Friday, November 13, 2020

"Reservations for Two" by Dionne Warwick and Kashif

Song#:  3317
Date:  10/31/1987
Debut:  84
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  Warwick's album Reservations for Two secured another Pop Top 20 hit for her with its first single "Love Power," a duet with Jeffrey Osborne, reaching #12 (#1 AC/#5 R&B). It was the sixteenth Pop Top 20 entry of her career and unfortunately it would be her last. This follow-up title track single failed to capture the same audience and it stalled way short of the Top 40. It did a little better at R&B getting to #20 while making the Top 10 at AC (#7). Neither single promoted the album very well with it topping out at #56 Pop and #32 R&B. Although Warwick would have a few minor charting singles at R&B and a couple at AC, this single, along with the album, would close out the main chapter of her charting career.

ReduxReview:  I've always thought this was an underrated track. It was a well-written AC song with sweeping production by Kashif and terrific vocal turns by him and Warwick. While it did well at AC and okay at R&B, it may have not been the right style of song for Pop at the time. Although the late 80s had its share of adult-leaning ballads, it nearly took a big-name, current artist like Whitney Houston to get them noticed on pop radio. Had this song been released earlier in the 80s, it might have had a better chance to become a hit. In '87, soaring ballads were not necessarily in favor and if you factor in that Warwick was in late-career mode and that Kashif was basically unknown in the pop market, the sum of it all didn't equate to a mainstream hit. It was too bad because this was really a lovely record that deserved a bigger audience.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) For a long while it seemed like this single would be Warwick's last to reach the Pop chart. However, she would eke out one more in 1998. For her album Dionne Sings Dionne, Warwick recorded "What the World Needs Now Is Love," a song she first covered way back in 1966 for her LP Here Where There Is Love. While that initial version was not released as a single, it did become a popular track within Warwick's canon. For Dionne Sings Dionne, an album where Warwick revisited and re-recorded some of her hits and best known songs, she decided to give "What the World Needs Now Is Love" another spin. For the new version, she got an assist from a group called Hip-Hop Nation United. It was pushed out as the LP's first single and it briefly scraped the Pop chart at #87.  2) This song was a duet with R&B singer/songwriter/producer Kashif. Kashif got his start in the business as the keyboard player for B.T. Express not long after they scored the 1974 #2 Pop/#1 R&B hit "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)." He left the band in '78 to work with Stephanie Mills. By 1983, Kashif had his own solo deal with Arista Records. He would record five albums for the label that yielded five R&B Top 10 singles. H also became an in-demand songwriter/producer and worked with many artists including Whitney Houston, for whom he produced "You Give Good Love," her first major solo hit. Kashif and Houston were on the same label (Arista) as was Warwick, which led to this duet. It would be Kashif's only appearance on the Pop chart as an artist.


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