Save the Best for Last

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"Save The Best for Last"
Single by Vanessa Williams
from the album The Comfort Zone
B-side "Freedom Dance" (U.S.), "2 Of A Kind" (Europe)
Released January 14, 1992
Format cassette single, 7" single, CD maxi-single
Recorded 1989-1990
Genre Pop, adult contemporary
Length 3:40
Writer(s) Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman, Jon Lind
Producer(s) Keith Thomas
Vanessa Williams singles chronology
"The Comfort Zone"
(1991)
"Save The Best For Last"
(1992)
"Just for Tonight"
(1992)

"Save The Best For Last" is a 1992 single written by Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman and Jon Lind in March 1989. It is considered Vanessa Williams' signature song. The lyrics' redemptive themes resonated with Williams' story, as she had put together a successful recording career following her earlier Miss America resignation scandal. The song is a ballad about a young female admirer of a single man who stands by and watches as the object of her desires goes through years of dating, before he finally unexpectedly decides to consummate a relationship with the singer.

"Save The Best For Last" was not written specifically for Vanessa Williams. There were a number of other singers who were offered the song; they all turned it down. While recording her album The Comfort Zone, at the last minute, a song had to be replaced. Vanessa was played "Save The Best For Last", and Vanessa said: "I can't believe nobody wants this song. I have to have this song."

Chart performance[edit]

The single was Williams' third number one on the Soul singles chart and topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks in 1992.[1] "Save the Best for Last" was ranked fourth in the Billboard Top 100 hits of 1992, becoming the biggest success of Williams' music career. The song also went to #1 on the U.S. adult contemporary and R&B charts; it remained atop these charts for three weeks apiece. Internationally, the single shot to number one in Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada, and to number three in the United Kingdom, number two in Ireland, and number three in Japan. ASCAP named it as its Song of the Year, meaning it was performed more than any other song in 1992, and it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Record of the Year in 1993 losing to Eric Clapton's Tears In Heaven in both categories.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991-1992) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 1[2]
Belgium Flanders Singles Chart 7[2]
Canada The Record 1[3]
Dutch Top 40 4[2]
German Singles Chart 19[4]
New Zealand Singles Chart 15[2]
Swedish Singles Chart 26[2]
Swiss Singles Chart 6[2]
UK Singles Chart 3[5]
US Billboard Hot 100 1[6]
US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1[7]
US Adult Contemporary 1[8]

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1992) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 4

End of decade charts[edit]

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10] 47

Music videos[edit]

There are two versions of the music video for this single. Along with the original version, the song was reworked and re-released as a Christmas single in 1993. It recharted for several years[citation needed] as a holiday favorite, with a new snowy videoclip version played on MTV.

Official versions[edit]

  1. "Save The Best For Last (Album Version) - 3:38

Track listings[edit]

[1] Europe Single

  1. Save The Best For Last 3:39
  2. 2 Of A Kind 5:15
  3. Dreamin' 5:25

US Maxi-CD

  1. Save The Best For Last 3:39
  2. Freedom Dance (Get Free!) (LP Version) 4:13
  3. Freedom Dance (Get Free!) (Free Your Body Club Mix) 6:59
  4. Freedom Dance (Get Free!) (Vanessa's Sweat Mix) 5:21
  5. The Right Stuff (UK Mix) 6:18

UK Vinyl, 7"

  • A Save The Best For Last 3:39
  • B 2 Of A Kind 5:15

Netherlands 12", Promo

  • A Save The Best For Last 3:39
  • B1 2 Of A Kind 5:15
  • B2 Dreamin´ 5:25

In the media[edit]

Renditions[edit]

In 1994, saxophonist Marion Meadows covered the song for his album Forbidden Fruit.[11] Also in 1994, Filipino singer Kuh Ledesma recorded a version with jazz violinist Noel Pointer on her album The Voice and the Violin. In 1995, then new-age/new adult contemporary pianist Brian Culbertson covered the song for his album Modern Life. In 2003, the song was covered by Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy on the album When the Spirit Returns. The song was also covered by the band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

Other language versions[edit]

The tune is the basis of Märchenland Gefühl (German: Fairy Tale Feeling) and Iets Heeft je Zachtjes Aangeraakt (Flemish/Dutch: Something you softly touched), both by Belgian artiste Dana Winner. Hong Kong cantopop singer Shirley Kwan also has a Cantonese cover version entitled "Why us" (為何是我們).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 627. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  3. ^ Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000). Mississsauga, Ont.: Music Data Canada
  4. ^ "Vanessa Williams, Single-Chartverfolgung (in German)". Musicline.de. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Vanessa Williams chart positions". OfficialCharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  6. ^ "The Comfort Zone > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  7. ^ "Billboard.com – Vanessa Williams Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  8. ^ "The Comfort Zone > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  9. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ "Forbidden Fruit overview". Allmusic.com. 

Covers[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"To Be With You" by Mr. Big
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 21, 1992 – April 18, 1992
Succeeded by
"Jump" by Kris Kross