The older we get, the more controversial Valentine's Day becomes. It starts as a holiday where you give cards to classmates, but as you grow up, you either continue riding the romance train or treat it like any other day. But no matter where you stand on the Valentine's Day debate, nothing says love pulls at your heartstrings (or gets you in the mood) like a love song.
There’s no shortage of romantic albums out here, but rather than searching aimlessly for a Spotify playlist, spin a vinyl record for a more intimate experience. Check out our list of the 14 vinyl records for Valentine's Day.
Etta James — At Last
If you want “a love to last past Saturday night,” grab a copy of At Last by Etta James. Her soulful vocal style has brought couples together for generations, and you can still feel the vibe more than half a century after its 1960 release.
Etta James is a queen from the golden age of R&B. At Last is the defining record of her career, and possibly the best R&B record of the ‘60s. Songs like “At Last,” “Trust in Me” and “Stormy Weather” are great examples that show off her spunky personality and still evoke those feelings of the earliest days of a new romance decades later.
Marvin Gaye — Let’s Get it On
No list of romance albums would be complete without Marvin Gaye, the original mood-setter.
Marvin Gaye’s soul-infused album Let’s Get it On is filled with hits that helped Motown continue its unprecedented success on the charts. The title track topped the Billboard charts for two weeks and was Motown's most successful release at the time. Despite only being eight tracks long, this LP is packed with soulful flavor that’ll last the whole night.
Father John Misty — I Love You, Honeybear
Father John Misty, an indie-folk songwriter and producer, explores the theme of marriage in his concept album, I Love You, Honeybear. For the record (no pun intended), Father John Misty isn’t a real priest, but he definitely knows how to move a crowd with bold words. His ghostly vocals carry thoughtful lyrics that fans of alternative, folk or indie rock will fall in love with—and that you can fall in love to.
Mac Miller — The Divine Feminine
Rap isn’t known as a genre that often tackles romance, but Mac Miller set the bar with his 2016 LP. The Divine Feminine is a groovy fusion of rap, jazz and R&B with a delicate touch. Aside from being a perfect album to listen to on Valentine’s Day, it’s one of those “in my feels” records that’ll hit you in all the right places.
From pop anthems to jazzy cuts, The Divine Feminine is a great album with something for everyone. “Congratulations” is laced with graceful piano melodies and poetic wordplay, while tracks like “Dang!” will take you to the dance floor.
Frank Ocean — Blonde
Frank Ocean, who might literally be the Willy Wonka of modern R&B, paints deeply personal images in Blonde. It’s a smooth soundtrack for couples who want a dreamy day. Or, if you’d rather spend Valentine’s Day doing some self-reflection, listening to Frank Ocean’s tender voice is all you need.
Frank Ocean is known for his unique approach to writing lovely R&B songs, and this album is full of them. A few of our favorites include “Pink + White,” “Solo” and “Nights.”
The xx — xx
The xx are mainstays of indie electronica, gracing playlists with their bare-bones approach to alt-rock. Their debut release, xx, is a perfect record to have in your collection for when the lights get low. xx isn’t a love album in a traditional sense—not all of its songs evoke a particularly romantic spirit—but its ambient soundscapes and hazy vocals will help you create a chill, downright sexy atmosphere on Valentine’s Day.
Moses Sumney — Aromanticism
Moses Sumney has quickly grown into an artist who goes against the grain and challenges concepts about love within himself and society. Nevertheless, Aromanticism is a powerful R&B record with a sensual glow and beautiful lyrics that scream “play me on Valentine’s Day.”
Moses Sumney has a gorgeous falsetto that washes over you and cryptic lyrics that you’ll ponder for days while you play and replay his songs. We highly recommend spinning this record with a glass of wine and an open mind.
The Magnetic Fields — 69 Love Songs
Just like the album title promises, 69 Love Songs is packed with—you guessed it—69 love songs. This unusual concept album from 1999 explores love from just about every angle you can imagine—some sincere, some bizarre and some downright satire.
Aside from its ridiculously long track length, The Magnetic Fields has a funny, almost unpredictable way of jumping between different genres. Expect to hear everything from country to synth-pop.
The Decemberists — The Hazards of Love
The Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love is a story that follows a woman who falls in love with a fawn in the forest. From front to back, this album features a cast of guest artists to tell the tale, including Beck Star from Lavender Diamond and Jim James from My Morning Jacket.
The Decemberists are a staple in the folk-rock genre, and The Hazards of Love is a great reflection of their storytelling chops. If you’re looking for something that strays away from the typical romance album, try it out.
Chet Baker — Chet Baker's Holiday
Jazz lovers will feel right at home when Chet Baker’s Holiday is spinning on the record player. Baker is essential for those who love the ‘crooner’ vocalists of the ‘50s and ‘60s—a timeless style that still makes a great soundtrack to romantic nights decades later.
This particular album is Baker’s nod to Billie Holiday, and he covers each song like it’s one of his own. And if Chet Baker’s voice doesn’t make your heart swoon on Valentine’s Day, his signature horn solos surely will.
Nina Simone — Wild is the Wind
The quiver in Nina Simone’s voice is powerful enough to make a grown man cry. Her records are always filled with deeply moving words of love, pain, triumph and just about every human emotion buried within us. Nina Simone’s 1966 LP, Wild is the Wind, is one of her most romantic albums, and if the hot pink album art doesn’t catch your attention, her romantic jazz vocals will.
Sade — Love Deluxe
When you think “sensual,” you think “Sade.” The ‘90s R&B band led by namesake Sade Adu, takes the crown for writing the sexiest love songs of the decade. Released in 1992, Love Deluxe features a seductive tracklist of hot and heavy love songs. For some of us, listening to Love Deluxe is like running face-first into a brick wall of nostalgia. When you’re feeling the vibe on Valentine's Day, start with “No Ordinary Love” and enjoy the ride, track by track.
Miles Davis — Kind of Blue
It might be called Kind of Blue, but it’s impossible to feel under the weather when you hear its lively style. Miles Davis released this essential jazz record in 1959 with the help of tenor sax legend John Coltrane and double bass veteran Paul Chambers. Together, you and your loved one will dance, sway and get lost in the wild cascade of trumpet solos that made Miles Davis one of the greats.
Al Green — Let's Stay Together
Al Green is a must-have for any record collector. Let’s Stay Together is the crowning achievement of his career and arguably the best soul record of the era. His blend of warmth and sweetness is its own brand of soul, and many artists have tried to replicate it. However, this isn’t a sound you develop and master over time—you’re just born with it.
In addition to Al Green’s seductive persona, the album is brimming with love songs like, “Love and Happiness,” “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” and “La-La For You.” Bottom line—this record was made for Valentine’s Day.
Bonus: “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and The Wailers
If you want a splash of reggae on Valentine’s Day, listen to “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and The Wailers. You just can’t let the chorus pass you by without singing along, no matter what time of year it is. Of course, Valentine’s Day is a great time to spin this classic. The song is featured on Kaya, the band’s 1978 LP. If you can’t get your hands on a Kaya LP, grab the single!
Happy Valentine’s Day
Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day as a couple or flying solo, there’s nothing like listening to vinyl records. House of Marley Turntables and our Get Together Duo Bluetooth speakers are ideal for music lovers who want premium features and superior sound.