No one can deny the power of love, especially when it comes in the form of a song. While Kendrick Lamar has rapped that love makes him “feel as powerful as [boxer] Mike Tyson,” Whitney Houston once proclaimed she had found the “greatest love of all.” Because we are all made differently, we all have different views about what can be defined as the best love song of all time.
The Best Love Song of All Time – Everyone Has His or Her Favorite
Poets and writers in ancient Rome and Greece set love words to music, and serenades have been the basis for expressing the emotion by troubadours. While “I love you” may seem easy enough to express, the feelings behind the sentiment can become rather complex.
The Performer’s Influence
When love songs rank high on the billboard, often the performer’s rendition gives rise to the song’s success. For instance, Elvis Presley exemplifies why songs become a chart topper. The way a singer performs a song does a lot to motivate people to buy it on a record, CD, or, through digital streaming.
Samples of Top Elvis Love Songs – What Is Your Favorite?
Some of the powerful love songs performed by Presley include:
- A Big Hunk O’ Love
- Stuck on You
- Are You Lonesome Tonight?
- It’s Now or Never
- Good Luck Charm
- I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
- Love Me Tender
- (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
The King of Rock and Roll obviously was also the King of Love Songs, with Heartbreak Hotel providing the rock-and-roll sound people love.
Love songs can be happy, melancholy, hopeful, or joyous. Again, certain artists make the words spring to life – artists such as Elvis, the Supremes, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Rhianna all make you want to listen to their recordings.
Where to Find the Best Love Song Listings
The official recorder of the best love songs is the publication Billboard. In fact, Billboard is the time-honored source for recording Hot 100 hits of all times. From the publication’s charts, you can see which songs are listed high in the rankings for genres, such as Pop, Latin, R&B/Hip-Hop, Country, and Easy Listening, just to name a few.
The first Billboard publication debuted on November 1, 1894, and was very unlike the Billboard of today. The eight-page magazine, priced at 10 cents, was the basis for today’s multi-platform musical Billboard brand. That first issue did not even focus on music. Rather, the goal of the publication was to concentrate on the interesting and vibrant boards of the day.
Billboard’s trademarked music charts eventually developed over the years – charts that include the Billboard 200 (which first appeared on March 24, 1956) and today’s album and digital songs ratings for best love song selections. Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart premiered August 4, 1958. At that time, “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson ranked first among the tally of 1,078 number one songs.
Therefore, the best love song selections present themselves through listings, such as Billboard, and through the performances of great artists.
Composing the Best Love Song Ever
So, what makes a great love song great?
One GRAMMY award-winning songwriter, Diane Warren provides an explanation. She states, “You have to feel it.” Some of Warren’s hits include “Because You Love Me,” performed by Celine Dion; “There You’ll Be,” recorded by Faith Hill; and Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
Making a Love Song Your Song
GRAMMY nominee and songwriter Thomas Rhett adds, “I think a great love song . . . has . . . great lyrics and great content.” He believes, above those two qualities, the melody is what draws people to the song. After all, when a melody is great, it is easy to dance to the love ballad – and to make it your song.
People remember love songs as their songs when they dance to its melody and words at a senior prom or when they spend time together – listening to that “special song” on the radio. Nostalgia runs deep in the best love song selections. For example, Three Dog Night’s “Just an Old-fashioned Love Song,” makes you want to fly back in time.
Remembering the Bittersweet
The song, written by songwriter and musician Paul Williams, was popularized in 1971 by the rock group. Chuck Negron served as lead vocalist. That is why love songs, from as far back as the 50s, can still be played with enjoyment. People love the nostalgic appeal of the melodies and times conveyed.
For example, one timely song that never seems to go out of style is Earth Angel, a song that was a number one hit in 1955. It was recorded by the Penguins, a popular doo-wop group at the time. Again, an artist’s personal creation often cements the song in the public’s mind, adding to its romantic appeal as the best love song of all time.
Besides the emotion a song conveys, it should also be crafted well. However, the inspiration does not come from crafting alone. The song still must cause the listener to feel something special, or evoke a response that makes it meaningful. After all, that is “The Power of Love.”
The Power of Love
“The Power of Love,” another popular love song, was first recorded in 1984 by Jennifer Rush. Huey Lewis and the News sung a song in 1985 of the same name, but of different lyrics and music. The group’s single version was featured in the blockbuster movie, “Back to the Future.”
Rush’s version is more dramatic –
The whispers in the morning
Of lovers sleeping tight
Are rolling like thunder now
As I look in your eyes
While Rush sent the song soaring to number one in the UK in 1984, Celine Dion’s version of the Rush song leaped to number one in the US in 1994.
Classifying a Love Song and Listening to Its Message
When determining the best love song ever, you need to consider the genre and the nature of the song. Do you want to listen and contemplate a sadder melody or do you want the song to uplift you? Love songs come in all forms and sizes. Therefore, the best love songs ever can be categorized by decades, years, genre, group, or artist.
What gives them an edge over other music, regardless of their musical classification, is when they are played. You can play them at weddings, on anniversaries, for Valentine’s Day, and for inspiration any day of the week
Making a Distinction
When it comes to categories, you can classify the best love songs as follows:
- Country love songs
- Rock-and-roll love songs
- Modern love songs
- Love songs for her
- Love songs for him
Examples of Timeless Tunes
Then you have those epic love songs – always thought of as being the most romantic ballads of all time. Below are some of the recent classics – one of which you may classify as the best love song of all time.
1. “Unchained Melody,” by the Righteous Brothers
A 1965 recording of the Righteous Brothers, this song has also been performed by other artists. It was immortalized and sung in the movie, “Ghost.”
2. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” sung by Roberta Flack
The chart-topper was written by Ewan MacColl, meant for his girlfriend, who eventually became his wife. The song was sung by Flack in 1969 on her album, “First Take.”
3. “I Will Always Love You,” sung by Whitney Houston
This memorable song from 1992’s soundtrack for the movie, “The Bodyguard,” always triggers the memory of Kevin Costner carrying the singer and actress in his arms.
4. “Time After Time,” performed by Cyndi Lauper
This iconic song was featured on the singer’s 1984 “She’s So Unusual” album. It was Lauper’s solo debut. The song, which received a GRAMMY award nomination, sprung to the top of the Billboard charts soon after it was released.
5. “When a Man Loves a Woman” sung by Percy Sledge
This classic song, which first appeared in 1966, made the original singer an R&B legend. Artists, such as Michael Bolton and Bette Midler, have created their own versions of the love song.
6. “Your Song,” sung by Elton John
This song captured the hearts of music lovers in 1970.
7. “Endless Love” performed by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
The film, by the same name, featured this melody. It also was featured on the album, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” in 1981.
8. “You are the Sunshine of My Life,” sung by Stevie Wonder
This one-of-a-kind tune was featured on the artist’s album, “Talking Book,” in 1973. The GRAMMY nominated song earned the singer the “Best Pop Male Vocalist” award.
9. “Crazy for You,” performed by Madonna
This song, which appeared on the Vision Quest film soundtrack in 1985, provides just the right rhythm for a slow dance. Madonna’s version of the song led to a GRAMMY award nomination for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.”
10. “My Heart Will Go On, sung by Celine Dion
This song, which was featured on the blockbuster film, “Titanic,” appeared initially on the singer’s 1997 album, “Let’s Talk about Love.” However, “Titanic” gave the tune its chart-topping standing.
The Best Love Song of All Time: Country Favorites
Many of the best love songs are country songs, as these ballads often convey deep, heart-felt sentiments. The best country love songs of all time can be summed up in the following top-10 list.
1. “I Keep on Lovin’ You, sung by Reba McEntire
This 2009 melody was released on the singer’s album of the same title. This nostalgic song expresses the tribulations often associated with love. One memorable line stands out, in particular. It is written, as follows –
“Sometimes I swear it might be easier to throw in the towel
Someday we’re gonna look back and say
Look at us now.”
2. “Through the Years” performed by Kenny Rogers
First appearing on Rogers’ album, “Share Your Love,” this country ballad talks about getting through the tough times with the one you love – sharing these experiences as you get older.
3. “I Will Always Love You,” sung by Dolly Parton
This 1974 song, appeared on the artist’s album, “Jolene.” While Whitney Houston may have got all the accolades from her recording of this song, Dolly’s version was a memorable chart-topper among country music fans.
4. “Forever and Ever, Amen” sung by Randy Travis
The upbeat classic appeared on the artist’s 1987 album, “Forever & Always.” The song won a GRAMMY for “Best Country and Western Song.”
5. “Amazed,” performed by Lonestar
First appearing in 1999, “Amazed” presents some amazing lyrics – words that go as follows:
“Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take”
6. “I Cross my Heart,” sung by George Strait
Featured on the “Pure Country” soundtrack in 1992, this heart-felt song makes one unforgettable promise –
“I cross my heart and promise to
Give all I’ve got to give to make all your dreams come true.”
7. “To Make You Feel My Love,” sung by Garth Brooks
Featured on the singer’s “Hope Floats” 1998 soundtrack, the song has also been sung by musical greats, such as Bob Dylan and Billy Joel. However, this country version makes it a special melody among country music lovers and fans.
8. “When You Say Nothing at All,” performed by Alison Krauss
This country song, produced in 1994, appears on the album, “Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album.” The lyrics convey the special feeling love brings – how lovers share their devotion to one another without saying a word.
9. “Love, Me, sung by Collin Raye
The hit, which appeared on the 1991 album, “All I Can Be,” has a mix of just about every feeling – family love, everlasting devotion, and nostalgia.
10. “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain
Included on Twain’s 1997, “Come on Over” album, the song is often played at weddings.
Best Rock Love Songs
You cannot include best love song listings without adding versions of Rock songs. The following memorable tunes still make people think about their first love or someone who they think is special now.
1. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” performed by Queen
Freddie Mercury of Queen wrote this top rock song. It is featured on the group’s album, “The Game,” and soared to the top of the Billboard charts for four weeks straight.
2. “Why You Love a Woman,” sung by Journey
Featured on the album, “Trial by Fire,” (1996), this song provides some powerful lyrics and music. Lyrics we cannot forget include the following –
“When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes.”
3. True Love Waits, sung by Radiohead
Appearing on the “I Might Be Wrong” album in 2001, this song shows the group’s musical range.
4. “Wild Horses,” performed by the Rolling Stones
This 1979 classic song, appearing on the album, “Sticky Fingers,” demonstrates why even wild horses cannot break through true love.
5. “Whole Lotta Love,” performed by Led Zeppelin
While Led Zeppelin exemplifies one group that can play a mean air guitar, it also claims notice as being a top rock band when it comes to singing about love. This song appeared on the “Led Zeppelin II” album in 1969.
6. “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” sung by The Verve
Featured on the “Urban Hymns” album in 1992, this orchestral and rock-and-roll melody reviews the changes in life and how love gives people a chance to start again.
7. “Is this Love?” performed by Whitesnake
This rock-and-roll ballad first appeared on the group’s 1987 album, “Whitesnake.” It conveys the emotions felt by anyone who discovers love for the first time. The guitar solo on the track plucks at our proverbial heartstrings.
8. “Something” by the Beatles
This 1969 classic by the legendary group is featured on the album, “Abbey Road.” George Harrison wrote the song for his wife, Pattie.
9. “You Make Loving Fun” by Fleetwood Mac
This song, from the album, “Rumors,” in 1997, offers an upbeat feel.
10. “You’re the Inspiration,” sung by Chicago
This memorable song expresses all-consuming love and devotion. Produced in 1984 and featured on the group’s album, “Chicago 17,” it offers hope and meaning in words, such as the following:
“You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration.”
Finding the Best Song Ever about Falling in Love
While love is no doubt the stabilizing feature of the above love songs, you still have to consider those songs that specifically address the idea of falling in love. These songs usually represent melodies sung by greats, such as Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole. Below are some examples:
1. “Unforgettable,” by Nat King Cole
2. “When I Fall in Love,” by Nat King Cole
3. “For Once in My Life,” by Frank Sinatra
4. “Fly Me to the Moon, by Frank Sinatra
5. “Love Me Tender,” by Elvis Presley
6. “Can’t Help Falling in Love (with You) by Elvis Presley
7. “Cheek to Cheek,” by Fred Astaire
8. “It Had to Be You,” by Frank Sinatra
9. “When I Fall in Love,” by Tony Bennet
10. “I Can’t Believe that You’re in Love with Me,” by Tony Bennett
What Are Your Best Love Song Selections?
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to express your love through music. Love is made more beautiful when you can sentimentalize it with a thought-provoking, or upbeat melody. As one songwriter suggested, you have to feel the emotion conveyed in the lyrics and melody. Therefore, the listener must feel like he or she is listening to the best love song ever written when that feeling is there.
What Do You Think?
What do you think is the best love song of all time? What songs are part of your top ten list? Everyone has different opinions and has their favorite artist. What are your favorite love songs and who performs them best? Why do you like the songs you do? Those are some things to think about when you are listening to your favorite tunes. We all have our favorite songs. What are yours?