Listening to all the radio tributes over the last few days, I've realized how much of a dance-POP artist Whitney Houston was. All I knew/remembered of her work in that genre were I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I'm Every Woman, as well as the radio dance remixes of 1998's It's Not Right, But It's Okay and My Love is Your Love. Fortunately, Youtubing her work has done two things for me: 1) Jogged my memory - How did I forget about How Will I Know? and 2) Inserted new songs into my memory that I never knew about - I'm loving I'm Your Baby Tonight. I don't know if it's just me or a generational thing, but I always thought of Whitney as balladeer, first and foremost. However, the reality is reversed. She was primarily a dance-POP singer. In fact, her music stood right beside the other greatest dance-POP performers of the '80s and '90 - Michael, Janet, Prince, and Madonna! It was her dance recordings that enabled Whitney to become the first black female artist to be played on MTV, thereby breaking down racial and gender barriers. Now, I'm aware that artists like Rihanna, GaGa, and Usher's fusion of POP and electronic dance music was very much influenced by the work of Whitney.
I love when singers with big, powerful voices aren't afraid to record uptempo tracks. Some may think that fast, multi-layered production will overshadow the talent's vocal abilities, but I believe it actually enhances them. Whitney's catalog serves as proof! To celebrate Miss Houston's contributions to DANCE-POP, I've compiled a party playlist full of dance-tastic Whitney tunes! Enjoy, and let me know if I left anything out!
1. "How Will I Know" from Whitney's 1st album, Whitney Houston, 1985
2. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" from Whitney's 2nd album, Whitney, 1987
3. "So Emotional" from Whitney's 2nd album, Whitney, 1987
4. "Love Will Save the Day" from Whitney's 2nd album, Whitney, 1988
5. "I'm Your Baby Tonight" from Whitney's 3rd album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, 1990
6. "I'm Every Woman" from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, 1993
7. "Queen of the Night" from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, 1993
8. "Step by Step" from The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album, 1997
9. "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" Thunderpuss Radio Remix from Whitney's 4th album, My Love Is Your Love, 1999
10. "My Love is Your Love" Jonathan Peters Radio Remix from Whitney's 4th album, My Love Is Your Love, 1999
11. "If I Told You That" ft. George Michael from Whitney: The Greatest Hits, 2000