http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/the-bodyguard-1384398556.jpg The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album

Various Artists

The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
November 13, 2013

With 1,061,000 copies sold in a week and holding five Number One positions on the Billboard charts simultaneously, The Bodyguard's soundtrack is one of the fastest-selling albums and sports one of the fastest-selling singles in music-industry history. There's no point in speculating whether its success is based on its quality; what we have here is a case of widespread crowd pleasability, which the record has in slabs.

If the facts are breathtaking, the single is inescapable. Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" is hardly the unforgivable betrayal that Dolly Parton fans (she wrote the song) have claimed. In spite of her occasional poor judgment – when Houston errs, she does so on the side of excess – she treats the song respectfully, and it's a deserved mall hit. Houston's (and Bolton's and Carey's) sin is that she won't walk when she can cartwheel; pointless vocal gymnastics flaw all of her hits, and on The Bodyguard they run amok on the David Foster-produced snoozers "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You."

But if her producers are onto the tumbling act, they can create first-rate R&B, as does Narada Michael Walden (with Clivilles and Cole) on the Ashford and Simpson boast "I'm Every Woman," with "vocal arrangement inspired by Chaka Khan," meaning Houston has fun with a song for once. On "Queen of the Night," L.A. and Babyface start out stomping and never stop, letting Houston belt riotously along until she drops or they do. (They do.) Elsewhere, there's competence and even triumph: Aaron Neville waxes gorgeous in his effortless way on "Even If My Heart Would Break," Curtis Stigers finds zero irony in "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," and Lisa Stansfield holds up a sturdy vocal wall of Jericho on "Someday (I'm Coming Back)" which distracted production threatens to pull down. The Bodyguard is nothing more than pleasant, tasteful and urbane, but for a phenomenon, it's worthy of its numbers.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Lou Reed | 1972

    Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

    More Song Stories entries »