What You Won't Do for Love (song)
|"What You Won't Do for Love"|
|Single by Bobby Caldwell|
|from the album What You Won't Do for Love|
|Genre||Blue-eyed soul, smooth jazz, quiet storm|
|Writer(s)||Bobby Caldwell, Alfons Kettner|
|Bobby Caldwell singles chronology|
"What You Won't Do for Love" is a quiet storm single written by Alfons Kettner along with musician and singer Bobby Caldwell which he recorded for his debut album, 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.
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.
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.
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. The single was also available on standard round vinyl as well.
- Caldwell's recording of the song was featured in the film Donnie Brasco (1997).
- The song was featured in a 2013 commercial for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Covers and samples
Since its release, the song has been often frequently covered by R&B, pop and jazz artists alike and has also been an oft-sampled song in hip-hop and house circles.
- Intro - What you won't do for love 1995
- Phyllis Hyman - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Aaliyah - "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number"
- Alfonzo Blackwell - "Love No Limit"
- Daniel Evans feat. Snake Davis - "No Easy Way"
- Charles Hamilton - "Where I've Been"
- Charles Hamilton - "Him"
- Esham - "24/7"
- Goldie - "What You Won't Do For Love (Radio Edit)"
- Goldmine - "Mic Love"
- DJ Rashad - Ghetto Tekz Runnin It
- Go West - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Guru - "Something in the Past"
- Intro - "What You Won't Do For Love"
- Kool G Rap - "Blowin' up in the World"
- Luniz - "Playa Hata" (Vocal and Audio Sample)
- Mary J. Blige - "Love No Limit" (Uncredited)
- Montell Jordan - "What You Won't Do For Love " (Unreleased)
- Master P - "If I Could Change"
- Max B and French Montana - "Do 4 Drugs"
- Michael Bolton - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Peabo Bryson and Natalie Cole - "What You Won't Do For Love" from the album "We're the best of friends".
- Pride & Politix - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Tatyana Ali - "Boy You Knock Me Out" (Audio Sample)
- Boyz II Men - "What You Won't Do for Love" featuring MC Lyte from the album Throwback, Vol. 1.
- 2Pac - "Do for Love" (Vocal Sample)
- 2Pac - "Do for Love" (Unreleased Original Version)
- 2Pac - Heaven Ain't Hard 2 Find
- 2Pac - What You Won't Do For Love (Unreleased)
- Young Zee - "Everybody Get High"
- Central Avenue featuring Simon Green - "Do for Love"
- The Candy Dealers - "Stepping Out"
- DJ Jazzy Jeff - "My Soul's Not 4 Sale (feat. Raheem DeVaughn)"
- Elliott Yamin sang this as Paula Abdul's song choice on American Idol (Season 5).
- Fuel - "Do 4 Love"
- Chocolat & Akito- "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Sa-Deuce - "Don't waste my time"
- Roy Ayers - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Victor Wooten - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Foesum - "In the Wind"
- Mariah Carey, Da Brat & Elephant Man - "Got a Thing 4 You" 
- BlahqLyst- "Minute Freestyle 3"
- Jessie Ware - "What You Won't Do for Love"
- Jay R - "What You Won't Do for Love" 
- Peter Mann - "Do For Love" 
- Luciano - "Got A Thing For You" 
- Z-Ro- "So Much" 
Chart position of Go West's cover version
|Year||Song||UK Singles chart|
|1993||"What You Won't Do For Love"||15|
Chart position of Boyz II Men's cover version
|Year||Song||Hot R&B Singles|
|2004||"What You Won't Do For Love"||60|
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 97.
- "American Top 40," Week Ending February 3, 1979, replayed February 8, 2014, SiriusXM Radio
- "2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport TV Spot, 'New Beauty' Song Bobby Caldwell". iSpot.tv. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
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