Whitney (1987) At 35 | The Popjustice Forum

Whitney (1987) At 35

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by WhatKindOfKylie?, Jun 3, 2022.

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    How do you follow officially the biggest selling debut album of all time that spawned 3 #1 singles (and 3 of the all time classic songs of the 1980s) and sold over 25 million copies-over 10 million in the United States alone? That was perhaps the question facing Clive Davis, Arista and Whitney Houston herself back in 1986. Well, like any sequel, you can only try to go beyond what you already achieved before. And in the case of Whitney, in many respects they would do just that...

    Whitney Houston, following it's slow start, had more than proved that slow and steady can often win the day. It would eventually wind up as the biggest selling album of both the US and Australia for 1986, smashing records virtually everywhere and above all, firmly establishing it's namesake as the newest and perhaps most gifted vocalist in the industry. In short, the arrival of the woman who would soon be known to many as simply, "The Voice". Clive Davis and Arista management certainly were not going to hang around in the light of day following the debut's phenomenal success. Indeed, it would be whilst Whitney was on tour and still promoting her self titled 1st LP, that work would begin underway promoting her 2nd and again self titled LP. But, perhaps to show by this point the world over knew who this young talent was, the album was simply called,

    With contributions by some of the leading songwriters and producers of the day, no talent or money was spared on creating Whitney. John "Jellybean" Bentiez was a notable contributor, as was Michael Masser. But the man who really helped shape Whitney together, would be Narada Michael Walden. Walden wound end producing no less than 7 of the records 11 final tracks and perhaps his most lasting contribution to the album would help shaping an initially country sounding I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) via it's original demo form by songwriters George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam aka Boy Meets Girl, into perhaps THE lasting and ultimate floor-filler of the entire 1980s.

    An anthem for 1987 and even more so now, on other Whitney Houston single has perhaps quite captured public imagination over the decades with the exception of her timeless Dolly Parton cover with I Will Always Love You. Spawned by the same team behind the debut's most anthemic moment How Will I Know but with an even greater result,I Wanna Dance With Somebody, was never going to fail. It became THE perfect launch pad for this 2nd era, becoming one of the biggest global hits of 1987, the biggest hit by a female solo artist that year and now one might say, the most enduring and beloved song by any woman that decade. Despite it's chunky late 80s drum beats being an clear reminder of the time just as the wardrobes of Dallas and Dynasty, the uplifting message of I Wanna Dance With Somebody remains truly timeless and still thrills both old Whitney fans and new, In short an anthem for always and am sure, forever.

    Whitney itself, would be initially released on 2nd June 1987. The stakes were high, but the album was never going to fail. Although sales were slightly less than the debut arguably globally, it became an even bigger success in terms of impact. In her come country, Whitney would debut straight at #1 on the US Hot 200 albums chart-thus making Houston the first ever female solo artist to do so. It would spend no less than 11 weeks in a row at the top of the summit the most by any LP that year. Most notably, the album would continue the phenomenal run of #1's for Whitney Houston. Aside from I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the 3 follow up singles, Didn't We Almost Have It All, So Emotional and Where Do Broken Hearts Go (the later a song the singer notably loathed) , would top the US Hot 100 over 1987 and 1988. Combined with the 3 #1s from her debut, this would give Whitney Houston an total of 7 consecutive #1 singles. Then and amazingly (and some might say thankfully too) an record never achieved before or since. Although the final commercially released single Love Will Save The Day broke this feat, it still managed to peak inside the top 10, a feat itself considering the parent album had been released for over a year by this point and sold millions. All of these singles also happily became top 20 hits world over and are still some of the most loved and played songs from the 1980s.

    To date, Whitney has spawned over 20 million copies and still has a lasting legacy into the now 3rd decade of the 21st century. In 2020, it was finally certified Diamond in the US for sales of over 10 million. Thus this gave Whitney Houston yet another record by making her the first non white artist to have 3 Diamond certified albums in the US. Also, in 2022 it was confirmed that the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic that's set to be released by the very end of this year, would take it's name by none other than well...

    35 years on, and Whitney is still making an impact. As indeed the much missed vocalist, talent and legend that is Whitney Houston herself.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
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    TRAVVV likes this.
  3. Notable Promo

  4. 12" Mixes/Remixes

    idratherjack likes this.
  5. B-Sides

    Musiquelover64 likes this.
  6. Whitney is one of the all time great blockbuster albums - listening to it today it's like a greatest hits.

    Now where is the deluxe expanded 2CD reissue @PatHouston? It's such a no brainer but for reasons unknown her estate refuses to give it to us. I need all those 12" remixes remastered and collected together!
  7. A Greatest Hits indeed, 4 absloute all time classic singles, a fan favourite in Love Will Save The Day and another killer if you include One Moment In Time (which I do) from the tail end of the era. And of course we aren't getting an 35th anniversary re issue-way too obvious to do so after all!
    Eric Generic and idratherjack like this.
  8. I always wished this had been a single

  9. I approve! Would have been an very 80s video too am sure!
    idratherjack likes this.
  10. I'll listening it today to celebrate!
    WhatKindOfKylie? likes this.
  11. I Wanna Dance with Somebody
    Just the Lonely Talking Again
    So Emotional
    Love Is a Contact Sport
    For the Love of You

    What a fucking album. The lead single is still as relevant, and impactful as it was in 1987. She did THAT. Legend.
    TRAVVV and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  12. Think it may well just be my favourite Whitney album these days, very much enjoyed listening to it again earlier on.
    idratherjack likes this.
  13. I know him so well is truly horrific but the rest of it more than compensates. Love is a contact sport could easily have been a 6th single.
    Blaahh and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  14. The only real dud for me, is You're Still My Man. The marvellous Moment Of Truth should have been on the album in it's place in my view.
  15. Okay, so I really never liked Didn't We Almost Have It All (or indeed the unnecessary I Know Him So Well) but the album does include at least 3 of my fave Whitney Houston singles, and a couple of my favourite non-single tracks.

    She was bigger than Madonna at this point.
  16. I think Whitney's first album shows off her voice and versatility better than Whitney but I can't deny that Whitney was part of the 1987 pop dynasty. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) is a classic.
    WhatKindOfKylie? likes this.
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