Monday, March 28, 2022

"We've Saved the Best for Last" by Kenny G with Smokey Robinson

Song#:  3790
Date:  02/04/1989
Debut:  92
Peak:  47
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  Kenny G's fifth album Silhouette would nearly replicate the success of his previous LP, 1986's multi-platinum #6 Duotones. It would get to #8 and would eventually sell over 4 million copies. That success was due in part to the #13 Pop/#2 AC/#35 R&B title track hit. Also helping things along was this next single that featured vocals by the legendary Smokey Robinson. While it would miss out on the Pop Top 40, the song would get to #4 AC and #18 R&B. A third single, the instrumental "Against Doctor's Orders," would miss both the Pop and AC charts, but was able to eke out a #65 appearance at R&B.

ReduxReview:  Although this song heavily leaned towards AC, I was a little surprised it didn't get inside the Pop Top 40. Written by Dennis Matkosky, Lou Pardini, and Paul Gordon, it was a well-written tune that I assume was sent over to Kenny G by label head Clive Davis. Having Smokey Robinson stop by for the vocals was also a good call. That perhaps could have come about because Pardini and Robinson had history. Pardini wrote (with Jimmy George) Robinson's #8 Pop/#1 AC/#2 R&B hit "Just to See Her," which netted Robinson his first Grammy. However it all came about, it was one of the better pop collaborations that Kenny G recorded. He kept his noodling to a minimum and let Robinson take the wheel for the most part, which was a smart choice.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The Silhouette album would earn Kenny G his second Grammy nomination. The LP was up for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the '89 awards. He would receive a third nomination the following year in the same category. However, it was for a song that did not appear on any of his studio albums. In the fall of '89, the jazz label GRP would issue out an album that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip. The LP featured several artists (mainly from the jazz world) covering music and songs that had appeared in the Peanuts TV specials. Famous jazz artists including Chick Corea and Gerry Mulligan would perform on tracks along with stars such as B.B. King and Patti Austin. Kenny G would be invited to record a track and he would do a version of "Breadline Blues," a song written by Dave Grusin that first appeared in the 1988 TV miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown. It would appear in the episode "The Smithsonian and the Presidency." Oddly, the Kenny G version that appeared on the Anniversary album would be released before the episode would air on TV on April 19, 1989.


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