"Love T.K.O.," Teddy Pendergrass
"Love T.K.O." is about how sometimes love beats you down when you try to battle it. Other singers, including Regina Belle and Hall & Oates, have also recorded versions of this song, but Teddy's version is head and shoulders above the crowd.
"Can't Let Go," Anthony Hamilton
This song is sad in two ways: one, it's sad that in the song, Anthony has lost the woman that he obviously loves so much. But it's also sad in the way that it epitomizes how some people can't or won't allow themselves to get over the grief and move on.
"Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," Marvin Gaye
Way before 2Pac and a host of imitators ever talked about life in the mean streets, the late, great Marvin Gaye sang about ghetto life and how the deck is stacked against poor folks. "Makes me wanna holler, the way they do my life."
"Killing Me Softly With His Song," Roberta Flack
Lauryn Hill's vocals on the Fugees version are perhaps better, but nothing beats the original musically.
"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?," Al Green
The title says it all. Painful though the song is, it's also arguably the most shining moment in Reverend Al's long, glorious career. The Bee Gees may have done the song first, but Al did it best.
"Do You," Ne-Yo
I mean, who hasn't wondered at least once if their ex still thinks about them sometimes? Ne-Yo's knack for great songwriting came through again on this song, which is the second single from his Because of You album. If you get a chance, check out the remix with Mary J. Blige. Not quite as great, but still very good.
"Kiss & Say Goodbye," The Manhattans
Breaking up is hard to do. Enough said.
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," Boyz II Men
This song's a favorite at proms, graduation ceremonies and even funerals, all across the U.S., and for good reason. Letting go of the past and moving on can be tough. Just ask Anthony Hamilton.