"It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be" - Aretha Franklin & Whitney Houston
from the album Through The Storm (Aretha, 1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #41
This week's "robbed hit" comes from two of the most success women in pop music history, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. The former's collaboration with Elton John, "Through The Storm", was a moderate hit, reaching the top-20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1989, but way below the expectations of those two veterans of the genre who were still having big success in the decade. By releasing a duet with Whitney Houston, who had been coming from a string of seven consecutive #1 hits, it seemed like a no-brainer to revive radio and consumer interest in the Through The Storm album. Written by proven hitmakers Diane Warren and Albert Hammond, the promise seemed a sure thing, but he execution left many shaking their heads...
While "It Isn't, It Wasn't..." climbed all the way to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart, the single stalled right smack below their top-40 pop list in July of 1989. The remixed version landed at #18 on their Dance Club Play chart as well.
A third collaboration with a major pop icon from that album, "Gimme Your Love" with James Brown, was a minor hit on the R&B chart at #48.