Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, as we’re sure you’re aware! Hopefully, you have everything planned and you’ve already picked up flowers and/or chocolates for your significant other… but as a quick checklist, do you have:
But now what?
A lot of planning goes into the “events” of Valentine’s Day, but not into the “before and after” moments… Those moments of silence that are unavoidable… The drive home, or that moment when you and your love are cuddled on the couch. Do you turn on the radio to the first station you can find just to have some filler? Do you try to find a movie to put on the TV? Or should you put on a generic jazz album? Does he/she even like jazz (the answer SHOULD be “yes”).
Never fear!!! We’ve taken the guesswork out of your weekend, and picked out some great music to keep you and your date company on the way to that special dinner / romantic weekend getaway / paintball tournament… and don’t worry, these songs are still pretty good picks for all our independent friends as well!
So put this playlist together (or follow and stream it on Spotify) and let the music do the talkin’!
Probably the most recognizable song on the list for the “younger” generation, “Love Bug” is a simple (yet catchy) pop tune describing the breathlessness associated with falling in love.
Going further back in history is the iconic Mel Torme. His smooth, svelte voice at the time of this recording is reminiscent of a young Bing Crosby… this song also makes a great accompaniment to any marriage proposal as well (nudge, nudge; wink, wink; hint, hint)
Louis Prima uses this ballad to describe the fantastic (and sometimes maniacal) effects that “the love bug” can have on you when it bites you… The ballad itself is fun, but an added bonus is hearing Mr. Prima’s patter… it really sounds as if he enjoys the song, and you can picture him smiling through the whole number.
This instrumental offering is unique. Behind skillful guitar playing, Mr. Meadowman lays down track of cicada chirping that adds to the effect of the music… hauntingly beautiful music that is accented by the innate beauty of nature.
In another folk-style offering, Jim Armenti plays a catchy little tune that will get stuck in your head much in the same way that “You Are My Sunshine” got stuck in your head after watchin “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.” The lyrics are simple and sweet, though, and that’s why it makes the list.
Mr. Wilson’s track is purely instrumental, and it comes from his “Blue Breakbeats” album. We weren’t going to include this track originally (since it’s only bug related in title) but such a smooth piece of jazz simply MUST be included. Don your best slippers and smoking jacket and tap your feet as the music washed over you.
Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band gives us an “old school” ballad with a little funk thrown in… the deep bass line provides a nice, steady rhythm while high-pitched vocals smoothly hit those sweet harmonies to really relax you and put you in the mood…
…And speaking of funk, this is where the music starts to pick up on our playlist…
Tina kicks things off with her rendition of “Love Bug.” Admittedly, the beat is a pretty generic rendition of music offered up at the time (the song was released in 1978), but it’s still an upbeat offering that’s easy to get into. For best results, use this song to sweep your lover into an impromptu dance in the living room.
The Tower of Power brings the love AND the funk! Right out the gate, TToP lays down a funky beat that you can’t help to move to… It’s got us groovin’ at the office, we DARE YOU to put it on at home with your “S.O.”… You won’t be able to resist putting on your OWN dance party at home!
Even the Supremes aren’t immune to the bite of the Love Bug. They’ve got an itch and they “can’t scratch it.” This song keeps the momentum going, despite the lyrics being somewhat lackluster. It’s another good “groove hit” tgo keep in your repertoire.
This classic ditty will have your toes tappin’ more than the “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie.” George gets bowled over by that “little bitty, teeny, weeny thing they call the love bug.” And we get a classic song as a result.
Jimmy does his best Elvis impression in this song, but instead of being “All Shook Up,” he gets bitten by none other than the love bug (did you REALLY expect anyone else to be the culprit on this list?)
Mr. Pasternak has a well-ground voice… that gravelly disposition often associated with long stints on the road. His voice perfectly compliments his playstyle, offering an upbeat (yet haunting) warning to let the love bug “move you right along.” And hopefully, if you’re using our playlist, things will move along quite nicely.
Lyrically speaking, Slow Joe doesn’t offer anything mind blowing, but it’s a pretty catchy tune, and occasionally he grinds on the notes, leading you to believe he’s going to break into a bug-themed version of “Roxanne.” He never does, but he still manages to accomplish a sexy quirkiness that’s undeniable.
Stevie Ray Vaughan tears up the guitar in his signature style. This is an easy track to listen to over and over, but you would also be well served to sing along with Mr. Vaughan as you both implore, “tell me little baby that you’ll buzz me all the time.”
Baby Bee has a sound very reminiscent of Jet (not to be confused with THE Jets, which is also on this list). It opens up right away, with an in-your-face feeling. It’s no surprise, then, that this song was chosen for the Walking Dead Soundtrack.
The Jets are a UK band famous for their rockabilly style, but this song is a great throwback song, reminiscent of Chuck Berry’s playfulness combined with that driving guitar sound.
Rocky and the Replays is another group that borders rock and another genre. They borrow strongly from the doo-wop era as they compare their love to honey from the honeybee (hint: she’s sweeter).
Martha (and her Vandellas) lament a fella who leaves and then returns, then leaves (and returns) again and again like the seasons (hmmm, it really DOES sound like a pest problem…)
Sparker laments visiting a lover under the cover of dark… Drifting in his loneliness
Sally struggles to take in the world around her, but she can’t since she is so consumed by her lover that she’s overwhelmed by a “buzzing sound.” She compares herself to a honeybee, which can’t keep its composure near a lily. (It sounds less corny when you listen to it, I promise).
This is a harder sound than other songs Marcy Playground has offered up in the past. It doesn’t really push the genre in any sense, but it’s a good “grungy” track to break up the pace… or speed it up, however you like it.
At least Weezer will never be alone, if this fun kid’s song is any indication. Though Weezer’s mothers really wish they would get out more often and meet some real people. Maybe that nice girl from the deli down the street.
QoTSA have a dismal outlook in this song. The lyrics are introspective, and can have a chilling effect. A lot of symbolism in this song and its meaning can be interpreted in different ways. Put on your headphones and contemplate to your satisfaction.
The Ragged Hearts are “Buzzing on Brown” as they wait for their love to return.
The NowhereNauts actually lament the lack of “rest” to be found… but it’s still a good song to put on and drown out the world when you’re by yourself.
27). SR-71 – Mosquito
Though their most popular song is probably “Right Now,” pop-punk band Sr-71 had another catchy tune in their single, “Mosquito.” In it, Mitch Allan (the lead singer) describes the tumultuous relationship he had, and sums up his review with “I don’t think about you anymore.” If that was true, though, then why did he write a song about it?
A very basic drum beat lays beneath this song performed by Nina… in it, she calls out a former lover about blowing his chance with her through all the terrible things he’s done. Joe Bonamassa also covered this song with a distinctly different sound. Lyrically the songs are the same, but but Bonnamassa applies some aggressive energy to the song that isn’t as overt in Nina’s rendition.
29). Bumblebee Unlimited – Love Bug
(Un)surprisingly, this is the only LP released by Bumblebee Unlimited. A track filled with artists “buzzing” as background vocals and classic lines like “I’ll sting you with my love” probably is NOT the best idea for you to play on Valentine’s Day. Unless you’re starring in your own Rom-Com. In that case, go for it.
Even we have to admit that a cicada-themed album may not be the best thing… especially if it’s not aimed at education or children’s entertainment. The opening track is a rap song titled “Waited 17 Years (to party).” The “17” years comes from (of course) the cycle that cicadas observe… after 17 years underground, they emerge to mate and then die approximately a month later. In this case, perhaps they should have waited another 17 years.
So there you have it, Thirty “Hits and Misses” for your Valentine’s Day playlists… We hope you had some fun reading through and listening. Which songs are your favorite? Do you have any songs we missed? Let us know what you think!