♫ Part-Time Lover ♫

I had two choices on this one … the studio recording, the quality of which is superior, or the live version.  I chose the live version, because the energy, the emotion, I think adds more to the song than can ever come through on a studio recording.  That isn’t always the case, but Stevie Wonder is an entertainer, not just a singer, and he knows how to engage his audience, his energy is contagious.

According to Songfacts:

Wonder was a pioneer when it came to making and recording music using electronics and computers. This is an early example of digital audio recording, which Wonder put together at his own Wonderland Studios.

One of the devices he used was a LinnDrum, a popular drum machine/sampler. “He bought the second drum machine I ever made,” Roger Linn said in a Songfacts interview. “I think he used my drum machine very well on ‘Part-Time Lover.'”

According to Wonder, he drew on two songs by The Supremes as a musical influence for this one: “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “My World Is Empty Without You.”

Syreeta Wright, who was Wonder’s wife at the time, sang backing vocals. She co-wrote Wonder’s 1970 song “If You Really Love Me” and had her own Top 10 hit with her duet with Billy Preston, “With You I’m Born Again.”

Also featured on this track is Luther Vandross, who can be heard humming at the end of the verses.

Part-Time Lover
Stevie Wonder

Call up, ring once, hang up the phone
To let me know you made it home
Don’t want nothing to be wrong with part-time lover
If she’s with me I’ll blink the lights
To let you know tonight’s the night
For me and you my part-time lover

We are undercover passion on the run
Chasing love up against the sun
We are strangers by day, lovers by night
Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right

If I’m with friends and we should meet
Just pass me by, don’t even speak
Know the word’s “discreet” when part-time lovers
But if there’s some emergency
Have a male friend to ask for me
So then she won’t peek its really you my part-time lover

We are undercover passion on the run
Chasing love up against the sun
We are strangers by day, lovers by night
Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right

I’ve got something that I must tell
Last night someone rang our doorbell
And it was not you my part-time lover
And then a man called our exchange
But didn’t want to leave his name
I guess that two can play the game
Of part-time lovers
You and me, part-time lovers
But, she and he, part-time lovers

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Part-Time Lover lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Endless Love ♫

Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Dance With My Father ♫

Luther Vandross, with help from Richard Marx, wrote this song shortly after he suffered a stroke on April 16, 2003, that left him in a coma for two months and eventually killed him two years later on July 1, 2005. The song is a tribute to his late father, and very poignant as it was one of Luther’s last songs. His father died when he was young, and Luther’s most poignant memory of his dad was him dancing in the house with his kids.

At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Vandross, by then confined to a wheelchair, appeared in a pre-taped video segment to accept his Song of the Year Award for “Dance with My Father”, saying, “When I say goodbye it’s never for long, because I believe in the power of love”. 

His last public appearance was on May 6, 2004, on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

I love this song, but it always leaves me with a tear or two.

Dance with My Father
Luther Vandross

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me
And then
Spin me around ’till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure
I was loved

If I could get another chance
Another walk
Another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love love love
To dance with my father again

When I and my mother
Would disagree
To get my way I would run
From her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me
yeah yeah
Then finally make me do
Just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he
Would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance
One final step
One final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
Cause I’d love love love to
Dance with my father again

Sometimes I’d listen outside her door
And I’d hear how mama would cry for him
I’d pray for her even more than me
I’d pray for her even more than me

I know I’m praying for much to much
But could you send her
The only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But Dear Lord
She’s dying to dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep
And this is all I ever dream

Songwriters: Luther Vandross / Richard Marx
Dance with My Father lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management