Friday, November 12, 2021

"Any Love" by Luther Vandross

Song#:  3672
Date:  10/08/1988
Debut:  78
Peak:  44
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Vandross' 1986 album Give Me the Reason would be a #1 R&B/#14 Pop double-platinum hit thanks to four R&B Top 10 hits including the #1 "Stop to Love," which became his biggest success to-date on the Pop chart reaching #15. Still in search of a bigger breakthrough on the Pop chart, Vandross recorded his next effort Any Love. As with his previous album, Vandross would co-write most of the songs and co-produce it with Marcus Miller. The title track would serve as the lead single and it predictably did well at R&B becoming Vandross' fourth #1 on that chart. Unfortunately, the song couldn't capitalize on the success of "Stop to Love" and it fell short of the Pop Top 10 (#12 AC). Although the single didn't fare well at Pop, the album became his first to make the Pop Top 10 at #9. At R&B, the LP became his sixth consecutive #1. While that was good news, overall album sales signaled a bit of slump. Any Love would only reach platinum status, which was a drop from the double-platinum sales of his previous two LPs.

ReduxReview:  While I wasn't surprised this tune didn't make the Pop Top 10, it was a disappointment that it couldn't even make the Top 40. It was another silky entry from Vandross with a hooky chorus and it should have done better. I liked how the song built and really came on strong in the last third. Of course, Vandross was brilliant as usual. It nearly cracked the AC Top 10 so why it didn't catch on better at Pop was a mystery. It was still a shock that after six albums, Vandross was still searching for that Pop Top 10 hit. He would finally do it as the decade came to a close.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The album would generate three Grammy nods for Vandross. The LP and this first single were released in time for consideration in the '88 cycle of the awards with the LP earning a nod for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, and "Any Love" getting a nod for Best R&B Song. Another single from the album, "She Won't Talk to Me," would be eligible for the '89 cycle of the Grammys and would earn Vandross another nod for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. By that point in time, Vandross had amassed nine Grammy nominations, but had yet to win.


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