(Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for The Million Roses )

Yes, 13 love songs that rock. Even though I’m Adam 12. Because for some of us, Valentine’s Day isn’t lucky in love, it’s unlucky.


I wrestle with this every year, as I’m sure you might as well. The pessimist in me says that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday. It’s an expression of love by way of capitalism, which isn’t an expression of love at all when you get down to it. Then the optimist gently reminds the pessimist that the world needs more love in general, so any expression of love on any day is worthwhile.


This even played out when I was putting together the Valentine’s Day edition of my 3-Way @ 3. If you’re not familiar, weekdays at 3, I play a three-song set with a theme. At the beginning of the third song, you can call in and guess the theme. You can even win a prize for your trouble occasionally. There’s even a “home version” you can play any time right here.


My conundrum: do I put together a three-song set where the theme is “Love?” A celebration of love, on Valentine’s Day, seems like an obvious choice. But what about those who don’t “love” Valentine’s Day? Do I listen to the pessimist and toss together a theme that thumbs its nose at Valentine’s Day and mocks amor?


13 Love Songs That Rock

I actually went in a different direction with my 3-Way theme. Which means I have a whole slew of unused “love” songs. Some deal with love, some deal with when love goes wrong. But what they all have in common is that they rock. So no matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day, you’ll find at least a few songs here that can help you soundtrack your celebration, get you through a tough day, or just help you rock for awhile.

  • 1) Aerosmith "Love In An Elevator"

    “Good morning, Mr. Tyler. Going…down?” The Bad Boys of Boston can’t not be naughty. Even in a department store. I had ‘Pump’ on tape back in ’89 and this was one of my favorite songs on the tape. Rewind city.

  • 2) Def Leppard "Love Bites"

    Maybe low-key the best song on Hysteria? And it’s open to interpretation. Love can “bite” in that it sucks. Or it can give you a little nibble on the neck. I like those little nibbles on the neck. Giving or receiving.

  • 3) George Thorogood & The Destroyers "Who Do You Love?"

    Snakeskin on Valentine’s Day? Snakeskin EVERY day. Get after it, George. I went with a live version because you know Mr. Thorogood and his Destroyers are crushing this one live every damn time they play it.

  • 4) The J. Geils Band "Love Stinks"

    Sometimes love stinks. Sometimes it doesn’t. But one thing is certain: that riff is iconic. And rest assured: anytime you hear me playing this one on ROCK 92.9, I have the studio monitors cranked as loud as they’ll go.

  • 5) Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love"

    Led Zeppelin: “We love you, Willie Dixon!”

    Willie Dixon: “Thank you.”

    Led Zeppelin: “We love you so much we’re going to steal your song!”

    Willie Dixon: “???”

  • Queen "Somebody To Love"

    Those harmonies. How can you not love ’em? How can you not love Queen? I love that this song got a bit of a renaissance and was introduced to a whole new generation of Queen fans with the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic a few years ago. It’s a good one.

  • R.E.M. "The One I Love"

    “This one goes out to the one I love. This one goes out to the one I left behind.” This one actually goes out to Hardy. He’s my friend and I love him. And he loves R.E.M. They’re one of his favorite bands of all-time.

  • Stone Temple Pilots "Interstate Love Song"

    We love Weiland in a cowboy hat. We love Weiland in any hat, frankly. We love Weiland. Back in my high school drama club years, we had a hat like this in the costume closet, so I used to put it on and run around, Weiland-style.

  • Tesla "Love Song"

    We love Tesla the band much more than Tesla the car. Because Tesla the band is road-tested. And Tesla the band isn’t trying to push an auto pilot feature that hasn’t been properly tested and can turn your car into a death trap.

  • Van Halen "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love"

    Maybe the best Roth-era “love” song? And it’s not even because of anything Dave does, per se. It’s that nasty-ass riff. Again, I went with a live version here. Because watching Eddie play that riff live is something I love.

  • 11) Van Halen "When It's Love"

    Gotta get a Sammy jam in the mix, too. Equal-opportunity Sam & Dave guy here. Even though I lean Sammy. Because I love Sammy. And I don’t love Dave ever since his ill-fated foray into Boston morning radio.

  • 12) Whitesnake "Is This Love"

    RIP, Tawny Kitaen. You’ll always be our Valentine. And this song will always strike a chord, as it has some of the best production of the ’80s. Especially that guitar sound. Really captures the era.

  • 311 "Love Song"

    Figured I’d throw in the cover version just to “mix things up” a bit. Get it? “All Mixed Up” is another 311 song! That one’s for you, B-Real. Oh, never mind.

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