Saturday, September 26, 2020


5 Powerful Whitney Houston Songs.

April 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Whitney Houston was a singer with an amazing voice and stage presence. Dropping her first solo album in 1985, she was also what you’d call a hit machine with a strong musical pedigree. One could say that she was going to be a star regardless but Whitney Houston had all the necessary tools to be a star. That’s why we’re looking at five Whitney Houston songs from almost three decades of superstardom.

Saving All My Love for You (from Whitney Houston, 1985)

Off of her debut album, “Saving All My Love for You” is a beautiful song that displays her talent. Or rather, it displays enough of her talent without giving everything away. “You Give Good Love” almost did the same. One thing about Whitney Houston is that she got better with time as a solo artist during the peak period in popular music’s development.

This album dropped almost four years after MTV went on air. Once that happened, the industry changed rapidly from how music got out in the 1960s and 1970s. Music videos were necessary R&B was dealing with pop, glam metal, nu wave, and stuff from overseas. Sales did slow for the album initially but turned around later in 1985 and garnered her several nominations. Debut album.

“Saving All My Love for You” and “You Give Good Love” are songs that define not only her early singing but her ability to make hits on her first album.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (from Whitney, 1987)

Whereas Whitney Houston was steeped in R&B of the time, Whitney had more pop going on here. That’s perfectly reflected in “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” a big hit off of the album. Note that Whitney was an album with several hit singles and a Grammy nominee. Second album in.

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” has been featured in films and commercials since 1987, so it’s hard to say that you’ve never heard it once. It’s one of those songs where the pop influence pushes it into being a mainstream hit. I’d say it wouldn’t be too out of place to say that this tune and the next are essential Whitney Houston songs.

I’m Your Baby Tonight (from I’m Your Baby Tonight, 1990)

For me, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was one of those powerful Whitney Houston songs. It had this rhythm to it from the beat to her singing. This one had it all just from a “being a piece of pleasing music” perspective. “I’m Your Baby Tonight” is a staple of the quiet storm block almost every night as well. After 9 or 10 PM, in the first two hours of that block—you’ll hear this song.

One thing that shouldn’t go unrecognized is the production team Whitney worked with on these songs. Along with ear for music, both the titular track and the album were just in time for 90s R&B and the different sounds that would come out of that period.

I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton cover) (from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, 1992)

Yeah, this was going to be an obvious pick. “I Will Always Love You” is one of those Whitney Houston songs with a ton of staying power. Part of it is down to her performance and part of it is that this was a hit for Dolly Parton 17 years earlier. The song was proven to work but to bring it into the 1990s it needed the right singer and the right platform.

“I Will Always Love You” found both in 1992’s The Bodyguard where Whitney Houston was in the leading role with Kevin Coster. We all remember The Bodyguard, it did ridiculously well that year. As a result, this song was a megahit from the soundtrack and it’s never been forgotten. Going back to the impact of “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I Will Always Love You” still gets radio play in old school or R&B blocks.

That’s staying power.

Heartbreak Hotel (f/ Kelly Price and Faith Evans) (from My Love Is Your Love, 1998)

R&B continued changing throughout the 1990s with new talents, groups, and producers. R&B in the 1990s had several different sounds and as I mentioned in some of our rock articles, those splintering sounds can result in new genres.

In the late 1990s, veteran singers were either experiencing continued success or doing the circuits. That is if they hadn’t quit or become producers by then. Whitney Houston was coming off a couple of movie roles and soundtracks but hadn’t released a full length since 1990’s I’m Your Baby Tonight. The industry had changed and so had R&B to a degree.

Then in 1998, Whitney drops My Love Is Your Love which was driven by the title track, “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “When You Believe.” Of those three, “Heartbreak Hotel” stands out to me. Whitney Houston songs where it’s a cover a great she might just end up making it her song like she did “I Will Always Love You.” However, a Whitney song featuring others tend to be tremendous.

It also showed that Whitney can grow with the times again. Adaptability is important for any creative. Sure, she had eight years to watch the landscape but she was extremely busy in that time as well. Whitney Houston was doing films, soundtracks, tours, writing songs—busy as hell.

Your Whitney Houston Songs

Give us your top five Whitney Houston songs in the comments! If you can’t get the list down to five just let us know your favorites and if your favorite was on the list!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.


Comments

4 Responses to “5 Powerful Whitney Houston Songs.”
  1. Whitney Houston 1# Fan! says:

    So glad you took the time to write this article… Whitney Houston 1# fan here…

    Can’t fathom that people truly believe ‘Beyonce’ is on her level.

  2. bujumbo says:

    The greatest voice that we’ve ever heard, a true Black Queen. THE Voice, no less.

    1. I Will Always Love You
    2. How Will I Know
    3. I Have Nothing
    4. Greatest Love of All
    5. My Love Is Your Love
    6. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
    7. Saving All My Love for You
    8. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay
    9. I Look to You
    10. Million Dollar Bill

  3. Staff says:

    Nice list there….

    What about Didn’t We Almost Have It All???? (aka… I like the live version)

    -Smile-

  4. sam says:

    It’s hard to pick 5 songs but I’d say:

    Greatest Love of All
    I Wanna Dance With Somebody
    One Moment in Time
    All the Man That I Need
    I Have Nothing

    but she has so many hits it’s hard to choose.

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