Released: February 14, 1985
Genre: pop, pop-soul, R&B
Producer: Jermaine Jackson, Kashif, Michael Masser, Narada Michael Walden
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was truly one of a kind. From 1985 to here ultimately passing in 2012, she wowed audiences with her grace, beauty and VOICE. It was no surprise that she was dubbed “the voice” by her loyal fan base and the media. Whitney had the most soothing voice, that can make give ANY of the girls a run for their money.
Before I proceed with the album review, I must have you understand how important it is to get Whitney’s love for music. She comes from a family of MUSICIANS. Her mother Emily “Cissy” Houston (née Drinkard) is known for being a member of The Sweet Inspirations, who sang background vocals for Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett & Dusty Springfield. Whitney’s first cousin is also the legendary Dionne Warwick, the first BLACK POP STAR.
……back to our regularly scheduled programming:
Whitney began her singing career in the church, and singing background for Chaka Khan & Lou Rawls. Whitney also had a short modeling career as a teenager, and was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Seventeen. She was eventually signed to Arista Records at the age of 19, and began work on her groundbreaking eponymous debut album.
Whitney Houston was released Valentine’s Day 1985. Having a slow commercial response, the album spent 14 non consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 charts after the success of her first three number ones: “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know” & “Greatest Love of All.”
I did not go into the studio wanting to make a pop album. I went into the studio to make good music. – Whitney Houston, 1985.
Whitney’s success with her album was very huge & massive for a Black woman at that time. Her musical entrance into the music industry is one of the greatest milestones in Black music HISTORY. Whitney Houston will go down as one of America’s greatest treasures. We weren’t worthy of Whitney Elizabeth Houston.
Winning a Grammy award for Best Female POP Vocal Performance for “Saving All My Love For You,” and also won an Emmy Award for the performance of that song at the Grammys.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you: Whitney Houston’s “Whitney Houston.”
You Give Good Love
Written by La La
The lead single from the album, is a ballad that showcases Whitney’s powerful voice. It was Whitney’s introduction to the R&B markets at the time, peaking at number one on the R&B charts and top 3 on the pop charts.
Thinking About You
Written by Kashif & La La
Another record written by Kashif & La La, Thinking About You is a dance record and is one of Whitney’s deepest of cuts. It was a top ten on the R&B charts, and that was well deserved.
Someone For Me
Written by Raymond Jones & Freddie Washington
Produced by Jermaine Jackson, Someone For Me is one of my favorite highlights from the album. I think I sing this song almost everyday!
Saving All My Love For You
Written by Michael Masser & Gerry Goffin
A song!!! 10s across the board. No one will ever top it at ALL. Whitney’s first number one was this song here. Whitney did what she had to DO CHILE. Well anyways, the song was originally sung by THE Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr, but Whitney’s version took it to another level.
Her vocals on this record was bone chilling. The song was interpolated by Sevyn Streeter, and sampled by Tamar Braxton.
Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (Duet with Jermaine Jackson)
Written by James P. Dunne & Pamela Phillips
A DUET FOR YOUR ASS! A cover of Anne Murray & Dave Loggings version has them shaking in the boots.
‘How Will I Know
Written by George Merrill, Shannon Rubicam & Narada Michael Walden
One of Whitney’s signature songs, How Will I Know is truly flawless.
All At Once
Written by Jeffrey Osborne & Michael Masser
One of the best songs on this album, All At Once was co-written by one of my favorite male vocalists Jeffrey Osborne (of L.T.D. fame).
Take Good Care of My Heart (Duet With Jermaine Jackson)
Written by Peter McCann & Steve Dorff
The organic chemistry between Jermaine & Whitney was HEAVY during their duets. 🙌🏾 It was also a cover of Anne Murray’s version.
Greatest Love of All
Written by Linda Creed & Michael Masser
One of Whitney’s best records vocally, was originally recorded by George Benson for Muhammad Ali’s biopic “The Greatest’
Written by Michael Masser & the late and great Linda Creed, she wrote the song during her time of living with breast cancer. The Whitney version serves as an inspirational record and has been one of the songs to uplift me in so many ways during my upbringing through adulthood.
Hold Me (Duet with Teddy Pendergrass)
Written by Linda Creed & Michael Masser
I am totally judging anyone who doesn’t consider this duet to be in their top 5 duets of all time. And NOT NUMBER FIVE. The song was one of Whitney’s earliest records and the reason why she didn’t win the Best New Artist Grammy. Nevertheless she sounded so flawless on the record. The song is a cover of Diana Ross’ “In Your Arms.”
Whitney will always be one of the greatest to ever do it. Her album went certified Diamond and sold over 22 million records worldwide. 35 years later, and this album sounds refreshing and captivating. Whitney would go on to become one of the best selling female artists of all time. Whitney’s life tragically ended in 2012, but the wonderful thing about her legacy, is that it’ll never end. Her discography will forever live on as one of America’s best treasures. -MJ.