Some time last year, my friend and musical partner-in-enjoyment Alex invited me to join his CD club. No, not that kind of CD club, but rather the kind where every month someone in the club makes a mix CD and mails it out to everyone else. Yes, they use actual CDs. Yes, they use actual snail mail. Yes, these people are old-school.
The first 2 CDs of the season were pretty great, so I felt I had something to live up to. First up was to pick a theme. I went through a lot of options, briefly considering an all-covers mix, a mix about various landscapes (there's many a great song about mountains and the ocean and even the desert), and, since my month is September, I almost went for an "early fall/end of summer" theme. However, none of these appealed to me as much as that thing which has probably inspired more songs than any other topic since human beings started making music: Love. [Editor's note: second only to suburban ennui.]
Picking a bunch of love songs is easy. Picking a bunch of love songs that are good, that your intended audience (most of whom you don't know) probably hasn't already heard 100 times, work well together, and fit onto a standard-length CD-R is harder. I also didn't want just love songs - I wanted songs about love (which of course includes the occasional breakup song). I started with about 60 tracks, whittled it down to 45 I really liked, then finally got it down to the 21 below. After gathering some feedback from my patient focus group (who had to listen to this thing in the background about 40 times), I finalized the order and called it a day. And now, I am pleased to share it with all of you.
Note: For reasons unknown to me, the name of the club is the Steel Ape Sessions. Their mascot is a somewhat disturbing picture of an ape, jaws wide open, apparently ready to devour some serious rock. He's the guy sitting in for Leonard Cohen in my awesome Photoshopped album cover below.
So, what did you think? What love songs would you put on a mix CD? Tell me in the comments.