Forget the flowers, confections and all the other clichés — if you really want to leave an impression on someone special, let music do the work.
We’re a long way away from recording songs on a tape recorder off of the radio, or even burning MP3’s to a blank CD-R, but in the place of antiquated technology, there are a dozen streaming services to create Valentine’s Day playlists for the one you care about most.
Lancaster County is blessed with nearly a dozen record stores of many varieties, where more than a few lovers will probably buy their significant others the records they’ve wanted for the holiday. In that spirit, we asked a few Lancaster record store owners for their recommendations for your Valentine’s Day playlists. We’ve also pooled the songs into a handy Spotify playlist of its own, which you can play below.
A Day in the Life Records (24 W. Walnut St.)
Written by owners Dan Flynn & Ashley Spotts
“Two Of Us” – The Beatles
“Some say Paul wrote it about Linda and others say it’s about his brotherly love for John but, either way, this song celebrates the pleasure of the simple things in life and doing them with someone you love.
“If You Were Here” – Thompson Twins
“Falling in love on your birthday!”
“God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys
“The sounds of an achingly deep love. Simply one of the most perfectly crafted songs of all time.”
“Somebody” – Depeche Mode
“Every time I hear this song my stomach flutters and I am transported back to being a teenager in love with Martin Gore,” Spotts writes.
“Nothing With You” – Descendants
“Talk about a perfect song for 2020, finding the beauty of and even the preference for doing nothing and doing it with your favorite person.”
“Need Your Love So Bad” – Little Willie John
“Tell me you love me and stop drivin’ me mad…"
“If I Should Fall Behind” – Bruce Springsteen
“Even when things are tough the ones that really love us will be there to help pick us up.”
“She’s A Mystery To Me” – Roy Orbison
“When you don’t know where you stand…but you keep coming back for more.”
“Runaway” – Del Shannon
“The pain of young love lost.”
“Out in The Streets” – The Shangri-Las
“Celebrate the loved ones around us for who they are.”
“All My Little Words” – The Magnetic Fields
“When your love won’t stay, when it is painfully unrequited.”
“I Want You Around” – Ramones
“Try Me” – James Brown
Angry, Young and Poor (356 W. Orange St.)
Written by owner Jeff Anderson
As far as punk goes, it’s normally a different take on Valentine’s Day. Here's what I came up with:
“Valentine” – The Replacements
“This seems like a guy who's in a destructive relationship but is sticking with it even if it's destroying him. That's how I took it, anyway.”
“Valentine's Day Is Over” – Billy Bragg
“A guy who has finally had it with a bad relationship and ends it.”
“Plastique Valentine” – Humpers
“This is a dark one — a guy who sends a letter bomb as a Valentine. So I guess things didn't go well with this relationship.”
“Valentine” – DeeCracks
“This one is oddly sweet for a punk song.”
“My Bloody Valentine” – Blitzkid
“Horror punk so it's what you'd expect — a maniac who's killing a girl so she'll be his forever. Not very ‘romantic.’”
“Cigarettes and Valentines” – Green Day
“Just celebrating the feeling when you meet somebody special. Young love and all that.”
Dreaming Human (154 N. Prince St.)
Written by owner Day Jones
Dear Lancaster And beyond: Valentine's Day is the most awesome holiday ever, especially in these times, when love is at a premium. Even if Dreaming Human is not as much of a true such vinyl establishment (we sell handmade, organic, vegan, design, and art in addition to the vinyl).
Heatwave's “Always And Forever” is in the air, and it happens to be my favorite love song ever! “It's just like a dream to me, that magic you make...” What a lyric, right? And, speaking of dreams, I recommend “Dreamland,” the 2020 release from Glass Animals. We find ourselves in spring, like flowers, and grow towards light, like hopeful children in the classroom of life.
Mr. Suit Records (118 W. Chestnut St.)
Written by owner Mike Madrigale
THE MOST ROMANTIC SONGS OF GLENN DANZIG
“Soul On Fire” (from “Danzig”)
“I know, you're probably thinking, ‘Aren't all the songs on the debut album from Glenn's eponymous band romantic?’ You'd be correct, but we have to start somewhere, and the triumphant addition of bagpipes during the chorus never fails to make the heart soar.”
“Dirty Black Summer” (from “Danzig III: How The Gods Kill”)
“Few things are more romantic than summertime drives with your sweetie, an experience only enhanced while playing this song during the cruise. “
“Thirteen” (from “666: Satan’s Child”)
“Are matching tattoos with your loved one a fun and touching way to bond or is it the proverbial ‘kiss of death’ that's bound to doom any relationship and leave a lifetime of regret (or an expensive cover-up)? Only one way to find out — time to get the number 13 tattooed on the back of each other's necks!”
“Cat People” (from the Lost Tracks of Danzig)
“Well, hey, it's a David Bowie cover. Everybody loves Bowie.”
"Killer Wolf" (from Danzig II: Lucifuge)
“OK, maybe not the song so much, but the video is really cool: It's like five minutes of Glenn frowning and whipping his hair around while hanging out around some shack in the desert. Fun fact: it was directed by Anton Corbijn, who also shot the cover for U2's ‘The Joshua Tree’ album. Has this led to a possible Danzig/Bono Valentine's Day duet? Unfortunately, the world is still waiting.”
Record Connection (55 N. Reading Road, Ephrata)
Written by owner Andy Kamm
"I remember back in the day when DJs still roamed the earth, the two most requested wedding songs were Paul Stookey’s 'Wedding Song (There Is Love)' from 1971 and The Climax Blues Band’s 'I Love You' from 1981. On the flip side of the subject of love songs, my favorite compilation was a CD entitled 'There Was Love (The Divorce Songs)' put out in 1993. It included Weird Al’s 'You Don’t Love Me Anymore' (which has a hilarious video worth Googling) and Harry Nilsson’s 'You're Breaking My Heart.'"
Spiders From Mars Record Shop (2223 Dutch Gold Drive)
Written by owner Jack Walton
"In thinking about Valentine’s Day music, the songs that come to my mind are the Rolling Stones songs 'Sympathy for the Devil' and 'Gimme Shelter,' along with David Bowie’s song 'Moonage Daydream' from the album 'Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.'"