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February 18, 2005

The Greatest Love Songs: Old School Version

From the "That's why white people are so f'ed up department":

The spousal unit fixed me eggs this morning, and so at the (very late) breakfast table I decided to read #807 of Entertainment Weekly, which somehow managed to get in my house. On the cover, stars of the new movie 'Sin City' and the 50 Greatest Love Songs of All Time.

Now I've always said that porno is good and pornography is bad. We need a little porno to remind us of our baser selves. Without it, we become Michael Jackson. So I have no problem with, and in fact am looking forward to a $40 million movie starring Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke. However if such fare is balanced by solid Old School oatmeal, then everything the Wahabbists say about our devolution is true. I have a feeling that the folks at EW have an inkling of this notion despite their otherwise insipid and tawdry material. If you're going to have hookers in leather, you've got to have love songs too.

So what makes me practically spit up my eggs? This is their top ten.

1. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys 2. Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis 3. Something - Beatles 4. A Natural Woman - Aretha 5. Let's Stay Together - Al Green 6. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston 7. Wild Horses - Rolling Stones 8. Sweet Childe o Mine - Guns n Roses 9. All I want Is You - U2 10. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel

That's not the end of the trauma. The fact is that it gets a lot worse as it moves forward. Let me give you a clue, there is no Luther Vandross, no Earth Wind and Fire and Heatwave's 'Always and Forever' is nowhere to be found.

In order to make up for this deficit, there is some logic placed into the list. The logic is that there has got to be some soul music in this list or else people will think we're crazy. So they put in Al Green, but not his best, c'mon yall. It's 'Love and Happiness'. Everybody knows that, or everybody is supposed to know that. They put in Etta James, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. Uhm.. is there anyone under 60 that fell in love to that music? What's annoying is that they pick some good artists, but their emotional resonance is just on the wrong songs. Isn't there anyone at EW who fell in love the way we fell in love?

OK. The entire list isn't reprehensible. There are a raft of no brainers but man, I gotta get my own 50 out there. I'm not going to put them in any rank because that's not how love works.

Always and Forever - Heatwave
Reasons - EWF
Ribbon in the Sky - Stevie Wonder
Distant Love - Marvin Gaye
The Beautiful Ones - Prince
Love & Happiness - Al Green
Turn Out The Lights - Teddy Pendergrass
A House is Not a Home - Luther Vandross
Wildflow - New Birth
It Takes a Fool - Spinners
Mighty Love - Spinners
Could It Be I'm Falling in Love - Spinners
My Girl - Temptations
Cry Together - OJays
For The Love of You - Isley Brothers
Don't Say Goodnight - Isley Brothers
Yearning For Your Love - Gap Band
I Do Love You - GQ
Knocks Me Off My Feet - Stevie Wonder
As - Stevie Wonder
La La Means I Love You - Delfonics
You're Still a Young Man - Bloodstone
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
Just The Two of Us - Bill Withers
Use Me - Bill Withers
Love Ballad - LTD
Concentrate on You - LTD
You Are My Starship - Norman Conners
Misty Blue - Millie Jackson
I Get Lonely - Janet Jackson
Here and Now - Luther Vandross
There's Nothing Better than Love - Luther Vandross
You Bring Me Joy - Anita Baker
Lead me Into Love - Anita Baker

(damn, I'm tearing up just writing this stuff)

Your Love Is King - Sade
By Your Side - Sade
Kiss of Life - Sade
No Ordinary Love - Sade
Unbreak My Heart - Toni Braxton
Breathe Again - Toni Braxton

(OK I quit, this is getting too sentimental and I've got things to do) - (Insert more here later)

From the personal perspective of an individual who, in 1983 wore his hair exactly like Jessie Johnson, there has to be a Prince Section part of which fills up the subsection known as Make-Out Music.
The Beautiful Ones
Another Lonely Christmas

Also Special Mention goes to the last tracks on the Janet Jackson album 'Janet'. You know, the ones with the raindrops...

Now this list is Old School and not so personal because for me personally, I have to let my greatest mack secret go open source, considering that I don't need it anymore. The absolute, slam dunk romantic neutron bomb is Clifford Brown with Strings. This is for the night at your apartment when you've cooked dinner, you have the candles and flowers out and you're about to hook up the foot massage after the wine. It cannot fail, with American women anyway.

Posted by mbowen at February 18, 2005 11:07 AM

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Tracked on December 8, 2005 07:02 PM


any list that doesn't have ALWAYS AND FOREVER is wack and out of whack.

MOMENTS IN LOVE should be on here.

Posted by: Lester Spence at February 18, 2005 02:28 PM

No Lena Horne?

No Sarah Vaughan?



Posted by: True_Liberal at February 19, 2005 12:17 PM

I would distinguish between standards and slow jams. This list is more of the slow jams / make-out music of the 70s 80s & 90s. I would basically put in that bucket as starting with Joan Armatrading / Millie Jackson / Minnie Ripperton / Angela Bofill and basically falling off with the emergence of Janet Jackson / Mary J Blige.

But Lena Horne / Sara Vaughn / Billie Holliday / Nancy Wilson / Ella Fitzgerald / Mahalia Jackson - that's a different vibe entirely, at least in my musical universe.

Then again my title is just too broad.

Posted by: Cobb at February 19, 2005 12:42 PM

No Barry White? :(

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at February 19, 2005 01:52 PM

From a man who had such a great post on Rick James, I can't believe you left off "Fire and Desire" or "Teardrops" or "Ebony Eyes".....

Posted by: La Lubu at February 20, 2005 03:53 PM