Friday, November 4, 2016

"Love Has Finally Come at Last" by Bobby Womack and Patti LaBelle

Song#:  1839
Date:  03/24/1984
Debut:  95
Peak:  88
Weeks:  5
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Womack's career started when he and his four brothers formed a group. Initially known as the Womack Brothers, they had a name change to The Valentinos and in 1962 had a #8 R&B hit with "Lookin' for a Love." A few years later, Womack was out on his own and by 1968 he was charting singles at R&B. His biggest hit came in 1974 when he covered his old band's hit "Lookin' for Love." It would top the R&B chart while getting to #10 at Pop. With the exception of a couple R&B Top 10's the balance of the 70s would be a lean charting period for him. He returned to prominence with his 1981 album The Poet. It would be his biggest album going to #1 at R&B and #29 Pop. Three years later, he returned with The Poet II and this first duet single with Patti LaBelle was issued. It would get to #3 at R&B, but could only scrape the bottom of the Pop chart for a short while. It would be Womack's last single from one of his albums to reach the Pop chart. He grabbed one more R&B Top 10 in 1985, but the hits stopped soon after. He continued writing and recording over the years with his last album coming in 2012. Womack died in 2014.

ReduxReview:  This is one where the singers sell the song. The tune itself isn't all that great. Womack has written far better songs. What helps get it to another level are Womack's and LaBelle's vocal work. When LaBelle finally digs into her vocal acrobatics, it is nearly chill enducing. It also gives Womack's worldly worn voice a boost. However, in the end it is only slightly memorable.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Early on, Womack nearly lost his music career. He and the Valentinos had been working closely with R&B star Sam Cooke for quite a while. When Cooke was shot and killed in late 1964, it left the band in the lurch and wondering what their next move would be. In the meantime, Womack began to console Cooke's widow, who had also lost a child the previous year in a drowning accident. Womack stayed close to Barbara Cooke saying he feared that she might do something crazy. Within three months, the couple were married. This outraged many folks, especially Cooke's loyal fans. It was scandalous for the time and due to the response, Womack decided to leave the Valentinos for a solo career. But as he began to put out records, radio stations would refuse to play them. He retreated to session work and wondered if he'd ever have a real career again. Finally by 1968, it seems folks had put the scandal behind and Womack began hitting the charts. He and Barbara divorced in 1970 after Barbara discovered that Womack had an affair with his stepdaughter, Linda (Barbara and Sam Cooke's daughter). However, that misstep didn't seem to affect his career. BTW - Linda went on to marry Bobby's brother Cecil...


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