Idol Chatter

garthbrookspic.jpgWith Valentine’s Day approaching–and in these days of mp3 and YouTube technology where you can watch and listen to oldies as easy as today’s tunes–we thought it’d be great to name the Top 15 Most Inspiring Love Songs of all-time.
If you go with the crowd, you may very well like traditionally mentioned songs like Elvis’s “Love Me Tender,” Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” or the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.” Others that pop up frequently include Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” Journey’s “Open Arms” and The Temptations’ “My Girl.”
I’m a guy, so I resonate with songs that appreciate how guys feel when we fall for the one we love–it doesn’t always look or sound that sappy, but it’s real. I also don’t follow the crowd much and my list is nothing close to typical, and it probably differs from yours (which you can mention below!). After much struggle, I could only get it down to the Top 15. They are:
15. “You’ve Got a Friend,” James Taylor’s version of Carole King’s song: It was the first dance at my wedding and a great song about friendship as a foundation for love.

14. “And I Love Her,” The Beatles: Perhaps a lot of Beatles’ songs could go here, but Paul’s simple and short spin made an impression on me about what makes a girl special to a guy.
13. “The Dance,” Garth Brooks: A mature look at the beauty of persevering love through trials.
12. “Losing My Religion,” R.E.M: The title of this is so misleading, and a generation of listeners had no idea this song was really a vulnerable love song about what every guy truly feels (and fears) about the one he loves.
11. “Heart of the Matter,” Don Henley: One of the most powerful songs ever written about the most important themes of love: forgiveness.
10. “Annie’s Song,” John Denver: A devoted song of love made immortal and ironically tragic in that both the love and his life have both ended, but the song endures. I keep waiting for a modern young band or singer to redo it.
9. “God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys: There ought to be more songs that reference God, the creator of love in the first place!
8. “My Immortal,” Evanescence: This is my only song from this decade, a hauntingly brilliant piece about lost love that only makes you want to hold on tightly to your current squeeze!
7. “In The Air Tonight,” Phil Collins, the solo years: Phil showed that love songs don’t need to be filled with weepy steel guitars or percussion-less melody. This song made any couple wanna rock.
6. “In Your Eyes,” Peter Gabriel: If Peter’s not your taste then this song won’t work, but listen to the live version and sense a higher love in the air.
5. “Crush,” Dave Matthews: Dave’s band is known for brilliant instrumentals and energy but this is a wonderfully inviting love song.
4.”When You Say Nothing At All,” Allison Krauss and Union Station: I love this live version, a song that beautifully expresses the love that exists even before we speak. I should probably learn from this!
3. “Wicked Game,” Chris Isaak: The second video release was so well-known that it overshadowed a beautiful song about a sincere man deeply trapped in the tentacles of love.
2. “More Than Words,” Extreme: They’re not known as crooners–in fact they’re almost not known at all–but Extreme nailed this song about the depth of love that goes way beyond sappy expressions.
1. “True Companion,” Marc Cohn: Okay, you may be disappointed that Elvis, Frank, Harry, or some other crooner isn’t at the top of this list, but take a listen and tell me if this doesn’t capture the dream of passionate romance that lasts as enduring love. And remember, it was God who created the desire to “with wild abandon, make love to you…my true companion!
If you like your songs mushier, there’s a great new one from Dierks Bentley: “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes.” It may make my list someday, but not yet. Okay, that’s my list. What’s on yours? Post your favorites below.
Elvis Presley at

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