Song of the Day, March 17: (Everytime I Turn Around) Back In Love Again by L.T.D.

ltdturnaroundToday’s song is the biggest hit of a successful 70s R&B group. In 1968, members of Sam & Dave’s backing band formed Love Men Ltd. in Greensboro, NC. They added a couple of members and relocated to Harlem. Jeffrey Osborne joined the band on drums and occasional vocals when they met him during a gig in Providence, RI. By 1974, they changed their name to L.T.D. (for Love, Togetherness & Devotion) and moved Osborne to lead vocals, signing with A&M. Their third album — 1976’s Love to the World — included the Top 20 hit Love Ballad, which also became their first R&B #1. The following year saw the group’s fortunes expand even further.

The lead single from Something to Love shot to #1 on the R&B chart and went to #4 on the Hot 100. (Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again was written by Len Ron Hanks and Zane Grey, but L.T.D. made it their own. By this point, Osborne’s confidence as a vocalist was matched by his distinctive phrasing and smooth style. With the band providing a funky, soulful groove, he delivers an urgent but elegant story of a man overwhelmed by romance. It’s fun and energetic, a wonderful tune that fit into the disco mood of the country at the time while maintaining its own distinct flavor.

Enjoy this great song today.

Song of the Day, February 20: I’ll Make Believe by Jeffrey Osborne

osbornestaybelieveToday’s song is a ballad of loss and self-deception. After a successful solo debut, Jeffrey Osborne returned to producer George Duke for his second outing. Stay With Me Tonight is an even stronger disc, blending funky love songs, gorgeous ballads, and quirky stories. The album is held together by Duke’s smart production and Osborne’s amazing voice.

One of the highlights is I’ll Make Believe, written by Osborne with Geoffrey Leib. The theme is simple: a man bereft by broken romance, doing his best to pretend that things are still fine. In lesser hands, it could be trite or treacly. Instead, Osborne’s distinctive phrasing and smart restraint show off the ache and sorrow without over-emoting. The result is poignant and heartbreaking.

Enjoy this sad song today.

Song of the Day, January 30: Stay With Me Tonight by Jeffrey Osborne

osbornestayToday’s song is a funky bit of seduction with a rock twist. When he left his duties as L.T.D. drummer and vocalist to go solo, Jeffrey Osborne found a sympathetic partner in producer George Duke. The jazz keyboardist understood Osborne’s distinctive phrasing and gorgeous voice, finding just the right songs and players to make the most of his talent. The first result, Jeffrey Osborne, was a partnership reminiscent of Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson in its chemistry.

For the follow-up, Duke and Osborne followed a successful formula, mixing R&B balladry, funky pop, and urban dance numbers. The title track, written by Raymond Jones, is a classic seduction song, with a slinky lead vocal, electrifying percussion, inviting synths, and a magical Osborne vocal. He simmers and winks, breaking into the direct title line with just the right urgency. Mixing things up just right, Duke brought in Queen guitarist Brian May, whose solo adds a gritty urgency to the proceedings. The result was Osborne’s fourth pop Top 40 hit and went to #4 on the R&B charts.

Enjoy this great song today.

Song of the Day, August 14: I Really Don’t Need No Light by Jeffrey Osborne

Today’s song is I Really Don’t Need No Light by Jeffrey Osborne. His first solo single after leaving LTD, it peaked at #39 on the Hot 100 on this date in 1982. Osborne co-wrote the song with David “Hawk” Wolinski, a talented keyboard player and songwriter. Wolinski is best known as a member of Rufus; he wrote a number of songs for the band including their smash Ain’t Nobody.

Merging the sensibilities of writers from the two great R&B dance bands created a memorable song with a spectacular groove. It’s very much a “you done me wrong” song, delivered with power and grace. Osborne is in fine voice, launching the new stage of his career with promise and strength.

Now you’re so full of schemes
I see right through you like a thin screen
All of your alibis are long gone

I really don’t need no light to see through you
I really don’t need your love to see me through
I really don’t need your heart to set me free
I really don’t need the way it used to be

I Really Don’t Need No Light was even more successful on the R&B charts where it made it to #3. Enjoy this great song today.

Billboard #1s for the Week Ending August 14, 1982

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart

Song

Act

Weeks

Hot 100 Eye of the Tiger Survivor 4
R & B And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going Jennifer Holliday

4

Country I’m Gonna Hire A Wino to Decorate Our Home David Frizzell

1

Adult Contemporary Even the Nights Are Better Air Supply

4

Rock Think I’m In Love Eddie Money

2

Album Mirage Fleetwood Mac

2

This week sees the lead singer of a successful 70s R&B group notch his first solo hit on the Top 40. Jeffrey Osborne was the drummer and lead singer of LTD (which stood for Love, Tenderness, and Devotion) from 1970 until his departure in 1980; his vocals were featured on the band’s biggest hit (Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again, which made #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the R&B charts for two weeks.

His first solo album, Jeffrey Osborne, was released in June 1982 and made it to #49. Its first single, I Really Don’t Need No Light peaked at #39 this week on the Hot 100. It made it to #3 on the R&B chart, the first of 24 hits on that chart (11 Top 10 and one #1, She’s On the Left). Although he was a staple of Top 40 radio in the 80s, Osborne never broke into the Top 10. His biggest hits were the Dionne Warwick duet Love Power [#12 in 1987] and You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song) [#13 in 1986]. He logged eight Top 40 hits and six Hot 100 albums during the decade. He still records and performs today.

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