Valentine’s Day is here, and if you’ve procrastinated figuring out what to do for your sweetheart, just remember there’s nothing more old-fashioned and romantic than listening to records. Here’s a list of the 10 most romantic rock and roll love songs to listen to with your loved one — preferably on vinyl. As Jack White once said, “Digital in the car, vinyl in the bedroom.”
“Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan
Another song from 1966′s Blonde on Blonde, “Just Like a Woman,” is a more typical answer you’d get when asked what Dylan’s most romantic song is, but the 7-plus minute fever-dream of “Visions of Johanna” contains lovelier poetry and doesn’t have the slightly condescending tone of “Just Like a Woman.” The narrator spends most of the song describing the charismatic Louise, but it’s the elusive Johanna that he can’t get out of his head. “In this room the heat pipes just cough / The country music station plays soft / But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off / Just Louise and her lover so entwined / And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.”
“Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” The White Stripes
“Soft hair and a velvet tongue / I wanna give you what you give to me / Every breath that is in your lungs / Is a tiny little gift to me,” Jack White sings on the intro track to White Blood Cells, the album that made the White Stripes famous. This is one of the Stripes’ most straight-forward love songs not covered in grade-school child-affection weirdness. After another 13 years of hyper-productivity in a variety of different acts, “Dead Leaves” stands as White’s greatest love song.