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After Whitney Houston went from a famous name to a global superstar with her performance and theme song "I will always love you" in the Bodyguard it's fair to say that she had her fair share of problems, Mainly her choice of husband (Bobby Brown) and her battle with drug addiction. Roll back to 1985 and she was one of the hottest prospects of the decade with a voice full of beauty and scale and Soul was in her blood through her mother Sissy Houston who was a big Gospel star and of course her cousins Dionne & De De Warwick and if that wasn't enough, her Godmother is none other than Aretha Franklin. The young Houston sang backing vocals on a number of tracks including most notably Chaka Khan's hit single "I'm Every Woman" which she would later cover. Clive Davis of Arista was persuaded to check her out and the rest as they say is History. She was soon signed up and began recording her debut album aged 21.
Clive Davis brought in stellar producers in Jermaine Jackson, Kashif, Michael Masser & Narada Michael Walden for the album which Houston started to record in 1984. There were some discussions about whether the album fitted in at the time where rock bands and dance oriented pop acts ruled the field. This led to a number of producers and songwriters choosing against joining the project. The album was released on 14th February 1985 and features some of her biggest known tracks. It has also become very successful indeed and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. So here's my review on the album that made Whitney Houston.
1.) You Give Good Love
This track is about showing your appreciation for your partners love of you. It was the second single from the album and is one of her biggest hits from the early era. The song was written by LaLa and produced by Kashif, The song was originally offered to Roberta Flack but Kashif thought it would be a better fit for someone else and that someone else was Whitney and it ended up with Whitney recording it. An excellent track which has a smooth, mellow feel.
2.) Thinking About You
This is a catchy disco track which has a funky feel and sensual vocals to start. I like the way Whitney sings this track and the backing instruments and vocals add a nice touch but this track lacks a little something to take it from a solid track to an excellent one. This is a Kashif, Lala and was produced by Kashif. This is the last of two tracks on the album written and produced by Kashif.
3.) Someone For Me
This is probably the weakest track on the album and also the least known of any on the album. It has a typical 80s pop feel and really doesn't get going. It's not a bad track but that's probably in part due to it being Whitney Houston as opposed to a weaker artist. A decent if not great effort.
4.) Saving All My Love For You
This is one of my favourite Whitney Houston tracks, It's an excellent ballad about being devoted to someone you are in love with. This track was written by Gerry Goffin & Michael Masser and really showcases her superb vocal talent. Sweet highs and powerful vocals really shine on this track. I love the saxophone part too which later would be a feature of many of her best heartfelt ballads. This is a classic track and for me it's one of the best tracks of the 1980s.
5.) Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (w/ Jermaine Jackson)
This is a laid back duet with the second most talented member of the Jackson 5. Jermaine had a decent voice and made his voice unique compared to his brother Michael's. This track led to a controversial omission from the Grammy Award for best new artist as they counted this cover which also featured on Jermaine's album and one on the comeback album by Teddy Pendergrass. Before this she was a favourite to receive the award. This is an excellent track however and showcases how well she works with another singer in a duet. Excellent track.
6.) How Will I Know
This is an excellent track which is more of an up tempo track than much of the album, It starts with a catchy beat and some synth parts. This was a big hit in the US and also reached number 5 in the UK Charts. I can imagine this must have been a huge hit at School discos in the late 1980s as it has that disco feel to it. This track has Some great catchy parts which are great to dance to. This track also has an excellent
Saxophone part towards the end which tops it off brilliantly.
7.) All At Once
This is an excellent ballad which is pretty well known. The track was written by Jeffrey Osborne & Michael Masser and tells the story of realising your partner has left you and it's over for good and they are not coming back to you. When done well this kind of track is really emotive and this is a classic ballad from Whitney, She doesn't show the vocal power of some other tracks but what she does sing is very well emoted and in an excellent tone. Great track.
8 Take Good Care Of My Heart (w/ Jermaine Jackson)
This is the second of two tracks with Jermaine Jackson and this particular track is slightly too quick for the vocal style from both. If the music beat was slowed down a little it would be a far better track for it. I just feel that this fasted than necessary pace lets it down too much. Both vocalists are on form but the music lets the overall track down. Shame.
9.) Greatest Love Of All
This is one of the best tracks from Whitney Houston, It's a fantastic belter of a ballad about having confidence in yourself and loving the person you are. This track has a great message and she certainly belts out the lyrics emotively. This track has meant so much to many people with it's subject matter and delivery. One of Whitney Houston's classics.
10 Hold Me (w/ Teddy Pendergrass)
At his best Teddy Pendergrass was a superbly powerful singer who had a great soul voice but this really doesn't show off his voice that well. Whitney's vocals are subdued and although it's a decent enough duet it doesn't hit the heights of the other tracks on the album and the combination of the two would promise a lot better. Could have been great, unfortunately it's just a good track.
Ok so there we have the debut album from Whitney Houston and while it's maybe not as polished as her later work it certainly shows the awesome talent that is there. Some classic tracks mixed with not so great tracks. This leads to a score of four stars rather than five but If I could I would probably give this album three and a half stars but as dooyoo on do full stars then I feel four is more apt than three stars which I think would undersell the album a little bit.
The Pop R&B singer Whitney made her debut in 1985 when she released a self-titled record. It is the album that gave her the chance to breakthrough as amongst collaborations with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass, you find that you have her offering hits such as "Greatest Love Of All", "How Will I Know" and "Saving All My Love For You" that gave her the chance to display her strong, soulful vocals to the masses.
1. "You Give Good Love"
The album begins well as you see that she breaks out with one of the singles from the album and one that sits well on the release as you see that she comes out with one that shows her strengths when it comes to the Soul end of the album and how what exactly she can get out of her voice. It is heavy stuff and although I can't say it is amongst the best here, it is a good one to begin her debut with.
2. "Thinking About You"
You find that she doesn't spend too long with the slow end of things as she immediately gets the chance to break out into some high-tempo Po R&B stuff to act as a massive contrast to what had just been brought. It is a nice one to give people a chance to see just how much variety she has the potential to bring on the album in spite of the fact we are just onto the second track of the thing.
3. "Someone For Me"
You see that we get the chance to stick to the same kind of material for another one as this one comes into effect, but I can't say that this kind of Pop material from her did anything for me as it simply doesn't appeal to my tastes and I believe that without really experiencing those times at all I can't really get into material that seems to represent that sort of time (although I expect others to see more positives in it).
4. "Saving All My Love For You"
This track just kills things off and really shows her working up to her highest possible standard as she bring a song that has some of the best song writing and production to support an amazing vocal performance of a ballad that I can't see anyone finding any reason to really complain about. Its quality hits you on the first hearing and it gives it the Pop appeal that I felt it deserved for such a strong tune.
5. "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do"
You see that she moves on into a tune that keeps things on the slower end of the record as she comes to perform in a duet with Jermaine Jackson. I can't say that I was really into this one and especially when you have it placed next to such a banger of a jam that came just before it, it seems to lack so much. I can see where the appeal is, but it just didn't do it for me at all and I felt that it just sounded rather generic.
6. "How Will I Know"
She suddenly moves things on as you here this one open up to some funky percussion that lets you know that you are in for some full-on eighties Pop material (and one that was later used, heavily, for a Dance track). I felt that it was a nice change to things and one that has her showing that she is able to work well with this end of things as well as the ballads for a very satisfying range of styles she has the chance to work from.
7. "All At Once"
Not giving the listener much chance to really get in the mood to jam, she moves right on back to the soulful side of the album, but I felt that in this case it was another of the more pleasant twists as she comes out with a joint that takes on many of the characteristics found on other tracks from the album, but they are manipulated in a way that I felt made her ensure that she brought nothing but what would take the listener in.
8. "Take Good Care Of My Heart"
Here she gets into a mid-tempo tune where she gets the chance to perform another duet piece and does so in a bit of a more exciting tune with a much livelier jam, but I can't say that I really got all that much from it as it seemed to stay on the same sort of level throughout and it certainly couldn't compete with others on the album that were done with a similar feel and so it sounded a bit average.
9. "Greatest Love Of All"
If you can't say that this is of the same standard as "Saving All My Love For You" then it is because you will think it is better as this is one that has Whitney blazing out a tune that tops just about any Pop ballad of its time as she puts on a great performance and works with the powerful material she has to come out with a song that doesn't have any weaknesses to it whatsoever to get to what I consider to be the peaking point of the record.
10. "Hold Me"
The album is brought to a close with this one as she links up with Teddy Pendergrass and with the Soul singer on her side it gives her the chance to appeal to this fan base (one that I felt had been neglected after having a brief glimpse at the start of the album). It wasn't really done in a style that I could get down to, but I feel that it was another that many others are bound to really enjoy with another solid tune.
I believe that although this is seen to be one of the greatest Pop R&B albums ever, the time when it dropped mean that the sorts of things that you get from the party tunes are such a far distance from where R&B would be even five years later meant that it this kind of stuff phased out to the point that I couldn't connect with it at all. I can see why people enjoy some parts of it and it is reasonably diverse, but it didn't really say too much for me (other than the key singles that stand out).
Whitney Houston the album came out in 1985 and was produced by Artista Records, Inc.
Now, it may be a little bit uncool to admit this but I love Whitney Houston. Ever since, I wanna Dance with Somebody(which is not on this album) I have loved her. I was lucky enough to find a husband who loved her just as much as me, a little confession he came to on our first date so I definitely knew I was onto a winner. As a big fan he has all her albums and so I have listened to them all now countless times.
Whitney Houston was born on August 9th, 1963 and is an extremely successful recording artist and actress. She comes from a very successful family and upbringing, her aunt is Dionne Warwick and her godmother is Aretha Franklin. Music was in the blood and she starting singing gospel music in her local church at aged 11. She is famed for her strong, powerful voice and can hit notes that most people don't even know exist! That's what I love about her, her wonderful songs and beautiful voice. According to an article I read, Whitney is one of the worlds best selling music artists, having sold over 140 million albums worldwide and is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America with 54 million certified albums.
It has been unfortunate to watch her battle with drugs over the years and I partly think some of this is because of Bobby Brown but who knows. All we can hope is that she realises she has an amazing god given talent and to not throw that gift away forever. Apparently she does have an upcoming album so that is worth waiting for I hope.
This album, Whitney Houston was her debut album and like I've said above, was released in 1985. It became the best selling debut album by a female artist. Some say it's her best album as it has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. It has some absolute classic songs on it too which I think add to it's appeal. The cover features a beautiful photograph of her on the front in a lovely cream, draped on shoulder dress and her hair tied back. She looks very young which of course she was.
The tracks are as follows:
1. You Give Good Love
2. Thinking About You
3. Someone for Me
4. Saving All My Love For You
5. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (Duet with Jermaine Jackson)
6. How Will I Know
7. All At Once
8. Take Good Care of My Heart ( Duet with Jermaine Jackson)
9. Greatest Love of All
10. Hold Me (Duet with Teddy Pendergrass)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 You Give Good Love
2 Thinking About You
3 Someone For Me
4 Saving All My Love For You
5 Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (w/ Jermaine Jackson)
6 How Will I Know
7 All At Once
8 Take Good Care Of My Heart (w/ Jermaine Jackson)
9 Greatest Love Of All
10 Hold Me (w/ Teddy Pendergrass)