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New Edition Tribute
New Edition: From Boys to Men
In 1978, a group was put together and they were to be called 'New Edition'. Straight out of the Orchard Park Projects of Boston, Massachusetts, the original line-up was consisted of co-lead vocal Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins. Future lead vocal Ralph Tresvant came in by his best friends Bobby and Ricky. Ronnie DeVoe came in two years after and that's when the wheels started to roll for New Edition. After performing a couple of talent shows throughout Boston, they were discovered by Maurice Starr. He immediately got them signed to his Streetwise Records in 1982 and their debut album, Candy Girl was released a year after. After a couple of hits of that album and some major drama from Maurice (He would underpay the boys after their hard work on tour with $1.87 a piece), the group immediately parted ways with Streetwise Records and signed on to MCA, where they would go on to produce most of their famous songs on that label. With tensions and egos blowing up, the group had decided to vote Bobby Brown out of the group (where he would find better success as a solo artist) and not too long afterwards, they've replaced him with an already established Johnny Gill (much to Ralph's dislike at first). They would on to produce one more album before going on an eight year hiatus, where each member of the group had found success with their own solo projects. When 1996 rolled around, the group (along with Bobby Brown) had decided to reunite for another album, which turned out to be a great one. Through out the years, even though tensions would come within the group, New Edition has always till this day overcome the negativity and re-group. So in this tribute, let's go back down memory lane as I go into each studio album they've released and relive the magic once more.
Candy Girl - 1983
This was their first and only album to be released by Streetwise Records. Their first single, 'Candy Girl' was a hit as it was played continuously on the radio. The comparisons of New Edition and The Jackson 5 was already there as you hear Ralph's voice to Michael's. You can also tell that Ralph wasn't the only person in the group that had lead vocal abilities for you could hear Bobby Brown and Ricky Bell working it as well. This was something that the teens needed to hear at the time. 'Popcorn Love' was their second single and it was just as good as the first. Being played in teen jams all across America. 'Is This The End' was a beautiful teen love song and solidified them as teen idols. Gracing the covers of Right On! and Teen Beat magazines. This was a great beginning to a great future.
New Edition - 1984
If there was a such thing as a double debut, then New Edition might have made history. After the fallout with their old manager, Maurice Starr and his label Streetwise, the group signed on to MCA Records and released their new solo album titled 'New Edition'. There was one notable change for Ralph's singing voice had started to matured real fast. Fast than Michael's, but that didn't stop them from making hits. This album has produced classic that are still being hear today. 'Cool It Now', their first hit was just as good, if not better, than all three previous singles from their first album combined. 'Mr, Telephone Man' is a contagious song where when you hear it, you can't help but to sing along the Bobby Brown's sung chorus. 'My Secret (Didja Get It Yet?) was another song that was upbeat and still had the teens going in parties. They still had some slow teen jams for the girls with 'Lost In Love'. This album did much better than the first one and 'Candy Girl' was still a great album so it proceeded that. It even had some hidden gems that weren't singles, but were just as good (Hide and Seek, I'm Leaving You Again). An album not to be missed.
All For Love - 1985
A year old and a year wiser, New Edition have released 'All For Love'. While not as great as the first two, this album was still a good one and has a couple of hits to boot. But while making the album, this also was a sign of changes for one of the members, Bobby Brown, felt that he should get a bigger role in the group and let his ego get the best of him. Due to those and other conflicts, the group had voted him out. But not before the album was released so you could hear his voice throughout the entire album. As the album cover did have all five members, they had to promote it as quartet. They still manage to get hits such as the amazing 'Count Me Out' and the exciting 'A Little Bit of Love (Is All It Takes)'. They would also have that one slow jam classic single that they always have on each album with 'With You All The Way'. Still a good album, despite the ongoing tensions.
Under the Blue Moon - 1986
Now this album came out of left field. No one had expected this to happen, but yet it did. 'Under the Blue Moon' was a tribute album where they pay homage to the songs of the 1950's. Again, this album was unexpected to fans, but they did welcomed it with open arms for they did produced hits from it. 'Earth Angel' was not only a hit from the album, but it also made it to 'The Karate Kid II' soundtrack. If you like New Edition and you love listening to the great old songs of the 1950's then you will appreciate this album.
Heartbreak - 1988
There were many changes since releasing 'Heartbreak'. The group had re-signed with MCA after a money dispute between them and Jump Shoot Productions, they've add maturity to their arsenal by having Johnny Gill join the group and now they've changed their sound to make way to the up-and-coming New Jack Swing craze. Two years have past since 'Under the Blue Moon' and now the boys that you've loved on 'Candy Girl' are now men. With Johnny Gill aboard, they've added a new element to the group. Some even wondered if it would work because despite the similarity in age, Johnny sounded much older than the group itself. But the team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis somehow manage to put them all together and make a classic out of this album. 'If It Isn't Love' was a hit right out of the box with that 'new' New Jack Swing sound. 'N.E. Heartbreak' and 'Crucial' followed to sound and were hits as well. 'You're Not My Kind of Girl' was a hit on it's own and personally one of my favorites but the song that stand out the most on this album was the sweet ballad of 'Can't You Stand The Rain' which was lead by Ralph and Johnny. Fans would think that this would be New Edition's swag song for after the album and tour, they would branch out on their own to make solo hits.
Home Again - 1996
Eight years have passed since we've heard a New Edition hit and during those years, each member have taken an identity of their own for they was known for their solo hits. But 1996 have come and they boys (who are now men in their mid-20's) have decided to come back together. Not only that, but they've brought back in Bobby Brown as well to make it a six-packaged deal. Now the fans got to experience the entire sound of New Edition with all six members in place with the release of 'Home Again'. 'Hit Me Off' was the first single of that album and that put the men back on the map as a group for the fans have embraces them once again. 'I'm Still In Love With You' is a classic ballad that featured Ralph and Ricky at their best. The album version of 'You Don't Have to Worry', was alright but the (Bad Boy Remix) which featured Missy Elliot (and another hard to find one with Fat Joe) laying the rap verse in the beginning was ten times better. This was the song where Bobby Brown let everyone know that he was still here and he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. This was a great comeback album and is probably their most successful album to date.
One Love - 2004
Eight years have passed by since we've heard from New Edition and once again changes have been made within the group. During the 'Home Again' tour, Bobby was once again up to no good and was gone from the group leaving them back to the team of five. Building a relationship with Sean 'Diddy' Combs, the group have signed on to his Bad Boy Entertainment Records and produce the album 'One Love'. Though the album did produce one song, 'Hot 2Nite', the now 30-something New Edition wasn't happy with the direction of where the album was going and it wasn't heavily promoted. It could have been a good comeback album had it been because there are some songs on there that should be listened to.
Where Are They Now?
As of current (2011), Bobby Brown has now come back to the group and though they are now touring as two separate groups, Bell, Biv, DeVoe and The Head of State (Bobby, Ralph and Johnny), sources say that they do plan on getting back together real soon once they are done and another album is in the works. So let's see how that goes and I wish them all the best of luck because the fans still want to hear some more of New Edition.