February 15th, 2004

monk john

I really take TV too seriously sometimes

I was watching VH1's "100 Greatest Love Songs of All Time", and I realized something. (Besides the fact that Jennifer Love Hewitt has no real purpose in life.)

They all sucked.

Not for any technical reason. But they were all the same song! All overblown, soaring power ballads, or sweet gentle ballads.

But they were all very...homogenous. All spoke of love as this one thing, soft, gentle, ethereal. No passion, no lust.

That's bullshit. Love is not ethereal, unless you're a 13 year-old girl writing drek in a "My Pretty Pony" Trapper Keeper. Love is harsh, love is gentle, love is demanding, love is forgiving, love is...well, as varied as the humans who fall in love. But this show didn't reflect that.

So I'm going to fix that. Presented, whether you approve or not, are what I think of as the ten best love songs that I've heard. No real order, hence, no numbering. There's a few artists on here more than once. Deal. And yes, all of these have been a part of one relationship or another, which is one reason why they stand out.

  • "Feels Like Home", Bonnie Raitt.
    • While this is not one of her biggest hits, it should be. Not overblown, no choral group in the background. Just a soft, song talking about how at last, they've found home. Home isn't a place, or a structure. It's a person. It's someone's eyes that have a special look for only one other person. Who's there for them. Who loves them back. It's a song from someone who's been around the block, and doesn't want much from love anymore, and finds that they've found, in this person, far more than they dreamed possible. If you can listen to this song, and not get at least a little choked up from what it's saying, then I kind of feel bad for you.
  • "Love Letter", Bonnie Raitt.
    • (Told you there were repeat artists.) This is not a gentle song of finding someone. This is a song of wanting someone, really, really bad. It may not even be love, but right now, the singer is a little too desireous of her target to care. The best part is that the target probably doesn't even know that there's a woman out there who wants to shove him down on the bed and do things until he's all fetal and whimpering. (Trust me. Guys are dumb. We never see shit like this.) She's got a target and a mission, and a plan. If only more guys were this lucky.
  • "Temptation", Prince and the Revolution
    • Yes, yes, I know, "what about 'nothing compares to u'?" Well, had not shinehead ruined that song for me, I'd think about it. Nah, screw that. I like this one better. It's a song about wanting someone. You don't want to talk, you don't want to hold hands, and unless you can cuddle doggie - style, that ain't on the menu either. The entire song is about heat, and sex. The background guitar growl, (Okay, the only other person who can layer guitars like Prince is Jimmy Page.), the percussion track, the bass line. This song is all about raw lust. Even the end, when "God" takes him away for focusing on lust too much works well. But then, this is Prince.
  • "The Beautiful Ones", Prince and the Revolution
    • A twisted look at love. The protagnist is in love, but angry. The target of the song is also seeing someone else, and the singer is pissed. It's almost a "WTF is up with that?" song. "You want ME, but you're also doing THAT?" The singer is laying it down..."Him or me". "I want you, but you have to choose, and choose now." Love is demanding sometimes. Love is not always selfless. This song captures that, but there's such passion too, especially in Prince's soaring vocals. They show that he doesn't want to force things, but he doesn't feel like he has much of a choice. Love does that sometimes, and this is one of a very few songs that deals with that side of love.
  • "The Rain Song", Led Zeppelin
    • While "Thank You" or "All of My Love" are usually considered the "Love Zeppelin" songs, I've always felt that "The Rain Song" was unfairly overlooked. It's a soft song, indeed, you can barely hear Plant's vocals for most of it. It talks about not a first love, found while hormonal fires burn hot, but rather a love found later in life, when the soul grows more contemplative. It's a song telling a loved one how they rescued the singer from a rather cold and lonely existance. Even the louder middle parts still manage to keep that softness, as though this was more of a song to be sung by the fireplace, and not in an arena full of screaming fans.
  • "I'm Gonna Crawl", Led Zeppelin
    • This is on the same album as "All of My Love", (In Through The Out Door), but is a different song. It's a blues-ier song, less of a devotional song, and more of a bald declaration, talking about the intensity of the feelings the singer has. It's passionate, and grand, without being overbearing. It's also quite simple in what it says: "I love this person with every fiber of my being, and if I need to crawl to her on my knees to show her that, then I will, and I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks of that." Plant's screaming vocals at the end, devoid of any attempt to make them anything but indicative of the raw emotion that love brings forth, makes this, in my opinion, not only Zeppelin's best love song, but probably one of the best love songs by any band.
  • "Tuff Enuff", The Fabulous Thunderbirds
    • Someone told me, not too long ago, "Sometimes, we don't want tenderness, or sensitivity. We want our man to be a man. Just throw us down on the bed, and take what you want." That's this song. It's a man's song. No pretense, no bullshit, no "Open Arms" like soaring vocals. Just a blatant statement. "Tell me what you want me to do for you, and it's done." This is a song sung by someone who will not hesitate to kick the shit out of someone who is messing with their woman. Perhaps that's always been an essential part of being a man, that protective streak, that willingness to smack the crap out of people when required. That's not always a bad thing.
  • "Rock the Boat", Aaliyah
    • It's too bad she died in such a lame, stupid, cliched way, because Aaliyah really was a hell of a singer. This song smokes. Blunt, to the point, "Get your clothes off and take care of my needs...now". Passion man, that's a huge part of love. Too many love songs are almost platonic, or afraid of the hot, sweaty, monkey-love that is what we need, and not just once in a while. The bass line, the keyboard line, and Aaliyah's abso-fuckin-lutely smoking vocals are damn - near Barry White - quality. This is definitely a song to get laid to, and contrary to what Diane Warren may want us to think, getting laid is a BIG part of love.
  • "Oh! Darling", The Beatles
    • Okay, I admit to liking the Beatles, but I like this stuff, not the overblown crap they did later in life. How can you NOT like this song? It's passionate. This is a great counter to the sterile perfection that Celine and the rest of the nimrods pass off as love. The vocals aren't perfect, the music is almost amateurish, and you almost cringe to think what McCartney was doing to his voice every time he sung this. But at the same time, it doesn't matter. It's earthy, coarse, basic, and above all, passionate. You can't sing this song if you think that love is something above baser emotions. I mean, if you get up in a Karaoke bar and sing this to the one you love, and they DON'T take you home and bang you senseless, there's something very wrong with that relationship.
  • "Automatic", The Pointer Sisters
    • Yeah, yeah, it's not a stereotypical "luuuuuve song". But damnit, love's supposed to be FUN too. You're supposed to LAUGH when you're in love, have FUN, be goofy even. Sure, whenever the other person walks in the room, your insides do a flip - flop, but that means you can't have fun? That you always have to be serious? Screw that. Even lovers like to dance, and bop, and bounce, and generally make fools of themselves, but SO WHAT? You're in love, there's someone who feels the same way. How can that NOT make you want to do goofy things that make them laugh until they cry? How can that NOT make you want to go dancing with them? When did the music industry decide that "love" and "fun" are mutually exclusive? I must have missed that memo.

So, that's my list, those are my picks. You may agree, you may disagree, but those are what I think should be at the top of any list of love songs, or songs about love.

john

monk john

Because of the lame comment limitation..

carried over from Mercuralis's journal.. I worked it so only the movies I've seen are bolded...I also tried to clean up the list code a bit ;-)
  1. 10 Things I Hate About You
  2. 101 Dalmatians
  3. 12 Monkeys
  4. 180 Days
  5. 28 Days
  6. 28 Days Later
  7. 2Fast, 2 Furious
  8. 40 Days and 40 Nights
  9. 8 Mile
  10. A League of Their Own
  11. A Mighty Wind
  12. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  13. A Walk To Remember
  14. A.I.
  15. Abandon
  16. About a Boy
  17. Adventures in Babysitting
  18. Airplane
  19. Aladdin
  20. Alien
  21. All About My Mother
  22. All Over the Guy
  23. Almost Famous
  24. Along Came A Spider
  25. Amelie
  26. American Beauty
  27. American History X
  28. American Pie
  29. American Pie 2
  30. American Wedding
  31. And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself
  32. Angels in America (HBO)
  33. Annie (1982 version)
  34. As Good As It Gets
  35. Austin Powers
  36. Austin Powers in Goldmember
  37. Back to the Future
  38. Bad Boys
  39. Bad Boys 2
  40. Bambi
  41. Barbershop
  42. Basquiat
  43. Beautiful Thing
  44. Beauty and the Beast
  45. Bedazzled
  46. Being John Malkovich
  47. Best In Show
  48. Big Daddy
  49. Big Fish
  50. Big Trouble
  51. Billy Madison
  52. Blade
  53. Blade II
  54. Bladerunner
  55. Blair Witch Project
  56. Blair Witch: Book of Shadows
  57. Blood Simple
  58. Bootmen
  59. Bowling For Columbine
  60. Boys Don't Cry
  61. Boys on the Side
  62. Braveheart
  63. Bridges of Madison County
  64. Bridget Jones' Diary
  65. Bring It On
  66. Broken Hearts Club
  67. Bruce Almighty
  68. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  69. Can't Hardly Wait
  70. Carrie
  71. Carrie 2: The Rage
  72. Casper
  73. Cast Away
  74. Center Stage
  75. Charlie's Angels
  76. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
  77. Chasing Amy
  78. Chasing Destiny
  79. Cheaper By the Dozen
  80. Chicago
  81. Chocolat
  82. Cinema Paradiso
  83. Citizen Kane
  84. Clerks
  85. Clockwatchers
  86. Clueless
  87. Coyote Ugly
  88. Crazy/Beautiful
  89. Crossroads
  90. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  91. Cruel Intentions
  92. Cruel Intentions 2
  93. Daddy Day Care
  94. Dardevil
  95. Dark City
  96. Darkness Falls
  97. Daytrippers
  98. Death to Smoochy
  99. Deep Impact
  100. Disturbing Behavior
  101. Dogma
  102. Donnie Darko
  103. Down With Love
  104. Dream for an Insomniac
  105. Drop Dead Gorgeous
  106. Drumline
  107. Dude Where's My Car
  108. Dumb & Dumber
  109. Dune
  110. Edward Scissorhands
  111. El Mariachi
  112. Elf
  113. Emma
  114. Empire Records
  115. Eyes Wide Shut
  116. Face Off
  117. Far From Heaven
  118. Fargo
  119. Fast and the Furious
  120. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  121. Fear Dot Com
  122. Fellowship of the Ring
  123. Fierce Creatures
  124. Fight Club
  125. Final Destination
  126. Final Destination 2
  127. Finding Nemo
  128. Frailty
  129. Freddy Vs. Jason
  130. Frequency
  131. Friday the 13th
  132. Fried Green Tomatoes
  133. FUBAR
  134. Gia
  135. Girl
  136. Girl, Interrupted
  137. Go
  138. Gone with the Wind
  139. Good Will Hunting
  140. Gossip
  141. Grease
  142. Great Expectations
  143. Gremlins
  144. Gremlins 2
  145. Groundhog Day
  146. Hackers
  147. Halloween: H20
  148. Halloween: Resurrection
  149. Happy Gilmore
  150. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  151. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  152. Head Over Heels
  153. Heartbreakers
  154. Heathers
  155. Heavy Metal
  156. Hedwig & the Angry Inch
  157. Home Alone
  158. Hook
  159. House of Sand & Fog
  160. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  161. I am Sam
  162. I Know What You Did Last Summer
  163. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
  164. Identity
  165. Igby Goes Down
  166. I'm the One that I Want
  167. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  168. It's My Party
  169. Jawbreaker
  170. Johns
  171. Joyride
  172. Just Married
  173. Kate and Leopold
  174. Kiki's Delivery Service
  175. Kill Bill Vol. 1
  176. Kissing Jessica Stein
  177. Koyaanisqatsi
  178. L.A. Confidential
  179. Lady and the Tramp
  180. Lake Placid
  181. Legally Blonde
  182. Legally Blonde 2
  183. Liar Liar
  184. Life as a house
  185. Lion King 2
  186. Little Mermaid
  187. Little Shop of Horrors (w/ Rick Moranis)
  188. Little Women
  189. Lolita
  190. Lonestar State of Mind
  191. Look Who's Talking
  192. Lost In Translation
  193. Lost World
  194. Love Actually
  195. Magnolia
  196. Mary Poppins
  197. Mask
  198. Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World
  199. Matrix: Reloaded
  200. Memento
  201. Men in Black
  202. Men With Brooms
  203. Mighty Ducks
  204. Miller’s Crossing
  205. Minority Report
  206. Miss Congeniality
  207. Mona Lisa Smile
  208. Monsters, Inc.
  209. Monty Python & the Holy Grail
  210. Moonstruck
  211. Moulin Rouge
  212. Mrs. Doubtfire
  213. Much Ado About Nothing
  214. Mulan
  215. Mumford
  216. Muppets Take Manhattan
  217. Murder by Death
  218. Murder By Numbers
  219. My Best Friend's Wedding
  220. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  221. My Girl
  222. Mystery Men
  223. Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie
  224. Never Been Kissed
  225. Nightflier
  226. Not Another Teen Movie
  227. Notorious C.H.O.
  228. Now and Then
  229. Nowhere
  230. O
  231. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  232. Oliver and Company
  233. Parent Trap (the new version)
  234. Party Girl
  235. Pearl Harbor
  236. Pecker
  237. Perfect Storm
  238. Peter Pan
  239. Phone Booth
  240. Pirates of the Carribean
  241. Playing by Heart
  242. Pleasantville
  243. Pocahontas
  244. Porky's
  245. Practical Magic
  246. Prince of Tides
  247. Princess Mononoke
  248. Psycho
  249. Radio Flyer
  250. Raising Arizona
  251. Rat Race
  252. Rear Window
  253. Remember the Titans
  254. Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
  255. Requiem for a Dream
  256. Resident Evil
  257. Return of the King
  258. Return to Me
  259. Riding in Cars with Boys
  260. Rip It Off
  261. Romeo & Juliet
  262. Royal Tenenbaums
  263. Run Lola Run
  264. Rushmore
  265. Sabrina
  266. Save the Last Dance
  267. Scary Movie
  268. School Ties
  269. Scooby Doo
  270. Scream
  271. Scream 2
  272. Scream 3
  273. Se7en
  274. Secretary
  275. Series 7
  276. Shallow Hal
  277. She's All That
  278. Shrek
  279. Simply Irresistible
  280. Sixth Sense
  281. Skulls
  282. Skulls 2
  283. Sleeping Beauty
  284. Sliding Doors
  285. Smoke Signals
  286. Someone Like You
  287. Sound of Music
  288. Speed
  289. Speedway Junky
  290. Spellbound
  291. Spiceworld
  292. Spider-Man
  293. Spirited Away
  294. Spun
  295. Star Wars
  296. Stargate
  297. Starship Troopers
  298. State and Main
  299. Stealing Beauty
  300. Steel Magnolias
  301. Stepmom
  302. Storm of the Century
  303. Superman: The Movie
  304. SWAT
  305. Sweet Angel Mine
  306. Sweet Home Alabama
  307. Swimfan
  308. Tarzan (Disney animated)
  309. Teaching Mrs Tingle
  310. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  311. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  312. That Thing You Do!
  313. The Believer
  314. The Big Lebowski
  315. The Bourne Identity
  316. The Butterfly Effect
  317. The Cell
  318. The Craft
  319. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
  320. The Delta Force
  321. The Fifth Element
  322. The Gift
  323. The Good Girl
  324. The Great Outdoors
  325. The Green Mile
  326. The Hollywood Knights
  327. The Hot Chick
  328. The House of Mirth
  329. The House of Yes
  330. The Hudsucker Proxy
  331. The Hulk
  332. The Ice Storm
  333. The Laramie Project
  334. The Life of David Gale
  335. The Lion King
  336. The Matrix
  337. The Mummy
  338. The New Guy
  339. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  340. The Object of My Affection
  341. The Opposite of Sex
  342. The Order
  343. The Others
  344. The Outsiders
  345. The Patriot
  346. The Pianist
  347. The Princess Bride
  348. The Princess Diaries
  349. The Quiet Earth
  350. The Recruit
  351. The Replacements
  352. The Ring
  353. The Rock
  354. The Rose
  355. The Shawshank Redemption
  356. The Shining
  357. The Shipping News
  358. The Smokers
  359. The Stand
  360. The Sweetest Thing
  361. The Terminator
  362. The Third Man
  363. The Thomas Crown Affair (new version)
  364. The Truth About Cats and Dogs
  365. The Unsaid
  366. The Usual Suspects
  367. The Virgin Suicides
  368. The Wizard of Oz
  369. The X-Files: Fight The Future
  370. They
  371. Thirteen Ghosts
  372. This Is Spinal Tap
  373. Threesome
  374. Titanic
  375. To Gillian on her 37th Birthday
  376. Tombstone
  377. Toy Soldiers
  378. Toy Story
  379. Toy Story 2
  380. Transformers: the Movie
  381. Treasure Planet
  382. Tuck Everlasting
  383. Two Towers
  384. Two Week's Notice
  385. Unbearable Lightness of Being
  386. Urban Legends
  387. Urbania
  388. Valentine
  389. Wag the Dog
  390. Waiting for Guffman
  391. Wargames
  392. Weekend at Bernie's
  393. Whale Rider
  394. What Dreams May Come
  395. Where the Heart is
  396. White Oleander
  397. Wild Reeds
  398. Wild Things
  399. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  400. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
  401. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
  402. X2
  403. X-Men
  404. XXX
  405. Y Tu Mama Tambien
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