12 lesser-known romantic songs for Valentine’s Day

The love songs come out around Valentine’s Day, but we all know “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and we really don’t need to hear “Cheek to Cheek” again.

WTOP has compiled a list of ones that haven’t been played to death and are beautiful.

They’re not all make-out anthems; they deal with devotion, heartbreak, resolve and other aspects of love. They’re not all slow-dance-worthy; they come in a variety of tempos, with timbres ranging from Prince’s electronic musings to Amanda Brown’s oboe. But they’re all beautiful, which is what it’s all about.

Listen and love!

“Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),” Aretha Franklin

Slinky and sexy, yet fun — for Franklin’s matchless voice of course, but Chuck Rainey’s bass and Bernard Purdie’s drums as well. By the time the flute comes in, you’re hooked. “I’m gonna change your view, baby” indeed.

“Paris Match,” The Style Council

Say this for romantic pain — at least it can make you feel alive. Paul Weller celebrates the paradox — with accordion! And a last chorus in French! What more do you need?

“Condition of the Heart,” Prince

No such list could be complete without a Prince ballad, and this is a prime example of the form — a heartbreaker with minutes of expressionistic electronic squiggles for an introduction.

“A Lover’s Concerto,” The Toys

How can anyone improve on Bach’s Minuet in G Major? Put it in 4/4 and give it a backbeat, gorgeous lyrics and lead vocals by Barbara Harris. That’s how. It’s criminal that The Toys didn’t get much more of a shot at the charts.

“Not About to Lose,” Ron Sexsmith

From the peerless Canadian songwriter, a song for those who have been burned before — a perfect anthem for second chances and second weddings: “If I were to listen to my doubts/ I’d think my time was running out/ I’m old to do it and/ Young enough to do it again.”

“Heavenly Pop Hit,” The Chills

You could argue that this gorgeous song by New Zealand’s finest isn’t explicitly about romantic love, but more about being in love with the universe, being fully alive. But they often feel like the same thing.

“Bye Bye Pride,” The Go-Betweens

Because what’s more romantic than an oboe?

“I Saw the Light,” Todd Rundgren

Because sometimes love makes you grow up a bit.

“Best of My Love,” The Emotions

“Sweet love and affection,” with Earth, Wind & Fire backing you up. How can you lose? (You can’t.)

“Here, There and Everywhere,” The Beatles

An all-timer, and perhaps not very overlooked, but still unmatched. (The above version is an outtake, but it’s still lovely.)

“Too Late to Turn Back Now,” Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose

Yeah, I have a weakness for 1970s soul. I think you’ll find a lot of people do.

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