Barry White exerted incredible influence as a cultural icon, famous all over the world for his romantic and sexual themes: many parents around the world claim that they were influenced by his songs in terms of their love-making and no doubt babies have been born due to the effects of the sexually-charged lyrics of songs such as “Please Take Off Your Clothes” and “I Am Here To Please You”. If you use your imagination, you can understand the extent of his influence on females, with his sexy, raspy bass-baritone voice, supported by lush orchestral backing. Barry White has certainly mastered the language of foreplay to a fine art. His sensuous songs concentrate on male-female relationships with great sensitivity and influenced disco music and British soul artists such as Lisa Stansfield and Soul 11 Soul.
Between 1973 and 1974 Barry White generated over $16 million in revenue for 20th Century Records, from three different sources. With Love Unlimited he achieved R&B number 1 and Pop number 27 with the song “I Belong To You” from the gold album “In Heat”. From the Love Unlimited Orchestra came “Love Theme”, a gold single (for over one million copies sold in the USA) taken from the gold album “Rhapsody In White”. The orchestra produced another gold album entitled “White Gold”, featuring the hit single “Satin Soul”. But the greatest achievement amongst White’s recording projects were his solo efforts, starting in 1973 with his first gold single “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby” which reached R&B number 1 and Pop number 3, from the gold album “I’ve Got So Much To Give”.
The next major success was the gold single “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” which topped the British Pop chart and peaked at Pop number 2 and R&B number 1 in America. In 1974 White finally achieved the ultimate by going to number one on both Billboard Pop and R&B charts with another gold single “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” in the USA . It is interesting to note that these last two gold singles came from the same gold album entitled “Can’t Get Enough”. During that period in America Pop culture, Barry White was the only producer, songwriter and artist to have hit records from three different sources at the same time.
White’s cultural influence became noticeable with academic institutions such as Oxford University Union, which invited the legendary artist to speak to their body of over 900 students about his “lady music” and his three decades of creative and dynamic involvement in the music industry.
Barry’s voice and music has also appeared in television, movies and commercial advertisements. White’s listing is, however, extremely short, consisting of two movies, “Coonskin aka Street Fight” (1975) and “Why Color? Voice only” (1992), plus a television cameo appearance in the Ally McBeal series, singing one of his hit songs.
The “Milk to the Rescue” commercial campaign in America used Love Unlimited Orchestra for background music with a voice-over to inform us of the benefits of calcium in our health.
Barry White has sold a large number of gold and platinum records globally, with over 41 platinum albums and 106 gold albums, 10 platinum and 20 gold singles to his credit, mounting to worldwide sales in excess of $100 million at present. This is remarkable for a man who achieved the American dream by using music as his transport to move from the ghetto to international success.