The Best Love Songs Of The 1960s

The Beach Boys

A list of the greatest love songs of the 1960s, featuring The Beach Boys, Etta James and The Temptations.

In celebration of Smooth Love Songs, every weekday from 10pm and every weekend from midnight, we bring you the best love songs of the 1960s. According to, er, us. Don’t forget to tell us which ones we missed in the comment box below; there’s room for all of them!

Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers (1965)

These days, the song is often associated with the film Ghost but it’s the beautiful vocals that get us every time. 

My Girl - The Temptations (1964)

Written by Smokey Robinson and recorded for the Motown label (then named Gordy after label founder Berry Gordy), 'My Girl reached number one and became The Temptations' signature song. 

When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge (1966)

Inspired by a break-up, When A Man Loves A Woman is Percy Sledge's most recognised song. It reached number one in America and went on to become an international hit, proving to be a hit twice in the UK, after reaching number four in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at number two in 1987

I'm A Believer - The Monkees (1966)

Written by Neil Diamond, I’m A Believer was recorded by The Monkees in 1966 with the lead vocals by Micky Dolenz. The single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained there for seven weeks. 

River Deep, Mountation High - Tina Turner (1966)

The single was some of producer Phil Spector’s best work and reached number three in the UK. However, it flopped on its original release in the U.S - travesty, we say! 

READ MORE: Top 5 Tina Turner Songs

You Really Got Me – The Kinks (1964)

‘You Really Got Me’ was the group's breakthrough song, reaching number seven in the US. It went on to feature in the band’s debut album, Kinks.

Can't Help Falling in Love With You - Elvis Presley (1961)

Elvis Presley's version of this song topped the UK charts in 1962. On the US, it peaked at number two on the pop chart and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart for six weeks.

READ MORE: Must-Know About About Elvis 

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin (1967)

Co-written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ was a big hit for Franklin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967)

Written by the increibly talented duo of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough' was released on the Tamla Motown label. Nickolas Ashford once said “We call 'Ain't No Mountain' the golden egg that landed us at Motown.” 

God Only Knows - Beach Boys (1966)

Featuring on The Beach Boys classic 1966 album Pet Sounds, when ‘God Only Knows’ was first released, it only reached 39 on the US charts. It reached number two in the UK. 

READ MORE: Must-Know Facts About The Beach Boys 

At Last - Etta James (1961)

‘At Last’ became Etta James' signature song and it was her version that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Stand By Me - Ben E. King (1961)

Apparently there have been over 400 recorded versions of ‘Stand By Me’. We’re not surprised - it’s a fantastic song! 

What's your favourite love song from the 1960s? Let us know in the comment box below.