It’s that time of the year again — and it’s okay that you forgot, significant others. If you’re looking for just the right addition to your Valentine’s playlist, the Texan has you covered. Here are seven songs contending to be the best love song of all time.
“How Deep Is Your Love” – Bee Gees
The Bee Gees recorded this famous pop ballad for the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever,” but it certainly wasn’t forgotten with the film — the song quickly became one of the group’s most famous singles. Inspiration for the track came from session keyboard player Blue Weaver, who was asked by band member Barry Gibb to play “the most beautiful chord” he knew. The song itself creates mystery from the start with its intriguing title and weaves an intentionally vague but beautiful story.
“I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
Although Dolly Parton originally performed “I Will Always Love You” for her most successful LP, Jolene, Whitney Houston’s new arrangement of the song trumps the original in both performance and success. The song began as a country ballad, but Houston adapted it to her own style and turned it around with ease, asserting her love for a departed lover with a beautiful gospel-infused pop hit. Houston’s rendition of the song spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and still stands today as the best-selling single by a woman in music history.
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Queen
By far the most fun-loving song on this list, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” enters with some playful, jangly guitar chords and exits with a crooning Freddie Mercury. The 1980 hit off of Queen’s The Game channels rockabilly as a main influence, following a simplistic chord pattern and containing fairly simplistic lyrics. In fact, Mercury himself said he composed the song in just five to 10 minutes, claiming his limited knowledge of guitar allowed him to write such a simple yet beautiful tune.
“Crazy in Love” – Beyoncé ft. Jay Z
Beyoncé and Jay Z weren’t publicly dating at the time, but this song sure does make it feel like they were. In this 2003 smash hit off of her solo debut, Dangerously in Love, Beyoncé sings about a romantic woman so obsessed she acts completely out of character. As the track’s horns draw in the listener, Beyoncé explodes with the proudest moment of her solo debut and possibly the biggest jam of her career.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Elvis Presley
With a melody based off of a 1784 classical love song titled “Plaisir d’amour,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” might be the ultimate love song. It’s simple, catchy and maintains a strong reputation nearly 60 years after its release. Since the Elvis rendition hit the charts, every artist from UB40 to A-Teens and Twenty One Pilots have covered the track, cementing its legacy as one of the world’s most popular love songs.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder
Written for the 1984 comedy “The Woman in Red,” “I Just Called to Say I Love You” is performed solo by Stevie Wonder, who plays the synthesizer, vocoder, drums and organ on the song to accompany his own vocals. Although there was a dispute between Wonder and his former writing partners Lee Garrett and Lloyd Chiate concerning who wrote the song, Wonder ultimately won a lawsuit brought by Chiate. The single documents the longing of its protagonist for the love he or she desires, using vague lyrics to keep the song as relatable as possible.
“Woman in Love” – Barbara Streisand
Written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, “Woman in Love” is bar none the most impressive song in Barbara Streisand’s discography. Streisand’s performance sounds as if the song is coming directly from her heart, even if she has admitted before that she doesn’t believe in the meaning of the song’s lyrics. She probably believed in those lyrics a bit more after selling 2.5 million copies of the single in a little over a year.
Looking for some songs that might have the opposite effect? Check out this list of nine singles that won’t do the trick.