Tender Love

Album: Chillin' (1985)
Charted: 23 10
Play Video


  • This Quiet Storm classic was the first Top-10 hit written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who became a superstar writing/production team responsible for most of Janet Jackson's hits. Jam and Lewis were members of The Time, and known more for uptempo, New Jack songs, but this love ballad proved they could take it slow as well. In our interview with Jimmy Jam, he said, "Myself and Terry, we grew up very musically diverse. My influences were America, Seals & Crofts, Chicago, that kind of thing. Terry's were P-Funk, George Clinton, Parliament/Funkadelic, all that stuff. We have both sides of that. So a song like 'On Bended Knee' or 'Tender Love' - 'Can You Stand the Rain' would be another one for New Edition that I would put in the same category. I grew up listening to those kinds of songs with those kinds of harmonies in the Major 7th chords and all of that."
  • This song featured in the 1985 movie Krush Groove, which starred Run-D.M.C., Sheila E., Beastie Boys and a host of musical up-and-comers. It was the first film appearance for LL Cool J.
  • The Force MD's (MD = Musical Diversity) were a Staten Island quintet who spent a lot of time in Greenwich Village singing for tips before they got a record deal. "Tender Love" was their only Pop hit, but they had a lot of success on the R&B charts, where they scored a #1 with "Love Is A House."

Comments: 1

  • Nomy from Greater Chicagoland AreaSuch a sweet song!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.