'The Unlucky Seven': A depressing Valentine's Day mix

By Rich Tupica

An alternative mixtape for those looking for a good, solid sulking this Valentine’s Day

1. Chris Bell “I am the Cosmos” (1978) LISTEN HERE
“Every night I tell myself I am the cosmos, I am the wind./ But that won’t get you back again."

The late Chris Bell, of Big Star fame, wrote this profoundly emotive pop masterpiece detailing the psychosomatics of longing for someone who’s just not that into you.

2. The Chantels “Maybe” (1957) LISTEN HERE
“Maybe, if I pray every night/ you'll come back to me./ Maybe, if I cry every day,/ you'll come back to stay."

This landmark girl-group ballad starts with an unwieldy battering of piano keys, but quickly soars into a powerful, desperate vocal aimed at her absent lover … who’s totally over her.

3. The Byrds “Here Without You” (1965) LISTEN HERE
“Streets that I walk on depress me,/ ones that were happy when I was with you.”

The Byrds were much more than a Dylan cover band. This morose folk-rock song, penned by Gene Clark, reeks of dejection and false optimism.

4. Reigning Sound “What Could I Do?” (2005) LISTEN HERE
“There were days when you went away,/ guess you were seeing him, too/ but what could I do?"

The band’s songwriter Greg Cartwright is the king of modern-day bummer songs. This ditty has the protagonist fortuitously encountering his girlfriend’s “other” man.

5. Dolly Parton “Making Believe” (1963) LISTEN HERE
“Making believe that I never lost you,/ but my happy hours are fun and so few./ My plans for the future will never come true./ Making believe what else can I do?"

While she didn’t write this — and there are many versions — nobody sings this sad country tale with the heart-shattering conviction of Dolly.

6. George Jones “She Once Lived Here” (1962) LISTEN HERE

“I see her face in the cool of the evening./ I hear her voice in each breeze, loud and clear./ Oh, there must be a town without memories/ but not this one, for she once lived here.”

On this one “No Show” Jones poetically sings about his long-lost lover who will forever haunt every aspect of his life, even the air he breathes.

7. Sam Cooke “Bring it On Home to Me” (“Harlem Square Club”) (1963) LISTEN HERE
“I know, I laughed when you left,/ but now I know/ I only hurt myself.”

One year before his murder, R&B legend Sam Cooke recorded this mind-bogglingly epic live version of one of his brilliant originals. It’s the best track ever pressed on a live album of any genre. Yeah, I said it — and if you wholeheartedly sing this for your estranged love, it could win them back.