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Best Love Songs Ever: 50 Timeless Tracks For Lifelong Lovers
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List & Guides

Best Love Songs Ever: 50 Timeless Tracks For Lifelong Lovers

From lung-busting ballads to intimate sentiments, the best love songs can put into words the feelings we find it hardest to express.

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We all have songs that take us to a special place in our heads. For many of us, the most sacred are the ones that make us feel all gooey and warm inside, giving us a goofy grin we just can’t shake – and the best love songs can elicit the most gooey feelings and the goofiest grins, whether you’re cooking a romantic meal for two, or sitting on a cushion-covered, candle-lit floor, whispering sweet-nothings to each other.

Need help saying how you feel, or want to get your loved-one up and dancing? Don’t say another word – our pick of the 50 best love songs ever has you covered.

Listen to our Love Songs playlist here, and check out our best love songs, below.

50: Jason Mraz: I’m Yours (2008)

Few songs capture the joy of being head over heels in love as brilliantly as I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. Described by the songwriter as being “about finally giving into love and life’s possibilities”, it’s a reggae-tinged slice of summer romance that became a Top 10 hit in the US. Bouncy and upbeat, I’m Yours is one of the best love songs to speak of going with the flow of a relationship and not overthinking things. In this age of mindfulness apps and yoga retreats, it’s a message that’s more relevant than over.

49: Ronan Keating: When You Say Nothing At All (1999)

Looking to get your partner feeling all the right things? Call for some help from the sultry Irish songmaster himself. This song is a true testament to the fact that just a touch or a look can say everything you need – or, in Ronan’s case, that “you’ll catch me wherever I fall”.

48: Savage Garden: Truly Madly Deeply (1997)

The best love songs don’t get any more head-over-heels soppy than this. It never hurts to let our minds wander off to a different place with the one we love – and if you’re looking for holiday inspirations, Truly Madly Deeply is full of dreamy scenarios: “I want to stand with you on a mountain, I want to bathe with you in the sea.”

47: Alicia Keys: No One (2007)

Is yours the kind of love that conquers all? The kind of love can beat anything – any hurdle, haters, or setbacks? That gets you feeling so passionately about your other half you’d stand on a table in a packed restaurant, wine bottle for a microphone, and tell the world about it? Then this the ballad you need. Get the wine flowing, lower those inhibitions and sing it from the top of your lungs: “No one can get in the way of what I feel for you.”

46: James Blunt: You’re Beautiful (2004)

Eternally popular, James Blunt’s Grammy-winning hit from 2004, You’re Beautiful, is as inescapable as a besotted lover. Regularly played on commercial radio throughout the 2000s and selling more than four million copies worldwide, You’re Beautiful also stands as one of the best James Blunt songs. It was written about Blunt’s ex-girlfriend and boasted a catchy chorus that, even after all these years, remains stuck in your head. Though Blunt has denied the song’s romantic interpretation, there are many who would disagree, especially if its popularity as a wedding song is anything to go by…

45: John Legend: All Of Me (2013)

Deep down, all anyone really asks from the person they love is that they be loved in return – all of them, including the annoying things they do. For anyone who wants to show their other half they love them unconditionally, John Legend’s All Of Me is the perfect song.

44: Ed Sheeran: Thinking Out Loud (2014)

As the first single ever to spend a whole year in the UK Top 40, Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud wasted no time at all in becoming one of the best love songs of the 2010s – and one of the best Ed Sheeran songs to boot. Written in the kitchen with fellow-songwriter Amy Wadge, the melody is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, but the lyrics jettison lasciviousness in favour of exploring everlasting love. After all, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?

43: Céline Dion: My Heart Will Go On (1997)

The theme tune to one of the greatest heartbreaking, ship-sinking movies of all time is a pretty special one at that. Get your tissues ready – this is the kind of song you feel throughout your whole body as your tears fill the room.

42: Aerosmith: I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (1998)

Experiencing that out-of-body love feeling, where you just look at them, smile and think, How am I so lucky to have found you? It’s the kind of love that’s so bloody cute, it’s almost actually a little creepy… and Aerosmith say it all right here.

41: Bryan Adams: Heaven (1985)

Flashback: you’re at the school disco; the boys are on one side of the room, the girls on the other. Everyone knows the words and they’re all itching to get to the dancefloor. The sweat starts dripping as the first brave boy takes the dreaded walk over, extends his hand and asks his crush to dance… Relief! It’s a resounding success; the rest of the boys follow suit, and the room fills with knee-high socks, pigtails and awkward hand-placements. Those were the days…

40: Foreigner: I Want To Know What Love Is (1984)

It can be hard to open up about your feelings, particularly when you’ve suffered from heartbreak in the past. “I’d been through a lot of relationships that eventually failed, and still searching for something that could really endure,” Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones later said of the inspiration behind one of the best Foreigner songs of all time. This resulted in the band’s 1984 single, I Want To Know What Love Is, a quintessential power ballad imbued with the majestic sweep of a gospel choir expressing Jones’ yearning to find lasting love. A year later, his wish came true: he met his wife Ann Dexter-Jones, and the couple remain married to this day.

39: The Corrs: Runaway (1995)

Irish folk-pop group The Corrs scored a US hit right off the bat with their 1995 debut single, Runaway, a song about eloping with a lover, set to the delightful sound of Sharon Corr’s fiddle. Four years later, a remix by Tin Tin Out saw the song peak at No.2 in the UK, consolidating its place as The Corrs’ signature tune and one of the best love songs ever to emerge from Ireland.

38: Tina Turner: The Best (1989)

Some of the best Tina Turner songs make for stonking love songs, too. The saxophone solo on The Best is enough to get anyone up and moving to the Queen Of Rock’n’roll’s hit cover of Bonnie Tyler’s feel-good belter. You’ll be smiling from the inside out long before the first chorus kicks in. 

37: Whitney Houston: I Have Nothing (1993)

This soft-starting, emotion-provoking, high-note-hitting track builds and builds until lovebirds everywhere are squealing at the top of their wannabe-Whitney lungs.

36: Goo Goo Dolls: Iris (1998)

Included on the soundtrack of the 1998 movie City Of Angels, Iris’ lyrics took inspiration from the film’s story about an immortal angel (played by Nicolas Cage) who falls in love with a woman (Meg Ryan) and wishes to become human. “What an amazing thing it must be like to love someone so much that you give up everything to be with them,” Goo Goo Dolls’ frontman, John Rzeznik, told Songfacts. Unsurprisingly, Iris has achieved its own kind of immortality, constantly re-entering the charts more than a decade after its initial release. It’s amazing what love can do.

35: The Real Thing: You To Me Are Everything (1976)

Feeling that mountain-moving, words-cannot-express-how-much-you-mean-to-me kind of love? They say a person that deeply in love can accomplish anything – and The Real Thing have just the song to help you show your love is the real deal.

34: Vanessa Carlton: A Thousand Miles (2002)

It’s hard not to think of a particular head-shimmying scene in the movie White Chicks when this particular song comes on. Behind that, however, there are powerful lyrics about a lover missing their other half, including the famous declaration: “You know I’d walk a thousand miles if I could just see you tonight.

33: Madonna: Crazy For You (1985)

A song to help reminisce over the days when we’d lock eyes with a stranger across a dimly-lit bar before “two bodies become one” on the dancefloor. We have Madonna’s cameo appearance in the romantic drama Vision Quest to thank for this classic 80s love song.

32: Mariah Carey: We Belong Together (2005)

If you find yourself missing your loved ones, or have an ex you want to get back, this is the song for you. Mariah Carey can plant the right ideas in anyone’s head, so what better way is there to convince them that you are, after all, supposed to be together?

31: Simply Red: Stars (1991)

As one of the best Simply Red songs, the 1991 single Stars – a UK Top 10 hit from the album of the same name – found Mick Hucknall wearing his heart on his sleeve. With his voice rising from a lower octave to a soaring falsetto, it’s a song about needing the love of another to keep your feet on the ground (“I wanna fall from the stars/Straight into your arms”). If you’re in a relationship with someone who constantly has their head in the clouds, Stars can be a romantic reminder for them to come back down to earth.

30: Pretenders: I’ll Stand By You (1994)

Ditching their punky attitude on the sincerest of love songs, Pretenders’ 1994 hit I’ll Stand By You is a profound and heartfelt celebration of faithfulness as the bedrock of any relationship. A highlight from the group’s Last Of The Independents album, the song finds singer Chrissie Hynde promising to support her lover in their darkest hour, with the rising emotion in her voice giving us not only one of the best Pretenders songs but also the best love songs of the modern era.

29: Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse Of The Heart (1983)

Another top-of-your-lungs kind of song: turn the volume up and get your best husky voice warm (though perhaps move any candles aside to give you full head-banging and partner-swinging space).

28: Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra: Somethin’ Stupid (1967)

Frank Sinatra may have recorded some of the best break-up albums of all time, but he had a line in the best love songs, too. Recorded with his eldest daughter, Nancy, Somethin’ Stupid cut through the late-60s psychedelia with a simple sentiment for self-effacing lovers everywhere.

27: Sixpence None The Richer: Kiss Me (1997)

Anyone who’s tried writing love poetry should appreciate this song. Inspired by the poems of Dylan Thomas, the lyrics to Kiss Me, by Sixpence None The Richer, are richly picturesque and full of imagery, depicting a couple dressed up to the nines and smooching under the moonlight (“Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance/Silver moon’s sparkling”). Famous for being featured on US TV show Dawson’s Creek, Kiss Me is unapologetically romantic and one of the best love songs of the 90s.

26: Spandau Ballet: True (1983)

As one of the 80s’ best love songs, True launched Spandau Ballet onto MTV and scored the group a US hit. A hushed ballad inspired by 70s soul and written about Altered Images frontwoman Claire Grogan, guitarist Gary Kemp described it as “a song about trying to write a love song to someone who didn’t know your true thoughts, but how difficult it is to spell out your feelings without seeming too foolish”. Everyone can relate to that.

25: Percy Sledge: When A Man Loves A Woman (1966)

Giving voice to the perils of male obsession, 60s soul sensation Percy Sledge turns in an electrifying vocal performance on When A Man Loves a Woman. Stirring and deeply insightful, anyone who wants to know how love can transform a man – for better and for worse – should pay attention to these lyrics (“He’d give up all his comforts/And sleep out in the rain/If she said that’s the way/It ought to be”). In Sledge’s world, love is both a blessing and a curse – it’s up to the listener to decide what to make of it.

24: Tracy Chapman: Baby Can I Hold You (1988)

Many great love songs skip the relationship stage and go straight to heartbreak. Helping us all appreciate our own love a little more, Tracy Chapman’s Baby Can I Hold You provides the perfect combination of remorse and hope.

23: Seal: Kiss From A Rose (1994)

In many ways, love can be like an addiction, and nowhere is this better expressed than on Seal’s 1994 single Kiss From A Rose, a beautifully orchestrated love ballad produced by Trevor Horn. While the violin and alto saxophone backing elevated Seal’s vocals to unsurpassable heights and made him a household name, its cryptic lyrics (“To me you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny”) were left open to interpretation. The song’s indefinable nature is, in fact, much like love itself – it means much more than words can express.

22: Luther Vandross: Never Too Much (1981)

There is no better combination of romantic sentiment and disco-inflected R&B than this 1981 hit for Luther Vandross. For those want to tell their loved one they can’t get enough of them, Vandross feels the same way: “A thousand kisses from you is never too much/I just don’t wanna stop.” When love is this right, who says you have to?

21: En Vogue: Don’t Let Go (Love) (1996)

Think of this as a female answer to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On: with the same naughty glint in their eyes, R&B girl group En Vogue speak of taking a friendship to the next level (“There’ll be some love-making, heartbreaking, soul shaking”). With its carnal undertones and gutsy feminine vocals, Don’t Let Go (Love) seduces us in every way possible.

20: Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing (1982)

From albums like Let’s Get It On, down to this 80s classic, Marvin Gaye almost singlehandedly defined the formula for the best love songs. We don’t know if this one actually has healing powers, but it’s worth a shot…

19: Rufus And Chaka Khan: Ain’t Nobody (1983)

With a sexy synth-funk groove, Chaka Khan scored her breakout hit with a song that oozed sensuality. Not only was Ain’t Nobody sonically inventive for its time, but it’s also a lasting evocation of deeply-felt desire, whether that be spiritual or physical. Boasting a bravura vocal performance from Khan, Ain’t Nobody was one of the best love songs of the 80s, and it went on to be sampled by artists such as rap icon LL Cool J and pop group Liberty X.

18: Cyndi Lauper: Time After Time (1984)

An 80s pop ode to commitment, Cyndi Lauper’s moving ballad perfectly captures the spirit of devotion. Painting a vivid picture of a relationship whose old memories temporarily unmoor us before the unconditional love of another brings us back from the brink, Time After Time is a genuinely romantic song. Sung as a duet with the song’s co-writer, Rob Hyman (The Hooters), it points out the importance of shared history in any loving relationship (“If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me, time after time”).

17: Sam Cooke: Cupid (1961)

Set to a hip-swaying rhythm and regal orchestration, expressions of unrequited love are given wings on Cupid. With a melody soaring well above the clouds, it’s one of soul music’s best love songs, and it remains as timeless and dreamy as a lullaby. With a voice like an angel, Sam Cooke took his aim and made sure Cupid’s arrow would never miss.

16: Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1972)

Gently strummed on acoustic guitar, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face went to the top of the US charts in 1972. A cover of a then obscure folk song, Flack’s version easily became definitive, with the allure of her jazzy vocal and the hypnotic sprawl of the song’s production helping listeners reminisce about finding love. Sensual and dramatic, it’s undoubtedly one of the best love songs ever recorded about love at first sight.

15: Otis Reading: These Arms Of Mine (1962)

One of the best Otis Redding songs, These Arms Of Mine, from the Georgia-born singer’s debut album, Pain In My Heart, is a classic love song to help couples get their slow dance on. Sometimes you just want to hold your lover close, dance cheek-to-cheek and feel lucky your arms aren’t as lonely as Redding’s.

14: Ray Charles: Hallelujah I Love Her So (1956)

Bringing a euphoric gospel flavour to his uplifting take on rhythm’n’blues, Ray Charles’ peppy piano tune Hallelujah I Love Her So is a joy. Strutting like a smitten puppy wagging its tail, this trumpet-blasting proto-soul classic from 1956 is all about being in love with the girl next door. If you have someone who you rely on to bring you coffee in your favourite cup, we’re sure you will relate!

13: Stevie Wonder: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours (1970)

Arriving like a special delivery, Motown’s greatest prodigy, Stevie Wonder, popped this jaunty soul stomper into the mailbox for us all to discover. Joyous and celebratory, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours was a love letter that landed at No.3 in the US in 1970 and still deserves to be gratefully received by any lover who wishes to make their feelings clear.

12: Elton John: Your Song (1970)

Arguably the greatest-ever love song written by lyricist Bernie Taupin and songwriter Elton John, it’s easy to see why Your Song is a wedding favourite. Pondering on which trade might be most helpful for expressing his love, from sculptor to potion-maker, Elton settles on what he knows best to win over the one he loves: “My gift is my song, and this one’s for you”. Thanks, Elton; after all, this is our gift, too. Your Song is for everybody with love in their hearts.

11: The Righteous Brothers: Unchained Melody (1965)

If you’re a fan of Ghost (the movie, not the spirit kind), Unchained Melody will stop you in your tracks and send shivers down your spine. Perfect for any date night, the sultry clay-making scene is something you will definitely be adding to your to-do list.

10: Fleetwood Mac: Everywhere (1987)

This soft-starting, emotion-provoking, high-note-hitting love song sometimes get overlooked in favour of cuts from Rumours or Tusk, but this huge hit from Tango In The Night stands as one of the best Fleetwood Mac songs and helped the group see out the 80s in style.

9: Sam Cooke: Wonderful World (1960)

As giddy as a schoolboy as he sings, Sam Cooke’s star-pupil turn on Wonderful World zips along delightfully, winning hearts and minds with this timeless ditty to young love. Endearing and innocent, this 1960 hit reminds us that love isn’t about learning from books, it’s about making hearts go aflutter. Luckily, you don’t need to pass any exams for that!

8: Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (1973)

Often imitated but never bettered, Let’s Get It On captures the swagger of lustful yearnings and simmers with sexual longing. With lyrics unfolding like Casanova’s inner monologue, Gaye’s charms never wear thin as he spells out his desire for hanky-panky. We’re not sure if his nickname, “Prince Of Soul”, had anything to do with his bedroom antics, but if Let’s Get It On is anything to go by, we wouldn’t rule it out.

7: Otis Redding: I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965)

With his iconic rough’n’ready voice, Otis Redding wrings every ounce of lovelorn emotion from I’ve Been Loving You Too Long, an enduring soul ballad that became the singer’s second best-selling single, in 1965. A bona fide classic from the Stax stable of R&B romantics, nobody captured the sound of ever-deepening passion better than Otis.

6: Etta James: At Last (1960)

Picture this: you’ve pushed all your furniture to the edges of your living room. You tell your partner to put on some fancy clothes. You plant a trail of rose petals back to where you stand, with just a record player off to the side. You drop the needle, look your partner in the eyes and ask them for this dance. Etta James’ voice fills the room as you hold each other close, floating around in unison, recreating the first night you ever danced together in that bar all those years ago. Can’t picture it yet…? Get At Last on the stereo, now.

5: Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (1971)

Want to tell them how you feel, but not so good at putting the words together? We love to complicate things, and sometimes struggle to just say the simplest words there are: “I’m so in love with you.” Not to worry, Al Green can do it for you. This smooth, jazzy number will say what’s on your mind – and for those who want a little more oomph, Tina Turner’s 1983 cover saw The Queen Of Rock’n’Roll make Let’s Stay Togetherher own.

4: The Beatles: Something (1969)

A highlight from The Beatles’ 1969 album, Abbey Road, Something was a triumphant love ballad penned by self-described “dark horse” George Harrison in order to serenade his then wife, Pattie Boyd. Scoring the band yet another No.1 hit and proving Harrison’s emergence as a songwriter of note, Something was even praised by Frank Sinatra as “the greatest love song of the past 50 years”.

3: Ben E King: Stand By Me (1961)

With Stand By Me, Ben E King reminds us that it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, there’s never anything to be afraid of when you’ve got your love by your side.

2: The Beach Boys: God Only Knows (1966)

A lush ode to romantic infatuation from the mind of Beach Boys supremo Brian Wilson, with help from lyricist Tony Asher, God Only Knows will put its arm around your shoulder as you gaze at the night’s sky and muse on everlasting love. “As long as there are stars above you/You never need to doubt it/I’ll make you so sure about it” Wilson’s youngest brother, Carl, sings with a voice as heavenly as any celestial being.

1: Aretha Franklin: I Say A Little Prayer (1967)

A testament to the fact that no matter what you do, or where you go, your loved-one will always be in your thoughts. The moment you wake up? Yep. Brushing your hair? Of course! If you can’t hit those high notes, let the Queen Of Soul do it for you…

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