The 100 best love songs: a playlist to fall in love to
If music be the food of love, play on! - Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene I
As Shakespeare so aptly put it, music and romance go hand in hand. We pick first dances at weddings; couples have ‘our’ song; teenagers who are too shy to say it out loud declare their love via mix-tape (or, more likely these days, an online playlist).
The 100 best love songs: choosing the greatest
But is there a definitive list of the best love songs ever? No - and there can never be - because music is so subjective. But can we try? You betcha.
We've compiled a Spotify® list that showcases 100 of the best love songs of all time. From sexy soul to perky pop, there's something here for everyone - click through the slideshow to see our countdown and to find out more about what makes each track just so great. Think of it as our mix-tape for you.
Presenting the 100 best love songs
Best love songs: 100 - 91
100. This Will Be Our Year – The Zombies (1968)
This sweet 60s tune is a wave of warmth from start to finish. An ode to the love that gets you through the tough times, this is a great love song to help you embrace your future together.
Best love lyric: And this will be our year/took a long time to come
99. If I Aint Got You – Alicia Keys (2001)
From cascading piano to soulful vocals to earnest lyrics, this is an utterly heartfelt argument about love mattering more than material objects. And somehow it’s not cheesy. Miraculous.
Best love lyric: But everything means nothing/ If I ain't got you, yeah
98. All of Me – John Legend (2013)
All of Me has rightfully become a fixture of wedding playlists. Not only does Legend’s voice shine in the track, the simple theme of married love feels real in way many love songs don’t.
Best love lyric: You're my end and my beginning/Even when I lose I'm winning
97. I Feel the Earth Move – Carol King (1971)
One of the biggest 70s hits, this joyful love song still sounds fresh 45 years+ after its release. Perhaps it’s because we’ve all had that tilted-world feeling of truly falling for someone.
Best love lyric: I feel my heart start to trembling/Whenever you're around
96. Buona Sera – Louis Prima (1956)
Dean Martin may have sung the smoother version of this classic, but Prima makes it his own with a swinging beat that feels just like shouting your love from the nearest rooftop.
Best lyric: Buona sera, signorina kiss me goodnight
95. My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone (1958)
Many of the best love songs are about the love you have to give. This jazz standard is different: it’s a glorious celebration of just how thrilling it feels to know you’re loved right back.
Best love lyric: My baby don't care who knows it/My baby just cares for me
94. I Wanna be your Boyfriend – The Ramones (1976)
When you think of sweet love songs, The Ramones are not the first band that comes to mind. And yet, this song is perfectly cute and full of nervous excitement, like a first teenage crush.
Best love lyric: Do you love me babe? /What do you say?
93. What I Like About You – The Romantics (1980)
The Romantics do joyful love songs right with this punch-the-air-with-glee song. If you’ve ever been overcome with the need to hug your beloved, then this is the tune for you.
Best love lyric: Never wanna' let you go, know you make me feel alright, yea
92. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976)
Love songs are often one-sided lamenting love lost. This duet is a nice change – it’s cheesy as a Kraft dinner, but is still a great celebration of mutual adoration.
Best love lyric: You put the light in my life/You put the sparks to the flame
91. Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – The Four Tops (1964)
Sometimes we love those far away. The Four Tops perfectly sum up the exquisite pain of loving someone but not being able to hold them. Happily, love might be enough to get them through.
Best love lyric: Another day, 'nother night /I long to hold you tight
Read more: Want more love songs? Try our songs about missing someone you love
Best love songs: 90 - 81
90. Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love – Ella Fitzgerald (1956)
As a jazz standard, Let’s Fall In Love has had many guises. But there’s something special about Fitzgerald’s; her voice brings out both the comedy and the earnestness of the lyrics.
Best love lyric: People say in Boston even beans do it/Let's do it, let's fall in love
89. The Book of Love – The Monotones (1957)
This song was just a one-hit wonder, but what a hit! The tidal wave of harmonies sum up the way that love so often follows familiar beats yet, every time, your love feels unique.
Best love lyric: Well it says so in this book of love/Ours is the one that's true
88. Dedicated to the One I Love – The Mamas & The Papas (1967)
Mama Cass might take a back seat here, but you can bet the whole band contributes to the glorious harmonies in this track. It’s the perfect bedtime story for a long-distance lover.
Best love lyric: And tell all the stars above/This is dedicated to the one I love
87. Loving You – Paolo Nutini (2006)
Paolo Nutini is a little scratchy in this song and it only makes the lyrics feeling even more heartfelt. If you’re in love emotionally and physically, this is the song for you.
Best lyric: Back off loneliness and hello tenderness/I've been waiting for your call for so long
86. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me – She & Him (2013)
This song was a hit in the 50s. And the 60s. And the 90s. Here Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward give it a bit of a 2010’s hipster spin yet manage to keep the feeling of simple, 50s’ romance.
Best love lyric: So kiss me, kiss me, make me tell you I’m in love with you
85. I’m a Believer – The Monkees (1966)
Making a strong argument that more love songs should include a tambourine, this was a 60s smash hit. Other versions have been recorded: none match the original’s warm innocence.
Best love lyric: I'm in love/I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried
84. All I’ll Ever Need – Anderson East (2015)
A softly romantic ballad that’s a little bit bluegrass, a little bit gospel, a little bit rock, All I’ll Ever Need paints a beautiful picture of love that matters more than money, and even the stars.
Best lyric: Oh, cause your love, your love, sweet darling/It's all I'll ever need
83. Kathleen – Josh Ritter (2003)
Sometimes you see someone who glows far more than anybody else in the room. Making a connection with them feels like you’ve won the lottery, and here, Josh Ritter just got rich.
Best love lyric: All the other girls here are stars - you are the northern lights
82. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra (1957)
A tune tailor-made for spinning around a ballroom in your finest threads, this track is also a love song about wanting to escape with your love; their company being all you need for perfection.
Best love lyric: Once I get you up there where the air is rarified/We'll just glide, starry-eyed
81. Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer (1997)
In the late 1990s Dawson’s Creek ruled the TV, She’s All That dominated teen movie charts, and this song (featured in both) was king of the airwaves. It’s still kind of cute.
Best love lyric: Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight/Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Read more: Your take on romance feeling a little 90s? Learn about romance in 2018 here!
Best love songs: 80 - 71
80. Something So Strong – Crowded House (1987)
When you’ve loved and been hurt, it’s hard to imagine ever letting yourself be that vulnerable again. But, as this song argues, all it takes is one person to break down that defensive armour.
Best love lyric: Roots that spread so deep/ Bring life to frozen ground
79. I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin (1968)
Find your thoughts constantly drifting to your partner? Aretha clearly gets it. It’s especially strong when they’re far away and you’re trying to keep them safe using wishes alone.
Best love lyric: Forever and ever we never will part/Oh, how I'll love you
78. She Keeps Me Warm – Mary Lambert (2013)
Mary Lambert’s divine, wrenching choruses from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ great Same Love cried out to be their own song. They’re a truly beautiful ode to her girl who means the world.
Best love lyric: She says I smell like safety and home
77. Riptide – Vance Joy (2014)
With nods to Michelle Pfeiffer and Midnight Cowboy, this song sounds like a young guy trying to impress his dream lady. He’s so smitten he doesn’t even mind when she sings it wrong.
Best love lyric: I just wanna, I just wanna know/If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay
76. Somethin’ Stupid – Frank & Nancy Sinatra (1967)
Like many of the best love songs, this track taps into a universal feeling. Here it’s that even the most verbose of us can get tongue-tied in the presence of the person they adore.
Best love lyric: For me it's true /It never seemed so right before
75. Love Me – The Little Willies (2006)
Norah Jones’ side project, The Little Willies, both pay homage to and pastiche honky-tonk and country classics. This cover of a song made famous by Elvis is a particular highlight.
Best love lyric: Your heart/ (I want your heart)/ Beatin' so close to mine
74. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (1975)
A song about escaping a desperate working-class America with the power of young love. Bruce and Wendy are either headed for greatness or for the end: either way they’ll have each other.
Best love lyric: Oh honey, tramps like us /Baby we were born to run
73. Tender – Blur (1999)
Brit pop gets a gospel choir to sing back-up and the result is both a moving breakup song and a powerfully hopeful love song. One love may have ended but there may yet be love to come.
Best love lyric: Come on, come on, come on/Love's the greatest thing
72. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves (1985)
Almost embarrassingly happy, this song taps into that feeling of finding out that they love you back. Suddenly, the sun’s out when it's cloudy, and you’re walking 10ft above the ground.
Best love lyric: I feel the love, I feel the love, I feel the love that's really real
71. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate 1975
Another unabashedly joyful love song, this disco/funk tune is the song to play when you are absolutely gobsmacked by someone you’ve met. It’s love (or at least lust) at first sight.
Best lyric: Did you know you're everything I prayed for? /Did you know, every night and day for?
Read more: met someone who makes you believe? We looked into love at first sight
Best love songs: 70 - 61
70. Baby, Baby – Amy Grant (1991)
A jubilant tribute to a healthy, happy relationship, this might not be the most complicated love song but that's ok. The total joy of the arrangement is enough to make it shine.
Best love lyric: The stars are shining for you/ And just like me I'm sure that they adore you
69. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer (1976)
In this British disco track, Leo Sayer oozes pure 70s romance. Dust off your favourite flares, back-comb your hair and bust out your best disco moves to dance along in the name of love.
Best love lyric: You put a spell on me /I'm right where you want me to be
67. Something – The Beatles (1969)
Something may seem to be uncertain about love (You're asking me will my love grow /I don't know), but there’s a better argument: you can’t improve on something that’s already complete.
Best love lyric: I don't want to leave her now /You know I believe and how
68. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops (1965)
There’s nothing quite like a Motown love song, and this is one of the greatest. Catchy cords and heartfelt harmonies combine to make this the perfect declaration of head over heels love.
Best love lyric: Sugar pie, honey bunch/You know that I love you
66. Heartbeat – Buddy Holly (1958)
Some may know Heartbeat better as the theme of a TV show. But it’s much more than that: a love song/ode to a nostalgic age of innocence both in society and in one’s love-life.
Best love lyric: Heartbeat /Why do you miss when my baby kisses me
65. Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals (1963)
Your first kiss. The kiss after you become a couple. A kiss for every milestone, a kiss at your wedding, a kiss for all kinds of love. The Crystals tell the history of a relationship, all via kisses.
Best love lyric: He kissed me in a way that I want to be kissed forever more
64. This is the One – The Stone Roses (1989)
After opening with that iconic guitar riff, This is the One quickly melts into a beautiful love song about falling for someone who gets all your quirks. The best bit? The feeling is mutual.
Best love lyric: Oh this is the one /This is the one /I've waited for
63. Cherry Oh Baby – Eric Donaldson (1971)
Over 30 cover versions of this reggae classic have been recorded but somehow none of them improves on the heartfelt simplicity of Eric Donaldson’s earnest, grooving vocals.
Best love lyric: If you say that you love me madly/Well babe I'll accept you gladly
62. Always on My Mind – Tiki Taane (2008)
It’s just Tiki Taane and a guitar, and yet the strength of his voice carries this simple tune to gorgeous heights. It’s one of those special, heartfelt love songs that sounds utterly convincing.
Best love lyric: Girl you've got me singing with some melody /You're always on my mind
61. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – the Darkness (2003)
No stripped-back elements here! The Darkness go full camp with a falsetto-voiced pastiche of glam rockers like T.Rex. It should be ridiculous – and it is – but it’s also somehow romantic.
Best love lyric: I believe in a thing called love/ Just listen to the rhythm of my heart
Read more: Believe in love but don’t know if you’re actually in it? Try our Am I in Love? quiz!
Best love songs: 60 - 51
60. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing (1976)
The groovy disco beat of this song softens the slightly-sad lyrics. It’s all about someone who has so much love to give – and is waiting, full of hope, for it to be returned in full.
Best love lyric: Oh you to me are everything/The sweetest song/That I could sing
59. Bei Mir Bist Du Schön – The Puppini Sisters (2006)
Sometimes called Bei Mir Bistu Shein (which explains some of the rhyming), the appeal of this 1930s Yiddish musical number endures. Many covers exist, this is one of the catchiest.
Best love lyric: Each language only helps me tell you how grand you are
58. Such Great Heights –The Postal Service (2003)
The electronic beats in this song sound like the beeps and whirls of a 60s sci-fi robot – and the space theme is fitting for a song that’s all about love lifting you up higher and higher.
Best love lyric: And when you scan the radio/I hope this song will guide you home
57. I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis (1996)
This oh-so-90s song is all a little cheesy, from the lyrics about timeless dreams to the pacing. And yet, it’s just so catchy and one of those love songs you can’t help belting out.
Best love lyric: I love you always forever/ Near and far closer together
56. Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe – Barry White (1974)
Barry White’s distinctive smoked-honey-over-gravel voice is so tied to luurve that you can’t say his name without a suggestive eyebrow wiggle. Yet that doesn’t stop this being fantastic.
Best love lyric: Girl, you're so unreal/Still I keep loving you/More and more each time
55. Come And Get Your Love – Redbone (1974)
These days this song may be most familiar as the track that opens 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. But, back in the 1970s, it was an A-grade, slightly naughty love song.
Best love lyric: Hell, with it baby cause you're fun and you're mine and you look so divine.
54. Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin (1964)
For many, Dean Martin is the all-time-classic love song artist. His crooning is tailor-made for lingering romantic meals, candlelight, and a bit of slow dancing and here, he’s at his best.
Best love lyric: Your love made it well worth waiting for/For someone like you
53. I Can’t Turn You Loose – Otis Redding (1965)
The distinctive bass in this song backs up a catchy horn section and somehow both amazing elements play second fiddle to Otis Redding, here the epitome of soul-man charisma.
Best love lyric: Oh, hip-shaking mama, I love ya/Huh, I'm in love with only you
52. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies (1996)
You wouldn’t think that bubblegum pop sung by a comic-book band could make for a top love song, but this song would prove you wrong. It’s rot-your-teeth-sweet but somehow still great.
Best love lyric: I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you/(I just can't believe it's true)
51. Head over Heels – Tears for Fears (1985)
From the opening notes you feel like you’re falling and floating: akin to the feeling of being bowled over by someone who has your heart (especially when you’re not sure if it’s mutual).
Best love lyric: I'm lost in admiration /Could I need you this much?
Best love songs: 50 - 41
50. The Power of Love – Huey Lewis & The News (1985)
This is so 80s it was even included in Back to the Future (parts I, II, and III!). That’s no bad thing though: this power-chord riff on the rollercoaster of love is a really fun ride.
Best love lyric: But it might just save your life /That's the power of love
49. Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group (1966)
The relief of coming home to someone you love after a long hard day. Is there anything quite like it? Here the joy builds to almost gospel strength (albeit with a swinging 60s twist).
Best love lyric: So glad we made it, so glad we made it/You got to gimme some lovin'
48. (When We Are Dancin’) I Get Ideas – Louis Armstrong (1951)
Thia song has more famous versions, but they don’t have the slink of Louis Armstrong. His trumpet brings this song alive and his signature raspy vocals seal the deal with a cheeky wink.
Best lyric: For that's the whole idea, it's true, The lovely idea/That I'm falling in love with you
47. Winterlude – Bob Dylan (1970)
A waltz that manages to be both heart-on-the-sleeve sweet and almost silly, this song will have you starting out smiling at how Dylan plays with rhyme and ending up utterly smitten.
Best love lyric: Oh, I see by the angel beside me/That love has a reason to shine
46. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star (1993)
Soundtrack to a hundred tender TV moments, this is still an achingly gentle love song that captures the magic times when you can sit with your partner; feeling close without speaking.
Best love lyric: I want to hold the hand inside you/I want to take a breath that's true
45. The Electric Love Letter – Langhorne Slim (2004)
Jangling guitar and Langhorne Slim’s bluegrass vocals combine to make for a toe-tapping song that’s perfect for whiling away sunny afternoons with your sweetheart. Emphasis on sweet.
Best love lyric: It's like lightning when she smiles/She tastes just like pumpkin pie
44. Just Like Heaven – The Cure (1987)
This song about the giddiness of getting with someone you love (and the background fear of losing them) is classic Cure: even at there most romantic, there’s a hint of strangeness.
Best love lyric: Spinning on that dizzy edge/Kissed her face and kissed her head
43. Must Be Catchin’– Julie London (1959)
Julie London could sing ridiculous lyrics and make them sound totally flirtatious. The fact that this song matches her smoky voice to smooth drums and a silky upright bass can only help.
Best love lyric: Man I know you can't live without it!/ Must be catchin', oo-ooh it's love
42. Jump (For My Love) – The Pointer Sisters (1984)
Ever felt love that made you want to dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose? This song sums that up perfectly. It’s synth-pop-disco at its cheesiest and most joyful and somehow it works.
Best love lyric: Jump, jump for my love /Jump, I know my heart can make you happy
41. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (1972)
One of the all-time best love songs (it made #1 on our list of the most romantic songs of all time), this track is a must-have on every loved-up playlist. No-one does smooth quite like Al.
Best love lyric: Cause you make me feel so brand new/And I want to spend my life with you
Read more: Who else made it? Discover the 25 most romantic songs of the last 50 years
Best love songs: 40 - 31
40. What is Life? – George Harrison (1971)
Whether this song is about George’s then-wife Patti or whether it's more spiritual is a question that’s not answered. What is known is that this is a totally uplifting, loving track.
Best love lyric: What I feel, I can't say /But my love is there for you any time of day
39. F.N.T – Semisonic (1996)
For a certain group who grew up with the teen rom-coms of the 90s, this ranks as one of the best love songs of all time. Play it to someone in their early 30s and watch them smile.
Best lyric: I'm surprised that you've never been told before/That you're lovely & you're perfect
38. Moonglow, Lamp Low – Eleni Mandell (2006)
It might be easy to associate the best love songs with dramatics: the highs and lows of love. But this sweet tune shows that sometimes it’s the quiet daily moments that matter most.
Best lyric: All I need is a rainbow/And true love, Just like sugar in my coffee
37. Manhattan – Ella Fitzgerald (1956)
It was first written nearly 100 years ago, but there’s something timelessly romantic about it: these lovers have no money for fun or fineries, but their love makes them rich regardless.
Best love lyric: We'll turn Manhattan/into an isle of joy.
36. One Day Like This – Elbow (2008)
With euphoric, symphonic strings, One Day Like This has found considerable fame in advertising. But look past that and you discover an incredible song about the wonder of love.
Best love lyric: Throw those curtains wide/One day like this a year would see me right
35. It Must Be Love – Madness (1981)
It may surprise some that this iconic Madness song is actually a Labi Siffre cover. But, cover or no, it’s the perfect tune for the times when you realise just how deep your love runs.
Best love lyric: I know that it's you I need/ To take the blues away
34. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates (1981)
Much like the decade it’s from, there’s nothing subtle about this Hall & Oates tune. But isn’t it fun? Want to celebrate the double-thumbs-up goofiness of ecstatic love? This is the ideal track.
Best lyric: I've been waiting for, waiting for you girl, oh yeah/You make my dreams come true
33. Sweets for My Sweet – The Drifters (1961)
This song is as innocently groovy as a 60s prom. The jazzy piano oozes cool and yet somehow goes perfectly with the sugary lyrics about going to the ends of the earth for your love.
Best love lyric: And my love would not only last forever/ But forever and a day
32. Is This Love – Bob Marley (1978)
A song made for dancing with someone you love while outdoors on a balmy summer night, this is another example of how you don’t need things to enjoy the spoils and shelter of love.
Best love lyric: I, I'm willing and able /So I throw my cards on your table
31. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours!) – Stevie Wonder (1970)
Soulful melody, sax, and Wonder’s upbeat vocals combine in one of the best love songs around. He’s imploring someone to take him back: with this song, how could they say no?
Best love lyric: Oh, you've got the future in your hand /(signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Read more: Celebrating long-term love with someone special? Try our list of anniversary love songs!
Best love songs: 30 - 21
30. Jeepster – T.Rex (1971)
Are you so in love you feel like dancing everywhere you go instead of walking? Then this is the track for you. Throw your hands up, tap your feet, and feel that love from head to toe.
Best love lyric: With bones so fair/You've got the universe reclining in your hair
29. Give a Little Bit – Supertramp (1977)
Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson has said that he wrote this song as a message of hope to others who believe in the healing power of love. A message that’s important, especially in 2017.
Best lyric: Now's the time that we need to share /So find yourself, we're on our way back home
28. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (2010)
A quirky modern love song, Home is at its heart a very sweet tune about finding comfort in the arms of your love. You might travel all over but if you’re with them, it’s home.
Best love lyric: Oh, home, let me come home/ Home is wherever I'm with you
27. Your Love Gets Sweeter – Finley Quaye (1998)
A slice of 90s Scottish sunshine that sounds like timeless reggae, this track is all about a young love that gets richer and more meaningful as the years go on and a couple grows together.
Best love lyric: We can build our world together for true me & you
26. So True – The Black Seeds (2005)
NZ band The Black Seeds may have created the ultimate summer love song with So True. From start to end it's made for blissful, lazy, sunny days spent relaxing with someone you adore.
Best: Something so true, is what I get from you/& I hope that you see, you get the best of me
25. Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra (1957)
Witchcraft opens with a slinky bass line that makes you feel like you’re drinking cocktails in a little black dress or rakish tux. It’s total seduction – but with an elegant, 1950s' twist.
Best love lyric: My heart says "Yes, indeed" in me/"Proceed with what you're leadin' me to"
24. There She Goes – The La’s (1990)
Ignore the rumours: this is a song about love, not drugs. A twinkling, cascading song about falling head over heels for someone, this is the kind of tune that makes you feel warm all over.
Best love lyric: And I just can't contain/This feelin' that remains
23. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson (1987)
Is it possible to hear that first ‘Hee! Hee! Aaow! Go on girl!’’ and not start singing along? This song gets under your skin and lights you up, much like the love MJ is singing about.
Best love lyric: I never felt so in love before/Promise baby, you'll love me forevermore
22. Be My Baby – The Ronettes (1963)
Be My Baby’s layered catchy arrangement has inspired bands from The Beatles to The Beach Boys. As well as being a hugely influential piece of music, it’s a damn fine love song.
Best lyric: I'll make you happy, baby, just wait & see/ For every kiss you give me I'll give you three
21. Crazy in Love – Beyoncé and Jay-Z (2003)
Effortlessly mixing pop, soul, funk, and horns, this song is nearly 15 years old and yet feels fresh as a daisy. Perhaps it’s because Jay-Z and Bey’s chemistry is still oh-so real.
Best lyric: 'Cause I know I don't understand /Just how your love can do what no one else can
Read more: Love hearing about celebrity couples? Learn about famous couples from history
Best love songs: 20 - 11
20. I Want it That Way – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox ft. Shoshana Bean (2015)
Scott Bradlee and friends do covers of modern pop in styles from 30s’ jazz, to klezmer, to 50s’ do-wop and beyond. Here, the Backstreet Boys get the 70s' soul treatment, and it’s amazing.
Best love lyric: You are my fire/The one desire
19. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley (1956)
Adapted from an 1861 Civil War ballad (yes, really), Love Me Tender’s tune is the oldest on this list. The pretty tune gets gorgeous with Elvis’ vocals – here very gentle but oh-so-silky.
Best love lyric: For my darling I love you /And I always will
18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen (1979)
Queen goes rockabilly and, like most things Freddie Mercury had a hand in, the result is pure gold. Toe-tapping drums, swinging guitar: who doesn’t love a love song you can dance to?
Best love lyric: There goes my baby/She knows how to Rock n' roll
17. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys (1966)
Is this the ultimate tune about young dreams of a glorious future? The ecstatic harmonies wash over you, making you feel - like the subjects of the song - as if anything is possible.
You know it's gonna make it that much better/When we can say goodnight & stay together
16. Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke (1962)
One of the original soul pioneers, Sam Cooke can swing with the best of them. But, as this song shows, when it comes to more simple, slow-dance ballads, he utterly shines.
Best love lyric: 'Cause honey nothing, nothing can ever change this love I have for you
15. Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac (1987)
Even the video for this song is dreamy (inspired as it is by the famous poem The Highwayman). Ethereal vocals and shimmering guitar make this one of the 80s’ best love songs.
Best love lyric: Oh I/ I want to be with you everywhere
14. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin (1967)
A shout out to the love that turns a grey day into popping technicolour, this mixes piano and harmonies with Aretha’s incomparable vocals to create something truly spine-tingling.
Best love lyric: Oh, baby, what you've done to me/You make me feel so good inside
13. Untitled (How Does It Feel?) – D’Angelo (2000)
You can’t have a list of the best love songs without getting a little sexy, and for that you need D’Angelo. D’Angelo’s voice is amazing in this track: it’s hard not be seduced.
Best lyric: You've already got me right where you want me baby/I just want to be your man
12. Friday I’m In Love – The Cure (1992)
The Cure are an unlikely band to associate with a happy, upbeat love song. And yet, from the opening riff to the catchy refrain, this song is made for dancing and sing-shouting. A classic.
Best love lyric: You can never get enough, Enough of this stuff/It's Friday, I'm in love
11. I Wanna Be Your Lover – Prince (1979)
Funk and falsetto: a love song, Prince style. All about unrequited love, this is for anyone head-over-heels with someone who doesn’t (yet) see how great that shared future could be.
Best love lyric: And I need your love, babe/That's all I'm living for, yeah
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Best love songs: 10 - 1
10. Halleluiah I Love Her So – Ray Charles (1956)
A joyful combo of horns, sax solos, and Ray Charles’ smiling vocals, this song celebrates the daily happiness love brings. Love really is someone bringing you coffee in your favourite cup.
Best love lyric: That's why I know, yes, I know/Hallelujah, I just love her so
9. That’s What’s Up – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (2012)
You can’t help but smile when listening to this raucous shout out to love that makes hard times bearable. Life might get tough but if you’ve got someone in your corner, you’ll be ok.
Best love lyric: You've got my love to lean on darling/That's what's up
8. I Melt With You – Modern English (1982)
Modern English’s lead singer likes to say that the lyrics of this song should be literal: it’s about a couple spending the apocalypse together. Taken more figuratively, it’s a gorgeous love song.
Best love lyric: There's nothing you and I won't do/I'll stop the world and melt with you
7. You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White (1974)
This is one of those classic love songs that gets you dancing to the irrepressible disco beat – and then you take a minute, hear the lyrics, and realize just how romantic it really is.
Best lyric: You're my sun, my moon, my guiding star/My kind of wonderful, that's what you are
6. At Last – Etta James (1960)
Some song covers are so good that they become definitive. So it is with Etta James’ At Last. A wedding staple, this is the love song for anyone who has found love after loneliness.
Best love lyric: You smiled, you smiled /Oh and then the spell was cast
5. You & Me Song – the Wannadies (1996)
Swedish band the Wannadies praise the daily rhythms of a relationship, and it’s both pragmatic and romantic. If you can feel loved by watching TV together, you’re doing pretty great.
Best love lyric: But it's you and me /And we'll always be together
4. When I Grow Too Old To Dream – Nat King Cole (1957)
Swinging violin makes this track utterly endearing. Add Nat King Cole’s sweet lyrics and smooth voice and you get a song about love that may end but will never be forgotten.
Best love lyric: When I grow too old to dream/Your love will live in my heart
3. Crazy Love – Van Morrison (1970)
A beautiful ballad about love feeling like home, Crazy Love is saved from being too ponderous by a hint of soul and the exquisite harmonies between Morrison and his backup singers.
Best love lyric: Yes I want to throw my arms around her/Kiss her hug her, kiss her hug her tight
2. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash (1956)
The distinctive guitar progression that opens I Walk The Line sounds like a chugging train. It perfectly sets the scene for a song about staying loyal to your love while you’re on the road.
Best love lyric: Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you/ Because you're mine, I walk the line
1. Knock On Wood – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas (1967)
If you want the best love song, you need a few things. Joy. A catchy arrangement. Great lyrics. Add in the chemistry between Redding and Thomas and it’s no wonder this song is so, so good.
Best love lyric: I said, "It's like thunder, like lightning/The way you love me is frightening"
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