I’ll Hold You Close In My Arms #RomanticTuesday

Last week for #RomanticTuesday, I chose the song “If This World Were Mine” and featured two different duet versions of the song: one by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, and one by Cheryl Lynn & Luther Vandross. This week, I’m going to use the same device: take one song; this time it’s “Endless Love,” and feature two different duet versions.

The first of the duet pairings features the original singers: Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. At the time, Richie had not officially left the Commodores (though by the next year, he would be gone), while Ross was in her second decade as a solo artist after leaving the Supremes. Written by Richie, it was another in a long line of classic ballads written by the singer, but the second (after Kenny Rogers’ “Lady”) to be a hit outside of the Commodores. The song was used as the theme for the 1981 film Endless Love, and reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B charts (for nine and seven weeks, respectively). For Ross, it was her last #1 on the Hot 100, and for Richie, it was the beginning of a string solo hits in the 1980’s.

The second version was recorded by Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey and was contained on his album Songs. Songs was conceived as an album of covers; Vandross had usually contained one or two covers on all of his previous albums. I often say that I could use a Luther Vandross song for #RomanticTuesday every week; now I have done it for two weeks in a row. This version also was a success, although not as big as the original; it got as high as #2 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B charts in 1994. While the original was nominated for an Oscar, this version was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

If you ask me which one I like better, I’ll go with the original. As much a fan I am of Vandross, and having an at-the-time hot vocalist like Carey on that track, I just think the original is flat-out better. Feel free to voice your choice on this pairing in the comments. As an aside, Richie would re-record “Endless Love” as part of his Tuskegee duets album in 2012, this time with Shania Twain. You can hear that version here:

As always, thanks for reading and listening.

31 Replies to “I’ll Hold You Close In My Arms #RomanticTuesday”

  1. I like the original one more. There’s very few Mariah Carey songs that I like. She’s way too much of a diva for me. I actually like her cheesy Christmas song though. Lol. I haven’t heard the third version of this song so I’ll check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. She comes off as a biatch. I think I like her older songs too. I like the remake she did of “I Still Believe.” I also like “Butterfly” and much older songs from the early 90’s.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some time after Butterfly (maybe it was the Rainbow album) she lost me. That’s not to say I don’t like any of her songs after that; “We Belong Together” is one of her best songs, and a few others after Rainbow are pretty good, but I think she started chasing hit records too much. She has amazing range and an amazing voice, even if she is a bit nutty. Her music just wasn’t the same to me as it was when she first started, or in her first decade of stardom.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I like “We Belong Together” too. Do you remember the original “I Still Believe?” Which do you like better? Do you like that song? She was more humble when she started out unlike now.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I do remember the original “I Still Believe,” if I remember correctly it was done by Brenda K. Starr. I think. I like the original better, actually.

        Yes, she was very humble, but great success through those first five or six albums with tons of #1 hits made her raise her diva game. Not always for the better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m definitely partial to the original! Always such a beautiful song. True story… my first year of high school when this song came out, I would be sitting at the table eating my cereal before school, and I would always hope this song would come on the radio, and it usually did. Okay, more of a pointless story but the song always takes me back to a very happy time, such sweet and precious memories. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, that’s not pointless! That’s a special memory you have and a fondness for a classic song! Those stories never get old! Thanks for sharing it!

      I’ll never look at my breakfast cereal quite the same though…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Twin…. Psst…
    Twin….
    Ur…um…
    I never really liked this song…not by ANYBODY 😦
    To me it seemed too sappy–even when sappy was my 12 year old life.

    That said,
    I loved this Lionel Ritchie-Diva D. Ross duet

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sappy? SAPPY?

    I’ll just say, that while Lionel was in transition from being “Alabama” Lionel in the Commodores to “International” Lionel solo star, the sap was only beginning! Can you say “Truly”? “Say You, Say Me”? “Hello”?

    That said, they were all hits. Big ones at that.

    I’m sure my fifteen year old self found a way to switch stations whenever the original “Endless Love” came on-not so much because I didn’t like the song, but because in those days, if it wasn’t uptempo, it wasn’t hitting! Once I started listening more to slower songs and the quiet storm could I appreciate this song, sap and all.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL!!!!
        Now that’s an intriguing question!
        I actually liked Jeff even post LTD.
        Two of my favorites from him are:
        1. Stay with me tonight
        2. So Mad
        Then he goes off and reminds me about “Where did we go wrong” and “Love Ballard” and then “I’m back in love” with Jeff in LTD!
        LOL!!!
        See how I did that?
        Did you like that?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh T.Wayne, I am afraid I am taking your Twin’s side on this one. I never liked this song. It always made me feel like I was getting hit over the head with a Hallmark card. The movie was flat out ridiculous but I digress. However, I do love Lionel’s ballads with the Commodores (“Still”, anyone?) or his solo joints.

    Liked by 2 people

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