From The Vault is back this week with a powerful double-duo. Long before Normani and Khalid’s ‘Love Lies,’Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson proved a formidable force on flavorsome jam ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free.’Array
In 1992, legendary team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis were tasked with producing the original soundtrack to crime comedy ‘Mo’ Money’ – starring Damon Wayans, Stacey Dash and Bernie Mac. And they made sure to arrange an A-list affair.
The album housed contributions from the likes of Johnny Gill, MC Lyte, and Public Enemy, but the most notable came courtesy of Jackson and Vandross with ‘Free.’ Also part of the track’s creation were Bell Biv DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant.
The New-Jack-Swing number was yet another hit for the duo, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US and #2 in the UK – Jackson’s first Top 10 in the country since 1987’s ‘Let’s Wait Awhile.’ It spent 5 consecutive weeks at #2 on the Australian Singles Chart.
Although neither Janet nor Luther were available to shoot the tune’s visual, director Paris Barclay still managed kept things interesting by featuring the movie’s leads having a fun-filled day at the carnival. Alongside Damon and Stacey, Marlon Wayans – who also stars in the flick – can be seen lip-syncing the rap section of the song while scenes from the film are shown.
The talent that was Luther Vandross will be forever unparalleled. From his tone and range, to his technique and lyrics, he has an unshakable place up-there amongst the greatest to ever do it. One of the most vocally versatile too.
As far as Ms. Jackson goes, she manages, year in year out, to show the world what a class act is. Ever (and equally) refined plus potent, she has shown constant dedication to her craft, without ever sacrificing the many facets of her brand, and we admire her for that.
So, join us as we salute two of music’s most gifted artists on one of the most memorable classics from their respective catalogues. They did that!