences and Hall & Oates doo-pop filters through this cozy love ballad from Collins’ 1985 LP, No Jacket Required. Arif Mardin’s strings and a sexy sax solo are enough ingredients to turn up the romance. JMC

Isaac Hayes
“I Stand Accused”

from the album: The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970)

An eight-minute sermon with Jerry Butler’s memorable ballad about a man’s pleading. Black Moses take on this song is so breathtaking that when consumers rushed to pick up the singles in stores, they were mad that it failed to feature Hayes’ opening monologue. So they had to purchase the album. JMC

Head Automatica
“Beating Heart Baby”

from the album: Decadence (2004)

The bad boy’s in love, and he’s not really sure what to do about it. Daryl Palumbo (of Glassjaw fame)’s raucous ode to the girl he knows he’s simply not good enough for is only strengthened by its faux-50’s sock hop charm and ostentatious musical presentation. RYAN BURRUSS

“When We First Met”
from the album: Would It Kill You? (2010)

At the exuberant intersection of surf rock and peppy indie pop, we’re offered chemistry near-obsessively measured haircut by haircut, a perfect example of how thoroughly absorbing true love can be. And a little ukulele never hurt the mood either… RB

Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway
“The Closer I Get To You”
from the album: Blue Lights In the Basement (1978)

With an entrancing melody that never grows tired, songwriters James Mtume and Reggie Lucas finds the perfect solution of taking the elements of Thom Bell’s Philly love into the Isley’s Quiet Storm galaxy. Eugene McDaniels and Joe Ferla, with Flack’s help, produced the track. JMC

The Flamingos
“I Only Have Eyes for You”

from the album: Doo Wop Classics, Vol. 1 (2003)

An oozing doo-wop romantic take of the 1934 standard. Peggy Lee recorded it way before the Flamingos nailed it. And although many have covered it – like the Letterman, Carly Simon, Art Garfunkel – the Flamingos’ 1959 take is eternal. With their “doo-bop-sha-bob” phrasing and gospel harmonizing, the “Sultans of Smooth” gave the song the resurrection it needed. And it lives forever. JMC

“If You Leave Me Now”

from the album: Chicago X (1976)

Mix the Righteous Brothers with the Stylistics and you’ve got “If You Leave Me Now;” a romantic silky pop ballad with interesting mood changes, muted horns and harmonious parts. Peter Cetera swings in and out of his natural and falsetto like a pro and then injects a tempting call-and-response with his bass guitar as if it was a duet. It’s the stuff real songwriters envy over. JMC

Stevie Wonder
“My Cherie Amour”
from the album: My Cherie Amour (1969)

Melodically pure, Stevie takes you on a romantic stroll through Paris and leaves you reminiscing the Delfonics’ love anthem. JMC

Luther Vandross
“A House Is Not a Home”
from the album: Never Too Much (1982)

The first bars of this Dionne Warwick remake are eternally enshrined in the Love Songs’ Hall of Fame. He whips this Bacharach/David composition into a crooner’s feast; working every note and every corner (with the help of Marcus Miller’s sensual bass lines) with the perfection of Lutherism. JMC

Richard Marx
“Right Here Waiting”

from the album: Repeat Offender (1989)

Smooth synth strings and beach-like romance decorate one of the late ‘80’s beloved ballads. Marx’s voice never gets too emotional. Listen closely to his heartfelt love letter: “If I see you next to never/Then how can we sing forever/Wherever you go, whatever you do, I’ll be right here waiting for you.” JMC

“Light a Roman Candle with Me”
from the album: Aim and Ignite (2009)

A cute little classically-minded piano-driven number about those precious first moments you get to prove you’re the one she wants to be with, the character here is so earnest in his attempts that you simply can’t help but root for those crazy kids to get together. RB

“Every Time We Do It”

from the album: T Rex (EP) (2008)

Hey, what’s true love without some great love making? Wallpaper’s funky, synth-laden tribute to the wild thing has the smirk-inducing honesty to bring us all back to what brought us together in the first place… RB

The Isley Brothers
“Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love)”

from the album: Go All the Way (1980)

The official baby-makin’ song. Romantic Thom Bell-influenced strings, Chris Jasper’s keys and Ron Isley’s tenderness on this ballad are all preparatory for “Between the Sheets.” JMC

“Crazy for You”

from the album: Vision Quest Motion Picture Soundtrack (1985)

The first major trip into ballad territory was just perfect for the “Material Girl.” It is ‘80’s pop with a dash of innocence and ‘60’s nostalgia (look up The Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me”). JMC






Contributing writer Ryan Burruss joins us on this installment. More of his writings and article contributions will be available in the upcoming HiFi Magazine, Issue No. 1, on sale March/April 2011.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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