Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Five of the Greatest Love Songs of All Time

A good love song grabs your heartstrings, making you yearn even more for that special person you're in love with. The best love songs are the ones that perfectly convey the feelings between two people in love ... both the elation and uncertainty of the emotions involved. There are thousands of love songs out there and Whitney Houston could put a greatest hits package of love songs together, but these five great love songs are among the best ever.

The Rose - by Bette Midler

"The Rose" has been covered several times, but Bette Midler's version from the soundtrack to the 1979 movie The Rose is far away the best. Written by Amanda McBroom, the track wasn't originally intended for the movie, but Midler chose it out of 30 other songs. Lyrically the song is a well-crafted tale of loneliness and inspiration to find love "far beneath the bitter snows". Midler's voice is absolutely perfect, while the song starts off quietly with only a piano. Then it builds with a string section while Midler takes it to another place with a beautiful, soaring harmony during the crescendo. If the final 1:20 doesn't give you goosebumps, you aren't feeling anything.

Thank You - Led Zeppelin

From the great Led Zeppelin II record, "Thank You" had Robert Plant writing the lyrics, writing about his then-wife, Maureen. It's a beautiful song about endless love and devotion, through thick and thin. Jimmy Page composed a lovely acoustic passage on a 12-string, while John Paul Jones' work on the organ reminds us of a wedding and a joyous celebration. You won't find "Thank You" on many love song lists, but it deserves to be among the best, and certainly it's one of the most unheralded love songs.

When I'm With You - Sheriff

"When I'm With You" is a song that garnered a lot of airplay in Canada in 1983, after being recorded for the Canadian band's only album Sheriff, which came out in 1982. In 1983, it went to the Top 10 in Canada, while being only a minor hit in the US (No. 61). But in 1989, it rose to the top of the US Billboard Charts after a Minneapolis radio station starting playing it again. It's a power ballad penned by Sheriff keyboardist Arnold Lanni that's backed by a stellar vocal from singer Freddy Curci. Lyrically the song conveys the feelings of being love: "I never cared for nobody, like I care for you" and "I get chills when I'm with you". The universal power of love in a nutshell.

Without You - Harry Nilsson

"Without You" wasn't written by Nilsson, a fine songwriter in his own right, but his version is the most memorable. It was penned by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of British band Badfinger and described by Paul McCartney as "the killer song of all time". Nilsson's version went to No. 1 in many countries in 1971-72. The lyrics deal with the anguish of love lost, while the narrator doesn't want the relationship to end. When he sings the chorus, it almost sounds like Nilsson is crying as the sings. It's a heart-wrenching track that is certainly among the greatest love songs ever written.

Love Hurts - Nazareth

While many think Nazareth wrote the hit "Love Hurts", it was penned by the Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, then recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1960. Covered by the likes of Roy Orbison and Jim Capaldi, Nazareth's power-ballad rendition (from 1975's Hair of the Dog album) was the most popular, peaking at No. 8 in the US. in 1976 and No. 1 in Canada and several other countries. As the title suggests, love hurts and that's all part of the emotions you feel when you're in love. Vocalist Dan McCafferty's rasping vocals perfectly carry this song and the sentiment of the lyrics.

Check out Five of the Saddest Songs ever written.

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