Thursday, February 15, 2018

"You Give Good Love" by Whitney Houston

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2317
Date:  05/11/1985
Debut:  67
Peak:  3
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  This singer went from singing in church as a kid, to performing with her mom in nightclubs, to being a backup singer, to being a model, to doing her own club shows, all before becoming a worldwide superstar. Although she had been offered recording contracts even when she was in her teens, it wasn't until 1983 when Clive Davis offered her a home at Arista that Houston inked a deal. Davis knew there was something special about the singer and took his time developing her career. She got her first taste of success when she was teamed up with Teddy Pendergrass for the duet "Hold Me," which got to #5 R&B, #6 AC, and #46 Pop. From that point on, Houston began to record solo tracks with various producers that would make up her self-titled debut album. The first shot over the bow was this silky tune that was mainly chosen to help establish Houston in the R&B market and indeed the song was a smash on that chart getting to #1. Expectations were not set high for the Pop market, so it came as a surprise when the song caught on and got to #3 at Pop and #4 at AC. It would end up being the first of ten consecutive Pop Top 10's for Houston. The song would also earn a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song while Houston would get a nod for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Her superstar was only just beginning to rise.

ReduxReview:  This is the song that began Houston's solo career and sadly it gets overlooked in her catalog. I never hear this tune anymore and I think it ranks among her best. It's smooth, sexy and has a lovely maturity about it that would lead you to believe it was sung by someone older than a 21-year-old Houston. The song is quality to begin with, but Houston just takes it to another level without going overboard. Kashif's production is also top-notch. Although she'd have some great hits ahead, I've always found it sad that she kind of lost this style of R&B along the way. She ended up recording commercial-leaning pop/dance-pop followed by a detour into more urban territory. While there were great moments, nothing really sounded like this song. The same could be said about Mariah Carey and her debut single "Vision of Love." She never captured that sound again either. The Whitney on this song is the Whitney that I loved.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This song was written by La Forrest Cope, aka La La. She had originally written the tune with Roberta Flack in mind, but when Flack's camp wasn't responding back, she marketed the song to Houston via producer Kashif. La La and Kashif had history together as she wrote a song that appeared on his self-titled 1983 debut solo album. The song was a perfect fit for Houston and Kashif produced the track. La La would write songs for other artists, but none would be as big as this one. She later parlayed her success into her own solo deal with Arista and issued a self-titled debut album in 1987. It spawned two minor R&B charters, including the #22 "(If You) Love Me Just a Little." She moved to Motown for a second solo disc in 1991, but it came and went quickly.


No comments:

Post a Comment