Our Teddy Pendergrass Songs looks back at the music of a sensational r&b singer whose music couples have turned to time and time again for some late night festivities. Like Barry White, the music and songs of Teddy Pendergrass have always been a go to when the lights go down. Teddy Pendergrass was born Theodore DeReese Pendergrass on March 26, 1950 to January 13, 2010. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He became a household name by being the lead singer in the group Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Teddy Pendergrass met Harold Melvin in 1970. Melvin talked him into playing drums in the group. While the band was performing, Pendergrass started singing along. Melvin liked what he heard and wanted him to sing lead. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes had difficulty finding success until Teddy Pendergrass joined the group. They recorded together for years before Teddy Pendergrass went solo. He left the group in 1975.
In 1977, Teddy Pendergrass released his first eponymous album. The album debuted well on the charts. It was number 17 on Billboard 200 and number five on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. The album features the hit singles “I Don’t Love You Anymore” and “The Whole Town’s Laughing At Me.” The album went platinum.
Teddy Pendergrass released his follow up album Life Is a Song Worth Singing in 1978. This album was more successful than his debut album thanks to the singles “Only You” and “Close The Door.” “Close The Door” established Pendergrass as a sex symbol. The album also features the singles “Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose,” “It Don’t Hurt Now” and “When Somebody Loves You Back.” The album sold more than two million copies.
In 1979, he released his third album Teddy. The album stayed number one on the r&b charts for eight weeks. The album features the hit singles “Come Go With Me,” “Turn Off The Lights,” and “Do Me.” The album sold more than one million copies. He also released a live album called Live Coast to Coast.
Teddy Pendergrass wanted to change up his style and be mellower. He released his fourth album TP 1980. The album features the hit singles “Love TKO,” “Feel The Fire” and “Is It Still Good To Ya?.” The album sold over one million copies. Between 1977 and 1981, Pendergrass had multiple platinum albums. He found a lot of success during this time. He was on the level of popularity with Marvin Gaye. He became more popular than Barry White as well as other r&b artists.
In 1981, Teddy Pendergrass released It’s Time for Love. The album did well on the charts. It peaked at number 19 on Billboard 200 and number six on the r&b charts. The album features the singles “I Can’t Live Without Your Love,” “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” and “Nine Times Out of Ten.” This is the last album he released before his life would change.
Unfortunately his career was in jeopardy. In 1982, he was in car crash. Someone messed with the breaks in his car. The car hit a guardrail and hit two trees. Teddy Pendergrass suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Pendergrass continued to release music after his accident.
In 1982, he released This One’s for You. This album didn’t do well as his other projects, but it did well on the r&b charts. The album features the single “I Can’t Win for Losing.” In 1983, he released Heaven Only Knows. This album was recorded before his horrible crash. The album features the single “I Want My Baby Back.”
Teddy Pendergrass released his eighth album Love Language in 1984. The album did better than his last two albums. He hadn’t reached the Top 40 on the charts since It’s Time for Love. Luther Vandross wrote and produced on this album. The album features the singles “Hold Me,” “In My Time” and “You’re My Choice Tonight (Choose Me).
In 1985, Teddy Pendergrass released his ninth album Workin’ it Back. The album peaked at number six on the r&b charts. The album features the singles “Love 4/2” and “Let Me Be Closer.” In 1988, he released his tenth album Joy. This was his highest placing album on the r&b charts since 1979. The album features the hit singles “Joy” and “2 a.m.”
Teddy Pendergrass released his eleventh album Blessed in 1991. The album peaked at number four on the r&b charts. The album features the hit single “It Should Have Been You.” In 1993, he released his twelfth album A Little More Magic. This was one of his least successful albums. It peaked at number 13 on the r&b charts. It features the single “Believe in Love.” In 1997, he released his last studio album You and I. It peaked at number 24 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Give It To Me” and “Don’t Keep Wastin’ My Time.” This was his last studio album even though he released a Christmas album and two live albums.
Teddy Pendergrass managed to be successful with a group as well as on his own. He was just as popular as Marvin Gaye, Barry White as well as others. He is known for his velvety and smooth voice. He proved that you could triumph over tragedy. He didn’t let his accident stop him from doing what he loved to do. His music may be responsible for the conception of a lot of people because when you’re in the mood to make love, Pendergrass is usually one of the artists people listen to. This Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs list will feature a lot of his hit songs. Some of them may not be his signature hit songs, but they are just as good as his most popular songs.
# 10 – Don’t Keep Wasting My Time
We are starting our Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs list with the indecisive ballad “Don’t Keep Wasting My Time” from the album Love Power: The Ultimate Collection. This ballad has a classic r&b sound. The demanding song is about a woman being indecisive about whom she wants and what she wants from him. He’s commanding that she makes a decision about whether or not she wants to be with him. He wants her to stop wasting his time. This song isn’t one of Pendergrass’ signature songs, but it’s still a gem and deserves a place on this list.
The music sounds like old school meets today r&b music. It’s something that could please Pendergrass’ fans as well as introduce him to new fans. The music is soft and romantic. The melody sounds something like “Red Light Special” by TLC. There is a catchy guitar solo that makes the music sound romantic. Pendergrass’ vocals are smooth as silk. His vocals aren’t aggressive the way they are in his other songs, but they are just as meaningful.
# 9 – Voodoo
The next song on our Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs list is the-heart-on-your-sleeve ballad “Voodoo” from the underrated A Little More Magic album. This love ballad has a classic r&b sound. This spellbinding song is about him wanting his woman to keep loving him and doing what she did to him last night. It has an unusual title for a love song. He’s basically telling the woman he loves that she is putting a spell on him. Singer/songwriter Gerald Levert co-wrote this song and kept Pendergrass’ essence from his songs in the past. This sounds similar to two songs by Pendergrass. It sounds like a mix between “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “Love TKO.” The music is soft and melodic. It sounds like bedroom music, which is the kind of music Teddy Pendergrass was known to record. The saxophone gives the music a sexy sound. Pendergrass’ vocals are rich and sensual. His smooth baritone voice was perfect for the music. The background singers do a great job supporting him in the chorus.
# 8 – Believe in Love
This feel good song is another track from A Little More Magic. This song has an r&b sound. This midtempo song is about believing in love no matter what the naysayers say. This style of music is different for him. He’s out of his comfort zone because he didn’t sing songs like this, but he sings it as if he performed songs like this all of the time. Since this isn’t his wheelhouse, you may not recognize that it’s Teddy Pendergrass right away. Once you hear his smooth and velvety voice, there’s no mistaking that it’s Teddy Pendergrass. The funky guitar riffs are infectious. The drumbeat is hard and thumping, which gives the song its tempo. The groove is perfection. This song is perfect to listen to while you are at a cookout or a party.
# 7 – I Don’t Love You Anymore
This bitter ballad is from his self-titled album. This song has an r&b and disco sound. This upbeat anthem is about him getting a divorce. The music is contagious. It has the sound of Philly or TSOP type of music. This type of music is a mix of funk and soul. There aren’t too many people singing about divorce like this. Only Pendergrass can make celebrating a divorce still sound romantic. He is classy about telling her that he is leaving her. The music will have you out of your chair. The contagious music will make you get up and dance. Pendergrass starts the song off smoothly and lets you know about the things that went wrong in the marriage. He sounds really passionate when he is letting her know that he wants to go. He is soulful while he croons about ending his marriage. He sings in an upper baritone vocal, which works with the music.
# 6 – It Should Have Been You
This heartbreaking ballad is from the Truly Blessed album. This song has an r&b and soul sound. This touching song is about what would have happened if he stayed in the relationship with the woman he loves. He wants his woman to come back to him. He sounds as if he’s pouring his heart out to the woman he loves. You can feel his pain in the vocals. You can tell he really loves and misses the woman he loves. He vocals are sultry and tight. He sings with a sweet sincerity as he sings about regretting the love he lost. The music will give you chills. The sensuality of the keyboard is the perfect combination for the lyrics. The music is soft so it doesn’t take away from the beautiful and heartfelt lyrics. We dare you not to be moved by this touching song.
# 5 – Love TKO
The next song on our Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs list is the heartbreaking “Love TKO” from the TP album. This break up song has a soul sound. The song is about a relationship ending. Here is some trivia about the song. The song was originally written for soul singer David Oliver. The writers made the right decision to give the song to the velvet crooner because this timeless classic is highly linked to Teddy Pendergrass. It’s one of his signature songs. The baseline is sexy and hard. The music is sensual and can mislead you into thinking it’s a love song. You have to pay attention to the deep lyrics to realize that the song is not a love song. Teddy Pendergrass’ aggressive vocals made an appearance in this song when he says he better let his woman go. He doesn’t do a lot of belting, but it’s not needed. He does have huskiness to his voice towards the end of the song.
# 4 – Joy
This romantic song is on the album of the same name. This upbeat song has an r&b and pop sound. This is a song about him wanting to be with the woman he loves. The music has an 80’s r&b sound. The melody sounds like a slower version of Gladys Knights and The Pips’ “Love Overboard.” It also sounds similar to Stephanie Mills’ “You’re Puttin’ A Rush On Me.” This type of beat will bring back fond memories of when you’re at a cookout or spending time with your family. It has an old school sound, but it manages not to sound dated. The beat is a perfect marriage with his voice. His silky baritone vocals complement the music. His voice and delivery are flawless. It’s doubtful that anyone else can sing a song like this and sound just as good.
# 3 – Turn Off The Lights
This bedroom ballad is from the Teddy album. This song has an r&b and soul sound. This sensual song is about him telling the woman he loves that he wants to make love to her. The music has the TSOP sound. The killer piano chords are soft and romantic. The music sounds orchestral. The music production and composition are on another level. The violin adds sensuality to the music. He vocally starts the song off as if he’s romancing the woman he loves. Once the song gets going, he sounds as if he’s aggressively telling her that he wants her to make love to him. He really wanted her to turn out the lights so they could get started on their lovemaking. His vocals are incredible and he doesn’t miss a beat.
# 2 – Close The Door
This sensual ballad is from the album Life Is a Song Worth Singing. This song has an r&b and soul sound. This song is about him wanting to make love to the woman he loves. The melody of this song is similar to Shalamar’s “This Is For The Lover In You.” The way this baby making song is put together is incredible. The orchestra, horns, piano and guitar are brilliant. The chords are addicting. Everything about this baby making music is flawless. Teddy Pendergrass is using his aggressive vocals in this jam. He vocals are funky and soulful. He convinces the listener that he wants his woman and is determined to have her. This is one of his signature-hit songs and it’s easy to see why this gem was a huge hit for the crooner. This is a sexy love song that will put you in the mood to make love.
# 1 – You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration
The number one song on our Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs list is the enchanting wedding anthem “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” from the album It’s Time for Love. This gorgeous song has an r&b sound. This beautiful love song is about him expressing his love for the woman he loves. This is a departure from his sexually themed songs. He expresses his feelings in a loving way. This song could easily be a song about any kind of love. This touching song is suitable for weddings. It is also appropriate for slow dancing. The music is soft and soothing. Pendergrass’ vocals are smooth and velvety. He starts the song off softly and then vocally soars towards the end of the song. The song is timeless and deserves its spot in the number one slot.
Top 10 Teddy Pendergrass Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission.