Thursday, March 10, 2011
GREATEST LOVE OF ALL ~ WHITNEY HOUSTON
"Greatest Love of All" is an inspirational song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed and performed first by George Benson and later, Whitney Houston. Creed wrote the lyrics in the midst of her struggle with breast cancer. The words describe her feelings about coping with a terminal illness and being a young mother. Creed eventually succumbed to the disease in April 1986 (at the age of 36).The song was the seventh single released from Houston's self-titled multi-platinum debut studio album, Whitney Houston. The single, released in April 1986, spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May of that year. Clive Davis, founder of Houston's label Arista Records, was initially against Houston recording the song, but he eventually gave in after persuasion from Houston and Masser. The song was first included as the B-side to the single "You Give Good Love", another Top 5 hit by Houston.Houston's original album version features a piano intro, while the single version begins with a keyboard intro. After the single became a success, it replaced the album version on subsequent copies of the album. The original album version was restored for the 2010 Deluxe Anniversary Edition reissue of the album. Many critics called the single the centerpiece of Houston's debut album. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that "Houston sings it with a forceful directness that gives its message of self-worth an astounding resonance and conviction" and called the song a compelling assertion of spiritual devotion, black pride, and family loyalty, all at once. Don Shewey of Rolling Stone wrote that as the song builds, Houston "slowly pours on the soul, slips in some churchy phrasing, holds notes a little longer and shows off her glorious voice."