Classics: Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson w Bell Biv DeVoe & Ralph Tresvant – The Best Things In Life Are Free (Perspective Records)
Sounding like an unlikely response to the Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ pretty much encaptured the main theme of the 1992 ‘Mo’ Money’ movie. Strangely enough, the film, which starred the Wayans brothers and Stacey Dash, received mixed if not negative reviews. Although I remember I had a good time and big laughs watching it back then. And so did its soundtrack as if it wasn’t already enough… An album which, according to Adam Greenberg on All Music, was “a perfect blend for a fan of the early 90’s R&B sound, but doesn’t really meet the same standard as music of later years.”
No need telling you how I tend to disagree with such arguments. First, because how could you have an idea of the standard of future music at a specific time? And even more, when not being a musician yourself! And second, because the proper of music and its production has always been to evolve along with time. Besides, does it make a 60’s Sam Cooke‘s song or a 70’s Barry White hit soundin’ like sh.. today???
Bullocks, Mr Greenberg! If your standards are those of a big majority of today’s R&B production, then I gladly leave them to you, Sir!
25 years have gone, by the time writing these lines. And ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ still have this irresistible feel. With Luther Vandross jammin’ his ass off with Janet Jackson, Ralph Tresvant and Bell Biv DeVoe. And this, in a quite unusual vein for the period with Jam & Lewis in charge of the production. Nuff said, huh?