from the album Stay With Me (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #43
This week's "robbed hit" comes from soul singer Regina Belle, whose second album Stay With Me had delivered her first #1 R&B hit with "Baby Come To Me", though it missed the pop top-40 in the fall of 1989. She followed with another ballad, this time the emotional "let's get back on track" statement "Make It Like It Was". Written by Carvin Winans of the iconic gospel family the Winans, the underlying conversation in the lyrics show she most likely it singing to Jesus/God, not a romantic partner. Nevertheless, it struck a chord with couples, and the song was yet another big hit on "urban contemporary" radio...
While "Make It Like It Was" became her second (and so-far last) #1 R&B hit, it stopped just a couple notches short of the pop top-40 in April of 1990. It did as well as it did mostly because of its popularity on Adult Contemporary radio, where the song landed her a second top-10 hit (after 1987's "Without You") at #5. Two more quiet storm nuggets from the Stay With Me album reached the R&B top 10, "What Goes Around" (#3) and "This Is Love" (#7), with the latter also reached the AC radio chart at #29. Another track, the new jack swing jam "Good Lovin'", was a minor hit in the UK at #73.
"Make It Like It Was" would be nominated for a Grammy for R&B Female Vocal in 1991, losing out to Anita Baker's Compositions album.
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Here's Regina performing "Make It Like It Was" live in 1990...