For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Slow Jam Saturday: Shanice, Saving Forever For You
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular shows of the nineties was FOX’S Beverly Hills, 90210. While the show lacked any melanin leads, the producers strove to showcase R&B music on occasion as the show grew in popularity. Artists such as Brian McKnight, Monica, Luther Vandross, and Jade made cameo appearances on the show. Fans will also remember Eric Benet & Tamia’s stunning “Spend My Life With You” performance during the show’s finale, which featured David Silver and Donna Martin’s long-awaited wedding.
R&B also played in the series two released soundtracks. The first soundtrack was released in 1992, during Season 3, and featured the likes of Color Me Badd, Jody Watley, and even Ms. Chaka Khan. Season 5’s soundtrack, released in 1994, highlighted the college years and went deeper into R&B with groups After 7 and Hi-Five contributing songs.
However, for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I wanted to give the elegant Shanice Wilson and her lush ballad “Saving Forever for You” some flowers. Written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, the song was a fantastic choice for the songstress to showcase her coloratura soprano voice to a mainstream audience.
Before the single’s release, Shanice had already released two albums. However, while “I Love Your Smile” from her sophomore album found success on the pop charts, the follow-up singles were negated to the R&B charts.
Released on October 1st, 1992, as the soundtrack’s first single, the first time I recall hearing “Saving Forever for You” wasn’t on the radio. It was during the episode A Presumption of Innocence in a scene where the character of Niki attempts to teach Brandon how to dance, not knowing he has two left feet.
We all know that Diane Warren is one of the all-time great songwriters. Combine that with the heavenly arrangements of David Foster, and you have a sure-fire hit. Wilson was nineteen when the song was released and sang the lyrics beautifully. While she avoids the whistle register, I’ve felt she sang the vocals from the standpoint of a young woman experiencing love for the first time as she enters adulthood.
While some may feel the saccharine lyrics haven’t aged well, thirty-one years later, the song remains my favorite ballad in Shanice’s catalog.
Final Grade: A
“Saving Forever For You” from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.