Friday, July 26, 2019

"Give Me the Reason" by Luther Vandross

Song#:  2841
Date:  08/23/1986
Debut:  84
Peak:  57
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Vandross' popularity continuously grew over the course of four albums. He would grab nine R&B Top 10's, including one #1, and each of his albums would hit #1 at R&B. His 1985 LP The Night I Fell in Love would end up being his first to reach double-platinum status. While his star continued to rise, the one thing he had yet been able to do was to score a significant hit at Pop. His best solo effort was the #29 "'Til My Baby Comes Home" in 1985 (a duet with Dionne Warwick, "How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye," got a couple notches higher in 1983). Vandross was hoping that would change with this title track first single from his fifth album. The tune would also be included on the soundtrack to the hit film Ruthless People. The song became a hit at R&B getting to #3, but like his other Pop chart entries, it didn't fully launch and the single stalled outside of the Top 50. Luckily, the LP's second single would finally help Vandross break through.

ReduxReview:  This song really should have put Vandross on the Pop chart map. It was worthy of at least a Top 20 showing. I'm not really sure why it did not break wider. My only guess might be that it wasn't a forceful, hook-heavy pop tune. It was a more subtle, yet groovy track with a solid chorus that was slightly mysterious. It's a terrific tune that was well-done all around by Vandross (vocal, writing, production). It easily should have been his first significant hit at Pop.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  By this point in time, Vandross had already received four Grammy nominations in his career including one for Best New Artist. This song would up his total to six nods. Vandross would be nominated for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, while both Vandross and co-writer Nat Adderly, Jr. would get a nomination for Best R&B Song. Vandross would rack up three more nods over the next few years before finally winning his first Grammy in 1991. In his career, Vandross would garner thirty-three Grammy nominations. He would win eight of the awards.


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