Though Whitney Houston has been gone for more than five years, her life and music remain as resonant as ever. She’s been in the spotlight as a major figure in the new film Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives as well as the subject of the controversial documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me. One of her most successful endeavors, the film The Bodyguard, is now playing around the world as a stage musical, and currently touring the United States with Whitney’s onetime duet partner Deborah Cox stepping into her shoes.
Now, Arista Records and Legacy Recordings continue to burnish the Houston legend with a new release celebrating her work in that landmark movie. I Wish You Love: More From The Bodyguard premieres fourteen previously unreleased tracks from the late artist. Due in stores on November 17, it follows in the footsteps of “More Music From” releases for movies from The Big Chill to Deadpool. Put simply, the 1992 romantic thriller had so much music that one release just wasn’t enough. As that one release is the best-selling soundtrack of all time, More From The Bodyguard should make for quite a tantalizing companion, and the “second disc” in an imaginary 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
We reflected on the significance of The Bodyguard back in 2012, reflecting on Houston’s untimely passing in a special In Memoriam edition of Back Tracks:
Dolly Parton deeply believed in her song “I Will Always Love You,” first included on her 1974 album Jolene. Its single release topped the Billboard country chart, and in 1982 she re-recorded it for the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Carol Hall’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The new version, too, went to pole position, but as happened the first time around, pop success didn’t follow. In between, Elvis Presley was interested in recording the song. In 2008, Parton confirmed, “Elvis loved ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and he wanted to record it…Then Colonel Tom [Parker, Presley’s manager] gets on the phone and said, ‘You know, I really love this song,’ and I said, ‘You cannot imagine how excited I am about this. This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me as a songwriter.’ He said, ‘Now you know we have a rule that Elvis don’t record anything that we don’t take half the publishing.’ And I was really quiet. I said, ‘Well, now it’s already been a hit. I wrote it and I’ve already published it. And this is the stuff I’m leaving for my family when I’m dead and gone. That money goes in for stuff for my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, so I can’t give up half the publishing.’ And he said, ‘Well then, we can’t record it.'” She continued, “I said, ‘I’m really sorry,’ and I cried all night…[and] then when Whitney[‘s version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland!'”
Such was the force of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” The ubiquitous single turned Parton’s subdued, almost mournful song into a steamroller of determination, and it propelled the various-artists soundtrack of The Bodyguard to become the biggest-selling soundtrack album of all time. Not only that, but it was the first album to sell more than one million copies in one week since the 1991 introduction of Nielsen’s SoundScan system for monitoring album sales. Of course, “I Will Always Love You,” with its fourteen weeks at No. 1, wasn’t the only attraction, with Houston’s powerhouse interpretations of Ashford and Simpson’s “I’m Every Woman” as well as David Foster and Linda Thompson’s “I Have Nothing” both going Top 5. Thus, Houston earned another first, as the first female singer to have three songs in the Top 20.
Like the pop success of “I Will Always Love You,” the film was a long time in the making, originally scripted in the 1970s by Lawrence Kasdan as a potential vehicle for Diana Ross and Steve McQueen. Houston, in her film acting debut, took the Ross role of a musical superstar (sound familiar?) while Kevin Costner filled McQueen’s shoes as her protector. Although reviews were decidedly mixed for the movie itself, it earned a respectable $121.9 million box office haul.
I Wish You Love: More From The Bodyguard features fourteen tracks related to the motion picture, including original film versions of “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “Run to You,” “Queen of the Night,” and “Jesus Loves Me.” This set also includes six live performances of songs such as “I Have Nothing,” “I’m Every Woman,” and “Queen of the Night,” and an alternate mix of “I Will Always Love You.”
This 25th anniversary “continuation” of The Bodyguard soundtrack drops on CD November 17 from Arista and Legacy, with a purple double vinyl edition to follow at a later date. Pre-order links can be found below!
I Wish You Love: More From ‘The Bodyguard’ (Arista/Legacy, 2017)
- I Will Always Love You (Alternate Mix)
- I Have Nothing (Film Version)
- I’m Every Woman (Clivilles & Cole House Mix I Edit)
- Run to You (Film Version)
- Queen of the Night (Film Version)
- Jesus Loves Me (Film Version)
- Jesus Loves Me (A Cappella Version)
- I Will Always Love You (Film Version)
- I Have Nothing (Live @ Jerudong Park Amphitheatre, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei for Princess Rashidah, the eldest daughter of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah – 8/24/1996)
- Run to You (Live @ Radio City Music Hall, New York City – 9/28/1994)
- Jesus Loves Me/He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands (Live @ Estadio Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 4/17/1994)
- Queen of the Night (Live @ The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 6/23/1994)
- I Will Always Love You (Live @ Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England – 11/5/1993)
- I’m Every Woman (Live @ Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany – 10/14/1993)
All tracks previously unreleased