Ah, Valentine's Day – bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates, a glass of champagne and a romantic dinner, but let's not forget the music to set the mood, right?
The Brits are a soppy lot, and many of our best-selling singles of all time are love songs. To celebrate Valentine's Day we've put together a romantic playlist for you here, and we count down the UK's favourite love ballads – the Official Top 20 best sellers, based on download and physical sales. ❤
1: Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
Official Chart peak: 1
Sales: 1.9 million
Summer 1994 belonged to this song, by Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, which spent an astonishing 15 straight weeks at Number 1 – the second longest consecutive run at the top of all time, and equalled in 2016 by Drake's One Dance. Taken from the global movie phenomenon Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, Love Is All Around was the Wets' third Number 1. Such is the ubiquity of Wet Wet Wet's version that it's easy to forget the song is a cover – it originally got to Number 5 in 1967 for the Troggs.
2: Unchained Melody – Robson and Jerome
Official Chart Peak: 1
Sales: 1.89 million
Unchained Melody may be over five decades old, but it still has enduring appeal, and is much-covered, reaching Number 1 four times for different artists. Coming off the back of their starring roles in ITV's military drama Soldier Soldier, Robson & Jerome's version was a double-A side with a cover of Vera Lynn's White Cliffs of Dover. Despite both being relunctant to embark on a music career, it stayed at Number 1 for a whopping seven weeks. Sentimental sorts clearly couldn't get enough of it.
3: (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
Another movie soundtrack song, the theme from Kevin Costner fairy tale Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves holds the record for longest consecutive run at Number 1. Bryan's classic ballad kept hold of the top spot for an incredible 16 weeks. Sixteen. If you weren't a big fan of the song, let's just say summer 1991 was a particularly tough time to be a chart fan. 1.86 million of you own this one.
4: Anything Is Possible/Evergreen – Will Young
Official Chart peak: 1
Sales: 1.79 million
Two for the price of one for Pop Idol winner Will Young's victory song from 2002. Evergreen was a cover of a Westlife album track, but Anything Is Possible was a new tune co-written by Cathy Dennis, who also penned Toxic for Britney and Can't Get You Out of my Head for Kylie.
The single sold over 1.1 million copies in its first week on sale and is still the fastest-selling debut single ever. The single spent three weeks at the summit and now has over 1.79 million sales. See where all of Will Young's UK songs and albums have charted.
5: I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
Official Chart peak: 1
Sales: 1.66 million
The highest lady on our love ballad countdown is the late, great Whitney Houston. Taken from the hugely successful soundtrack of the hit movie The Bodyguard, in which Houston starred, I Will Always Love You spent 10 weeks at the top was 1992's Official Christmas Number 1.
It's well known the song was a cover of a Dolly Parton track that never charted in the UK. Two further versions have made the Top 40: a dance reinterpretation by Sarah Washington hit Number 12 in 1993, and Pop Idol finalist Rik Waller went Top 10 with his rendition in 2002. Whitney's still the one to beat, though: her version has sold 1.66 million copies. View Whitney Houston's Official UK Chart history in full.
Other notable entries
Céline Dion is the only star to snare two spots on our Top 20, cementing her place as the queen of love songs. Titanic-soundtracking My Heart Will Go On is her biggest, sailing into sixth place with 1.6 million sales. Not too far behind is Think Twice, Céline's first chart-topper, with 1.39 million sales at 8, one place behind Jennifer Rush's The Power of Love (1.47 million), which Céline herself would later cover. View Celine's full Official Charts history.
Gareth Gates's 2002 version of Unchained Melody, which actually deposed Will Young from Number 1, comes in ninth with 1.35 million sales, while the highest placed song not to reach Number 1 at all is John Legend's All Of Me, also the most recent track in our countdown. It passed a million sales in 2015 – it's now on 1.29 million.
The only female group to make the Top 20 is the Spice Girls, with 1996's Christmas chart-topper 2 Become 1 on 1.14 million sales.
And just outside our Top 20, we have a few more million-selling ballads worthy of a mention: Shayne Ward's That's My Goal lands at 21, while Unchained Melody makes yet another appearance, this time from original hitmakers the Righteous Brothers – thanks to its inclusion on '90s movie Ghost (22).
Take That make another showing at 23 with Rule The World, from the film Stardust. Also bubbling under are Enrique Iglesias's Hero (24), Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts (25) and Atomic Kitten's Whole Again (26). Play those to us and, yes, we will marry you.
|1||LOVE IS ALL AROUND||WET WET WET||1994|
|2||UNCHAINED MELODY/THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER||ROBSON GREEN & JEROME FLYNN||1995|
|3||(EVERYTHING I DO) I DO IT FOR YOU||BRYAN ADAMS||1991|
|4||ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE/EVERGREEN||WILL YOUNG||2002|
|5||I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU||WHITNEY HOUSTON||1992|
|6||MY HEART WILL GO ON||CELINE DION||1998|
|7||THE POWER OF LOVE||JENNIFER RUSH||1985|
|8||THINK TWICE||CELINE DION||1994|
|9||JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (AMAZING)||BRUNO MARS||2010|
|10||UNCHAINED MELODY||GARETH GATES||2002|
|11||ALL OF ME||JOHN LEGEND||2014|
|12||THINKING OUT LOUD||ED SHEERAN||2014|
|14||I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING||AEROSMITH||1998|
|15||CHASING CARS||SNOW PATROL||2006|
|16||DON'T GIVE UP ON US||DAVID SOUL||1976|
|17||NO MATTER WHAT||BOYZONE||1998|
|18||2 BECOME 1||SPICE GIRLS||1996|
|19||BACK FOR GOOD||TAKE THAT||1995|
|20||BLEEDING LOVE||LEONA LEWIS||2007|
©2020 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Listen to the UK's best-selling love ballads in our playlist below: