Thursday, August 19, 2021

"Make It Last Forever" by Keith Sweat with Jacci McGhee

Song#:  3587
Date:  07/23/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  59
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Pop Bits:  Sweat's debut album, Make It Last Forever, was already a platinum seller by this point in time thanks to the smash #1 R&B/#5 Pop hit "I Want Her." A second single, "Something Just Ain't Right," did well over at R&B getting to #3, but on the Pop chart it fizzled at a minor #79. Hoping for a better crossover result, this title track third single was issued out. It would become Sweat's third consecutive R&B Top 10 hit peaking at #2. Over at Pop, the song did do better than his previous single, but it still couldn't get inside the top half of the chart. Still, the R&B hit helped sell more albums and by November of '88 it would turn double-platinum.

ReduxReview:  After a pair of upbeat singles including the new jack classic "I Want Her," Sweat turns down the tempo for this ballad with McGhee. The sultry track was a perfect choice for R&B radio and indeed the track nearly topped the chart. However, for the time period I think the song may have been a bit too soul-leaning to fully catch fire with a pop audience. Sweat is a solid vocalist, but I think he hadn't reached the right maturity level to sing this song convincingly. I mean, imagine if Luther Vandross sang this - he'd blow it out of the water. Sweat could easily carry a new jack song over the finish line, but at this point he was lacking a bit of chops for this style of soul ballad. It didn't help that McGhee out-sang him as well. Still, he definitely wasn't bad and he did well enough to get the song to #2 R&B.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Sweat's signing partner on this song was Jacci McGhee. The singer got a gig as a background vocalist for Sweat including work on his debut album. When it was decided that "Make It Last Forever" should be a duet, Sweat was impressed enough with McGhee to put her in a lead position for the track. The hit helped McGhee gain other work including a guest appearance singing the chorus on the 1989 #8 R&B/#26 Pop Salt-N-Pepa hit "Expression," the first single from their third album Blacks' Magic. McGhee was then able to sign on as a solo artist with MCA Records. A self-titled debut album would be released in 1992. Its first single, "Skeeza," which was written and produced by Salt-N-Pepa collaborator Hurby Luv Bug, would make a brief appearance on the R&B chart at #67. A follow-up, "It Hurts Me," produced by Keith Sweat and written by Sweat and Bobby Wooten, would do better reaching #36 R&B, but it seems that wasn't enough for MCA and McGhee was dropped. She returned to being a background vocalist and ended up working with soft rock band Toto for a stretch. For a brief period, McGhee signed on as the new lead singer for the soul group The Family Stand. She stayed on to record one album in 1997 titled Connected, but she left after the LP failed to gain any attention.


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