The Best Things in Life Are Free

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"The Best Things in Life Are Free"
Single by Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson With Special Guests Bell Biv DeVoe & Ralph Tresvant
from the album Mo' Money soundtrack
B-side DMC Megamix (10:52)
1995 re-issue
Released May 12, 1992 (U.S.)
July 20, 1992 (UK)
December 6, 1995 (European/Australian re-release)
Format 7" single
Recorded February–March 1992
Flyte Tyme Studios
(Edina, MN)
Aire L.A. Studios
(Glendale, CA)
The Record Plant
(Hollywood, CA)
Genre Dance-pop, house, R&B
Length 4:36
Label Perspective, A&M
Writer(s) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe
Producer(s) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Luther Vandross chronology
"Sometimes It's Only Love"
(1992)
"The Best Things in Life Are Free"
(1992)
"Little Miracles (Happen Every Day)"
(1993)
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"State of the World"
(1991)
"The Best Things in Life Are Free"
(1992)
"That's the Way Love Goes"
(1993)

"The Best Things in Life Are Free" is a duet between singers Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, recorded for the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced soundtrack to the 1992 film, Mo' Money, starring Damon Wayans. It was later included on the compilations Design of a Decade 1986/1996 (1995), One Night with You: The Best of Love, Volume 2 (1997), Lovesongs (2009) and Number Ones (2009). The song was composed by Jam, Lewis and New Edition/Bell Biv DeVoe members Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe.

Background[edit]

Performed in 1948 by the Ink Spots. In March 1991, Jackson signed an unprecedented $32 million contract with Virgin Records, the largest record deal at the time even if it was quickly exceeded by her brother Michael and his label, Epic Records.[1] Prior to her first release with Virgin, Jackson was asked by Jam and Lewis to record a song for the sound track to the feature film Mo' Money, released in 1992 by their label Perspective Records. Jon Bream of the Star Tribune reported: "For most movie soundtracks, producers negotiate with record companies, managers and lawyers for the services of big-name singers. Like the Hollywood outsiders that they are, Edina-based Jam and Lewis went directly to such stars as Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross, Bell Biv Devoe, Color Me Badd and Johnny Gill."[2] A remixed version was later released in 1995.

"The Best Things in Life Are Free" is an R&B, dance-pop and house song with a "steady beat."[3] It is written in the key of F#m and their vocal ranges span from the low-note of F#2 to C#5.[3] The song is set in the signature of common time and has a moderate tempo of 120 pulsations per minute.[3] It follows the basic chord progression of B7m—C#7m—F#7.[3]

Information[edit]

Jackson and Vandross were nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for recording the song.

It was the first all-new song Jackson recorded at the new location of Flyte Tyme Studios in Edina, MN, which was completed 2 months after wrapping up recording on her fourth studio album Rhythm Nation 1814 in May 1989 at the original Minneapolis studio.[4] She had done re-recordings and remixes there from 1989 to 1991.

For the first time, Jackson included the song on her 2011 tour, Number Ones: Up Close and Personal.

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, "The Best Things in Life Are Free" debuted at number 24 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 the week of May 30, 1992.[5] Three weeks later, the song peaked at number 10 for three consecutive weeks and ended at number 41 on the year-end chart.[6][7][8][9] The song also peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[8][10]

In the United Kingdom the song was released in August 1992 and peaked at #2 in the UK Singles Chart, spending 13 weeks in the chart. It became her first top ten hit in the UK since "Let's Wait Awhile" reached #3 in 1987. The song was remixed in 1995 and re-released, reaching #7. It was the remixed version that was included on international releases of Janet's compilation album Design of a Decade 1986/1996.

It spent 5 consecutive weeks at #2 on the Australian Singles Chart, spending 18 weeks on the chart, And charting at #6 On the Year ends chart.[11]

Music video[edit]

The video features cameos by Damon and Marlon Wayans and Stacey Dash, but neither Vandross nor Jackson appear in the video. A rap from Bell Biv Devoe and a spoken part by Ralph Tresvant are also in the song. It has never been commercially released.

Cover versions[edit]

A cover by British glamour model Katie Price and her now estranged husband, pop singer Peter Andre, was included on their 2006 album A Whole New World.

Track listings and formats[edit]

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fred Bronson 2003, p. 817
  2. ^ Jon Bream (1992-06-21), "On the Fast Track // Edina-based Producers Skip Hollywood Protocol in Lining Up Stars, Recording Movie's Soundtrack", Star Tribune: 01.F, ISSN 0895-2825 
  3. ^ a b c d Janet Jackson - The Best Things in Life Are Free Sheet Music (Digital Download). Musicnotes.com.
  4. ^ http://www.guide2prince.org/jimmy-jam-terry-lewis-discography/flyte-time-grand-opening/
  5. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100: Week Ending of May 30, 1992". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  6. ^ DeKnock, Jan (1992-06-12). "Kris Kross `Jumps' to new record". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  7. ^ DeKnock, Jan (1992-06-26). "Chart action slows as summer arrives". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  8. ^ a b c d "The Best Things in Life Are Free - Luther Vandross". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  9. ^ a b "Top Pop Singles 1992". Billboard. Nielsen Media Business, Inc. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn 2004, p. 811
  11. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-50-singles-1992.htm
  12. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (EU maxi CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 390 875-2.
  13. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (Australian CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 587 401-2.
  14. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (Australian CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 587 400-2.
  15. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (Australian CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 31458 7406-2.
  16. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (Australian CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 581 497-2.
  17. ^ The Best Things in Life Are Free (Australian CD Single liner notes). Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. Perspective Records. 1992. 581 311-2.
  18. ^ "Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things in Life Are Free (song)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 56, No. 4, July 25, 1992". RPM. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 32 – 1992". Radio 538 (in Dutch). Top 40. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  21. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 1992-11-28. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  22. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  23. ^ "Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things in Life Are Free (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  24. ^ "Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things in Life Are Free (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  25. ^ "Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things in Life Are Free (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  26. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – That's The Way Love Goes". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1992". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  28. ^ "australianfuncountdowns.blogspot.com.au". 
  29. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 

References[edit]

  • Bronson, Fred (2003), The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, Billboard Books, ISBN 0823076776 
  • Dyson, Michael Eric (1993), Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0816621411 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2004), Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201608 

External links[edit]