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Friday, April 27, 2012

New Edition

Collection of New Edition

New Edition's early, Jackson 5-inspired material made them the forerunners of two generations of teen pop (most of which was geared to white audiences). As they matured and progressed, they laid much of the groundwork for the fusion of hip-hop and R&B known as new jack swing. In fact, after New Edition drifted apart, all of its members had at least some significant success outside the group as part of the new jack movement, which helped ensure that their original incarnation would be remembered for much more than the bubblegum urban soul that made their name.

New Edition was formed in the Roxbury section of Boston, MA, by Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Bobby Brown, who began singing together in 1978 while still in elementary school, hoping to perform for pocket cash. They eventually recruited friend Ralph Tresvant as a fourth member, and after winning a talent show in 1980, also added Ronnie DeVoe. More talent show victories followed, including a prestigious gig at the local Strand Theater, where they performed the Jackson 5's "The Love You Save." They were discovered by writer/producer/impresario Maurice Starr, who signed the group to his small Streetwise label in hopes of launching a Jackson 5 phenomenon for the '80s. "Candy Girl," a song Starr co-wrote for the group, was released as their first single in 1983, when the members ranged in age from 13 to 15. Despite a lack of major-label interest in the group, "Candy Girl" was a smash, topping the R&B charts. Their debut album, also titled Candy Girl, spawned two more R&B hits in "Popcorn Love" and "Is This the End?," and MCA offered the group a deal. Starr, however, wanted the group to remain with Streetwise; New Edition summarily fired him as their manager and signed with MCA. Starr attempted to sue the group for their name, unsuccessfully claiming that "New Edition" actually referred to a whole new style of pop music he'd created. Starr, of course, would go on to strike it rich with a similar concept, assembling a quintet of white teenagers he dubbed New Kids on the Block.

New Edition, meanwhile, released their eponymous MCA debut in 1984 and scored their biggest pop hit with the Top Five smash "Cool It Now," which ended with a short rap section. The Ray Parker, Jr.-penned "Mr. Telephone Man" soon became their third R&B chart-topper, and the group had reached full-fledged teen idol status. Yet they were growing up fast, as demonstrated on their next album, 1985's All for Love. Not only were their voices changing, but their material was becoming more adult, with harder-edged funk and more mature romantic ballads. Later that year, they also released a holiday album, Christmas All Over the World, and struck an endorsement deal with Coke. However, rumors of Brown's growing dissatisfaction proved true and he left for a solo career in 1986. Temporarily down to a quartet, the rest of the group recorded the covers album Under the Blue Moon, a set of vintage doo wop and R&B numbers from the '50s and '60s; it produced a hit revival of the Penguins' "Earth Angel."

Brown's replacement came in the form of Johnny Gill, a deep-voiced friend of the group who'd been recording as a solo artist without much luck. Gill made his debut on the 1989 album Heart Break, which found New Edition working with star producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The move paid immediate dividends, as they scored several R&B hits from the album, including the number one "Can You Stand the Rain." Meanwhile, Brown had become a superstar with his second album, the new jack swing landmark Don't Be Cruel. Feeling vindicated by Heart Break, New Edition split up to work on other projects. Gill returned to his solo career, with considerably more success this time around, and Tresvant also went solo. The remainder of the group teamed as Bell Biv DeVoe and wound up having greater success than anyone save Brown; their debut album, Poison, was another new jack style-setter and Bivins' interest in developing new talent gave Boyz II Men their big break.

By the mid-'90s, new jack swing was giving way to new fusions of hip-hop and soul that were alternately more organic or aggressive. Although their status as innovators was secure, many of the New Edition splinter acts had a hard time keeping up and maintaining their career momentum. Thus, given their individually positive reputations, it made sense for the group to announce its triumphant reunion, with all six members participating in what was essentially an R&B supergroup. The public loved the idea; when the comeback album Home Again was finally released in 1996, it debuted at number one, and the first single, "Hit Me Off," was a smash, hitting number one on the R&B charts. The follow-up, "I'm Still in Love With You," was another big hit, and the group embarked on a blockbuster tour that, while popular, found relationships between some of the members fraying. After the tour, New Edition returned to their various prior projects, with the prospect of any future reunions looking dim. Those prospects increased significantly when it was learned that P. Diddy had signed the group to his Bad Boy label for the release of another comeback, 2004's One Love. Allmusic by Steve Huey

Album: Candy Girl (1983)

01. Gimme Your Love
02. She Gives Me A Bang
03. Is This The End?
04. Pass The Beat
05. Popcorn Love
06. Candy Girl
07. Ooh Baby
08. Should Have Never Told Me
09. Gotta Have Your Lovin’
10. Jealous Girl

Album: New Edition (1984)

01. Cool It Now
02. Mr. Telephone Man
03. I'm Leaving You Again
04. Baby Love
05. Delicious
06. My Secret (Didja Gitit Yet?)
07. Hide And Seek
08. Lost In Love
09. Kinda Girls We Like
10. Maryann

Album: All For Love (1985)

01. Count Me Out
02. A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)
03. Sweet Thing
04. With You All The Way
05. Let's Be Friends
06. Kickback
07. Tonight's Your Night
08. Whispers In Bed
09. Who Do You Trust?
10. School
11. All For Love

Album: Under The Blue Moon (1986)

01. Earth Angel
02. A Million To One
03. Duke Of Earl
04. (Hey There) Lonely Girl
05. A Thousand Miles Away
06. What's Your Name?
07. Tears On My Pillow
08. Blue Moon
09. Since I Don't Have You
10. Bring Back The Memories

Album: Heart Break (1988)

01. Introduction
02. That's The Way We're Livin'
03. Where It All Started
04. If It Isn't Love
05. Untitled (Hidden Track)
06. N.E. Heart Break
07. Crucial
08. Untitled (Hidden Track)
09. You're Not My Kind Of Girl
10. Superlady
11. Can You Stand The Rain?
12. Competition
13. Untitled (Hidden Track)
14. I'm Comin' Home
15. Boys To Men

Album: Home Again (1996)

01. Oh, Yeah, It Feels So Good
02. Hit Me Off
03. You Don't Have To Worry
04. Tighten It Up
05. Shop Around
06. Hear Me Out
07. Something About You
08. Try Again
09. How Do You Like Your Love Served?
10. One More Day
11. I'm Still In Love With You
12. Thank You (The J.G. Interlude)
13. Home Again

Album: All The Number Ones (2000)

01. Candy Girl
02. Cool It Now (Sing Along Mix)
03. Mr. Telephone Man
04. Girlfriend (Single Mix)
05. Don't Be Cruel (Single Mix)
06. Can You Stand The Rain (Under The Lamppost - Quiet Storm Mix)
07. My Prerogative (Single Mix)
08. Where Do We Go From Here (Single Mix)
09. Every Little Step
10. On Our Own
11. Rub You The Right Way (Single Mix)
12. Poison (Radio Remix)
13. Sensitivity (Warm + Sensitive Mix)
14. My, My, My (Single Mix)
15. B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me) (Radio Remix)
16. Wrap My Body Tight (Single Mix)
17. Humpin' Around (Single Mix)
18. Hit Me Off

Album: One Love (2004)

01. Conference Call
02. Been So Long
03. Hot2nite
04. Sexy Lady
05. Last Time
06. All On You
07. Wildest Dreams
08. Start Turnin' Me On
09. Love Again
10. One Love Interlude
11. That's Why I Lied
12. Come Home With Me
13. Best Man
14. Re-Write The Memories
15. Newness
16. Feelin' It
17. Leave Me

Album: Gold (2005)


01. Cool It Now
02. Mr Telephone Man
03. Lost In Love
04. My Secret
05. Count Me Out
06. A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)
07. With You All The Way
08. Earth Angel
09. Once In A Lifetime Groove
10. Girlfriend
11. Helplessly In Love
12. If It Isn't Love
13. Don't Be Cruel
14. My Prerogative
15. You're Not My Kind Of Girl
16. Can You Stand The Rain
17. N.E. Heartbreak
18. Crucial


01. Every Little Step
02. On Our Own
03. Poison
04. Rub You The Right Way
05. My, My, My
06. B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)
07. Sensitivity
08. When Will I See You Smile Again
09. Wrap My Body Tight
10. Do What I Gotta Do (Radio Edit)
11. Money Can't Buy You Love
12. Humpin' Around
13. Hit Me Off
14. I'm Still In Love With You
15. You Don't Have To Worry
16. One More Day



Calatine9 said...

Could you post the expanded editions of New Edition (1984), All For Love, Heart Break and Home Again?

Jamal Whittington said...

Everything But There Christmas Album

Unknown said...

Do you have any of Bell Biv Devoe's music?

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