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Archive for the ‘80s’ Category

What a week, huh? Good grief!! I won’t even get into it. I need a jukebox for the weekend, and a little old skool “Urban Contemporary” is hitting the spot!

Y’all know I love 80s pop, but I also adore the R&B tracks from this era. Here are some of my favorite artists. So squirt some spray on that asymmetrical bob, brush that high top fade and come with me!

Klymaxx. O. M. G. I LOVE Klymaxx. Seriously. Love them! They actually played their own instruments, which was kinda unheard of at the time. And Bernadette Cooper is a ‘Kick Ass Chick’ if ever there was one.

Essential tracks: Meeting in the Ladies Room, I Miss You, I’d Still Say Yes, The Men All Pause.

The Time. Oh, the TIME! Morris Day! Jerome Benton! Why didn’t they last forever?!? (Bernadette Cooper is totally the female version of Morris Day, no?) I personally am partial to the pre-Purple Rain stuff, but the later tracks are awesome too.

Essential tracks: Jungle Love, 777-9311, Girl, Gigolos Get Lonely Too.

Atlantic Starr: I would have loved to see this band live, if only for the experience of hearing every audience member sing this every word of this first track, because the whole world knows this song! “Here we are, the two of us to-gethaaaah. Takin’ this crazy chance to be all alooooooooone….”

Essential tracks: Secret Lovers, If Your Heart Isn’t In It, Always

Cameo: Cameo, in my opinion, is second only to George Clinton and the P-Funk family as the greatest funk artist ever. I am partial pre-Word Up! stuff, but it’s all great. Larry Blackmon is genius.

Essential tracks: Alligator Woman, Shake Your Pants, Candy, She’s Strange

The Gap Band: Another band whose brilliance is underrated. But those outfits!

Esential tracks: Burn Rubber On Me, Early In the Morning, You Dropped A Bomb On Me

Teena Marie: Oh, Miss Blue Eyed Soul herself. I remember getting into an argument with my sister when I was little. My sister said she was white. I just knew that was impossible.

Esential tracks: Square Biz, Portuguese Love, Casanova Brown, Fire and Desire (Duet with Rick James)

Glaring omission. There is a glaring omission on this list. It’s a song I have been searching for in digital form for YEARS. But you cannot buy it – it’s not available as an MP3 or even on a CD that I can find. In fact, you can hardly find the song anywhere on the internet anymore – the artist who owns the rights (not the group who performs the song) is notorious for not allowing his music to appear on the internet at all. And it’s a shame too. Welcome to the digital age, Mr. Purple! Anyway, click here to see what the song is. I’m afraid to type the name here lest Mr. Purple’s web bots find it and ruin for the person who was able to actually post this video without getting slapped with a cease and desist order.

If anyone – ANYONE – has this track in digital form, would you please, please, PLEASE share with me?! Email me at lilmisselleen [at] gmail [dawt] com. I will love you forever.

Other key tracks on the playlist: In My House, Mary Jane Girls; Sweet November, The Deele; Let’s Wait Awhile, Janet Jackson; Never Knew Love Like This Before, Stephanie Mills; Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thang), Zapp; Don’t Disturb This Groove, The System;  Saturday Love, Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal

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Sorry it’s been so long since I blogged. I moved (ugh!), my job never ceased to kick me in the rear, all the puppy drama left me sad, and Facebook is just too easily accessible and hard to resist.

Anyway, I think we all need a pick-me-up, don’t you? It’s too early in the morning for a cocktail, so I’ve got the next best thing – a Jukebox!

ladydI can’t believe I haven’t dedicated a playlist to this lady before. In addition to being a diva for the world, I feel like I have a personal connections to her. She was my mom’s favorite artist when I was little, which made her mine too. She is from Detroit, like me. She’s an Aries, like me. She was singing since she was a kid, like me. She designed clothes, so, you know. (Did you know she designed ALL the clothes from the movie Mahogany? ALL OF THEM!! Did you see those clothes?! Why she never put out a line, I have no idea. Look at these low budget singers out today with crappy clothing lines – I’m sorry J.Lo, do your ears burn? Crazy)

Anyway, without further ado, cuz she needs no introduction, the lady Diana.

The Boss, Diana Ross. I LOVE this song. Say what you want about disco, but Miss Diana did it right. Listen to this track and not dance. I dare you. Oh, and how CUTE is she in that white, sparkly body suit?! I love this woman. (Oh, and the French translation of things like ‘y’all’ ‘c’mon dance with me, girl’ are hilarious!)

I Thought It Took A Little Time (But Today I Fell In Love), Diana Ross. OMG, OMG, OMG, you guys! I love this song!! My second-favorite Diana track ever! If you don’t know it, (1) shame on you for not owning a Diana ‘Greatest Hits’ collection (this song is on every one), and (2) go to iTunes right now and buy it. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Love Hangover, Diana Ross. This song makes me wish I was an adult of the ‘70s. I wish I were at a basement party, my 14” afro picked out just right, wearing some cute outfit that somehow involved fringe, incense burning, wood paneling on the walls, shag rug under my platforms, just chillin’. That is the image this song evokes to me.

You Can’t Hurry Love, The Supremes. Ok, I wasn’t going to put Supremes on this list because that would make it way too long. But this clip shows lesson #476 on how badass this woman is: check out how her earring falls off, she catches it, and doesn’t miss a move so you almost miss the whole thing. It’s at 1:56. Diva! I think if I were an adult when the Supremes played the Ed Sullivan show, Diana would be to me what Michelle Obama is to me now.

Reach Out And Touch, Diana Ross. C’mon everyone: “We can change things, if we start giving, why don’t you (why don’t you) reach out and touch somebody’s haaaaaaaaannnnnd (Ba-bop, bop, bop, ba-bop, whooooaaaaa)”

Swept Away, Diana Ross. This 80s pop joint was my jam back in the day. And keep in mind this song came out 20 some odd years after the Supremes. Folks talk about Madonna’s staying power and ability to transform herself, rightly so. But Diana wrote the playbook, y’all. Oh, and this was written by Daryl Hall. There’s no going wrong.

Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross. Hearing the opening bars of this song can make me stop whatever I’m doing at the time, raise one hand in the air Diana-style, and sing: “Tooooooooooooch me in the mooooooooooor-ning. Thennn just walk awaaaaaaaaaayyyy.” Then I forget whatever it was that I was doing, but it’s ok!

Missing You, Diana Ross. Of course this song is about Marvin, but I can’t help but get sad all over again thinking of how heartbroken she must be over MJ. I can’t imagine.

It’s My Turn, Diana Ross. I appreciate this song a lot more now than I did as a kid. Because it’s my turn to see what I can see. I hope you understand. This time’s just for me.

DianaMarvinYou Are Everything, Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye. The Diana & Marvin album is so amazing. I know his best-remembered duets are with Tammi Terrell, but Diana+Marvin=magic. Trust.

My Mistake (Was to Love You), Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye. The only thing better than this song, is the idea of it. I’d love to say that to somebody. Too much.

Muscles, Diana Ross. Ok, before you watch the video, remember – Michael Jackson wrote this. For Diana. Before Thriller. MJ! Ok, continue:

DianabillieGood Morning Heartache, Diana Ross. Did you know Diana was nominated for an Oscar? For plying Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues? And did you know she was robbed, cuz girlfriend played the hell out of that role? If you have not seen it, shame on you! Put it at the top of your Netflix queue now!

Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You Are Going To), Diana Ross. Yes, my Essential. I know I always say Peg by Steely Dan is my favorite song in the universe, but this one comes in a verrrry close second. If this song and movie were all Diana Ross did in her whole career, I would love her just as much. (OH, and I’m STILL looking for that hat she wears at about 1:14. If y’all see one on the interwebs, send a sistah a link!)

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Diana Ross. I love the spoken word part. Oh, this song reminds me of being a kid. Love, love, love it.

Endless Love, Diana Ross. I remember when Diana Ross did her concert in Central Park in 1983 live on TV. It was an event, people. An EVENT! Nothing like that could happen today. I remember watching it with my mom like it was yesterday.

So it started to rain. Like, cats-and-dogs raining. They had to stop the show because the electric instruments couldn’t work in the rain without electrocuting folks. But the organizers were afraid stopping the show would cause the people to riot. So Diana started singing ballads – acoustic style – to calm everybody down. Then she told everybody to leave calmly. And they did! And she stayed on stage singing while they did! All on live television! It was insane! And then she came back the next day and put the whole show on again. I love this lady.

dianaalbumI’m Coming Out, Diana Ross. I forgive Puff and Biggie for sampling this, because they did a good job of it. I just hope the kids today know how badass the original was. Oh, and she was so cute on the cover of this album (which I had – on vinyl) with t-shirt on and what seemed like no makeup. Gorgeous!

One Love In My Lifetime, Diana Ross. This track wasn’t a single, I don’t think, but it’s one of my FAVORITE Diana songs. You shoulda seen me singing this in front of the mirror circa 1978. I was killin’ it, y’all!

Mirror, Mirror, Diana Ross. Oh, this was my Solid Gold-era joint! It was written by Michael Sembello (She’s a maniac!  Maniac!) so it had to be good, right? And I wish I could rock sparkly clothes like Diana. *Sigh*.

Why Do Folls Fall In Love, Diana Ross. A fun, fun remake that she nails, of course.

Upside Down, Diana Ross. We should also acknowledge the genius that is Nile Rodgers, who was behind this album. I love the funk-disco-R&B blend of this track.

Chain Reaction, Diana Ross. Ok, y’all know I’m gonna love anything involving a Gibb brother. But A Bee Gees-written song sung by Diana?! Whooo!!! This song has been in the ‘Top 25 Most Played’ playlist on my iPod since I got the iPod. Something about it makes me replay it 14 times every time it comes on. I hadn’t seen this vid in ages. How cute is she?!

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Moving sucks. I hate it. More than almost anything.

Don’t get me wrong – I love getting a new fresh start in a new place. But the sorting through of things, packing things, throwing away things, losing things, repacking things, unpacking things, not being able to find things, breaking things…it all sucks rocks. All of it. Ugh. Alas, I will be going through this process for weeks. Maybe months. Uuugh.

So it goes without saying that I need some music to get me through today’s packing nightmare. On my way home from work today, the iPod was on shuffle, and Freedom by Wham! came on. A big ol’ bag of awesomeness.

Geroge MichaelI knew what I needed. A George Michael mix. Yes, he may be better known now for doing dirty things in rest stops. Whatever, I don’t care about his personal life. I’m about the music.

I put all my George Michael and Wham! tracks on in an On-The-Go mix, put it on shuffle, and this is what came out, in its entirely. Sweet!

UPDATE: This morning I learned that somehow, 10 years ago, without my knowledge, GM made a duet of Stevie Wonder’s As with Mary J. Blige. MARY J. FRIGGIN’ BLIGE!!!! How did I not know this?!?! Oh, this must be added to the playlist:

I Want Your Sex, Parts I &II, George Michael. Oooh, remember how George had to do the disclaimer at the beginning of the video saying the song was not about casual sex? When it’s totally about casual sex? Yeah. Oh! And remember when the radio used to bleep out the word “sex” in the song? Like “I want your [bleep] is so much less suggestive? The ‘80s were a trip, man. But this song is a classic. Cuz sex is natural. Sex is good. Not everybody does it. But everybody should!

Oh, and check out George’s real-life girlfriend at the time! So you think she was a beard, or just clueless?

I Want Your Sex, Part III (A Last Request), George Michael. This is my favorite GM song of ALL TIME. Hands down. So cool. Love the trumpet solos. Super, super sexy. Best thing ever.

A Different Corner, Wham! Sappy sentimental song that I hated at the time it was out, but love now.

One More Try, George Michael. I sang the wrong lyrics for so long, that when I learned the correct ones, I couldn’t accept them. So I still sing the wrong lyrics. “And teach us better things that I don’t want to learn.” Those are my lyrics and I’m sticking to them!

Where Did Your Heart Go? Wham! I love this song – if only for the mental visual of sharing a rusty can of corn with George Michael down on the wharf. For the record, I left my heart down in Mexico. (OMG how CUTE is Andrew in this vid?!?! *Swoon*!! I loved him for years before I started crushing on George. Oh, yeah – and how did this video not make me realize that George was totally and completely gay?!? I mean, that dance during the saxophone solo!!! Hel-lo!?! I had the worst teenage gaydar on earth.)

Everything She Wants, Wham! “Ahhh-ha (Ahhh-ha) Ohhh-ho (Ohhh-ho) Ah-haaa (Ah-haa) Doo doo doo, la la la la la…”

Monkey, George Michael. The only possible good thing that could come from dating a drug addict is being able to write a kick ass song like this.

Blue, Wham! Ok song. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham! As much as I love ‘80s music, I have a confession to make: I hate this song. I don’t think I’ve listened to it of my own volition in 20 years. It’s on my iPod out of obligation – how can you have Wham! on your player without this song? It could come in handy at a party or something. Or when you are drunk with friends. I’m sober now, so we’re hitting the FF button…

I’m Your Man, Wham! OMG, I totally forgot about this jam! I love when my iPod surprises me. Good good, stuff. So much better than the Go-Go crap.

Hard Day, George Michael. I friggin’ love this song! “Bang! Bang! You’re dead. Couldn’t we just make love instead? Say yes cuz it’s what we do best, and I’ve had such a hard day.” Lyric writer deserves an award.

Kissing A Fool, George Michael. I like this song because it shows that GM is actually  talented vocalist. And it’s fun to sing.

Faith, George Michael. I don’t care that he plays for the other team, or that he grew to hate this video and the ripped jeans and leather jacket (he burned them in his video for Freedom ’90). He looked friggin’ hot! My crush on who George used to be will never die.

Edge of Heaven, Wham! OMG, I am finding all kinds of stuff I forgot was on my iPod. This never comes up on shuffle, which is a shame, because this song is my joint! “There’s a place for us in a dirty movie, cuz no one does it better than me and you!”

Mother’s Pride, George Michael. I played this often in the early years of the war on Iraq. So sad.

Too Funky, George Michael. Remember when he used the supermodels in his videos? Ooooh – check out the young Miss Tyra! Oh, and Beyonce dear: You think the motorcycle-inspired getup that you wear on your tour is original? Or that robotic glove thing? Um, yeah – you might want to think again, girlfriend!

Father Figure, George Michael. I find it impossible to hear this song and not sing every word out loud. Loudly.

Freedom, Wham! The song that started this playlist! Not to be confused with Freedom ’90, George’s solo hit. Completely different. Although both are awesome.

Last Christmas, Wham! I forgot about this one! It’s June, though, for goodness sakes. I gotta hit FF! Love the song though. Just gotta wait until November.

Battlestations, Wham! OMG, this song kicks ASS! “You won’t pick up the phone. Why lie to my face? (When you can buy a tape machine that gives me bullsh*t in your place!)”

Freedom ’90, George Michael. Words to live by. “All we have to see is that I don’t belong to you, and you don’t belong to me. Yeah, yeah!”

Careless Whisper, Wham! Leave it to the iPod to leave the best for last. This just wants me to get out the red strobe light, put on my neon socks and baggy sweatshirt, and slow dance with somebody in my middle school gymnasium. Because to the heart and mind ignorance is kind. There’s no comfort in the truth. Pain is all you’ll find. Classic, classic, sh*t right here. Now let the saxophone solo touch your soul.

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paulaTwenty-one.

That is the number of Paula Abdul songs on my iPod. I know every word to every one. I am not ashamed.

I know, these days Paula spends her time acting completely high on American Idol, acting completely high on home shopping channels and, for a little while, acting completely high on her own reality show.  Train wreck? Absolutely.

But there was a time that she was making radio-friendly tracks that were infectiously awesome. True, she always sounded like she inhaled helium. But it worked.

I remember seeing her in concert – from the third row! – with some friends of mine circa 1990. Did she lip sync the whole show? Probably. But you know what? The show was awesome, the dancing and choreography was amazing, she looked beautiful and it was a total blast. Music doesn’t always have to be serious. Sometimes it’s just fun. Her songs are a barrel of dance-pop fun. That’s why she gets a playlist.

Promise of a New Day, Paula Abdul. My favorite Paula song by a mile! It’s perfect for today, the first day of Spring. Yay! Seriously, this song makes me SOOOOOOO HAPPY! And yes, I think it’s hysterical the way the video was stretched – allegedly to make her look thinner. It’s still cool. I wanna dance in a rainforest. Even if it is digitally created.

Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul. Oh, I just did the whole rap from memory! Ha! “Take-a take-a nothah nothah look into his eyes and you will only see a rep-tile!”

Rush, Rush, Paula Abdul. Oh my GOODNESS, this song is bad. Yet I know all the words. It’s so bad it’s fantastic. I wonder what they paid Keanu Reeves to do this video.

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow, Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson. Yes, I bought this song. I like it. So there.

The Way That You Love Me, Paula Abdul. This song has sentimental value: In high school, there was an annual talent show. It was called the Hootenanny. I don’t know why. Anyway, every year I entered with two separate acts: singing a song, and doing a dance routine. One year I memorized all the choreography to this video (I improvised on the tapping part), performed it in the Hoot, and won third place. My singing act failed to place, but Paula’s choreography earned me 20 bucks. Thanks Paula!

Knocked Out, Paula Abdul. The first Paula song I ever heard.

Vibeology, Paula Abdul. Great song for hitting the treadmill.

My Foolish Heart, Paula Abdul. Another one of my favorites. No idea why she never released it as a single.

Crazy Cool, Paula Abdul. This is from the album she put out when I was in law school. I may be the only person who bought it. That’s ok, because I’ve played this song about 1,523,632 times since then (twice today alone!), so I got my money’s worth. She should rock this short haircut again – really cute on her. Much better than her unbe-weave-able ‘do now.

Opposites Attract, Paula Abdul. My version does not have the MC Scat Cat rap. Thankfully.

I Need You, Paula Abdul. From her first album. Coulda been a single.

The Choice Is Yours, Paula Abdul. Another good non-single track from her last album.

Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul. Of Course.

Blowing Kisses In the Wind, Paula Abdul. Another so-bad-it’s-good track. She shouldn’t sing ballads. I still like it.

Straight Up, Paula Abdul. In my opinion, this is still one of the coolest looking videos ever made. And Arsenio is in it! ARSENIO, people! How can you not love it?!?

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So it’s Friday the 13th. For the second time in as many months. Because I don’t need any more bad luck than I already have, I’ve decided to fight back. So here is my lucky playlist, full of superstitious references. I figure if I just put them all out there, the bad luck will stay away. May black cats, ladders and sidewalk cracks stay out of your path today!

joanaI’m Lucky, Joan Armatrading. The first song I played this morning. So I don’t need a bracelet. No salt for my shoulder. I don’t own a rabbit. No clover. No heather. No wonder. I’m lucky.

With a Little Luck, Paul McCartney. I really didn’t realize I had Paul’s cheesy stuff on my iPod until just now. At least this one serves a purpose today.

Lucky Star, Madonna. Ah, if wearing magical 80s lace gloves and black rubber bracelets means that bad luck is repelled, then I’m good cuz I wore those things for years! I’m the luckiest by far!

Superstition, Stevie Wonder. When You believe in things you don’t understand then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way.

(I’m Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement, Duran Duran. John Taylor can be my good luck charm.

Black Cat, Janet Jackson. Better watch your step or you’re gonna DIE!

Whip It, Devo. Step on a crack. Break your mama’s back.

A Stroke of Luck, Garbage. The hand of fate or devil’s claws? From below or saints above?

Mirror, Mirror, Diana Ross. Ok, this song isn’t about breaking mirrors or anything. But I had to include it anyway. Diana is the best good luck charm of them all!

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So this has been one tough week. The financial crisis hit way too close to home, and I had a mini breakdown followed by a mini depression. At least the weather warmed up this weekend, which gave me the opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors trying to help my dog and myself walk off some of the pounds we acquired over the winter.

I was in no mood to make a jukebox playlist this Friday, so during the walks I simply hit the ‘shuffle’ function for my tunes. But my iPod, always a good friend, chose an amazing array and songs that really, really, cheered me up. Really. I “On-the-go”ed a bunch of them and an amazing playlist ensued that I will share here. Perfectly, it’s heavy on the ’80s, with some ’70s thrown in for good measure. Play it any time life sucks for you. It’ll help.

ellenandcodyNowhere Fast, Fire Inc., (aka Ellen Aim and the Attackers). I hit replay about 5 times on this one. I’ve already professed my love for the film Streets of Fire, and this track was like manna from above this week. Oh, and can I be Diane Lane when I grow up?

What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’, Stephanie Mills. Oh, man, doesn’t this track just make you wanna go to the roller rink and do the little cross-step? Good, good times!

Burning Down The House, Talking Heads. Whatever ails you, David Byrne is the elixir.

Don’t Get Me Wrong, The Pretenders. My adoration for Chrissie Hynde knows no bounds.

I’ll Take You There, The Staples Singers. I certainly need a place where ain’t nobody worried.

Time if the Season, The Zombies. Listening to this track made me realize that it truly belongs on the Elleen’s Essentials list, because I have adored it all my life. Really. This is brilliant stuff.

Fame, Irene Cara. OMG, I can’t believe I don’t own this film!  I need to go out and buy it. Like, right now!

If You Leave, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. If the song was in a John Hughes film, chances are it is on my iPod. For good reason.

She Blinded Me With Science, Thomas Dolby. I don’t even think I need an explanation.

Shadows of the Night, Pat Benatar. Ok, if you were in Arlington, Va. yesterday afternoon, and you saw some crazy woman walking a shaggy terrier and singing this song out loud, on the street, in public – hi, that was me. “Run to my heart, but baby don’t look back, cuz we got nobody eeeelllse!!”

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So last night I met up with one of my best friends in high school, Angie, who I had not seen in about 17 years. She’s still a big ol’ dose of awesome. We caught up and reminisced about the good, the bad and the ugly of our little tiny Michigan Catholic school, which was really great because a very large portion of my good memories from that time involved Angie. So glad she lives in my town! And hooray for Facebook for helping us find each other again! J

Anyway, of course a large part of the convo involved music. Angie is a very talented musician (we used to have a little a cappella, En Vogue style thing going back in school with a third friend of ours. So much fun!) And in high school, it seemed our lives revolved around music. Anyway, after discussing the complete lack of redeeming music on the charts today – we noted that even the cheesiest pop of our teen years at least had some creativity – we went into all the forms of music that we love and miss: good classic rock, great songwriters’ songs from folks like James Taylor and Joan Armatrading, funk a la P-Funk and Earth Wind and Fire, good hip hop, and one of my favorite genres of yesteryear: New Jack Swing.

“Oh,” I said. “My next blog jukebox is totally going to be devoted to New Jack Swing! I loved that stuff!” So here it is!

[Editorial Note: I usually embed several videos on my jukebox posts. Recently the meanies at the record companies started disabling embedding capabilities on video share sites like YouTube, and that has happened with nearly every song on this list. I personally think it’s a stupid thing to do, because seeing these vids on a blog would make me more likely to go to iTunes and plunk down my $0.99.  But it is what it is. So as a mini protest, I will no longer link the songs to Amazon.com where you can find purchase options. It will take you to YouTube or Daily Motion or Last.fm or some other site where you can watch the videos or listen to the song for free. Scru U, damned record execs! Enjoy!]

neIf It Isn’t Love, New Edition. When this track dropped, so did my jaw. Long gone was the Cool It Now singing boy band. This joint is phat with a P H.

Poison, Bell Biv DeVoe. If “Never trust a big butt and a smile” is not in Bartlett’s Book of Quotations, is should be.

Just Got Paid, Johnny Kemp. Ah, the New Jack working man’s anthem.

Every Little Step, Bobby Brown. Angie and remember how we thought Bobby Brown was washed up after he left NE. He put out a couple of really dismal songs. Then Don’t Be Cruel and My Prerogative and Roni dropped. And we changed our minds. Every Little Step is my favorite.

guyThe Guy trifecta: I Like, You Can Call Me Crazy and Groove Me. New Jack’s godfather Teddy Riley’s group epitomized the sound. Their first album played a pivotal role in my high school experience. I still listen to it, so “it ain’t over. The party’s not over.”

Motown Philly, Boyz II Men. Motown Philly’s back again. Doin’ a little East Coast swing.

Feels Good, Tony Toni Toné. OMG, this brings back distinct memories of cruising down 12 Mile Road, on my way to school, and just blasting this track. Good, good stuff.

Rub You The Right Way, Johnny Gill. Some of the best NJS artists had some NE connection. JG is no exception.

ks1I Want Her, Keith Sweat. I know he’s known more now for being the ex-husband of Atlanta Real Hosewife Lisa Wu, but back in the day he was da bomb.

Tender Lover, Babyface. Teddy Riley was totally the architect of New Jack, but Babyface played a big role in the genre too.

pebsGiving You the Benefit, Pebbles. Oh, we cannot forget the ladies of New Jack. I loved it when Pebbles traded in the ’80s R&B/pop sound of Girlfriend and Mercedes Boy for the New Jack sound of this track.

Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, TLC. “Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it’s saggin’!” Although I resisted the urge to wear super baggy clothes and put a condom on my glasses, this track was in heavy rotation in my automobile’s tape player.

The Way You Love Me, Karyn White. OMG, the record company missed one!! Hurry and watch before they disable it!! I used to sing the hell out of this track back then. And my hair was almost this big too.

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