Various Artists

Love Songs Actually

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While its inclusions of Nilsson's "Without You," Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and Barry White's "You're the First, My Last, My Everything" suggests yet another random and ubiquitous Valentine's Day-themed compilation, Love Songs...Actually is perhaps the most original concept for a mainstream love song collection this year. Acting as a Richard Curtis' greatest hits, the two-CD 40-track compilation cherrypicks the best material from the official soundtracks of the U.K. director, producer and writer's most famous romantic comedies, most of which have become as successful as the movies they're accompanying. Of course, the chart-topping singles are all here, from Wet Wet Wet's astonishing 15-week number one "Love Is All Around" (Four Weddings and a Funeral), to Ronan Keating's cover of "When You Say Nothing at All" (Notting Hill) to Geri Halliwell's HI-NRG rendition of "It's Raining Men" (Bridget Jones' Diary), as are Top Ten hits which appear in Love Actually (Sugababes' "Too Lost in You" ), Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason (Jamelia's "Stop" ) and Curtis' most recent film, The Boat That Rocked (Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street"). But there are also several songs that have become synonymous with key scenes in his movies such as Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which was played over Hugh Grant's cleverly executed year-round walk in Notting Hill, the late Lynden David Hall's rendition of "All You Need Is Love," which he performed at Keira Knightley's character's wedding in Love Actually, and Jamie O'Neal's cover of "All by Myself," famously mimed by Renee Zellweger in the opening credits of Bridget Jones' Diary. But even those who find Curtis' chocolate box approach to romance a little too sickly will find plenty to enjoy with the inclusions of Ben Folds' "The Luckiest," Everything But the Girl's "Downtown Train," and XTC's "The Loving" counteracting more traditional Valentine's Day fare from Gabrielle, Jamie Cullum, and 10cc. There are a few notable absences, such as Top Ten hits from Notting Hill (Another Level's "From the Heart") and the Bridget Jones sequel (Robbie Williams' "Misunderstood"), while Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," which was heard during Emma Thompson 's heartbreaking realization of her husband's affair in Love Actually, one of Curtis' most powerfully emotive scenes, is a surprising omission. But whether a Hugh Grant rom-com is your idea of cinema heaven or cinema hell, Love Songs...Actually is an undeniably eclectic compilation which provides a history of some of the biggest film crossover hits of the last 15 years

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:57
2 3:16
3 4:16
4 4:04
5 3:06
6 3:42
7 3:22
8 4:23
9 3:19
10 3:44
11 3:41
12 3:17
13 2:39
14 3:30
15 3:20
16 2:48
17 4:36
18 2:13
19 2:04 Amazon
20 2:31
21 3:39 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:16
2 3:51
3 4:12
4 4:06
5 3:39
6 3:19
7 2:26
8 3:31
9 3:20
10 4:52
11 2:04
12 3:30
14 3:39
15 3:33
16 6:03
17 2:31
18 3:07
20 2:37
21 4:27
blue highlight denotes track pick