Save the Best for Last
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|"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|
|Genre||R&B, soul, adult contemporary|
|Writer(s)||Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman, Jon Lind|
|Vanessa Williams singles chronology|
"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. There were a number of other singers who were offered the song; they all turned it down. While recording her album The Comfort Zone, at the last minute, a song had to be replaced. Vanessa was played "Save The Best For Last", and Vanessa said: "I can't believe nobody wants this song. I have to have this song."
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 #1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary and R&B charts; it remained atop these charts for three weeks apiece. Internationally, the single shot to number one in Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada, and to number three in the United Kingdom, number two in Ireland, and number three in Japan. ASCAP named it as its Song of the Year, meaning it was performed more than any other song in 1992, and 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.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||7|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||5|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||1|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||19|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||4|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||15|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||6|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||3|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||1|
|US Adult Contemporary||1|
End of year charts
|End of year chart (1992)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||4|
End of decade charts
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||47|
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 as a holiday favorite, with a new snowy videoclip version played on MTV.
- "Save The Best For Last" (Album Version) - 3:38
 Europe Single
- 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 the media
- The song CKBE-FM David Tyler.
- The song is sometimes played in conjunction with R. Kelly's 1996 hit "I Believe I Can Fly" at high school graduations, proms, and other special events, such as sports championships: for example, the Toronto Blue Jays played the song following their 1992 World Series triumph; the Atlanta Braves followed suit three years later; and the San Antonio Spurs played it while celebrating their first-ever NBA title.
- The song is played over the closing credits of the 1994 Australian movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, as a silhouetted drag queen (Tim Chappel) lip-syncs along to it.
- The song was used in the United Kingdom to advertise Bisto gravy granules in the mid-1990s.
- In the 2001 movie Kate & Leopold, the song is briefly played near the beginning.
- The song was played as the last dance for winners Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy in the final of the 4th series of Strictly Come Dancing.
- The song was used in a post-credits scene in the 2008 film, What Happens in Vegas, where the ex-boyfriend of Cameron Diaz's character gets punched in the groin by her best friend for revenge after dumping her earlier in the movie.
- The song is also heard in the 2008 film Definitely, Maybe as Bill Clinton wins the election.
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).
- List of number-one R&B singles of 1992 (U.S.)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1992 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1992 (U.S.)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 627.
- "Australian-charts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Ultratop.be – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- Canada Top Singles peak
- Canada adult contemporary peak
- "Musicline.de – Vanessa Williams Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- Irish Singles Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved December 15, 2007)
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Vanessa Williams search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Swiss Singles Chart.
- UK Singles Chart Everyhit.com (Retrieved December 15, 2007)
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- 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.
- "Forbidden Fruit overview". Allmusic.com.
- This song was covered by the Punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on their 2003 album Take a Break.
- Australian musician Edward Guglielmino covers "Save the Best for Last" in live performances and is rumored to be recording a version.
- Richard Smith performs a cover on his album Natural Soul (2002).
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