Make It Last Forever (album)

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Make It Last Forever
Make It Last Forever (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 24, 1987[1]
RecordedINS Recording, Power Play Studios; New York City
GenreNew jack swing[1]
LabelVintertainment, Elektra
ProducerKeith Sweat, Teddy Riley
Keith Sweat chronology
Make It Last Forever
I'll Give All My Love to You
Singles from Make It Last Forever
  1. "I Want Her"
    Released: September 21, 1987
  2. "Something Ain't Just Right"
    Released: January 9, 1988
  3. "Make It Last Forever"
    Released: April 25, 1988
  4. "Don't Stop Your Love"
    Released: 1988

Make It Last Forever is the debut album of American R&B recording artist Keith Sweat. It was recorded at INS Recording and Power Play Studios in New York City.[2] Released on November 24, 1987, the album went to #1 on the Top R&B Albums chart for three weeks (and topped the Billboard Year-End R&B chart for 1988), and #15 on the Billboard 200. Make It Last Forever was one of the earliest R&B albums to showcase the up-and-coming new jack swing sound, as it was mostly produced by Sweat himself and music producer Teddy Riley.

The album's biggest hit was "I Want Her", a #5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the first #1 R&B hit for Sweat. The title track (a duet with Jacci McGhee) followed "I Want Her", making the #2 R&B spot, while "Don't Stop Your Love" and "Something Just Ain't Right" were also major top ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts. In addition, album tracks such as "Right and a Wrong Way" and "How Deep is Your Love" received substantial radio airplay and can still be heard on quiet storm format stations. On April 6, 1994, Make It Last Forever was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of three million copies in the United States.[3] The single "I Want Her" was certified gold by the RIAA on June 13, 1989, for shipments of 500,000 copies in the US.[3]


Sweat and Riley originally met each other while performing in different bands. Riley was the keyboard player in a band called Total Climax, while Sweat was the lead singer of Jamilah.[1] The two acts were competing against each other in the Big Apple band tournament where Total Climax defeated Jamilah.[1] From that day on, the two spoke to each other in passing, although neither of them knew each other.[1] Sweat later came to Riley's block looking for him to work on music together.[1] When Sweat approached him, he found Riley on the street playing dice with a few of his friends. Sweat then proceeded to get in on the game to gamble and won everyone's money except for Riley.[1] Sweat then asked Riley to work with him due to his past work with acts like Kool Moe Dee and The Classical Two. However, Riley declined the offer because he didn't do R&B music.[1] Sweat then persuaded Riley to work together on some songs to see what will become of them.[1] At the time that Sweat had summoned his talents, Riley had originally been asked by Al B. Sure! to oversee the sessions for Sure!'s debut album In Effect Mode.[4]


As Sweat and Riley began to work together, the music to "I Want Her" and "Make It Last Forever" had been made prior to them meeting each other.[1] Riley described the recording process as organic, as he had no plans to do R&B music.[1] As the two worked on the melodies and arrangements, Riley contributed the primary background vocals to "I Want Her". Riley also asked Sweat to sing in a nasal tone to have a distinctive sound for him.[1] Sweat objected to that decision and walked out of the room before recording the song.[1] Although Sweat refused to record the song with the nasal voice, Riley convinced him that it would work for him, which made Sweat come around to recording the song.[1]

"Something Just Ain't Right" was worked on at Riley's house and was inspired by something going on in Sweat's life with his then-girlfriend.[1] According to Riley, the songs "Make It Last Forever" and "How Deep Is Your Love" were recorded with Sweat singing the lyrics off the top of his head. Musicians such as Fred McFarlane and GQ member Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc also contributed in various forms. However, on "Right and a Wrong Way", Riley had to perform a saxophone solo on the keyboard because he wasn't able to find someone who could play the saxophone.[1]

Riley described Sweat as an "over-perfectionist" who would record the songs "again and again until he gets it the way he likes it".[1] It took six months to record Make It Last Forever, to which they recorded 16 or 17 songs, but only eight of them made the final track listing.[1] One of the songs that didn't make the album was "Just Got Paid". Sweat passed on it, which Riley later gave to Johnny Kemp for his 1988 album Secrets of Flying.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

J.D. Considine of Musician stated in a review upon the album's release, "Though Keith Sweat is B-Boy enough to relish the cheap-drum-machine clatter of the classic hip-hop groove, he's also sufficiently soulful to keep that from crowding his vocal style".[6] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave Make It Last Forever a "B".[7] Christgau commented that "the beats prove Teddy Riley New York's answer to Jam & Lewis" and stated, "For credentials the next big love man proffers beats on the slow ones and lyrics whose seduction strategy is never to offend".[7] In a retrospective review, Allmusic editor Andrew Hamilton gave it five out of five stars and viewed it as Sweat's best album. He complimented his "pleading, whining tenor" and wrote that it "adroitly draws you into every song, demanding an emotional commitment".[8]

Track listing[edit]

1."Something Just Ain't Right"
2."Right and A Wrong Way"
  • Teddy Riley
  • Keith Sweat
3."Tell Me It's Me You Want"
  • Teddy Riley
  • Keith Sweat
4."I Want Her"
  • Teddy Riley
  • Keith Sweat
5."Make It Last Forever" (featuring Jacci McGhee)
  • Teddy Riley
  • Keith Sweat
6."In the Rain"Tony Hester5:47
7."How Deep Is Your Love?"
  • Teddy Riley
  • Keith Sweat
8."Don't Stop Your Love"Keith Sweat6:13
Total length:43:15


Credits adapted from liner notes.[2]

  • Keith Sweat – main performer, producer
  • Teddy Riley – producer, keyboards, drum programming
  • Fred McFarlane  – keyboards
  • Jeff Neiblum – recording engineer, percussion
  • Clifford Branch – keyboards, vocals (background)
  • George Heylinger – vocals (background)
  • Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc  – vocals (background)
  • Jacci McGhee – vocals (background), performer
  • Vivian Sessoms – vocals (background)
  • Dave Dachinger – mixing engineer
  • Herb Powers, Jr. – mastering


Chart (1987) Peak
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[9] 46
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 41
US Billboard 200[11] 15
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[12] 1


Year Single Chart Position
1987 "I Want Her" Billboard Hot 100 5
Hot R&B Songs 1
Dance/Club Play Songs 38
Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Single Sales 5
1988 "Make It Last Forever" Billboard Hot 100 59
Hot R&B Songs 2
"Something Just Ain't Right" Billboard Hot 100 79
Hot R&B Songs 3
Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Single Sales 49
"Don't Stop Your Love" Hot R&B Songs 9

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Williams, Chris (November 23, 2012). "'We Gave R&B a New Lifeline': How Teddy Riley Invented New Jack Swing". The Atlantic. New York. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Make It Last Forever (CD liner notes). Keith Sweat. Elektra Records. 1987. 9 60763-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b RIAA - Gold & Platinum: Keith Sweat Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2011-04-18.
  4. ^ Al B. Sure! co-producer Kyle West recalls the making of In Effect Mode (1988) | Return To The Classics
  5. ^ Murphy, Keith. "Full Clip: Teddy Riley Runs Down His Entire Catalogue Ft. Keith Sweat, Guy, Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Blackstreet, and Lady Gaga". SpinMedia. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  6. ^ Considine, J.D. (1988). "Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever (Elektra)". Musician. Amordian Press (111–116): 126.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 12, 1988). Robert Christgau: Consumer Guide Apr. 12, 1988. Robert Christgau. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2011-04-11.
  8. ^ Hamilton, Andrew (August 1, 2003). Make It Last Forever - Keith Sweat | AllMusic: Review. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-04-11.
  9. ^ " – Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "Keith Sweat | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "Keith Sweat Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "Keith Sweat Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2013.

External links[edit]