First off, let’s show some love to the brown girl attitude all over “Crush On You”’s first couplet: “you must have heard it from my best friend/she’s always talkin’ when she should be listenin’”. You weren’t getting that much sass in your pop/R&B in the ‘80s, especially from female singers. Then Elizabeth Wolfgramm and Janet Jackson hit you with the ol’ one-two at the beginning of ‘86 and the age of the neck roll began. Although with The Jets, the attitude comes from a place of embarrassment (crush exposed) as opposed to Janet’s “I’m tired of your bullshit” attitude on Control and its attendant singles.
“Crush On You” took Prince’s stylized Minneapolis funk and gave it a kid-friendly sheen. I always thought it funny that The Jets’ videos usually showed them playing instruments when there is not a non-synthesized anything on this record.
The Jets kinda have a crazy story. There were 17 kids in that family; 15 biological and two “unofficially adopted”. That’s not a family, that’s a reality show. They were also Pacific Islanders, which is something you rarely if ever see in the American music industry even today. And they were Mormon! The various Wolfgramm kids also might’ve singlehandedly brought Chucks back in style in the mid ‘80s.
Shout out to Raydio’s Jerry Knight, who co-wrote “Crush On You” and likely broke his face smiling every time he got a royalty check as a result.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Crush” by Dave Matthews Band (1997): Dave and his boys get extra jazzy on this smooth track. Despite a lengthier-than-average running time, “Crush” keeps my attention thanks to its uncharacteristic sultriness.