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BMG Music presents
Whitney: The Greatest Hits (1985-1999)

"If the voice is a musical instrument, hers is a Stradivarius."
- Time Magazine blurb, from the keepcase cover

Review By: Juamada Fields   
Published: June 21, 2000

Stars: Whitney Houston
Other Stars: Clive Davis, Babyface, Wyclef Jean, Missy Eliot, Kelly Price, Mariah Carrey, Faith Evans
Manufacturer: BMG
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:32m:35
Release Date: May 16, 2000
UPC: 078221574693
Genre: r-b


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+C+B- A

DVD Review

Whitney Houston's 15-year career at Arista is celebrated with her 24-performance home video collection on DVD. From 1985's hit You Give Good Love, to 2000's Fine produced by Q-Tip and Rapheal Saadiq, Whitney's entire career is touched. No one can accuse Arista of treating their artists bad. At least not where Whitney's concerned. The record company goes all out for Whitney whose combined sales in the U.S. are more than 70 million.

Greatest Hits is Whitney's first DVD, and it contains a combination of video clips, live performances, interviews, lyrics, and photo shoots. Whitney goes completely digital in 5.1 Dolby sound. As soon as I heard You Give Good Love, I was thrown back to my high school days of 1985. Mrs. Houston's music has touched many lives throughout the years and it sounds like her voice is ready to touch many more. I personally have never been much of an R & B fan but Whitney's craft commands respect as did Aretha Franklin. She does what she does like no one else.

Navigating this DVD was a breeze especially when you have pretty Whitney smiling in your face and singing in your ear. Real fans will love the Whitney's premier performance on the Merv Griffin Show, on April 29, 1985. At age 19 she takes the stage like a small butterfly waiting to spread her wings. Her voice is commanding, strong, patient and clear. Houston's gospel roots give her the strength to sing in numerous different ranges. It's so amazing to see this star being born.

Whitney's love for life takes her to HBO for a Concert for A New South Africa in 1994. Definitely a star by the time she sang here, she steps on stage wearing the same color purple she wore on the Merv Griffin Show. African mud cloth drapes the stage while small children dance to her melody. She truly appears to love giving joy through the sound of her voice.

Whitney is a musical icon and you never forget your first time hearing her music. The Greatest Hits presents interviews with Babyface to Wyclef Jean to Missy Eliot, as they all remember the first time they heard Whitney's tender voice. BMG takes you behind the scenes of her album My Love is Your Love. She receives praise from Kelly Price, Mariah Carrey, Faith Evans and more. This lady has no problem with keeping up with the times. She has proven herself to be a consistent hit maker, respected by many of her peers.

Whitney's got the stuff that you want and the thing that you need. This is a must for Whitney fans and anyone looking to be introduced to the artist. BMG and Arista give you a striking behind-the-scenes look at this superstar's musical career along with live performances and music videos. Houston: we have no problem.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: As one might expect when you compile 25 years worth of videos together, the quality ranges from bad to very good. Unfortunately most of the videos rest squarely in their 4:3 middle. The first four early videos are the worst of the bunch, grainy and soft (ignoring when this is purposefully done), with occasional nicks and scars. I Wanna Dance With Somebody is the first video that appears clearer and sharper, enabling one to really tell how bad Whitney is at lipsynching! Even here though, scan lines are evident.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The overall best of the audio transfer is the concert footage, where the sound seems natural while putting you in about the tenth row. Otherwise, while the 5.1 Dolby Surround track hits hard and heavy, the sound is strangely muddy—almost as if Whitney is in a can! Most of the action takes place on the front soundstage, with some ambient or musical surround activity on all tracks. Track 19's My Love Is Your Love is by far the diamond on this disc, not solely because Whitney shows her Gospel chops cloaked in modern garb, but it appears that after nearly 25 years they finally let her out of the can.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 21 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English (Song Lyrics)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Whitney's premier performance on the Merv Griffin Show (1985)
  2. Interviews with Whitney Houston and Clive Davis
  3. A photo shoot
  4. Song lyrics (as subtitles)
  5. Songs from concerts through MTV: Lover For Life, One Moment in Time, My Love Is Your Love, Why Does It Hurt So Bad, It's Not Right But It's Okay and Impossible
Extras Review: I might have liked the extra's section more than the video section. Whitney introduces the disc and performs a "Vanna White" maneuver for the menu (ala Mike Myers for The Spy Who Shagged Me) Whitney's premier performance on the Merv Griffin Show in 1985 was heart warming. The best part of the disc for me though was the Concert for a New South Africa. I also found the interviews with Whitney and just deposed Arista Records founder and president Clive Davis, informative and interesting. The photo shoot was a little boring—especially when husband Bobby Brown (currently in a Florida jail for breaking parole) pokes his head in front of the camera. Again, BMG comes through for all you true Whitney fans by having the song lyrics as subtitles on the DVD. A BMG first that I know of, this disc contains a keepcase insert with song listing—hopefully a sign of things to come? Weblinks to two Whitney sites are shown below. This disc wouldn't be the same without the extras.

Extras Grade: A

 

Final Comments

As stated before I was not that much of a fan but after watching the disc I have a new respect for Whitney as an artist. She is obviously hardworking, and it appears hard work was put into this DVD as well. I found it warm and strong. This piercing voice I will not forget. This disc is great for lazy Sundays and warm summer nights.

 


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