Valentine’s Day is approaching and love is definitely in the air. For decades now, romantic songs have been an essential part of courtship. If you’re trying to up the romantic ante for this Valentine’s Day, look no further than this list of the “Most Loved Love Songs for Each of the Past 50 Years.”
We researched the top-rated love songs for each year, based on the year of the album release, and compiled them so that you have a ready-to-go list of love songs to choose from when crafting that perfect mix CD for your beloved.
The Most Loved Songs
Starting with the most recent love songs, in 2014, the top-rated love song was “Hurt You” from Toni Braxton and Babyface. A couple of years prior in 2012, Jason Mraz scored a hit with “I Won’t Give Up,” the lead single from his album Love is a Four Letter Word. The single debuted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award, proving that listeners everywhere weren’t ready to give up on love songs.
At the turn of the century in 2000, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora teamed up for another hit. Their reunion gave us “Thank You for Loving Me,” the third single from their Grammy-nominated album Crush. Faith Hill scored consecutive hits in 1998 and 1999 with “This Kiss” and “Breathe,” respectively; her husband, Tim McGraw, had 1997’s top love song with “It’s Your Love,” making them arguably the top power couple in the love songs department.
Whitney Houston’s epic “I Will Always Love You” debuted in 1992, and the signature song of The Bodyguard was joined on our list by other popular songs from films as well. For example, Phil Collins scored his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 with “Against All Odds,” from the film of the same name. “It Must Have Been Love” from Pretty Woman was the top love song of 1990, and it was also listed as the #2 Hot 100 Billboard single of the year in 1990. Similarly, Top Gun’s iconic love scene featured “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, and listeners made it the most popular love song of 1986. The Bee Gees represent the tail-end of the disco era with “How Deep is Your Love,” a cut that appeared on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.
The early Seventies gave us a run of soulful romantic love songs, as The Stylistics show up twice with 1974’s “You Make Me Feel Brand New” and 1971’s “You Are Everything,” each of which sold over a million copies globally. In 1972, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes had their first #1 hit with “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” which was named one of the Songs of the Century by the RIAA.
In 1970, The Carpenters collaborated with Herb Alpert on an arrangement of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition “Close to You,” which became their breakout hit and led them to a Grammy win in 1971. Neil Diamond closed out the ’60s with his 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline,” which reached #4 on the Billboard chart, and eventually went platinum, selling over one million singles.
Finally, in 1965, The Righteous Brothers gave us “Unchained Melody,” which was the top-rated love song of 1965 as well as the top love song of all time, according to the average rating from AccuRadio’s Love Songs channel. Quite impressive for a song that was originally released as a B-side to another single.
The Most Romantic States
Of course, when it comes to making a romantic gesture, you need to have the right setting, as well as the right soundtrack. To that end, we’ve researched the top U.S. states in the mood for love, based on the Love Songs channel’s share of overall listening on AccuRadio. New York, whose official state flower is the rose, is the top state for love by these standards, followed closely by Arkansas, whose commitment to love is demonstrated by town names like Romance, Rose Bud, and Heart.
California, home to power ballad kings Journey, is the third-best state for love, followed by Alaska, Minnesota, and Texas. Hawaii earns the seventh spot on the list, not surprisingly for the state with the second highest number of weddings and the best honeymoon destinations. Michigan is eighth, and Virginia apparently is for lovers after all, coming in at the ninth spot. Finally, Rhode Island rounds out the top ten.
Love is a many-splendored thing, and we often turn to music to attempt to express our feelings. Whether you’re in the mood for a country-tinged romance, modern R&B love songs, or classic love songs from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, AccuRadio provides a great soundtrack that’s perfect for creating a romantic Valentine’s Day with your partner. Get ready to fall in love!
AccuRadio is Internet radio featuring music hand-picked by our programmers. There’s bound to be something for every taste! After you’ve checked out our love songs stations, turn to AccuRadio year-round and choose from over a thousand channels of VARIETY with unlimited skips!