|"(At Your Best) You Are Love"|
|Song by The Isley Brothers|
|from the album Harvest for the World|
"(At Your Best) You Are Love" is a song by The Isley Brothers, originally a radio hit in 1976. It was originally dedicated to their mother.
|"At Your Best (You Are Love)"|
|Single by Aaliyah|
|from the album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number|
|Released||August 22, 1994|
|Studio||Chicago Recording Company|
|Length||4:52 (original version)|
4:30 (remix version)
|Aaliyah singles chronology|
Eighteen years later, the song was covered by American singer Aaliyah for her debut studio album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. Released as the album's second single, it peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the R&B singles chart, it also peaked at number 27 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was certified gold single by RIAA on October 25, 1994. In 2010 Canadian rapper Drake sampled Aaliyah's version of the song in his song "Unforgettable" in his debut album Thank Me Later; four years later singer Tamar Braxton sampled this song for her single "Let Me Know" featuring Future. In 2017, Sevyn Streeter used an interpolation of the song for her hit, "Before I Do", the lead single from her album Girl Disrupted.
Damien Scott from Complex felt that the song was a nice departure from the hip hop and new jack swing inspired songs that comprised a large portion of Aaliyah's debut album. He also mentioned that it "showed a young women [sic] on the cusp of adulthood". Music writer James Masterton wrote in his weekly UK chart commentary, "Her second hit is in essence a beauty, a sparse but haunting rendition of an old Isley Brothers track, first written and recorded before she was even born." Alan Jones from Music Week rated it three out of five, adding that "this pretty Isley Brothers ballad is played on traditional instruments, and is sung by the striking young R Kelly protege in intimate and breathily pure style."
The song became a hit based on remix versions Aaliyah cut with R. Kelly featured on the song chanting "this is for the steppers" and earlier saying, "1-2, check up, baby, lemme know what's up" before Aaliyah began singing.
The accompanying music video for "(At Your Best) You Are Love" was directed by Millicent Shelton. It was shot back to back with R. Kelly's "Summer Bunnies" and were both released in fall 1994. The video is for the remix not the original and R. Kelly, who produced the songs, is in the video. It was published on YouTube in October 2009. As of September 2021, the video has amassed over 13 million views.
In the Philippines, it was covered by two artists: MYMP on their album Versions and Nina from her love songs live album Nina Live!. In 2010, Drake made a song with Young Jeezy called "Unforgettable" using the same beat. Swedish artist El Perro Del Mar covered the song in 2009 as a special Record Store Day release as well. Tamar Braxton sampled the song in her single with Future, "Let Me Know".
In 2015, Frank Ocean released a cover on his Tumblr account as a tribute to Aaliyah, one day after what would have been her 36th birthday. A slightly different version was also included on his visual album Endless.