Greatest Love of All

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"The Greatest Love of All" is a song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed and originally recorded by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali biopic The Greatest. (A live version by Benson appears on 1978's Weekend in L.A.). The song was also recorded in 1979 by Shirley Bassey, for her album "The Magic is You".

The song was further popularized by Whitney Houston under the title "Greatest Love of All". The song was recorded by the American recording artist for her debut album, self-titled Whitney Houston, which was released in February 1985, by Arista Records.

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.

The song became a major hit, topping the charts in Australia, Canada and the US, while reaching the top 20 in most countries, including Italy, Sweden and UK. It remains her third biggest US hit, after "I Will Always Love You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)".[1] All three songs, in order of their former popularity, re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart, after Houston's death, debuting the same week at numbers 7, 35 and 41, respectively, giving Houston three posthumous chart hits.[source?]

Whitney Houston version[change | change source]

"Greatest Love of All"
Single by Whitney Houston
from the album Whitney Houston
B-side"Thinking About You"
ReleasedMarch 18, 1986
FormatCD single, cassette single, 7-inch single, 12" single
RecordedDecember 1984
GenreSoul, R&B
Length4:48
LabelArista
Songwriter(s)Michael Masser, Linda Creed
Producer(s)Michael Masser
Whitney Houston singles chronology
"How Will I Know"
(1986)
"Greatest Love of All"
(1986)
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
(1987)
"How Will I Know"
(1986)
"Greatest Love of All"
(1986)
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
(1987)
Whitney Houston track listing
"Take Good Care of My Heart"
(8)
"Greatest Love of All"
(9)
"Hold Me"
(10)
Music video
"Greatest Love of All" at YouTube

Clive Davis, founder of Houston's label Arista Records, was initially against Houston recording the song for her debut studio album, Whitney Houston, but he eventually gave in after persuasion from Houston and Masser. It was released as the B-side to the single "You Give Good Love", a previous Top 5 hit by Houston. The song was eventually released as a single in its own right. The song, released in March 18, 1986, was the seventh release from Houston's debut album, and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May of that year.[2]

Houston's album version features a piano intro, while the single version begins with a keyboard intro. After the single became a success, it replaced the original album version on subsequent pressings of the album. However, the original version was restored for the 2010 Deluxe Anniversary Edition reissue of the album.

References[change | change source]

  1. Whitney Houston's Biggest Billboard Hits: A Look at Her Legendary Chart Career
  2. Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 636.