Today’s #RomanticTuesday song has been covered at least seventeen times, according to the website WhoSampled.com. Rather than play “one song, seventeen ways” in this post, I’ll just feature six versions of the song. Some big and not-so-big names have taken a crack at this timeless song, which remains one of the Isley Brothers’ favorites among its fans since its debut over 40 years ago. Today’s song is “For The Love Of You.”
Found on the Isley Brothers’ 1975 album The Heat Is On, today’s song started the second half of the album, which according to some old players of note, is the half you want to play for romancing your lady. The group divided the album into fast songs on the first half and slow jams on the second, which may have been the first instance that I can recall it ever happening. This particular song managed to be a top 10 R&B hit and a top 30 pop hit as well. Here is the original version of the song.
As for the covers:
Whitney Houston did a very smooth take of the song that was included on her second album Whitney. Best known for the singles “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “So Emotional,” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” this was a cover that featured her beautiful voice.
Joss Stone’s debut album, The Soul Sessions, included her version of the song. Her debut is notable for containing nothing but covers, done in a modern soul style. It was said at the time that none other than Betty Wright was helping Joss with her first two albums. Her take is slower, allowing her to get into the emotion of the song with her vocal.
R&B singer Regina Belle did a version with George Duke on the keyboards and the Perri Sisters on backup. It’s a beautiful, simple version that focuses on the voices, and even finds the women singing a bit of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “The Love I Lost” at the beginning. I’m never surprised at a Regina Belle performance, but I was surprised at how much I like this version.
If you like Boyz II Men, they did a version for their covers album, Throwback:
Last but not least, an artist I have previously featured on the blog—Hil St. Soul—also did a version of the song:
If you are familiar with the original, or any of the covers, is there a version you prefer? The song has also been sampled in several hip-hop records and been covered by smooth jazz artists Earl Klugh and Peter White too, proving its staying power. For my money, the original is still the best version—”write that down!”
As always, thanks for reading and listening, and I hope you enjoy today’s #RomanticTuesday song.