First Listen: Thelma Houston strips down a classic with new single

(August 14, 2020) The great Thelma Houston has had quite a career on stage and in the recording studio. She is waaaay more than the Disco Queen that many painted her after she hit #1 in 1976 with "Don't Leave Me This Way." Some may have forgotten that her debut album was something quite different. 1969’s Sunshower was created in partnership with legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb (“Up Up and Away,” “MacArthur Park,” “All I Know”), and was an album of accessible, dramatic pop songs. It was very good and still has a following today.

Now it is a full half century later, and Houston and Webb have teamed again for a new version of an oft-recorded Webb classic. “Someone Is Standing Outside” was included, in earlier form, on Sunshower, and was later recorded by such notables as Patti Austin and Bill Medley. And now Houston has re-recorded it stripped down, with just Webb on piano.

(August 14, 2020) The great Thelma Houston has had quite a career on stage and in the recording studio. She is waaaay more than the Disco Queen that many painted her after she hit #1 in 1976 with "Don't Leave Me This Way." Some may have forgotten that her debut album was something quite different. 1969’s Sunshower was created in partnership with legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb (“Up Up and Away,” “MacArthur Park,” “All I Know”), and was an album of accessible, dramatic pop songs. It was very good and still has a following today.

Now it is a full half century later, and Houston and Webb have teamed again for a new version of an oft-recorded Webb classic. “Someone Is Standing Outside” was included, in earlier form, on Sunshower, and was later recorded by such notables as Patti Austin and Bill Medley. And now Houston has re-recorded it stripped down, with just Webb on piano.

This is a nice re-working of a great song by an artist who consistently has shown herself to be fearless in the directions she has gone with her career. Check out “Someone is Standing Outside,” and welcome Thelma Houston back to SoulTracks.

By Chris Rizik

Thelma Houston
“Someone Is Standing Outside”

 
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