Top 40 Smash Taps: “The Last Time I Made Love”

These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.

Jeffrey Osborne was the lead singer for the R&B band L.T.D. when they had a Top 5 hit in 1977 with the song “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again.” He put out his first solo album in 1982, doing well on the R&B charts but struggling to generate the some heat on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, one of his first solo singles nearly qualifies for this series, peaking at a feeble #39.

Joyce Kennedy was the lead singer for the nineteen-seventies funk band Mother’s Finest. They had a couple of minor hits, but were arguably best known for the controversy stirred up by the song “Niggaz Can’t Sing Rock ‘n’ Roll” off their 1976 self-titled album. Kennedy’s solo debut, Lookin’ for Trouble was released in 1984.

It was a debut with Osborne on that album that became Kennedy’s sole trip to the Billboard Top 40, though just barely. “The Last Time I Made Love” was the handiwork of the married songwriting due of Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, a pair that signed their names to a crazy array of hits. The track was exactly the sort of soft, slow soul track that popped up all over radio in the mid-eighties, hardly matching the fiery material Kennedy specialized with while performing with her former band.

Kennedy may have agreed with that last point as she later rejuvenated the band and proved she could still belt it out with the best of them. Osborne kept on with his solo career, releasing new music as recently as 2005.

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
“Come See” by Major Lance
“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge
“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics
“The Bounce” by the Olympics
“Your One and Only Love” by Jackie Wilson
“Tell Her She’s Lovely” by El Chicano

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