1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Top 10 classic rock love songs

Some Valentine's Day inspiration

By

To be sure, classic rock had more than its share of hard driving, eardrum busting songs about illegal substances and graphic depictions of escapades of a sexual nature. So much so, it's easy to forget that the genre also produced some heartfelt love songs, perfect for Valentine's Day (and the other 364, too!)

Check these out, then tell us about some of your favorites.

1. "Something" - George Harrison

George Harrison - Something
Capitol Records

When Paul McCartney and John Lennon call a song one of the best that George Harrison wrote and among the best that The Beatles recorded, that's high praise indeed. If it's true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a lot of other artists feel the same -- more than 150 of them have covered "Something" since it appeared on Abbey Road in 1969.

Watch George Harrison's performance of "Something" at his 1971 Concert for Bangladesh

2. "You Are So Beautiful" - Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful
UMVD Special Markets

Joe Cocker's emotional delivery of "You Are So Beautiful" has made it one of his signature songs. Released on Cocker's 1974 I Can Stand a Little Rain album, it was originally recorded by Billy Preston, who co-wrote it with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys (who sometimes performed it in live performance encores) but it will forever be associated with the gravel voiced blues rocker.

Watch Joe Cocker's live performance of "You Are So Beautiful"

3. "Love Of My Life" - Queen

Queen - Love of My Life
Hollywood Records

Freddy Mercury was inspired to write "Love Of My Life" by his relationship with longtime companion, Mary Austin. Released in 1975 on A Night At The Opera, the song became so popular that when Queen performed in concert, Mercury often stayed silent while the audience sang. It was generally performed acoustically in concert, with Brian May accompanying Mercury (and the audience) on 12-string guitar. The song, with an almost operatic quality, showcased Mercury's amazing vocal range.

Watch Queen perform "Love of My Life" live in 1986

4. "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" - Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart - You're In My Heart
Warner Bros. Records

When a dedicated soccer fan like Rod Stewart tells the object of his affection that she's even better than his two favorite teams ("you're Celtic and United") that's true love! Stewart wrote "You're In My Heart" for his 1977 Foot Loose & Fancy Free album.

Music video -  Rod Stewart - "You're In My Heart"

5. "You're the Inspiration" - Chicago

Chicago - You're the Inspiration
Rhino / Warner Brothers

Lead singer and bassist Peter Cetera and producer David Foster originally wrote "You're The Inspiration" for Kenny Rogers, but when Rogers passed on it, Cetera was happy to include it on Chicago 17 in 1984, his last album with Chicago before going solo. The song helped make the album the band's biggest seller.

Watch music video of "You're the Inspiration"

6. "I Want To Know What Love Is" - Foreigner

Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
Atlantic Records

When hard rockers Foreigner included the love ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is" on the 1984 Agent Provocateur album, they obviously struck a chord (yes, the pun is intended) with their fans, who quickly made it #1 in the US and UK. It is arguably the song for which the band is best known. Written by Foreigner co-founder Mick Jones, the song features backup vocals by gospel group New Jersey Mass Choir, actress-singer Jennifer Holliday, and pop duo Thompson Twins.

Watch a live Foreigner performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is"

7. "Love Will Keep Us Alive" - Eagles

Eagles - Love Will Keep Us Alive
Geffen Records

One of two Top 40 singles from Eagles' 1994 live album, Hell Freezes Over, "Love Will Keep Us Alive" was the only song on the album that wasn't written or co-written by members of the band. Traffic co-founder Jim Capaldi co-wrote the ballad. Bassist Timothy B. Schmit provided lead vocals.

Watch an Eagles performance of "Love Will Keep Us Alive"

8. "Wonderful Tonight" - Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Universal Motown Records Group

Yes, the same artist who brought us "Cocaine" also delivered (on the same album) a touching love song about his wife, Pattie Boyd (who was also once the wife of his good friend George Harrison.) Eric Clapton wrote the song for Slowhand, released in 1977, but it would be another 14 years before "Wonderful Tonight" was released as a single.

Watch Eric Clapton in a live performance of "Wonderful Tonight"

9. "You and Me" - Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper - You and Me
Rhino / Warner Bros.

Even a shock rocker like Alice Cooper can carry off a tender love song. In fact, he delivered this one so well (on Lace and Whiskey in 1977) it was a Top 10 hit in the US, a chart position he wouldn't hold again until 12 years later. "You and Me" is about love from the perspective of an average working stiff, something to which most of us can readily relate.

Watch Alice Cooper perform "You and Me" on The Muppet Show in 1978

10. 'Wild Horses' - Rolling Stones

Virgin Records

"Wild Horses" was anything but a typical Rolling Stones song. Released on Sticky Fingers in 1971, it was a slow, acoustic ballad. The song was written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Gram Parsons (Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds) who recorded the first of the dozens of covers that would follow.

Watch The Rolling Stones perform "Wild Horses in 1995

  1. About.com
  2. Entertainment
  3. Classic Rock
  4. Reviews & Recommendations
  5. Top Picks Lists
  6. Top 10 classic rock love songs

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.