Friday, June 8, 2018

"Saving All My Love for You" by Whitney Houston

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  2428
Date:  08/17/1985
Debut:  58
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  If Houston's silky smooth #3 hit "You Give Good Love" established her as a solo artist, this next single from her self-titled debut album made her a star. The big ballad was a multi-format smash hitting #1 at Pop, R&B, and AC. It would also be her first #1 over in the UK. Although the LP wouldn't reach the #1 spot until the spring of '86, it was already a big seller reaching platinum level a week after this single debuted. Over time it would eventually sell 13 million copies in the US alone.

ReduxReview:  I thought this was quite a mature ballad for the young Houston, but she ended up doing a terrific reading of the song. She basically lives every note of the tune and it comes across so well in the recording. She sold this song lock, stock, and barrel and that is what made it a hit. I don't think anyone else could have done this. It's definitely one of her best vocal performances and she deservedly won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  At the time many folks did not realize this was actually a cover tune. Written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, it was originally recorded in 1978 by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. for their album Marilyn and Billy. The song was not issued as a single. The song came to Houston's attention via the song's co-writer Masser. Apparently via an invitation from Clive Davis, he saw Houston perform at a club and one of the songs she sang was "Greatest Love of All," which Masser had also co-written. Houston told Masser after the show that "Greatest" was one of her favorite songs. The pair got on well and soon Masser was hired on to produce some tracks for Houston's debut album. Reaching back in his catalog, Masser suggested that "Saving All My Love for You" would be great for Houston. At first, Houston and her mother were a bit concerned about the tune since it deals with a woman having an affair with a married man, but Houston eventually decided to record the song. Masser's simple arrangment pushed Houston's vocal up front and Masser knew the tune was a winner. Initially, it was not going to be the LP's second single, but a push from Masser via a bet he made with Clive Davis got the song selected. It would be the first of seven consecutive #1's for Houston.


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