The Bitter With The Sweet Valentine’s Mix

Back in the day, before domestic bliss set in, my wife and I used to throw a Valentine’s Day party, complete with heart-shaped jello shots. I was in charge of the music and compiled a mix stretching over two cassettes that explored the theme of love from both ends of the spectrum. For each sappy love song, I added a counterpoint, a tune that approached the concept of love with, shall we say, a jaundiced eye. Because the most powerful love songs, like all the greatest art, are not happy occasions. Quite the opposite. Thus was conceived The Bitter With The Sweet Valentine’s Mix.

This playlist is available on Spotify and 8tracks.

1.  “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison

2.  “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band


3.  “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty

4.  “Dead Flowers” by the Rolling Stones


5.  “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin

6.  “I Want Your Sex” by George Michael


7.  “All I Want Is You” by U2

8.  “I Alone” by Live


9  “Love and Affection” by Joan Armatrading

10.  “(I Love It When You) Call Me Names” by Joan Armatrading


11.  “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Dionne Warwick

12.  “Love Stinks” by the J. Geils Band


13.  “Angel Eyes” by Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul

14.  “Chained and Bound” by Otis Redding


15.  “Get It While You Can” by Janis Joplin

16.  “Strange Currencies” by R.E.M.


17.  “Stuck On You” by Elvis Presley

18.  “Back Door Man” by the Doors


19.  “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield

20.  “Father Figure” by George Michael


21.  “Sweetest Thing” by U2

22.  “Sweet Papa John” by Johnny Winter


23.  “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

24.  “Without Letting Go” by Laurie Sargent


25.  “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” by Bruce Springsteen

26.  “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin


27.  “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison

28.  “She’s On It” by the Beastie Boys


29.  “Scarlet Begonias” by the Grateful Dead

30.  “Femme Fatale” by the Velvet Underground


31.  “Nobody Knows Me” by Lyle Lovett

32.  “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band


33.  “Moonlight Mile” by the Rolling Stones

34.  “Some Girls” by the Rolling Stones


35.  “You’re The One That I Want” by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

36.  “Be My Number Two” by Joe Jackson


37.  “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye

38.  “Belle” by Al Green


39.  “Best of My Love” by the Eagles

40.  “Love Gets You Twisted” by Graham Parker


41.  “Blue Eyes” by Middle Brother

42.  “Bell Bottom Blues” by Derek and the Dominoes


43.  “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

44.  “Still” by Macy Gray


45.  “Faithfully” by Journey

46.  “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan


47.  “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

48.  “Me & Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin


49.  “The Fever” by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

50.  “Alone Tonight” by Jonny Two Bags



4 thoughts on “The Bitter With The Sweet Valentine’s Mix

  1. Fogelson, Bert here again. Great concept, great list, but Nobody Knows Me by Lyle Lovett is one of the truly saddest songs ever written. Lyle expresses his remorseful lament that “I hate to be alone on Sundays”…the state he finds himself in as the result of his affair with his “dream made to order”. It’s striking fall from what he had earlier in the song. His lazy Sunday mornings with his eggs over easy making, tortilla preparing, coffee creaming woman who knew him like no other. It’s a heartbreaking song about the frailty of love and the dangers of testosterone.

    My favorite pairing is GnR with Macy Gray. Keep up the great work Matt.

  2. An interesting way to view Valentine’s Day with the bitter and the sweet. “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine” represents both for me as it became our theme song when we were falling in love but had too many differences to think we would have anything more than a year together. Fifty years later and two great kids, it was a very sweet reflection on the possibilities and strength of LOVE!

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