Part one of top 10 love songs for Valentines Day is HERE.

6. The Blue Nile – The Downtown Lights

“The golden lights, the loving prayers/The coloured shoes, the empty trains/ I’m tired of crying on the stairs.”

The Downtown Lights has one of the greatest vocals ever captured on tape; it’s in the same league as Otis Redding’s These Arms Of Mine. This is the sound of a man (Paul Buchanan) having his heart ripped out. Like walking into a movie – cinematic. It transcends the mundane – music that brings to mind grey skies, beating the odds and being uncommonly beautiful.


7. Simon and Garfunkel – April Come She Will

 “August, die she must/The autumn winds blow chilly and cold/September I´ll remember/A love once new has now grown old.”

Because Art Garfunkel’s voice is so pure, Paul Simon’s songs needed to be sincere, otherwise they’d come over too sickly sweet. This is one of his best! Changing seasons used too illustrate the changing fortunes of a relationship – a device as old as time – it’s in every poet/songwriter’s toolbox.


8. Nick Drake – Northern Sky

“I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
/Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree/
But now you’re here/
Brighten my northern sky.”

Nick Drake: patron saint for the depressed, a pop psychologists wet dream. But that’s missing the point completely. There is a master songwriter at work here. He creates a love song with very few equals. I would envy anybody listening to Northern Sky for the first time – if it were not for the fact that each consecutive listen sounds like the first time.


9. Paul Weller – A Year Late

“I love to wake,and watch your face/And while you sleep/I fall for you again.”

Paul Weller just writes the most beautiful songs chronicling love. This song was hidden as a B-side to perhaps his most recognisable solo single, You Do Something To Me. There is just something eerily comforting about it. The feel of A Year Late, and Weller’s imagery – are both stunning. A very important song by one of the great songwriters.


10. Michael Head and The Strands – Somethin’ Like You

“All in all we’re the same/And we’re alright/I believe in you forever.”

Music critics adore Michael Head – but too few know who he is and that’s criminal. He’s not underrated. Anybody who owns anything by The Pale Fountains or Shack – knows just how good his songs are. He’s under listened to. He’s a special writer; just one listen to Somethin’ Like You will prove that.


Part one of top 10 love songs for Valentines Day is HERE.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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