After a one-song break to accommodate Rick Springfield’s finest moment, Teddy Riley returns to give another white singer some extra flavor.
Jane Child got more attention for her look than her music, which was fairly prototypical L.A. pop/soul. She rocked feathered hair on top with cornrows on the bottom. She also had a nose ring that was connected by a chain to one of her earrings, which was certainly a unique look for the time. Anytime I saw her, I wondered how much she worried about someone just yanking on that chain and fucking her whole face up. Not worth the risk, IMO.
Anyway, “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” is a pretty solid jam in its original version. It has a very Nu Shooz vibe that was maybe two years behind the times when released in early ‘90s. Nevertheless, the song shot to the runner-up spot on the Billboard Hot 100. However, Warner Brothers wanted Jane to have some Black radio airplay, and Teddy Riley was enlisted to sprinkle his New Jack magic all over the track. He freshened the song up with some kicking drums and his signature synthesizer wizardry, and the result knocked “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” into the top ten on the R&B list. When I watched Teddy’s Red Bull Academy session last year, he mentioned that he was dead broke and in the midst of separating from Gene Griffin when Warner called him for the remix, and that the label hit him off with some major ducats for his trouble.
When your producer (or remixer, in this case) proves to be more valuable than you are as an artist, things probably aren’t going to go well for the rest of your career. Child didn’t bother the charts after “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”, but for one brief moment at the dawn of the decade, she was new jack swing’s oddball princess.