jeffrey osborne*Life in the solo lane has been kind to Jeffrey Osborne.

With songs like “On the Wings of Love,” “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Song)” and “She’s On the Left,” it would be easy to distance himself from the past, but Osborne is well aware of what brought him to the dance.

That ‘what’ would be his former group, L.T.D. Despite a split that “wasn’t a very amicable,” Osborne is appreciative of his stint within the collective.

“There were just so many moments with L.T.D. I have to say I didn’t leave on great terms with LTD, but LTD was really my foundation. I learned so much being a part of that group,” the R&B veteran confessed to EUR’s Lee Bailey. “I have nothing but great memories from the musical side because I learned how to write as a songwriter. I had a chance to write great music and I had all these musicians at my disposal to color the songs and to orchestrate the songs. It was probably the best period of my life, playing with L.T.D. I really did learn a lot and I got to meet so many of these people.”

While touring and hanging out with groups like the O’Jays, Commodores and the Jacksons were highlights, Osborne also remembers the love he and his bandmates received for their classic hit song “Love Ballad.” Nevertheless, Osborne and L.T.D. eventually parted ways. According to the singer/songwriter, tension was created when attempts to develop his artistry and venture outside the confines of L.T.D. were prevented by those he thought were in his corner.

“I think what happened was I was really evolving at the time as a songwriter and I had so many people coming at me, wanting me to write songs for them. Back then, we had this thing, which I don’t know why we did, but we had a songwriter’s agreement, which was an exclusive songwriter’s agreement that we signed within the group. So they wouldn’t allow me to write songs for other artists,” Osborne explained, adding that things got so bad that L.T.D. prevented him from doing guest performances and capitalizing on his record label’s desire for him to do a solo project and still remain in the group. “They squashed that. So as far as me being able to evolve, I couldn’t go any further because they stifled me. They personally stifled me. So it was time for me to leave.”

Despite remaining with L.T.D. for an extra year, the ill will continued upon Osborne’s exit.

“They said they would give me all the releases and they held everything back. They would not give me the releases,” he said. “So I couldn’t even sign my deal with A&M Records for a solid year. I had to wait a year after I left the group before I could sign with them because A&M wanted to sign me to a publishing deal and they wanted it to run concurrently with the artist deal. So they kind of blocked that from me.

“There was a whole lot that went on even after that. I knew, at that point, that there wasn’t gonna to be many times I would be getting back together with them.” continued Osborne. “It ended ugly. It didn’t have to, but I think I had to move on because I was being…at that point I wasn’t able to grow any further.”

Past feelings aside, Osborne is thankful for L.T.D., who he says he occasionally runs into. The singer praised the group’s current frontman Howard Johnson, whom he remembers “from back in my A&M Record days because Howard was a solo artist on A&M Records back when I was with L.T.D.”

“I like Howard a lot. He’s a great guy,” Osborne says. “They’re [L.T.D.] out doing shows. They’re probably not doing as well as they’d like to, but they are still out performing and I see the guys from time to time and I really wish them the best.”