Wednesday, December 15, 2010

5 Songs to (or For!) Love

Doug: Hey, kids -- it's been a looonngggg time since we've done one of our "5 X to Love" posts. Over the weekend I paid a visit to my son, who is away at college. During the 6-hour roundtrip I had my iPod set on shuffle (you can hear 96 songs in that timeframe, in case you were wondering). The songs I heard were quite varied, and covered around 40 years of popular music. I heard upbeat pop tunes, hard rockers, deep cuts, ballads on various topics, etc. But what stuck with me were five really great love songs that, well... really encouraged that "physical" expression of one's love. Let's have a look, in chronological order:

1. Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye (reached #1 in the United States in 1973). Is there a more aggressively sensual love song than this one? Maybe, and for that you'll have to see below. This is funky, sexy, and truly leaves no doubt to the imagination as to what's being requested. Good stuff.

2. Tonight's the Night by Rod Stewart (#1 in the USA in 1976). "Kick off your shoes and sit right down". Yeah. Then what? "Loosen up that pretty French gown" and "Let me pour you a good long drink". Uh huh. The website Songfacts reports that this tune was never released in the UK due to the quite suggestive lyric, "Spread your wings and let me come inside." However, a commenter later down the page suggests that the song charted at #5 in Britain.

So far any of you having flashbacks to going parking with one of your first loves?

3. We're All Alone by Rita Coolidge (reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977).
My lasting memory of this one is my first slow dance at a junior high sock hop. I was not an attractive 7th grader, but was most grateful to one of my longtime friends (we are actually co-workers now, and have known each other for 35 years - egad!) for taking the Sadie Hawkins route and actually asking me to dance! Yep, I was a pudgy little wallflower. Enjoy the karaoke video below!

Outside the rain begins and it may never end
So cry no more on the shore
A dream will take us out to sea
Forever more forever more
Close your eyes and dream
And and you can be with me
'Neath the waves through the caves of hours
Long forgotten now
We're all alone
We're all alone

Close the window
Calm the light
And it will be alright
No need to bother now
Let it out
Let it all begin
Learn how to pretend

4. We've Got Tonite by Bob Seger (reached #13 in the USA in 1978). I love this song. It's a departure from Seger's usual rock-tinged output, and a great ballad. Here is the second verse:

Deep in my soul, I've been so lonely
All of my hopes, fading away
I've longed for love, like everyone else does
I know I'll keep searching, even after today
So there it is girl, I've said it all now
And here we are babe, what do you say?
We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?
We've got tonight babe
Why don't you stay?

Very tender -- a quite honest love song.

5. Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye (reached #3 on the US Pop Singles chart in 1982). So I asked above, is there a more sensual love song than Let's Get It On? How about this gem?

Hey, to close this out, do any of you recall when Marvin Gaye set our National Anthem to this beat and performed it at the 1983 NBA All-Star game? I couldn't believe he did it, but it worked. One of my favorite "creative license" jobs on the Star-Spangled Banner.


J.A. Morris said...

I think 'Let's Get It On' is one of the greatest R & B songs of all time. And Gaye is one of the few people who can pull off the 'Star Spangled Banner' while putting a unique spin on it. I can't get into the rest of these songs, but always thought Coolidge had a great (and underrated) voice, even if I didn't always like her material.

david_b said...

I don't know if this is any indication, but a few years back some pesky squirrels were getting through a small hole in my roof, and partying right above my upstairs office at home..

There was alot of movement up there all the time. I think they were getting.. jiggy because I could have sworn I heard some Lou Rawls and Marvin goin' on..

Doug said...

You all know the Reverend Al Green would have been in the "best of the rest".

Barry White??


Joseph said...

That Rita Coolidge song sent a host of memories flooding back. I'm pretty sure I listened to that on my old AM radio as a kid and stared up at my Star Wars poster trying to go to sleep. Blue Bayou has the same effect.

We've Got Tonight has always been terribly sad to me.

Thanks for the great post. I now feel 30+ years younger than I was before I loaded the page.

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