Whitney Houston’s 10 Best Songs That Radio Forgot

Feb 21st, 2012 // 8 Comments

Whitney Houston may be gone, but she will never be forgotten. However, the same can’t be said for some of her singles over the years. Since The Voice appeared on the scene in the mid-’80s, radio has been kind to such classics as “I Will Always Love You”, “How Will I Know”, “The Greatest Love Of All” and “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”. But what about those Whitney tunes that came and went, never to be spun by DJs again? Following our list of Madonna’s 10 Best Singles That Radio Forgot, we’ve now rounded up what we consider to be the cream of Houston’s overlooked output.

10. “Love Will Save The Day” (listen)
ALBUM: Whitney, 1987.
The world may be getting you down and out, but Whitney has some advice for you in her John “Jellybean” Benitez-produced dance-pop jam: peace, harmony and love will save the day! This 1988 single halted the singer’s record streak of seven consecutive #1s. Maybe that’s why the airwaves have been unforgiving in subsequent years?

9. “I Know Him So Well” (featuring Cissy Houston)
ALBUM: Whitney, 1987.
Whitney and her mother do ABBA — well, sort of. The Houstons covered this angsty showtune duet written by the Swedish pop band’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (and originally sung by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson in the ’80s musical Chess) on Whitney’s second album. Wasn’t it good? Wasn’t it fine?

8. “Miracle”
ALBUM: I’m Your Baby Tonight, 1990.
How could I throw away a miracle, Whitney wondered on this heavier-than-usual ballad about — wait for it — abortion. That said, the video shied away from the song’s true subject matter, and, sure enough, this third single from I’m Your Baby Tonight became yet another Top 10 hit for the singer.

7. “My Name Is Not Susan”
ALBUM: I’m Your Baby Tonight, 1990.
Calling Whitney by mistakenly using your ex’s name? Show some respect and watch what you say, boy! A sassy, finger-wavin’ moment in Houston’s catalog that didn’t get the airplay many of her other hits did.

6. “Hold Me” (featuring Teddy Pendergrass) (listen)
ALBUM: Whitney Houston, 1985.
Whitney’s debut single was this tender duet with the former lead singer of ’70s Philly soul legends Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. True, the song is ’80s balladry-by-the-numbers. But it possesses an endearing quality and reminds us of a soft-rock sound from days gone by. Sadly, while the world lost Houston this year, Teddy Pendergrass also passed away, in January 2010.

5. “Step By Step”
ALBUM: The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack, 1996.
Step by step, day by day, the path of life (and Whitney) teaches us that we can overcome any obstacle. Originally an Annie Lennox B-side, Houston nicely blended this upbeat number in with the rest of her inspirational Preacher’s Wife tracks. Bonus points for Lennox’s wall-of-sound background vocals.

4. “I Look To You”
ALBUM: I Look To You, 2009.
Neither radio or the charts were kind to the singles from Whitney’s final album when it arrived three years ago. (“I Look To You” peaked at #70 on the Hot 100.) That’s a shame, considering this R. Kelly-penned ballad showed that the singer still had plenty of emotions — pain being a main one — teeming within.

3. “My Love Is Your Love” (listen)
ALBUM: My Love Is Your Love, 1998.
Following her smash “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”, Whitney’s R&B-tinged singles from My Love Is Your Love proved to be more successful when remixed. This #4 Hot 100 hit climbed the charts in 1999 thanks to a dancefloor overhaul by Jonathan Peters, and “My Love Is Your Love” wound up being Houston’s final original Top 10 single of her career.

2. “Million Dollar Bill”
ALBUM: I Look To You, 2009.
Houston’s powerful, crystal-clear vocals may have no longer been intact, but songwriters Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and Norman Harris still managed to help the singer shine on her final album by whipping up this love-themed funky pop jam.

1. “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” (featuring Enrique Iglesias)
ALBUM: Whitney – The Greatest Hits, 2000.
The late-’90s Latin explosion clearly knocked Whitney for a loop. This slow-burning mid-tempo number brims over with a sexy vibe, thanks to the singer’s duet partner Enrique Iglesias and an understated-but-effective remix by then-hot production team Metro. We’re not sure about forever, but they both deserved a kiss for pulling off a killer track despite never having been in the studio at the same time.

Did we include any of your own favorite Whitney jams on our list? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below, or by following us up on Twitter and Facebook.

idolator

  1. 7 is actually one of my favorite songs by her

  2. KTS

    Missed:

    ‘Dear John Letter’

    ‘I Belong to You’

  3. Alexis

    My Name Is Not Susan was probably my favorite song she ever released… i’ll never understand why it wasn’t a big hit… maybe u forgot about “queen of the night” which is also one of my favorites too and was also underrated.

  4. How about if i told you that with George Michael.

  5. QH

    A nice percentage of these singles, including the two from “I Look to You,” were very large U.S. R&B hits. Pop radio just didn’t pick these up. Nice list though.-QH

  6. of all that music entails, Whitney Houston is my best and all her songs are my favorite

  7. ROb

    I Belong to you and For the Lover in You both showcased a very r&b side of this Goddess that radio had never heard before.

  8. You’ve done this type of list for Whitney, Michael, and Madonna. It’s time to do this for Mariah Carey. Unknown singles like the 70s-inspired “Underneath The Stars” and forgotten #1s like the beautiful “Love Takes Time” deserve some attention.

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