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Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

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As big a hit as it was -- and it was a multi-platinum blockbuster, spinning off several chart-toppers -- it’s not easy to think of Whitney Houston’s 1985 debut as the dawning of a new era, but it was. Arriving in the thick of MTV, when the slick sounds of yacht-soul were fading, Whitney Houston is the foundation of diva-pop, straddling clean, cheery R&B and big ballads designed with the adult contemporary audience in mind. Houston’s background lay in the former -- actually, it was even riskier, encompassing a stint with the experimental Bill Laswell outfit Material -- and her benefactor Clive Davis knew all about selling records to the masses. Appealing as this album is, Davis may never have imagined how Whitney Houston would shift tastes, pushing toward skyscraping ballads where the singer’s affectations, not the songs, were paramount -- a move that later led to hollow records, but on Whitney Houston the songs were as important as the immaculate productions. Certainly, the showstopping “Greatest Love of All” provided the blueprint for decades of divas, but it’s the only overblown moment here, with the rest of the ballads -- notably “Saving All My Love for You” and “You Give Good Love” -- burning slowly and seductively, but what really impresses some 20-plus years on are the lighter tracks, particularly the breakthrough single “How Will I Know” and the unheralded “Thinking About You,” a dance/R&B hit co-written by Kashif that remains one of Whitney’s purest pop pleasures. These joyful, rhythmic moments faded away from Houston’s later work -- and also rarely surfaced on the records of those who followed her -- but their presence on this debut turns this into a fully rounded record, the rare debut that manages to telegraph every aspect of an artist's career in a mere ten songs. [The 2010 25th anniversary edition of Whitney Houston is expanded with five bonus tracks -- remixes of “Thinking About You,” “Someone for Me,” “How Will I Know,” a live version of “Greatest Love of All” from 1990, and a superfluous a cappella mix of “How Will I Know” -- and a bonus DVD containing music videos from the album, new interviews, and -- best of all -- Whitney’s star-making 1983 performance on The Merv Griffin Show.]
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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1
You Give Good Love
00:04:36

Ira Siegal, Performer - Kashif, Producer - Kashif, Performer - Kashif, Arranger - Yogi Lee, Performer - Whitney Houston, Performer - Michael O'Reilly, Engineer - Michael O'Reilly, Mixing Engineer - La La, Performer - Lala, Composer - Lala, Lyricist - Clive Davis, Executive Producer - Bashiri Johnson, Performer - Roy Wooten, Performer - Joe Tinker Lewis, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

2
Thinking About You
00:05:24

Michael O'Reilly, Engineer - Michael O'Reilly, Mixing Engineer - Lala, Composer - Lala, Lyricist - Kashif, Composer - Kashif, Lyricist - Kashif, Arranger - Kashif, Producer - Whitney Houston, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

3
Someone For Me
00:04:59

Jermaine Jackson, Producer - Michael O'Reilly, Mixing Engineer - Oran 'Juice' Jones, Composer - Oran 'Juice' Jones, Lyricist - Billy Bottrell, Mixing Engineer - Washington, Composer - Washington, Lyricist - Whitney Houston, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

4
Saving All My Love for You
00:03:57

Clive Davis, Executive Producer - Russell Schmitt, Engineer - Michael Mancini, Engineer - Tom Scott, Saxophone - Michael Masser, Producer - Michael Masser, Composer - Michael Masser, Lyricist - Gerry Goffin, Composer - Gerry Goffin, Lyricist - Bill Schnee, Mixing Engineer - Whitney Houston, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

5
Nobody Loves Me Like You Do
00:03:46

John Phillips, Composer - John Phillips, Lyricist - Whitney Houston with Jermaine Jackson, Performer - Jermaine Jackson, Producer - Michael O'Reilly, Mixing Engineer - Billy Bottrell, Mixing Engineer - Dunne, Composer - Dunne, Lyricist -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

6
How Will I Know
00:04:29

Cissy Houston, Performer - Shannon Rubicam, Composer - Shannon Rubicam, Lyricist - Randy Jackson, Performer - Narada Michael Walden, Producer - Narada Michael Walden, Arranger - Narada Michael Walden, Performer - Corrado Rustici, Performer - George Merrill, Composer - George Merrill, Lyricist - Yvonne Lewis, Performer - Whitney Houston, Performer - Preston Glass, Performer - Mike Barbiero, Mixing Engineer - Mike Barbiero, Engineer - Premik Russell Tubbs, Performer - Mary Canty, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

7
All at Once
00:04:28

Clive Davis, Executive Producer - Jeffrey Osborne, Composer - Jeffrey Osborne, Lyricist - Michael Masser, Composer - Michael Masser, Lyricist - Michael Masser, Producer - Bill Schnee, Mixing Engineer - Whitney Houston, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

8
Take Good Care of My Heart
00:04:15

Ed Greene, Performer - Steve Rucker, Performer - Jermaine Jackson, Producer - Jermaine Jackson, Performer - Greg Phillinganes, Performer - Whitney Houston with Jermaine Jackson, Performer - John "J.R." Robinson, Performer - Pete McCann, Composer - Pete McCann, Lyricist - John Barnes, Performer - Ready Freddie Washington, Performer - Nathan East, Performer - Paul Jackson Jr., Performer - Tim May, Performer - David Williams, Performer - Billy Bottrell, Mixing Engineer - Steve Dorff, Composer - Steve Dorff, Lyricist - Ernie Watts, Performer -

(P) 1984 Arista Records LLC

9
Greatest Love of All
00:04:57

Bill Schnee, Mixing Engineer - Julia Waters, Performer - Dann Huff, Performer - Robbie Buchanan, Performer - Randy Kerber, Performer - Maxine Waters, Performer - Russell Schmitt, Engineer - Lou Shelton, Performer - Linda Creed, Composer - Linda Creed, Lyricist - Paul Jackson Jr., Performer - Debbie Thomas, Performer - Nathan East, Performer - Whitney Houston, Performer - Michael Masser, Composer - Michael Masser, Lyricist - Michael Masser, Producer - Richard Marx, Performer - Clive Davis, Executive Producer - Michael Mancini, Engineer - Oren Waters, Performer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

10
Hold Me
00:06:02

Whitney Houston with Teddy Pendergrass, Performer - Linda Creed, Composer - Linda Creed, Lyricist - Michael Masser, Producer - Michael Messer, Composer - Michael Messer, Lyricist - Bill Schnee, Mixing Engineer -

(P) 1985 Arista Records LLC

Descripción del álbum

As big a hit as it was -- and it was a multi-platinum blockbuster, spinning off several chart-toppers -- it’s not easy to think of Whitney Houston’s 1985 debut as the dawning of a new era, but it was. Arriving in the thick of MTV, when the slick sounds of yacht-soul were fading, Whitney Houston is the foundation of diva-pop, straddling clean, cheery R&B and big ballads designed with the adult contemporary audience in mind. Houston’s background lay in the former -- actually, it was even riskier, encompassing a stint with the experimental Bill Laswell outfit Material -- and her benefactor Clive Davis knew all about selling records to the masses. Appealing as this album is, Davis may never have imagined how Whitney Houston would shift tastes, pushing toward skyscraping ballads where the singer’s affectations, not the songs, were paramount -- a move that later led to hollow records, but on Whitney Houston the songs were as important as the immaculate productions. Certainly, the showstopping “Greatest Love of All” provided the blueprint for decades of divas, but it’s the only overblown moment here, with the rest of the ballads -- notably “Saving All My Love for You” and “You Give Good Love” -- burning slowly and seductively, but what really impresses some 20-plus years on are the lighter tracks, particularly the breakthrough single “How Will I Know” and the unheralded “Thinking About You,” a dance/R&B hit co-written by Kashif that remains one of Whitney’s purest pop pleasures. These joyful, rhythmic moments faded away from Houston’s later work -- and also rarely surfaced on the records of those who followed her -- but their presence on this debut turns this into a fully rounded record, the rare debut that manages to telegraph every aspect of an artist's career in a mere ten songs. [The 2010 25th anniversary edition of Whitney Houston is expanded with five bonus tracks -- remixes of “Thinking About You,” “Someone for Me,” “How Will I Know,” a live version of “Greatest Love of All” from 1990, and a superfluous a cappella mix of “How Will I Know” -- and a bonus DVD containing music videos from the album, new interviews, and -- best of all -- Whitney’s star-making 1983 performance on The Merv Griffin Show.]
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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