The 72nd year of the 20th Century was a very interesting year in many ways. 1972 saw the birth of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a Eminem), Chris Wallace (a.k.a Notorious B.I.G.), the personae known as Ziggy Stardust, HBO and the Easy Bake Oven. Bands like Devo and ABBA were formed, and the digital watch made its debut.
The eight songs on this list have been meticulously chosen. No sad longing, no unrequited love, just some of the most lyrically loving love songs of 1972, arranged in the order of their debut on the Top 40 chart.
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” first reached the Top 40 in December of 1971, but peaked at #1 in early 1972. The title is somewhat misleading, as if to suggest a troubled relationship, but the lyrics suggest no such notion. A great love song, and a fun slow dance, “Let’s Stay Together” remains a timeless classic.
“Precious and Few” by Climax
Not only did the 1970s have no shortage of love songs, but it also had no shortage of one-hit wonders. “Precious and Few” spent two weeks at the #3 spot on the Pop Top 40 in 1972, and its catchy chorus and tender lyrics make it a great love song.
“Betcha By Golly, Wow” by The Stylistics
The sound of Philadelphia is strong with this one Obi Wan. The distinctive and soulful falsetto sound of The Stylistics left an indelible footprint on the early 1970s, and this great love song shot to #3 on the Pop charts, and #2 on the R&B.
“First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
The first #1 song for Roberta Flack, “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” topped the charts for a noteworthy six weeks. Perhaps one of the most melancholy sounding love songs of all time, upon listening its lyrics prove tender and loving, and express a love-at-first-sight sentiment.
“Nice To Be With You” by Gallery
Upbeat, fun, and to the point, the title pretty much says it all. “Nice To Be With You” is a bouncy, almost danceable number with a pseudo-Country guitar twang sound that give it a distinctive early 1970s sound, reaching #4 on the Pop Top 40 in 1972. What simpler way to express love than to say “it’s so nice to be with you, I love all the things you say and do”?
“I’m Still In Love With You” by Al Green
Al Green’s second entry on the 1972 list, like “Let’s Stay Together” again has a somewhat suspect title, but lyrically reveals good, good loving. “I’m Still In Love With You” reached #3 on the Pop and #1 on the R&B Billboard charts, and would establish Al Green as a love song kind of guy.
“Burning Love” by Elvis Presley
Although Elvis hadn’t yet “left the building”, this #2 hit from 1972 would be the last Top 10 entry in the career of Elvis Presley. This is not only a fun sing-a-long, but a grab-you-and-hug-you kind of love song, like a hunk of burning love. Entering the Top 40 in September of 1972, “Burning Love” would remain in the Pop Top 40 for 20 weeks, carrying it into 1973.
“I’m Stone In Love With You” by The Stylistics
“Stone” as in “like a rock”, which is how much the song “Stone In Love With You” loves you. The second great love song The Stylistics pumped out in 1972, it became their third Top 10 chart topper peaking at #10. Although perhaps one of their lesser known hits, it’s not only a great love song, but a classic Sound of Philadelphia hit.
1972 would see Elvis Presley chart his last Top 10 single, while Paul McCartney would form a new band called Wings. Time marched on, yet the airwaves continued to be filled with love songs; some sappy, some silly, some sentimental, but all rejoicing in love.
Love the love…
Sources: The Billboard Book of Top 40 [Pop] Hits and The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn and Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits by Fred Bronson.