Planning a big romantic Valentine's Night?

Honestly, who cares about the daytime? If you’re not passing out valentines to your classmates/co-workers, or have some elaborate, 14-hour V-Day event for your S.O., it’s all about what you do when the sun goes down, baby!

Music has long been a sonic shorthand and one of humankind’s favorite on-ramps to the Freeway of Love. But, the sheer amount of songs about and related to “love” that have been recorded over the decades can be pretty daunting for someone looking for just the right tunes to convey their feelings.

Luckily, here at the Beacon Journal, we want to help our readers propagate love (and maybe produce a few more future readers), so we offer seven sexy song suggestions, because everyone loves alliteration.

No. 1 First night without the kids in quite a while: "Let’s Get It On" – Marvin Gaye.

If I have to explain this one to you, it’s a wonder you managed to produce children at all, and I probably can’t help you. Nevertheless, on this classic sexy, slice of '70s soul, Gaye, harmonizing with himself and switching between his silky falsetto and his urgent tenor, begs, pleads, strongly suggests and gently negotiates to complete the song’s title.

I’ll also offer a more realistic alternative for parental units with younger children who are enjoying a rare childless night: “I Go To Sleep” by The Pretenders. Hey, at least you’ll be dreaming warm and fuzzies about each other and getting some much needed rest.

No. 2 Soundtrack for an elaborate public romantic gesture: "Endless Love" – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

Please remember, dear lovers, that rom-coms aren’t real. So, if you’re going to make a big, possibly public romantic gesture and don’t want to end up becoming a sad meme, be darn sure you and your intended are on the same romantic page.

If you’re sure, you can’t go wrong with this blatant, heart-strings wrenching, treacly ballad by two of Motown’s finest. It can also double as the first dance at your eventual wedding/union bringing the endless love full circle.

No. 3 Seriously thinking about getting serious with someone: "Kiss Me" – Ed Sheeran

This simmering and gently pulsing tune about figuring out you are falling in love with someone, as they too are figuring out they are falling in love — all whilst cuddling — is a good way to let your special someone know that you're ready to go beyond just Netflix and chillin’.

No. 4 Reviving and reiterating the love: "All of Me" – John Legend

Dayton's own EGOT John Legend offers another sparse ballad for those who have long passed the butterflies-and-honeymoon phase and have moved on into settling down.

The tinkling piano and Legend’s full-throated delivery is for couples who have inhaled both their lover’s morning breath (and evening gas), and have navigated each other’s foibles and neuroses and are always back for more. "Cause all of me / Loves all of you / Love your curves and all your edges / All your perfect imperfections."

No. 5 Because the '80s were so awesome, dude! "In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel

This one is pretty specific, but for many Generation X-ers John Cusack’s career-defining moment is still his trench-coat adorned Lloyd Dobler blasting Gabriel’s romantic African groove-laced hit over his head from a boom box in "Say Anything." The cinematic moment became iconic enough to be parodied and paid tribute to over the 30 years since its release.

But if you’re a couple in your 40s, or perhaps just a huge Cusack fan, re-creating the moment should at least receive a nostalgic smile from your S.O. (Bonus: You also can see Cusack in person this Saturday at the Akron Civic Theatre. Alas, he is not showing "Say Anything," but he is screening "High Fidelity," another music-filled movie about relationships and missed signals. Cusack spoke with the Beacon Journal recently. You can read that story on ohio.com: https://bit.ly/2Sl7HEW.)

 

No. 6 Keep It Simple, Stupid: "Let’s Stay Together" – Al Green

The right Rev. Green doesn't bother with elaborate metaphors or flowery words. It’s just a simple but searing declaration of intent — "Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad" — backed by a stone cold Memphis soul groove.

 

No. 7 Because you can shake your groove thang and be romantic: "Best of My Love" - The Emotions

Do the Bump. Do the Hustle. Break out your best Robot. Or, if you’re in some sort of polyamorous situation, you can all do the Electric Slide together to the vocal trio’s classic disco love song. Happy romancing.

 

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at mabram@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3758. Like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml, and follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.