If you haven’t ever seen the original version of The Producers, the scene of Lorenzo St. Dubois (“LSD”) singing the song “Love Power, ” do yourself a favor and youtube it, as it is something that will never leave your mind once you experience it.
Since this is the month of Valentine’s Day, we’ve decided to list some “Love” songs and albums that are essential for you to become a true lover. We won’t go off into the love of God-type of songs, as albums like Te Deum by Bruckner or Part, etc could take us off on a long tangent. We’ll keep it more to the “Songs of Solomon” side of things, as opposed to the “Psalms” side of devotion, so here we go.
- Songs for Swingin’ Lovers by Frank Sinatra. The standard for hip love albums if there ever was one.
- Amoroso by Joao Gilbert. Ditto for Brazilian romance
- John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman-every time I play this eponymous album in my office, some woman oozes “Who IS this guy?” Any more questions?
- Ballads by John Coltrane Quartet. Another one-off album by the saxist usually associated with screaming and searing sax solos. A simply irresistible.
- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. They did two albums, and this side of romance is the “I’m cozy with you and don’t need to prove anything” kind of love holding hands on the porch swing.
- Chet Baker Sings by Chet Baker. His soft voice is defined gentle intimacy, and his selection of songs here defines romantic wooing.
OK-those are the albums. Now for the songs and some of the definitive versions:
- My Funny Valentine: Chet Baker and Miles Davis are two good places to start
- Body and Soul: Billie Holiday
- Embraceable You: Nat “King” Cole, who also does “Unforgettable” for those keeping score
- The Way You Look Tonight: Fred Astaire defined this one when he sang and danced it
- As Time Goes By: Dooley Wilson in Casablanca. Here’s looking at you, kid.
- I Love You. Either the Cole Porter version by Bill Evans (also “All of You” is a photo finish second place) or the kitschy one by Harry Archer unforgettably sung in the movie Stalag 17.
- Honorable mention to: Embraceable You, The Very Thought of You, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Till There Was You and The Nearness of You
SPECIAL AWARD OF LOVE LYRICS
It has to go to Johnny Mercer’s “Midnight Sun.” Just how did he come up with:
Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice,
Warmer than the Summer night.
The clouds were like an alabaster palace,
Rising to a snowy height.
Each star its own Aurora Borealis,
Suddenly you held me tight,
I could see the midnight sun.
Western Civilization just doesn’t get any better!