The list of 10 good relationship songs doesn’t always paint the prettiest picture of romance. Sure, there are enough saccharine songs (sacchongs?) out there to fuel a school field trip to the Michigan Dunes, but that wouldn’t reflect reality, now would it?
- “Right Here Waiting” – Richard Marx. A relationship song so sappy you could pour it over your pancakes. Hailing from his glorious hair heyday (hairday?) of the 1980’s, Marx had no other hit quite like this one. When you’re separated from that special someone by college, military service, or prison, pop in this bad boy and get weepy with it.
- “Paint It Black” – The Rolling Stones. If you’re like millions of dysfunctional Earthlings, you are simultaneously attracted to and repelled by romantic love. “Paint It Black” captures that mood perfectly as Jagger and Co. describes the sweetness all around them and the subsequent depression it induces.
- “Crash” – Dave Matthews Band. After recovering from a near-fatal automobile accident, Matthews penned this Top 40 relationship song in honor of the EMT’s who saved his life. Speaking metaphorically, Matthews implores his rescuers to “hike up your skirt a little more,” undoubtedly an admonition to expediently employ the jaws of life on his tangled car and, thus, free him from metallic doom.
- “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – Aerosmith. A relationship song from Steven Tyler to his VCR, Tyler recounts his battle with wakefulness in light of the copious television shows and movies afforded him upon his nascent mastery of videocassette recording. No word if Tyler plans a DVR-related homage.
- “Talk Dirty to Me” – Poison. Why whisper sweet nothings over the phone to your beloved or in a crowded club to a drunken stranger when you can come on to them? It’s just one more nugget of wisdom from the same group that informed us our mother had no moves and our father refrained from rocking and rolling.
- “Come On Get Higher” – Matt Nathanson. A sweet, heartfelt relationship song by a singer/songwriter who has yet to blow up the public’s musical radar like he deserves. Nathanson has other worthy relationship songs, so it would do a romantic well to check out his major releases.
- “Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson. The relationship song dedicated to the world, MJ’s ode to bettering the conditions of his fellow humans was one of the biggest hits from 1987’s Bad. Its catchiness is balanced masterfully with emotion and evocative imagery, all the while never becoming manipulative or over the top.
- “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers. A song for stalkers and co-dependents alike, Scotland’s The Proclaimers told their objects of obsession that they will eventually find them, walking 500 miles and, if need be, will stomp out an additional 500 more “just to fall down at your door.” Sweet, in a restraining order kind of way.
- “Possession” – Sarah McLachlan. Canada’s Sarah McLachlan released her own stalking-tinged relationship song in 1993 inspired by goosebump-raising letters to the songstress by a real-life stalker who, in a twist of irony, later sued her for using his letters as source material while admitting the lawsuit was an attempt to get near her. Dude was found dead before the case went to trial, proving once and for all that soft rock will straight up kill you.
- “To Be With You” – Mr. Big. This goes out to all those jelly-spined nice guys with no cajones to compete with the bad boys. Oh, sure, Mr. Big plays like the soothing lothario, arms open for the rebound after this chick’s tempestuous relationship, but truth is he’ll end up listening to her problems for hours on end before he’s given the inevitable “You’re such a great friend” baloney. Cut to him on her front porch hearing this simple-minded broad detail how she got back with that a-hole and, this time, “he’s really changed.” To be with you? More like, to hell with you!
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