Making Love (song)

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"Making Love"
Making Love - Roberta Flack.jpg
Single by Roberta Flack
from the album I'm the One
B-side "Jesse"
Released February 8, 1982 (1982-02-08)
Genre smooth soul
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Carole Bayer Sager
Roberta Flack singles chronology
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"Making Love"
(1982)
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"Lovin' You (Is Such an Easy Thang to Do)" (1981) "Making Love" (1982) "I'm the One" (1982)

"Making Love" is a 1982 song written by Burt Bacharach, Bruce Roberts, and Carole Bayer Sager to serve as the theme song for the film of the same name in which, as recorded by Roberta Flack with Bacharach/ Bayer Sager producing, it played under the closing credits: a Top 20 hit single for Flack (who arranged the track), "Making Love" was included on the singer's 1982 album release I'm the One.

Background[edit]

Carole Bayer Sager was a frequent lyricist for either Burt Bacharach - who she married in April 1982 - or Bruce Roberts but all three songwriters only collaborated on occasion: "Making Love" is the second and most successful of three charting collaborations for the Bacharach/ Roberts/ Bayer Sager songwriting team, subsequent to "Stronger Than Before" - #30 as recorded by Carole Bayer Sager in 1981 - and preceding the 1986 El DeBarge hit "Love Always" (#43). In the late 1960's Bacharach had regularly visited the Capitol Hill club Mr Henry's to hear a pre-stardom Flack sing, but "Making Love" marked the first time Flack had recorded a Bacharach composition: Flack's 1983 duet album with Peabo Bryson: Born to Love, would feature two Bacharach/ Bayer Sager songwriting/ producing collaborations: "Blame It On Me" and "Maybe".

The film Making Love has been described as the first mainstream gay-themed Hollywood production:[1] commenting on singing the theme for a potentially controversial film Flack would state she "[could never be] afraid of singing a song about love...Love is universal, like music," adding: "I was so glad when that song charted." In fact the heavily hyped film proved to be a box office disappointment, largely leaving Flack's single to fare on its own merit: with no overt same-sex references in its lyrics Flack would allow that some fans of the song "did not know that the song was about love between two men" adding: "I would talk about it in my shows...about how love is love [whether] between a man and a woman, between two men, between two women."[2]

Impact[edit]

Overview[edit]

"Making Love" would return Flack - as a soloist - to the Top 20 of the "Billboard" Hot 100 for the first time since 1974: she had in 1978 reached #2 with the Donny Hathaway duet "The Closer I Get to You" and that same year reached #24 with the movie theme song "If Ever I See You Again" (not sung by Flack in its parent film). Another of Flack's more moderate single successes of the 1970s: her version of the Janis Ian composition "Jesse" which had reached #30 in 1973, served as the B-side of the "Making Love" single.[3] Eventually ranked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 tally for the year 1982,[4] "Making Love" was also a hit on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary chart (#7) and also on the magazine's R&B chart (#29).

Flack's followup single: "I'm the One", stalled at #42 on the Hot 100, leaving "Making Love" her sixth and final Top 40 hit although she would subsequently reach the Top 20 with two duets: "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" with Peabo Bryson (#16/ 1983) and "Set the Night to Music" with Maxi Priest (#6/ 1991) which, with her three Donny Hathaway duet hits from the 1970s, would make Flack's overall Top 40 tally eleven hits.

"Making Love" was not one of Flack's major international successes, charting low in both Australia (#63) and Canada (#43) (the track did reach #22 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Canada).[5] and #22 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[6]

Chart history[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Flack's recording of "Making Love" has drawn polarized critical opinion: Geoffrey Himes in The Washington Post says the track "[evinces a] mistaken notion that the slower and dreamier the song, the more profound it is...Flack whispers the maudlin lyrics 'meaningfully' and the syrupy melody drags interminably."[14] However "Snicks" of the Logo TV site NewNowNext.com ranked Flack's "Making Love" at #12 on his 50 Movie Songs Of The 80s ranking, citing it as a "gorgeous ballad [that is] one of Roberta’s finest moments."[15]

Other versions...[edit]

...of "Making Love" have been recorded by:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alexander Ryll. "Essential Gay Themed Films To Watch, Making Love". Gay Essential. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.hotspotsmagazine.com/2015/04/15/roberta-flack-comes-to-florida/ Roberta Flack Comes to Florida - Hotspots Magazine 15 April 2015
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  4. ^ http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1982.htm
  5. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.6542&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.6542.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.6542 RPM 50 Singles, August 7, 1982
  6. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.6538&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.6538.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.6538 RPM Adult Contemporary, July 17, 1982
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, June 26, 1982
  11. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  12. ^ Billboard vol 94 #51 (25 December 1982) "Top Adult Contemporary Singles" Talent in Action (TIA) Section p. 36
  13. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1982
  14. ^ The Washington Post 1 July 1982 "Freeing the Songbirds" by Geoffrey Himes @https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1982/07/01/freeing-the-songbirds/0bc807d1-3d26-4d12-9da3-b437047f007f/?utm_term=.9df9285aec26
  15. ^ http://www.newnownext.com/briefs-finding-dory-chris-colfers-enchantress-and-the-ten-hottest-doctor-who-companions/04/2013/
  16. ^ https://www.discogs.com/artist/112558-Bruce-Roberts?filter_anv=0&subtype=Writing-Arrangement&type=Credits

External links[edit]