Ninety 90’s Songs: Save the Vanessa for Last

There once was a song about a woman who watched her male friend date other women like a person with allergies uses Kleenex.  This woman had a thing for this man, yet she said nothing. He didn’t see her as more than a friend. All she wanted to be was this man’s one and only Kleenex. Once his romantic allergies subsided he used her finally, and being the last tissue in the box he was stuck with her.

#64 “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams. The above paragraph summarizes, with a modicum of liberty, the story of this 1992 single. Interestingly, the song’s true to life journey mirrors its lyrics. Vanessa Williams was, in fact, the last singer that this song “dated” in a long line of offerings since the song was written back in ’89. Save the best for last indeed.

Known now as Vanessa’s signature song, it’s far from her career peak. She has spanned everything from Miss America, Penthouse pinup, to a hot seat of controversy (and hot something else according to the nude model posing with Miss W), to singer, actress, Disney Princess (singing voice, anyway), and Desperate Housewife. The song even garner’s its own fame in “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” where it is featured in the closing credits along with a drag queen.

It’s a campy song, and while that is a quality that may tarnish a song so obviously from a specific time period, in this case it serves as a protective veneer. Like a pair of shiny dentures on a senior citizen, it provides an everlasting sparkle to its smile that makes up for its other aging features. The only thing about the song that doesn’t age is Vanessa herself. Yay, plastic surgery.

All jokes aside, it’s a sweet early-90’s song that more than survives its days and is a classic product from a classic lady. Whether you get caught up in the snowy/monochrome video (not again, silly early 90’s tastes in cinematography) or reminisce the memories of queens in the desert, like the sticky pages of a back issue of Penthouse, this song isn’t going anywhere for a while.

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