Songs About Love and Loss
When Love Stinks Like a Rose
Sometimes we feel love most keenly by its absence.
Pain, separation and breakups seem to feed the musical muse in ways no other emotions can. Without heartbreak, the music world would be one-dimensional indeed --- and way too bubble-gummy for most people's taste. I mean really, how many "silly love songs" can one listen to without gagging?
Give me gut-wrenching blues any day.
Cris A's Inspiring Hub
- keeping the torch burning: some of the best torch songs or songs about unrequited love ever
Torch songs are love songs that are sentimental and sing of unrequited love. They are traditionally of the jazz and standard genres and sung by female vocalists, chanteuses. Imagine a smoky joint, a piano,...
A nod to Cris A
This hub owes its inspiration to our very own Cris A. I read and listened to his delightful hub about torch songs last night. Started to offer some suggested additions in my comment and realized I had at least a half dozen. Thus, being more than halfway to a Top 10 list, I decided to write my own hub. Amazing how these hubs get germinated, isn't it?
So, ladies and lovers, here for your enjoyment are Mighty Mom's top favorite songs about love and loss. Not all are technically "blues" in genre, but all are "blue" in tone.
Side note: Some very legitimate love/loss songs were disqualified from consideration. It's not that they are not good songs, it's that they are totally overplayed on Swiffer commercials (you know the ones -- Mr. Mop tries to use music to woo back the housewife who's discarded him in favor of a Swiffer Duster). Too bad. I really like Human League's "Don't You Want Me" "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EHpozHn-QA.
Stones: Love In Vain
Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight
The Rolling Stones gave a country feel to their version of this1930s Blues classic by Robert Jonshon. Johnson was one of Keith Richard's inspirations and Ry Cooder played mandolin on the track. ""Love In Vain was recorded by the Stones in March, 1969 at Olympic Studios in England. The song was released on December 5, 1969 on the "Let It Bleed" album and played live prior to the studio record release during the Stones' 1969 US tour.
Written by Alan Block and Don Hecht, "Walkin' After Midnight" was recorded in 1957 by Patsy Cline and released as a single. Although she disliked the song (she claimed it was too "pop-oriented") Patsy recorded it anyway and performed it on The Arthur Godfrey Show. In 1961, a more stylized version was re-recorded for her album "Patsy Cline Showcase." The song was a big hit for Cline, climbing to to #2 on the Country charts and #12 on the Pop charts.
I Don't Want to Spoil the Party
Righteous Bros - You've Lost that Loving Feeling
There are scads of Beatles songs about unrequited love, but I chose this one because I've left many a party for similar reasons! Written by John Lennon and recorded September 29, 1964 at Abbey Road Studios, the song was released February 15, 1965 as the B-side of "Eight Days A Week." It's also on the albums "Beatles For Sale" (but not the American version) and "Beatles VI." Additional fun fact: Roseanne Cash made it a #1 country hit in 1989.
Who doesn't know this universal song about love on the slide? It's the most played song in radio history! Made famous by "blue-eyed soul" singers the Righteous Brothers, it's a classic example of American producer Phil Spector's "wall of sound" technique which dominated mid 1960s music. Additional fun fact: The talented duo were not brothers. Supposedly they adopted their name when a black Marine in the audience shouted, "That was righteous, brothers!"
Sarah McLachlan - Do What You Have to Do
Tracy with Eric -- Give me One Reason
For the longest time I thought the name of this song was "I don't know how to let you go." Might as well be, as that's the line that captures a tumultuous love affair that took me 4+ years to extricate myself from (and obviously, why I chose it). Sarah McLachlan's haunting voice and piano make "Do What You Have to Do" a standout on her 1997 album "Surfacing."
Did I mention the tumultuous 4+ year love affair? I have vivid memories of dancing to this song alone in my apartment during our many "off-again" periods. This is by far my favorite Tracy Chapman song. From the opening guitar riff it just gets my righteous indignation on! Written by Ms. Chapman, it appears on her 1995 "New Beginning" album. Bonus: How fun is it to have Mr. Slowhand himself playing along in this live version?
TTD- Who's Loving You
Twas a time I thought Terence Trent D'Arby was "it." That time was 1987, when I played his cassette (yes, this was before CDs) "Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent d'Arby" 24/7.
And the Jackson 5 version!
I didn't know at the time that this bluesy song was written by Smokey Robinson and had previously been recorded by the Jackson 5! I've included the J-5 version here as a mini-tribute to MJ. RIP.
Hall & Oates - She's Gone
It doesn't get much more simplistic than the chorus of this Hall & Oates classic from their 1973 album "Abandoned Luncheonette." I'm not a huge H&O fan, but they do remind me of happy times in college. Besides, you've gotta admit, if you're feeling down, watching Daryl Hall sing makes the lovesick all better....
She's Gone Oh I, Oh I'd
better learn how to face it
She's Gone Oh I, Oh I'd
pay the devil to replace her
She's Gone - what went wrong
Soft Cell - Where Did Our Love Go?
Pearl Jam Updates "Last Kiss"
"Where Did Our Love Go?"" was written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland, Jr. and recorded by The Lettermen, Brenda and the Tabulations (who also sang "Who's Loving You?") and most famously by The Supremes (and Diana Ross solo). This synth-pop version by duo Soft Cell hit the dance clubs in 1981. Typically you'll hear it fused with another Soft Cell song that deserves its own spot on this list, "Tainted Love."
Well, there's nothing more sappily romantic (in a dark, macabre sort of way) than a young sweetheart's untimely death. Songs like "Dead Man's Curve" (Jan and Dean 1963) and "Teen Angel" (Mark Dining, Alex Murrary 1959) made the grisly teen accident a genre unto itself.
Turns out "Last Kiss" is based on real-life events. Wayne Cochran wrote the song and dedicated it to a 16-year-old girl who was killed in a car crash just before Christmas, 1962. It was originally performed by Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders (not to be confused with a Hubber by the name of C.C.Riter). Later it was covered by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.
Seattle grunge darlings Pearl Jam started playing the song live in 1998. Their version was released to the public in 1999, with all proceeds from the single and the song's appearance on "No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovo Refugees" going to refugee relief (more than $10 million all told). Nice work, Eddie Vedder and the boys!