Here's music to make Valentine's Day more romantic
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Is your stereo ready?
Music can be as integral in setting a romantic mood as a warm fire and a bouquet of roses. Almost every couple has "our song" or favorite inspiring artist. So take a CD inventory as you're planning Wednesday's quiet evening with your love. If you need some help, there are new collections designed to help set the mood:
For the old-fashioned at heart and ear, Columbia's Legacy label has released a series of albums by classic artists, all titled Love Songs. Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Duke Ellington all have new collections of their hits available through the series. The Sinatra Love Songs disc includes tracks from the early career of Ol' Blue Eyes, spanning 1944-52. Six of the 15 songs are previously unreleased alternate takes and include "Embraceable You," "Fools Rush In," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "My Girl" and "I Hear a Rhapsody." The Ellington Love Songs disc covers 1947-61 and includes "Satin Doll," "Body and Soul," "Prelude to A Kiss," "All of Me" and the previously unreleased "Love (My Everything)." Franklin's collection includes songs from 1962-65, including "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Wonder (Where Are You Tonight)," and "Try A Little Tender-ness," among others.
The Legacy Love Songs series also has released discs by Michael Bolton, the Isley Brothers, Louis Armstrong and more.
Just like Columbia/Legacy, Rhino Records has released a series of discs that are all titled Love Songs. Included in Rhino's series are discs by Curtis Mayfield, Dusty Springfield and Grover Washington Jr. Mayfield's 16-track Love Songs set includes "Grow Closer Together," "I'm the One," and "I Loved and Lost" from his tenure with the Impressions, as well as his solo recordings "The Makings of You," "So in Love" and "Love to Keep You in My Mind." The Springfield Love Songs disc includes her torch classics "Summer Love," "Bring Him Back," "Sweet Lover No More," and "The Look of Love." Finally, the Washington set includes the saxophonist's collaborations with Bill Withers ("Just the Two of Us"), Patti Labelle ("The Best Is Yet to Come") and Grady Tate ("Be Mine Tonight"), among others.
If you're looking for something a little more contemporary, Rhino Records has also released New Millennium Love Songs, a collection of ballads from the past 20 years by modern pop icons such as Genesis, Chicago, Foreigner and more. The disc has 18 romantic hits, including Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait," Edwin McCain's "I'll Be," Genesis' "Hold on My Heart," Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet," The Cars' "Drive," Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville's "Don't Know Much," Duncan Sheik's "Barely Breathing," Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever" and many more.
Rhino also has released two new titles in its Smooth Grooves series for Valentine's Day. Smooth Grooves Live includes live versions of "Reasons" by Earth, Wind & Fire, "Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul, "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus and Chaka Khan, "Just to Be Close to You" by the Commodores and "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye. Smooth Grooves Steppin' Out includes songs from the '90s steppin' dance craze, including "In & Out of Love" by Patti Austin, "Be Thankful for What You Got" by William DeVaughn and a remix of "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.
If you're really considering a wild time for V-Day, you could also look up Rhino's collection Take It Off! Striptease Classics. You might want to check this purchase with your partner though, first.
Oh, and if you're menu-conscious, all these titles go well with a fine chardonnay or merlot. Happy Valentine's Day!