Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Whitney Houston

Hold Me

First recorded (as “In Your Arms”) by Diana Ross (1982).
Hit version by Teddy Pendergrass & Whitney Houston (US #46/MOR #6/R&B #5/UK #44 1984).

From the wiki: “‘Hold Me’, originally titled ‘In Your Arms’, was written by Linda Creed & Michael Masser (‘The Greatest Love of All‘), and was first recorded by Diana Ross for her 1982 album Silk Electric.

“In 1984, the song was recorded as a duet by Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. That recording was released simultaneously as a single in 1984 by both Pendergrass (from his album Love Language) and Houston (from her self-titled debut album, Whitney).”

All the Man (That) I Need

First recorded (as “All the Man I Need”) by Linda Clifford (1981).
Hit versions by Sister Sledge & David Simmons (R&B #45 1982), Whitney Houston (US #1/MOR #1/R&B #1/CAN #1/UK #13 1991).

From the wiki: “‘All the Man That I Need’ is a song written by American songwriters Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore with Linda Clifford in mind when they wrote the song. The song was first recorded by Clifford in 1982 as ‘All The Man I Need’, for her album I’ll Keep on Loving You. It was released it as a single, but it failed to chart.

I Believe in You and Me

First recorded by The Four Tops (R&B #40 1982).
Also recorded by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (1983), David Peaston (1991).
Hit version by Whitney Houston (US #4/R&B #4/UK #16 1996).

From the wiki: “‘I Believe in You and Me’ is a ballad written in 1982 by Sandy Linzer and David Wolfert, and first recorded and released by The Four Tops in 1982. In 1983, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (formerly of The 5th Dimension) recorded the first cover of the song for their album Solid Gold. David Peaston would win the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist in 1991 for his recording.

Saving All My Love for You

First recorded by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (1978).
Hit version by Whitney Houston (US #1/R&B #1/UK #1 1985).

From the wiki: “‘Saving All My Love for You’ is a song written by Michael Masser (‘The Greatest Love of All‘) and Gerry Goffin (‘Take Good Care of My Baby‘, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman‘, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You‘) with arrangement by Gene Page (Love Unlimited Orchestra). It was originally recorded by former 5th Dimension-aires Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. in 1978 for their album Marilyn & Billy.

I Will Always Love You

Written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton (C&W #1 1973 |C&W #1 1982).
Also recorded by Linda Ronstadt (1975).
Other hit version by Whitney Houston (US #1/MOR #1/R&B #1/UK #1/AUS #1 1992).

From the wiki: “During an interview, Parton’s manager Danny Nozel said that ‘one thing we found out from American Idol is that most people don’t know that Dolly Parton wrote [the track]’.

“Parton wrote the song, which was recorded on June 13, 1973, for her one-time partner and mentor Porter Wagoner, from whom she was professionally splitting at the time. ‘I Will Always Love You’ received positive comments from critics and attained commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart two times. Parton later re-recorded the song in 1982, when it was included on the soundtrack of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

The Greatest Love of All

Originally recorded by George Benson (US #24/R&B #2/UK #27 1977).
Other hit version by Whitney Houston (US #1/R&B #3/UK #8/AUS #1 1985).

From the wiki: “‘The Greatest Love of All’ was written by Michael Masser (‘Touch Me in the Morning’, ‘Saving All My Love for You‘) and lyricist Linda Creed (‘You Are Everthing’, ‘Betcha By Golly, Wow‘). The song was written and recorded to be the main theme of the 1977 film The Greatest, a biopic of the boxer Muhammad Ali, and was first recorded by George Benson for the film.

“Creed wrote the lyrics in the midst of her struggle with breast cancer. The words describe her feelings about coping with great challenges that one must face in life, being strong during those challenges whether you succeed or fail, and passing that strength on to children to carry with them into their adult lives. Creed eventually succumbed to the disease in April 1986 at the age of 37; at the time her song was an international hit by Houston.