Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston [1963-2012]

Artist: Whitney Houston
LP: 7" single
Song: "You Give Good Love"
[ listen ]

When I arrived at some friends' house for dinner last night, I was sad to learn that singer Whitney Houston had died. Her struggles with drug addiction and her turbulent relationship with husband Bobby Brown have been eagerly and thoroughly reported by the media, but I'd always held out hope that one day Houston would pull a Robert Downey, Jr., emerging triumphantly from her personal cloud of darkness to bask in the warm rays of a successful career while continuing to explore and expand the reach of her enormous talent. But now she's dead. I can't say I was one of Houston's biggest fans, but she certainly did know her way around a ballad. I picked up this copy of "You Give Good Love," her first solo single, at a record shop in Williston, North Dakota while returning from a family reunion at Lake Metigoshe during the summer of 1985. It was just a few months before my 16th birthday, and a few months before Whitney turned 22—her birthday was the day after mine. I only bought two more Whitney Houston singles over the years (both of them ballads), but when I went through my singles collection recently to re-evaluate and weed out stuff I no longer wanted, I ended up keeping all of hers. You can read about the life of Whitney Houston and her trail-blazing career on Wikipedia here—where you'll find a list of famous singers who have been influenced and inspired by Houston, see a photo of the Whitney Houston Barbie Doll, and learn which two famous groups' long-standing singles-chart success records were left in the dust by Whitney's still-unmatched string of seven consecutive #1 hits between the years 1985 and 1988. Info about Whitney Houston's self-titled debut album can be found here, her complete discography is here, and click here to read Whitney Houston's obituary in The New York Times.

Whitney Houston
[August 9, 1963 — February 11, 2012]
We will miss you, Whitney.


dj trish said...

Beautiful Tribute

ryan said...

thanks for posting this album! of all her albums, this is the one i'll remember most. i heard she died during intermission at a play last night, and i immediately described this red cassette tape to eli. not to be too cheesy, but i think "the greatest love of all" truly had an important impact on me as a young child. i remember singing it during a summer camp talent show. i suppose i couldn't help but internalize the great message, but hearing it again now makes me really appreciate it!