Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All
In mid-March 1986 a beautiful song came out, made even more engaging by the celestial voice of one of the greatest singers of the 80s. If we look only at the voice, probably the greatest singer of the 80s, namely Whitney Houston.
A beautiful song of love and feelings, supported by an absolutely solemn video like all the things Whitney did. Actually, the song had its own story, because it was composed in an absolutely different context nine years earlier, in 1977. Authors Michael Masser and Linda Creed composed it for the soundtrack of a very particular film. The film was called The Greatest, and told the story and life of a great sports champion, Muhammad Ali. The protagonist was Ali himself, who acted his own life, alternating with recordings of his own fights. Ali had been a great and unbeatable character, so pure and simple and maybe even fragile. A hero of American sports who had the courage to continue to claim his own identity, his origins, his religious freedom, and was deprived of all his titles precisely from that nation that he had exalted with fists, for defending his conviction and thus refusing the call to arms for the Vietnam War.
That’s why the song, which was originally sung by the great George Benson and had one more article in the title, namely The greatest love of all, when it talks about love and dignity is not about dreams and lovers, but is talking about a great champion of humanity who never wanted to bow to those demands that would make him something different from himself. In this sense dignity is perhaps the most important word of the song.
But then of course Whitney Houston came, of course with one of those fate coincidences that happened only in the 80s. Yes, because one night one of the authors, Michael Masser, walked into a live music club, and heard a very young girl, not even twenty years old, singing his own song! And of course, certain things have a meaning in the ’80s, so years later that girl would become the purest voice of the ’80s, and Greatest love of all would become for everyone one of Whitney Houston’s most beautiful songs.
Linda Creed, best known as an east coast author and producer, wrote this song while fighting against a terrible disease at the age of 26. I believe this influenced the song with the image of children representing our future, a very strong image and always well present in the song. Linda won that battle, and managed to see Whitney Houston’s single release, but she had to surrender to the disease a few weeks later, shortly before Greatest Love of All hit the top of the charts.
The video, we said, is really impressive. Whitney resumes the children’s theme by showing a little girl singing this song in a theater supported by her mother. At the end of the song, that little girl naturally is adult Whitney, and mom’s always there to support her. And just like we saw in Cyndi Lauper’s Girls just want to have fun and Time after time, the woman in the video was Whitney Houston’s real mom, Cissy.
Whitney Houston on Wikipedia