Consideration, Respect, Moderation, Whitney.
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Coffee50 wrote:Here's another article from EW, ranking all of the songs from the album....http://ew.com/music/2017/06/02/whitney-houston-songs-ranked/
"In honor of its 30th anniversary, EW looks back at the Voice’s Grammy-winning pop juggernaut"
Jun 3 17 9:16 AM
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When Whitney met Mick: Secrets of Whitney Houston's 1987 classic 'Whitney'
Producer Narada Michael Walden takes EW behind the scenes of Houston’s second album.
Posted on June 2, 2017 at 11:33am EDT
Thirty years ago today, Whitney Houston released her second album, Whitney — a follow-up 1985’s Whitney Houston. But where Houston’s debut established her as a singular pop star, Whitney
was something different: The LP spawned four No. 1 singles, scored her a
Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, and broke records (it was the
first album by a female performer to debut at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top 200). While critics were initially cool to the album — Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, called it “forgivable” — Whitney spawned
modern classics like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by
far Houston’s most-streamed song on Spotify. In honor of its landmark
anniversary, EW caught up with producer Narada Michael Walden to talk
about the making of the record.
Houston’s debut album, 1985’s Whitney Houston, had topped
the charts for 14 weeks, thanks to singles like “How Will I Know” and
“The Greatest Love of All.” But when the singer, then 23, entered Tarpan
Studios in San Rafael, Calif., to begin work on Whitney in
September 1986, she wasn’t worried about a sophomore slump. “She got to
the studio and took one day to rest; once she got that, she was ready,”
says Walden, who co-produced the record. “Whitney was the kind of person
who loved the sound of her voice — she’d get turned on by herself!”
The songwriters George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam penned what would
become one of Houston’s signature songs. Walden says that the track,
selected by Houston’s mentor and producer Clive Davis, had a twangy
tinge when he first heard it. So he and Houston tweaked it
significantly. “The hook was so powerful, but I brought in everything I
could from the R&B side and we just kicked it to the edge,” he
recalls. “And for the out-chorus, the part that goes ‘Don’t you wanna
dance, say you wanna dance,’ Whitney made that.”
Houston headed to New York City to lay down vocals for “So Emotional”
at Right Track Studios, and her powerhouse pipes caught the ear of the
Rolling Stones frontman. “Mick was recording next door and he had to
come in and witness it,” says Walden. “He started jumping around, as he
does, and he just couldn’t believe the sound. Whitney was so excited
Cissy Houston, a successful gospel and soul singer in her own right,
teamed up with her daughter for an over-the-top rendition of “I Know Him
So Well,” from the Broadway show Chess. “Cissy was pulling out
all her power—not trying to compete with her daughter, she just wanted
to hang with her,” says Walden. “They got so caught up in singing it.
And Whitney’s love for her mother was so apparent.”
After it was released on June 2, 1987, the album spawned four No. 1
singles and earned Houston one Grammy, and it’s since been certified
nine-times platinum. Despite such success, Walden says, Whitney remained
humble: “She was like a soul sister, just loving to me. She would
acknowledge the engineers, and how much heart and soul went into that
album.” It’s a pulse that still thumps after all these years. “The
rhythms and the melodies on Whitney — that’s what makes this thing live. Whitney understood R&B music, and she had that in her heart and her soul.”
A version of this story appeared in the June 2-9, 2017 issue of Entertainment Weekly.
Jun 3 17 12:27 PM
Jun 27 17 7:37 AM
6/26/2017 by Gary Trust
Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.
June 26, 1999Red Hot Chili Peppers began their longest domination on the Alternative Songs chart, as "Scar Tissue," the fourth of their record 13 No. 1s, logged its first of 16 weeks on top.
June 27, 198730 years ago: Whitney Houston's second album, Whitney, launched atop the Billboard 200, becoming the first set by a woman to soar onto the chart at No. 1. It would go on to reign for 11 total weeks. But why stop there: The same week, Whitney's lead single, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," became the LP's first of four Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s. The album followed Houston's self-titled first set, which led the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks in 1986.
As Chart Beat column founder Paul Grein noted in a story on page 1 of the June 27, 1987, Billboard issue, Houston became "the first artist to hit No. 1 [on the Billboard 200] with his or her first two albums since The Monkees scored with their first four releases in 1966-67." Also, at the time: "Only two other artists [had] hit No. 1 with their first two major-label albums: Elvis Presley and The Beatles."
June 28, 2008Even though it's called the Billboard Hot 100, that doesn't mean a band named Coldplay can't be No. 1. The group's "Viva La Vida" reached the summit nine years ago today.
June 29, 2002Nelly began a whopping 14-week command of the Billboard Hot 100, as "Hot in Herre" reached No. 1. After the song completed a seven-week reign, he replaced himself at the top for seven more weeks with "Dilemma," featuring Kelly Rowland.
June 30, 1990New Kids on the Block-mania rolled on, as "Step By Step" began a three-week rule atop the Billboard Hot 100. The goal of the instructional song? You remember: how "to get to you, girl."
July 1, 2000From New Kids to N*Sync: After leading the Pop Songs chart for 10 weeks with "Bye Bye Bye," N*Sync returned to the top with another boy band classic, "It's Gonna Be Me."
July 2, 1988Michael Jackson achieved a Billboard Hot 100 first, as "Dirty Diana" reached No. 1, becoming the fifth leader on the list from his album Bad. The set remains the only album by a male artist to produce five Hot 100 No. 1s. Since, only Katy Perry's Teenage Dream (2010-11) has also yielded five toppers.
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By Bobby Olivier | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com [email protected]
* * *
"I want to stress to people who didn't know Whitney Houston -- she was like electricity."
Narada Michael Walden's words crackle with enthusiasm, like a child retelling his favorite story.
"You know when you plug a lamp into a socket and it lights everything up? That's what it was like being with her. She had this current and charisma around her, and this beauty and laughter and calm attitude. She was just so beautiful to be around, like an angel aura."
The record producer speaks rapidly as he rattles off memories of working with "Nippy" -- he knew her well enough to use the Houston family nickname -- and the thrill of working with such rarified talent, just as the rest of world was catching Whitney fever.
"She had a fifth gear where she could go, to a place that no one else could -- a place no one could describe -- and it happened on every damn song," he says.
Walden speaks of 1987's "Whitney," the record-breaking sophomore album that cemented the singer, then just 23 years old, as a bona fide international superstar.
It was the album that introduced "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and "So Emotional" into the dance-pop zeitgeist.
It was the project that promoted Houston from modest theater performances to arena and stadium spectacles. (The tour supporting "Whitney" would reach four continents through more than 150 dates.)
And it was a commercial success unlike any seen before (and rarely since) from a female solo artist: four Billboard No. 1 singles, 11 weeks at No. 1 and dominance over the second half of 1987.
Thirty years after the album's June debut -- and exactly 30 years to the day after the album's lead single "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts -- we present the definitive story of the record's making: an oral history featuring the producer, musicians and songwriters who helped create the album that changed New Jersey music and global pop history forever.
Trevor Anderson, a chart manager at Billboard who tracks pop trends and commercial successes.
Preston Glass, Narada Michael Walden's "right-hand man" who worked on drum programming and arrangements, as well as writing the dance jam "Love is a Contact Sport" for "Whitney."
Randy Jackson, who before his "American Idol" fame was a session bassist in Walden's camp and played synth bass on several "Whitney" songs.
George Merrill, a pop songwriter and co-writer of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and the album's precursor "How Will I Know."
Jeff Rafter, a 40-year New Jersey radio veteran, program director and Vice President of Programming at 107.1 The Boss, who has worked at WHTG (1410 AM, Eatontown), WOBM (92.7 FM, Toms River), Magic 98.3 (New Brunswick) and Seaview 107 (Long Branch).
Shannon Rubicam, a pop songwriter and co-writer of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and the album's precursor "How Will I Know."
Corrado Rustici, a renowned Italian fusion guitarist and star strummer in Walden's camp, who played synth guitar on several "Whitney" tracks.
Scott Shannon, the famed radio DJ in New York, who worked for WHTZ / Z-100 when "Whitney" was released.
Narada Michael Walden, a producer and drummer from Northern California who was the primary producer and arranger for "Whitney," and a close friend at the time.
Frank Wildhorn, who before penning the music to the Broadway hit "Jekyll & Hyde" wrote the No. 1 "Whitney" ballad "Where Do Broken Hearts Go."
* Clive Davis, the famed record executive who "discovered" Houston and commanded over her early career as CEO of Arista Records, could not comment on this story due to contractual obligations regarding a new documentary currently being marketed, according to his spokesperson.
Before 1987's "Whitney," Houston scored a tremendous success with her 1985 self-titled debut, which produced three No. 1 singles: "The Greatest Love of All," "Saving All My Love For You," and "How Will I Know," and was the best-selling album of 1986. The songs on her follow-up would be chosen entirely by Clive Davis, the Arista Records CEO and mogul -- nicknamed "The Man with the Golden Ears" -- who saw in the young singer from East Orange an opportunity to cement his own legacy.
"Whatever success I'd had before, nothing was comparable to this," Davis wrote in his 2013 autobiography "The Soundtrack Of My Life."
Much of the personnel tapped for Houston's second album was also hand-picked by Davis, having previously worked with Houston on "How Will I Know." That tune was produced by Narada Michael Walden, a talented jazz fusion drummer who had purchased a recording studio in San Rafael, Calif. in 1985.
PRESTON GLASS: Clive loved the sound and Whitney liked working with (Walden), so Clive asked him to do the bulk of the second album.
NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN: "How Will I Know" was done so fast, I think Clive Davis was impressed that we could make a hit record so quickly. It was a wonderful match; I loved to work quickly and (Arista Records) wanted a quick second album because now Whitney was zooming all over the world. I ended up doing seven songs on "Whitney."
At Tarpan Studios, Walden's zen-like headquarters nestled less than an hour north of San Francisco, the well-connected producer had assembled a talented studio band to play his arrangements.
RANDY JACKSON: I was living in Marin County, Calif. at the time; I had moved up there to start (Walden's) camp with him after I met him when he was a drummer playing for Mahavishnu Orchestra.... It was a fantastic crew of musicians and great people.
"We were all sort of jazz fusion guys trying to make the transition into pop music or R&B music."
CORRADO RUSTICI: (Walden) had produced one of my albums and I was a big fan of his drumming, so he asked me to come up to San Rafael. We loved playing with each other so we decided to put a band together. That gave (Walden) the opportunity to start doing productions, and we all had different roles. We did something like 80 albums -- we were like a factory.
Walden's crew quickly notched high-profile releases: Aretha Franklin, Stacy Lattisaw and Johnny Gill all came before the "Whitney" project.
JACKSON: That spirit and camaraderie, you look at all the success Motown has had, all of the Beatles' success -- it's all team and camp-driven. Little did we know, Narada with his wisdom had created one of these great camps that we were all able to flourish in.
Months before Whitney Houston ever flew to San Rafael to sing, Walden and his crew worked tirelessly in the fall of 1986 to arrange and record the album's instrumentals. The stakes had never been higher for the session band; Davis expected arrangements that would achieve even greater commercial response than Houston's colossal debut.
JACKSON: We knew from "How Will I Know" how important (Houston) was, and that she was next worldwide star. We knew that we were in rarified, special air at that point, since "How Will I Know" was so huge.
GLASS: The pressure was that Clive really wanted a certain sound, and he let it be known this had to be a big album.
JACKSON: There were definitely some marathon recording sessions, but it was all in the spirit of trying to make it great and get it done. We wanted to make it hot; we wanted to make sure it had the fire, and that we loved it.
RUSTICI: I remember (Walden) and all of us being perfectionists, we would just play for nine hours straight on one song.
"It was just day after day, wearing down your fingernails and all the sudden it was sticky, and I was like 'what's going on?' There would be blood all over the strings."
We'd work out all the arrangements and recordings, then (Walden) would call in some great local singers who would do some scratch vocals to send to Whitney. Then she would come in already knowing where the basic melody was, and she would take it from there.
When Houston finally flew to San Rafael in December 1986 to record with Walden, the singer was exhausted by her newfound stardom. The extensive touring, travel and public appearances tethered to her debut album, which yielded her first Grammy Award, had worn the 23-year-old out.
"I think sometimes I'd like things just to stop for a moment, and when I'm feeling that way I know that it's time to stop, and I stop everything," Houston said in a 1987 interview in Sweden. "I don't wanna deal with Whitney, I don't want to hear about Whitney news, about Whitney's records, I don't wanna hear about anything Whitney is doing."
Walden's goal was to keep the blooming superstar relaxed in his studio, and to enthuse her for the project ahead.
WALDEN: She knew one song by the Isley Brothers called "For the Love of You." She said, "Let's start with that one, I know that one." And what happened was a beautiful thing: I had her double her voice -- sing the same part twice -- then triple her voice, and then go up to eight tracks. Then I said, "Do this harmony stacks of eight, do that harmony stacks of eight, now sing around it." And when she came around and heard the playback, she was like, "Oh my god!" She had to hear her voice stacked with all the harmonies -- that was the first time she'd heard her voice that way.
In the studio room populated only by Houston, Walden, his sound engineer David Frazer and Houston's best friend Robyn Crawford, they next began to work on "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)."
WALDEN: (The recording) was done in a day. I worked all night long, cobbled it all together, and when Whitney came in the next day I said "sit down" and hit the play button. Bam! [Walden sings the synthy intro melody] So she could hear it as a hit song. That's how we had magic together. I learned not to belabor her.
"She was fast like a racehorse, so it was get what you can quickly and then work really hard in the editing process so that by the following day you can play her a hit."
While Houston was a natural at dialing up her vocals to blow the roof off any venue, the young, church-reared singer sometimes had trouble allowing emotion to overtake her raw power.
WALDEN: The second song on the album is called "Just the Lonely Talking Again," and that song was one of the hardest for her because it required her to slow down, to feel the emotion of being lonely. I lowered all the lights in the studio. I put candles on. She took off her shoes, we let her rest for a minute. She had to get into the sadness of the moment.
Clive had said "Narada, make sure that you get Whitney to sound like a saloon singer." "A saloon singer?" I thought. As a kid I watched cowboy movies where you see people singing sad songs in films, and they're under this one spotlight. So I put one spotlight on Whitney, so she could really feel the sadness. When you hear that record, you hear Whitney at her best.
"She was very Christian-oriented, loved Jesus, loved God ... she would speak about that daily, and she'd feel better after speaking about it," Walden explained in a documentary recorded a month after the singer's death, Feb. 11, 2012. "She was never this diva where you couldn't approach her. She was enormously famous, but very humble because she was a God-lover."
That humility extended to her interactions with the session musicians. Though seldom allowed inside the studio during recording, some of Walden's band also recall a person vastly different from the distant celebrity she would later come to embody.
RUSTICI: She was so young, she was very pure, that's the quality I remember the most. At that time, she didn't really know what was going on because when it happens it happens so fast.
WALDEN: She was very casual, easy-going and never nervous. I would ask her, "Are you afraid of the sophomore jinx?" and she said "If they liked me before, then they'll like me now." That was always her attitude, and when I heard her say that I realized I shouldn't have any fear, either.
JACKSON: I can only imagine what it must be like for your mom (recording artist Cissy Houston) to be your inspiration and for you to be sitting on the sofa at a studio in Detroit when your mom is working with (her godmother) Aretha Franklin on records. [Laughs] What a pedigree, and it certainly paid off.
WALDEN: Also we would pray. We would say a prayer, and add God's spirit to the room.
"She was constantly praying about something, about her success about her happiness and everything just being good. So this meditative feeling would make its way into the music."
Though for all her maturity, Houston was still a 23-year-old, newly-made millionaire.
WALDEN: One day I gave her a teddy bear, and inside the bear I'd recorded my voice talking to her, so the bear would move its mouth and it was like it was talking to her. It cracked her up.
GLASS: I remember she liked to go shopping, so it would be "I'm going shopping, I'm gonna come back," and sometimes she wouldn't come back. [Laughs]
After the success of the debut "Whitney Houston", pop songwriters knew that scoring a smash single on "Whitney" would be utterly life-changing -- a lottery-sized paycheck if their song could repeat the ubiquity of "Greatest Love of All" or "How Will I Know."
Nearly two-dozen songwriters are credited on Houston's second album, and many more submitted songs to Clive Davis and Arista Records with the dream that their tune might be picked for the pop powerhouse. Though George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, then a husband-and-wife songwriting team, had a leg up in the "Whitney" sweepstakes. The duo had already written the smash "How Will I Know," plucked from their garage studio in Venice, Calif.
SHANNON RUBICAM: We just assumed (Davis) wanted from us something up-tempo because there were plenty of ballad writers submitting things and that wasn't our strength, so we came up with "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." It was actually an easy song to write, it just flowed and the lyrics came quickly and easily.
GEORGE MERRILL: We contacted Clive, and he was out to catch a flight out of Los Angeles, and he said, 'Why don't you meet me out at the gate with a cassette?'
It turned out he really did love the song. He had some minor changes on the lyrics.
RUBICAM: (Walden) told us it was challenging for him on how to do the arrangement and production on that song because it felt country-rock to him. But he did a masterful job of figuring out how to convey it and give it that lively, almost island flavor to it. The whole song just came together.
For all the enduring success of "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," Houston is most revered as a balladeer, and there was no more titanic ballad on "Whitney" than "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," a wistful down-tempo number and personal favorite of Davis's, penned by Frank Wildhorn and the R&B veteran Chuck Jackson.
FRANK WILDHORN: I had a great relationship with Clive Davis at Arista Records, and I had some songs that he had picked for different acts (like Natalie Cole and Kenny Rogers) in the '80s. He said I should consider writing for Houston. And of course, the moment you heard that voice how could you not be inspired? It was like an angel.
Chuck Jackson was a wonderful writer, and Chuck and I had some time writing together and he came up with the title and a few hours later, when he showed up at my house, the song was written.
So (Clive's team) picked it, and it was on hold -- which means "please don't sell it to anybody else" -- and, of course, after Whitney's first album everyone in the world wanted to be on the next album. God knows how many songs they had. The thing was, during this time we had already played the song for some other artists, and Smokey Robinson came back and said, "I want to record the song." We kept it on hold for Whitney, and I guess that was a smart move. [Laughs]
If it's chosen as a single, that changes your life. And that's the luck of this business. It's the luck of the right artist at the right time, when there's a niche on the radio available for that particular song and at that moment, the record company's priority is that artist.
When that song came out Whitney sent me a letter that basically said, "Where do broken hearts go? I have no idea." [Laughs].
"Whitney" was released June 2, 1987 to decidedly mixed reviews. The New York Times questioned Houston's emotional range, and Rolling Stone called the album "smug, repressive and ridiculously safe." But history reveals that media criticism rarely douses red-hot pop momentum and "Whitney" burned deeply: the album debuted at No. 1 -- a first for a woman -- and remained the best-selling record in America for 11 weeks, selling six million copies in less than a year. (Among female solo albums, only Carole King's "Tapestry" and Houston's own 1985 debut had remained atop the chart longer before 1987, and since then only one such album -- Adele's "21" in 2011 -- has notched more than 11 weeks at No. 1.)
TREVOR ANDERSON: "When you look at the way music had cast black women in particular before 1987, Diana Ross was the sole exception of someone who was poppy. But when you look at the '70s in particular, and you look at the Gladys's and the Aretha's and the Natalie's and people of that era, they were all relegated to this R&B-first act.
And then Whitney comes along, and she has this dynamic where she's appealing to a pop audience -- she's young, she's very beautiful but she can sing as well as any of the greats, if not better.
"(Whitney Houston) paved a lane for many people. It opened up the playbook to Mariah Carey ... and then, down the line, Beyonce is sort of the heir."
JEFF RAFTER: Not a lot of artists crossed over into all the different radio formats, but at the time, while "I Wanna Dance with Somebody and "So Emotional" were pop radio hits, there were a lot of easy listening stations, and they got to play "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and Didn't We Almost Have It All."
You really had a multiple-format artist -- the R&B charts, the urban charts -- she was on all of them at this time. She was bigger than life.
I remember, you couldn't play her enough, you couldn't wait for the next single to be released. As soon as we had it, it was, "Okay, put it in."
SCOTT SHANNON: Whitney had one of the purest voices I've ever heard, plus an incredible range, and if that wasn't enough, she had the absolute best A&R guy in the business, Clive Davis overseeing the song selection. The result: an album packed with huge chart hits that sold millions of copies.
Which isn't to say Whitney pop sound was appealing to all of her fans.
ANDERSON: It's interesting the flack that she got from this album, from the commercial people wondering if she was "black enough" for the R&B audience. She got booed at the Soul Train Awards in '89, and that set the stage for her new era in the '90s with "I'm Your Baby Tonight."
"I think music is music, how do I sing more black, what am I doing that's making me sound white?" Houston said in a 1988 interview. "I don't understand. I'm singing music from my heart, from my soul and that's it."
Nevertheless, 1990's album "I'm Your Baby Tonight" marked a separation from the glossy dance songs and pop ballads for which Houston had become known, and embraced the rise of hip-hop and New Jack Swing in American urban centers. The album debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard chart, eventually reaching No. 3, and produced two more No. 1 singles in "All The Man That I Need" and the title track.
WALDEN: The feeling was they wanted to go in more of a street, black, hip-hop direction. There was some concern because ... of the Soul Train Awards. She became concerned about alienating her black fans, so the next album was more open in that regard.
ANDERSON: ("I'm Your Baby Tonight") really solidified her with a lot of black publications, where she was working with Babyface and L.A. Reid.
It's interesting, the weird legacy of "Whitney," that even though it was incredibly successful and a very pop, straightforward record, it also flips the script for her entirely. It's so successful but it (forces her to go in a different direction for the next album). Nowadays the black audience loves Whitney, and gravitates toward her and what she means.
"To my ears the 'Whitney' album holds up extremely well," Clive Davis wrote in his autobiography. "If it's legacy hasn't been as distinguished as the debut album's, that's largely because the debut, which seemingly came out of nowhere, is the record that announced Whitney Houston to the world ... but song for song, 'Whitney' is a powerful collection, and a milestone in (Houston's) career."
Others who worked on "Whitney" attribute the album's lasting success not only to Houston's unstoppable talent but to song selection and dedication to the high-pressure project.
GLASS: I think ("Whitney") holds up great, there's no fillers on there. I think it's a good example for producers of how to have a varied landscape of songs, but then the continuity, which was Whitney's voice. There's a really no song on there that's alike.
JACKSON: Clive picked some amazing songs, and we got the production exactly right.
RUBICAM: You never know when you're working on something what its longevity or reception will be, or how it will resonate. But "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" has those elements and continues on.
WILDHORN: I cried the first time I heard Whitney sing "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." I've had Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, Johnny Mathis, Trisha Yearwood and Patti LaBelle (sing songs I've written), but if someone put a gun to my head, the answer is Whitney's version of "Where do Broken Hearts go," going No. 1, that's as good as it gets.
WALDEN: She had the capacity, it was us together, me being like a coach and her giving it. And I'm on the other side of speakers knowing if what she's doing is something we can last forever with. From there it was easy -- God bless us both for having that kind of ability.
The legend of Whitney Houston -- of not only what she could do at a microphone, but of who she was -- has largely been silenced by tragedy and rumor over the last decade. For all I've written about Jersey icons like Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Bon Jovi, I've spent much less time considering one of the greatest female pop stars of all-time.
So with the 30th anniversary of "Whitney" approaching, it was time to correct this oversight and comprehensively revisit what, in my eyes, is the greatest pure pop album a New Jersey artist has ever produced.
It was challenging to track down many of these long-moved on "Whitney" players, and some voices I would have loved to include -- like Houston's close friend, Robyn Crawford -- never responded for comment. Still, this list of perspectives we have collected provided a 360-degree account and a snapshot into Houston's life, at a time when she was young and excited, and her voice was plainly unbeatable.
"Whitney" was released before I was born, and until embarking on this project, I'd only listened to it a few times in its entirety. Another oversight. Having spent months learning about the production, and listening to Houston's incredibly soulful interpretations, I realize this album belongs in the pop pantheon, as an epic highlight of the 1980s.
Like Randy Jackson said in our interview, you could hate a song as it was written, but with Houston singing, you'd still listen to the end. I believe every track on "Whitney" is like that: it's either a world-beating No. 1 single, or a track still made monstrous with Houston's voice. It's a timeless pop album.
Go and listen to "Whitney" once more. Allow it to erase whatever unsavory memories you have of her last few years. Instead remember her as the 23-year-old dynamo with the perfect smile, beaming on the album's cover -- remember Whitney Houston when she truly was "The Voice."
Bobby Olivier may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
Jun 27 17 10:55 AM
Jun 27 17 12:02 PM
Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesThirty years ago today, Whitney Houston set a record that may surprise you.
Whitney's second album, simply called Whitney, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart on June 27, 1987. What's the big deal? It was the first album ever by a woman to do so.
The first album overall ever to debut at #1 was Elton John's Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy, and that was in 1975, so it took 12 years for a female artist to achieve the same feat.
Whitney's self-titled 1986 debut album spent 14 weeks at #1. The Whitney album not only debuted at #1, but it also spun off four #1 hits, including "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "So Emotional," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," and "Didn't We Almost Have It All." She also was the first female artist to score four #1s from a single album.
When Whitney hit #1, it marked another milestone for the late diva: she became the first artist to reach #1 with their first two albums since The Monkees did it in 1966 and 1967.
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Aug 13 17 7:26 AM
CD 1 - The Album and Bonus Tracks
CD 2 - The Remixes
Live in Concert:
Add an extensive booklet with liner notes by Narada Michael
Walden and a music fan/critic who knows the stuff, the impact and the journey
of the album. And lots of unreleased pictures from the iconic Richard
Of course, the more unreleased contents they'd add, the
Aug 13 17 12:35 PM
© 2017 Yuku. All rights reserved.