Saturday, July 5, 2014

New Edition - New Edition

Tomorrow (July 6th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of New Edition, the second studio album the Boston-born R&B band New Edition. The multi-Platinum 1984 record went to number 55 in Canada, number 15 in New Zealand, number 6 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a fifty-four week chart stay total) and number 1 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one opens with the advice to "Cool It Now". As the lead single, it hit number 43 in the UK, number 38 in Canada, number 7 in New Zealand, number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the US Billboard R&B chart. This song has a fun, bouncy rhythm to it that always lightens the mood when it comes out of the speakers. I remember dancing to this one a good bit in the summer and fall of 1984.

"Mr. Telephone Man" was written by Ray Parker Jr. and first recorded by reggae singer Junior Tucker for his self-titled 1983 album. New Edition released their cover as the second single from this album; it hit number 47 in the Netherlands, number 34 in New Zealand, number 30 in Canada, number 20 in Ireland, number 19 in the UK, number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the US Billboard R&B chart. I can still remember the video for this one where the group begs a telephone line repairman to help them out.

"I'm Leaving You Again" delivers a straight-forward breakup announcement.

"Baby Love" had my foot tapping and shoulders swaying to the light-weight rhythm.

"Delicious" is an interesting way to describe feelings of love. I do like the way the tempo shifts on the chorus though.

Side two starts with "My Secret (Didja Get It Yet?)". Released as the fifth single in the summer of 1985, it went to number 103 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 27 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The group has a cameo in the film Krush Groove which features them performing this tune. I like the groove here and feel the song might have done better on the charts had it been released in late 1984.

"Hide & Seek" keeps the dance party going. It did not take long for me to realize I knew this song. A quick Google search revealed that I remembered it from Five Star's 1985 debut album, but the British R&B group released it as a single in May of 1984 which makes their version the first recorded.

The third single was "Lost in Love"; this ballad went to number 35 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

"Kind of Girls We Like" was released as the fourth single; the up-tempo tune stalled at number 87 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

The album closer is "Maryann".

For me, the first couple tracks on each side of New Edition are very strong. The ballads do not work so much though. Then again, I doubt I was the group's target audience (teenaged girls) back in the day.

For more New Edition, click here

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