Say You Wanna Dance

Today is the start of a new series which features songs by singers that I’m not a fan of being sung by people I do like. The original artists are often successful and far more well known than those I’ve chosen, though they’re also performers that I wouldn’t usually admit to liking. I had planned to feature Whitney Houston at a later date, but her untimely death over the weekend has pushed her to the front of the queue. Her first appearances on the musical scene in the eighties coincided with my own introduction to music during that decade, first through music videos, then the radio and finally the humble cassette tape. I remember being particularly struck by the 1987 single from her second album, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), possibly her finest performance

It mightn’t seem like a song that David Byrne would take on, but he does a really good job of it on a live performance from Paris that was recorded over a decade ago. It was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who also wrote How Will I Know, a successful single from Houston’s debut album. Evan Dando puts his own particular spin on it on his version taken from The Lemonheads 1996 single, If I Could Talk I’d Tell You. Didn’t We Almost Have It All was another single from the Whitney album, this time written by Michael Masser and Will Jennings. It’s sung below by a Swedish singer named Timo Räisänen and is taken from his 2008 album … And Then There Was Timo. Look out for more entries in this series that I’m going to call Guilty Pleasures Uncovered for the want of a better title

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston cover) – David Byrne

How Will I Know (Whitney Houston cover) – Evan Dando

Didn’t We Almost Have It All (Whitney Houston cover) – Timo Raisanen


One thought on “Say You Wanna Dance

  1. I’ve been guilty of a few Whitney covers myself, nothing ever recorded, thanks be to jaysus. I was always partial to a little “One Moment in Time” or was it “The Greatest Love of All”. Not 100% certain, they all kind of blend together in a Radio Dublin 100FM (post Century Radio, pre-Radio Ireland, now Today FM) mishmash of lovesong cheese. God, I miss Radio Dublin.

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