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
Recorded1990
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 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 music career following her earlier Miss America resignation scandal.[1]

The song was a commercial and critical success, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks,[2] 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.[3]

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..."[4]

Commercial performance[edit]

The single was Williams's third number one on the Soul singles chart and topped the US 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's 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 and Canada, number two in Ireland, and number three in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

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.[3]

Music videos[edit]

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 winter 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 zooming 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.

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

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Platinum 70,000^
United States (RIAA)[30] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Covers[edit]

In 1994, saxophonist Marion Meadows covered the song for his album Forbidden Fruit;[31] also in 1994, Filipino singer Kuh Ledesma recorded a version with jazz violinist Noel Pointer on her album The Voice and the Violin. The same year, jazz singer Ethel Ennis included a version on her self-titled album. 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. ^ Editors, History com. "Vanessa Williams becomes first black Miss America". HISTORY. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 627.
  3. ^ a b "Vanessa Williams". GRAMMY.com. 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  4. ^ Sholin, Dave (24 January 1992). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 1889. p. 56. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2116." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2097." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Save The Best For Last". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 19, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "Notowanie nr545" (in Polish). LP3. July 31, 1992. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Singles Top 100.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Vanessa Williams Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  21. ^ a b "1992 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1992" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1992" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 56 no. 25. December 19, 1992. p. 8. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary tracks of 1992". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Singles - Jahrescharts 1992" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1992" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1992" (in German). Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  29. ^ 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. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ "American single certifications – Vanessa Williams – Save the Best for Last". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 14, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  31. ^ "Forbidden Fruit overview". Allmusic.com.

External links[edit]