Valentine’s Day is a time for love and the world of music is all the happier to help grease the gears and get us all in the romantic mood.
In order to celebrate the only day of the year where the image a winged infant carrying a bow and arrow isn’t completely thrown out of society, here at FemaleFirst we’ve looked through our MP3 players and vinyl vaults to find our favourite love songs.
Here we’re focussing on the old classis, those songs that will always be the reliable Valentine’s Day hits.
Aerosmith – Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
The masterminds behind oh-so-romantic tracks as Dude Looks Like A Lady and Love In An Elevator might not have been the first name you thought of when it came to making this love soaked rock ballad, but this Aerosmith song has quickly become a Valentine’s essential.
From the strings at the beginning through to Steven Tyler’s tortured vocal, this is a song built from the ground up to grab at the heart strings and never let go. To say it achieves that goal is an understatement.
Massive, grandiose and overblown it may be, but this is still the only number one single in the band’s history in both America and Britain.
Gabrille Aplin – The Power Of Love
While it might not be the original version of the song, Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit is our choice, with the song’s stripped down arrangement and Aplin’s angelic vocal making it all the more touching.
Aretha Franklin - Say A Little Prayer For You
While this may be the most famous version of Dionne Warwick’s song, it’s also the best, with Aretha’s vocals and the more up tempo Motown feel of the song making it a wonderfully foot-tapping affair of a woman completely in love.
One of the many brilliant love songs to be written by the duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, this eternally famous version of the song came about by chance. Aretha Franklin and her backing singers were simply singing the song for fun during a recording session when the idea came about to lay down the track for real.
It would be Aretha’s biggest UK sit for the next twenty years until she partnered up with George Michael and is one of the songs always associated with the Queen Of Soul.
Etta James – At Last
Some songs manage to transcend years and always feel fresh, clean and relevant. Etta James’ 1960 classic manages that and is one of the first songs to get onto this list.
Etta James was the queen of the love song, but this was undoubtedly her masterpiece. We might have heard it sung approximately 4,798 times on X Factor, and it’s been covered more times than pretty much any other track, but that gorgeous, sweeping string arrangement and James’ wonderfully pure vocal gets us every single time.
The song might have been first recorded twenty years before Etta James’ hit for the film Orchestra Wives, this version of the song made Etta James a house hold name and in 1999 made it into the Grammys Hall of Fame.
The Carpenters – (They Long To Be) Close To You
Even amongst this crowd of lovey-dovey tracks, this might stand as the sweetest of our collection. Another from the pens of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the same man who wrote Say A Little Prayer For You, this is a song so sweet it has to be stored in the confectionary aisle.
Perfectly delivered by Karen Carpenter, this song has become forever a part of many Valentine’s celebrations and is one of Hollywood’s favourite little love ditties.
Elton John – Your Song
While this is a song that’s had two fantastic covers, one my Ellie Goulding and another in Moulin Rouge, it’s the original that’s still the best and is one of the all-time great love songs. It’s a song that perfectly encapsulates everything about being in love, three minutes of wonderfully sweet sentiment and soaring piano based comfort and innocence.
Famously written in ten minutes by Elton John and his writing partner Bernie Taupin over breakfast, it was the song that thrust Elton into spotlight and was his first hit in both the UK and in America. Don’t you just wish that love was this blinking easy and nice?
Robbie Williams – Angels
It’s the song that most of us think of when we look back at the solo career of Robbie Williams, despite only going to fourth in the UK singles chart when it came out in 1997.
Since then though, the song has become a goliath of a track, going to be Robbie’s biggest selling single and the first track on many a person’s romantic complilation.
It’s the karaoke classic for good reason, as this was the song that ensured that not a single wedding went by in the late nineties without Robbie making it onto the speakers. That it was named the best song of the past 25 years at the 2005 BRIT Awards speaks volumes as to how much the UK loves Robbie’s love song.
Have these Valentine’s classics that get you in the mood, and if not, what tracks do you turn to at this time of year? Let us know in the comments section and make sure to check out our list of the best Valentine’s songs for people looking for something a little bit different.