What You Won't Do for Love (song)

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"What You Won't Do for Love"
Single by Bobby Caldwell
from the album What You Won't Do for Love
B-side "Love Won't Wait"
Released 1978
Recorded 1978
Genre Blue-eyed soul, smooth jazz, quiet storm, R&B
Length 4:45
Label TK
Writer(s) Bobby Caldwell, Alfons Kettner
Bobby Caldwell singles chronology
"What You Won't Do for Love"
(1978)
"Coming Down from Love"
(1980)

"What You Won't Do for Love" is a quiet storm single written by Alfons Kettner along with musician and singer Bobby Caldwell, which Caldwell recorded for his debut album What You Won't Do for Love, released in 1978 on the TK Records label. The album was originally released as Bobby Caldwell, but the song's popularity led to the album's name being changed to that of the song.

Recording[edit]

After gaining a reputation in Miami clubs as a talented musician, Caldwell was signed to an exclusive contract with TK Records in 1978 by TK Records president Henry Stone. Heading to the studio, Caldwell recorded his first album, which was given a redo after Stone felt the album was good but "didn't have a hit". Caldwell returned to the studio and came up with the final product, which included "What You Won't Do for Love". A significant part of the song's success can be attributed to the memorable horn arrangement written and recorded by legendary Miami arranger Mike Lewis.

Release[edit]

Caldwell wanted the song to be the sixth track on the album since he figured the song's second track, "My Flame", which featured him playing guitar, would be the hit. However, TK Records felt confident that "What You Won't Do for Love" would be the breakout hit. When it was released to R&B radio, TK Records did its best to shield Caldwell's identity hoping not to alienate its predominantly black audience. However, when Caldwell began making performances live on stage, it only increased demand. The song would become Caldwell's most successful single and also his signature song reaching number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 6 on the Hot Selling Soul Singles chart, and number 10 on the Easy Listening chart.[1]

According to the broadcast of American Top 40 for the week ending February 3, 1979, the week in which the song debuted at #38 on the Top 40, a heart-shaped pressing of the single was the most expensive single up to that point. The heart-shaped single was originally released as a promotional item only, but public demand led to 50,000 copies being pressed in time for Valentine's Day 1978 with a retail price of $7.98—about the price of a full LP album at the time.[2] The single was also available on standard round vinyl as well.

Covers[edit]

Go West[edit]

Go West recorded a version on their 1992 album Indian Summer that was released as a single.

Year Song UK Singles chart
1993 "What You Won't Do For Love" 15

Boyz II Men[edit]

The vocal group Boyz II Men released a cover of the song on their 2004 album Throwback, Vol. 1, featuring rapper MC Lyte.

Year Song Hot R&B Singles
2004 "What You Won't Do For Love" 60

Other cover versions[edit]

Elliott Yamin also performed the song as a contestant on American Idol Season 5 in 2006.

Barry Black also performed the song as a contestant on The Voice Season 5 in 2012.

Samples[edit]

"What You Won't Do for Love" has been sampled on the following songs, among others:

Interpolations[edit]

Songs with vocal interpolations of "What You Won't Do For Love" include the following:

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 97. 
  2. ^ "American Top 40," Week Ending February 3, 1979, replayed February 8, 2014, SiriusXM Radio
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ https://www.myspace.com/luciennluciano/music/albums/don-t-get-crazy-explicit-16973252
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ "2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport TV Spot, 'New Beauty' Song Bobby Caldwell". iSpot.tv. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

External links[edit]