Save the Best for Last

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"Save the Best for Last"
Vanessa Williams - Save The Best For Last.JPG
Single by Vanessa Williams
from the album The Comfort Zone
B-side"Freedom Dance" (U.S.), "2 of a Kind" (Europe)
ReleasedJanuary 14, 1992
Formatcassette single, 7" single, CD maxi-single
Recorded1989–90
Genre
Length3:40
LabelWing/Mercury
Songwriter(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)
Music video
"Save the Best for Last" on YouTube

"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 initiate a relationship with the singer.

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

Critical reception[edit]

The Gavin Report wrote about the song: "Every artist needs that "career record," and while Vanessa is by now accustomed to chart success, this effort takes her to a whole new level. It deserves to become her biggest hit to-date and it's well on the way with Top Ten status at Y95 and Q106."[1]

Commercial 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.[2] "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 number one on the U.S. Adult Contemporary and R&B charts; it remained atop these charts for three weeks apiece. Internationally, the single reached number one in Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada, number two in Ireland, and number three in the United Kingdom and Japan. ASCAP named it as its Song of the Year, meaning it was performed more than any other song in 1992; 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.

Charts[edit]

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]

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

Renditions[edit]

In 1994, saxophonist Marion Meadows covered the song for his album Forbidden Fruit.[19] 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. ^ Sholin, Dave (24 January 1992). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 1889. p. 56. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 627.
  3. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  6. ^ Canada adult contemporary peak
  7. ^ "Musicline.de – Vanessa Williams Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  8. ^ Irish Singles Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved 15 December 2007)
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Vanessa Williams" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  10. ^ "Charts.nz – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Singles Top 100.
  12. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Swiss Singles Chart.
  13. ^ UK Singles Chart Everyhit.com (Retrieved 15 December 2007)
  14. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Forbidden Fruit overview". Allmusic.com.

External links[edit]