Loathe as I am to put a single solitary dime in the pockets of Whitney Houston’s family or estate given their plans to pimp Nippy out from beyond the grave, I’d be lying if I told you that mere moments ago I wasn’t getting my entire life listening to the just released recording of Whitney singing a cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 hit Higher Love. In fact, I’m planning my entire summer around it.
According to Variety, Whitney recorded the track in 1991 after having performed it on tour in Tokyo the previous year.
The recording was intended for her third album, “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” according to the official social media account of Clive Davis, the former Arista Records boss who discovered and developed Houston to become one of the biggest pop singers of the 1980s and 1990s.
Also according to Instagram, Norwegian DJ Kygo remixed the recording, which dropped at midnight East Coast time.
As mentioned above, both Clive Davis and DJ Kygo teased the release on social media.
And so, without further ado, here’s a sweet summer kiss from Whitney.
I had a tolerate/hate relationship with Higher Love when it was first released. In 1986 Steve Winwood was just some old white dude I had never heard of, and Whitney was my everything. But back in those days my Top 40 radio station of choice (Live 105/KITS- shout out to the Bay Area) played both of them ad nauseam. But anytime Steve Winwood (or god forbid Dire Straits) came on, I’d switch over to KMEL in hopes of catching How Will I Know which. Was. My. Jam. Now the world’s a mixed up confusing place where Whitney’s dead, Steve’s probably not, and a song I never much cared for has slipped into a special place in my heart.
But I’m keeping my $1.29 or whatever. This old, new Whitney song will find its way onto my playlist by any other means necessary. I’m not giving her estate a dime.