No matter who you are, there’s one type of song that can make your heart beat faster than its tempo: the love song. Along with all music, love songs have also evolved over the years. The tone, rhythm, and depth of the lyrics have changed with each decade. Let’s start out with the 1950’s, which was an era that surrounded itself with mostly rock and roll, swing, and blues. Elvis Presley released his love hit “Don’t” in 1957. Shortly after, “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke was released in 1958 and “Dream Lover” by Bobby Darin released in 1959. This decade was full of electric guitars, pianos, and snare drums.
During the 1960’s Elvis Presley continued to amaze listeners by his song “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. This time period gradually transitioned into a decade of different forms of rock such as, pop rock, blues-rock, folk rock, and psychedelic rock. Another great example of this is “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison released in 1967.
This now brings us into the 1970’s and the new tone for music. The genres faded into disco, soul, jazz, and funk. You can hear the disco style in “Love To Love You Baby” by Donna Summer released in 1975 and “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Baby” by Barry White.
The 1980’s kept the disco genre but added a little more pop. The duet “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross released in 1981 was a beautiful hit. This melody takes you back as their voices dynamically flow with each other in perfect harmony. The same feel is also present in “Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston released in 1985. Even country music in 1987 had similar lyrics such as “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis.
Moving into the 1990’s it started out resembling the late 1980’s but with more of a seductive sense. Perfect examples of this would be “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz 11 Men released in 1994, “You’re Makin’ Me High” by Toni Braxton released in 1996, and “Nice and Slow” by Usher released in 1997. With that said, not all love songs were written with a hint of seduction. The classic style was still fighting its way through the 1990’s and even new bands such as Backstreet Boys took on the heart-felt version of love lyrics with their song “As Long As You Love Me”. One song that you also might remember is “More Than Words” by Extreme, released in 1990, which was remade by Frankie J. in 2008. This brings us into the 2000’s.
Just as with the 1990’s, classic love lyrics remained, initially starting with “Let’s Get Married” by Jagged Edge, “This I Promise You” by NSYNC, and “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys. Although this era seemed to have aspects of the oldies but goodies, the genres changed completely. This was now the time of dubstep, indie, and bass music to make their appearance.
Last but not least we are now up to date within our own decade. Trap music, R&B, and EDM has now also taken the stage. With that said the depth of love songs has not lost its touch. “All Of Me” by John Legend, “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, and “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran are just a few songs that have proven that love songs still hold their meaning many years later. We may hear different instruments, artists, and melodies within each love song, but the truth is these songs still have the one thing that cannot be changed: love.