Endless Love (song)

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"Endless Love"
Diana-Ross-Endless-Love.jpg
Cover art for UK, Italian, and Greek vinyl releases
Single by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
from the album Endless Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side"Endless Love (instrumental)"
ReleasedAugust 1, 1981
Format7"
Recorded1981
Genre
Length4:24
LabelMotown
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)Lionel Richie
Diana Ross singles chronology
"Cryin' My Heart out for You"
(1981)
"Endless Love"
(1981)
"Medley of Hits"
(1981)
Lionel Richie singles chronology
"Endless Love"
(1981)
"Truly"
(1982)

"Endless Love" is a song written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow pop singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their "endless love" for one another. It was covered by R&B singer Luther Vandross with pop singer Mariah Carey and also by country music singer Shania Twain. Richie's friend (and sometimes co-worker) Kenny Rogers has also recorded the song. Billboard has named the original version as the greatest song duet of all-time.[1]

About the record[edit]

Ross and Richie recorded the song for Motown, and it was used as the theme for the Franco Zeffirelli's film adaptation of Scott Spencer's novel Endless Love. (Jamie Bernstein, as the character Susan, sings the song during the course of the movie.) Produced by Richie and arranged by Gene Page, it was released as a single from the film's soundtrack in 1981. While the film Endless Love was a modest box-office success, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year (first was "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes) in the U.S. and reached number 1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981. It also topped the Billboard R&B chart and the Adult Contemporary chart, and reached number 7 in the UK. It also became the most successful duet of the rock era, surpassing the Everly Brothers' 1957 hit "Wake Up Little Susie," which spent four weeks at number one. Both songs spent six months on the chart, with "Endless Love" eclipsing the Everly's hit by one week.[2]

The soulful composition became the biggest-selling single of Ross' career, and her 18th and final career number-one single (including her work with The Supremes). It also was Richie's highest charting single, and the first of several hits for Richie during the 1980s. Ross recorded a solo version of the song for her first RCA Records album, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, the duet version being her last hit on Motown. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Richie, and was the second song with which Ross was involved that was nominated for an Oscar. It also won a 1982 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.

Charts[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey version[edit]

"Endless Love"
Endlesslove.jpg
Single by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
from the album Songs
ReleasedAugust 29, 1994 (1994-08-29)
Format
Recorded1994
GenreR&B
Length4:21
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)Walter Afanasieff
Luther Vandross singles chronology
"Never Let Me Go"
(1993)
"Endless Love"
(1994)
"Always and Forever"
(1994)
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Anytime You Need a Friend"
(1994)
"Endless Love"
(1994)
"All I Want for Christmas Is You"
(1994)

Walter Afanasieff produced Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey's cover of the song for Vandross' Epic Records-released album Songs, and it is known for being Carey's first "high-profile" duet (an earlier duet, "I'll Be There", was with the then-unknown background singer Trey Lorenz). At the 1995 Grammy Awards, the song was nominated in the new category of Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, losing to "Funny How Time Slips Away" by Al Green and Lyle Lovett. Columbia Records later included the song on Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits (2001) and then again on her next compilation album, The Ballads (2008). It was released as the second single from Songs in 1994.

Recording[edit]

Sony Music Entertainment President Tommy Mottola suggested that Vandross record Songs, an album of cover versions. Featuring Vandross' versions of songs like Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With", Heatwave's "Always and Forever", and Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly", the album was shaping up to be a major career accomplishment. To give the album a bigger boost, Mottola's then-wife, Mariah Carey, came up with the idea to remake "Endless Love" as a duet with her. Lionel Richie and Diana Ross had originally recorded "Endless Love" in 1981, and the song spent nine weeks at number 1. Although Luther's album was already set to contain one Lionel Richie composition, "Hello", it was obvious that having the most-popular female singer on the Sony label singing on the album would be a benefit.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine highlighted this track.[15] Entertainment Weekly's Jeremy Helligar wrote that the album might very will give Vandross a number one hit with "Endless Love" but still called the song "drippy." [16]

Track listings[edit]

7" single

  1. "Endless Love" – 4:21
  2. "Endless Love" (instrumental) – 4:22

Japanese 3" CD single

  1. "Endless Love" – 4:21
  2. "Endless Love" (Mariah only) – 4:22
  3. "Endless Love" (Luther only) – 4:22
  4. "Endless Love" (instrumental) – 4:22

UK and European CD maxi single

  1. "Endless Love" – 4:21
  2. "Endless Love" (instrumental) – 4:22
  3. "Never Too Much (live) – 5:00
  4. "Any Love" (live) – 5:22
  5. "She Won't Talk to Me" (live) – 5:14

Commercial performance[edit]

"Endless Love" debuted on September 10, 1994 at number 31 and peaked at number 2, held back from the top position by Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You". The song became Luther Vandross' biggest pop hit ever and gave Lionel Richie his first top ten as a songwriter in seven years. It became Vandross's fifth top-ten single and Carey's twelfth. It remained in the top forty for thirteen weeks, and was ranked number 56 on the Hot 100 1994 year-end charts. It was also an improvement over Carey's previous single, "Anytime You Need a Friend", which had missed the top ten. It was certified gold by the RIAA.

The song was a success outside the U.S, reaching the top of the chart in New Zealand (for five weeks) and the top five in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. It also reached the top 20 in most of the countries. It was certified Platinum in Australia by ARIA and in New Zealand by RIANZ.

Total sales in the UK stand at 230,000.[17]

Music video[edit]

Two music videos were released for the single; one features Carey and Vandross recording the song in a studio, and the other shows the two performing the song live at Royal Albert Hall. The latter performance is included on the Luther Vandross: From Luther with Love music video collection in DVD format.

Some versions of the song itself were released, in which Carey or Vandross sings solo.

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Lionel Richie and Shania Twain version[edit]

"Endless Love"
Lionel Richie & Shania Twain - Endless Love.png
Single by Lionel Richie and Shania Twain
from the album Tuskegee
ReleasedFebruary 7, 2012
Format
Recorded2011
Genre
Length4:18
LabelUniversal Music Nashville
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)
Lionel Richie singles chronology
"All Night Long"
(2011)
"Endless Love"
(2012)
"Say You, Say Me"
(2012)
Shania Twain singles chronology
"Today Is Your Day"
(2011)
"Endless Love"
(2012)
"Life's About to Get Good"
(2017)

Lionel Richie re-recorded the song in 2011 as a duet with Canadian country pop singer Shania Twain. It was released as the lead single from his album Tuskegee on February 7, 2012. The recording process of song was documented in the final episode of Twain's reality docudrama series, Why Not? with Shania Twain, which aired on June 12, 2011.

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song was recorded in The Bahamas in February 2012. The video, directed by Paul Boyd, was released to country music channels CMT and GAC on March 23, 2012.

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[60] 77
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[61] 16
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[62] 12
US Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[63] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Position
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[64] 30

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 40 Biggest Duets of All Time". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  3. ^ Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Mississauga, Ontario: 1999.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 207.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
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  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  15. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  16. ^ "Album Review: 'Songs' - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
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  19. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey – Endless Love" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
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  21. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. April 22, 1995. p. 66. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
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  30. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 41, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 22, 2015.
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  34. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
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  36. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey – Endless Love". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  37. ^ "Mariah Carey: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  38. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
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  40. ^ "Luther Vandross Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
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  54. ^ "Najlepsze single na UK Top 40-1994 wg sprzedaży" (in Polish). Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 11, 2015.[permanent dead link]
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  56. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australia: St Ives, N.S.W. : Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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  58. ^ "British single certifications – Luthor Vandross & Mariah Carey – Endless Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 22, 2015. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Endless Love in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  59. ^ "American single certifications – Luthor Vandross & Mariah Carey – Endless Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 22, 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  60. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lionel Richie feat. Shania Twain – Endless Love" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  61. ^ "Lionel Richie Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  62. ^ "Lionel Richie Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  63. ^ "Hot Singles Sales". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  64. ^ "Best of 2012 – Adult Contemporary Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2017.

External links[edit]