Didn't We Almost Have It All

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"Didn't We Almost Have It All"
Single by Whitney Houston
from the album Whitney
B-side Shock Me (Special Collector's Bonus Cut)
Released August 13, 1987
Format CD single, Cassette single, 7" single
Recorded 1986
Genre R&B, soul
Length 5:07 (Album Version)
4:38 (Single Version)
Label Arista
Writer(s) Michael Masser, Will Jennings
Producer(s) Michael Masser
Whitney Houston singles chronology
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
(1987)
"Didn't We Almost Have It All"
(1987)
"So Emotional"
(1988)
Whitney track listing
"Love Will Save The Day"
(3)
"Didn't We Almost Have It All"
(4)
"So Emotional"
(5)
Music video
"Didn't We Almost Have It All" on YouTube

"Didn't We Almost Have It All" is the second single from Whitney Houston's second album Whitney. The song was written by Michael Masser and Will Jennings and was released in August 1987. It received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.

Originally, another song was to be released as the second single, "For the Love of You," but Arista Records decided to release "Didn't We Almost Have It All" instead because all Houston's singles had to be original material at this point of her career.[1]

The single was number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 even though there was not a video for the song. A live performance of the song recorded during Houston's successful 1987–1988 Moment of Truth World Tour was played on MTV, VH1, and BET. The performance is from a Saratoga Springs, New York date. It was widely speculated that the song is about Houston's relationship with then NFL star Randall Cunningham.

Critical reception[edit]

Rob Wynn of Allmusic highlighted the song.[2] L.A. Times editor Robert Hilburn wrote: "Houston's stardom will be boosted most by "Didn't We Almost Have It All," a sweeping Masser-Will Jennings ballad with the kind of big, emotional finish that will make Liza and hundreds of other singers wish they had been given first crack at the song. I'll save my champagne for pop singers who don't add that overblown song to their repertoire."[3] Rolling Stone's Vince Alleti wrote: "Masser reprises the show-tune schmaltz of "The Greatest Love of All" in his even cornier "Didn't We Almost Have It All."[4] According to Whintey fanpage: "But there is a cut on the album whose title inadvertently sums up Houston at this stage of her development -- "Didn't We Almost Have It All."[5] St. Petersburg Times editors Eric Snider and Annelise Wamsley described "Didn't We Almost Have It All," as "an overblown tune co-written by Michael Masser (...) that finds Houston stripped of subtlety - with her wire-to-wire belting, you can just see the fetching songstress looking skyward, arms outstretched."[6] Following Houston's death in 2012, Entertainment Weekly published a list of her 25 best songs and ranked "Didn't We Almost Have It All" at number 16 because "so transformative was Houston's voice that she was able to make lite-FM ballads like this one sound effortlessly rich and melancholic".[7]

Chart performance[edit]

It debuted at number forty one on the Hot 100 the week of August 22, 1987 and six weeks later reached number one. "Didn't We Almost Have It All" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, from September 26 to October 3, 1987, where the song became her fifth consecutive number one.[8] The song also topped both component charts, the Hot 100 Singles Sales and Hot 100 Airplay, Houston's fourth song (and fourth consecutive release) to do so. The single stayed in the Top 40 for 13 weeks, and topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts for three weeks.[9] It has sold over one million copies World Wide.

Internationally, the song hit the top ten in several markets, and reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom (#14); Switzerland (#18); and Germany (#20).

"Didn't We Almost Have It All" was ranked 22nd on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts (1987), and remained in the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks. It was her fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, her fourth on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales, her fourth on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, and her fifth on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Whitney Houston - For The Love Of You (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/whitney-mw0000190356
  3. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-01/entertainment/ca-5509_1_album-review
  4. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/whitney-19870813
  5. ^ http://www.whitney-fan.com/music/reviews/12/39
  6. ^ http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/tampabay/access/50027928.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Jun+14%252C+1987&author=ERIC+SNIDER%253BANNELISE+WAMSLEY&pub=St.+Petersburg+Times&edition=&startpage=2.E&desc=Whitney+pulls+out+another+bag+of+hits+Series%253A+RECORDS
  7. ^ Anderson, Kyle; Goldblatt, Henry; Greenblatt, Leah; Rahman, Ray (17 February 2012). "Whitney Houston: Her 25 Best Songs". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 119. 
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Whitney Houston – Didn't We Almost Have It All" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  12. ^ "Whitney Houston - Didn't We Almost Have It All". Charts.de. Media Control.
  13. ^ http://www.irishcharts.ie/search/placement?page=5
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Whitney Houston – Didn't We Almost Have It All" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Whitney Houston – Didn't We Almost Have It All". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. p. 678. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  17. ^ "Whitney Houston – Didn't We Almost Have It All – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Whitney Houston | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  19. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Whitney Houston.
  20. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Whitney Houston.
  21. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Whitney Houston.
  22. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: February 12, 2012 to February 18, 2012)". Gaon Chart. January 5, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  24. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Pop Singles of 1987". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1987. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Adult Contemporary Singles of 1987". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1987. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Black Singles of 1987 (Top R&B Singles)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1987. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]