The double-disc 2011 U.K. collection The Essential Whitney Houston bears some strong similarities to the 2000 U.S. set The Greatest Hits, sharing 22 of its 35 songs. And it’s not just the big hits that overlap: there are a clutch of remixes that carry over, all bunched together on the second disc just like they are on The Greatest Hits. Consequently, The Essential Whitney Houston plays much like The Greatest Hits; even if it has a handful of songs not on the 2000 collection, it covers the same territory equally well and equally entertainingly.
It's only been seven years between Just Whitney and 2009's I Look to You, not even Houston's longest time between albums, but it feels much, much longer, her glory days obscured in hazy memories of lost luster chiefly deriving from a bad marriage with Bobby Brown, chronicled in an embarrassing reality show for Bravo in 2004. I Look to You attempts to wash this all away with something of a return to roots – a celebration of Houston's deep disco beginnings, tempered with a few skyscraping ballads designed to showcase her soaring voice. Houston's rocky decade isn't ignored, but it isn't explored, either: songs allude to Whitney's strength, her willpower as a survivor struggling through some unnamed struggle – enough for listeners to fill in the blanks, either with their own experience or their imaginings of Houston's life.
I'm Your Baby Tonight is the third studio album of American singer Whitney Houston released on November 6, 1990 by Arista Records. The album has been certified quadruple platinum in the US. Houston's previous efforts featured material mostly chosen by the label. With this project, however, she had more control over the album's content. In addition to working with the previous producers of Narada Michael Walden and Michael Masser, she also worked with the production team of L.A. Reid and Babyface, as well as singer Luther Vandross, and did a collaboration with Stevie Wonder. I'm Your Baby Tonight features funk and dance-driven pop music. The Walden-produced songs are divided by contemporary dance-pop tracks and ornate ballads, while Reid and Babyface's productions reappropriate 1970s black pop and danceable funk with aggressive 1980s dance rhythms. The album was a hit internationally though its sales didn't reach the level as high as the previous two albums, boosting Houston to global super-stardom.
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.
For all intents and purposes, Whitney Houston retired from being a full-fledged recording artist after her third album, 1990s I'm Your Baby Tonight, choosing to be a Streisand-like celebrity who cultivated a career through movies, soundtrack contributions, and social appearances. She may have been content to continue in that direction for many years if Arista president Clive Davis didn't push her into recording My Love Is Your Love, her first album in eight years, which easily ranks among her best. Never before has Houston tried so many different sounds or tried so hard to be hip. It's one thing to work with Babyface, the standard-bearer of smooth soul in the '90s, but it's quite another to hire Wyclef Jean, Lauren Hill, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, and Q-Tip – all cutting-edge artists (albeit on the accessible side of the cutting edge), the kind who never would have been associated with Houston in the late '80s.
Whitney Houston is the eponymous debut album of American R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston. It was released on February 14, 1985, by Arista Records. The album initially had a slow commercial response, but began getting more popular in the summer of 1985, and it eventually topped the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks in 1986, generated three number-one singles — "Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All". The album in these very rare cases, it began to enjoyed the global success by a new black female artist, topping the albums chart in many countries such as Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden, peaking at number 2 in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. The album was certified diamond for shipments of 10 million units or more on March 16, 1999, and later 13× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 29, 1999, making it one of the top 100 best-selling albums in the United States. It has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Whitney Houston is the debut studio album by American contemporary R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston. It was released on February 14, 1985, by Arista Records. The album initially had a slow commercial response, but began getting more popular in the summer of 1985. It eventually topped the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks in 1986, generating three number-one singles—"Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All" (a cover of "The Greatest Love of All", originally recorded in 1977 by George Benson)—on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which made it both the first debut album and the first album by a solo female artist to produce three number-one singles.
The four-year wait between 2002's Just Whitney and her previous album, 1998's My Love Is Your Love, was half that between that record and its predecessor, 1990's I'm Your Baby Tonight, but it felt twice the length, since Whitney Houston's career nose-dived during those four years. She retreated from the spotlight and as she cancelled concerts, scrapped albums, and pulled out of public appearances, rumors swirled that she and husband Bobby Brown were dangerously addicted to drugs. Following a disastrous performance at the September 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert, where she looked as if she had already wasted away, the chattering reached a fever pitch and she needed to restore her reputation – hence the title of Just Whitney, an assertion that she's returning to her basics.