Since today is Valentine’s Day I have decided to reminisce about the love songs as well as songs about love lost that I grew up with in the 1970s and 1980s. There was something about the music of the time that made these songs pretty much timeless. They were written about love, with feeling and soul. Some were hauntingly powerful in the emotions and images that they could engender. Since back in the day technology is not what it is now most of us grew up with these songs on Top 40 type AM radio stations, listening to them on our 8 Track players, cassettes, LPs or 45 RPM records.
I’m sure that if you were like me back in those days there were days that you would sit on your couch, bed or front seat of your car with your significant other, snuggle and look dreamily into one another’s eyes as the songs that touched you played. There were also times after break-ups, arguments or misunderstandings that you thought were going to kill the relationship that some of the sad songs were there to share your misery with.
Back in those days when for the most part you could still understand the words of the songs regardless of the musical style without every third word being the “F-bomb,” something about killing someone or deeming women in some ungodly fashion, the songs still inspired hope, even when as Elton John sang “when every little bit of hope is gone, sad songs say so much.”
Of course these are my favorites and I know that for those of my generation you will have your own while some of the younger folks may never have heard any of these unless their parents of my generation like me won’t stop playing them.
Of the singers of the 1970s and 1980s Barry Manilow probably wrote and performed more top 10 love songs than about anyone. He was a heartthrob for a lot of the girls that I went to school with who many wore Barry Manilow T-shirts. My favorite of his love songs is Somewhere in the Night and this video is from back in 1978. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj8eqkRGJIo Of course Manilow had tons of others including Ready to take a Chance Again which was featured in the classic comedy with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn Foul Play and Daybreak which are in this concert medley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KjmJnEV8ck
Olivia Newton-John who many of guys had the “hots” for had a hot called I honestly Love You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zGLSnZGZts She would go from “sweet to hot” in the 80s with Physical which dealt with some of the more steamy aspects of love and lust and yes this song was voted the “hottest and sexiest song” this year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow1gS3m1ckM
The Carpenter’s whose songs were so beautiful and haunting had a lot of love songs and some really sad songs like Goodbye to Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nooeMrCws-A Of course Karen would die tragically from complications due to her struggle with anorexia and seemed always to have a sadness about her during her life.
Lionel Richie was another artist who churned out hit after hit love songs. The one that I will always remember is Still and Lady. These are songs that Judy and I listen to a lot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZBSruHC-1c
Dionne Warwick made a comeback singing songs written by Lionel Richie including I’ll Never Love this Way Again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mI89NGdf5M
Another artist who made a mint off of love songs was Anne Murray a country crossover to the pop charts with the hit You Needed Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-tJBsOsboM
while Kenny Rogers hit the charts with a duet with Sheena Easton called We’ve got Tonight
Neil Diamond had a lot of love songs, the one that strikes me the most is September Morn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cPSts6KMbs
Abba had many love songs with Chiquitita http://video.libero.it/app/play?id=5689d25ebf91922e45a5d14a69fd4833 The Winner Takes it All http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92cwKCU8Z5c and Knowing Me Knowing You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUrzicaiRLU&feature=channel telling stories of love and loss.
And finally for me there was Blondie whose up tempo Dreaming http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIjxGKLTADE is still one of my favorites.
For those who are sad this Valentine’s Day here is Elton John and Sad Songs Say so Much http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH276U5PiGQ and I Guess that’s Why they Call it the Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH276U5PiGQ
I could go on but will stop here. Feel free to link any of your favorites in the comments. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!