Tuesday, November 17, 2020

"I Live for Your Love" by Natalie Cole

Song#:  3321
Date:  11/07/1987
Debut:  90
Peak:  13
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Cole's Everlasting LP was shaping up to be a sizable comeback for her. Its first single, "Jump Start," did well reaching #13 at Pop while getting to #2 at R&B. Next up for release was this follow-up single. The ballad would prove to be another winner at Pop matching the peak of "Jump Start" marking the first time Cole scored back-to-back Top 20 hits. The tune also did well at AC (#2) and R&B (#4). The two singles would help the album reach gold level sales in March of '88, her first album to do so since 1979. The news would get even better with her next single.

ReduxReview:  This three-quarter time ballad was wonderfully written and given a nice 80s AC production by Dennis Lambert. It was enhanced even further by Cole's excellent vocals. The song definitely played towards the adult crowd and indeed it went to #2 at AC, but it still had a contemporary enough sound that it appealed to Pop and R&B listeners as well. I thought it was a lovely tune and it became the first Natalie Cole single I bought. I think the song still holds up well.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In addition to both peaking at #13 on the Pop chart, the "Jump Start" and "I Live for Your Love" singles had something else in common. Both 45 vinyl singles featured the same b-side song "More Than the Stars." That song was written by Natalie Cole along with her cousin Eddie Cole. The pair also produced the track. The ballad featured an appearance by Latin star José Feliciano, who played guitar and contributed background vocals. It was a bit rare for two consecutive singles by an artist to share a b-side song, but there was usually a good reason behind it. In Cole's case, the song was the only one on her Everlasting album that she had a hand in writing. It was not a candidate for the a-side of a single, but getting it on the b-side would net her extra money if the single became a hit. When a single would sell, the money generated would typically be split between the two songs. Therefore, as a writer/publisher, you stood to make quite a bit of money if your song made it to the b-side of a gold seller. That's why many times back in the day, artists who could write songs would try to get another track they wrote on the b-side. Many times it would be an instrumental or remix version of the a-side. It was a smart financial move for the artist and it probably paid off pretty well for Cole since she got her song on the b-sides to both hits.


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