12 lesser-known romantic songs for Valentine’s Day
“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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