It’s that season in retailers and in our consciousness. February culminates mid month with festivities of Pop Culture telling us the importance of love. Well, the importance of love and affection through consumption. One of the less treacly manifestations of this cultural crockpot is a soup of love songs, dontcha think?
I’ve always had an weird relationship with this particular season, half embracing the brilliance of buoyant boo-thang enthusiasm, yet at the same time lamenting the crass nature of it. I’m one that thinks love should be distributed evenly as possible throughout the year.
Hence why this playlist comes flying out at the front of the Month. Hopefully it informs more than just one day a year. I decided to go with a list of love songs in the form of covers. Given Valentine’s Day is a day when well worn sentiments get polished up for purchase, it seemed an appropriate time to look at some chestnuts long favored when looks of love are exchanged.
It’s a list chockful of #1 Hits, not surprisingly. Love is at the fore for most humans and our collective condition. It is intriguing to take in how people threw new spins, either vocally or through new arrangements on sweetie songs of the day. Sometimes people hew’d super close to the original (Check out Aretha’s pretty straightforward read of Mary Wells’s “My Guy”) and still spun some special, unique magic with the familiar and mundane. The big hits don’t dominate however, as I’ve found a few forgotten gems that people passed between each others singles and LPs for additional chances at radiance.
However the list lands, I hope it makes you rise and dance with those you love over these next few weeks and through the rest of the year. The notes below give you reference to the the person most associated with the song (Sometimes like “Call Me,” an album track for someone else became a hit for another!) alongside who does the cover.
Be delicious together. Be love however you see fit.
1) Our Day Will Come (Ruby & The Romantics) – Fontella Bass (1965)
2) My Girl (The Temptations) – Marvin Gaye (1966)
3) I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) – Freddie Scott (1963)
4) And I Love Him (The Beatles) – Esther Phillips (1965)
5) I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Frank Sinatra) – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (1966)
6) Call Me (Chris Montez) – Nancy Wilson (1966)
7) My Guy (Mary Wells) – Aretha Franklin (1964)
8) Love Is Strange (Mickey & Silvia) – Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (1964)
9) Cupid (Sam Cooke) – The Supremes (1965)
10) Love Letters (Ketty Lester) – The Marvelettes (1962)
11) Since I Don’t Have You (The Skyliners) – Chuck Jackson (1964)
12) Stubborn Kind Of Fellow (Marvin Gaye) – The Orlons (1963)
13) You Are My Sunshine (Bing Crosby) – Lee Dorsey (1962)
14) Hallelujah, I Love Him So (Ray Charles) – Timi Yuro (1962)
15) Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean (Ruth Brown) – Sarah Vaughan (1962)
16) Look In My Eyes (The Chantels) – The Crystals (1963)
17) Please, Please, Please (James Brown) – The Soul Survivors (1967)
18) A Thousand Miles Away (The Heartbeats) – Jo Ann Garrett (1967)
19) I Prayed For A Boy Like You (Brenda Holloway) – Patty Michaels (1967)
20) Ooh, Baby Baby (The Miracles) – The Five Stair Steps (1967)
21) Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ (The Four Tops) – Kim Weston & Marvin Gaye (1966)
22) It’s Not Unusual (Tom Jones) – The Dells (1965)
23) Moments To Remember (Jennell Hawkins) – Irma Thomas (1964)
24) I Hear A Symphony (The Supremes) – Stevie Wonder (1966)
25) Something Stupid (Frank & Nancy Sinatra) – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967)
26) Your Heart Belongs To Me (The Supremes) – The Velvelettes (1966)
27) I’m Ready For Love (Martha & The Vandellas) – The Temptations (1967)
28) A Guy Like You (The Young Rascals) – Patti Drew (1968)
29) He’s My Kind Of Fellow (Gladys Knight & The Pips) – Sandy & The Pebbles (1967)
30) My World Is Empty Without You (The Supremes) – Mary Wells (1966)
31) By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Glen Campbell)/I Say A Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick) – Big Dee Irwin and Mamie Galore (1968)
32) When Something’s Wrong With My Baby (Sam & Dave) – Cissy Houston (1970)
33) I’m Your Puppet (James and Bobby Purify) – Dionne Warwick (1969)
34) A Lover’s Concerto (The Toys) – The Delfonics (1968)
35) Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream (Aretha Franklin) – Dusty Springfield (1967)
36) Born To Love You (The Temptations) – The Jackson 5 (1969)
37) Yes I’m Ready (Barbara Mason) – Gladys Knight & The Pips (1967)
38) I’ve Got You, Babe (Sonny & Cher) – Etta James (1968)
39) Lost (Jerry Butler) – The Shirelles (1970)
40) It’s A Good Feeling (The Miracles) – Joe Bataan (1968)
41) Everybody Needs Love (Gladys Knight & The Pips) – Maxine Brown (1967)