THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
541-Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway-Where Is the Love.
1972-Number 29 single.
Best Bit-At 1.27. My only grumble, is at the length of the song, if like me you wish it would last longer, then here’s a good idea, play it again.
Donny Edward Hathaway was born on October 1st, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois, United States, he committed suicide by jumping from the 15th floor of the Essex House hotel in New York, on January 13th, 1979, at the age of 33.Hathaway had suffered from severe bouts of depression, and in 1971 was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Hathaway released three solo studio Albums, one Soundtrack Album, and one live Album between 1970-1973. There was also two collaboration Albums with Roberta Flack, one released in 1972, and the other after his death in 1980. Hathaway had first met Flack (see also best songs 251) at Howard University in Washington D.C., where he was studying music on a fine arts scholarship, and Flack was employed as an assistant conductor of the University choir.Donny Hathaway is considered one of the greatest vocalists of all time, with Stevie Wonder saying,’When Donny sings any song, he owns it.’ Amy Winehouse called Hathaway her favourite artist of all time, and Justin Timberlake has called him ‘the best singer of all time.’
‘Where Is the Love’ was written by William Salter, and Ralph MacDonald (1944-2011.) Salter and MacDonald’s other writing credits include ‘Just the Two of Us,’ which became a hit for Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr.in 1981, and also for Will Smith in 1998, and their song ‘Calypso Breakdown’ appears as track four on side two of the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack. MacDonald also was the percussionist on the 1976 George Benson Album ‘Breezin.”(see also best songs 221.)
‘Where Is the Love’ may be a duet but Flack and Hathaway are not singing to each other. The song is about someone who has left their partner to start a new relationship, but after a while they realise it was a mistake, and go back to their first love. Both singers take the role of the one who has been left behind.
‘Oh how I wish I never met you, I guess it must have been my fate to fall in love with someone else’s love.’