That’s My Jam: Whitney Houston – Heartbreak Hotel

That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.

Whitney Houston Heartbreak Hotel Cover

Release Date: December 15, 1998

Track Listing

  1. Heartbreak Hotel (Album Version)
  2. Heartbreak Hotel (Hex Hector Radio Mix)
  3. Heartbreak Hotel (Hex Hector Club Mix)
  4. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss 2000 Radio Mix)
  5. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss 2000 Club Mix)
  6. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss 2000 Dub)
  7. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Johnny Vicious Radio Mix)
  8. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Johnny Vicious Momentous Mix)
  9. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Johnny Vicious Dub)


Heartbreak Hotel is the second single from Whitney Houston’s 1998 comeback album My Love Is Your Love and features fellow R&B divas Faith Evans and Kelly Price.

This is one of the prototypical female empowering, “get the hell out of my life” type of mid-tempo R&B songs that many fans of the genre have heard multiple times over. What takes this over the top from regular schlock is that three of the top female artists at the time combine their individual talents for the greater good.

There are no crazy vocal gymnastics, and none of the women overshadow each other. They all blend nicely, bringing their soulful flavour and making this a real treat to listen to. So it’s not surprising that it’s one of the better songs off the My Love Is Your Love album.

For me, Heartbreak Hotel represents the kind of meaty R&B that I feel is sorely lacking in the genre these days. There was a time when this kind of stuff would get heavy rotation; now it gets passed unless there’s a “remix” featuring the flavour of the month rapper spitting pointless verses. A shame, really since it’s rare to hear something like this in the current world of R&B.

The thing with this single is that the a-side is not the best track in the package. That honour goes to the Thunderpuss 2000 remix of It’s Not Right But It’s Okay. This is one hell of a killer remix that gives the song much more of an angry edge. That one remix is actually why I bought this single. It still sounds as badass as it did those many moons ago.

Those who don’t appreciate what a remix can do to completely change a song should refer to this track and get schooled.

The rest of this single was just kind of a bonus for me. The Hex Hector remixes of Heartbreak Hotel are okay and are at least workable within the types of sets I play. The Johnny Vicious remixes of It’s Not Right But It’s Okay are way out of the realm of club music I spin and hold no lasting appeal for me.

This single is, of course, way out of print and if you can find the vinyl or CD maxi, now consider it a golden find. But thanks to the glory of digital distribution, you can at least pick up some of the tracks from this via iTunes.


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