Barry White was once described by no less a cultural icon than Muhammad Ali as “the Heavyweight Champion of Music.” By the mid-1970s, having fought so hard to win that championship belt, White wasn’t about to give it away.
After his massive national and international success with hit singles and albums in the banner year of 1974, the Texan soul man started his next LP chart adventure with Just Another Way To Say I Love You. It entered the Billboard pop chart on April 12, 1975, the soul chart a week later, and would give him a running scorecard of four gold albums, and four R&B No.1s, out of as many releases.
The latest disc got the perfect launch with its leadoff single “What Am I Gonna Do With You.” White’s own composition and production became a top ten pop hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and topped the R&B chart. As usual, he wrote and produced the entire album, which also contained a subsequent second hit in “I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To.”
‘Everything comes from in my head and my heart’
White’s versatility in the studio, in which he was also arranger and orchestra leader, was based on firm principles. “Everything I play, write and arrange comes from in my head and my heart,” he once said. “I tell the musicians what to play, but more importantly, how to play it. As long as I can communicate with someone who can understand what you mean besides humming it or playing it out, that’ll work.
“There were a lot of people in the industry who felt that I couldn’t produce my own album,” White continued. “What they don’t know is that I’m more critical than anybody. I’m a double Virgo and a perfectionist. I’m objective with myself and I deal with Barry White as if he were my artist and I was his producer and songwriter. And as producer I tell the artist that I call the shots.”
Buy or stream Just Another Way To Say I Love You.