Love on a Two-Way Street

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"Love on a Two-Way Street"
Single by The Moments
from the album Not on the Outside, But on the Inside, Strong!
B-side "I Won't Do Anything"
Released March, 1970
Format 7" single
Genre R&B, soul
Length

3:05 (single edit)

3:46 (album version)
Label Stang Records/All Platinum
Writer(s) Sylvia Robinson, Burt Keyes
Producer(s) Sylvia Robinson
Certification Gold

"Love on a Two-Way Street" is a Soul ballad written by Sylvia Robinson and Bert Keyes in 1968. The song was originally recorded by Lezli Valentine, an artist signed to All Platinum, the record label that Sylvia Robinson co-owned with her husband, Joe. The song was then recorded by The Moments, an R&B vocal group signed to All Platinum subsidiary Stang Records, as filler for their 1968 album Not on the Outside, But on the Inside, Strong!. Sylvia and Joe decided to release the song as a single in March 1970 and it went on to become one of the biggest R&B hits of that year, spending five weeks at number one on Billboard's Soul Singles chart and reaching number three on the Hot 100 chart.[1] It was also certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies. Willie and The Mighty Magnificents provided most of the musical backing on the song and Bert Keyes created the string arrangement that was overdubbed onto the track while also playing piano on the recording session.

In 1981, Cotillion Records artist Stacy Lattisaw recorded and released her own version of the song and it too was a chart success in the U.S., peaking at number two R&B and number twenty six on the Hot 100.[2] The song was also covered by Gloria Estefan for her 1994 album, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me. Covered by Boz Scaggs on his 2013 album, Memphis.

According to the song's original vocalist, Lezli Valentine, she was a third contributor to the song writing most of the song's lyrics:

Sylvia came into the office on the morning Two Way Street was created and said that she had a dream but that the only thing she remembered was "Love on a Two-way Street, Lost on a lonely Highway."--We went into Bert's office . . . Sylvia asked Bert to play what he felt (that became the melody) . . . I, Lezli Valentine, began to write the story line . . . "True love will never die, so I've been told but now I must cry, it is finally goodbye, I know . . . With music softly playing his lips were gently saying honey I love you". . .Sylvia wrote "he held me in desperation, I thought it was a revelation and then he walked out". . . I, Lezli Valentine wrote . . ."how could I be so blind to give of love the very first time, to be fooled is a hurting thing". . . Sylvia wrote "to be loved and fooled is a crying shame". . .Lezli Valentine wrote "while I bear the blame, as he laughs my name", the rest was completed, I recorded it; the lead sheets were hand delivered by one of the original Moments, John, who lived in DC. The original application was altered without my knowledge (omitting Lezli Valentine's name as a lyric writer . . . there are three writers on I Found Love On A Two-Way Street) Joseph Robinson, Sr. definitely knew this, (Joseph R.Robinson, Sr. said he would rectify this, evidently he never did. Each time I telephoned him on this he said he would take care of it) as did Ebert Mahon . . . AKA Bert Keyes and several recording artists in the Soul Sound Studios at the time! This was nerve wrecking and resulted in hospitalizations.[citation needed]

The Moments' version of the song has been sampled by The AB's formally known as Asamov in 2005 for the song "Supa Dynamite," by Caribou in the track "Supotnik" from 2005's The Milk of Human Kindness, and by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' single "Empire State of Mind" in 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 408. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 341. 
Preceded by
"Turn Back the Hands of Time" by Tyrone Davis
Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles number one single (The Moments version)
May 16 - June 13, 1970
Succeeded by
"The Love You Save" by The Jackson 5