Friday, July 15, 2011

Patti LaBelle - "If You Asked Me To"

If You Asked Me To (Single) - Patti LaBelle: Greatest Hits

(Debuted October 7, 1989, Peaked #79, 5 Weeks on the Chart)

"If You Asked Me To" was the song that ran along with the closing credits for the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill,  as well as the first single from Patti LaBelle's upcoming album Be Yourself. It had been written by Diane Warren and was a perfect fit for LaBelle's vocal style.

The video (shown below) took on a much difference significance, however. It was filmed the day after LaBelle's sister died from lung cancer (which is why she's wearing black), and the sadness she expresses isn't acting at all. While the song itself is about holding out hope for a failed relationship, the loss of a family member definitely gave it a different twist.

The song wasn't a hit, and I am at a loss to explain why. Other songs that sounded a lot like it in style and with similar production were big hits that year, and the song was eventually made into a breakthrough hit for Celine Dion in 1992. Dion's version was done in the same style and with a nearly identical backing, which might indicate that LaBelle was simply the victim of bad timing.

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