At the time he recorded his last studio album, Gaye had 2 failed marriages under his belt, but that didn’t stop him from making a classic album all about love, sensuality and sexual healing. In fact, Midnight Love was the album that gave us the aforementioned timeless ditty played in cheesy piano bars and remixed in the hottest nightclubs since its release in 1982. He didn’t exactly have the healthiest existence but boy, could that man sing about love, and sex and sex and a little bit more love. Thanks to Marvin Gaye, a few of us chose to skip the over the counter meds and just rely on some sexual healing (to be administered by a professional).
Bob Marley and the Wailers
If this album doesn’t put you in a loving place, then I just don’t know what to tell you. An album equal parts love and marijuana, Kaya is the perfect album to keep you relaxed and in the moment while you’re opening that second bottle of red wine on your perfect Valentines date. Released in 1978, this album gave us “Is this Love” and “Sun is Shining”, two songs that everyone should know the words to. You’ll also find “Easy Skanking” on the album which has a different meaning in Jamaica than it does in North America. Instead of being that girl that your Mom warned you to stay away from, it’s a dance done mainly to ska and reggae music. Just thought I would put that in there in case you figured I associated Skanking with love. I’m sure a lot of women do, but that’s your business. The point is you can’t EVER lose points in the love department when you put on Kaya by Bob Marley and the Wailers.
3. 69 Love Songs
Going back to 1999 you’ll find this 3 volume concept album from Boston band Magnetic Fields. Heralded by Stephen Merritt, Magnetic Fields is a synthy pop/ folk pop band best known for 69 Love Songs. You’re not going to be dripping in love sap after sitting through 3 hours of this one. Merritt takes us through the entire spectrum of love from falling into it, to being violently spewed out of it to right into drunken trysts and silly lust; and that’s just the beginning. It’s amusing at times but not your typical love album. Merritt’s voice is actually kind of depressing but if you’re really into lyrics and wit, this is a compilation sure to impress your date, especially if they’re an indie hipster snob.
More romantic songs on the next page ...
We’re going to go a bit more contemporary with this selection. You’ve heard of The XX in a one of ellecanada.com's 2009 music recommendations but I thought it necessary to give them another shout out in the Valentine’s Day edition. Why? Well aside from being the critics darlings of 2009, they wrote 11 delightful tracks all about the big “S”. Yup good ol’ sexy sex and let’s just call a spade a sex spade, Valentine’s day is as much about love as it is about sex. It’s often the one time of the year where the couple stuck in a sexless union will actually drink enough to close their eyes and pretend they’re with someone else. For this reason, The XX sits at number 2 for their amazing debut album and for their unabashed early 20’s view on sex.
1. King and Queen
Otis Redding and Carla Thomas
We went contemporary for number 2, so it seemed fitting to go way back to 1967 to visit the talents of one of the greatest soul singers of our time. Otis Redding was the “King of Soul” and gave us amazing love classics like “Try a Little Tenderness”, “Love Man” , “These Arms of Mine” and of course “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay” which wasn’t about love but don’t you just love it? One of his biggest hits, Redding didn’t even get to enjoy the benefits of its popularity as he died in a plane crash before it was released; he was only 26. Ok, sorry about that reality break; back to love and shmoopiness. This duet album works perfectly for the young, the old and the in between with lyrics about love, sex and devotion. What more could you want on Valentine’s Day? Well, a date would be nice but once you’ve scored that, Otis Redding is the way to go.
If you’ve got any ideas for perfect albums to put you and your date “in the mood”, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Valentines Day!
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