Two threes and a nine. I've always been bullish on Barry White!
For Collins’ first week, Bobby Brown was still R&B #1 with “My Prerogative”. For Phil’s second week Karyn White’s debut single was the R&B #1. “The Way You Love Me” came out on August 15, 1988 in advance of her self titled, future R&B #1 album. The album came out just 3 weeks before the single topped the chart, and by April 89 it had already gone Platinum. Karyn, born in October 65 while “Yesterday” was #1, grew up in LA as a choir singer. She appeared on a few of jazz musician Jeff Lorber singles singing backup, including his biggest crossover hit, 86’s Private Passion (R&B #29, Pop #68). One of the tracks on Karyn’s debut album was written by Lorber, but 7 of the remaining 8, including this #1, were written by LA Ried and Babyface. I’ve lost count of how many #1s they’ve written or produced so far, but I think this is #4. There will be more. Karyn White will be back. But I’m going to fast forward a bit in her life. In 1992, Karyn married Terry Lewis - half of Jam and Lewis. They eventually divorced in 1999. She was married to producer Bobby G from 2007-09. In 2012, she dated Al B! Sure. She now lives in Rocklin, California. That only is interesting to me because I lived in Rocklin in 2006/07, then from 07-12 next door in Roseville.
UB40 never charted on the R&B chart. According to Billboard’s site, they had one very big single that hit #3 on the Rhythmic Airplay chart in 93, which Billboard classifies under R&B/Hip-Hop, but Tom will be talking about that one. For UB40’s week and the first week of Monday’s #1, a boy from Roxbury, MA, had one of the songs that are in the dictionary under New Jack Swing. Bobby Brown was only #1 for two weeks with the Teddy Riley produced single “My Prerogative”. It didn’t even get into the Top 40 until November! But Tom will have something to say in a few months. It felt bigger than just a few weeks at #1. It only went Gold! But it was the #2 single for 1989. The album, “Don’t Be Cruel”, spent at least 11 weeks at #1 on the R&B Albums and some time at #1 on the Hot 200. It sold at least 7 million copies, and all 5 singles were in the pop Top 10. We’ll have to wait until virtual April 1989 for more of the Bobby Brown story
8, 10, 9. I almost went 10 for hooked, but that would have been an emotional vote. I would have gone a little lower for Love, but I voted after reading Tom's review and I was sufficiently swayed
I got to see a Natalie Merchant sometime around 2000, she was great. 10,000 Maniacs never had a top 10! Makes sense, but I thought I heard "These Are The Days" and "Because The Night" everywhere in the early 90s. They were a #66 and #11... A #1 and #7 Alt though and that's probably why they seemed all over the place. Natalie solo did have a pop top 10 though! Her first single, "Carnival" was a #10. "Jealousy" seemed like a bigger hit at the time to me though
I've got a cold for the first time since March 1, 2020, so I completely forgot it was Wednesday! Bobby McFerrin only got to #11 on the R&B chart, instead there were two different #1s over his two weeks. For the first week Jeffrey Osborne had his first and only #1 with “She’s On The Left” Osborne began his career as the drummer and lead singer for former R&B #1 L.T.D. LTD started in Greensboro, NC, and during a gig in Providence, RI, they recruited Osborne. They had three R&B #1s between 76 and 78 and a #1 album in 77. Osborne went solo in 82 and released a few albums before 88. He ended up writing Whitney’s “All at Once”, which didn’t get a US single release. He was on We Are the World. His last single before this one was a duet with Dionne Warwick, “Love Power”, that was an AC #1 For Bobby’s second week, LeVert got their third R&B #1 with “Addicted to You” which was also featured in Coming to America which came out in June. This isn’t the last we’ll hear from LeVert.
For the week of September 10, Freddie Jackson was still R&B #1. Replacing him was a man with more R&B #1s (10 to 13 solo and 6 with the Jackson 5), Michael Jackson with “Another part of Me” as the sixth single off Bad. Another Part of Me was originally for Captain EO, but it led off Side 2 of Bad. It probably played pretty good in the movie, but it didn’t even go top 10 on the pop charts. I prefer G&R. MJ released three more singles off Bad - a total of 9 singles off an 11 track album! His next single was, IMHO, his best song off the album, Smooth Criminal. It got to R&B #2 and pop #7, making Another Part of Me the only American or Canadian single off Bad not to go Top 10 pop! The final two singles, Leave Me Alone and Liberian Girl, were not released in North America. Leave Me Alone wasn’t even on the original vinyl or cassette album, only on the CD and added after 2001 to other versions. It did go #1 in Greece, Ireland, and Spain. If you didn’t know, Jackson will be back. But here’s Smooth Criminal
Just wait until Billboard starts it's Rap charts next virtual year to test your theory. The first #1 was a KRS-One track, and only 1 #1 the first year was from a west coast rapper (who was from Texas, but on Easy-E's Ruthless and Dre produced the hit)
I think video #2 is broken. Quite the wide distribution of votes so far! Interesting to see how this batch plays out.
Same-ish here. Could also be the Jam and Lewis-ness of the track that makes it familiar, but it's not what this 10 year old midwestener without MTV was listening to. I'm about 50% the rest of this year (especially the next two!)
And because Tom mentioned the #1 pop single for the year - the number one R&B song was Keith Sweat's debut single "I Want Her" (#1 while INXS and Tiffany were pop #1s) and the number 1 R&B album was Sweat's debut album. His second album didn't quite reach the peaks - he had the misfortune of releasing it the same year Rhythm Nation ruled everything. Tom will have a few things to say then.
A Jam and Lewis produced George Michael single? It’s truly surprising it only got to R&B #8! Instead, R&B titan Freddie Jackson had his 7th #1 with “Nice ‘N’ Slow” Nice ‘N’ Slow was the lead single off his 3rd album Don’t Let Love Slip Away. It was his worst selling album to date, only hitting #1 and going Gold. This slow jam stayed at #1 for three weeks Freddie still has more #1s in him, even if this was his last single to chart on the Hot 100.
Roll With It is my biggest Mondegreen though. I always have, and still, hear "oh Bridget baby"
Winwood got all the way to R&B #30 with Roll with It. It was his only song that charted there. But instead of getting to the R&B #1s, something bigger culturally happened August 6, 1988. In their push away from 24 hour music videos, MTV aired Yo! MTV Raps on Saturday, 8/6/88. Run-DMC hosted the pilot - to be replaced by Fab 5 Freddy - and Follow the Leader by Erik B & Rakim was the first video. Rap had gotten big enough that there was a daytime, weekend show on MTV dedicated to it! The same MTV that wouldn’t show black music 5 years earlier. Here’s the show parts of the pilot, without the videos: As to the R&B chart, for Winwood’s first week, Bobby Brown was still #1. For the middle two weeks, the week of Yo! MTV Raps and August 13, Al B. Sure! had his 2nd #1 with his second single with another New Jack Swing single “Off on Your Own (Girl)”. His debut album was his biggest album, spending 6 weeks at the #1 R&B album - knocking off George Michael’s Faith - and selling over 3 million copies. It spawned 5 singles, but none as big as the first two - he had a #2, a #3 and a #14 with a cover of Killing Me Softly. Albert will be back. For Winwood’s final week at #1, Rick James had his final #1 with “Loosey’s Rap”. The fact that it hit #1 was a little miracle - BET and MTV wouldn’t play the video because it was “too explicit”, which James took issue with them playing Madonna. He’s got a point, there’s women in their underwear but Madonna wears less in Vogue. In 9 years, Fiona Apple will win a Grammy while being less dressed. I had also forgotten that BET played videos! The album Loosey’s Rap is off of, Wonderful, sold OK, hitting #12 R&B album but only #148 Hot 200, his worst crossover yet, and also was his first album not on Gordy. His next album didn’t even get a US release, it was officially shelved for good reason, but had a small UK release. In 90, James was using about $7000 in cocaine a week. In 91, James and his girlfriend were arrested for kidnapping a couple months after he won a Grammy for Super Freak in U Can’t Touch This (not a pop #1). In 92, while on parole for that one, they kidnapped another woman, and he served 5 years in Folsom. In 97, he did release a new album after he got out of prison. It didn’t sell as well as any prior album. A final posthumous album came out in 07, and that prior shelved album eventually was released by his estate.
Held back by Maroon 5???!!!! 24 virtual years till Tom tackles that one, they were 1/2 for 7 weeks! I don't know if I've heard One More Night.
Richard Marx and R&B don’t belong in the same sentence. The R&B #1 when Marx ascended to pop stardom was already a huge star. Bobby Brown hit #1 again with Don’t Be Cruel, the lead single off his second, and most popular album. His next single was world conquering and pushed the album to #1 on the Hot 200 for 6 non-consecutive weeks in 89, selling over 7 million copies and winning a grammy, and meeting Whitney Houston, but we’ll get there. Just like the last single, Don’t Be Cruel, as well as the rest of the album of the same name, was written and produced by LA Ried and Babyface. It got to #8 on the pop charts in a couple virtual months. After 3 New Edition #1 and his solo #1, I don’t know if there is anything new to talk about with Bobby until 1989! Bobby will return.
It's probably an age thing. I Want You to Want Me seemed to be in every single teen movie around the turn of the century. And there was the Letters to Cleo cover on Ten Things I hate about you.
2, 2, 7. I irrationally love the third one, but I know it's not great
Lots of people say it didn't come until the early 90s, but this very well could be the very first Trance release. We're just 4 years removed from the first House release by Jesse Saunders and 7 years removed from the birth of Techno, and the sound has matured and fractured so much. You had English rave scene, German techno, Chicago house, Detroit techno. Breakbeat was about to come out, and in the next 2-3 years you get jungle, garage, drum-and-bass, and triphop. Pretty amazing time for a genre that got almost no interest in the US.
Hold on, this is a big one. Cheap Trick didn’t chart on the R&B chart. I also enjoy the discrepancy between the Official Chart (UK) and the Hot 100 on “The Flame”! Instead, on the R&B charts, Sade had their sole R&B#1 on July 9th with “Promise”. Sade technically could be considered Northern Soul, but not really. The three guys were all from Hull in East Riding of Yorkshire (East Yorkshire) in the North, but they formed in London as an offshoot of a Latin soul band in 1982. Sade Adu was born to a Nigerian father and English mother in Ibadan, Nigeria - the third largest city in Nigeria - when Nigeria was still part of the empire. The great Chipmunk Song was #1 in the US until she was 3 days old when it was replaced by The Platters’ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Sade is only one year older than the country of Nigeria, they gained their independence in 1960. When she was 4, her parents separated and she moved with her mother to London. She grew up in Essex. She then went to college for fashion design. She completed the courses and modeled for a little while when she joined the aforementioned Latin soul band “Pride” as a backup singer. Paul Denman, Andrew Hale, and Stuart Matthewman joined her to form the band Sade. Their third UK single, and second US single, off their debut album went AC#1 and #5 pop and R&B and is their most remembered song, “Smooth Operator”. It’s probably a 10. Off that single, their debut album went 4x Platinum in the US, but only hit #5 on the Hot 200 and #2 in the UK. Their second album sold better without a huge single. It also was 4x Platinum but hit #1 in the US and UK. To follow up those two blockbusters, they released “Stronger than Pride” in 1988. It was their worst selling album of the 20th century, only going triple Platinum and hitting #7 on the Hot 200. The second single off this album is “Paradise” was their sole #1 but only hit #16 on the Hot 100 - which is probably why Smooth Operator is more remembered. For Cheap Trick’s second week, The Mac Band had their sole hit with “Roses Are Red”. The Mac Band was a quartet of brothers from Flint, MI. Ray, Charles, Kelvin, and Derrick McCampbell released three albums; this track was their third single off their debut album. For their album, they got help from people just approaching their peaks - Roses Are Red was written and produced by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and L.A. Reid. Backing up a little bit, in 1982, Babyface joined The Deele on keyboards which featured L.A. Reid on drums. The Deele had a few hits: a 1983 R&B#3/Pop#77 and an 87 R&B #4/Pop#10, the later written by Babyface and Reid. Off this success, they left The Deele and set to a very successful career writing and producing. Their first #1 was Pebbles’ “Girlfriend”. Babyface will be back many, many, many times in the 90s and 00s on some of the biggest hits. L.A. Reid ended up marrying Pebbles, writing and producing and bankrupting TLC. After their divorce, Reid didn’t co-write with Babyface much, but don’t you worry about him. He’ll return many, many times with some of the other biggest hits of the 90s and 00s - he happens to be the executive who signed Usher. The Mac Band, however, will not be back. After releasing their follow up album that didn’t chart, they left MCA and released an album on Unidisc. At least two of the brothers live in Texas nowadays.
I was 10 when this hit #1 and I don't know if I've ever heard it. Musta not been as popular in the midwest.
My uneducated guess would be Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell, but that's a long time from now and it looks like Finneas produced Bad Guys.
Crack of Dawn? I've been at work almost 2 hours and down was 4 hours ago! Sunrise today was 5:30 am EDT and astronomical twilight started at 3:30am. It gets light REALLY early in New England
Debbie Gibson didn’t chart on the R&B charts. Imagine that. But instead of Debbie, former R&B #1 Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes drummer and lead singer Teddy Pendergrass got his second solo R&B #1 with “Joy”, his first since 1979. Teddy was a Philly boy. Born there, the Blue Notes had their success on Philadelphia International, and Teddy’s first 7 albums were all on Philadelphia International. For his 8th and 9th, he signed on with David Geffin’s old label Asylum. His 10th album, “Joy”, came out once Asylum was merged with Elektra. Asylum later refocused as a country label, but Teddy stayed on Elektra for 2 more albums. In 1982, Teddy suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident that left him paralyzed. It wasn’t until 1999 that he performed live again. “Joy” got big without the benefit of touring. The album Joy wasn’t his biggest. It only went Gold and hit R&B #2 while his first 5 Philadelphia Int’l albums went Platinum and two were R&B #1s. 1979’s self titled “Teddy” album got all the way to #5 on the Hot 200 too. Teddy will return.
I don't know who came up with the album covers, but Chuck D has a BFA in graphic design from Adelphia State on Long Island (class of 84). That's where he met Flava Flav. Adelphia gave Chuck D an honorary doctorate in 13 too
One of the very few specific pop culture music things I remember from that long ago is that Appetite was a big deal in my 5th grade, which would have been the 88/89 school year. High school I can remember a whole lot more, but middle school? Elementary school?
Writing this one up, I was surprised T!T!T! never got a pop #1. But 2 singles off Sons of Soul were top 10s, but none of them were R&B #1s.
Yep! Saw him twice on his last tour - stopped in Boston near the beginning of the tour and again at the end of the US leg. Great show
I'll betcha the 5th comment was about the original Tower Records on Broadway. After Tower went out of business it became another record store for a while until it was torn down last year. Tower also ran the business next door - Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1610 Broadway, Sac. In a more personal note, also related, somewhere around 2010, so 4 years after Tower closed down, the store Records moved in and stayed there until around 18/19. Records was a big used record shop that had moved from it's original location on K Street downtown Sac. That original location is the cover of DJ Shadow's album Entroducing... and the location of the video for "Midnight in a perfect world" Starting about 1:00, he spends 30 seconds walking down K street and most the rest of the video inside the original Records location. By 07 when I used to shop there, it was the kind of place with missing ACT tiles and a funky smell. The basement was insane (it also shows un in the video)
Reid is an interesting guy on twitter. And really likes Staten Island sunrises :D
George did hit #1 R&B with One More Try, but not until the week of June 18th. For his three weeks at Pop #1, there were two R&B #1s. For the first two weeks, Bahamian Johnny Kemp got to #1 R&B (and #1 Dance, #10 Hot 100) with “Just Got Paid”. This New Jack Swing single was originally written by Keith Sweat as an instrumental, but he didn’t include it on his 87 #1 album. Kemp wrote some vocals as a demo for another singer, but instead it went to #1 after Teddy Riley got hold of it as producer and it was nominated for Best R&B song Grammy. Kemp didn’t have a lot of success as an artist beyond this song, this was the lead single off his second album. However, he did have a good career as a songwriter, working with Keith Sweat, Teddy Riley, Luther Vandross and Chic. The debut single from Tony! Toni! Toné! hit #1 R&B (#47 pop) with more New Jack Swing, “Little Walter”. It was this song that got Tony! Toni! Toné! a contract - it was their demo. If Dailymotion videos work, here’s the actual video in which Sinbad plays Little Walter Tony! Toni! Toné! will be back a few times before their breakup in 1996.
For the second week of Gloria, Pebbles is back with her second #1 of 1988 and her biggest hit “Mercedes Boy”. Mercedes Boy eventually hit #2 Pop in July, #1 Dance Single Sales in June, and #2 Dance Club Songs in June, but for a single week in June she topped the R&B charts. Mercedes Boy was her ticket to success. She got her second husband to bankroll a video and demo tape of Mercedes Boy which landed her a contract with MCA. MCA carried her for her first three albums, right up until she bankrupted TLC. This is not the last we’ll hear about Pebbles
He also topped the R&B charts quick too. He was #1 about 1 month earlier when the Man In The Mirror was pop #1. It did take 17 weeks for it to hit #1 though!
To us Northerners, that's a Canadian Tuxedo :D
Whitney hit R&B #2 with this single behind the song that was R&B #1 her second week at pop #1. But before that, Glen Close’s callout was R&B #1. For the week of April 23, go-go band Experience Unlimited, also known as E.U., had their sole #1 with “Da Butt”. EU started in DC in 74, as all good go-go acts did, and laboured in national obscurity. Go-Go, now the official music of DC - in February 2020, the DC City Council unanimously approved making that official - is a funk sub-genre that never got much notice outside of DC. But to get to what happened in April 1988, someone else has to be introduced. Sheldon Jackson Lee was born in Atlanta in 1957 and went to Morehead College and NYU for his MFA. Spike Lee’s first movie, She’s Gotta Have It, came out in 86 on Island Record’s short lived (84-98) movie imprint, and grossed over $7M on a $175,000 budget. His second movie, School Daze, came out February 12, 1988 as a Columbia Picture. Notably, School Daze is based in part on Spike’s time at Morehead, and it was his film before Do The Right Thing. It stars 25 year old Larry Fishburn, before he was Laurence, as a student at “Mission College” in Atlanta. “Da Butt” was the first track on the soundtrack and EU appears in the movie. For the week of April 30, and the following two weeks, Al B Sure! had the #1 R&B single with his debut single “Nite and Day”. Albert Brown III was born in Boston in 1968 but grew up in Westchester county, NY. He had a football scholarship to Iowa in 86, but chose to focus on music instead of college and in 87 Al won a Sony Talent show, hosted by Quincy Jones. Al worked with Quincy on future #1s, but not on his debut album, In Effect Mode. That album launched 5 singles, including Al’s cover of Killing Me Softly. In Effect Mode spend 7 weeks on top of the R&B album chart. This single does not, but the album is yet another #1 credit for Teddy Riley. Al was still #1 for Monday’s pop #1, which was R&B #1 back on April 2nd when MJ was the king of pop. Al will be back. Teddy Riley will be back. Quincy Jones will be back.
Billy Ocean had the #1 R&B concurrent with his #1 pop for the second week. For the week of April 9th, Teena Marie scored her only #1 single “Ooo La La La”. It only got to #85 pop. Teena Marie (Mary Brockert) released a lot of albums between 1978 and 2009, two of them gold, 6 were top 10 R&B albums, and 6 other singles were top 10s between 1980’s I Need Your Lovin and 1990’s If I Were a Bell. This is a fairly forgettable song, but once you get to the chorus you’ll realize it had a second life in 1995. The chorus of Ooo La La La is lifted into the lead single off The Fugees’ second album The Score. Teena Marie got a writing credit on the track. Fu-Gee-La only hit #29 pop, #13 R&B but hit #1 Dance. Because of the 90s, Tom might not be writing about The Fugees! The had a #1 album, the second single off the second album hit #1 everywhere in the world, was #1 on Billboard’s “Mainstream Top 40”, but didn’t chart on the Hot 100 at all! Teena Marie was loved in the R&B songwriting community. She was godmother to Marvin Gaye’s daughter Nona and godmother of Maya Rudolph. She gave Lenny Kravitz a place to live when he was struggling early in his career. In 2004, she was staying in a hotel room when a framed picture fell off the wall and gave her a serious concussion. Over the next 6 years she struggled with seizures due to that accident. She died in 2010 at 54, thought to be related to those seizures.
For MJ’s #1, he was also #1 for a week on the R&B charts and for the second week a future Hot 100 #1 was R&B #1. But I’m going to skip ahead to March 17, 1991 Starting March 17, 91, Digital Underground and Greg James “Shock G” had the #1 rap single for 5 weeks. It also hit #11 on the pop chart and #7 R&B
Andrew Dice Clay as a movie star? It was a weird time to be alive :D
Astley didn’t chart on the R&B charts at all. If Billboard’s site is to be believed, he has never had a single or album to chart on any R&B charts. For March 12 and 19, Time-less Morris Day had his biggest hit with “Fishnet”. The Time originally broke up in 1985 after Morris and Prince had a falling out after Purple Rain. The Time reunited in 1990, but that’s the virtual future. In 87/88 however, Morris Day was solo and released his second solo record: “Daydreaming”. Morris might officially be solo at this time, but Daydreaming was partially produced by former Flight Tyme members Jam and Lewis. The tracks Jam and Lewis produced, including “Fishnet”, were mini-Time reunions. Morris Day on vocals and drums, Jimmy Jam on keyboards, Lewis on bass, Jellybean Johnson backing vocals, Jessie Johnson on lead guitar, and Jerome on backing vocals. All former Time/Flight Tyme members. Fishnet was Day’s sole #1. 1988 was pretty good for Morris. He also showed up in the Richard Pryor movie “Moving” - I’ve never seen it. In 89 he showed up in an episode of 227. In 90 he starred in the short lived show “New Attitude”, another thing I’ve never seen, and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
Pebbles was still R&B #1 for George Michael’s first week at #1, but then a real Father Figure hit R&B #1. For the week ending March 5, Stevie Wonder had his 20th and final R&B #1 with “You Will Know”. It had almost no pop crossover appeal, topping out at #77 on the pop charts, but it hit #16 on the AC charts. This was the second single off his album Characters. It was a #1 R&B album and hit #17 on the Hot 200. While he didn’t have another #1 single, he wrote and performed almost all the songs for the 91 Spike Lee joint Jungle Fever. That soundtrack was also a #1 R&B album. His last two albums, so far, have been 95’s Conversation Peace and 2005’s A Time to Love. Neither hit #1 but both were #2 R&B albums. A Time To Love made it all the way to #5 on the Hot 200. He might even put out another album! He released 3 singles in 2020.
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