By 2001, Janet Jackson was rolling along with hits galore. In her partnership with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jackson had managed four hit albums in a row with lots of great singles. Her fifth album with Jam & Lewis, All For You, was released in 2001, with the title song as the first single. From the moment it hit the airwaves, Janet had another big hit on her hands—a #1 hit on both the Pop and R&B charts. In fact, the song was #1 on the Pop chart for seven weeks. Even today, it makes the head move and sometimes I’ll even dance to it. But…
…something felt a bit off on the song. While Jam & Lewis had used samples of other songs before in making hits for Janet (the lift of a portion of The Supremes’ “Love Child” on her song “You Want This” is one example), they didn’t quite sample or lift quite as much as they did for “All For You.” I liked Janet’s song; but I liked it better when it was called “The Glow Of Love” by Change.
Change was a disco group created by Guadeloupian producer Jacques Fred Petrus with his partner Italian Mauro Malavasi. Heavily influenced by Chic, they created their debut album also entitled The Glow Of Love by creating tracks overseas and then looking for vocalists in the United States to sing them. Among the singers they recruited were Jocelyn Brown, and on this particular song, Luther Vandross. Vandross sang the lead on both “The Glow Of Love” and “Searching,” and it wasn’t long after both songs hit the R&B chart that Vandross would release his solo debut, Never Too Much, in 1981. For Vandross, it was the beginning of a great solo career. For Change, it meant recruiting another male lead vocalist. That singer would be James “Crab” Robinson, who would sing the male leads on the group’s second album, Miracles. Vandross would also sing on that album, but only in the background. It is said that Vandross and Petrus could not agree to terms, which is why there are no lead vocals from Vandross on the album.
Whether you prefer “All For You” or “The Glow Of Love” or both, I hope you enjoy today’s Flashback Friday. As always, I thank you for reading and listening, and I hope you have a great weekend!