Saving All My Love For You Original
What’s “Saving All My Love For You” All About?
“Saving All My Love For You” is about a woman in love with a married man. Whitney Houston’s version of this song sold three million copies worldwide. However, 5th Dimension founder and Solid Gold host Marilyn McCoo recorded the “Saving All My Love For You” original in 1978.
A Minor Hit Original
Michael Masser created the music and production, Gerry Coffin wrote the lyrics and Gene Page came up with the arrangement. Husband and wife performers McCoo and Billy Davis Jr recorded “Saving All My Love For You” for their album Marilyn & Billy. Although the song is credited to both artists, only McCoo sings on this particular track.
The “Saving All My Love For You” original version sounds more like lounge music than R&B, complete with a tinkling piano. McCoo’s voice is good; it’s just not Houston’s. This version of the song didn’t get much attention in the chart. At best, it was a minor hit. However, it’s well worth a listen and McCoo does justice to the song.
The Fight to Record “Saving All My Love For You”
Houston’s label, Arista, chose Masser to produce the 21-year-old singer’s self-titled debut album. Masser had seen Houston perform another one of his songs, “The Greatest Love Of All” and found her voice mesmerising. He selected “Saving All My Love For You” for the young singer to record, but not everyone was in favour of his selection.
The song was essentially about adultery and Houston’s mother, Cissy, thought the lyrics would reflect badly on her daughter. Houston herself wasn’t so sure either. The subject matter was possibly too close to home.
I was going through a terrible love affair. He was married, and that will never work out for anybody. Never, no way. Forget about it.”Whitney Houston
Masser went ahead with the recording. He ensured Houston’s voice featured the perfect amount of emotional vulnerability. He included a sax solo from Tom Scott (composer of the Starsky and Hutch theme song). However, he didn’t complicate the arrangement as the main aim was to showcase Houston’s voice. And what a voice! Houston’s vocal range on “Saving All My Love For You” spanned from a low-note of F#3 to a high-note of F#5.
Masser had to fight to get “Saving All My Love For You” released as a single. “You Give Good Love” was the first single from the Whitney Houston album, but “Saving All My Love” wasn’t planned to be the second. Masser made a bet with Arista president Clive Davis during Houston’s performance at the Roxy in Los Angeles. He bet that if all the women in the audience got to their feet when Houston sang “Saving All My Love”, then it could be the next single. Whatever happened at that concert, the song was ultimately released as the second single in the US in February 1985 and the third worldwide.
A Major Hit Cover
“Saving All My Love For You” was Houston’s very first number one and went on to be a huge success for her. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as becoming a global hit.
In 1986, “Saving All My Love For You” won Houston her first Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Houston’s cousin Dionne Warwick presented her with the award. “Saving All My Love” also won the 1986 American Music Award for Favorite R&B/Soul Video.
It was the first of seven number one Hot 100 songs for Houston, which is the record for the most consecutive US number ones. In 1995, the Recording Industry Association of America certified “Saving All My Love For You” as Gold.
And that’s how an unknown original became a major hit cover version.