The love song is one of the most tried and true writing prompts out there today. If you’re an artist, chances are you’ve tried to write that ultimate but elusive love song. Look up “love” in the dictionary and you’ll find it encompasses many things. Whether you are reminded of love on Valentine’s day, falling in and out of love, never being in love or ending or beginning a relati
onship, a love song is an open canvas. You open your heart and see what comes out.
With that in mind, we put together a list of 51 of the best love songs. This list is not in order because really, who can claim they know one song is better than another? What we can say is that each song stands on its own merits and will ultimately strike a different chord with each listener.
Be sure to tell us in the comments section any song we’ve missed. After all, if love can be elusive, well, picking the perfect list of songs can be too.
51. ‘Iris’ – Goo Goo Dolls
Goo Goo Dolls lead singer Johnny Rzeznik wrote this song for the movie “City Of Angels” featured Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. In the film, Cage plays an angel sent to help humans make their transition to the afterlife, and who falls in love with human Meg Ryan.
Rzeznik was invited to a screening of the movie, and although he didn’t feel the movie was very good, he agreed to contribute a song to the soundtrack so he would be on the same soundtrack as U2 and Peter Gabriel. “Iris” was one of the main reasons the “City Of Angels” soundtrack rose to the top of the US chart in June 1998, enjoying a five-week run at No.9 in the US.
The ballad was a slight departure from the Goo Goo Dolls sound but “Iris” remains one of the biggest crossover hits in the history of popular music, crossing over from modern rock radio to pop and adult contemporary radio. The song was nominated for a Grammy in the categories Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group.
Learn more about “Iris” here.
Learn more about the Goo Goo Dolls here.
Read the “Iris” lyrics here.
50. ‘God Only Knows’ – The Beach Boys
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote the song with advertising copyrighter, Tony Asher. Most songs from the Beach Boys deal with girls, cars and surfing but this song was a strong departure where Wilson explored spirituality. According to Goldmine Magazine in 2011, Wilson was scared the song would be banned from the radio because of the title.
The song was released in May 1966 as the eight track on the group’s album “Pet Sounds”. It was then released as a B-side of the song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” in the United States.
The song was produced by Wilson using a wide range of instruments including the french horn, accordions, sleigh bell and harpsichord, as well as a quartet of violas and cellos. According to historian John Robert Greene, “God Only Knows” led to the reinvention of the love song.
The song has since been included on multiple soundtracks including the 2003 romantic comedy “Love Actually“, the P.T Anderson porn industry drama “Boogie Nights“, and “Saved” – a 2004 drama about a Christian high school.
Rolling Stone voted “God Only Knows” as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Learn more about “God Only Knows” here.
Learn more about The Beach Boys here.
Read the “God Only Knows” lyrics here.
49. Roberta Flack – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
This song was a breakout hit for Roberta Flack and stayed on the charts at #1 in the US for six weeks. Folk singer Ewan MacColl wrote the song in 1957 in under an hour for his lover Peggy Seeger, who happened to be in a play and needed a song for a romantic scene. Flack’s first version of the song came in 1969 on her album, “First Take“. The rendition was much slower than the original Seeger recording clocking in at twice the length. Atlantic Records cut the song down to four minutes before releasing it to radio. It winded up reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and easy listening charts in April 1972.
The song was used by Clint Eastwood in his 1971 directorial debut “Play Misty For Me“. The song was also used in in the superhero film, “X-Men: Days of Future Past“, and used an an outro in episode 88 of the hit television series “Mad Men“.
Learn more about Roberta Flack here.
Read the “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” lyrics here.
48. Cindy Lauper – Time After Time
Lauper wrote this song with Rob Hyman, who was a co-founding member of the rock band Hooters and who also sang backup on the song. The song was recorded for her debut studio album, “She’s So Unusual”. It was the second single to be released from the album and became Lauper’s first #1 hit in the U.S.
The title of the song actually comes from a magazine article in TV Guide. ‘Time After Time’ was also the name of a 1979 science fiction movie starring Malcolm McDowell.
According to the WSJ, while recording Cindy initially was dancing to the melody of the song and started thinking about up and down, lost and found, and she realized this song was referring to pieces of her life. The song is timeless and composed of simple-keyboard-synth chords, guitars, percussion and a great bass line.
The song has been selected as one of the Best Love Songs of All Time by the likes of Rolling Stone, Nerve, MTV and others. “Time After Time” was also nominated for the Grammy Award Song Of The Year in 1985.
Learn more about Time After Time here.
Learn more about Cindy Lauper here.
Read the “Time After Time” lyrics here.
47. Missing – Everything But The Girl
“Missing” is the signature song for Everything But the Girl, the British Duo consisting of Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn. The name Everything But The Girl was inspired by an advertising slogan of Turner’s Furniture, a popular store in Hull.
The career of Everything But The Girl almost ended prematurely when Watt contracted Churg-Strauss syndrome, an autoimmune disease which can lead to death. While Watt ultimately recovered, the prospect of his death contributed to this song’s lyrics.
Everything But The Girl signed with the Warner Music UK subsidiary Blanco Y Negro in 1984, but were dropped from the label 10 years later after the album Amplified Heart was released. It was bad timing for the label, as they would miss the hit remix of the track.
“Missing” was initially on the charts but really found its groove as a remix produced by Todd Terry. That release became a worldwide hit and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Missing” eventually scored 55 weeks on the chart and was the first ever single to spend an uninterrupted year on the Billboard US Hot 100.
Learn more about Missing here.
Learn more about Everything But The Girl here.
Read the “Missing” lyrics here.
46. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
According to Gabriel, the lyrics for “In Your Eyes” could refer to either the love between a man and woman or the relationship between a person and God.
The song perhaps is better known for being featured in the 1989 movie “Say Anything” in a scene where John Cusack plays it from a boom box he holds over his head to win the heart of Ione Skye’s character. According to EW, Gabriel did not want producer Cameron Crowe to use the song but after seeing a tape of the movie he loved it and gave his approval. The producers of “Say Anything” were charged about $200,000 to use the song but it was worth it as it became one of the most famous scenes in movie history.
“In Your Eyes” was the third single from Gabriel’s album “So” in the U.S., and it peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1986. In 1991, Gabriel performed this song in front of 70,000 people in the country of Senegal.
Learn more about In Your Eyes here.
Learn more about Peter Gabriel here.
Read the “In Your Eyes” lyrics here.
45. Stevie Wonder – Part-Time Lover
When it comes to love, not everything is roses. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder looks at the dark side of love with a song that explores the lives of a cheating couple and the steps they take to keep their secret. As Wonder sings, “We are strangers by day, lovers by night, knowing it’s wrong, but feeling so right.”
“Part-Time Lover” is a 1985 single from his album In “Square Circle“. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, dance, and adult contemporary charts. It was the first song to reach #1 on four different charts. “Part-Time Lover” also reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart thanks to Wonder’s performance on “Top of The Pops” in 1985. The song featured R&B singer Luther Vandross humming at the end of verses and backing vocals with Wonder’s ex-wife and fellow-songwriter Syreeta Wright.
Wonder went on to earn a Grammy Award nomination in 1986 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Learn more about Part-Time Lover here.
Learn more about Stevie Wonder here.
Read the “Part Time Lover” lyrics here .
44. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Country music singer and songwriter Dolly Parton wrote this song in 1973 for her one-time partner Porter Wagoner, from whom she was separating professionally. Whitney Houston went on to record a version of this song for the movie “The Bodyguard” which Houston starred in with Kevin Costner.
After the song became a hit in 1992, the tabloid press reported an alleged feud between Dolly Parton and Houston. Apparently, Parton had backed out of an agreement that she would not perform the song for some months while Houston’s version was on the chart. Both Houston and Parton shot down those rumors over the course of various interviews. Houston praised Parton for writing a beautiful song, and Parton was quite happy making money from royalties.
Houston’s version of the song became a worldwide success. The song stayed at #1 for a record 14 weeks and became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It appears at #9 on NME’s “Greatest No 1 Singles in History” list, and #65 on AFI 100 Years…100 Songs which surveys the top American cinema songs. In February 2014, the song was at #6 on Billboard’s list of the “Top 50 ‘Love’ Songs of All Time”. The song remains the best-selling single by a woman in music history.
Learn more about I Will Always Love You here.
Learn more about Whitney Houston here.
Read the “I Will Always Love You” lyrics here.
43. UB40 – Can’t Help Falling In Love
The song was originally a pop ballad recorded by Elvis Presley and featured in Presley’s 1961 film, “Blue Hawaii”. For the movie “Honeymoon in Vegas“, UB40 were asked to record an Elvis tune of their choice and chose “Can’t Help Falling Love” because it was the band’s drummer, James Brown’s favorite Elvis song. A Bono version of the same song ended up on the soundtrack album, but the UB40 version made it on the soundtrack for the movie “Sliver“, starring Sharon Stone and William Baldwin.
UB40 Guitarist Robin Campbell persuaded the band to include this on their 1993 album “Promises and Lies”, and it became a smash hit.
The UB40 version went on to become #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained #1 in the United States for seven weeks. It was also #1 in the United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.
Learn more about Can’t Help Falling In Love here.
Learn more about UB40 here.
Read the “Can’t Help Falling In Love” lyrics here.
42. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 You
Irish recording artist Sinead O’Connor released her first album three years earlier and built a devoted fan base among the college radio circles. To broaden her fan base, and with some persuasion from her manager Facthna O’Kelly, O’Connor covered the song, and release it as the second single from her album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”. The song became a worldwide hit in 1990 topping charts in O’Connor’s native Ireland, as well as Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” also earned her a Grammy for Best Alternative Performance, but she refused to appear on the awards show in protest of materialism in the music industry.
In the iconic music video, O’Connor cried, and it was a real tear. According to the Rolling Stone Top 500 songs issue, she said, “I didn’t intend for that moment to happen, but when it did, I thought, ‘I should let this happen.’
Learn more about Nothing Compares 2 U here.
Learn more about Sinead O’Connor here.
Read the “Nothing Compares 2 U” lyrics here.
41. The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” was produced by Phil Spector and recorded by the Righteous Brothers in 1964. When first released, the band was concerned that it was too long for radio. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Bill Medley recalled, “We had no idea if it would be a hit. It was too slow, too long, and right in the middle of The Beatles and the British Invasion.” It soon became one of the greatest love songs of all time.
It made its debut on the charts on December 12, 1964 and became a critical and commercial success. The song became a #1 hit single in both the United States and the United Kingdom in February 1965.
In 1999, the performing-rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) ranked the song as the most-played song on American radio and television in the 20th century with more than fifteen million airplays by 2011. The song was also ranked #34 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone. In 2015, the song was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
The song has been covered successfully by many artists. Cilla Black’s version reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart. Dionne Warwick’s version rose to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969, and a 1971 duet by singers Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway climbed to #30 on the Billboard R&B singles chart. Even the 80s sensation Hall and Oates’ version reached #12 on the US Hot 100.
Learn more about Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ here.
Learn more about The Righteous Brothers here.
Read the “Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” lyrics here.
40. The Rolling Stone – Wild Horses
The song was recorded over a three-day period at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama in December 1969 while Albert and David Maysles were shooting for the film that would become Gimme Shelter. However, the song wasn’t released until over a year later due to legal issues with the band’s former label.
According to Keith Richards in American Songwriter, he wrote the music using a 12-string acoustic guitar and then handed the song off to Mick Jagger to complete the verses. The song was originally about Keith Richards’ son Marlon, but it appeared to have veered toward Marianne Faithfull, Jagger’s lover of that era. Ironically, Jagger’s ex-wife, Jerry Hall, has named “Wild Horses” her favorite Rolling Stones song.
The song was a magical moment for The Rolling Stones, “It was one of those magical moments when things come together,” Richards wrote in his 2010 autobiography Lifeabout the song’s genesis. “It’s like ‘Satisfaction.’ You just dream it, and suddenly it’s all in your hands. Once you’ve got the vision in your mind of wild horses, I mean, what’s the next phrase you’re going to use? It’s got to be couldn’t drag me away.”
Released as the second US-only single in June 1971, “Wild Horses” reached No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Learn more about Wild Horses here.
Learn more about The Rolling Stones here.
Read the “Wild Horses” lyrics here .
39. Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
“Come Away with Me” is the song and title track of Norah Jones’ debut in 2002. The album was released by Blue Note Records that same year. The album’s success was a breakthrough for Jones, as it reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart and several jazz charts. The album has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide as of April 2012.
The song is simple and beautiful, highlighting Jones’ vocal chops. While the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it placed #21 on the US Adult Top 40, and reached #2 in Canada.
According to Jones in Performing Songwriter, “The chords are really simple. It came out in 10 or 15 minutes, and I wrote it down. I didn’t have a tape recorder at that time, so I was nervous that I was going to forget it”
The song’s video was released in 2003 and directed by James Frost. showing Norah driving a car in a California desert.
Learn more about Come Away With Me here.
Learn more about Norah Jones here.
Read the “Come Away With Me” lyrics here .
38. The Police – Bed’s Too Big Without You
The song was written by lead vocalist and bassist Sting. The themes of the song are loneliness and the pain at the end of a relationship, and was inspired by an incident in which Sting’s first girlfriend, after being heartbroken upon their break-up, committed suicide.
AllMusic critic Chris True regards “The Bed’s Too Big Without You” as a classic Police with their ability to combine reggae with new wave music. True also praises the musicianship of all three members of the band, Stewart Copeland’s “brilliant” drumming, Andy Summers’ “trebly” guitar playing and Sting’s “rolling” bass line
An alternate version was released as a single in the UK in 1980 in the set Six Pack in conjunction with the re-release of the Police’s earlier singles “Roxanne,” “Can’t Stand Losing You,” “So Lonely,” “Message in a Bottle,” and “Walking on the Moon.”
Learn more about Bed’s Too Big Without You here.
Learn more about The Police here.
Read the “Bed’s Too Big Without You” lyrics here.
37. Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love
“How Deep Is Your Love” is a pop ballad written and recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977, and released as a single in September that same year. It was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta.
The song enjoyed tremendous success. It was a #3 hit in the United Kingdom and Australia. In the United States, it rose to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 24,1977. The single also spent six weeks atop the US adult contemporary chart.
It is listed at #22 on the 55th-anniversary edition of Billboard’s All Time Top 100. Alongside “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever,” it is one of the group’s three tracks on the list. “How Deep Is Your Love” also ranks #375 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song won Best Pop Performance by a Group at the 20th Grammy Awards in 1978. The song also received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 35th Golden Globe awards that year.
During the Bee Gees’ 2001 Billboard magazine interview, Barry Gibb reportedly said that “How Deep Is Your Love” was his favorite Bee Gees song.
Learn more about How Deep Is Your Love here.
Learn more about the Bee Gees here.
Read the “How Deep Is Your Love” lyrics here.
36. Captain and Tennille – Love Will Keep Us Together
“Love Will Keep Us Together” was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield summarized their collaboration since their high school days. The American pop duo Captain & Tennille came along to cover the song in 1975 around the time they were married. It went on to become one of their most successful songs.
It was the lead single of Captain & Tennille’s debut album. It rose to #1 on both the Billboard Easy Listening chart and the Billboard pop chart, staying atop the latter for four weeks starting June 21, 1975. It also hit the top of the 1975 year-end chart. In the US it was the best-selling single of 1975.
Duo Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille acknowledged Sedaka’s authorship by working the phrase “Sedaka is back” into the song’s fadeout where the applause from the studio musicians can be heard. This version would earn Sedaka and Greenfield a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.
Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille stayed together for nearly 40 years, but in 2014 an item was posted on their website, explaining that Toni had met with a divorce attorney. “Captain and Tennille appeared to the public as being the ideal model for a “rock-solid’ married pair. But almost all people naturally evolve over time, & sometimes hidden feelings start to be uncovered.”
Learn more about Love Will Keep Us Together here.
Learn more about Captail and Tennille here.
Read the “Love Will Keep Us Together” lyrics here.
35. Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
According to Peter Hince, the head of rock band Queen Freddie Mercury wrote “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” in a bubble bath in the Munich Hilton. As stated in the September 2009 issue of Mojo magazine, Freddie Mercury also said he composed the song on guitar in just five to ten minutes. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It’s a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn’t work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think”.
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is featured on Queen’s 1980 album “The Game”, and also appears on the band’s compilation album, Greatest Hits in 1981. At first, this was not released in the US. Since the album was not out yet, radio stations started playing import copies of the single. This led Queen’s record company to release it in America. The song peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1979 and became the group’s first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in 1980.
Mercury’s name is in the lyrics. He sings, “Are you ready,” and the band sings, “Ready Freddie.”
Learn more about Crazy Little Thing Called Love here.
Learn more about Queen here.
Read the “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” lyrics here.
34. Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” was originally featured on the Smiths third album, “The Queen Is Dead“. Music critics consider “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” to be one of The Smiths’ finest efforts, as well as one of the greatest songs of all time. In 2014, NME listed “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” as the 12th greatest song of all time. The website Acclaimed Music lists it as the 78th most acclaimed song of all time, and the 8th most acclaimed song of the 1980s.
In this song, Smiths singer Morrissey takes a ride in a romantic partner’s car. He’s pleading with the driver, “Don’t drop me home.” In fact, Morrissey is so taken by his company that he doesn’t care if a “double-decker bus” crashes into them, claiming that to die by the side of his sweetheart, would be “such a heavenly way to die.” This narrative has been compared to the 1955 film, “Rebel Without a Cause“, starring James Dean – whom Morrissey idolized.
In 1993, guitarist, Johnny Marr told Select magazine that he thought this was the best song that he had ever heard: “I didn’t realise that ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ was going to be an anthem but when we first played it I thought it was the best song I’d ever heard.” In the same interview, Marr revealed that the song’s intro was lifted from The Rolling Stones’ cover of “Hitch Hike” by Marvin Gaye.
The song was released as a single in France in 1987, but not released elsewhere as a single until 1992, five years after The Smiths split up. It reached #25 on the UK Singles Chart.
Learn more about There Is A Light That Never Goes Out here.
Learn more about The Smiths here.
Read the “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” lyrics here.
33. Alicia Keys – Fallin’
“Fallin” was the first single from Alicia Keys, who was 20 years old at the time. She was a young prodigy signed by Columbia Records at 16. Keys wrote the song while she was at the label, but her Columbia album never materialized. When she was 18, she left for J Records, a new label founded by Clive Davis. The song was written as the lead single from her debut studio album, Songs in A Minor.
The story goes that Clive Davis had Keys perform “Fallin” at his Grammy party, which was attended by many industry bigwigs. This led to an appearance on The Jay Leno, Show, which got her a great deal of publicity. The song went on to gain global success.
“Fallin” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the top 5 in several countries. It was also one of the best-selling singles of 2001. It also picked up a few awards including the 2001 Grammy for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song. In 2009, “Fallin'” was named the 29th most successful song of the 2000s, on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.
NME called it a “massive, massive massive hit” adding “Piano tinkles, drum machine coughs like an asthmatic whippet and Alicia strokes your spine with ice cubes and spatters your spotty back with hot candle wax”
According to EW, in 2003, after the second season of American Idol, judge Simon Cowell banned this song from the show because contestants kept singing it and the judges couldn’t decide how they felt about the song anymore. Other songs to be banned on Idol included “Candle In The Wind” and “I Will Always Love You.”
Learn more about Fallin’ here.
Learn more about Alicia Keys here.
Read the “Fallin'” lyrics here.
32. Barry White – Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up
“Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” is a song written, produced and recorded by Barry White, the American singer-songwriter and composer. White was a three-time Grammy Award–winner known for his distinctive bass-baritone voice and romantic image. This song was on his second album, Stone Gon’ from 1973.
It was released as the first single in the United States and reached number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Europe, it was issued in 1974 and reached #14 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1997, British singer Lisa Stansfield covered “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” for her eponymous album. It received favorable reviews from music critics who called it “excellent” and “strong,” and described Stansfield’s voice as “seductive” and “sexy.”
The song can be heard in the 1995 social drama film “Dead Presidents.” In a mid 70’s era bar as the film’s protagonist, unable to adjust to the real world after returning from Vietnam, reveals his plan for a heist job. In the 1996 crime-drama film “Bullet” it is heard when Butch, his brother and Lester are driving in their convertible after shooting up. The song is also heard during a romantic scene between Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston in 2003 film, “Bruce Almighty.”
Learn more about Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up here.
Learn more about Barry White here.
Read the “Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up” lyrics here.
31. Rihanna – We Found Love
“We Found Love” is from Rihanna sixth studio album, Talk That Talk (2011). The song was written and produced by Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, and the song was also featured on his third album 18 Months (2012).
The song’s lyrics speak of a couple who “found love in a hopeless place.” While mixed reviews came from music critics, fans showed their love as the song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for ten non-consecutive weeks, becoming the longest running #1 single of 2011. “We Found Love” topped the charts in twenty-five other countries including Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. According to Billboard, it is the 24th most successful single of all time in the US. The single has sold more than 10.5 million copies worldwide.
This was Rihanna’s sixth British #1, establishing a record for female solo artists. Other hits from Rihanna included “Umbrella,” “Take a Bow, “Run This Town,” “Only Girl (In The World)” and “What’s My Name?” between 2007 and January 2011.
Even the video achieved huge success winning a Grammy for “Best Short Form Music Video” at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards and “Video of the Year” at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. Rihanna’s love interest in the video is played by model and former boxer Dudley O’Shaughnessy. According to insiders, she had seen his modeling shots and other pictures when he was a boxer and handpicked him for the role. Calvin Harris also makes a brief cameo appearance during the party scene in a muddy field, popping up behind the decks.
In an interview with Notion Magazine, Nicole Scherzinger revealed that although Rihanna recorded the Calvin-Harris produced song, she was also sent a demo of ‘We Found Love.’ “I’ve got the demo of that song, and I was busy at the time” she said.
Learn more about We Found Love here.
Learn more about Rihanna here.
Read the “We Found Love” lyrics here.
30. Patti Smith – Because the Night
“Because the Night” is a song actually written by Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen was not satisfied and didn’t want to work on another love song. Singer Patti Smith of the Patti Smith Group was working on her album Easter in the studio next door. Her engineer/producer Jimmy Iovine was working on both Springsteen and Smith’s albums. Iovine gave Smith a rough cut of the song to record.
The song was released in 1978 as a single off the Patti Smith Group album, “Easter“. Despite her large cult following and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career (she was inducted in 2007), this was Patti Smith’s only hit.
The song rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as #5 in the United Kingdom, and helped propel sales of Easter to mainstream success just as Smith was retiring from a life of constant touring.
In 1987, the song was ranked #116 on NME magazine’s list of “The Top 150 Singles of All Time”. It remains one of the best known songs of Smith’s catalog. The song was first performed live at a Patti Smith concert at CBGB’s in New York City on December 30, 1977, with Springsteen joining on vocals and guitar.
A well-known acoustic version was recorded by 10,000 Maniacs in 1993 for MTV Unplugged, with some slight alterations. That recording became a hit and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Learn more about Because The Night here.
Learn more about Patti Smith here.
29. Beatles – She Loves You
It’s not surprising that the greatest rock-n-roll band would make our list. “She Loves You” was written by the great John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles and released as a single in 1963. Lennon and McCartney started composing “She Loves You” on June 26. 1963 after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle during their tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry and the Pacemakers. They began writing the song on the tour bus and continued later that night at their hotel in Newcastle. The song was recorded just a week later on July 1,1963.
“She Loves You” was an instant hit in the England surpassing several records on the United Kingdom charts, but not in America where it was released on Swan records in September 1963. It was the best-selling single of 1963, and is the Beatles’ all-time best-selling single in the UK. It’s also the best-selling single of any artist in the UK for 14 years until it was surpassed by ironically, “Mull of Kintyre” by Wings which was written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine.
The song also holds the dubious honor as one of the five Beatles songs that held the top five positions in the American charts simultaneously on April 4, 1964.
In November 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “She Loves You” #64 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In August 2009, at the end of its “Beatles Weekend”, BBC Radio 2 announced that “She Loves You” was the Beatles’ all-time best-selling single in the UK based on information compiled by The Official Charts Company.
The single of this was the first record heavy metal god Ozzy Osbourne ever bought. The Beatles were a big influence on him because they were also poor kids from a small town in England.
Learn more about She Loves You here.
Learn more about The Beatles here.
Read the “She Loves You” lyrics here.
Buy the “She Loves You” download: Amazon | iTunes | Google Play
28. Oasis – Wonderwall
“Wonderwall” is one of the most popular singles by the rock band Oasis, and written by Noel Gallagher. The song comes from Oasis’s second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. That album is the second-best selling in British history. The best selling album in UK history is “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles.
Oasis star Noel Gallagher has revealed that his most famous song was not written about his ex-wife, Meg Mathews. Speaking in a documentary on BBC Radio 2, the guitarist said people wrongly assumed the hit single Wonderwall was about Mathews. “The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it,” said Gallagher.
In January 1996, the song was voted #1 in the Australian Triple J Hottest 100 1995, the world’s largest music poll. “Wonderwall” was also nominated for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rock Song at the Grammy’s Awards of 1997. In May 2005, “Wonderwall” was voted the best British song of all time in a poll conducted by Virgin Radio. In 2006, U2’s guitarist The Edge named “Wonderwall” one of the songs he wishes he had written.
Learn more about Wonderwall here.
Learn more about Oasis here.
Read the “Wonderwall” lyrics here .
Buy the “Wonderwall” download: Amazon | iTunes | Google Play
27. I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner
“I Want to Know What Love Is” is a ballad and one of the most successful singles by the British-American rock band Foreigner. The song was released in November 1984 as the lead single from their album, Agent Provocateur. It was guitarist Mick Jones relationship that sparked the song was with his then future wife, Ann Dexter-Jones.
The song became a huge success, reaching #1 hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States and remain’s the group’s biggest hit to date. The song had tremendous staying power remaining in the top 25 in 2000, 2001, and 2002 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Recurrents chart. It found its way on Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest songs of all time at #479.
The song reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart on January 15, 1985, displacing Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and knocking Madonna’s long-running “Like a Virgin” out of #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1985. The song also spent five weeks at #1 in Australia and also hit the top of the charts in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. Finally, Billboard ranked “I Want to Know What Love Is” as the #4 Billboard Hot 100 single of 1985.
In 2009 Mariah Carey covered this song for her second single from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Country star Kenny Chesney covered this for his 2016 album, and back in 2004, Wynonna Judd did a version for her album “What the World Needs Now Is Love”.
You can also find the song in films and more. This song can be found in the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories“, as well as “Rock Band 3“, “Rock Band 4” and “Rock Band Blitz“. This song is also in the television series “Miami Vice“, and the movie “Rock of Ages“.
Learn more about I Want To Know What Love Is here.
Learn more about Foreigner here.
Read the “I Want To Know What Love Is” lyrics here.
26. Stevie Wonder – I Just Called To Say I Love You
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” is one of the most successful love song, written and produced by Stevie Wonder.
The song was Motown’s biggest-selling single ever in the UK and was Wonder’s eighth #1 in the US. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 from October 13-27, 1984. The song won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song also received three nominations at the 27th Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
According to Democracy Now, Roots drummer, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson said that Steve Wonder’s appearance on the Cosby show singing this song back in 1986 was a tremendous inspiration to young musicians who were interested in sampling and making music.
Learn more about Just Called To Say I Love You here.
Learn more about Stevie Wonder here.
Read the “Just Called To Say I Love You” lyrics here.
25. Peter Frampton – Baby I Love Your Way
“Baby, I Love Your Way” is a song written and performed by English singer Peter Frampton. It was released in September 1975 on Frampton’s album, “Frampton“. This song did not gain much success but when Frampton released it on his live album, “Frampton Comes Alive“, it helped the album become a huge hit. The live version of the song is equally known for Peter Frampton’s ability to use the talk box guitar effect.
The live version was the second single released from the album, after “Show Me The Way” and before “Do You Feel Like We Do.” The song peaked at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached number three in Canada.
The success of “Frampton Comes Alive!” put Frampton on the cover of Rolling Stone, in a famous shirtless photo by Francesco Scavullo. Frampton regretted that photo because it changed his image as a credible artist into a teen idol.
Learn more about Baby I Love Your Way here.
Learn more about Peter Frampton here.
Read the “Baby I Love Your Way” lyrics here.
24. Elton John – Your Song
“Your Song” is a ballad composed and performed by English musician Elton John. The lyrics were created by longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin. The song originally appeared on John’s self-titled second album (1970).
According to the BBC, Bernie Taupin wrote the words for this song over breakfast at John’s parents’ house. The original lyrics have coffee stains on them. “The original lyric were written very rapidly on the kitchen table of John’s mother’s apartment in Northwood Hills in the suburbs of London, if I recall, on a particularly grubby piece of exercise paper,” said Taupin. Elton wrote the music in about 20 minutes, as he often did with Taupin’s lyrics in their early days.
This was John’s first hit single. Before he recorded and released “Your Song” on his self-titled album, he lent the song to Three Dog Night for their album It Ain’t Easy. When the song appeared to be a hit for Elton John, Three Dog Night chose not to release it as a single.
“Your Song” was praised by critics upon its release and in subsequent years. In a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon recalled, “I remember hearing Elton John’s ‘Your Song,’ heard it in America—it was one of Elton’s first big hits—and remember thinking, ‘Great, that’s the first new thing that’s happened since we (The Beatles) happened.’ It was a step forward. There was something about his vocal that was an improvement on all of the English vocals until then. I was pleased with it.”
It rose to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart. It was also certified Gold and Platinum on December 13, 2012, by the RIAA on digital downloads. In 1998, “Your Song” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2003 the song was placed at #468 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.
John performed the song with Billy Joel at The Concert for New York City, a tribute show to the September 11 attacks. Other artists who have notably covered the song include The Beach Boys, Billy Paul,Cissy Houston, Rod Stewart and Ellie Goulding, as well as actor Ewan McGregor, who performed it in the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge!”
Learn more about Your Song here.
Learn more about Elton John here.
Read the “Your Song” lyrics here .
23. Adele – Make You Feel My Love
“Make You Feel My Love” is originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan for his 1997 album Time Out of Mind. This song was a favorite of Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickins and he recommended she sing the song. In 2008, she covered the song for her debut album, 19. It was the album’s fourth single, and the song peaked at #26 on the Official UK Top 75 singles chart.
Adele explained to the Manchester Evening News on January 22, 2008, why she decided to record this: “I wrote nine songs in a short space of time, all about this awful relationship I was in. I never quite got down what I was really feeling in those songs, though. Although I was trying to. It wasn’t that I was holding back or anything, but I just couldn’t get it down. I was bitterly upset and then my manager played me this Bob Dylan song ‘Make You Feel My Love.’ The lyrics are just amazing, and summed up exactly what I’d been trying to say in my songs. It’s about regretting not being with someone, and it’s beautiful. It’s weird that my favorite song on my album is a cover, but I couldn’t not put it on there.”
Thanks to shows like the X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, the song continued to re-emerge on the charts. X-Factor’s Annastasia Baker’s performed the song on August 28, 2010, and the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #78. The song was then performed by various artists at an X-Factor boot camp shown on September 26 and reappeared again on the charts at #4 on October 3, 2010. It then re-entered the chart again at #34 in June following a contestant’s performance in the finals of Britain’s Got Talent. Overall, the spent a cumulative total of 54 weeks on the official UK Top 75, making it the joint 18th longest runner of all time.
Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love” appeared on several shows including Lipstick Jungle, Brothers & Sisters, Ghost Whisperer, One Tree Hill, and more. It was also used in the movie When in Rome.
Learn more about Make You Feel My Love here.
Learn more about Adele here.
Read the “Make You Feel My Love” lyrics here.
22. Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You
This intense blues love song comes in at almost seven-and-a-half minutes. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” was one of the first songs prepared for the “Led Zeppelin III” album. The song was recorded live in the studio with little overdubbing. Ultimate Classic Rock dubbed Jimmy Page‘s solo in this song as one of his Top 10 greatest of all time.
The song was worked on for the Led Zeppelin II album, but it was bumped for the song “Whole Lotta Love.” The band then worked on the site for live performances, and it became a fan favorite. Led Zeppelin also performed it at their famous January 9, 1970, concert at Royal Albert Hall in London. Although Jimmy Page said it was one of the hardest tracks to record, it came out on the Led Zeppelin III album. Jimmy Page did his guitar solo in one take and Engineer Terry Manning called it “The best rock guitar solo of all time.”
There was talk that this song was plagarized from an older African-American artist but it’s not the case. The song does draw on the work of Moby Grape, a psychedelic band San Francisco in the late 1960’s.
Learn more about Since I Been Loving You here.
Learn more about Led Zeppelin here.
Read the “Since I Been Loving You” lyrics here .
21. Taylor Swift – Love Story
Also, it seems like most Swift’s songs, it was a huge success. The song sold over eight million copies worldwide, therefore establishing itself among the best-selling singles of all time. In the United States, the song rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 5.9 million paid digital downloads. “Love Story” became Swift’s first number one single in Australia, followed by “Shake It Off” in 2014.
The song was written about a love interest of Swift’s, and she related to the plot of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. According to Los Angeles Times, this song showed that Swift had no issue rewriting Shakespeare. The album containing that song, “Fearless,” made Swift the youngest recipient ever, at 20, of the Recording Industry’s overall album of the year Grammy Award.
It’s been suggested that this song could be about Swift’s relationship with Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, who she dated for much of 2008. The line “Romeo, take me some place we can be alone” relates to how they were never alone due to their popularity. “I sneak out to the garden” is symbolic of how they had to sneak around due to the paparazzi.The song also talks about Swift’s father and his objection to Joe, but Taylor ignores her father’s advice and continues to date him until their breakup in October.
The Pop Punk band Forever the Sickest Kids covered “Love Story” on their debut studio album “Underdog Alma Mater“. English singer Joe McElderry performed a live cover of “Love Story” on The X Factor Tour in 2010. “Love Story” was featured in the romantic comedy Letters to Juliet, and in the pilot of the television series “Hart of Dixie“.
Learn more about Love Story here.
Learn more about Taylor Swift here.
Read the “Love Story” lyrics here.
20.Billy Joel – She’s Always a Woman To Me
“She’s Always a Woman” is a song from Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger.
The single rose to #17 in the U.S. in 1977, and at #53 in the UK in 1986, when it was released as a double A-side with “Just the Way You Are“. It re-entered the UK chart in 2010, reaching #29.
A Muzak version of the track is known to be one of the last songs played over the former World Trade Center complex before its collapse.
The song was written for his then wife, Elizabeth Weber. Weber had taken over management of Joel’s career, and was able to put his financial affairs in order after Joel had signed some bad deals. She was a tough and savvy negotiator who would “never give in”. Because of her tough-as-nails negotiating style, many business adversaries thought she was “unfeminine,” but to Joel, she was always a woman.
This song was a staple of Billy Joel’s concerts in the late ’70s, but when his marriage fell apart, he dropped it from the setlist, playing it only sporadically from 1980-2005.
Pink was always a huge Billy Joel fan, and she got the chance to perform this song with her idol in 2014 at a Billy Joel town hall event hosted by Howard Stern. “I got to see my dad become happy when your songs came on, and we sang them together,” she told him. “It’s changed my life. When I sit down to write a song, my first thought is, ‘this is going to suck, and I’m never going to be Billy Joel.”
Learn more about She’s Always a Woman To Me here.
Learn more about Billy Joel here.
Read the “She’s Always A Woman To Me” lyrics here.
19. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” is a song recorded in 1984 by American singer Tina Turner. The song came from her fifth solo album, “Private Dancer” and became Turner’s most successful single. Up until the release of “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, Tina Turner had not had a U.S. top ten single since the early 1970s.
The song had a long road before the recording from Turner. It was written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle and offered to Cliff Richard, Phyllis Hyman, Donna Summer, the British pop group and Bucks Fizz before finally arriving to Turner.
The song received three awards at the 1985 Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Turner’s live performance of the song at the Grammy show was released on the 1994 album Grammy’s Greatest Moments Volume I.
The music video for the song claimed a prize at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1985 for “Best Female Video”. In 2012, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The song ranked #309 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“. It was the second biggest single of 1984 in the US and the 17th biggest in the United Kingdom.
In 1993, the song’s title was used as the title for the biographical film about Turner’s life.
Learn more about What’s Love Got To Do With It here.
Learn more about Tina Turner here.
Read the “What’s Love Got To Do With It” lyrics here.
18. Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness
“Try a Little Tenderness” is a song written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, and Harry M. Woods. The great Aretha Franklin recorded the song and it rose to only #100 in the US. It wasn’t until soul artist Otis Redding that the song became one of the greatest love songs of all time.
This version peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was in the 204th position on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
According Paste Magazine, this was the finest song ever recorded by Stax records.”Featuring an arrangement from Isaac Hayes and backing from Booker T. & the MGs, Otis’s version of this song is easily one of the best tracks Stax ever produced. The song provided the soundtrack for the greatest musical moment in any John Hughes film, when Jon Cryer shows off his dancing shoes in 1986’s Pretty in Pink”.
This version was heavily influential in the 1991 cult Irish movie “The Commitments“, which includes a scene of the band performing the song in the style of Otis Redding.
In the movie “Bull Durham“, erratic young pitcher Nuke LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins, sings this on the team bus but butchers the lyrics, much to the dismay of Crash Davis, the veteran catcher played by Kevin Costner. Instead of “Young girls they do get wearied” he sang “Young girls they do get wooly.”
Learn more about Try A Little Tenderness here.
Learn more about Otis Redding here.
Read the “Try A Little Tenderness” lyrics here.
17. Rihanna – Stay
It peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna’s twenty-fourth top ten on the chart, thus surpassing Whitney Houston. Furthermore, it has charted at #1 on the US Pop Songs chart and #16 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Worldwide the single has sold over 10 million copies making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The song was nominated in 2013 at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video. In 2014, iHeartRadio Music Awards nominated it for song of the year.
Rihanna was only 25 years old when this became her 27th song to sell over a million copies.
Jon Dolan for Rolling Stone raved about Rihanna’s execution of the song, writing that she performs it “within an inch of its life” and “pleads at the piano.” Dan Martin for NME described “Stay” as Unapologetic’s highlight, writing that it is a “gorgeous piano ballad.”
Rihanna performed this song with its co-writer Mikky Ekko at the Grammy Awards in 2013. Afterward, the cameras panned onto Chris Brown giving his girl a standing ovation, four years after their infamous pre-Grammy brawl.
Learn more about Stay here.
Learn more about Rihanna here.
Read the “Stay” lyrics here.
16. Toto – Rosanna
This song went on to define the band and enjoy tremendous success including a Record of the Year Grammy Award in 1983, and was nominated for the Song of the Year award. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks, and in the UK, the song peaked at No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart and remained there for eight weeks.
The album “Toto IV” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The band also won Producer of the Year for their work on the album, which they produced themselves.
This song got its name from the actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro at the time. Porcaro didn’t write the song – it was written by Toto leader David Paich, who was always looking for good ideas for lyrics.
Steve Porcaro and Rosanna Arquette broke up not long after this song was released. He would not be the last musician Arquette would date. She had a rocky relationship with Peter Gabriel in the early ’90s, and in 2007, she briefly dated Paul McCartney.
Learn more about Rosanna here.
Learn more about Toto here.
Read the “Rosanna” lyrics here.
15. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
The song was featured as the free iTunes song of the week on June 16, 2007; the song debuted a few months later at #100 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. After her appearance in a Rhapsody TV commercial, in which she performs “Love Song,” it rocketed from #72 to #16 on the Hot 100 and #32 to #5 on the Hot Digital Songs chart. It remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 41 weeks.
It was nominated for 2009 Grammy Awards in the categories Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The song was a result of her label, Epic Records looking for a hit single for her debut album, “Little Voice”. The label was not very excited about any of her songs and Bareilles said this process led her to realize that she needed to write music that was honest and true and not to try and please record executives. The result was “Love Song,” in which she proclaimed that “I’m not gonna write you a love song. ‘Cause you asked for it. ‘Cause you need one, you see.”
It also had the distinction of being the most played song on New Zealand radio during 2008.
Learn more about Love Song here.
Learn more about Sara Bareilles here.
Read the “Love Song” lyrics here.
14. Madonna – Justify My Love
“Justify My Love” is a song by American singer Madonna from her first greatest hits compilation “The Immaculate Collection“. The song was written byPrince’s protégé and friend Ingrid Chavez, and Lenny Kravitz. Chavez wrote the lyrics based on a poem she had written for Kravitz.
The song became Madonna’s ninth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 while reaching the Top 10 in several countries including Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The RIAA certified it platinum on February 22, 1991, for sales of over a million units. On 1991’s Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart “Justify My Love” claimed the #21 spot.
The song is perhaps equally famous for its racy video. The video has Madonna being seduced by a mysterious man and woman. The video caused worldwide controversy, and was eventually banned from MTV and other TV networks. After the video had been banned, it was released for sale on VHS and sold over one million copies.
“Justify My Love” received acclaim from many music critics. Allmusic gave the song four-and-a-half stars out of five, stating “[Justify My Love] stands as one of the best of Madonna’s long history of well-packaged maxi-singles, and further helped set a precedent for the maxi-single market.”
Learn more about Justify My Love here.
Learn more about Madonna here.
Read the “Justify My Love” lyrics here.
13. Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E
Nat King Cole knew love songs. His 24-song album “Love Songs” was entirely devoted to the subject. However, our favorite was L-O-V-E. The song was recorded by Nat King Cole for his album of the same name in 1965. Originally an instrumental penned by Milt Gabler for Bert Kaempfert‘s Blue Midnight album in 1964, this song added vocals by Nat King Cole for the title track before his death on February 15, 1965.
For international versions of L-O-V-E album, Nat ‘King’ Cole also recorded versions of “L-O-V-E” and other songs, in Japanese, Italian, German, Spanish and French.
The song has been covered by several artists, including Dionne Warwick on “The Windows of the World”, Cole’s daughter Natalie Cole on “Unforgettable… with Love,” and Michael Bublé on the special edition of “Call Me Irresponsible“, and Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra for the 2008 set the Informer.
English singer Joss Stone recorded a cover of “L-O-V-E” for the soundtrack to a short film for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, starring Keira Knightley and directed by Joe Wright. Stone’s version reached #100 on the UK Singles Chart and number #75 on the Swiss Singles Chart.
Learn more about L-O-V-E here.
Learn more about Nat King Cole here.
Read the “L-O-V-E” lyrics here.
12. Celine Dion – Power of Love
“The Power of Love” is a song co-written and originally recorded by Jennifer Rush in 1984. Celine Dion covered “The Power of Love” for her third studio album, The “Colour of My Love” where is skyrocketed to success. It was produced by David Foster and released in November 1993 in North America and to the rest of the world in early 1994.
“The Power of Love” became Dion’s first US #1 song, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in February 1994. It also became her first Australian chart topper and second #1 single in Canada. The song also topped the adult contemporary charts in the United States and Canada. In the rest of the world, “The Power of Love” reached top ten in France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden and New Zealand. It was certified Platinum in the United States and Australia, Gold in New Zealand and Silver in France. In the United States, it has sold 1.5 million copies.
It was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single, two Billboard Music Awards for Hot 100 Single of the Year and Hot Adult Contemporary Single of the Year, and for the Juno Award for Single of the Year.
This became one of Dion’s signature songs and she performed it on all of her concert tours and live albums.
Learn more about Power of Love here.
Learn more about Celine Dion here.
Read the “Power of Love” lyrics here.
11. Roxette – It Must Have Been Love
One of the most recognized 80’s ballads, “It Must Have Been Love” was a song written by Per Gessle and performed by the Swedish pop duo Roxette. The ballad became their third #1 hit in the United States. It also was one of their best-selling releases and was certified gold or platinum in numerous countries.
Four different versions of the song that have been released. The original 1987 track was followed by a slightly edited version that takes out references to Christmas. In 1991, the band recorded a country music version of the track for their 1992 album “Tourism“. An English and Spanish-language version were recorded for the movie “Pretty Woman“. Finally, an orchestral live performance from the band’s 2009 concert at Night of the Proms appeared on their 2012 studio album, “Travelling“.
The movie “Pretty Woman” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere became an enormous hit along with the soundtrack. This helped send the song to the top of the US Hot 100 in June, where it stayed for two weeks. Julia Roberts has often said that “It Must Have Been Love,” which plays when her character Vivian is leaving Edward and going back to her apartment, is one of her favorite songs.
Learn more about It Must Have Been Love here.
Learn more about Roxette here.
Read the “It Must Have Been Love” lyrics here.
10. Savage Garden – I Knew I Loved You
This song almost didn’t make it onto the “Affirmation” album. When Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones of presented their songs for the album to their record producers, they were told that the album wouldn’t be as big a hit as their debut album if they didn’t have a “Truly Madly Deeply” on it. So Darren and Daniel went and wrote “I Knew I Love You”.
The song was a huge success in the United States, on the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent four weeks at the top, and 124 weeks overall on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, breaking the record for 123 weeks set by another of the duo’s songs, “Truly Madly Deeply.” It ranked #21 in the All-Time Adult Contemporary Chart. The song was also certified Platinum by the RIAA and became the highest played song on US radio of 2000.
The music video featured then-teen actress Kirsten Dunst as Darren Hayes’ love interest and received a heavy rotation on MTV.
Learn more about I Knew I Loved You here.
Learn more about Savage Garden here.
Read the “I Knew I Loved You” lyrics here.
9. Wings – Silly Love Songs
According to Billboard, McCartney said the song was an answer to his critics. “The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy. The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they’ve just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they’ll say to me, ‘I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!’. By the way, ‘Silly Love Songs’ also had a good bass line and worked well live”.
McCartney had the last laugh as the song became a huge success. The song was released in the US as a single on April 1, 1976 and spent five non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Silly Love Songs” was the #1 pop song in Billboard’s Year-End Charts of 1976. It was also the group’s second of three number ones on the Easy Listening chart. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over one million copies. Billboard even listed “Silly Love Songs” as Paul McCartney’s all-time biggest Hot 100 single.
Learn more about Silly Love Songs here.
Learn more about Wings here.
Read the “Silly Love Songs” lyrics here.
8. Madness – It Must Be Love
The Madness’ version was originally issued as a standalone single in late-1981 and appeared on their UK #1 compilation album “Complete Madness”. The song peaked on the US Billboard chart at #33. The song was reissued in 1992, and this time reached #6 in the UK charts.
Some say the song never rose higher on the US charts initially due to the video. It featured the band running around in undertaker’s gear, and it appeared that those in the US didn’t appreciate it. The video also featured underwater performances from guitarist Chris Foreman and saxophonist Lee Thompson. Foreman recalled to Q Magazine August 2008: “In the pool, I had these lead weights on. I thought I was gonna die. The guitar got bent so we got a hairdryer and sent it back. They said, ‘The neck’s like a banana.’ So we had to buy it.”
Learn more about It Must Be Love here.
Learn more about Madness here.
Read the “It Must Be Love” lyrics here .
Buy the “It Must Be Love” download: Amazon | iTunes | Google Play
7. Sade – Your Love Is King
With her sultry voice, it was no surprise that any song Sade touched turned to gold. Helen Folasade Adu, known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade, is a Nigerian-born English singer-songwriter behind the song “Your Love Is King”. Sade has been described as famously reclusive.
This song was the first of many hits for Sade. Her US certified sales so far stand at 23.5 million units, and have sold more than 50 million units worldwide to date.
The song was on her debut album and released in the United Kingdom on 16 July 1984 by Epic Records. The song was released as the album’s lead single on February 25, 1984, and had great success in Europe climbing to #7 in Ireland and #6 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1985, the song rose to #54 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #35 on Billboard Hot Black Singles. The song climbed to as high as eight on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.
Learn more about Your Love Is King here.
Learn more about Sade here.
Read the “Your Love Is King” lyrics here.
6. Emotions – Best of My Love
“Best of My Love” was a signature song of the 70s and defined the disco era sound with its upbeat vibe and horns. The song was recorded by the American band The Emotions. It was released as a single back in June 1997 from their album Rejoice. The song was composed by Maurice White and Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire. This upbeat disco song was a US #1 hit for five weeks, at the time a record for a female group.
Best of My Love” won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and also won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single. The song was listed at #87 on The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs, and it was the third biggest Pop song of 1977 and the fifth biggest R&B song of 1977. On the disco chart, “Best of My Love” would peak at #11.
Best of My Love” has been certified Platinum in the US by the (RIAA) and silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry. The song continues to appear on “Best of the ’70s” lists.
The song has appeared in many films, including “Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb“, “Summer of Sam“, “The Wendell Baker Story“, “Mission Impossible III, The Holiday“, and “Boogie Nights“. The song was also used in various TV spots for the 2010 dramedy Why Did I Get Married Too?. The song was also covered by Christina Milian, Carol Duboc and Minae Noji featured in the film “Be Cool“.
Learn more about Best of My Love here.
Learn more about Emotions here.
Read the “Best of My Love” lyrics here.
5. Cure – Friday, I’m In Love
“Friday I’m in Love” is a song by British rock band The Cure. The song was the second single taken from the band’s ninth studio album, Wish, released onMay 11, 1992. The single reached #6 in the UK and reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the band’s last American Top 40 hit to date.
Robert Smith, the song’s primary writer, described it in 1992 as both “a throw your hands in the air, let’s get happy kind of record” and “a very naive, happy type of pop song.”
The song is a departure from the signature goth rock sound of the Cure. So much so that Smith said declared that this poppy ode to seeing your girl on Fridays was for people who “aren’t actually fans of The Cure.”
The opening line “I don’t care if Monday’s blue” is a reference to the New Order hit “Blue Monday.”
During the writing process, Robert Smith became convinced that he had inadvertently stolen the chord progression from somewhere, and this led him to a state of paranoia where he called everyone he could think of and played the song for them, asking if they had heard it before. None of them had, and Smith realized that the melody was indeed his.
The video is one of the more popular videos for the band and was directed by Tim Pope. The video features the band performing the song in front of various backdrops on a soundstage, in homage to French silent filmmaker Georges Méliès.
Learn more about Friday, I’m In Love here.
Learn more about The Cure here.
Read the “Friday, I’m In Love” lyrics here.
4. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
“Fade into You” is a song by rock group Mazzy Star from their album “So Tonight That I Might See”. The song was written by lyricist Hope Sandoval and composer David Roback.
The song is defined by Hope Sandoval‘s beautiful voice. The lyrics are about a bittersweet story of falling in love with someone that is slightly damaged and incapable of living up to expectations. For others, it’s a reminder of an era of alternative music that defined a generation post-Seattle grunge.
It reached #3 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1994, and is Mazzy Star’s only single to make the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #44. The song also charted at #48 on the UK Singles Chart. Pitchfork Media included the song at #19 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s. Australian alternative music radio station Triple J ranked the song the 32nd greatest of 1994.
Two music videos were completed for “Fade Into You.” The first was directed by Merlyn Rosenberg and premiered on MTV in late October 1993. Portions of this video were filmed at the same location U2 shot the artwork for The Joshua Tree.
Learn more about Fade Into You here.
Learn more about Mazzy Star here.
Read the “Fade Into You” lyrics here.
3. The Las – There She Goes
The song has gained a reputation for being about the use of heroin, possibly as a result of the lines: “There she goes again… racing through my brain… pulsing through my vein… no one else can heal my pain”. Rumors have also persisted that the song was inspired by “There She Goes Again” by the Velvet Underground, though no definitive evidence supports it.
Whatever you think of the song, it was a hit. The song’s numerous lives are due to its inclusion in many movies. The first time it was released peaked at #51 on the UK Singles Chart. The second release in 1990 rose to #13 and charted in the US. The third release was in 1999, and it charted the UK Singles at #65. The fourth release was in 2008, on vinyl only for the song’s 20th anniversary, and charted again at #181.
NME magazine placed the song at #45 on its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.
Learn more about There She Goes here.
Learn more about The La’s here.
Read the “There She Goes” lyrics at metrolyrics.com
2. En Vogue – Don’t Let Go (Love)
En Vogue has sold more than 20 million records worldwide to date, and the group won seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and received seven Grammy nominations.
The song was the band’s last single to feature former band member Dawn Robinson, on lead vocals, and became En Vogue’s biggest international single, peaking in the top ten of many countries. The song was a #1 R&B song for one week becoming En Vogue’s sixth and final #1 R&B Hit to date. According to Billboard magazine, the single ranked as the #83rd most successful single of the 1990s.
The single sold 1.3 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the RIAA. In October 2011, NME placed it at #127 on its list “150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years”.
A music video was released to promote the single, in which well-known actor Mekhi Phifer plays a man who has been secretly dating all four members of En Vogue. The four women find out about each other and confront Phifer’s character at a party.
Learn more about Don’t Let Go (Love) here.
Learn more about En Vogue here.
Read the “Don’t Let Go (Love)” lyrics here.
1. LL Cool J – I Need Love
“I Need Love” is the second single from LL Cool J’s second album, “Bigger and Deffer“.
LL Cool J is known as one of the forefathers of pop rap. He has released 13 studio albums and two greatest hits compilations. He was just 18 when he wrote this song, and he was not in a relationship. He explained, “I was talking about a true spiritual love, and romantic love also. Just true love, companionship. That’s something I wanted.” According to AllMusic, he rapper apparently wrote the lyrics in a half hour while meditating about his loneliness in his grandmother’s basement.
The song was a stark departure from other songs on “Bigger and Deffer”, but more importantly, it gave birth to a new music form, the rap ballad. This was LL Cool J’s first Top 40 hit in both the US and UK. It reached #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 while reaching #8 in the UK Singles Chart. The single won a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap – Single in 1987 and was #60 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
Learn more about I Need Love here.
Learn more about LL Cool J here.
Read the “I Need Love” lyrics here.
Bonus: Coldplay – Yellow
“Yellow” is a song by the British alternative rock band Coldplay. The band wrote the song and co-produced it with British record producer Ken Nelson for their debut album, Parachutes (2000).
“Yellow” was written in a Rockfield studio in Wales where Coldplay began working on Parachutes. One night after taking a break outside there were a few lights on, and the stars in the sky were amazing. Producer Ken Nelson told the band to look at the stars, which inspired lead singer Chris Martin to write Yellow.
The song was released in 2000 as the second single from Parachutes, and the lead single in the United States. “Yellow” reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart, giving Coldplay their first top-five single in the United Kingdom. “Yellow” achieved popularity in the United States and was Coldplay’s first American hit charting on eight different Billboard singles charts.
It was nominated at the 2002 Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. In August 2009 the song was listed at #263 on Pitchfork Media’s “Top 500 songs of the 2000s”. In October 2011, NME placed it at #139 on its list “150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years“.
Matt Diehl of Rolling Stone Magazine has noted “Yellow” is “unrepentantly romantic,” adding that “the band creates a hypnotic slo-mo otherworld where spirit rules supreme.”
Learn more about Yellow here.
Learn more about Coldplay here.
Read the “Yellow” lyrics here.