Save the Best for Last
|"Save the Best for Last"|
|Single by Vanessa Williams|
|from the album The Comfort Zone|
|B-side||"Freedom Dance" (U.S.), "2 of a Kind" (Europe)|
|Released||January 14, 1992|
|Format||cassette single, 7" single, CD maxi-single|
|Songwriter(s)||Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman, Jon Lind|
|Vanessa Williams singles chronology|
"Save the Best for Last" is a 1992 song performed by Vanessa Williams and written by Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman, and Jon Lind in March 1989. It is considered Williams' signature song and was released as the third single from her second studio album The Comfort Zone.
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. 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 was a commercial and critical success. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks, and was ranked fourth on Billboard's Top 100 hits of 1992 list, becoming the biggest success of Williams' music career. ASCAP named it Song of the Year in 1992; it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Record of the Year in 1993.
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..."
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. "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.
There are two versions of the music video for this single. The original version of the music video begins with Williams walking around in a snowy landscape for the first few seconds, then intercuts between black-and-white footage of Williams singing in front of a dark curtain, an orchestra playing along to the blue-tinted footage as it is being projected on a screen, and Williams singing in a living room with candles, a fireplace and a sofa. A "behind the scenes" cut was also later made of the video, predominantly focusing on the orchestra scenes and the blue-tinted footage of Williams as well as showcasing footage from the making of the video. The original version of the music video was released on VEVO and YouTube.
- "Save the Best for Last" (Album Version) - 3:38
- "Save the Best for Last" 3:39
- "2 of a Kind" 5:15
- "Dreamin'" 5:25
- "Save the Best for Last" 3:39
- "Freedom Dance (Get Free!)" (LP Version) 4:13
- "Freedom Dance (Get Free!)" (Free Your Body Club Mix) 6:59
- "Freedom Dance (Get Free!)" (Vanessa's Sweat Mix) 5:21
- "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
In 1994, saxophonist Marion Meadows covered the song for his album Forbidden Fruit. 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
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).
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- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1992 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1992 (U.S.)
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