Let It Flow (song)

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"Let It Flow"
Single by Toni Braxton
from the album Waiting to Exhale: Original Soundtrack Album and Secrets
A-side "You're Makin' Me High"
Released November 24, 1995 (U.S.)
Format CD single, CD maxi single, cassette single, 12" single, 7" single
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:21
Label LaFace
Writer(s) Babyface
Producer(s) Babyface
Toni Braxton singles chronology
"I Belong to You"/"How Many Ways"
(1994)
"You're Makin' Me High"/"Let It Flow"
(1996)
"Un-Break My Heart"
(1996)

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"Let It Flow" is a song by American R&B singer Toni Braxton. Written and produced by Babyface, the song was originally recorded for, and included on, the soundtrack to the 1995 motion picture Waiting to Exhale.

"Let It Flow" was released as a double A-side with "You're Makin' Me High", the lead single from Braxton's second studio album, Secrets (1996). At the time the single was issued, "Let It Flow" was already receiving strong radio airplay in the United States, and the two tracks eventually topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Let It Flow" directed by Herb Ritts features water imagery throughout. Toni is shown singing while surrounded by men painted blue facing away from her, and this is interspersed with shots of the men behind and in front of screens of water flowing. Toni is also shown singing while sitting on a white float in the middle of a still body of water.

Reception[edit]

The double-A side single debuted at number seven on the Hot 100 and number two on the Hot R&B Singles chart, the issue dated June 8, 1996, becoming her highest-debuting single.[1][2] It eventually topped the Hot 100 chart for a week, and the Hot R&B Singles chart for two weeks, which was her first number one single on both charts.[3][4][5] Due to its staying power on the Hot R&B Singles chart, it was the #1 R&B Single on the 1996's Billboard year-end charts.[6][7] The single sold over 1,500,000 copies in the United States and was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 17, 1996.[8][9]

Just as soon as the soundtrack was released, the song received critical acclaim, being chosen as one of the best tracks on the album by critics. Stephen Holden, the music critic of the New York Times, called it "small pop coup" and added "Braxton snaps out the words with a choked intensity, her dark, grainy contralto conveying a potent mixture of fury and sensuality."[10]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[11] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales[12] 2
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[11] 9

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1996) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13] 9
End of year chart (1997) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[14] 98

End of decade charts[edit]

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[15] 68

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jerry McKenna (June 8, 1996). Hot 100 Singles Spotlight: Lucky Seven. Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ Theda Sandiford-Waller (June 8, 1996). Theda Sandiford-Waller's Rhythm Section: Clive's Angels. Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ Theda Sandiford-Waller (June 29, 1996). Theda Sandiford-Waller's Rhythm Section: High Time. Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart listing for the week of July 27, 1996. Billboard. July 27, 1996. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ Fred Bronson (July 27, 1996). Chart Beat; Hot 100 Makes Lisa Loeb's Day. Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ J.R. Reynolds (December 14, 1996). Morissette Leads Billboard Awards. Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ Billboard 1996 The Year in Music, Year-End Chart listing of Hot R&B Singles Artists & Hot R&B Singles. Billboard. December 28, 1996. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ Best-selling Records of 1996. Billboard. January 18, 1997. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ "title = RIAA certification for "You're Makin' Me High/Let It Flow" single". The Recording Industry Association of America. July 17, 1996. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ Stephen Holden (December 3, 1995). "RECORDINGS VIEW;Holding Nothing In on Love". the New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "Secrets > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  12. ^ "Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-10-11. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  14. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  15. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 

See also[edit]