Baby, Baby Please: The Greatest Get-Her-Back Love Songs
Say what you will about Robin Thicke, but that man is committed. Since the moment his un-husband-like behavior came to light, he has done everything under the sun to win back the lovely Paula Patton. Though much of his pleading has apparently fallen on deaf ears, Thicke is certainly not alone in his brand of begging. Many a heartbroken man have pulled out all the stops to win back the loves of their lives. So as a salute to Thicke and all the other men desperately trying to get their ladies back, we take a look at 15 songs that will at least get her reconsidering a return.
Boyz II Men: On Bended Knee
Boyz II Men were the indisputable kings of 90s R&B. Their smooth vocals and soaring ballads made even the iciest hearts melt. And though many of their songs celebrated love, there were more than a few that spoke directly to heartache, longing and begging for forgiveness. The group’s 1994, number one hit “On Bended Knee” is a must-listen for anyone trying to make it up to their loved one.
Sam Smith: Stay With Me
On first look, Sam Smith certainly doesn’t look like an R&B, love song powerhouse. But looks can be deceiving. The 22-year-old British singer-songwriter penned one of the most emotionally-charged and captivating songs of 2014 with his hit “Stay With Me.” As Smith croons “Why am I so emotional?/No, it’s not a good look, gain some self-control/And deep down I know this never works/But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt” combines some brutal realism with a sweetness and honesty that might make a lost lady want to return home.
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: You’re All I Need (To Get By)
Choosing just one Marvin Gaye song to include in our list was quite a challenge. But if you’re going with a song to win back a lost love, there is no way that you can’t go with a Gaye-Tami Terrell collaboration. “You’re All I Need (To Get By)” is one of the greatest love songs of all-time, but it isn’t just the lyrics that get to us. The charisma between Gaye and Terrell and the beautiful joining of their voices really drill home the passion, love and sincerity of each and every word of this classic.
Lenny Williams: Cause I Love You
If you thought Robin Thicke had cornered the market on crying, then you must have forgotten about Lenny Williams. We should note that we are by no means trying to diminish Williams’ talent, but anyone whose ever heard 1978’s “Cause I Love You” has to admit a grown man crying has never sounded so good. Williams’s heart-felt appeal to his lost love is a must-listen for anyone trying to get back in their former flames’ good graces.
Al Green: Lets Stay Together
“Let’s Stay Together” is probably one of the most cliched songs on our list, but is there really any way that we could give a hand-wave to Al Green’s biggest hit? The short answer is absolutely not. Green’s light, airy, soulful vocals paired with an elegantly simple premise to this up-tempo ballad created a hit that still resonates with lovers at all stages of the relationship game.
Otis Redding: Try A Little Tenderness
Maybe a little more of an unconventional choice, but Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” has an undeniable impact on the ladies. Redding’s raspy voice belting out lyrics like “Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her” will make any woman take another look at the former man in her life.
Adele: Make You Feel My Love
Certainly on the more melancholy, sentimental side, Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love” might be one of the most heart-wrenching, yet effective, tracks on our list. A cover of Billy Joel and Bob Dylan’s original songs, “Make You Feel My Love” recounts the ups, downs, turmoil and sacrifices that someone in love is willing to endure for the special person in their life. While there may have been some wrongdoing in the past, a little Adele could be the beginning of a fresh start for a relationship that’s fallen on hard times.
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
Yes, we know, this one was to be expected. But regardless of how many times you’ve heard it, despite the number of times you’ve swooned over Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard,” if a man you once cared about played “I Will Always Love You” in a last-ditch attempt to win you back, good luck simply dismissing him. We’re not saying you’ll take him back immediately, but we wouldn’t blame you if you gave him a second look if he played this classic for you.
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko: Stay
Another relatively new addition to the rotation of please-take-me-back, girl-I-love-you songs, Rihanna and Mikky Ekko’s “Stay” showed a raw emotion and vulnerability that is often lacking in pop ballads. But with lyrics as poignant as:”Not really sure how to feel about it/Something in the way you move/Makes me feel like I can’t live without you/It takes me all the way/I want you to stay,” RiRi’s hit made hearts flutter far and wide, and could be just the thing to reignite a spark in that fading relationship.
Gladys Knight: The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
The title of this classic Gladys Knight song pretty much says it all. While not one of her bigger hits, “The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” still features Knight in all her diva-voiced, powerhouse glory. But with a more joyous tone than some of the other get-her-back songs we’ve featured, Knight’s track could hit just the right not for a man looking to make amends to his woman.
Alicia Keys: If I Ain’t Got You
From the day that “If I Ain’t Got You” first hit airwaves, it was a no-brainer that this Alicia Keys hit would find itself a comfortable place in love song history. As one of the great R&B singers of the last several decades, Keys knocked it out of the park with her gritty and moving performance of a song that was inspired by the passing of fellow singer Aaliyah: “The song idea came together right after Aaliyah passed away. It was such a sad time and no one wanted to believe it. It just made everything crystal clear to me—what matters, and what doesn’t.”
Maxwell: Pretty Wings
One caveat with anything involving soul singer and resident hottie Maxwell: There is about a 50 percent chance that playing any Maxwell song will cause a woman to fantasize more about him than about the man who actually played the track for her. But, it might be a risk worth taking as “Pretty Wings” is a go-to track for anyone looking breathe life back into their relationship, with lyrics as heartfelt as: I should’ve showed you/Better nights better times better days/I miss you more and more.”
Sam Cooke: Nothing Can Change This Love
Sam Cooke is one of the most underrated soul singers of all time. The man’s voice is like angels singing and his incredible ballad “Nothing Can Change This Love” occupies a unique position on our list. Rather than just focusing on a man who has done wrong, the song touches on a woman’s misguided choices and the fact that her man will stick by her side through thick and thin. If that doesn’t make hearts melt, we’re not sure what will.
Percy Sledge: When A Man Loves A Woman
If you really need an explanation for Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman,” all we can do is ask you to take a listen below.
Eric Benet featuring Tamia: Spend My Life With You
A staple at many weddings, Eric Benet and Tamia’s beautiful duet “Spend My Life With You” cuts right to the chase. It’s not hidden under double talk or metaphor or verse upon verse of dancing around the message. The song’s mission is simple: To show just how much two people care about each other and want to spend their lives together. Good luck turning a blind eye to a declaration like that.