Making a list of the 10 best love songs albums is a difficult task. So much of pop music is preoccupied with love, making the narrowing down process a bit overwhelming. However, after much deliberation, this list of the best love songs albums represents all the complexities and contradictions that come with love.
- "Blood on the Tracks" Bob Dylan. These ten songs are as much a travelogue—crisscrossing the country, east, west, north and south—as they are a meditation on love in all its tormenting forms; Dylan runs the gamut from jaded ex to devoted husband. “Shelter From the Storm” and “Simple Twist of Fate” are standouts.
- "Let’s Stay Together" Al Green. Perhaps no other singer embodies love and romance quite like Al Green—that is, assuming you don’t disqualify Barry White for cheesiness. "Let’s Stay Together" is Green’s crowning achievement. Even if your relationship is perfectly fine, after listening to this album you’ll find yourself running home to apologize to your lady and promising to be a better man. It’s that good.
- "Pet Sounds" Beach Boys. The genius of this album is the way in which it captures the absolute purity and innocence of young love while also hinting at the looming and inevitable loss on the horizon.
- "Astral Weeks" Van Morrison. While it’s exceedingly difficult to actually parse the meaning of any one song on this album, it’s hard not to fall into a loving and romantic mood listening to Astral Weeks.
- "Let’s Get It On" Marvin Gaye. It’s pretty much all in the title. The title track and “Come Get To This” are the best tracks, but the album from beginning to end is absolutely brilliant, soulful and sexy.
- "I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You" Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin came belt it out like no other; there is no one that can sing quite like the Queen of Soul. She is at the top of her game here, mixing both anger and tenderness. “Dr. Feelgood (Love is Serious Business)” sets the tone for the whole album: “When me and that man get to lovin’/ I tell ya, girl, I dig ya, but I don’t have time/ To sit, and chit, and sit and chit-chat, and smile.”
- "Berlin" Lou Reed. Essentially a concept album documenting the development and eventual demise of a relationship with themes of addiction and depression mixed in. Not all that romantic, but a truly honest record about love. This album should not be listened to with your significant other; it will definitely kill the mood.
- "The 50 Greatest Love Songs" Elvis Presley. 50 love songs sung by perhaps the greatest singer of all time, what else could you ask for? It’s impossible to pick out any standout tracks, in fact, there’s almost too many songs; it’s overwhelming. Your best bet is to put it on and just press ‘shuffle.’
- "Heartbreaker" Ryan Adams. Adams’ debut solo album has all the bittersweet love songs you could ever need. Drawing influence from Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, and (imagine, if you will) Morrissey, "Heartbreaker" is the Blood on the Tracks for the 2000’s. “Come Pick Me Up” is a classic pissed-off lover anthem, while “Amy” is that achingly good plea for one more chance. This album sounds like a driving at night in the rain by yourself.
- "69 Love Songs" Magnetic Fields. "69 Love Songs" is the creation of Magnetic Fields frontman, Stephen Merrit. There are actually 69 songs over the three volume set, and they push the bounds of what constitutes a love song, as well as, in some instances, the listener’s very concept of love. With songs like “Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits,” “A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off,” and “How Fucking Romantic,” you get the idea.
Listen to a playlist compiled by actor and musician Christopher Mintz Plasse.
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