Hard to believe it’s been about thirty years since New Edition hit the scene with their debut album Candy Girl. The quintet out of Boston, MA–who helped pave the way for future post-Jackson 5 boy bands–started out as a trio comprised of Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell. They later brought their buddy Ralph Tresvant to join them and finally, Ronnie DeVoe. After winning a local talent show with the ultimate prize, a recording contract, the boys hit the ground running. The single “Candy Girl” shot to number one on the U.S. R&B charts and in the U.K. Not to be victims of the sophomore jinx, their second album New Edition was released in 1984 and went to number one on the R&B chart thanks to songs like “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now.”
Now platinum artists, they enjoyed success with their third album containing the singles “A Little Bit of Love” and “Count Me Out.” Bobby Brown was relieved of his duties from the group in 1985, but no matter, with songs like “My Prerogative” and “Don’t Be Cruel” he went on to have a hugely successful solo career. Enter Johnny Gill a couple of years later, definitely no stranger to the music business. With Gill, the group recorded their fifth album Heart Break and hit the charts again, this time with a new image and sound and several hit singles–among them “If It Isn’t Love”, “You’re Not My Kind of Girl”, and “Can You Stand The Rain.” Of course all the members of the group have definitely had their success with outside projects. Ralph Tresvant made it to the top of the charts with “Sensitivity”; Johnny Gill had one of the hottest ballads of 1990 with “My, My, My”; and with “Do Me Baby” and “Poison”, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe–a.k.a. Bell Biv DeVoe–proved not only to be hit makers but wise counselors as they shared the fervent and profound admonition “never trust a big butt and smile.”
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter; sometimes both at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.MontroseMusic.com and on visit him online at Facebook.