I’m all about love, or at least making it with someone I like. I’m a D.J. and musician whose motto has frequently been, but not limited to, “I want to play music to get it on by.” Or something ridiculous like that.
True to my style, I waited until 11:50 p.m. the night before the due date to write this out. It really should be easy. Top five love songs, no problem. By 2 a.m. I’m still racking my brain and music crates. I’ll do what I can. It’s not as easy as I thought, and I have probably left out my true favorites.
Music means different things during different stages of love. When you’re single and looking for love, you like songs about crushes and hopeful meetings and opportunities.
When you’re in love, you just need a swanky beat to get it on to. Sometimes it’s also nice to have a song about being in love that “belongs” to you and your sweetie.
Love, and the quest for it, is one of the most powerful and important aspects of being human. I’d like to thank every creative human who has put their feelings of love into music.
I’d also like to thank every musician who has made music that encourages the making of sweet, sweet love. You all have kept the fire alive with your audio Viagra – thanks.
So here are some meaningful songs and some good mood albums that inspire that most important of human qualities. These songs grabbed my attention as I looked through my crates. I put them on and thought of love, summer and good times.
Jawbreaker – “Chesterfield King”
For years in my teens I said this was the best love song ever. Times change, but I won’t forget this song. Here’s the story. A boy has a crush. He’s too nervous to tell her how he feels. Getting eaten up inside he reaches a low point. Then inspiration and truth come from the most unlikely of places. He gets brave and goes to see the crush. She’s waiting, teary eyed from his absence and confusion. They spend the night holding hands.
The Cure – “Love Cats”
Marvin Gaye – “Let’s Get It On”
A great song. I first heard it in a bar shortly after my 21st birthday. People would play it over and over. I think it was always played by different people who wanted to get it on with each other. Even drunk, they were too nervous to go say “Hi, let’s get it on.”
Blondie – “The Tide is High”
It always made me feel wanted. I’d be lonely and listen to “I’m gonna be your number one.” It makes me say, “Here I am, come and take me, take me by the hand,” which brings me to a great song by Al Green, later rastafied by UB40. “Tide” had steel drums and a calypso feel for extra summer goodness.
Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes,”
It’s good. All that stuff about the “light” and “heat,” plus a mildly ethnic beat. It’s so much better after watching that scene in “Say Anything” where John Cusack plays it outside his crush’s window to win her back.
Lauryn Hill – “Too Good To Be True”
Once again, I could pick any number of tracks from 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This particular version of the classic bumps enough to dance with a lover and say, “Damn, you are just too good to be true!” An ode to infatuation and the all powerful crush.
And because I can never get enough love, three albums that are full of lovey-ness:
It’s actually 69 real love songs. At least 26 of them are really good.
Call and Response – Call and Response
One of my favorites this winter. Songs about summer love and fun. Innocent, bouncy roller-skating jams that take your worries away.
Sade – Lovers Rock
Almost all Sade is good. This disc is good for cuddling with a sweetheart or putting on when you’re letting someone know about your squishy thoughts.
I’m tired of single songs and albums that can’t hold a mood. I need long, long mixes. You can have a mix of depressing breakup songs that make you feel better. You can have a list of songs that make you think fondly of your sweetie. Then there are mixes that make you want to get it on.
I long ago decided that mix tapes were too much work. The best way to get a mood-setting mix going is by putting five discs in a CD changer and hitting shuffle. Hours of fun.
Here’s five albums that I like to keep close to the changer, or are close by this week. Hint: keep your fab five close at hand! Trust me, it’s no fun to spoil the mood by spending 15 minutes digging through your CDs. Sometimes silence is just fine. Hell, even the radio is fun sometimes. It’s almost like being in public.
The shuffle mix:
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Number one in the changer of all time. This one is hot by itself too. One song on repeat is even hot. One word is hot.
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
If it wasn’t actually good, it wouldn’t be on here. It’s been in too many Gap, automobile and Victoria’s Secret ads. Just enough riff rock agression and savvy beats to do the trick though.
Tricky – Maxinquaye
Kind of like Massive Attack (Tricky was a founding member), but more soulful and sexy. Dark and naughty, which can be very helpful. Other Tricky albums are pretty good too.
Le Gooster – Zig, Zag Zen
Upbeat hop-hop beats with smooth instrumentation. A couple of songs have sexy French rapping. Le Gooster and Shadow records turned me on to changer-ready sexy bedroom electronic music. Some hits from that genre: Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister, AIR, Caf퀌� Del Mar compilations, OM Lounge compilations.
Even if you’re feeling rather lonely, a little music can put some love in your heart. You don’t need a Hallmark holiday to feel love.