If you’re a fan of the Kore Studios blog you might remember the list of our favourite alternative Christmas songs we made back in December. We chose those tracks that are guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows when you’re pulling your crackers, taking into account Christmas hits from the likes of Eazy E, The Darkness and even the late Motörhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmister.
Now, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we thought it was time we did the same with our favourite alternative love songs. We’re skipping over the Bublés, the Swifts and the Presleys of the world to bring you a list of alternative love songs that you certainly won’t be hearing when you tune in to Radio 1 on the 14th. These tracks are guaranteed to make or break your first date – but if it was the latter, would you really want a future with them anyway?
Steel Panther – Community Property
What better way would there be to kick off a list of alternative love songs than with vulgar satirical glam metallers Steel Panther? Community Property is a ballad that tells the tale of a musician who, though deeply in love with his significant other, wants them to understand that ‘What happens on tour, stays on tour’ (though with far less family-friendly phrasing). It’s a great tune to sing out loud with pride… just don’t follow through on the advice if you want to keep your relationship going.
Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box
Nirvana are unlikely to be the first band that comes to mind when you think of romance. With songs like Rape Me, Lithium and In Bloom, Cobain and co. weren’t exactly known for their lovey-dovey side. With Heart-Shaped Box, however, while we still don’t get a classic love song from the Seattle trio, the abrasive instrumentation on the surface shouldn’t distract from the truly passionate lyrics beneath. The love may not be immediately obvious, but the darkly poetic way Cobain shows his affection in wishing he could “Eat your cancer away, when you turn black” is potentially the most darkly depressing way to say ‘I love you’ ever put to music. Heart-Shaped Box is a song that digs deeply into the grim realities of love and loss, but it’s sure to make at least a couple of people realise that they’re beloved.
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Back in the late 70s, Joy Division were more than a t-shirt worn by kids who just got their first Crosley turntable. In fact, they’re one of the most influential post-punk bands ever to achieve mainstream success and one of their most successful hits came in the form of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Often considered one of the greatest singles of all time, LWTUA is a melancholic track that ponders the fragility of love. In some ways it could be considered more of an ‘anti-love’ song, but we guarantee that no indie kid’s relationship would be complete without an Ian Curtis Valentine’s Day singalong.
Biz Markie – Just A Friend
When you think of 90s hip-hop, you’re probably more likely to think of the gun violence and ‘F*** Tha Police’ attitude of NWA, The Wu-Tang Clan and The Notorious B.I.G rather than fun-filled songs about love. Biz Markie delivered exactly that with Just A Friend. The single delivered a rollercoaster of a tale, with Biz falling in love with a girl, only to find her spending her days with another man – a man she claims is “just a friend”. Biz Markie taught us all a lesson about falling in love too fast, when maybe we should stop chasing those who want to use us and be more aware of the people who really care about us, this is definitely one for your Valentine’s playlist.
The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
At Kore, we adore The Stone Roses – just take a look at our in-depth guide to their music. While they didn’t release a lot of music, what songs the band did produce have become legendary. One of their most popular tracks is, without a doubt, I Wanna Be Adored. While the lyrics consist almost entirely of the words ‘I wanna be adored’, the dreamy guitar-led backing music makes for a tune that radiates the actual emotion of love throughout. If you find yourself wanting to be adored this Valentine’s Day, Ian Brown’s psychedelic romance may just be for you.
Queens of the Stone Age – Make It Wit Chu
This track from Californian desert rockers Queens of the Stone Age gets straight to the point. Josh Homme isn’t interested in any slow burn romance at all. No, he’s here to ‘make it’… with you, “anytime, anywhere” no less. The sultry bassline and Homme’s more than a little suggestive lyrics definitely fall more on the lustful side of the Valentine’s celebrations. But let’s be honest, we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that that was the subtext behind the lyrics of some of our favourite classic love songs.
The Ramones – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
They might be better known for wanting to be sedated, but in their second ever single, The Ramones got straight to the point with their attempts to start a relationship. The punk rockers’ 1976 I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend is blunt, but sometimes that’s the key to success. An inspiring anthem for any singletons, just head out and sing this to your crush. And hey, you never know what could happen – just remember to thank Tommy Ramone if that strategy actually works.
We hope that, thanks to our list of alternative love songs, you won’t have to subject yourself to an onslaught of the usual soppy hits this Valentine’s Day. If you think you could be in with a chance of becoming an alternative legend of love, why not book a session at Kore Studios? You may just be a Barry White in the making.