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Music Week

The standout track on this double CD package is not, as anticipated, the Rodney Jerkins-produced duet with George Michael, 'If I Told You That', but the follow-up duet with Enrique Iglesias, 'Could I Have This Kiss Forever'.   Houston's entire output since 1985 is brought together in a double-CD package.   CD1 features classic ballads such as 'Saving All My Love For You' and 'Greatest Love Of All', while CD2 boasts the more upbeat hits including 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' and 'How Will I Know'.  Only doubts about her promotional availability, Radiohead and the Spice Girls can stop this being one of the biggest albums of the year.


Whitney in USA Today May 9,2000

Whitney's "Greatest" Lined Up In Smart Order

Greatest-hits packaged by nature are built on an artist's best work. But they often do little more than collect the star's top-charting hits and throw in a few unreleased tracks as filler.

The 36-track Whitney: The Greatest Hits (four stars out of four) puts its subject in context by smartly arranging the material so it's easy to follow Whitney Houston's 15 year progression from ingenue to mature singer.

The set is divided into two discs, the first cataloguing her hit ballads in their original forms. The second disc acknowledges her impact on the club scene with dance remixes of 14 songs. There also are a few hard-to-find bonus numbers, such as her Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl, a 1986 duet with Jermaine Jackson and the theme to the 1988 Olympics, One Moment In Time.  The set does its job well, encapsulating a career that's still a work in progress, as evidenced by new duets with Q-Tip(produced by Raphael Saadiq),Enrique Iglesias(David Foster)and George Michael(Rodney Jerkins).

Most telling is Same Script, Different Cast, on Which Houston trades lines with vocal power house Deborah Cox. There was a time when Houston was the diva-on-the-rise taking on established stars, But the track is a reminder that a generation of "Next Whitneys" has come up since You Give Good Love in 1985. Meanwhile, the original Whitney-whose tabloid troubles have often gotten as much attention as her music-has grown edgier but still seems to have more love to give. By Steve Jones, USA Today.



Whitney-The Greatest Hits
PRODUCERS: various
ALBUM PRODUCERS: Clive Davis, Whitney Houston
Arista 07822-14626

For Houston, who's celebrating her 15th anniversary at Arista and who recently received her sixth Grammy Award (for "It's Not Right But It's Okay"), the timing couldn't be better for this two-disc, 36-track career retrospective. One disc, subtitled "Cool Down," includes such signature Houston ballads/downtempo tracks as "Greatest Love Of All," "All The Man That I Need," and "I Will Always Love You." The second disc, subtitled "Throw Down," places the spotlight firmly on the singer's many forays into clubland and includes such exclusive remixes as Jellybean & David Morales' mix of "Love Will Save The Day," the Dronez's mix of "I'm Your Baby Tonight," and Junior Vasquez's mix of "How Will I Know." Special highlights include three newly recorded duets: "Same Script, Different Cast" with Deborah Cox, the Metro mix of "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" with Enrique Iglesias (the song originally appeared on Iglesias' album "Enrique"), and "If I Told You That" with George Michael (the song originally appeared on "My Love Is Your Love" sans Michael). Also included is the summer-ready "Fine," which was produced by Q-Tip, DJ Quik, and Raphael Saadiq. Quite the stellar collection.


To listen to the two-disc WHITNEY - THE GREATEST HITS is the hear the sound of a gift being squandered. Across the 15 years covered here, Whitney Houston inhales mightily and looses her dextrous instrument upon melodramatic songs.

The first CD collects her hit ballads. Whether it's an early effort from 1985( "You Give Good Love" ) or a watery new duet with Enrique Iglesias ("Could I Have This Kiss Forever" ), whether the producer is Arista's Clive Davis or - well, gee, that new cut's overseen by Clive, too - Houston hews to contemporary formula with her usual from-a-whisper-to-a-roar rigor.

So much has been made of Houston's R&B lineage ( mother Cissy and cousin Dionne Warwick ) it bears observing that her singing, for all its power and agility, suffers from a crucial lack of soulfulness. She's not stentorian or stuff, like her primary female competition, Celine Dion. But it's a measure of the narrow and conservative focus of Houston's artistry that Dion, and not less polished but adventurous rivals like Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill, is the standard against which we must compare her.

Things pick up on disc 2's dance remixes of the up-tempo material, including her first ( and still best ) hit, "How Will I Know." And the Wyclef Jean coauthored, coproduced "My Love Is Your Love" is cannily remixed by Jonathan Peters : Its jittery beat deepens this love song's desperation.

The new versions mostly work, adding emphases and unexpected melodic turns that Houston's own phrasing misses. But for a package called THE GREATEST HITS, it's a gyp that Junior Vasquez' mix buries the great pop hook in "How Will I Know." And who needs two takes on "I Will Always Love You" and a courtesy-of-the-NFL live national anthem? Continually pursuing mega-record sales at the expense of invention, Houston needs to exhale - to loosen up and put more shoop-shoop R&B into her creative life. C+ - Ken Tucker

Music365 Review

Two disc set from multi-platinum uber-diva. Bit long.

Whitney. Has she gone barmy? The cover of this overdue, if a little over-stuffed, Hits comp, has La Houston wielding a large powerdrill around a room of platinum discs, with the sort of abandon that says just one thing: drugs. Barmy cover-concept aside, the collection is thoughtfully separated into the 'Cool Down' (Ballads) and 'Throw Down' (Groovers).

So, it will be of no surprise to most sane humans that Disc One stretches the meaning of the phrase "a bit difficult to stomach" into new realms. Kicking off with the sweet debut 'Saving All My Love For You', it continues in its electric piano intro fashion - a little bit shopping centre, a slight dash of Moonlighting, the same postcode as Kenny G - before the hysterical 'I Will Always Love You', which still rocks in a you'll-only-understand-it's-qualities-whilst-slumped-paralytic-at-a-wedding-reception-way, before limping through some later non-starters.

'Throw Down' is more platable. There's a new duet with George Michael ('If I Told You That') that sounds like somebody involved was rather fond of Brandy & Monica's 'The Boy Is Mine'. The recent creative makeover of 'My Love Is Your Love' and the storming, really rather ace 'It's Not Right But It's Okay' stand miles above her wretched version of 'I'm Every Woman' and the plastic '80s Beverly Hills Cop funk of 'So Emotional' and the large-patterned-fashion-mohair-jumper-encrusted-with-jewellery of 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and 'How Will I Know'.

It's safe to say that this would've been utterly horrible if it was released three years ago before her recent alright stuff, but the presence of some horrendous housed up versions of the likes of 'The Greatest Love Of All' tacked on at the end leaves a sour taste. A bit of selective pruning rather than the full-on snort of bad ideas and repeated wailing would have made a far more agreeable single disc.

That's agreeable as in finding-water-torture-more-agreeable-than-say-being-ripped-in-half-by-horses kind of way. ***

Ian Wade

Tue May 16 2000 13:56 BST


NME Review

Whitney Houston – Greatest Hits (Arista)

The timing couldn’t be worse. Issuing a double CD of Whitney Houston’s finest moments was intended to shore up her rapidly eroding soul diva supremacy against the rising tide of clued-up, modern successors to her throne – Missy Elliott, Lauren Hill, Kelis. Instead, appearing among rumours of drug abuse, wobbly appearances at awards ceremonies and the recent application of round the clock minders to Whitney – it seems more eulogy than testimonial.

When the teenage Whitney was ‘discovered,’ she appeared eugenically designed to become the queen of 80s R&B. The niece of Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin, she had steely, implausible beauty, a 24-carat voice and, soon, a trophy husband (Bobby Brown).

Her debut album sold over 20 million copies and mapped her future as a Perspex-encased superstar, so ubiquitous was she over the 16 years that this collection spans that even those who despise her will know the words to every song.

From the climate controlled pop of her earliest efforts (I Wanna Dance With Somebody) to the soporific sax solos and irksome self-importance of her peak (Greatest Love Of All) Whitney was always about the voice, (flawless, unassailable) than the songs (whitewashed AOR). It’s little surprise that one of Patrick Bateman’s best pre-slaughter pontifications in American Psycho is about Whitney. She embodied the superficial affluent hum of 80s commercial radio, where clichés were spun out with assembly line efficiency that had nothing to do with real emotions. Even when she applied those tonsils to their most famously dextrous moment – the inevitable ‘I Will Always Love You’ – it was with all the passion one might employ when extolling the virtues of a favourite shower gel.

The ‘My Love Is Your Love’ album from 1998 navigated a deft swing into hip-hop in order to rescue her from obsolescence. It yielded her best ever single in ‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,’ and it seemed she could indeed compete with the new order. Then the troubles began. The erratic behaviour and the marijuana in the suitcase. Strangely, however, this makes Whitney more likeable. As these numbing 30-odd tracks attest, it’s the first time in her career a bit of human frailty has shown through.

5 out of 5  

New York Daily News: Whitney goes half-wild [16 May 2000]

Latest album set is 1 part bad ballads and 1part boogie bliss. By Jim Farber -Daily News Music Critic

Whitney Houston The Greatest Hits

First LP **
Second LP ****

Whitney Houston want to let loose - badly. Speculation on any self-destructive methods she may have used to achieve this should be left the gossip sharks, who smelled blood in the water months ago.

But in terms of pure creativity, Houston uses her latest release as a constructive way to shake things up. Her Greatest Hits isn't a conventional best of set. It's a bipolar affair split between two CDs, one of which recycles Houston's boring old ballads. The second LP collects the thrilling dance remixes of her upbeat hits. The total set includes four never before released songs as well.

Everything great and worthy about the package can be found on the club oriented. Dubbed "Throwdown" this album isn't just an ecstatic piece of party music-it utterly redefines Houston as an artist. No longer is she the ice queen of bourgeois pop, belting out idealized sap. Here she's the siren of dance music, brimming with edgy sexual release. Houston arises as Donna Summer for a new generation only tweaked to the 10th power.

This is not Houston's first attempt to step out. Her last LP, 1998's "My Love Is Your Love" took an initial swipe at contemporary R & B - and made her seem young and vital for the first time in her overly controlled career.

The new dance LP takes a giant use High NRG and House productions effects to create a would of uplift and joy. "It's Not Right But It's Okay" sheds its original role as a cool R & B track to become a gospel-disco blowout. "Heartbreak Hotel" gets a new sexuality and spunk.

In her old ballads, Houston use her herculean voice to push schmaltz. In her dance mixes, she exudes erotic dynamism that no one else has the lung power to match.

The New stuff on the dance LP includes a duet with George Michael on "If I Told You That" blending their voices into a conspiratorial blur. Then there's a version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that's bold enough to launch a thousand ships.

The ballad LP includes two new tracks of its own. There's a nice tete-a-tete with labelmate Deborah Cox on "Same Script, Different Cast," which amounts to a grownup version of Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine." There's also a duet with Enrique Iglesias that makes cynical use of the Latin crossover craze. And as for all those soapy old ballads, their idealized view of romance becomes even more cloying when crowded together.

My suggestion: Use the ballad LP as a coaster at the party you will throw with the dance LP. The later captures the artist used to come.


For an artist who only released four proper albums in a 15-year career, it's astounding to recall how many hits Whitney Houston was able to achieve. The two CDs on Greatest Hits track Houston's rise from mid-'80s Top 40 balladeer to standard-setting diva. Disc 1, Cool Down, runs chronologically through Houston's down-tempo love songs, from "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You" to the cleverly conceived new duet with Deborah Cox, "Same Script, Different Cast." She's also showcased as the remixee of choice for DJs on the second disc, Throw Down, which serves as the antidote to the lovesick first disc. Calling in marquee mixmasters, Houston's old-shoe tunes get a new millennium polish. "My Love Is Your Love," reinterpreted by Jonathan Peters, captures the versatility of Houston's songs by making the downbeats danceable without going totally Euro-cheese. In contrast, Junior Vasquez's remix of 1985's "How Will I Know" pokes fun at the song's '80s fluffiness by layering in bells, lasers effects, and echoes on top of Whitney's enthusiastic vocals. --Heidi Sherman

The Arts/Short Takes/DVD
The Greatest Hits Whitney Houston
Christopher John Farley

Time Magazine
Time Inc.
Page 144+
(Copyright 2000)

Divas, one would think, have to keep up with the latest styles. But what's most remarkable about this DVD collection of videos, from You Give Good Love (1985) to I Learned from the Best (2000), is that Houston's sound and look seem timeless. Dressed, for the most part, in simple, elegant outfits and singing comfy pop-soul, Houston has created a body of work too mainstream to belong to a particular decade. in one of the DVD's "special features," she talks about her 1985 TV debut. The band was playing too slowly, so her mother Cissy began to conduct. Whitney learned from the best.

--By Christopher John Farley

The Star-Ledger Newark, NJ
Page 037
(c) 2000. The Star-Ledger. All rights reserved.

The Greatest Hits Whitney Houston (Two-CD set, Arista) ***1/2

Like "superstar," "greatest-hits album" is a term that s routinely inflated. In most cases, it signifies nothing more than the repackaging of a chart-topper or two with a bunch of other tracks that are only vaguely familiar, and maybe a few new ones to entice long-time fans.

This isn't the case here. Whitney Houston is a bona fide superstar, and her new greatest-hits collection, which is being released today, lives up to the billing. For 15 years, the East Orange native and current Mendham resident has been cranking out hits: This two-CD set includes 12 songs that hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine s pop chart, and 10 more that made the Top 10. Even in recent years, as Houston s behavior has grown more erratic and rumors have swirled about the possible causes, she hasn't lost her knack for
generating hits. Her 1998 album "My Love Is Your Love" has gone triple platinum (sales of more than 3 million) and yielded four Top 10 singles.

Clearly, she has the hits. The problem with this album is that she doesn't always present them in the best possible way.

The set starts strongly enough. The first, more ballad-oriented CD, proceeds   chronologically, with the early tracks, including "You Give Good Love" and "Saving All My Love For You," capturing Houston at her sunniest. As time goes on, she strikes more of a balance between love songs ("All the Man That I Need," "I Believe In You and Me") and darker, sadder material ("Where Do Broken Hearts Go," "Why Does It Hurt So Bad").

The early tracks ring with youthful conviction. On "Greatest Love Of All," it almost seems like she s trying to will her optimistic vision into coming true. Later, she shows more emotional sides, exuding everything from weariness on "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" to playfulness on the sing-songy "My Love Is Your Love."

The second CD, which is in reverse chronological order (so it starts with the more complex songs and grows more simple minded), is harder to love. Subtitled "Throw Down" (while the first CD is "Cool Down"), it s relentlessly upbeat. The songs aren t heard as they were originally released, but with an assortment of dance remixes, both new and old.

They aren t particularly inspired remixes. They re mostly cold and mechanical, and insensitive to the nuances of Houston s singing.  A

little of this goes a long way. While a celebratory anthem like "I m Every Woman" or a simple pop ditty like "How Will I Know" works with a booming beat, it s hard to see the value of adding one to "Greatest Love Of All" and "I Will Always Love You" (two of the four songs reprised from the first CD).

Houston could have added some variety with demos or concert recordings, but instead stuck to the remixes, showcasing her collaborators (including Junior Vasquez, David Morales, Jellybean, and Robert Clivilles and the late David Cole of the C&C Music Factory) instead of herself. That might be a shrewd strategy for a vocal lightweight like Cher, but Houston s glorious voice deserves better.

In another attempt at generating interest in this project, Houston includes three new tracks that don t rank among her best work, but aren t embarrassments, either. "Fine," coproduced by Q-Tip and Raphael Saadiq of Tony Toni TonE, has a sleek lite-funk sound but grows tiresomely repetitious. "Same Script, Different Cast" isn t much of a song, but gives Houston and duet partner Deborah Cox an opportunity to engage in some thrilling vocal sparring. "If I Told You That," originally heard on "My Love Is Your Love," features new
duet vocals by George Michael; it s fascinating to hear these two showy pop voices together.

Even more fireworks fly on "If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful," a passionate duet with Jermaine Jackson that was previously available only on Jackson's 1986 album "Precious Moments." Other tracks that will appeal to Houston completists include the soaring ballad "One Moment In Time," from a 1988 album commemorating the Summer Olympics; "The Star-Spangled Banner" (Houston s famous Super Bowl XXV version, from 1991); and "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," a slick new mix of the Enrique Iglesias duet included on
the 1999 album "Enrique."

Sonicnet.com - Whitney — The Greatest Hits, Whitney Houston (Arista)

Same Cast, Different Mix

By Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen

Two discs, 36 songs, four new tracks — how can you go wrong? Well, for starters, you include remixes instead of the original versions of 14 of Houston's dance songs, meaning that if you want the original version of "How Will I Know" or "I Wanna Dance With
Somebody," you have to buy her 1985 self-titled debut album.

Of course, if you're a Whitney fanatic, you probably already have it, so you're only buying The Greatest Hits for the new songs. "Same Script, Different Cast" features plucked harp strings and piano behind a duet with Deborah Cox, the two singers bemoaning that
they chose the same loser for a lover. "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," a duet with Enrique Iglesias, buries Houston's voice in Spanish guitar and synthesized strings.

Such examples demonstrate Houston is only as good as her material and her choices have
been spotty; a point the remixes drive home. The original version of "My Love Is Your Love" (RealAudio excerpt) is subtly seductive, while producer Jonathan Peters' house rhythms only distract from Houston's vocals on the remix (RealAudio excerpt). Then again, the Thunderpuss remix of "It's Not Right but It's Okay" offers a solid, club-conscious
alternative to the original. Not better, just different.

But if you don't already have all the original albums, remixes — no matter how good — aren't what you want. I guess that just gives the label an excuse to release yet another compilation down the road.


Atlanta Constitution Review

The Atlanta Constitution
Page D; 11
(Copyright, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution - 2000)

Whitney Houston . Arista. 36 tracks. Grade: B+

What makes Whitney Houston 's first collection of hits great is her. Not the songs.

Some of the most insultingly simple lines to ever come out of an incredibly gifted vocalist's mouth --- "I want to run to you/Oooh- hoo" --- have roared out of hers. And yet when the daughter of Aretha Franklin's back-up singer and cousin of classic song stylist Dionne Warwick wraps those genes around innocuous lyrics like "Shoop, shoop, shoop, shoo be-doop" they become shimmering anthems, fleetingly meaningful reflections of our emotions, and more than 15 times over her 15-year career, No. 1 hits.

On the first CD there's her masterfully manipulated big pop confections ("I Will Always Love You"), the occasional, really soulful R&B tunes ("Saving All My Love for You") and new radio-ready duets with Whitney-in-training Deborah Cox and Latin smolderer Enrique Iglesias.

The second CD of dance remixes is an appropriate nod to an artist who has held sway over so many genres. But without a gospel single from "The Preacher's Wife" soundtrack --- some of her most emotive work --- this isn't Whitney at her best.

--- Sonia Murray


Barnes & Noble.com

Whitney Houston is a phenomenal singer, and nothing hammers that fact home in grander style than this unconventional greatest-hits package, which splits the songbird's awe-inspiring work into two seperate discs: "Throw Down" and "Cool Down." Stuffed with Whitney's gorgeous ballads, the "Cool Down" platter features the precious "Saving All My Love for You" from her self-titled 1985 debut and the BODYGUARD soundtrack's ever-chilling ballad "I Will Always Love You." It also delivers several brand-new songs, including a steamy duet with Latin hearthrob Enrique Iglesias ("Could I Have This Kiss Forever") and a "my man done me wrong" pairing with Deborah Cox ("Same Script, Different Cast").

Although her vocal prowess is unbeatable, the quirky Houston has always taken a backseat, personality-wise, to dance-floor-driven divas such as Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey. But Houston proves she knows how to get her party on with the "Throw Down" disc's club-ready remixes of "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Learned from the Best." Another surprise treat is a revamped version of the sassy, up-tempo "If I Told You
That" from 1998's multi-platinum MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE, featuring George Michael
-- a diva in his own right.

Released at a time when Houston is plagued with rumors about her personal life, this double CD turns a remarkable trick. Astutely comprised of new tracks, revitalized old ones, and ageless classics, it's the most dynamic greatest-hits collection of all.

Tracy E. Hopkins


Whitney Houston

With this week's release of a double greatest hits CD, Houston may start making headlines more for monster record sales than her behind-the-scenes antics.

Divided along the lines of Cool Down (ballads like Saving All My Love For You and I Will Always Love You) and Throw Down (dance number remixes of songs including I Wanna Dance With Somebody), this is a greatest hits package that makes good listening sense.

While I probably won't ever listen to Cool Down, it does contain some rarities, like Houston's duet with Jermaine Jackson on If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful, from his 1986 CD Precious Moments.

There's also two new duets. Toronto's own Deborah Cox fares better with Houston on Same Script, Different Cast than Enrique Iglesias does on the soppy Could I Have This Kiss Forever (Metro Mix).

As for Throw Down, you'll probably find yourself dancing in spite of yourself to It's Not Right But It's Okay (Thunderpuss Mix), Step By Step (Junior Vasquez Mix) and I'm Every Woman (Clivilles & Cole Mix).

As for two new dance songs, George Michael enriches Houston's If I Told You That while Q-Tip's Fine falls flat.

Rarities on the Throw Down disc are her 1988 Summer Olympics theme, One Moment In Time, and her much-talked-about version of The Star Spangled Banner at the 1991 SuperBowl.

Just try singing along to that.

CNN - "Whitney: The Greatest Hits"

Whitney Houston (Arista)

Two discs with 36 tracks make up the definitive retrospective of Whitney Houston's remarkable career thus far, showing her as one of the few artistes for whom the word "diva" is truly applicable. This rewarding greatest hits package combines one set of supreme hit ballads with a collection of sizzling pop-dance remixes. Both are enhanced by fresh duets with Enrique Iglesias, Q-Tip and George Michael.

Review of 'Whitney The Greatest Hits From New Nation

Whitney: The Greatest Hits (Arista)

During Every decade in R&B, there’s one female artist whose vocal style, mixed with the right material, stands tall. In the 60s there was Aretha, the 70s Diana and then Whitney in the 80s.

Seven albums, a staggering 140 million sales and an enormous list of awards later, Whitney brings out her greatest hits. The 36-track double CD complication takes you through a musical journey from her days of doggy pop wigs in tracks like I Wanna Dance With Somebody, to her vocal blossoming in I Will Always Love You. New Material like Fine produced by Q-Tip and Raphael Saadiq – take Whitney to even greater heights, changing Whitneys vocals to a much lower tone, with an added hip-hop bassline. An ideal gift for die-hards and, for those that think she’s a blan ballad singer, this album proves why she’s still perched on the diva throne.

4/5- Alive and kickin’ ass.

Essence Review Of 'Whitney The Greatest Hits'

Whitney-The Greatest Hits (Arista) reminds listeners of the enormous talent this artist demonstrated on "You Give Good Love" 15 years ago, how she has grown, and the fact she has a long career road ahead. The 36-track collection has two CDs, one brimming with ballad hits, the other with signature cuts and new club mixes. Special gems include new duets with Enrique Inglesias, George Michael and Deborah Cox, who trades sassy lines with Whitney on the emphatic "Same Script, Different Cast." As always, Whitney shines.


CD Now Review

Ego and the obnoxious album cover (which shows Houston mounting her platinum albums to a wall) aside, Whitney Houston's long overdue Greatest Hits album is a very comprehensive set, including nearly all of the songstress' hits as well as a collection of choice remixes. Divided into two CDs, the album's 36 tracks trace her career from her highly polished pop singles of the mid-'80s to her more recent, hipper R&B leanings, leaving few stones unturned.

Disc one plays it straight with nearly all of Houston's hit ballads, ironically showing just how similar the musical arrangements to her early songs were. Oddly, the set leaves off her 1998 duet with Mariah Carey, "When You Believe," from The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack -- perhaps the result of diva rivalry?

The new song "Same Script, Different Cast" and the newly re-recorded "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" feature duets with fellow R&B chanteuse Deborah Cox and Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, respectively. The former expertly borrows a piano riff from Beethoven's "Fur Elise" behind Houston and Cox's beautifully paired vocals, while the re-mixed latter track displays a sultry rhythm that resuscitates what was an otherwise lifeless ballad from Iglesias' Enrique album.

Disc two, focusing mostly on club versions of Houston's hits, reads like a who's who of remixers of the past 15 years -- Jellybean, C+C Music Factory, Junior Vasquez, Hex Hector, and others are represented. The collection smartly includes the greatly-improved-over-the-original "It's Not Right But It's Okay," remixed by Thunderpuss 2000, and the highly danceable Clivilles and Cole mix of "I'm Every Woman." Also included are one new track, the funky, mid-tempo "Fine," and a revisited version of "If I Told You That," a song that rips off the musical arrangement of the Brandy/Monica hit "The Boy Is Mine," with a guest appearance by George Michael.

Unfortunately, Vasquez's remixes of Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and "How Will I Know" do not fare as well as the CD's other mixes; both come off as '80s-pop fluff despite his efforts. Surprisingly, Vasquez's take on "The Greatest Love of All" nicely updates the ballad into a slick house track.

Two noteworthy inclusions -- "One Moment in Time" from The 1988 Summer Olympics Album and Houston's live rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" from Super Bowl XXV -- round out Greatest Hits, bringing to an end an expertly organized, if ego-inflated, album.

Vibe Magazine

With all of the speculation on Whitney Houston's personal life, we sometimes forget prossional triumph. She is, after all, a singer who combines the creamy tone and pitch-perfect dramatic instincts of a born pop princess with a supple, silvery soulfulness.
The two-disc collection of timeless tunes and remixed classics, Whitney: Te Greatest Hits, attests to her ability to turn drippy adult contemporary pabulum like " Didn't We Almost Have It All" into showcases for her virtuosity. Better still, it reminds us that given the right vehicle - such as a shimmering ballad like " Saving All My Love For You"- Houston can perform pure pop-soul magic.

Remixes of her past hits hold up impressively, thanks to the exubeant rhythmic intuition of such track masters as Junior Vasquez and David David Morales. On several new duets, though, Houston easily outclasses her collaborators: Enrique Iglesias on the sinuous, Latin-flavored " Could I Have This Kiss Forever," George Michael on the lithely thumping "If I Told You That," and Deborah Cox on the sassy " Same Script, Different Cast."
Whatever her personal foibles, Houston remains an invincible artist. Let's just hope some of that good love she keeps giving us is getting back to her.

-Elysa Gardner


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Kevin C. Johnson

Whitney Houston "The Greatest Hits," Arista Records.

Superstar Whitney Houston 's simply titled greatest-hits collection, rumored for a couple of years, finally sees the light of day as a double CD featuring more than 30 songs.

The singer, whose great big voice and schmaltzy sound have influenced a generation of singers, including Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Toni Braxton, is in the news for reasons other than her music these days. But "The Greatest Hits" will remind fans why they fell in love with her in the first place.The CD also will make non- fans scratch their heads wondering why anyone could love her at all. Although Houston's vocal capabilities have never been called into question (at least until recently), she has frequently chosen flawed
material, and that's evident on "The Greatest Hits."

Houston breaks the CDs down into two distinct sides, a Cool Down side for the lover in you and a Throw Down side for those who like to groove.

It's the Cool Down side, full of ballads, that best points out her propensity for layering her vocals atop tunes not worthy of her. Hearing "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "All the Man That I Need," and "The Greatest Love of All" back-to-back-to-back showcases an artist afraid to stretch, resulting in a flurry of sound-alike snoozers.

Things get better during her "The Bodyguard" era, represented here with "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," and the song that made "The Bodyguard" one of the best-selling albums ever - "I Will Always Love You." Even more noticeable changes for the better come with focuses on other soundtracks featuring Houston, such as "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Here, Houston reminds us she's an R&B singer and doesn't have to rely on that straight-up pop thing.

The Cool Down side winds up with a couple of new songs. "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" is a duet with Enrique Iglesias that previously appeared on the Latin singer's CD, and is nicely tweaked here. "Same Script, Different Cast" pairs Houston with a singer primed to replace her one day, Deborah Cox, who sounds as good as Houston did in her not-so-long-ago heyday. 

The Throw Down side begins greatly with "Fine," a wonderful composition from the hands of Raphael Saadiq and Q-Tip. "If I Told You That," a stellar cut from Houston's "My Love Is Your Love," is revisited with newly added vocals from George Michael. After these two songs, the second CD is overcome with a number of DJ-ready remixes of her upbeat hits. This may sound like a dream for true for dance music fiends, but truly, the original
versions of songs like "How Will I Know" and "It's Not Right But It's Okay" are better than the drastically different and dreadful versions here.

With "The Greatest Hits" enabling Houston to bide her time between new CD releases, she might want to look back at the chances she didn't take in her career and try to remedy that in the future.

The New Straits Times

Sensational As Ever
Reviewed by Gerald Martinez

New Sunday Times - Style;

WHITNEY HOUSTON - The Greatest Hits WHITNEY was an immediate  sensation when her first album hit the charts in 1985.

Born August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, to renowned gospel and soul singer Cissy Houston (and with Dionne Warwick for a cousin), it wa not surprising that Whitney was blessed with a sublimely creamy, agile voice- and picture-perfect looks to boot.

The singer delivered the sort of buoyant dance tunes and smooth, hummable ballads that are equally at home on the pop, R&B, and adult- contemporary charts.

Since then, Whitney has become a star of the highest order, one whose appeal crossed races, cultures, and generations.

As a child, Houston sang in her family's church choir. At 15 she began performing in her mother's nightclub act.

While attending Catholic high school, the lithe beauty signed with a modeling agency and posed for magazines, including Glamour and Vogue.

Her debut album, It, shot to No. 1 and generating the smash singles You Give Good Love (No. 3 pop, No 1 R&B, 1985), Saving All My Love for You (No.1 pop and R&B, 1985), How Will I Know (No. 1 pop and R&B, 1985) and Greatest Love of All (No. 1 pop, No. 3 R&B, 1986).

Her second album, Whitney, solidified Houston's success, reaching No 1 and spawning I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (No.1 pop, No.2 R&B, 1987), Didn't We Almost Have It All (No.1 pop, No.2 R&B, 1987), So Emotional (No 1 pop, No 5 R&B, 1987), Where Do Broken Hearts Go (No 1 pop, No. 2 R&B, 1988 and Love Will Save the Day (No 9 pop, No 5 R&B, 1988 .

Also in 1988, Houston recorded One Moment in Time, NBC-TV's theme song for the Summer Olympics (No 5 pop).

In 1990, I'm Your Baby Tonight topped the pop and R&B charts, as did All The Man That I Need. The 1992 film, The Bodyguard, in which she made her acting debut (as a singing star, opposite Kevin Costner), was a huge success at the box office and as well as musically.

The movie's soundtrack-with six tracks sung by Houston-proved even more successful, hitting No. 1 and producing a monster single, Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You (1992), which remained at the top of the chart for an unprecedented 14 weeks, as well as a cover of Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman (No 4 pop, No. 5 R&B, 1993) and I Have Nothing (No 4 pop and R&B, 1993).

This double CD collection has just about all the songs above, plus a second disc made up of remixes of several of her hits.

They have been discofied and technofied, even the ballads. Whether you like the driving upbeat versions is a matter of taste, but hey, they are different and you can always dance to it!


Orlando Sentinel

Let's test your pop music memory. How many of the following song lyrics do you know the tune to: "I found the greatest love of all inside of me ...", "Didn't we almost have it all ...", "I want one moment in time ...", "So I'm saving all my love for you ..."? If you're my age or older, there's a good chance you remember the tune to each one and you're finishing the chorus in your head right now while you're reading this. And there's a great chance you know who Whitney Houston is.

Like many others, I became your average Houston fan when the The Bodyguard soundtrack came out in '92. But like many others, I'm not willing to go down to Best Buy and fish out her earlier albums that contain most of her popular and best work, such as "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," "How Will I Know?".

Thankfully, Houston finally has released a greatest hits CD. The double album contains almost all of her hit singles from the past 15 years, plus a few new tracks. The first CD, Cool Down, has all the popular ballads. Song after song, her voice, smoky and soaring at the same time, is just amazing to listen to. 

Of course with the good stuff must come the not-so-good stuff. The good: In case you missed The Bodyguard soundtrack, all five of the hit songs are on this album, including "I Will Always Love You" and "Run to You." The not-so-good: "Exhale (Shoop,Shoop)" and "Why Does It Hurt So Bad" from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack are here, too. They are too mellow.

Houston performs some duets with other famous singers. The good: Her incredible duet with Deborah Cox called "Same Script, Different Cast" plays like a conversation in a Broadway musical. In the song, Houston warns her friend that her current boyfriend eventually will break her heart. The bad: Her duet with Enrique Iglesias sounds like every other Iglesias single I've heard.

The second CD, Throw Down, has mostly dance remixes of more of her popular songs, such as "I'm Every Woman" and "I'm Your Baby Tonight." They don't beat the original versions, but the remix of "It's Not Right But It's Okay" really works well.

I recommend this CD to everyone no matter what age you are. You'll be singing those old favorites in your car in no time. Oh, and one more thing: Remember to take a long break every now and then while listening to this double album. The average human being can only stand so much of her at one time.


LA Weekly Review
by Ernest Hardy

There were two jaw-dropping, stunning-for-all-the-wrong-reasons R&B moments during the recently televised Arista tribute special. The first was when Aretha Franklin — black cornrows swept up into a scarifying blond weave, a fleck of what looked like gristle sitting high on her cheek — inexplicably peppered her most awful hit (“Freeway of Love”) with shouts of “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” while Boyz II Men shuffled aimlessly behind her. The second showstopping bit occurred when Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown — Sonny & Cher by way of HBO’s The Corner — enlivened Houston’s dreary diva medley with an out-of-left-field segue into the hook from Trick Daddy’s hood-rat anthem “Who Dat” (“Eye-yi-yi-yi-yi . . . Who dat? Who dat? Who dat?”), and spectacular television was enjoyed by all.

Thank god for non sequiturs. Sadly, they’ve been all but airbrushed from Houston’s new greatest-hits collection — which is why it’s damn near unlistenable. The first of the two discs is the “Cool Down” side, i.e., the ballads. One track slides too smoothly into the next, with Whitney’s voice — so strong, so assured, so boring — anchoring saccharine production and even sappier songwriting. All the big hits are here: “You Give Good Love,” “Saving All My Love for You,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Will Always Love You,” “My Love Is Your Love.” With the exception of the Wyclef Jean–produced, reggae-tinged “My Love Is Your Love,” they’re practically indistinguishable; it’s painful to listen to more than one “hit” at a time. Two new songs are added to this mellow batch of familiarity: “Same Script, Different Cast” (a duet with fledgling diva Deborah Cox) and “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” (a duet with offensive ethnic stereotype Enrique Iglesias). Cox and Houston sound eerily alike, which ironically sparks a bit of chemistry between the women — narcissism as aphrodisiac. Too bad it’s wasted on yet another trifling song about the doglike nature of men. Iglesias pants and sighs his way through his lines, trying to smolder but whimpering instead.

The “Throw Down” disc is filled with astonishingly bad dance remixes of old hits like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “How Will I Know” and “So Emotional.” Hex Hector and Junior Vasquez (and an uncharacteristically uninspired David Morales) take recordings that at least once had some minor charm or appeal (or, in the case of the Annie Lennox–penned “Step by Step,” were actually good) and turn them all into the soundtrack for an endless awful night at Rage. New material on this disc includes another duet (“If I Told You That,” with George Michael) and Whitney in solo mode on “Fine.”

On paper, the Houston-Michael coupling is inspired: Together they symbolize two-thirds of the sex-drugs-and-rock-&-roll triptych. But Michael simply adds his pinched, nasal vocals to the track that was originally found on Houston’s album My Love Is Your Love, the result of which is two people singing at one another and daring the listener to care. Only on the stellar R&B track “Fine” does Whitney stand out. Co-written by Raphael Saadiq (Tony! Toni! Tone!, Lucy Pearl) and produced by Saadiq and Q-Tip (and mixed by DJ Quik), “Fine” is soulful, funky and tight as hell. And the vocal performance ranks among Whitney’s best.

A lot of moaning fans have used this career retrospective to make the case that Whitney Houston’s voice ain’t quite the spectacular instrument it once was. It’s not, and so what? Sacrificing flawless and soulless technique is a small price to pay if the end result is a singer who actually feels the lyrics, who climbs inside the words and transforms them into something living.

That’s not to suggest we should swing to the other end of the spectrum and splash unearned props on the heads of folks like Mary J. Blige, who’s all raw emotion but just can’t sing. It’s also not to shrug away the horrendous live performances Houston has turned in for the past year or so on various awards shows. But it is celebrating the middle ground that should actually be the aesthetic apex for truly great singers: talent, technique and soul. Too much of modern R&B is either pointless and excessive screaming, or chilly stylistic perfection stripped of any human connection. Whitney has been a hugely influential presence in modern pop music — with almost no significant music to show for it. She’s the clear model for the likes of (early) Mariah Carey, Deborah Cox and even Christina Aguilera, all of whom have lifted her diva moves, aesthetics and vocal tics. But that’s not the stuff legacies are built upon.

Now that Whitney seems to be lifting her own private-life cues from the Esther Phillips story, she’s finally gotten interesting. Her voice has a grainy, simmering texture that snags coolly on funkdafied riffs, making her comfortably at home with Missy Elliott, Q-Tip and DJ Quik in ways she could never be with, say, Diane Warren. Here’s hoping she pulls a David Bowie move, uses this greatest-hits enema to retire her catalogue, and keeps on the career path and possibilities so clearly marked out on the very fine “Fine.”

Ebony - July 2000

Whitney-The Greatest Hits (Arista) reminds listeners of the enormous talent this artist demonstrated on "you Give Good Love" 15 years ago, how she has grown, and the fact she has a long career road ahead. The 36-tract collection has two CD's, one brimming the ballard hits, the other with signature cuts and new club mixes. Special gems include new duets with Enrique Inglesias, George Michael and Deobrah Cox, who trades sassy lines with Whitney on the emphatic "same Script, Different Cast." As always, Whitney Shines.

Q Magazine

Whitney Houston The Greatest Hits

Come gentle bombs, and rain on Houston

On the cover of this 2CD collection, Whitney Houston appears to be destroying some platinum discs with a large drill. After 10 minutes of CD1 ­ the ballad selection ­ youıd like to join her. 'I Will Always Love You' and 'The Greatest Love Of All' have both been sung with more grace and feeling, by Dolly Parton, who wrote the former, and Kevin Rowland, who seemed possessed by the latter. Houston, for all her much-trumpeted gospel and soul roots, has never sounded possessed by anything other than the desire to show off how long she can hold a note. This approach spills over less into CD2, as the songs are often faster, such as the Fugees-by-numbers 'My Love Is Your Love' and the George Michael duet, 'If I Told You That'. The other new songs 'Same Script Different Cast' with Deborah Cox, 'Could I Have This Kiss Forever' with Enrique Iglesias, and 'Fine' stand out just enough to make fools soon be parted with their money, while the padding out of CD2 with remixes of old songs displays a cynical laziness akin to throwing a corpse onto an electric fence just to watch it dance. 2 stars.

David Quantick

Reporter.pl - Poland Review

Word on this album had been prominent a few weeks before it's official release - especially on the internet.  The content of the album has changed on several occasions with songs being added, taken away as well as changes in collaborators and producers.  Even the photography and style of the cover has changed since original inception.

And all this to celebrate Whitney Houston's returns in the year 2000 and the 25th anniversary of Arista records, the record label responsible for her 15 year career output - my God how this time has flown!

So everything had to be in the right measure  for such an artist and such anniversary.  And it is. They resigned from the original suggested title  - "The Greatest Hits of The Greatest Voice of All",  but with excellence, it is substituted by the picture on the cover. Whitney is dressed in an impeccable evening dress, stepping up on an aluminium painter's ladder, with a blue drill which she uses to screw her Platinum albums into the wall of the room (and also the floor and ceiling!).   On the floor in chaos lie a dozen or so similar discs.  Need I say any more? Probably not.

Inside we have two CDs and on them literally everything in the form of 35 songs - sixteen American and British number one hits plus songs which have never been released on a  Whitney album before as well as dance remixes. And of course, a few more or less new   compositions.  In a word, everything for which so many love her and others hates her.  All the songs deserve commenting on.   Unfortunately, there is no way to write about all of them as it is two and half hours of music and is therefore enough material for three, not one album . So, I've decided to write about only a few songs and it will be the lesser known ones.  We have already heard so much about some of them.  We have a few surprises here.   There's a place on the album for a song which wasn't a single and came from debut album - All At Once.  A lesser known song in Europe called 'I Believe In You And Me' is here from The Preacher's Wife soundtrack.   A duet with the brother of Michael, Jermaine Jackson also features.  It is a sweet production from 1984 called If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful.  There is also the theme song from the Seoul Olympic Games, One Moment In Time, which never featured on a Whitney album.

I'm Your Baby Tonight, from the album of the same name can be found in two versions - the first is probably only known to a small group of European fans as it is the American version of the songs.  The second is the Dronez Mix and I don't exaggerate in saying that it is not even a 21st, but a 22nd Century remix.  The same with the remix of 'Greatest Love Of All.  In the opinion of my Radio DJ friends, it is one of the best if not the best house productions in the short history of this sort of music.   Supporters of harder dance rhythms will probably find the remix of 'I Will Always Love You' by Hex Hector to be pleasant enough, but in my opinion this respected wizard of sound didn't show all his ability here or showcase the song itself.  An excellent job of It's Not Right But It's Okay by remixers Chris Cox & Barry Harris, known very well for their good club and dance remixes.  Also falling into the hands of remixers is the duet with Enrique Iglesias called Could I Have This Kiss Forever.  The mood of the songs is reminiscent of Bailamos or Rhythm Divine, but this time Enrique is in the shadow.  We can clearly hear one voice and that is Whitney.  The song will be promoted in the Latin markets and has been promo'd in Mexico.

If we listen to If I Told You That, well, George Michael sung probably the best he could in this production by Rodney Jerkins.  Neat and turned up, at times it would seem that George wants to be Miss Houston - however, it is a listening pleasure.  I have to agree with opinions that the duet is designed to increase sales of the CD in Great Britain.  Generally, this collaboration wasn't necessary for her or him. But thanks to that we listeners have a 'tasty piece of music.  Also by way of tasty - which is really the majority of this CD - are two new songs which are left to the end of the CD.  The fantastic Fine is produced by Q-Tip (know for his work with Janet Jackson on the superb Got 'Til It's Gone), this is a very modern composition.   In mood, it is close to Got 'Til It's Gone and My Love Is Your Love from the last Whitney project, but it is enriched by new delivery, especially in vocal arrangement.   Melodically, the vocals appear to be simple but this is just the initial perception - clearly Whitney is the best.

For the listener and fans, Whitney shows off the range of her voice on this CD and  proves once again that she can sing anything.  And she is doing it!     For the doubters, you will believe when you hear the last of the duets, Same Script, Different Cast, this time with Deborah Cox. In opinion of a lot of critics, Same Script, Different Cast is is one of the most interesting and best female duets in years.  And I agree with this opinion.  As previous collaborations on Count On Me with CeCe Winans and Heartbreak Hotel with Faith Evans and Kelly Price showed, Whitney's duets with artists such as Mariah or George had these artists achieving their best results.  With Deborah she achieved something more, creating almost a new trend, another way, another completely new and fantastic degree of initiation.  This song is as much lyrically enticing as is it's  instrumental composition.  The leading role, two excellent actresses.  It has no distractions or unnecessary sounds or useless vocal acrobatics, and showcases each others vocal ability.  I always say that the simpler the song the more beautiful it is. 

Even for just this duet, one should buy this CD. Another reason - almost one million English and Irish bought this CD in the last few days, so in it's first week of sales it makes debuts at Number One on the British Chart overtaking the very popular Britney Spears.  When we factor in that Whitney didn't release any singles to promote the album...

At this time, with pleasure I present :The Greatest Hits of The Greatest Voice of All.  And if you want to check out a Whitney Website - (to check if the CD is worth it?) go to www.classicwhitney.com.

Tomasz Gasiennica -Józkowy .2000.05.25

Guardian: Whitney Houston
The Greatest Hits

Modestly waiting 15 years to compile her hits meant that Houston had too many to fit on one CD, so disc 1 is devoted to ballads, disc 2 to uptempo stuff. No prizes for deducing that the latter is eminently more listenable. The likes of I Will Always Love You and Greatest Love of All weren't just a waste of one of the potentially great soul voices; they opened the door for Celine Dion. But Houston remembers her gospel and R&B roots often enough to counterbalance the slush with rootsier offerings like I'm Your Baby Tonight and It's Not Right But It's Okay. New duets with George Michael and (especially titanically) Enrique Iglesias complete a couple of hours of diva-style fun. (CS)

VirginNet: Whitney - The Greatest Hits
Whitney Houston

Released: 15/05/2000
Label: Arista

Not the most exciting release to hit the shelves this season, but you can't argue with a good tune and there more than a few of them here. Whitney has been knocking out the emotionally wrought, but perfectly groomed, plastic soul tunes for fifteen years now and made history in America when her first album (1985's daringly titled Whitney Houston) was thr first by a female artist to enter the charts at number one. Since then she's notched up hit after hit (30-odd of which are here) and influenced a whole generation of younger pretenders like Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton.With this many quality songs to choose from (Saving All My Love For You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, My Love Is Your Love) it seems strage that this 2CD set is padded out with four rather lacklustre "dance" mixes and there are odd omissions (like My Name Is Not Susan). However, all in all this is a substantial product and a fair representation of Whitney's incredibly successful (commercially if not always artistically) career. But mainly one for the fans, there's nothing new (apart from the aforesaid appalling dance mixes) to win over new listeners.



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