I'm Your Baby Tonight

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This article is about the Whitney Houston album. For her song of the same name, see I'm Your Baby Tonight (song).
I'm Your Baby Tonight
Studio album by Whitney Houston
Released November 6, 1990
Recorded 1989–August 1990
Genre Pop, dance-pop, R&B
Length 53:51
Label Arista
Producer L.A. Reid & Babyface,
Narada Michael Walden,
Whitney Houston,
Michael Masser,
Ricky Minor,
Luther Vandross,
Stevie Wonder
Whitney Houston chronology
Whitney
(1987)
I'm Your Baby Tonight
(1990)
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
(1992)
Singles from I'm Your Baby Tonight
  1. "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
    Released: October 2, 1990
  2. "All the Man That I Need"
    Released: December 4, 1990
  3. "Miracle"
    Released: April 16, 1991
  4. "My Name Is Not Susan"
    Released: July 21, 1991
  5. "I Belong to You"
    Released: October 18, 1991
  6. "We Didn't Know"
    Released: April 14, 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly D+[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide unfavorable[4]
Smash Hits 5/10[5]
The Baltimore Sun negative[6]

I'm Your Baby Tonight is the third studio album by American pop and R&B recording artist Whitney Houston. It was released by Arista Records on November 6, 1990. Following the run of this album, Houston continued to achieve widespread commercial success throughout the 1990s, venturing heavily into films—while continuing to record via their adjoining soundtrack albums. Subsequently, I'm Your Baby Tonight would not be followed up with another studio album until 1998's My Love Is Your Love.

Background[edit]

Like many artists, Houston's previous efforts featured material mostly chosen by the label. With this project, however, she had more control over the album's content. In addition to working with the previous producers of Narada Michael Walden and Michael Masser, she also worked with the production team of L.A. Reid and Babyface, as well as singer Luther Vandross, and did a collaboration with Stevie Wonder. Houston would also produce the song "I'm Knockin'", with tour music director Ricky Minor and co-write the song "Takin' a Chance".

Music[edit]

I'm Your Baby Tonight features funk and dance-driven pop music. The Walden-produced songs are divided by contemporary dance-pop tracks and ornate ballads, while Reid and Babyface's productions reappropriate 1970s black pop and danceable funk with aggressive 1980s dance rhythms.[3] According to Allmusic's Ashley S. Battel, Houston "attempts to make a larger foray into dance music" with this album,[1] while David Browne observed light synthesizer flourishes, thumping drum beats, and "dance-fever settings" throughout.[2] James Hunter of Rolling Stone described the album as "a case study in how much [Houston] can get out of her luscious and straightforward vocal gifts within a dancepop framework."[3] J. D. Considine wrote that Houston's singing on the album features "sultry moans, note-bending asides, [and] window-rattling gospel shouts".[6] Rolling Stone magazine's Jim Macnie said that the album "displayed a slick R&B edge."[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, I'm Your Baby Tonight debuted at number 22 on the Billboard 200 chart, the issue dated November 24, 1990. In its second week, it leaped to number five and the following week reached its peak position at number three. The album spent 22 weeks in the top ten and was on the chart for a total of 51 weeks.[8] It also debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, the issue date of December 1, 1990, and reached the number one in three weeks later.[9][10] It stayed on the top of the chart for eight non-consecutive weeks and was present on the chart for a total of 53 weeks.[10][11] Due to its great performance on the chart, it became #1 R&B Album on the 1991's Billboard year-end charts.[12][13] The album was certified 4× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on April 5, 1995, and since then, according to Nielson SoundScan began tracking sales data in May 1991, as of 2009, it sold 1,728,000 copies in the United States.[14][15]

The album was a hit internationally though its sales didn't reach the level as high as the previous two albums, boosting Houston to global super-stardom. In the U.K., it entered the UK Albums Chart at number 6 on November 17, 1990 and peaked at number 4 nine weeks later.[16][17] The British Phonographic Industry certified it Platinum for shipments of 300,000 units on November 1, 1990.[18] In Germany, the album peaked at number three on the Media Control Albums Chart, receiving Platinum certification for shipments of 500,000 copies by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie in 1991.[19] It also reached the top five in other countries such as Austria,[20] Norway,[21] Sweden,[22] and Switzerland.[23] To date the album has sold approximately 12 million copies worldwide.[24]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "I'm Your Baby Tonight"   L.A. Reid, Babyface L.A. Reid, Babyface 5:01
2. "My Name Is Not Susan"   Eric Foster White L.A. Reid, Babyface 4:40
3. "All the Man That I Need"   Dean Pitchford, Michael Gore Narada Michael Walden 4:11
4. "Lover for Life"   Sam Dees Narada Michael Walden 4:49
5. "Anymore"   L.A. Reid, Babyface L.A. Reid, Babyface 4:24
6. "Miracle"   L.A. Reid, Babyface L.A. Reid, Babyface 5:42
7. "I Belong to You"   Derek Bramble, Franne Golde Narada Michael Walden 5:32
8. "Who Do You Love"   Luther Vandross, Hubert Eaves III Luther Vandross 3:56
9. "We Didn't Know" (Duet with Stevie Wonder) Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder 5:32
10. "After We Make Love"   Michael Masser, Gerry Goffin Michael Masser 5:06
11. "I'm Knockin'"   Rhett Lawrence, Benjamin Winans, Ricky Minor Whitney Houston, Ricky Minor 4:58
Notes
  • All Non-North American countries had the "Yvonne Turner Mix" of "I'm Your Baby Tonight" as the first track (running 4:13), ridding the album of the L.A. Reid/Babyface version.
  • Executive producer: Clive Davis

Singles[edit]

I'm Your Baby Tonight yielded four and six top twenty singles including two number ones, on the Hot 100 Singles and Hot R&B Singles chart, respectively from the late of 1990 to the middle of 1992. Thanks to these great success on the Billboard singles charts, Houston became #3 Pop singles artist and #1 R&B singles artist on the 1991's Billboard year-end charts.[12][25]

The title track, "I'm Your Baby Tonight", was released as the first single from the album in October 1990. While L.A. Reid/Babyface mix version was released in the United States, Yvonne Turner mix version, called as 'international version', in other countries. The single debuted at number forty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for the week ending October 20, 1990. Six weeks later, the issue dated December 1, 1990, it reached the number one and stayed there for a week, becoming Houston's eighth number-one single on the chart.[26] It also peaked at number one in the same week on the Hot R&B Singles chart and remained on the top for two weeks, making it her fourth R&B chart topper.[27] In addition, the song peaked at number seven on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, spending a total of twenty-eight weeks on the chart.[28] The single was certified Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 27, 1990.[29] Worldwide it was a big hit during her European promotion in November–December 1990. In Italy, it reached the number one on the Musica e dischi Singles Chart in November 1990 and remained atop for five weeks, becoming her second number-one song on the chart, after 1987's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)".[30] In the United Kingdom, the single entered the UK Singles Chart at number sixteen on October 20, 1990, and peaked at number five in two weeks later, becoming her eighth top ten hit.[31][32] It also reached the top five in many countries such as Austria,[33] Belgium,[34] France,[35] Germany,[36] the Netherlands,[37] Norway,[38] Sweden,[39] and Switzerland.[40] It went to the top ten in Australia and Ireland.[41][42] Houston was nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female" with this track at the 33rd Grammy Awards of 1991.[43]

Houston's remake of an outsize ballad, "All the Man That I Need" was the album's second single, released in December 1990. The single achieved great success on the Billboard charts. It debuted at number fifty-three on the Hot 100 Singles on December 22, 1990 and topped the chart in nine weeks later, the issue dated February 23, 1991.[44] On March 2, 1991, when it reached the number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart, the single enjoyed its second and third week at the top of the Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary chart, respectively.[45][46][47] As a result, it became her first single topped the Hot 100, Hot R&B, and Hot Adult Contemporary chart simultaneouslyㅡlater "I Will Always Love You" also achieved that feat for five weeks in 1992/93ㅡ, and overall the third triple-crown hit, after 1985's "Saving All My Love for You" and 1986's "How Will I Know", reached the top spot on those of three charts in different weeks. The RIAA certified it Gold on March 21, 1991.[48] Unlike the United States, it was a modest hit globally. It peaked at number one on the Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles chart for one week and number ten on Belgian VRT Top 30 chart.[49][50] However, it only reached the top twenty in Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.[42][51][52] With this song, she got nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female" at the 34th Grammy Awards in 1992, which was her fifth nomination for that category.[43]

After the release of "The Star Spangled Banner" single, "Miracle" was released as the third single from the album in April 1991. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles on June 8, 1991, becoming her thirteenth top ten hit on the chart.[53] It also reached the number two and number four, on the Hot R&B Singles and Adult Contemporary chart, respectively.[54][55] The album's fourth single "My Name Is Not Susan" was released in July 1991. In September, the song peaked at number twenty on the Hot 100 and number eight on the Hot R&B, becoming her fifteenth R&B top ten hit.[56] A fifth single, "I Belong to You", became a top ten R&B single, and garnered Houston a Grammy-nomination for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" at the 35th Grammy Awards.[57][58] "We Didn't Know" duet with Stevie Wonder was the sixth and final single from the album, released for only R&B market in April 1992. It went to its peak position, the number twenty on the Hot R&B Singles chart, the issue date of July 4, 1992.[59] Included on the track listing of the albums Japanese edition is a cover of Stevie Winwood's "Higher Love" and "Takin' a Chance", the latter became a chart topping single in Japan.

Promotions and appearances[edit]

Date Title Details
December 11, 1990 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
(Guest Host: Jay Leno)
February 23, 1991 Saturday Night Live
March 31, 1991 Welcome Home Heroes
with Whitney Houston
  • Houston performed for the troops, their families and military and government dignitaries in honor of those returning home from the Persian Gulf War.[60]
  • This exclusive one-time-only event was her first-ever solo televised live concert on HBO.[61]
  • Set-list was almost the same as the I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour's.
May 12, 1991 The Simple Truth:
A Concert for Kurdish Refugees
  • This five-hour telethon broadcast in 36 countries which raised $15 million. The main concert was staged at Wembley Arena, with five satellite sites beaming concerts from around the world.[62]
  • Houston allowed MTV to simulcast her performances of "My Name Is Not Susan", "Miracle" and "Greatest Love of All" at her Oakland, California concert during a telethon held to aid the Kurds.
June 23, 1991 Coca Cola Pop Music
Backstage Pass to Summer
February 16, 1992 Muhammad Ali's 50th Birthday Celebration
May 6, 1992 Whitney Houston: This Is My Life

Charts and certifications[edit]