WHAT HAVE WE LOST? Whitney Houston: Live

I was never the greatest fan of Whitney Houston. Fine, she did a nice movie with Kevin Costner and belted out the National Anthem, but I always felt she was geared for my kids’ generation of the 80s and 90s, as both my daughters had posters of her on their walls. This collection of her “live” performances made me re-think my appreciation, as her singing delivery, whether you watch it on the dvd, or merely listen to it on the cd, is simply overwhelming as she gives performances ranging from The Merv Griffin Show in 1983 to 2009’s Oprah Winfrey Show that overshadow anything I’ve heard by contemporary artists.

Backed simply by a studio band, Houston delivers a chillingly soulful “You Give Good Love” for Johnny Carson, and her heart is on her sleeve on a powerfully palpable “Home” for Merv Griffin. She’s piercingly confessional during “One Moment In Time” for the ’89 Grammy’s, and is celebratory on the funky “How Will I Know” for the BRIT Awards in ’87. There are 3 songs from 1991’s Welcome Home Heroes, with “A Song For You” draining the emotions. Her version of “My Way” is when she is at the 15th Anniversary Concert for Arista Records and brings forth her life story on “Greatest Love of All.” Her ability to let her deepest feelings come forth in a way that is not cloying or manipulative is inspiring, and in my opinion, people will be appreciating her much more than her contemporaries like Michael Jackson 25 years from now when both artists will be more objectively critiqued. This was an amazing woman that, sadly, was not appreciated by the world, or by herself.

Legacy Recordings


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