Sometimes success doesn’t come right away. Sometimes you have to pay your dues and keep at it, never giving up on a dream or goal. For the band L.T.D. it took six years before their first album was released, and another two before they had a hit record. That hit put the band on the map, and the lead singer on a path that would eventually lead to a solo career. The song that did all that is one of R&B’s greatest love songs, and is a true classic for fans of the genre. The song is “Love Ballad,” and the group is L.T.D. The lead singer was Jeffrey Osborne.
It would take L.T.D. three albums before they even had a single that made it to any chart at all. Their first two albums contained four singles, but none of them made a dent anywhere. It would be “Love Ballad” that put the band on a course for stardom, rising all the way to #1 on the R&B chart and a top 20 place on the Billboard Hot 100. Jeffrey Osborne joined the band as a drummer and co-lead vocalist with his brother Billy, though it was decided that he would become the primary lead vocalist around the time this song and its accompanying album, Love To The World, were released. He would go on to lead the band on several big R&B hits, including “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again,” “Holding On (When Love Is Gone),” “Stranger,” “Share My Love,” and “Shine On.” After 1980, he and Billy left for solo careers. The hits kept coming for Jeffrey, as songs like “On The Wings Of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” and “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” climbed to the upper reaches of the R&B charts. At 68 years of age, Osborne is still performing today, even guesting on songs by smooth jazz artists Euge Groove and The Rippingtons.
But it was this song, describing a love that was unlike anything the singer had known before and how real it was, kicked things off for Jeffrey Osborne’s career, which has been going strong for over 40 years now. I hope you enjoy “Love Ballad,” I think it makes a great pick for #RomanticTuesday. As always, thanks for reading and listening.