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Whitney Houston - So Emotional (Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute 1988)

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So Emotional on Wikipedia
"So Emotional"
Whitney Houston- So Emotional.jpg
Single by Whitney Houston
from the album Whitney
B-side"For the Love of You"
ReleasedOctober 12, 1987
  • CD single
  • cassette single
  • 7" single
RecordedFebruary 1987
  • Dance-rock
  • R&B
  • Billy Steinberg
  • Tom Kelly
Producer(s)Narada Michael Walden
Whitney Houston singles chronology

"So Emotional" is a song written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, and recorded by American singer Whitney Houston. The song was the third single from her second album Whitney, and was released in October 1987.

Commercially, it peaked at number five in the UK and number one in the Billboard Hot 100, where it became her sixth consecutive number one, and a dance chart hit. It would go and finish as the sixth best selling song of the year and the fourth most played in clubs; it is her sixth biggest hit on the Hot 100 chart.[1]


  • 1 Composition
  • 2 Critical reception
  • 3 Chart performance
  • 4 Music video
  • 5 Track listings and formats
  • 6 Personnel
  • 7 Charts and certifications
    • 7.1 Weekly charts
    • 7.2 Year-end charts
      • 7.2.1 Certifications
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


"So Emotional" was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who also penned Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," Heart's "Alone," and The Bangles "Eternal Flame," all of which reached #1 on the charts. The song centers on Houston loving being in love, singing, "I get so emotional baby / Every time I think of you / I get so emotional baby / Ain't it shocking what love can do."

Critical reception

Allmusic editor Ron Wynn highlighted this track.[2] Vince Aletti of Rolling Stone wrote: "Walden covers all these bases, out-hopping Kashif (but not Jellybean) with "So Emotional."[3] St. Petersburg Times Eric Snider and Annelise Wamsley wrote: "`So Emotional,`` the record's token rock offering, is hollow and contrived, as if the trumped-up power guitars are supposed to give the song some guts."[4]

Chart performance

At this time Houston already had a string of five consecutive number-one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. "So Emotional" went to the #1 position as well, giving her six consecutive number-one singles; putting her in a three-way tie with The Beatles and The Bee Gees. It made its debut at number forty four on November 28, 1987 and after seven weeks became the first number-one of 1988, eventually receiving gold certification. The single remained in the Top 40 for 14 weeks, and also reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. "So Emotional" was ranked sixth on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts (1988). It debuted at number forty four on the Hot 100 and seven weeks later reached number one for one week. The song has sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide.

In the United Kingdom and France the song was remixed by Shep Pettibone when released as a single and peaked at #5 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1987, remaining in the chart for 11 weeks. Elsewhere the single performed moderately well reaching 21 in France, 26 in Australia and 30 in Switzerland.

Music video

The music video for "So Emotional", directed by Wayne Isham, features Houston on tour and preparing for the night's concert. It was filmed at Lehigh University's Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania between dates of her 1987-1988 Moment of Truth Tour.

Track listings and formats

  • US 7" single
  1. "So Emotional" – 3:46
  2. "For the Love of You" – 4:29
  • UK 7" single
  1. "So Emotional" (Edited remix) – 4:20
  2. "For the Love of You" – 4:32
  • UK CD single
  1. "So Emotional" (Extended remix) – 7:51
  2. "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (live) – 6:28
  3. "For the Love of You" – 4:32

Track 2: "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (live) is from her September 2, 1987 concert in Saratoga Springs, New York during the Moment of Truth World Tour.


  • Narada Michael Walden – drums, drum machine
  • Walter "Baby Love" Afanasieff – keyboards, synthesized bass
  • Corrado Rustici – guitar synth, electric guitar
  • Bongo Bob – percussion programming, drum sampling
  • Background vocals – Whitney Houston
  • Produced and arranged by Narada Michael Walden
  • Recorded and mixed by David Frazer
  • Assistant engineer – Dana Jon Chappelle
  • Additional engineers – Lincoln Clapp, Gordon Lyon, Jay Rifkin, Ken Kessie, Maureen Droney
  • Additional assistant engineers – Gordon Lyon, Stuart Hirotsu, Paul "Goatee" Hamingson, Noah Baron, Bill "Sweet William" Miranda, Ross Williams, Rob Beaton

See also

  • List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1988 (U.S.)
  • List of number-one dance singles of 1987 (U.S.)
  • Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1988


  1. ^ Whitney Houston's Biggest Billboard Hits: A Look at Her Legendary Chart Career
  2. ^ Whitney - Whitney Houston | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  3. ^ Whitney | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone
  4. ^ Whitney pulls out another bag of hits Series: RECORDS
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 143. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 26 June 1988.
  6. ^ " – Whitney Houston – So Emotional" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada
  8. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Finland: Otava. p. 161. ISBN 951-1-21053-X. 
  9. ^ " – Whitney Houston – So Emotional" (in French). Les classement single.
  10. ^
  11. ^ " – Whitney Houston – So Emotional" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ " – Whitney Houston – So Emotional". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. p. 684. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  14. ^ " – Whitney Houston – So Emotional". Swiss Singles Chart.
  15. ^ WHITNEY HOUSTON | Artist | Official Charts
  16. ^ "Whitney Houston – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Whitney Houston.
  17. ^ "So Emotional - Whitney Houston". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Whitney Houston – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Whitney Houston.
  19. ^ "Whitney Houston – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Whitney Houston.
  20. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Pop Singles of 1988". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1988. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Black Singles of 1988". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1988. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Year-end Charts – Top Dance/Club-Play Singles of 1988". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1988. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum - Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  24. ^ "BPI certification for "I Will Always Love You" single (searchable database)". January 1, 1993. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ Official Charts Company [1] . Retrieved June 30, 2013.

External links

  • So Emotional at Discogs

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