This was the sixth of seven consecutive #1 US singles for Houston - a record that still stands. This incredible run was all from song from her first two albums, a time when Houston was totally devoid of controversy and willing to record whatever songs Clive Davis recommended.
"At that point in time, Clive was just looking for great pop material for Whitney," Billy Steinberg said in his Songfacts interview. "He didn't care where he got the songs from and she sang the hell out of them. Later in her career they became very self-conscious about who she was. They wanted to make her sound more urban and give her more urban cred, so they would have avoided songs like 'So Emotional' or 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody
.' In a way it's a shame because Whitney really delivered those songs and she delivered ballads very well like 'I Will Always Love You
.' She could sing anything, but there was pressure to show that she could sing the hip-hop with the best of them.
There's a long history in the world of pop singers like the Drifters. The Drifters sang these great pop songs like 'Up On The Roof
,' 'There Goes My Baby
,' 'Under The Boardwalk
' or 'On Broadway
' - those were great Drifters songs. The idea of a great black singer singing a great pop song yet bringing something extra to it that a white singer couldn't provide, that's a great thing in music and I think that's what was going on with the early Whitney career. The same thing happened with Deborah Cox, an unbelievably gifted singer. She was also signed to Clive Davis at Arista and she's a very beautiful, very elegant woman from Montreal. I did some work with her and they had that same concern with her. They didn't want to make her sound like a pop singer, they had to hunt for some kind of urban credibility for her. I think some singers just sing the pop really well and it's a shame that they just can't sing it.
I think Clive recognized that Whitney singing big pop ballads wouldn't get on the big pop charts, that it would only be successful on Adult Contemporary, and Clive's never satisfied with just getting on Adult Contemporary. He's a visionary and he realized for her to have continuing credibility, it would have to move beyond that, and where would that be? Well, it's the era of hip-hop, so that's the direction they had to pursue. If anything, it was unfortunate as a songwriter because it takes that artist away from me. The kind of songs that I can deliver weren't wanted any more by Whitney Houston."