Leon Ware, born in Detroit in 1940, is one of R&B/Pop music’s best Songwriters and Producers but he is barely known outside of the business.  Music biz insiders surely know of Leon’s talents but celebrity has eluded him with the music-loving public.  Leon co-produced and co-wrote every song on Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hot and sexy album, I Want You, with T-Boy Ross (Diana’s brother), Jacqueline Hilliard and Marvin Gaye.  He wanted the sensual album to be released by himself to help bolster his singing career but Motown persuaded him to relinquish the project to Marvin Gaye.  Check out Marvin singing this nugget from the I Want You album, “All The Way Around.”

posted by sholondia

As for the Leon Ware (and T-Boy Ross) song, “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” Marvin Gaye used 1 minute and 18 seconds of this tune as an interlude cut on his I Want You album but Michael Jackson recorded the whole song on his 1972 released album, Got To Be There.  The arrangements are so distinctly different, I never realized they were the same song.  It turned out to be Michael’s first Gold Record as a solo artist.  This is Michael and the Jackson 5 singing, “I Wanna Be Where You Are.”

posted by LUNAMIA1989

Leon is said to have been requested by Maxwell as a songwriting partner for his first studio album, Urban Hang Suite from 1996.  They put their creative heads together and came up with an instant classic, “Sumthin’ Sumthin’.”  From the same Maxwell album, “Til The Cops Come Knockin’” brought him to the public’s attention but “Ascension” and “Sumthin’ Sumthin’” let us all know that Maxwell was no fluke and he was here to stay.  Once again Leon Ware’s songwriting collaboration strikes gold.  Check out Maxwell live on the Chris Rock Show singing, “Sumthin’ Sumthin’.”

posted by IIIPropethic

Leon Ware’s most famous songs seem to be sensual love songs.  Talk about finding your niche.  He really put his finger on the pulse of sensuality with the song he penned for Minnie Riperton, “Inside My Love.”  He wrote this song with Minnie and her husband, Richard Rudolph.  What a beautiful stroke of genius.  And of course, Minnie knocks this great song out the park.  Leon Ware wrote two other songs with Minnie and Richard on the Adventures In Paradise album, “Baby, This Love I Have,” and “Feelin’ That Your Feelin’s Right.”  Leon also wrote “Can You Feel What I’m Saying” with Minnie and Richard for her 1977 album, Stay In Love.  We found a video clip of Minnie singing the most successful of all their gorgeous songs.  I have to warn you, the video has a Time Code bar running across it (timing aid used in tapings for editing purposes) and the song is repeated after it ends about half way through the video but it’s worth the minor distraction to see Minnie singing live right to the camera in an otherwise great taping.  Enjoy Minnie singing the steamy love song, co-written by Leon Ware, “Inside My Love.”

posted by agrant06

Leon Ware wrote “Body Heat” for Quincy Jones with Bruce Fisher, Stan Richardson and Quincy Jones.  He also sang lead vocals with Bruce Fisher for the sultry piece.  On the same album he co-wrote, “If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” with Pam Sawyer and sang the vocals along with Minnie Riperton and Al Jarreau.  Both these songs are classic songs from one of Quincy’s most celebrated albums, Body Heat, from 1974.  As a rare treat, please enjoy a 2001 video taped recording of Leon Ware, in Amsterdam, performing, “If I Ever Lose This Heaven.”

posted by arXter

Leon Ware is not just a Singer and a Songwriter, he’s also a music Producer.  I didn’t dwell on his Singing and Producing credits because I wanted those who did not know this great talent to really get to know him by the songs he created; that’s how you see all the way into the soul of a man.

I want to leave you with two audio videos of songs written by Leon Ware.  He co-wrote “The Spirit Never Dies” with his I Want You writing partner, T-Boy Ross, for his own Leon Ware album from 1972.  I have always loved this little known song because the lyric is beautiful, Leon’s singing is uniquely wonderful and it’s almost-spiritual sound moves me to no end.  It starts off, “You touched more than my skin… that’s how you got in… so you see, it ain’t over, no matter if you go away… it ain’t over no matter what nobody say because the spirit never dies…”  Beautiful song!  Lastly, check out a song Leon wrote for Donny Hathaway’s 1973 album, Extension of a Man.  It was Donny’s last solo artist studio album and the song should have been a gigantic hit but Donny was dealing with his mental health demons and never promoted the album; arguably his best work.  The song, “I Know It’s You,” is phenomenal.  I placed it after “The Spirit Never Dies” so you could hear Leon’s distinct singing style encompassed by Donny Hathaway in “I Know It’s You.”  Enjoy the song… enjoy the songwriting contribution of one Mr. Leon Ware.  Peace.

posted by davidt888

posted by MultiplicityMe