Whitney Houston R.I.P.

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One thing I often think of w/r/t Whitney (and this before recent events) is not a performance by her per se but rather all the Whitney cover versions I've seen on shows like Idol by aspiring divas.

Doubtless many would assume that these are all awful but at least two spring to mind as quite amazing, both being covers of "I Have Nothing" - Jennifer Hudson on US Idol and Rickie-Lee Coulter on Australian Idol (perhaps the only time Rickie-Lee actually lived up to her promise).

These performances are always tributes to Whitney first and foremost, the contender trying to step into the biggest shoes possible and not lose her feet in them. There really is a sense of the big Whitney ballads as the gold standard for powerhouse emoting.
If anything, the more exposed to that idea I am the more I feel comfortable with it; and concomitantly can't really vibe with the idea of Whitney having wasted her talent or career (except in the more prosaic sense that she could have put out more music) - as good as My Love Is Your Love is (and it's my favourite Whitney album) I'm not sure that her legacy would be greater if she'd adopted some kind of grittier template throughout.

(someone could do a bitchin cover of "Run To You" as well, I suspect; sensibly people only seem to do "The Greatest Love Of All" in the failed auditions the shows play for lols, and I think either network producers or otherwise God has enough sense to prevent any performances of "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" from ever being broadcast)

Tim F, Monday, 13 February 2012 01:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think most have now accepted GLoA as kitsch, largely b/c of the lyrics.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 13 February 2012 06:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

I passed myself off as knowing all about Whitney albums just then but in truth I haven't heard I'm Your Baby Tonight past the singles - hot or not?

Tim F, Monday, 13 February 2012 06:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

My awareness of Whitney Houston's music pretty much cuts off somewhere around her big 90s soundtrack albums. I'd known she had her dalliances, but I had no idea that she was struggling so much & for so long w/ addiction - so this is pretty shocking to me.

I also didn't know about her early collaborations before now & some of those tracks posted upthread are pretty dope! There are about four or five of her early singles that have insane vox & hooks & which, after hearing, I will invariably have stuck on repeat in my brain for hours, days even.

RIP

Jurgis Rudkus // Dick Butkus (Pillbox), Monday, 13 February 2012 10:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm really sad about this which is sort of weird because while I definitely liked some of her music, it's not like I was ever an enormous fan. That said, sside from the early dance pop stuff I mentioned a couple days agom IWALY can give me chills and make me tear up any time I hear it. She just had such a powerful voice. They were talking about it the whole thing on the news this morning and it bummed me out a lot more than I would have expected.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

I haven't posted anything on this thread, because I wasn't much of a fan. I played "How Will I Know" for student-entry music this morning, though, and that was nice--it's the one song of hers I always liked--and then in my own class I played the Super Bowl performance off YouTube. It's the kind of thing I normally wouldn't care for (I was at teachers college at the time, and had pretty much tuned out the first Iraq War altogether), but this morning, it did feel historic. Not as historic or as audacious as Hendrix, maybe not even as good as Marvin Gaye's rendition, but in the ballpark.

clemenza, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

wait, "student entry music" -- like entry to your classroom or over the speakers in the whole school?

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

The only songs my son's school seems to own are "Dynamite" (Cruz, not Lattisaw) and "Who Let the Dogs Out."

Andy K, Monday, 13 February 2012 15:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

your son's school OTM

J0rdan S., Monday, 13 February 2012 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I put my hands up in the (who? who, who?)

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

The graduation theme for my class at an all-boy Catholic school: "Promise of a New Day."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

a serious wtf moment. That's where everything went wrong.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

we had to listen to the radio over the loudspeakers between classes and i remember when it went from top 40 to "alternative" in 1991 or 1992 (not entirely sure when it happened, tbh) and they played "it's the end of the world as we know it" for 24 hours straight. that day was SO WEIRD.

my point above was that if you can choose the music they listen to between classes, that is a lot of memory-creating power!

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

anyway, whitney houston owned memory-creating power in gradeschool right up there with mj and prince
i thought everyone had to sing "the greatest love of all" at some point in school. i remember being pretty mortified by having to sing it, at least.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol I think we did "Greatest Love Of All" in a music class, now that I think of it

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Same here. Houston was already so massive in late spring '86 that our teachers could corral the girls into singing an off-key "Greatest Love of All."

It was up to the rest of us to sing "Hands Across America" as a last performance.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yup, we sung "Greatest Love Of All" at our middle school graduation (June 1986). Also "That's What Friends Are For."

Let A Man Come In And Do The Cop Porn (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Four kids volunteered to sing "That's What Friends Are for." This small (white) guy named Nick wore Ray-Bans and swayed side to side like Stevie.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

man, "Greatest Love Of All" would have been so much better than what we sang, which was the horrid Love In Any Language

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

we sang "The Greatest Love of All" at an all-school assembly in sixth grade, when Whitney's version was new.

Euler, Monday, 13 February 2012 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

We sang it at the Father Daughter dinner, which was an annual fundraiser/ordeal at my all-girls Catholic school.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

same year

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

LL - we had a father daughter DANCE as our annual fundraiser/ordeal at my all-girls Catholic school.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah ours was a dance too. dinner dance.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

it was AN ORDEAL

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah it was. Comical moments too though. I remember having to explain to my dad what moshing was and why a bunch of girls were jumping around and slamming into one another.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

omg

the greatest love of all is easy to achieve when you are this awkward

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

wait, "student entry music" -- like entry to your classroom or over the speakers in the whole school?

Over the P.A. system for the whole school. I'm in charge, and I'm a tyrant.

clemenza, Monday, 13 February 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

AHHHH amazing!! I have one pic of my dad and I at one (sadly not here right now) where I am wearing a one piece floral jumpsuit (!!!) and have hair mid-way down my back. It was not a good look.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

clemenza that is totally awesome

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

i made that skirt with my grandma because i was totally into the 50s at the time (?!)

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

For some reason I can't recall, we had to go to the gym when my 5th grade class finished a DARE ("to keep kids off drugs") program, and watch a slide montage of photos of us sitting through the DARE program set to 1.5-2.5 runs through "The Greatest Love Of All."

da croupier, Monday, 13 February 2012 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

x-post - ^^^

Cute.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

glad I'm so old, God have mercy on the rest of you

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yup, we sung "Greatest Love Of All" at our middle school graduation (June 1986). Also "That's What Friends Are For."

― Let A Man Come In And Do The Cop Porn (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, February 13, 2012 10:42 AM (24 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh Jesus, I just remembered that nearly everyone at my senior prom (there were only prob about 70 ppl there) got in a circle and sang That's What Friends Are For as the last song of the night. It was pretty horrifying.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

enbb i demand to see that pic you speak of!

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

glad I'm so old, God have mercy on the rest of you

― Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, February 13, 2012

oh like the nuns didn't force you guys to gather round the victrola to mime "Easy Living."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

nuns dug Uriah Heep? Wow.

da croupier, Monday, 13 February 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lech that pic is awesome!!

plee help i am lookin for (crüt), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thanks! That reminds me that I need to call my parents. Children are our future.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Kerr - not a chance.

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

My 5th grade class lip-synced and danced to "How Will I Know" at our school concert

Janet Snakehole (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Damn--da croupier beat me to the Uriah Heep joke.

clemenza, Monday, 13 February 2012 16:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

nuns pushed "Top of the World" and "Let It Be" on us

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

Was "That's What Friends Are For" a consensus elementary school graduation song? Is it still. My grade 8 class did it too, but that was 1993, at which point I figured even then that the song was pretty musty.

I Fucked Up (jer.fairall), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

tried to find the clip from say anything where joe sings 'the greatest love of all' at their graduation. youtube could not help me...

and the answer is: Opinions differ. (stevie), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was wondering when someone was going to mention that!

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lech that pic is awesome!!

― plee help i am lookin for (crüt), Monday, February 13, 2012 11:21 AM (48 minutes ago)

tl;dr skl;dr (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

office break room filled with lunchers listening to CNN guest clinically describe drowning- and drug-related autopsies.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink


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