For those of you that remember the music and song-craft of Barry White, you remember a performer that could touch the heart of an emotion, and make it stand out with a unique, often breathy, bass vocal. In the ’70s, almost everything Barry White released became an instant hit. In fact, there’s a collection of singles that achieved gold and platinum status. Of course, his albums did quite well. But most of us remember him primarily by his string of radio hits that still resonate because his voice and delivery was never replicated.
Barry White has been to the top of the charts an admirable number of times, but only one of his hits was a ballad (a studio effort for the Quincy Jones album Back on the Block that included El DeBarge, James Ingram and Al B. Sure!). However, as a solo artist, White has never had a ballad usurp the number one spot on the Billboard charts. The Icon Is Love's featured release fills that void. "Practice What You Preach," which unites the maestro with producers Gerald LeVert and Edwin Nicholas, has a simmering arrangement, evocative lyric, and White's brawn delivery. The catchy melody and sensuous female backing vocals enhance this already stellar single. It stayed on the Billboard R&B charts for 30 weeks and had a consecutive three-week run at number one.
Barry White turned into such iconic figure that it’s odd to hear his beginnings on his 1973 debut I’ve Got So Much to Give. In a sense, his sound is fully formed – there’s no mistaking his velvet baritone or his lush, string-draped surrounding, particularly on the album’s closing “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby,” a song so seductive it set the pace for the rest of his career. Still, behind that creamy drapery it’s possible to hear a strong debt to Isaac Hayes throughout I’ve Got So Much to Give, particularly when the whole affair opens a slow, steady, eight-minute crawl through “Standing in the Shadows of Love” that strips all the bounciness out of the Supremes original, just like how all of Hayes reworkings of ‘60s pop hits turned the hit versions inside out on Hot Buttered Soul. Barry may be following in Isaac’s footsteps, but he winds up on his own path, one that isn’t quite as ambitious, one that is fairly hellbent on romance to the exclusion of everything else.
"Just Another Way To Say I Love You" is the self-produced fourth album by American R&B singer Barry White, released in 1975 on the 20th Century label. The album topped the R&B albums chart, White's fourth in a row to do so, and peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200. It also reached #12 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was a success, yielding two Billboard R&B Top Ten singles, "What Am I Gonna Do with You", which peaked at #1, and "I'll Do for You Anything You Want Me To". Both were also successful on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #8 and #40 respectively. Both singles were also hits on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #5 and #20 respectively. The album was digitally remastered and reissued on CD on May 3, 1996.
"Can't Get Enough" is the third studio album by American R&B/disco singer Barry White, released on August 6, 1974 by the 20th Century label. In 2003, the album was ranked #281 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album topped the R&B albums chart, his third album to do so. It also topped the Billboard 200 and peaked at #4 on the UK Albums Chart. The album included two Billboard R&B number-one singles, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything". Both were also successful on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #1 and #2 respectively. Both singles were also hits on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #8 and #1 respectively. The album was digitally remastered and reissued on CD on March 19, 1996 by Island/Mercury Records.
"The Man" is the self-produced eighth album by soul singer Barry White, released in 1978 on the revived 20th Century-Fox Records label, which saw its name reverted from 20th Century. The album became White's sixth R&B chart topper and peaked at #36 on the pop chart. Lead single "Your Sweetness Is My Weakness" reached #2 on the R&B chart and #60 on the Billboard Hot 100, while White's cover of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" reached #45 on the R&B chart and peaked at #12 on the UK Singles Chart. A third single, "Sha La La Means I Love You", peaked at #55 on the UK Singles Chart. A cover version of "It's Only Love Doing Its Thing" (with the shortened title "It's Only Love") would be a hit for British band Simply Red in 1989. The album was digitally remastered and reissued on CD on September 24, 1996 by Mercury Records.
It took quite a while for a definitive Barry White compilation to hit the market, but All-Time Greatest Hits – part of Mercury's Funk Essentials series – finally filled the bill in 1995. Boasting a full 20 tracks from White's heyday of 1973-1978, more than half of which made the R&B Top Ten, All-Time Greatest Hits is easily the most generous single-disc White collection on the market. It includes the edited single versions, not the full-length album tracks, which actually makes for a more digestible introduction to White's achievements. Like his forebear Isaac Hayes, White was not just a deep-voiced crooner, but a talented producer and arranger who'd spent years honing his craft behind the scenes in the industry. And like Hayes, White spent a great deal of time setting up moods on his albums, using lush, sweeping orchestrations to build very gradually to climaxes. (Actually, that probably explains a good deal of his effectiveness.) But White was not simply a Hayes disciple; his swirling productions were less complex than Hayes', but more in tune with the emerging disco sound, which certainly boosted his popularity.
The press may have dubbed Barry White "the walrus of love," but he was certainly the guru of something for many star crossed lovers across his Love Unlimited Orchestra output. While White rocketed up the charts with his solo "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More" in 1973, it was that same year's smash single "Love's Theme" that shot Love Unlimited Orchestra right up alongside him. Mostly instrumental, all orchestral, and packed with "that" tchka tchka guitar and full-fledged disco sound well before the genre reached maturity, Rhapsody in White set the stage and showcased the sounds that would shortly inspire a generation of producers, arrangers, and performers to start a million mirror balls spinning the world over. This album, in all its admitted smarminess, is a triumph.
Live performance from American soul singer-songwriter Barry White and the female vocal group, Love Unlimited. The concert features hits such as 'You're the First, the Last, My Everything', 'Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe' and 'I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby'.