from An Old Flame
Written by Diane Warren
Miki Howard was a talented soul/R&B singer who started her career in 1980 as lead vocalist for the popular R&B group, Side Effect. Together they released three good albums as a group before Howard went solo. Howard eventually delivered a string of R&B hits between the late eighties and early nineties including “Come Share My Love,” “Ain’t Nuthin’ In The World” and “Ain’t Nobody Like You.” Howard successfully ventured into the jazz repertoire portraying the late, great Billie Holiday (1915-1959) in Spike Lee’s 1992 Malcolm X movie.
That critically acclaimed performance lead to a cd titled Miki Sings Billie, released at the end of 1993 and partially produced by David Foster. On that cd, Ms. Howard covered the most treasured songs of the legendary singer with the Hitman’s brilliant guidance. Foster had already produced a couple of tracks for Ms. Howard on her previous Femme Fatale album . Out in September of 1992, Femme Fatale was a well-dosed collection of catchy R&B and pop songs that peaked at #7 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. Foster added an effective adult contemporary twist to the cd with the trademark adult ballad “Shining Through,” co-written with ex-wife Linda Thompson and the late, great film composer, Michael Kamen (1948-2003). A previous review of “Shining Through” can be found in the archives.
Another Foster production and current Song of the Week was a feel-good mid-tempo called “New Fire From An Old Flame.” Written by Diane Warren, the mastermind behind dozens of top hits with many also produced by Foster, “New Fire From An Old Flame” was a delicious pop number with R&B overtones. As usual, the song was meticulously crafted by Foster and his team including famed engineer Dave Reitzas and session legends Robbie Buchanan and Michael Thompson. Howard delivered an ear-tantalizing vocal performance supported by the golden harmonies of Janey Clawer and the unforgettable, late Warren Wiebe (1953-1998). The programmed instrumental track, unlike many other productions of the nineties, flowed quite nicely. “New Fire From An Old Flame” could have easily been a hit since it sported a composition that was top-notch, had amazing songwriting, perfect production and show stopping performances. “New Fire From An Old Flame” would be covered a couple of years later by another R&B songstress, Stephanie Mills, who gave a convincing performance. However, the overall production by Guy Roche sounded weaker than the Foster version.
- Lead Vocals: Miki Howard
- Keyboards & Synth Bass: David Foster
- Guitar: Michael Thompson
- Synthesizer & Drum Programming: Robbie Buchanan
- Synthesizer Programming: Simon Franglen
- Backing Vocals: Janey Clewer & Warren Wiebe
- Produced & Arranged by David Foster