Tuesday, March 16, 2021

"Where Do Broken Hearts Go" by Whitney Houston

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3434
Date:  02/27/1988
Debut:  47
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Houston scored her sixth #1 Pop hit in a row with "So Emotional," the third single from her second album Whitney. She kept that streak going with this fourth single, which also topped the Pop chart. It also got to #1 AC and #2 R&B. With this song going to #1 at Pop, it set two chart records. First, it made Houston the first female artist to have four singles from one album get to #1. Four other female artists would later achieve that feat with Katy Perry breaking the tie by getting five #1s from her 2010 album Teenage Dream. Second, Houston became the first artist to have seven consecutive #1s on the Pop chart. She had previously been tied with the Beatles and the Bee Gees with six, but this one gave her sole possession of the feat. As of this writing, that record still stands. At the time, the vinyl version of this song didn't sell enough to go gold, but later in 2020, the digital version of the song was given a gold certification.

ReduxReview:  So where do broken hearts go? Who the hell knows? Or cares? Yeah, the lyrics to this song were not the best, but it had an interesting title and was a strong power ballad that was certainly right up Houston's alley. It was the best ballad on the album and was a much easier listen than the laborious "Didn't We Almost Have It All." Was it on par with some of her other classic singles? Not really, but it was a solid hit that did its job by earning Houston a seventh consecutive #1.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Sometimes singers who don't write their own songs are not necessarily happy with the tunes they end up recording. Tina Turner later confessed that at first she didn't like "What's Love Got to Do with It" and didn't want to record it, but was finally convinced to do so. More famously, Frank Sinatra absolutely hated his 1966 #1 hit "Strangers in the Night." At one point he called it "the worst fucking song I ever heard." He would even say as such when having to perform it in concert, but audiences didn't care. The tune was Sinatra's first #1 in over a decade and the album also went to #1. It even earned Sinatra two Grammys, one for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, and one for Record of the Year. Yet, he still considered it "a piece of shit." Whitney Houston may not have hated "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" that much, but apparently she wasn't fond of the power ballad. It seems she thought the song's lyrics didn't have a lot of impact and she wanted something with more meaning. The title also seemed to confuse her as the song never addresses the title question. In other words, she just didn't connect with it. However, Clive Davis was convinced it was a #1 song and goaded her into recording it. He ended up being right and it set chart records for Houston. However, she was then stuck performing the song for years after.


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