Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix: Old school love songs

Back in May, I compiled a mix of Songs for the Dumped. Kind of a sad topic, but I thought it was a pretty good mix. I may return to the topic too because I only had to go through about half of my music to find those tracks. I probably have another mix that size waiting to be plucked from my collection. Today, however, I want to go in the opposite direction and bring you a collection of love songs for the start of your next relationship.

See? That's what I'm talking about

People are still writing great love songs today, obviously, but to my mind nothing sets a romantic mood like old love songs.  I’ve pulled together some 50s, 60s, and 70s R&B, a few 40s crooning tunes, and some newer stuff that borrows heavily from these traditions.

If you’ve ever seen As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, this mix is like Nicholson’s tape labeled “For Emergencies Only.” Use it with care.

  • Satisfy My Soul – Paul Carrack
    This was the only song I could pick to kick off the mix. Carrack’s wailing, heartfelt intro is perfect and the gentle percussion, plucking, and harmony vocals set a nice mood.
  • Make It Good to Me – Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
    The Kings lay down a nice groove for Jones to sing about love and longing. The arrangement is great, with oozy horns and sweet strings.
  • Give It Everything – Al Green
    The Reverend also got a spot on my Dumped mix. What can I say? The man sings straight to your heart. Love the horns, too, of course.
  • Sure Hope You Mean It – Raphael Saadiq
    The album this comes from was one of my very first posts when I started this blog. This Motown revival song has a wonderful vibe.
  • I’ll Come Running Back to You – Sam Cooke
    Cooke was great at crafting evocative songs like this one (remember ‘Chain Gang?’). This sweet love song is from 1957.
  • At Last – Etta James
    I have recommended this song before, but I simply can’t put together a mix like this without including one of the most beautiful, stirring love songs ever.
  • I Only Have Eyes for You – The Flamingos
    This 1934 song has been covered by Al Jolson, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Bette Midler, The Temptations, Jamie Cullum, Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, and that’s not even half the list. The winner, though, is this unforgettable version by The Flamingos.
  • Fool for You – Branford Marsalis & The Impressions
    Curtis Mayfield’s original is great, but I really like the update Marsalis puts on this song. It’s got funky percussion and horns but the chorus still has beautiful piano and vocals.
  • Groove Me – King Floyd
    This song has a fun feel like the early days of a relationship, though he’s talking about marriage.
  • Love Makes the World Go Round – Deon Jackson
    It starts with light keyboards and almost whispered vocals, but horns and backing vocals dress up the great payoff pop hook at the chorus.
  • People Gonna Talk – James Hunter
    Like the Raphael Saadiq song above, this is a relatively new song with a throwback feel and, in fact, I wrote these two albums up on the same day.
  • Old Fashioned Way – Ken Boothe
    OK, so the lyrics are about heartbreak and loss, but it still fits the romantic mood, I think.
  • Knock Me a Kiss – Louis Jordan
    Jordan croons the goofy lyrics with the muted trumpet and brush snare behind him. It just can’t miss.
  • Groovin’ – The Rascals
    Another pretty simple song. Mostly harmonica, harmony vocals, tambourine, and a little piano but the lyrics are sunny and full of hope and promise.
  • Your Precious Love – Marvin Gaye
    Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell produced several great duets, but this one is far and away my favorite.
  • I Can’t Imagine – Aaron Neville
    I’m not usually a big Neville Brothers fan, but I found this one on the Truth About Cats and Dogs soundtrack and it is undeniably a winner. Aaron’s sweet alto is well suited to this kind of couples skate ballad.

Enjoy on the couch with a glass of wine for each of you. White wine, I think. Have a great weekend.

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June 25, 2010 - Posted by | Mix CD, Motown, Popular, R&B, Soul

1 Comment »

  1. How sweet, love it! 🙂

    Comment by Jenn | June 26, 2010 | Reply


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