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Throwback: Minnie Riperton, Baby, This Love I Have

Minnie Riperton’s “Baby, This Love I Have” was a collaborative writing effort with her husband Richard Rudolph and Leon Ware. The song opened her 1975 third studio album Adventures In Paradise. Riperton’s pure vocals and emotion epitomized a woman in love. She sang with a tasteful sensuality underscored by a tireless groove arranged by guitarist Larry Carlton. The passion for the love affair intensified at the end of the song when she hit rare high notes commonly referred to as the head voice range. There was pressure on Riperton to follow up her highly successful Perfect Angel album because it contained her biggest hit “Lovin You.” Music industry people were critical of Adventures In Paradise because it did not do as well but fans knew Riperton had just dropped a classic.

“Baby, This Love I Have” is still being found today because of how groups have sampled it like A Tribe Called Quest and Soul For Real. But Riperton’s vocals are indeed the centerpiece of the song and she displayed her unusual range with a sultry bravado. Her passing in 1979 from breast cancer was a tremendous loss to the world of music but her virtuosity is still awe-inspiring and influential in 2022.