Tuesday, January 09, 2007

This Day in Music History: Whitney Houston and So Emotional

Well we have talked about the #1 hits of many songs of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s so today lets talk about one from the 80’s. On January 9, 1988 a song written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly reached #1 on the Billboard charts for Whitney Houston. That song was So Emotional. Clive Davis, the president of Arista, Whitney’s record label, called and told them that he needed an uptempo song for her new album.
Steinberg and Kelly started to write the song but tried to not have Whitney in mind while they wrote it and produced their demo. Mr. Kelly said that “Whenever we try to write a song for somebody, we usually end up writing something stupid and contrived, so it’s best we just write.” The song they ended up with they titled Emotional. Kelly said the song when they were done with it actually sounded more like a song Prince would have written and produced.
They sent the song to Clive Davis. He gave them a fast response letting them know that he liked the song. Mr. Kelly said that Clive Davis gets in touch with you immediately to let you know if he likes a song or not. He usually will call or write a note the very day he hears the song. He says he is direct and lets you know if he liked it or not and if he doesn’t like it you don’t feel insulted.
Ten songs for the album were already recorded when Mr. Davis got the song to Whitney’s producer Narada Michael Walden. By the time Mr. Walden received the song it had been retitled So Emotional. Whitney was scheduled that day to come in to record minor changes to some of those songs. Before they recorded the changes he had her record So Emotional. She recorded 90% of the song in one session. So Emotional was the last song recorded for the Whitney album.
When Mr. Davis heard the song he loved it. It wasn’t that way for Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Kelly. You see Mr. Walden slowed the song down a bit. Mr. Kelly said it was hard for them to get use to. He said that he kept calling Mr. Davis telling him “You really ought to speed it up. Now we love it.”

No comments: