“Helplessly In Love” by New Edition (1987)

“Helplessly In Love” is historically notable because it marked the first time the members of New Edition worked with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Jam & Lewis would ultimately help steer the ship that took New Edition over the teen idol hump and worked closely with the group their most artistically credible albums, 1988’s Heart… Read More “Helplessly In Love” by New Edition (1987)

“Don’t Be Cruel” by Bobby Brown (1988)

Bobby Brown’s ascension in earnest to superstar status began with summer ‘88’s “Don’t Be Cruel”, a truly inventive melange of funk and hip-hop. Back when singers sang and rappers rapped, songwriter/producers L.A. Reid & Babyface did a fantastic job fusing Bobby’s rap-informed persona with the melodic R&B that was their stock-in-trade. It also presented Bobby… Read More “Don’t Be Cruel” by Bobby Brown (1988)

“Crucial (single remix)” by New Edition (1989)

On the Heart Break album, “Crucial” was one of the more incidental tracks. Despite most of the album being produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the LP version of “Crucial” was helmed by former Time drummer Jellybean Johnson. It was a decent Minneapolis funk song. Not bad, but not a standout. Remixed and issued as Heart… Read More “Crucial (single remix)” by New Edition (1989)

“Can You Stand The Rain” by New Edition (1988)

Michael and Prince were my childhood heroes, but the guys from New Edition were perhaps more impactful because they were within striking distance of my age. For me, and I’d imagine for quite a few black boys and teens, their existence was aspirational. Michael and Prince were pretty extra-terrestrials. Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and… Read More “Can You Stand The Rain” by New Edition (1988)