Awards Brilliant talent all over the place! Foster put Natalie and the late Nat King Cole together in “Unforgettable,” launched Celine Dion into the stratosphere, and presided over recording the earthquake of heartache that was Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” There are a lot people to credit for that song: Dolly Parton (who first wrote and recorded it in 1973), Linda Ronstadt (who did a surprisingly unfamous cover version in 1975), Kevin Costner (who came up with the idea of starting the song a capella), and, of course, Whitney Houston herself, the greatest pop singer of her time. Well, I found out that David Foster is a pretty big jerk who has hurt every woman he ever married and every child he ever had, yet because he's a big-time music producer, he has an enormous ego and seems to have never grown up. You can sense a tension when a few members of Chicago talk about it, and it provides a messiness that’s far more honest than stories behind the Grammy trophies on Foster's grand piano. With the numerous icons he's worked with over 40 years, I really expected to get more of an idea of who this person is. I forgot just how amazing Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You is... And to hear how it was created is phenomenal.

As he built a reputation for crafting hits, he became a lord of the studio, almost Spielbergian in his aura.

I'm firmly in the love it camp. The doco was made extremely well, interwining the music David created with the story of his life. This was, and is, a figure out of a Will Ferrell movie — not “Anchorman” but “Soft Rock Star.” He was Eric Carmen, he was Stephen Bishop, he was Gilbert O. Sullivan, he was the grinning resplendent king of them all, Barry Manilow. In that way, director Barry Avrich is successful—it’s educational if you didn’t already associate the Canadian-born songwriter with producing Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You,” or credit him with helping to launch the careers of Michael Buble, Josh Groban, or Celine Dion.

If you are a lover of music, you must watch this!

Yet since I’m a critic, let me be clear about where I stand.

BUT he is a musical genius! For a collaborator who is revealed to be a control freak in the studio, this is meant to be a joking character detail. mother and sisters after his father died? His redirection for Chicago lead to new hits, but also songs that weren’t true to their original sound.

David Foster, the subject of the new documentary “David Foster: Off the Record,” was one of those people: a post-hippie easy-listening avatar of have-you-ever-been-mellow pop. In June of 1986, I went by myself to a Friday matinee of “The Karate Kid Part II,” a movie I didn’t much like.

One of the best sections of the movie is about how he destroyed the band Chicago in order to save it, essentially conspiring with Peter Cetera, who was then the bass player, to remake the group with Cetera as lead singer. He has a big ego but that is part of his charm.



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