The 3 uses for love songs

Though I’m almost certainly not cool enough for the room, my friend Scholar over at the fine Souled On blog nevertheless graciously invited me to take part in a series called “Love Lockdown.”

Here’s what I wrote. If you’re a regular reader of AM, Then FM, you may recognize echoes of posts from the past …

Love songs, eh? There are but three uses for love songs.

The love song as a guide to life.

When a 13-year-old kid in Wisconsin started listening to the radio in 1970, love songs spoke to him. They helped that kid – who had no older brothers and no sisters – navigate social situations for which there were no instructions. Some love songs coached him on what to say, how it say it and when to say it. Other love songs simply were eye-openers.


“We’ve Got To Get It On Again,” the Addrisi Brothers, 1972. Available on “We’ve Got to Get It On Again,” a 1997 compilation CD. (This is an improved rip from the one I posted a year ago. No more skip.)

Lessons also learned from: “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, 1972; “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Billy Paul, 1972; “Show and Tell,” Al Wilson, 1973; and “Third Rate Romance,” the Amazing Rhythm Aces, 1975.

The love song as soundtrack.

The soundtrack to a certain time spent with a certain girl. The soundtrack to a six-week romance during that Wisconsin kid’s senior year in high school. These love songs weren’t for that certain girl. Rather, they were on the radio as that kid eagerly drove to her house and then floated home again. Hearing them, those six weeks rush back.


“Everlasting Love,” Carl Carlton, from “Everlasting Love,” 1974.


“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything,” Barry White, 1974, from “Barry White’s Greatest Hits,” 1975.

Other soundtrack selections: “When Will I See You Again,” the Three Degrees, 1974; and “Laughter in the Rain,” Neil Sedaka, 1974.

The love song as mood music.

As the ‘70s ended, that Wisconsin kid was a senior in college, where he met another girl. He spent time at her house, too. They never made it much beyond than her couch, except when it was time to flip the record. They’re still together all these years later. Yet to say they have a song that’s theirs is a bit of a stretch. Well, this was on in the background.


“Affirmation,” George Benson, from “Breezin’,” 1976.

Other mood music: Uhhh, what? “This Masquerade,” George Benson, 1976. Oh, yeah, and Blondie’s “Parallel Lines” album from 1978 and “Squeezing Out Sparks” by Graham Parker and the Rumour from 1979.

And some double album on which I cleaned the dope. It wasn’t this record, but I once fancied this some pretty sweet mood music, too.


“Cafe Regio’s,” Isaac Hayes, from from “Shaft” original soundtrack, 1971.


Filed under February 2009, Sounds

3 responses to “The 3 uses for love songs

  1. Oh, lovely selection. The soundtrack of my lovelife in the late ’80s and early ’90s was almost exclusively composed of soul music.

  2. Ooh, good music. 🙂 Around this time (Singles Awareness Day), anything pro-love usually makes my grumpy, but I like this one. 🙂 Good stuff!

  3. Jeff, you were more than cool enough for the room. Thanks again for entertaining another one of my crazy ideas!

    All the best.

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